Mehak Sohail | Last Updated On December 30th, 2021
If you’re not satisfied with a $700 gaming prebuilt, especially with all the Ryzen APUs going around. Then the other option is, to shell out some more cash in order to get a more expensive pre-built with a dedicated GPU and a more powerful CPU.
There are a ton of price ranges where we could categorize these gaming prebuilts. You’ve got the most expensive range, which is around $5000 and you’ve got the budget range, which is around $700. In between you get the $1500 prebuilts, which in today’s gaming standards, are considered to be around the upper mid-range level.
In my opinion, the mid range is the best place for true gamers, you won’t have to sit through ugly graphics and/or stuttering frame rates like the budget gamers, and you won’t have to spend unnecessary amounts of cash on components which you might not even use.
In this lineup, I’ve listed out seven best gaming PC under $1500 that are meant for mid-range gamers, including one which is the best prebuilt, overall.
What to Look for in Prebuilt Best Gaming PC Under $1500
Before we head on down to the prebuilts, I want to take a moment and provide a short guide on what kind of components you need to look out for and how to spot a good prebuilt. I usually don’t recommend buying prebuilts, but I can understand that not everyone has the time or ability to build their own. So for those people, especially beginners, since they are not able to build one, it’s going to be helpful to know what kind of stuff to avoid and how to spot a good prebuilt, especially when it comes to parts.
Minimum GPU Fit for a $1500 PC
Usually for mid range PCs I’d go for something along the lines of an RTX 3070. This would be a great option because it’s a powerhouse when it comes to performance. It also has NVIDIA’s signature Ray Tracing and DLSS 2.0 features. So if you manage to snag one of these GPUs, I estimate that you’ll be set for another 3-5 years without having to go for a GPU upgrade.
Unfortunately, during the GPU crisis we have had to lower the bar, and in my opinion I think the most feasible options are GTX 1660 Super or an RX 5600 XT. So if you see any prebuilts sporting these GPUs, that’s okay, but remember not to go lower than that. Also, if you happen to come across an RTX 2060 with the whole price tag running under $1500, that’s also an amazing deal, so don’t pass up on those either.
Minimum CPU fit for a $1500 PC
In terms of CPU, a Ryzen 5 3600 or Ryzen 5 3200G APU would be a good choice. I’d go for the APU because of the Vega graphics. It will provide some backup but unfortunately most prebuilts in this price range do not include APUs because they are more expensive.
On the Intel side, we’ve got the equivalent Core i5-9600K and the Core i3-10100F. Most prebuilts tend to go for AMD CPUs and even if you manage to find an Intel CPU, they would probably be the 10th gen Core i3, which is cheaper. Sometimes you get to see a Core i5-11600K paired up with an RTX 3070, but that’s way above our price range.
Along with that, if you’re able to find out the details on the motherboard, RAM sticks, storage and PSU, that would be great, but unfortunately, most prebuilts do not specify these components because they tend to use the cheapest parts with the least functionality. It makes sense on their part, but it is going to cost you more, when you try to go for an upgrade.
Most prebuilts in this price range won’t have cheap PSUs. Nevertheless, be careful and try to find out which PSU they have used. Sometimes, people might mention the full specs in the reviews and you can gather some extra information from there as well.
So now we’ve got an idea of the kind of CPU and GPU we are looking for. Without further ado, let’s get into the product reviews.
If you want a prebuilt, that’s able to handle most AAA games at 1080p, with decent specs for some light video editing and content creation, then this prebuilt by CyberpowerPC is going to be a great addition for your gaming experience. The main specs on this PC (CPU/GPU combo) are very decent and it provides a lot of room for future upgrades, making this one of the best Intel-Based prebuilts out there.
During the guide I mentioned that there are very few prebuilts with Intel processors. Apparently, this prebuilt by Cyberpower proved me wrong. What’s great about this is that instead of going for the Intel Core i3-10100F, they’ve managed to step up a notch and include the Intel Core i5-10100F. This choice of CPU is perfect for gaming and you won’t have to upgrade anytime soon.
Speaking of the GPU, the 1660 Super is a realistic option, one that you can expect when it comes to this price range. It’s by no means a “bad” GPU. You can enjoy steady 60+ FPS on 1080p high settings on something like Red Dead Redemption 2 and about 60+ FPS on 1440p ultra on Doom Eternal. Not bad, especially for a low-end GPU. However, the current CPU is too overpowered for this GPU. They could have done better and made the whole system cheaper if they opted to use the i3. The silver lining here is that this gives you the opportunity to upgrade to a better GPU in the future, possibly an RTX 3070, without upgrading the current i5 CPU.
When taking a closer look at the motherboard, we can see that it’s probably a cheaper mobo that’s got the bare essentials. However, they’ve managed to add Wi-Fi, so that’s probably a good thing.
There’s no mention of the PSU but I’m guessing it’s a cheaper generic brand, so you will have to look into upgrading the PSU whenever you’re going for a bigger GPU, because you can’t trust the wattage on these, they size them up just enough for the current build.
Another little thingy to take notice of is that they have used a single 16GB RAM stick. You’ll probably be fine because it’s 16 gigs but there’s no dual channel. They are also using the stock cooler, which is okay, but it might get noisy and you might have to consider an upgrade, especially if you’re going to be overclocking. Gotta be careful with those temps folks!
What We Like
Great CPU Choice - Despite it’s mismatch with the GPU, the 10th gen i5 will be able to future-proof this prebuilt right off the bat. All you need to do is get a better GPU and then you’re all set for the glorious future.
Lots Of Breathing Room - There’s a lot of space inside the case which makes it better for airflow and there’s enough space to integrate a liquid cooling setup. Just make sure that the case supports radiators beforehand.
Know Before Buying
Limited OC - The CPU is not overclockable (Core i5-10100F) and there’s only one RAM stick in there. Also the motherboard probably isn’t a Z-series motherboard so you will have to get a better motherboard and CPU.
The Graphite 360 Gaming PC made by Thermaltake looks great and it runs just as fine. Coupled with a Ryzen 5 3600 and GTX 1650 Super, you’ve got one hell of a gaming rig that will satisfy you for another couple years or so. An upgrade will be necessary after that, but in the meanwhile, you’ll be able to enjoy some smooth 1080p gaming.
A cool looking case and some amazing fans. If you’re looking for a Ryzen alternative to the previously mentioned Intel-based prebuilt by CyberpowerPC, then this is the one for you. It’s got a couple of options: one being the Ryzen 5 3600 with the 1660 Super; that fits our budget range and a slightly more expensive Ryzen 5 5600X with an RTX 3060; which is a great deal, but it’s over the $1500 mark.
The Ryzen CPU adds a nice touch and the Ryzen 5 3600 is a perfect substitute to the Core i5-11400F. This CPU/GPU combo is a nice sweet spot for gaming. This Ryzen CPU will also run fine with the RTX 2060. You can go for the 3000 NVIDIA series GPU but it’s not guaranteed that you won’t run into bottleneck issues.
Speaking about the PC case, I really like this case. It looks so sturdy and gives off some aerodynamic vibes. The stock cooler is “okay” but you might need to replace it, if you are going to start experimenting with overclocking.
What We Like
Cool-Looking Case - The Graphite version of this prebuilt has some cool case fans: two on the top, one on the rear and another on the front. It’s a great setup to keep getting that cool air.
Thermaltake RAMs And PSU - If you’re a fanboy of Thermaltake the RGB RAM sticks and their PSU will surely impress you. Unfortunately, the RAM and the case fans are the only cool-looking RGB pieces in this setup.
Know Before Buying
Cheap Motherboard - The ASRock motherboard is a cheap model and it runs just as it looks. This motherboard and the colored power cables make it look more like a cheap generic prebuilt. To add on top of that, there is no Wi-Fi and they use the stock cooler. So because of these reasons, some upgrades will be necessary in the future.
ROG did a great job of introducing this prebuilt. Although the motherboard does not look as cool as the rest of the case, it still does a great job of handling the CPU and GPU. It’s great for overclocking and with a few more upgrades, you’ve got a high-end beast of a machine on your hands.
The ROG Strix GL10DH is a beast of a machine when it comes to raw processing power. The CPU is a Ryzen 7 3700X (see also the best GPUs for Ryzen 7 3700x) with 8 cores and 16 threads. In my opinion, that’s a bit too much for gaming, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to have all that power around. This CPU is also a great future-proof option because now, you can easily upgrade the GPU to something like an RTX 3070 without ever going for a CPU upgrade.
Speaking of upgrades they’ve used a different cooler instead of the stock AMD cooler, which is the Wraith PRISM. This stock cooler looks amazing because of it’s programmable RGB. I have no idea why they chose to not include this cooler. Maybe the stock cooler doesn’t have a lot of thermal performance, whatever the case may be, it’s a shame they didn’t add that.
The motherboard looks like a B450-M with 4 SATA ports. Also there are only 2 DIMM slots. The 2 DIMMs are not a problem for most gamers, but the generic RAM sticks are kind of an issue here. I’m sure the hardware performs just as fine. But if you are going to have a PC case with a glass panel, you want to make sure that the components inside don’t look cheap.
What We Like
Great CPU - The Ryzen 7 3700X is a great high-end option. If there’s one thing you won’t have to upgrade, it will be this CPU.
Cool-Looking Case - The PC case is nice enough. It’s got that distinct style of ROG along with more than enough RGB lighting..
Know Before Buying
Generic RAMs - The 2 DIMM slots and those generic RAM sticks are really not my style. Also the motherboard is killing the vibe here with it’s cheap aesthetic.
Separating work from home can be a difficult thing. Normally, you don’t let your personal stuff hinder you at work and you also don’t bring work into the home, that’s always been the rule for many people. However, Dell had a different idea when it comes to this concept. It merges both work and play into a single PC. One that looks professional but also runs like a gaming monster. Great for gaming on the job, unless of course, gaming is your job.
If you’re looking for a good prebuilt that’s great for doing work tasks such as programming, video editing, graphic design etc.. The Dell G5 gaming desktop will be a great addition to your home/office. The CPU is very powerful to handle more advanced tasks and the GPU provides some stable raw performance, although an upgrade to the GPU would be required if your work takes more precedence.
For gaming: you could expect 60+ FPS on 1080p low settings on Horizon Zero Dawn. It’s not the best but it will suffice as an entry-level gaming PC. Speaking of gaming, we have to talk about the GPU. In the Amazon page there is a more expensive option with the sole difference being an RTX 2060, which is 50% faster than the current vanilla GTX 1660. So if you are serious about enjoying smoother gaming or getting started with some content creation, you could get the more expensive RTX 2060.
The great thing about this prebuilt is that the 9th gen Core i7-9700 will be capable of handling a bigger GPU. However, you will have to buy a better PSU along the way.
What We Like
DIY-Friendly - Dell has made it very easy to upgrade the parts on this PC, especially for beginners. There’s enough space to upgrade the storage since they allow space for a single 3.5” drive and two 2.5” drives.
Warranty And Customer Support - For those that don’t want to go through the inconvenience of troubleshooting the PC, Dell provides customer support along with a warranty.
Know Before Buying
GPU Needs An Upgrade - The GTX 1660 is fairly decent but you won’t enjoy a stable 60 FPS 1080p experience on most AAA titles. I recommend going for an upgrade, especially if you use this for work.
Want to play Red Dead Redemption 2 at 4K resolution with an average of 40+ FPS? The Skytech Archangel 3.0 will be your savior. Coupled with a Ryzen 5 3600 and RTX 3070, this bad boy delivers stellar gaming performance. It’s also perfect for streaming and other forms of content creation. Another beast of a machine that’s perfect for gaming.
I’m impressed! This PC is great for gaming because of it’s very high-end GPU, the RTX 3060. So if you manage to snag this prebuilt under $1500, this is definitely a good bargain. The Ryzen 5 3600 is not the best CPU for handling an RTX 3060 and you will start to see some CPU bottlenecking. But for most games, you won’t have a problem, especially in 1080p and 1440p. Red Dead Redemption 2 runs fine with 60+ FPS on 1440p and with a better processor you will also be able to enjoy some smoother 4K gameplay.
Hardware specs aside, this case looks pretty neat. The RGB rings around the case fans are amazing and the white louver at the front, with the thin RGB stripe running down the case adds a nice “premium” touch to it. Overall, the case looks very sturdy and I love the white color scheme. It makes everything look way bigger than it’s supposed to.
What We Like
Great GPU - The RTX 3060 is great for gaming at 4K. Depending on the game’s optimization, the CPU might have some trouble. But for the most part, it will be able to handle everything with ease.
Cool RGB Lighting - The white case along with the RGB rings on the case fan, really checks off all the right boxes in my department. It already looks amazing but with an AIO water cooler for the CPU you’ll be able to make it even cooler.
Know Before Buying
A Few More Upgrades Are Necessary - If you are hoping to overclock the CPU, I’d recommend getting a better cooler. An AIO water cooler would look amazing. While you’re at it, make sure to get an awesome looking motherboard as well. So if you want some suggestions, check out our list of best mobos for Ryzen 5 3600.
The Gaming Desktops provided by HP all look the same, yet they provide varying specs leading to a ton of options. Also you’ve got reliable customer support and solid product warranty from a reputable manufacturer. For the current price tag, this is a good deal. I highly recommend this prebuilt for people who just want to get started with their PC and don’t want to go through the trouble of building their own.
These gaming desktops by HP will be able to cater to most of your needs. Right off the bat, you’ve got a large selection of storage and RAM options. Along with that you’ve also got the option to go for an RTX 3060, if you’re ever tired of the RTX 2060 Super. However, you’ll exceed the $1500 budget limit.
CPU and GPU aside, this PC is great for work/gaming because the Core i7-10700 coupled with the RTX 2060 Super is amazing for content creation and other advanced workloads. It’s perfect for your home office where you can finish work by 5 and start gaming right away.
Although I recommend this for a more professional setting, the gaming performance on this PC is very impressive. The tenth gen i7 coupled with the RTX 2060 will let you play games at 60+ FPS on 1440p ultra on most AAA games like Red Dead Redemption 2. Also, if you want to get that 144Hz 1080p experience on most competitive FPS like Apex Legends, it can easily handle that as well. You might have to lower the settings a bit, depending on the game you’re playing.
The PC case is where things get tricky, they use the stock cooler and some generic motherboard and RAM sticks. Because of this, upgrading individual parts is going to tear a big hole in your wallet. The best course of action is to choose the best parts right away, so you won’t have to upgrade for a long time.
What We Like
Fully Versatile - Depending on what specs you pick for this prebuilt, the overall setup will be able to handle more advanced tasks such as video editing and 3D modelling etc..
HP Customer Support And Warranty - Unlike many other Amazon sellers, you’ve got a warranty and customer support from a reputable brand. Also in the software department, you get Windows 11 and a host of Microsoft Office Packages.
Know Before Buying
No Multiple Displays - Unfortunately, there is only one HDMI port and only one VGA port. So no more dual monitor setups with this prebuilt, unless you get a VGA to HDMI adapter.
More Expensive To Upgrade - There’s a ton of generic parts inside, including the motherboard. So if you aren’t satisfied with the current features you had ordered, it might be more expensive to go for an upgrade. The PC is also going to get a bit noisy and you will have to buy a new CPU cooler, especially if you want to get into overclocking.
If you’re looking for the ultimate vehicle for your PC gaming journey, the SkyTech Shadow 3.0 will be the best option out there. Just shy under $1500, this gaming rig is a beast of a machine. It’s got the most balanced and optimized setup for gaming and it will keep you going at 1440p 60+ FPS gaming for a very long time.
The SkyTech Shadow 3.0 is a great gaming PC. It’s not the most versatile CPU but it’s good enough for gaming at 1400p. With the help of the 10th gen Core i5 and the RTX 3060 you will have a fine gaming experience at 1440p. You can also dabble in 4K and expect some decent framerates in that high resolution. This is an RTX 3060 after all, 4K is their forte.
Regarding the PC case, I mentioned before that I love the RGB rings in the fans. Although the case is dark it still manages to look amazing. (In my opinion, the white in the Archangel 3.0 looks better but the dark case is also not so bad) The extra feature they’ve added is the AIO liquid cooler for the CPU. It looks good and it does have some RGB. I can’t attest to the thermal performance on this cooler, but I’m sure it will hold up for normal gaming sessions.
The motherboard looks a little cheap, but from what I gathered. You may need to get a better board if you are hoping to do some overclocking.
The PSU might not need replacing as they claim that it’s a 80 PLUS Gold with 600W. That wattage is more than enough for the RTX 3060 and will be able to keep up even if you decide to do some overclocking.
All things considered this is a great PC for gaming. It will also hold up in more intensive tasks such as video editing. For streaming however, the GPU will be able to take up most of the burden but you will need to upgrade to an i7, just to be on the safe side.
What We Like
AIO Cooler - Instead of just throwing in the stock cooler, they’ve decided to add in an AIO liquid cooler for the CPU.
Good GPU - The RTX 3060 is great for gaming. It’s not the best out there, but considering our price range and the current situation, this is a great find. Highly recommend it.
Know Before Buying
Cheap Motherboard - As it is the case with all prebuilts, the motherboard on this PC is not going to be the best. It’s going to have its flaws and it may also be missing a couple of DIMM slots.
GPUs are sitting at a weird place right now and this is also apparent in these prebuilt PCs. Many prebuilts have spiked up in price due to the crisis and now, it’s getting harder and harder to find good PCs with powerful GPUs. Most prebuilts in this range will be sporting around an RTX 3060 or RTX 2060, which is great for gaming, but most of the time, these are going to be mismatched with the CPU. So in order to extend the full functionality of these prebuilts, some parts will have to be upgraded: whether it’s the CPU, storage, RAM or even the PSU. Knowing what parts may need to be upgraded beforehand, will help you make a better decision on which prebuilts to avoid and which ones to compromise with.
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