We’ve arrived at the high-end budget for a prebuilt gaming PC. $1500 is a lot of money, and at this level, we want to get a lot in return for that type of cost. Prebuilts exist at almost any price, up through the mega-high-end custom arena, but this $1500 limit tends to be the top of the typical consumer range, with anything higher going to specialized builds rather than pre-built mainstream gaming PCs.
$1500 is also where we start to see larger gaps in terms of what a pre-built vs. building yourself will get you. As the prebuilts go up in price, the premium you pay for building goes up too. This is often why we see such fierce internet arguments about the advantages of prebuilts vs DIY building, something we will look at closer in an upcoming article. But for the purposes of this guide, it’s important to note that you often end up losing one level of the stack at this price point on the GPU in exchange for getting the prebuilt.
This doesn’t mean we don’t think there are some great options at this price, or that prebuilts aren’t worth it for many users! So, if you know you want to buy a fully ready PC and have a max budget of $1500, these recommendations should point you in the right direction.
Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs under $1500 – Our Recommendations
Best Overall Pre-Built Gaming PC under $1500
Coming in right at the limit at the time of writing (and regularly fluctuating from $1450 – $1500), our overall recommendation finds that key to any PC build: balance. Each component on its own is well-thought-out, and especially the CPU/GPU combination. Most importantly, and expected at this price, you are getting powerful components that will easily play 1440p 144hz on just about any game currently available. Latest-gen parts and no corner-cutting mean this build is rock-solid and reliable on top of its raw power. For best overall pre-built gaming PC under (usually) $1500, we recommend the MSI Aegis R 10TD-068US.
To get this out of the way, this build isn’t quite perfect. The CPU is the slightly cut-down and locked Intel 10700 rather than 10700K, the SSD/HDD combo is 512GB/1TB rather than a pure 1 TB PCIE NVMe, and there’s no guarantee what PSU is included. But on the other hand, the PC packs a major punch for its price. The 10700, despite being locked, is a multi-threaded, multi-core, gaming beast that will let the star of the show fully stretch its legs. That is of course the new Nvidia RTX 3070, built for ray-tracing and high-resolution, high-refresh-rate gaming. The two together will push 144 FPS at 1440p for almost any game out there and should continue doing so for years to come. The case and fans are RGB-filled and providing cooling, and the MSI warranty for a year means you have the backing of a major producer to rest easy. With all of these advantages to drown out the smaller gripes, we have no problem recommending the MSI Aegis for our favorite overall $1500 pre-built.
Best Alternative (Smaller) Pre-Built Gaming PC under $1500
Our top rec above not only pushes the limit of our $1500 limit, but it is also a pretty large tower that takes up a good amount of space. We think the GPU/CPU combo is great for the price, but understand that if the price fluctuates up to $1550 with a 50L case, it might be just a bit much for many buyers. Luckily, MSI has a slightly cheaper option that keeps almost everything from the Aegis and only changes one core component, as well as a smaller chassis. If you want an alternative, slightly cheaper, slightly smaller prebuilt gaming PC under $1500, we recommend the MSI Codex R 10D-022US.
The only real change between the Codex and the Aegis is the CPU. MSI included an Intel 10400F rather than the 10700, ditching 2c/4t to drop the price and soften the space footprint. But luckily, the 10400F is almost as capable in gaming as the 10700. Productivity users might really benefit from having 8c/16t vs 6c/12t, but very few gamers will notice a practical difference between the two. Our minor complaints about the above build still apply, most importantly the lack of PSU transparency and the locked CPU version, but this Codex maintains the super powerful RTX 3070 along with its other great features, making it hard to complain too much. At $1400, this PC is almost a better buy depending on the pricing at the time of the Aegis, and we only slightly prefer the first build because the 10700 will likely age better. But it’s neck and neck between the two, which is why we happily recommend the MSI Codex R as a great alternative, slightly cheaper, slightly smaller pre-built under $1500.
Best AMD Pre-Built Gaming PC under $1500
When we recommend something within a budget constraint, we tend to go up to the limit to get the best performance within the budget. But sometimes, just because you have up to $1500 doesn’t mean you are either able or comfortable spending right to the top end of that amount. And within the $1000-$1500 prebuilt market, there are quite a few compelling options that come in below the pure limit. In addition, our two recommendations above leave out the currently trendiest, most popular gaming company: AMD. So, for our budget build, we also wanted to feature some of what Team Red has to offer. Our recommendation for best AMD budget pre-built gaming PC under $1500 is the CyberpowerPC Gamer Supreme.
There is a lot to love about this PC. Liquid cooling, the strongest mixed processor of the entire article in the 3800x, and a respectable RX 5700XT as the GPU. The case is beautiful, CyberpowerPC has a strong prebuilding reputation, and the B550 chipset + 16GB RAM + 1 TB NVMe SSD are stellar complements to the core components. We do wish that the CPU was a 3700x instead of 3800x and that difference was invested into a 2080 Super or 3070, but at the same time, for someone looking for a slightly stronger CPU, this build is about as good as it gets. We love that the side components are strong and high-quality, but the best part is that this build comes in at a cool $1229. At that price, being able to play 1440p 144Hz comfortably is no joke. For all those reasons, the Gamer Supreme is a great choice for an AMD/budget pre-built gaming PC.
Best Pre-Built Gaming Laptop under $1500
As is typical of this type of guide, we want to include a shout out to our portable gamers and give a recommendation for a great laptop within our price range. In the past, we’ve upped the budget a bit to consider things like monitor/keyboard/mouse, but at this price point, we don’t even have to do that to find a stellar machine. At this price, you want a strong, well-built PC with a full-sized graphics card and a multi-core high speed CPU. And at PremiumBuilds, we want one thing more, a special feature that sets apart our recommendations. Our recommendation for best pre-built gaming laptop under $1500 is the ASUS ROG STRIX G15.
ASUS needs no introduction, and ROG Strix is known as the top-of-the-line brand for only their best products. And this laptop delivers. A full-sized Nvidia RTX 2070 coupled with the ultra-fast Intel 10750H provide more than enough performance for this laptop. In fact, that type of power is too much for a 1080p 144hz screen. Which is great, since the unique feature we mentioned is the 240Hz IPS panel. 1080p 240Hz IPS goodness, absolutely perfect for the laptop gamer that wants to compete in some of the fastest twitch games available like CS:GO, League of Legends, Overwatch, and more. The build quality is as good as it gets, and the little add-ons like an RGB keyboard and underglow also add to the premium feel. At just a bit under our budget with a price tag of $1450, we can’t imagine what more this laptop could include. In case it was unclear, we whole-heartedly recommend this laptop for best pre-built gaming laptop under $1500.
The $1500 gaming PC market is just about the top-end of prebuilt PCs. Beyond that, we enter a rarified specialized space that is suitable for the very few. Within this price range we also see a larger gap between building yourself and pre-built offerings. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great options that still perform spectacularly. For anyone that wants to have a centralized warranty, save some time from building, or even just manage to get their hands on one of the newest Nvidia Ampere GPUs, prebuilt is the only way to go. Whether you want to stretch to the max with the MSI Aegis R, or the MSI Codex R, or you want to find something in between with the CyberpowerPC Gamer Supreme, or even have the option to take your gaming on the move with the ASUS ROG STRIX G15, this article will guide you as you choose your next $1500 prebuilt gaming PC.