With a $1500 budget, you can get a seriously powerful prebuilt gaming PC that will destroy any game in 1440p resolution and be a solid choice for 4K gaming. Hell, even budget options in this market, costing a bit over $1000, are excellent 1440p gaming machines. With that said, this part of the prebuilt PC market is teeming with bad offerings, many of which are trying to upsell machines that you shouldn’t even consider at this price point. And let’s not start talking about tons of refurbished PCs selling for $1500, many of which not even having dedicated GPUs.
So, in order to keep your sanity in check and prevent you from getting scammed, we decided to create a list that contains the best gaming PCs under $1500. Each and every pick below presents an excellent deal at its price point. Note that even our budget picks come with an either RTX 3060 or RX 6600XT, 16GB of memory, and a fast six-core CPU. And when it comes to the pricier options, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than an RTX 3060 Ti/RX 6700 XT. The only thing you won’t be able to avoid are cases with less-than-ideal airflow, but that’s an issue plaguing most prebuilt PCs in general.
The YEYIAN Katana R02 is our pick for the best prebuilt gaming PC under $1500 overall, for good reasons. First of all, the RTX 3070 found in this build is the best GPU you can get at this price point, at least in a prebuilt machine. This card’s perfect for 1440p gaming and an excellent choice for 4K gaming as long as you’re ready to lower some visual options.
The Ryzen 5 5600X is a perfect companion for the RTX 3070 and a great gaming CPU overall. It’s not as fast as Intel’s latest and greatest 12th gen K series CPUs, but at 1440p, you won’t notice the difference anyway. The positives continue with 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 3600 MT/s memory, that’s a perfect match for the CPU. Finally, the YEYIAN Katana R02 also comes with a 1TB NVMe SSD to complete this already slick prebuilt machine. We also must commend the motherboard choice, which looks like the excellent B550-A Pro from MSI.
Now, when it comes to downsides, the case is yet again a design with an anti-airflow front side, but at least you’ve got a ton of RGB case fans. Next, while the 5600X is extremely power efficient, the stock cooler found here will be very loud, especially when put inside a poorly ventilated case. You could replace the cooler with one of the heatsinks featured in our list of the best CPU coolers for Ryzen 5600X. Also, check our list of the best 1440p 240Hz monitors. Every monitor features in that list is a perfect match for the RTX 3070 found in this PC.
2. Cobratype Pilot: Best Nvidia GPU bang-for-buck prebuilt gaming PC under $1500
Next, we have the best bang-for-buck prebuilt gaming PC under $1500 that features a GPU from Nvidia. The Cobratype Pilot is notably cheaper than the YEYIAN Katana R02 while offering tons of gaming performance for the money, starting with the RTX 3060 Ti. This is another excellent 1440p GPU that’s only about 15-20 percent slower than an RTX 3070. It’s also usable for 4K, but you’ll have to drop visuals even further in the newest titles to reach 60fps and above.
As for the CPU, the 12400F has virtually the same gaming performance as the 5600X. This is yet another potent gaming CPU that can follow the RTX 3060 Ti without issues. You also have 16GB of dual-channel memory and a 500GB NVMe SSD for storage. Considering the lower price, we’re okay with a 500GB SSD. A 1TB hard drive would’ve been nice, though.
Now, it looks like the CPU cooler used here is the stock option that comes with the 12400F. If you’re not a fan of loud coolers, any cooler from the aforementioned 5600X cooler list should work great with the 12400F. The case used in the Cobratype Pilot is yet again a glass front design. However, it looks like this time, the chassis includes some space at the front for airflow, between fans, and the slab of glass, so you should get decent thermals.
3. Allied Gaming Stinger: Best AMD GPU bang-for-buck prebuilt gaming PC under $1500
If you’re looking for the best bang-for-buck prebuilt PC for less than $1500 that packs an AMD GPU, check out the Allied Gaming Stinger. This is an all-AMD built that’s got even more gaming juice than our bang-for-buck Nvidia pick. The RX 6700 XT is virtually as fast as the RTX 3060 Ti in 1440p while packing an extra 4GB of video memory, making it a better choice for most games. If you want better ray-tracing performance and DLSS support, then get the RTX 3060 Ti machine.
The 5600X is powering yet another pick today, and you already know the drill. This is a fast gaming CPU that’s not in the highest performance tier but just below it. We like that the Allied Gaming Stinger includes a 120mm AIO for the CPU. Not the greatest choice but even a 120mm AIO is more than enough for the 5600X with an added benefit of being much quieter than the stock cooler found in our best overall pick.
The Allied Gaming Stinger also features 16GB of dual-channel 3200 MT/s memory and a 512GB NVMe SSD, both of which are expected at this price point. As for the case, it does have a bit of mesh at the front but still, don’t expect thermals to be in line with what the best airflow cases can achieve. We also like the fact that this prebuilt PC comes with an 800W 80Plus Gold-rated power supply. It’s overkill for current components but great in case you opt for a GPU upgrade down the line.
4. ASUS ROG Strix G15CX: Best value prebuilt gaming PC under $1500
If you want to spend even less money but get a machine that packs the same amount of gaming performance as our bang-for-buck picks, check out this ASUS ROG Strix G15CX. This is one of the best gaming computers under $1500 you can find at the moment, as long as you don’t mind rocking older yet still quite powerful components.
For starters, the RTX 2080 Super isn’t the newest toy in the store, yet it can match the gaming performance of the RTX 3060 Ti and RX 6700 XT. Better yet, you’ve still got pretty solid ray tracing performance and DLSS support.
The CPU is another older part. The 9700K may be a couple of years old, but the CPU is still more than a decent gaming performer. Its eight cores may not support hyperthreading, but when it comes to raw performance, you can expect the 9700K to be in line with the Core i5-10600K or the Core i5-12400F. Next, we have 16GB of dual-channel memory along with a 512GB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD combo. More than enough for any gamer.
As for the negatives, we don’t like that the memory used only works at 2666 MT/s. At this price, DDR 3200 MT/s is the standard. Next, ASUS ROG cases are hot as hell, so do monitor CPU and GPU thermals. If they’re too high for comfort, our list of the best airflow PC cases includes many excellent replacements. Last but not least, if you need 32GB of memory, the Amazon listing above includes that option. The 32GB option also comes with a 1TB SSD.
5. Skytech Blaze II: Best Nvidia GPU budget prebuilt gaming PC under $1500
We have awarded the Skytech Blaze II the best overall pick in our list of the best prebuilt gaming PCs under $1000. Moving up a notch, you’re looking at the best budget prebuilt gaming PC under $1500 with an Nvidia GPU. Overall, you’ve got a ton of gaming performance for the money here. For just 10 percent over $1000, the Skytech Blaze II offers an RTX 3060 combined with a Ryzen 5 5600G, which is a superb deal for the price.
The RTX 3060 is perfect for 1080p gaming and more than enough for 60 frames at 1440p in the latest and greatest AAA titles. The card’s coupled with a Ryzen 5 5600G CPU, an excellent gaming CPU that can match CPUs such as the 11600K, 10400F, and 11400F. In other words, the 5600G is a fantastic CPU for the price. It’s also fast enough to run future graphics cards if you decide to upgrade the GPU in a few years.
When it comes to the memory and storage, you’ve got 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 3200 memory and a 500GB NVMe SSD. Not bad and a standard offering in this market segment. Now, again, we’re looking at a case with a glass front that won’t do wonders for your thermals. Considering that both the GPU and CPU are not power hogs, you should be fine. However, if you notice high thermals, either replace the CPU cooler or the whole case if both GPU and CPU show higher than comfortable temperatures.
6. Skytech Shiva: Best AMD GPU budget prebuilt gaming PC under $1500
The Skytech Shiva costs about 10 percent more than the Skytech Blaze II while offering a faster GPU and an equivalent CPU than the Skytech Blaze II. If you’re not interested in ray tracing and DLSS, the RX 6600XT-powered Skytech Shiva is the best gaming desktop under $1500 you can find if your $1500 budget accounts for both a PC and a monitor. The RX 6600 XT is great for 1080p high refresh rate gaming and 60fps 1440p gaming. Esports titles, of course, will run at much higher framerates no matter the resolution.
The Core i5-10400, found here, is yet another speedy gaming PC that won’t win any awards, but that’s more than a fine pairing with the RX 6600 XT. It’s about as fast as the 5600G and features the same six-core/twelve-thread design. The rest of the package includes 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 3200 RAM and a 1TB NVMe SSD. It’s nice to see a higher capacity SSD considering the 10 percent higher price than the Skytech Blaze II.
As for the case, it looks like the Skytech Shiva is packed inside an In-Win 101 chassis that features an old-school PSU shroud mounted at the top. This shouldn’t be an issue for thermals, especially since neither the RX 6600 XT nor the 10400 require tons of power. Also, the case includes a side intake covered by two RGB case fans that should improve the airflow slightly.
7. HP OMEN 30L GT13: Best refurbished prebuilt gaming PC under $1500
Last but not least, we have one refurbished prebuilt machine. Now, you might be thinking, “why would I even think about getting a refurbished PC at this price,” and you’ll be right. Why get a refurbished machine when this market segment includes very powerful and very new gaming machines?
Well, the reason for including the HP OMEN 30L GT13 is because it costs less than our best overall choice while packing an RTX 3080. Yup, for less than what you’d pay for an RTX 3070-equipped PC, you can get one with a GPU 35 percent faster than the RTX 3070.
The CPU here is the Ryzen 5 5600X, fast enough to not be a bottleneck, even at 1080p. A 120mm AIO is responsible for cooling the CPU, a fine choice for the 5600X. The CPU should be cool, while the AIO should stay quiet even during the CPU torture tests.
Now, regarding the negatives, we have two aside from the usual “who needs airflow anyway” case. First of all, you’re looking at only 8GB of memory. Luckily, you can buy a 16GB RAM kit without selling the 8GB found in the HP OMEN 30L GT13 and still stay under $1500. Next, you’ve got only a 256GB SSD. Luckily, there’s a ton of great budget SSDs, and a 500GB unit shouldn’t cost you more than, like, $60.
If this weren’t a refurbished PC, the HP OMEN 30L GT13 would easily be the best gaming PC under $1500 on the market. However, being a refurbished machine, we simply cannot recommend it to everyone. If you know what you’re doing, have no issues with swapping memory sticks and installing a new SSD, and are ready to bite the bullet and buy a refurbished PC, this is the best gaming desktop under $1500.