The $1500 High-End Gaming Rig (Oct 2016)

This is one of our reader-requested builds from our computer hardware help service. Check it out if you want us to thoroughly research and write-up a personalized build for your own specific budget and feature-needs (and if you don't want the build published on the site for whatever reason just mention that).

Hardware Requested:

  • CPU
  • Aftermarket CPU Cooler
  • Motherboard
  • RAM
  • Graphics Card
  • Power Supply
  • Case
  • Standard Hard Drive
  • SSD
  • Dedicated Sound Card
  • Wifi Adapter/Dongle
  • DVD Drive/Burner

Accessories/Other Parts Requested:

  • Operating System
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Mouse Pad
  • Wifi Adapter/Dongle
  • Speakers
  • Headset

Other Requirements: 

  • Maximum spending budget is $1500 US Dollars
  • Aim is simply to build a really good PC for gaming
  • Storage minimum of 1TB
  • Clear-side panel case preferred

The Build

Based on the very loose PC build requirements above, here's what we conjured up:

Motherboard ASUS LGA1151 $129
CPU Intel Boxed Core I7-6700 $305
CPU Cooler Intel Stock Cooler (included with CPU) -
RAM HyperX FURY Black 16GB Kit (2x8GB) 2133MHz DDR4 $85
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC 8GB $410
Sound Card ASUS Xonar DGX PCI-E $39
Hard Drive WD Blue 1TB $50
SSD Crucial MX300 275GB $70
Power Supply EVGA 750 Watts GQ 80+ GOLD Semi Modular $80
Case Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-01 Mid Tower $50
DVD Drive Asus DVD Burner $21
WiFi Adapter (install on motherboard) TP-Link Archer T6E $50
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit System Builder (disc version) $92
Keyboard & Mouse (combo) Cooler Master Devastator II $30
Mouse Pad SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mouse Pad $8
Headset Logitech G230 Stereo Gaming Headset with Mic $42
Speakers Logitech Speaker System Z313 $34

*Note* - All prices listed above were correct at the time of writing and may change at any time.

Build Notes

There we go, the current best bang for your buck in terms of gaming performance and reliability for a budget of $1500 (including certain accessories). This is a very high-performing gaming PC with the lethal combination of the high-end processor in the i7 6700, and the high-end 1070 graphics card. Since you mentioned you won't be overclocking, you won't be needing an aftermarket CPU cooler and the one included with your 6700 processor will do just fine.

You've got a decent-sized SSD to install your operating system and a few other programs on for super-fast loading, and a 1TB traditional drive for all of your other stuff. There's also the wireless adapter which plugs into your motherboard for quality WiFi coverage, and a nice case with a clear side-panel as asked.

You mentioned you want a sound card so I included an inexpensive yet decent quality sound card which offers a nice upgrade over on-board sound. Although please be aware that the speakers and headset I included in your build are budget models (because you did not specify what sort of quality you were after for these accessories and so I put gaming performance as the top priority for your $1500 budget) and won't take full advantage of your sound card's capabilities. If you want to take advantage of a dedicated sound card like this then you'll want to get a higher quality headset or speakers. If that's not an option, or you don't need the best of the best in terms of sound quality, then I'd consider just ditching the sound card. These days, on-board motherboard audio is just fine. But yeah, it's totally your call.

That's about it for your $1500 high-end gaming PC build. Hopefully it's what you're looking for and good luck with it all!