Best gaming PC build under $1500 in 2022

A $1,500 budget is enough to get you a very powerful gaming PC aimed at a fast refresh rate of 1440p gaming without compromises. At least that’s was the case until the GPU market went bonkers. Still, we tried to optimize the first (strictly gaming) build so that you can get the most powerful GPU possible for the budget. The second build is aimed towards gaming and streaming or gaming and serious work and there, we’ve spent a bit more on the CPU.

Do note that we didn’t include a GPU in this build. Thanks to the global chip shortage and the insane GPU prices, instead of recommending a specific graphics card, we listed the GPU budget at the end of the components list. It’s the money left after accounting for other components. We have a couple of recommendations but skipped recommending specific GPU models because the current pricing situation can change drastically in a month or even a week.

We have two systems here, one based on the Ryzen 5600X and the other revolving around the Core i7-10700K(F). The first build is all about gaming while the second PC is aimed towards gamers who also want to stream or use their PC for heavy multithreaded tasks. Check out what we built for $1,500. We’re starting with the Ryzen machine.

AMD PC build under $1500 for gaming

ComponentModel 
CPU
CPU Cooler (Optional)
Motherboard
Memory
Storage
PSU
Case

1. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X: Best CPU

Cores
6
Threads
12
BASE FREQUENCY
3.7 GHz
TURBO FREQUENCY
4.6 GHz

With the recent price decrease, the has become a great CPU deal for all gamers. Realistically, you don’t need a better gaming CPU at the moment. This six-core beast is to rival Intel’s latest and greatest gaming processors while not needing an expensive cooler and a motherboard. You could go with the but, at the current prices, you’ll save just about $30 for a five percent slower CPU at 1440p. And that’s if you get an aftermarket cooler for the 5600X. Not a great business but if every dollar is important then maybe a 10600K(F) might be a better choice here.

If you don’t care about saving a couple of dozens of bucks for a faster GPU and you want the best gaming CPU performance, get the 5600X. The newer is almost as fast as the 5600X. But isn’t good of a deal due to its current MSRP. This leaves the 5600X as our CPU choice for users who just want to game and have $1500 to spend on a new gaming PC. Now, you can use the provided box cooler but since that piece of metal doesn’t allow the 5600X to fully spread its wings, we would opt for something beefier albeit still pretty cheap.

2. Deepcool Gammaxx 400: Best CPU cooler

DIMENSIONS
135 × 80 × 154.5 mm
FANS
1
NOISE
17.8 - 30 dB(A)
SPEED
1500 RPM

The Wraith Stealth, provided with every 5600X, is technically good enough to cool the Ryzen CPU. But in reality, you’ll leave some performance on the table if you stick with the box cooler. Our advice is to spend a small amount of cash and get a budget CPU air cooler, such as the . This CPU is very cheap while being able to handle the 5600X without issues. Aside from keeping the CPU much cooler than the Wraith Stealth, the Gammaxx 400 is also much quieter.

If the Deepcool heatsink isn’t available in your region, or if it’s too expensive compared to the competition, there are other coolers to choose from. The is another cheap cooler that has excellent performance and is more than enough for the 5600X. Next, the be quiet! is a pain to install but it’s just a cheap as the Gammaxx 400 while offering better performance. Finally, if you want something beefier check out our list of the best coolers for the 5600X.

3. Gigabyte B550M Aorus Pro-P: Best motherboard

Memory
4× DDR4 DIMM
max. 128 GB
Storage
2× M.2
4× SATA
Expansion Slots
1× PCIe x16
1× PCIe x4
1× PCIe x1
Wi-Fi
No

The Ryzen 5 5600X is a very efficient CPU so you don’t have to spend lots of money on the motherboard. Any decent B550 board will do and our pick is the . This board is all you need if you’re a regular user. It features support for fast DDR4 4400 memory, has two M.2 slots one of which is PCIe 4.0, and four SATA III ports.

There’s also one PCIe x16 slot with PCIe 4.0 functionality and it’s coupled with the secondary PCIe x16 working in x4 mode as well as one PCIe x1 slot. On the rear I/O, you can find four USB 3.2 gen1 ports (5Gbps) along with four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.2 gen2 ports (one is USB-C), and a 2.5Gbps LAN. This board is abundant in USB ports and we love it. It also features the BIOS flash button, found on the rear I/O.

Another bonus found on the B550M Aorus Pro-P is the ALC 1200 audio codec, not usually found on budget boards. The only thing we miss here is debug LEDs but it would be too much to see those at this low a price considering the other features, such as 10 USB ports. The is another solid board costing the same, but it comes with lower quality audio section and fewer USB ports. On the flip side, the MSI board includes a front panel USB-C header and debug LEDs.

Now, if you want to save more cash, you could get the , a basic B550 board that can run the 5600X without issues. You’ll miss better audio, you won’t get the BIOS flash button or lots of USB ports. On the other hand, if you want to spend a bit more and get more SATA ports, and both better audio and debug LEDs on a single board along with some RGB, both the and are great boards but they both feature fewer USB ports on the back compared to the B550M Aorus Pro-P.

4. Patriot Viper 4 Blackout 16GB: Best RAM

CAPACITY
16GB (2 × 8GB)
FREQUENCY
3600 MHz
TIMINGS
15-15-15-36
VOLTAGE
1.35 V

This is the best bang for the buck kit you can get right now. The primary timings (17-19-19-39) aren’t the tightest but they’re good enough to get the most out of your CPU and GPU. If you want a 3600 CL16 kit, check out the , it has a pretty good price. And if you want RGB check out this . TridentZ is the prettiest RGB memory around, at least to us.

5. Samsung 980 1TB: Best storage

Capacity
1TB
Interface
PCIe Gen 4.0 x4
NVMe 1.4
Sequential Read Speed
3,500 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed
3,000 MB/s

For the storage, either get the or the . They both are 1TB disks with the former being faster as long as you don’t fill its SLC cache, which is larger than 100GB. Once that happens the Samsung 980 slows down to a crawl with average sequential write speed being less than 500MBps.

The WD_BLACK SN750, on the other hand, has a smaller SLC cache and it’s also slower when it comes to sequential write. Its max write speed is about 2800MBps. But the SN750 does come with DRAM allowing it to achieve write speeds of about 1500MBps once its SLC cache dies.

Overall, the 980 is a better choice for regular users who don’t often work with large files. But if you’re using your PC for video editing or large renders, the SN750 is a better buy. Just remember that the SN750 is much more expensive when selling at its MSRP. Get it only if you find it cheaper than the 980.

6. Corsair RM650: Best PSU

Power
650W
Form Factor
ATX
Efficiency
80 Plus Gold
Modular
Fully

The is one of the best 80Plus Gold PSUs you can get at the moment. You could go with a platinum or titanium unit but we don’t see the need for one in a system that’s far from being a power hog. Something like the RM650 will do just fine. If you want to save some cash get the , also from Corsair. This is an 80Plus Bronze model but it punches way above its weight and is quality enough to be used in a system with a powerful and power-hungry GPU.

On the flip side, if you want something a bit better and quieter than the RM series, get the . There are other quality power supplies out there, such as the , , or . And if you, by any chance, manage to snag the RTX 3080, think about getting a 750W PSU. Any of the aforementioned models should have a 750W version.

7. Phanteks Eclipse P400A: Best case

DRIVE BAYS
2× 3.5″
2× 2.5″
EXPANSION SLOTS
7
GPU CLEARANCE
420 mm
TOTAL FAN MOUNTS
8

The case we picked is one of the best airflow cases you can get at the moment. Its cooling performance is superb, it looks really good, and it comes with two preinstalled 120mm fans. If you get an air CPU cooler, you could potentially install one extra fan on the top side of the case to improve airflow, but that’s about the only thing you could invest extra money towards. Well, either that or getting a six-pack of RGB case fans and turning the inside (and outside) of the housing into a non-stop rave party.

As for the other specs, the P400A supports up to six 120mm case fans in total, with support for 140mm case fans on the front and topside. AIO support is decent, with enough room for up to a 360mm radiator on the front. The case can host up to two 2.5” and two 3.5” storage devices with room for housing up to four extra 3.5” devices. Cable management is excellent, with the back covered in Velcro straps and grommets for managing chunkier cables.

The GPU clearance is 420mm and the CPU heatsink clearance is 160mm. The front panel includes two USB 3.2gen1 ports along with a combo audio jack. Overall, the P400A is an excellent airflow case that has everything you might need for your build and that’s quite roomy. If you like RGB, get the version that comes with three RGB fans. The is a great budget alternative that comes with two RGB fans. There’s also the , another great budget airflow case that ships with two preinstalled ARGB fans. Or, you can check out our budget PC case list

GPU budget for AMD PC build – about $700

After you spend money on other components, you should be left with around $700 for the graphics card. Technically, this should get you an RTX 3080 but in reality, you’re more likely to get a new RTX 3060, RTX 3060 Ti, or on eBay (yeah, the situation’s quite grim when it comes to prices atm), or settle for something like the RTX 2070 Super on the used market. If you’re patient you could snag a 2080/2080 Super or even the 2080 Ti. We’ve seen those going for less than $700 on eBay so that’s kind of good news.

When it comes to sites like Newegg, you could save an extra $100 and buy a new RX 6700 XT, which does look like a solid deal with the current prices. The is a great 1440p card, as long as you don’t care about ray tracing. Finally, there’s also the option of waiting for the right moment and trying to snag an RTX 3080 for MSRP at Best Buy or saving some extra cash and trying to get a 3070 or 3080 if you have a Micro Center close to your home.

Intel PC build under $1500 for gaming and streaming

ComponentModel 
CPU
CPU Cooler
Motherboard
Memory
Storage
PSU
Case

1. Intel Core i7-10700K: Best CPU

Cores
8
Threads
16
BASE FREQUENCY
3.8 GHz
TURBO FREQUENCY
5.1 GHz

If you plan to game and stream from the same PC the 5600X won’t cut it. While the CPU is a beast when it strictly comes to games, gaming, and streaming at the same time is on a completely different level. Also, you’ll need extra power if you often do editing work. That said, if you’re happy with the quality of the Nvidia NVENC, you could use that and go for the 5600X. But if you’re using OBS and want to use the slow preset, you’re gonna need a modern 8-core CPU. And the 10700K(F) is the one that offers the best price to performance ratio at the moment.

Sure, you could go with the , which has slightly better multicore performance but if you already paying $400 for a CPU, why not get the ? It’s better at multicore workloads than the 5800X and is better for streaming while being fine when cooled with a 240mm AIO as long as you don’t OC it. Anyway, back to the . This is a capable gaming CPU that’s almost as fast as the 5600X. On the other hand, the Intel CPU is noticeably faster than the 5600X in multicore workloads and is much better for streaming.

Yes, you lose PCIe 4.0 when getting an Intel CPU but this isn’t such a big deal. First of all, the upcoming DirectStorage tech from Microsoft just asks for any NVMNe drive. And secondly, even the high-end GPUs work great with PCIe 3.0 connection. If you don’t overclock it – which gives you almost next to nothing performance boost – the CPU will be fine when coupled with a mid-range air cooler and any decent Z490 or Z590 board. The total price will be about $60+ lower than if you decide to get the 5800X or the 10850K. Do note, if you do plan on getting the 5800X, any decent B550 or X570 board is good enough to handle it.

2. Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240: Best overall 240mm AIO liquid cooler

DIMENSIONS
240mm (98 × 78 × 53)
FANS
2
NOISE
-
SPEED
1800 RPM

As for the cooler, the is picked for those who plan to overclock the 10700K. If you don’t want to push the CPU over its limits, something like the or even the should do the trick. But with the Liquid Freezer II, you’ll get both a nice and cool CPU and a cooling solution that won’t be heard unless you’re doing a 2-hour long Blender render or something like that. An optimal air cooler for an overclocked 10700K would be something like the or the . Now, if you decided to get the 5800X over the 10700K, we wouldn’t pair it with anything lower than the Fuma 2. In other words, we would only pair the 5800X with a dual tower air cooler or a 240mm or larger AIO. The single die 8-core AMD chip can get very hot and many single tower heatsinks could have issues when trying to cool it, especially if you decide to activate PBO

3. MSI Z490-A Pro: Best motherboard

Memory
4× DDR4 DIMM
max. 128 GB
Storage
2× M.2
6× SATAIII
Expansion Slots
2× PCIe x16
3× PCIe x1
Wi-Fi
No

Since the 10700K isn’t super power-hungry unless overclocked, get any decent (and cheap) Z490 or Z590 board. You could also get a decent B560 board and save some cash if you don’t plan to overclock the CPU. Our choice is the , a budget Z490 board that has good enough VRM combine with decent features for most users. The board support DDR4 memory up to 5000MHz, it comes with two M.2 slots and six SATA ports.

When it comes to expansion slots you have one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, one PCIe x16 slot working in x4 mode, and three PCIe x1 slots. The audio section is basic but at least you get six USB ports, four of which are high-speed, and 2.5Gb LAN. Now, the might be a better choice since it costs less than the Z490 model. The primary M.2 slot on the Z590-A PRO only works with 11th gen CPUs but the board packs three M.2 slots in total so you’ll have two of them either way.  If you want a similarly priced alternative, check out the .

Since we’ve mentioned B560 boards, let’s offer a few choices. The best bang for the buck board for the 10700K is the ASUS TUF Gaming B560M-PLUS WiFi. This board can handle an overclocked 11900K without issues and it comes with features such as Wi-Fi 6  and lots of high-speed USB ports. If you don’t plan on overclocking the 10700K(F), something like the MSI B560M PRO-VDH or B560M Bazooka should also do the trick.

4. Patriot Viper 4 Blackout 16GB: Best RAM

CAPACITY
16GB (2 × 8GB)
FREQUENCY
3600 MHz
TIMINGS
15-15-15-36
VOLTAGE
1.35 V

This is the same memory kit we used for the Ryzen 5600X build. Again, fast memory for a great price that also looks great. Just pick the 32GB kit if you need more memory for your workflow. And if you want RGB, get the same Trident Z Neo kit. Neo-branded memory is tested for Ryzen CPUs but it’ll work fine with Intel hardware.

5. Samsung 980 1TB: Best storage

Capacity
1TB
Interface
PCIe Gen 4.0 x4,
NVMe 1.4
Sequential Read Speed
3,500 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed
3,000 MB/s

Again, we have the and . If they’re the same price or you find the SN750 for less, get it over the 980. And if you work with relatively large files, the SN750 might be a much better choice since it has faster sequential write speeds over time. It’s worth it, even if you find it for a bit higher price (20-30 percent) than the 980.

6. Corsair RM650: Best PSU

Power
650W
Form Factor
ATX
Efficiency
80 Plus Gold
Modular
Fully

Okay, if you don’t OC the 10700K and don’t get something like the 3080 you should be fine with a power supply. Even combining an overclocked 10700K and a 3080 should be fine, as long as you undervolt the GPU. But if you’re planning on getting a beastly GPU in the future, think about getting a 750W PSU just to be safe. The Corsair RM series includes a 750W model and, realistically, you won’t need a higher quality PSU. Get the RMx model if you want a higher quality (and quieter) fan and a bit better performance.

7. Phanteks Eclipse P400A: Best case

DRIVE BAYS
2× 3.5″
2× 2.5″
EXPANSION SLOTS
7
GPU CLEARANCE
420 mm
TOTAL FAN MOUNTS
8

And again, we have the same case. As we already said, the is an excellent airflow case that comes with two 120mm fans. They should be enough for optimum airflow. If using an air CPU cooler, all you have to do is to add one 120mm or 140mm case fan on the topside to allow the air to come out easier and you’re set. Do note that, in case you opt for a large, dual tower CPU cooler (NH-D15, Dark Rock Pro 4), you’ll need a different chassis since the P400A cannot fit CPU heatsinks taller than 160mm.

Something like the . It’s large and easy to work in, has excellent cable management, and has room for up to six 120mm fans (two 120mm fans preinstalled). Stock thermals are but you can add a third fan on the front (or top side) to further improve airflow. It can house CPU towers up to 170mm in height and it has room for up to four storage devices (2x3.5”, 2x2.5”). Users in need of more room for storage should check the .  

GPU budget for Intel PC build – about $570

Since this is a build for steaming and serious work alongside gaming, the GPU budget is lower than for our strictly gaming 5600X build. The difference is created by splurging on better cooling and by getting a pricier CPU. For about $600 you could try getting the RTX 3070 or 3070 Ti for MSRP at Best Buy or Micro Center.

GPUs such as the RTX 3060 and the RX 6700 XT are much pricier in most stores, such as Newegg, making them out of reach for this GPU budget. You could get the if you don’t play ultra-demanding games. It’s a solid GPU for 1440p and fast refresh rate 1080p gaming, as long as you don’t need fancy ray tracing effects and you don’t have to play games with all settings turned to ultra.

The situation’s better and the used GPU market. We’ve seen lots of RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti cards going for $600 or less, which is pretty good considering the current situation. There’s also a bunch of RTX 2080/2080 Super cards offered on eBay and if you’re patient, you could find a used RTX 2080 Ti for less than $600. Of course, you can find a bunch of RTX 2070/2070 Super as well as new 1660 Super/Ti GPUs. Overall, the situation’s not that great but also not terrible.