The Best Gaming Desktops Under $1,500

Gaming is far from being cheap, as technologies keep evolving faster than we imagine.

Note:From our list of under-$1000 and under-$500 desktops to our budget-based processor buying guide, we have upped the budget on looking for affordable solutions so we can all enjoy PC gaming.

Therefore, if you want to stay up to date and have a desktop setup able to run the latest titles without any problems, you need to invest a bit.

But what happens when your budget is somehow limited, but you still want to put together a nice gaming desktop?

Well, you start researching for the best deals, a process which can take a few hours or even days — But hey, we have some good news for you!

This time, you’re in luck, as we did all the work. Specifically, we look over several websites and found the best gaming desktops under $1,500.

It’s not the cheapest, but not a fortune either, considering that you will end up with some serious processing power stacked in a case.

Sounds good, right….

Well, let’s see what we have for you guys!


Best Gaming Desktops Under $1,500 Reviewed

Last update on 2018-12-10 at 08:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Alienware Aurora R7

Last update on 2018-12-10 at 08:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

There’s no doubt that the folks over at Alienware managed to make a name for themselves as being one of the best companies able to design a gaming desktop. Obviously, their Aurora R7 rig is no exception.

We’re looking at a mid-sized tower, available in quite a few variants, with several configurations. However, for just one cent under our price budget, you can get a real gaming machine, powered by Intel’s Core i7 8700 chip, with 6 cores, able to run at up to 4.6GHz, thanks to the Turbo Boost Technology.

Out of the box, the setup includes 16GB DDR4 RAM – even though you can upgrade this to a whopping 64GB – as well as a 2TB 7200RPM hard disk drive and a 32GB Intel Optane memory accelerated solid state drive.

In terms of graphic, the rig features an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1080 card, with 8GB GDDR5X, able to run even the most demanding games out there. Connectivity-wise, it features enough ports for all your peripherals: six USB 2.0 ports, as well as 7 USB 3.0 ones.

The Alienware Aurora R7 comes with Windows 10 pre-installed and an Epic Silver finish, weighing around 33 pounds. And yeah, it looks pretty badass, so we had to include it in our top of the best gaming desktops under $1,500.

MSI Aegis 3

Last update on 2018-12-10 at 08:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A list of the best gaming desktops under $1,500 would be incomplete with a rig from MSI. And this Aegis 3 thing is exactly what a gaming enthusiast would look for. After all, it’s a beast, in terms of both specs and design.

Besides looking scary, from a specific point of view, the setup is also a dream for any VR enthusiast. Specifically, it has a front-mounted VR port, as well as a proprietary cooling system and a Nahimic Sound System, for the best, surround experience.

The rig has an Intel Core i7 chip at the core, running at 3.6GHz, aided by 16GB of DDR4 RAM (yep, an upgrade to up to 64GB is also available), with a speed of 2133MHz. As for the storage department, it’s represented by a 2GB hybrid drive, as well as a 256GB solid state drive, for quicker startups.

Moving on to the graphics card, we’re looking at an NVIDIA GTX 1070 Aero ITX, with 8GB GDDR5. Yes, this is the kind of power you need for a VR-ready setup, but also to be eligible for our best gaming desktops under $1,500 list.

Finally, we should mention that the MSI Aegis 3 comes with Windows 10 Home out of the box and weighs almost 19 lbs. It’s far from being light, but hey, does it even matter when you rock a look like this?

MSI Trident 3

Last update on 2018-12-10 at 08:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Hold on, we’re not done yet with the folks over at Micro Star International, as they have another great gaming desktop in their portfolio, with a more than friendly price tag. We’re talking about the MSI Trident 3

Yes, when it comes to gaming, this price for an entire gaming system is very good. At the fact that you’re also getting an RGB gaming keyboard, as well as a gaming mouse for this price and it’s obvious that this is one of the best deals of the moment.

Moving on to the specs, this gaming rig is available in multiple configurations. However, the one that caught our attention comes with an Intel Core i5-8400 under the hood, with six cores running at 2.8 GHz. The CPU works alongside 8GB of DDR4 RAM, while the storage capacity counts 1 terabyte.

As a side note, if 8 gigs of RAM is not that much, there’s room for more, as the motherboard supports up to 32.

Last but not least, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, with 3GB of GDDR5 memory is in charge of the graphics, while the number of ports stops at seven: four USB 2.0 ports and three USB 3.0 ports, so you can accessorize it with your favourite peripherals.

If you’re a VR enthusiast, we have some additional good news: it’s VR ready, featuring a front access port, as well as the proprietary cooling system and the Nahimic Sound System, present at the Aegis 3

Obviously, the desktop comes with Windows 10 pre-installed and has a total weight of 6.99 pounds. A decent weight for such a powerful system, we’d say, not to mention that the compact design also allows you to save some space.

Intel Hades Canyon NUC

Last update on 2018-12-10 at 08:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Don’t be fooled by the size, because this…little black box is actually deadly. We’re once again very close to the limit in terms of pricing, but we wanted to choose the most powerful version that’s still in our budget.

Therefore, we have the Intel Hades Canyon NUC, one of the most compact and best gaming desktops under $1,500 you can find right now. Yes, we know, except the skull graphics on the side, it doesn’t look scary at all, but wait until you see what this thing can do!

First thing first, we should mention that the Intel Hades Canyon NUC is available in several configurations and the one picked by us is far from being the most powerful. Actually, it’s pretty much an entry model. But a budget is a budget!

The black box is powered by Intel’s Core i7-8809G processor, running at 3.1GHz. If you feel the need for more power, you can rely on the Turbo Boost Technology and take it up to 4.20GHz, as a side note.

There is also 8GB of RAM (16 and 32 versions are also available), while the storage capacity counts 256GB, provided by an SSD. The top version has a – get ready for this – 2TB SSD, but the price is way over our current budget.

As for the graphics card, the Hades Canyon NUC has an ATI Radeon RS Vega Graphics, able to deliver a superfast 90 frames per second, but also a stunning VR and gaming experience. Because yes, this little guy is also VR enabled.

Weighing just 7 pounds, the unit has Microsoft Windows 10 Home pre-installed and rocks a customizable RGB LED light on the lid, for a few extra looks points.

Dell XPS 8930 Tower Desktop

Last update on 2018-12-10 at 08:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We can’t go past Dell’s gaming desktop systems when it comes to a list like this, so we took a look at their offer and decided to include the XPS 8930 Tower Desktop on our list.

Yeah, the specs had the biggest word to say, but we were pretty impressed by the sleek design as well. But enough with the details, let’s pop the hood and see what’s over there…

The main actor is an 8th Generation Intel i7-8700 chip, with eight cores, running at 3.20GHz. However, for all your hardcore gamers out there, it can be taken to 4.60GHz as well, thanks to the TurboBoost Technology. As for the RAM, it comes with 16 gigs of DDR4!

The storage won’t be a problem for the Dell XPS 8903, since it features a massive combo, consisting in a 512GB solid state drive and a 2TB hard disk drive. You can probably store anything you can think of here and still have some space left.

Graphics-wise, it has a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti, with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, but also an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 unit. You know, just in case.

As much as we appreciate the sleek, black design, this thing has one big minus: it’s really heavy, weighing 22 lbs. But look on the bright side: it comes with free Windows 10 Home.

Lenovo IdeaCentre Y700

Last update on 2018-12-10 at 08:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Let’s move on and see what another reputable manufacturer has to offer to the gaming scene. Next on our list of the best gaming desktops under $1,500 is the Lenovo IdeaCentre Y700, a very aggressive looking rig which will look good in any battle station setup.

At a first look, we can observe that this is a VR-ready desktop, so if you’re lucky enough to have a VR headset, you can immerse into virtual reality with ease. But let’s see the most interesting part: what actually powers this thing…

At the core, there’s an Intel Core i5-6400 chip, clocked at 2.7GHz and able to reach 3.3GHz, thanks to Intel’s proprietary Turbo Boost technology. If you’re a multitasking fan, you won’t have any problems with fulfilling your passion, since the Lenovo IdeaCentre Y700 comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM.

Just like the previous entry in our top, this gaming desktop also comes with a storage combo. Specifically, there’s a 1TB hard disk drive, for the biggest part of your files, as well as a 256SSD, for faster boot times and more.

A few moments ago, we were mentioning something about this unit being VR-ready. Besides the front mounted ports, which will be covered in a few moments, it comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 graphics card, with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, combined with support for 7.1 Surround Sound with Dolby Home Theater. If you’re looking to try some of the latest games, this could be the desktop for you.

Finally, it’s loaded with ports, including an always-on USB charging one, and it comes with Windows 10 Home included, alongside a USB Keyboard and Mouse, which don’t look bad at all.

Wrap-up Best Gaming Desktops Under $1,500

It took us a while, but we like to believe that we managed to find some of the best gaming desktops under $1,500 available right now.

As you can see, we picked models suitable for different budgets, including for those who don’t want to spend more than $1,000 on a gaming setup.

Speaking about prices, we have a few buying recommendations for you:

  • Always check out reviews before making your final decisions. There are pre-made desktops which look excellent on paper, in terms of specs and benchmarks, but the overall experience may not be the best. Users who previously used them know best!
  • Check the prices in more stores, whether they’re online or actual, physical stores. We tried to find the best prices for you, but you never know when something better pops up!
  • Don’t be impressed that easy. Some gaming desktops feature aggressive cases, with additional LED lights and special fans. There are a lot of cases in which these things are just marketing tricks. Opt for something functional, which allows a proper cooling process. After all, we’re talking about gaming setups, which generate a lot of heat.
  • A low price doesn’t always mean quality. We’re not saying that you should only buy expensive gaming setups, but, in the end, you get what you pay for. If you find an offer that’s too good to pass, make sure you go through the specs carefully.
  • Always buy from authorized resellers or reputed manufacturers or stores. You don’t want to end up with a cheap knock-off that won’t be able to deliver all the power you need for your gaming sessions
  • Last not ready, be prepared for an upgrade in a few years. Gaming desktops should allow you to play the latest games for a long time, but if want to keep te specs close to the max, investments are required from time to time.

And this wraps it up, folks!

Do let us know what you think about our selection, using the comments section below.

Also, if you know other gaming desktops under $1,500 which should make it to this top, drop us some lines and maybe we’ll include them in an updated version of the list.

About the author

Andrei

A big-time PC gamer with a passion for e-sport and FPS games and hardware/ computer buidling.

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