For gamers who wish to play the latest AAA titles on maximum graphics at 60+ fps, we have carefully selected 3 of the most powerful prebuilt gaming desktop PCs in the 1000 to 1500-dollar price range. These gaming desktops are equipped with the finest hardware so that you can install and run any game in existence at ultra-high graphics settings.
NVIDIA makes the fastest and most efficient graphics cards right now, so we decided to only include machines that were powered by GTX 1070s/ 1080s. This enables you to play games at 1440p or even 4k resolution, without compromising on graphical fidelity. All 3 of these beastly gaming rigs feature liquid-cooled CPUs for ultimate overclocking potential and ultra-silent gaming.
Every one of these gaming desktops also comes with customizable lighting and transparent side panels, so you can proudly flaunt your brand-new gaming station. You will also notice that each one of these machines is covered by a 1-year warranty on parts and labor, along with free lifetime tech support. All 3 of them come with Windows 10 Home 64-bit preloaded, and can be upgraded with more RAM or storage.
So, without further ado, let’s get into the product reviews.
This gaming desktop has everything that hardcore gamers need- a powerful processor, premium graphics processing unit, 16 GB of high speed DDR4 RAM, plenty of I/O options, lots of storage space, and liquid cooling for that extra overclocking headroom.
The case features a nice transparent side panel so that the LEDs inside are clearly visible, as well as the powerful hardware that is neatly packed inside the mid-ATX form factor. Cable management is actually quite good, and everything looks neat from the outside. Overall, a very well-built system with ample ventilation, solid hardware, great looks, and a reasonable price tag.
The CYBERPOWERPC BattleBox Essential SLC8420A gaming desktop PC is powered by an Intel Core i7 7700k processor- arguably the fastest gaming processor on the market right now. Yes, it lacks core count and doesn’t offer as much overall value as the Ryzen 5 or 7 series from AMD. But- there is one thing that the Skylake series of CPUs from Intel get right, and that is single-threaded performance.
With its high clock speeds, the Core i7 7700k always outperforms the Ryzen 7 series processors in pure gaming workloads. The performance gap is not all that big, and averages out between 5-25% if you compare the Intel and AMD counterparts across a wide range of games.
But if you are a competitive gamer and play CS GO, DOTA 2, LOL, Overwatch, etc., then that extra 25% could mean 50-100 fps, since these games already run at extremely high framerates due to their less demanding nature.
We highly recommend this system for DOTA 2 and CS GO players, since both of these games rely heavily on single-threaded performance and don’t use any more than 4 cores. The GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 graphics card should be enough for running any AAA title at 1080p and 60 fps on ultra-settings.
Even highly demanding or unoptimized games such as PUBG or Watchdogs 2 can hit 60+ fps at 1080p on the GTX 1070, especially when you take into account the Core i7 7700k which easily hits 4.7 GHz thanks to the 120mm AIO cooling solution that is integrated into this system.
The system uses a Z270 chipset based motherboard, overclocking is very easy while also maintaining low temperatures because of the AIO liquid cooling system. There is 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, which should be plenty for gaming as well as multitasking. There is a 120 GB SSD along with a 2 TB HDD for mass storage, and Windows 10 Home 64-bit is preinstalled.
There is a 24X Dual Layer DVD+/- RW optical drive, along with an ample number of front mounted USB 3.0/ 2.0 ports for connecting peripherals. There is an internal 802.11 AC WIFI network adapter for wireless connectivity. The motherboard supports 7.1 channel audio through an onboard audio adapter chipset.
Core i7 7700k processor, liquid cooled
GTX 1070 8GB graphics
Blue LED lighting and transparent side panel
Ample ventilation and silent cooling
Free 7-color gaming keyboard
SSD has a capacity of just 120 GB
Mediocre optical drive unit
Powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 1600X processor, this gaming desktop provides the best of both worlds- ample single threaded performance at a reasonable price for pure gaming applications, as well as tons of threads for multitasking.
You can game and stream on this machine, although we recommend a Ryzen 7 based desktop if you plan to stream at 1080p, 60 fps on a regular basis. The GTX 1080 graphics card in this beastly desktop allows you to enjoy 1440p and even 4k gaming, resulting in breathtaking visual experiences while playing the latest AAA games.
We didn’t expect to see a 6-core, 12-thread processor in a desktop at this price range about 6 months ago. But times have changed, AMD has shaken up the market with the release of RYZEN. Now Intel is forced to follow suit, and finally the consumer desktop market might see a move from 4-core CPUs to 6 core CPUs as the new mainstream desktop computing platform.
But right now, the Ryzen 5 series is what you want if gaming/ casual streaming or content creation is what you wish to do. While the 6-core, 12- thread Ryzen 5 1600X packs more than enough single threaded processing power to deal with the latest AAA game titles, it also features 12 processing threads to cruise through intensive multitasking workloads with ease.
No matter what you plan on doing with your desktop- gaming, photo editing, video editing, 3D modelling, you can be sure that the Gamer Master GMA5000A Desktop will handle all of it with ease.
There is more than just a Ryzen 5 1600X to look forward to when you buy one of these- you also get a GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X graphics card that is currently NVIDIAs 2nd most powerful gaming GPU, and can be considered to be the reigning king of the high-end GPU market.
This graphics card will easily play games at 1080p or 1440p for at least the next 3-4 years. You can simply load up the newest game, crank up all the settings to ultra and play at 60+ fps on 1440p resolution. It also supports all the major NVIDIA-exclusive technologies such as G-SYNC, ANSEL, GameStream, etc.
There is 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and we recommend that you overclock the RAM modules as far as you can to squeeze out extra gaming performance from your Ryzen 5 1600X CPU. The Ryzen CPU itself can be overclocked, although we doubt you can go any higher than 3.7 to 3.8 GHz on the stock air cooler that is installed within this system.
The motherboard is a B350 chipset based board, it is loaded with a fair amount of I/O options and supports dual graphics cards as well as M.2 SSDs. Talking of SSDs, there is a 240 GB SATA III SSD installed, along with a 2TB HDD.
Windows 10 Home 64-bit is loaded onto the SSD, and you will be pleased to find that no unnecessary bloatware has been installed. Customizable RGB LED case fans make things a little more pretty. The side panel is transparent, and is made from tempered glass to provide a crystal-clear view of the shiny interiors.
Ryzen 5 1600X 6-core, 12-thread processor
16 GB DDR4 RAM
240 GB SSD
2 TB HDD
GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X graphics card
RGB case fans, tempered glass side panel
Stock air cooler on the CPU
No WIFI adapter card installed
We tried really hard to find flaws in this prebuilt gaming desktop. We decided the only real flaw is that there is no optical disk drive. Which again, is no deal breaker- since who uses DVDs to load games these days? So, is the CybertronPC CLX SET Gaming PC a perfect gaming machine?
Maybe it is, this is the closest thing to perfection that you will find in the prebuilt gaming desktop market for less than 1500 dollars. Everything about this desktop screams “awesome”- the Ryzen 7 1700 processor, the GTX 1080 8GB graphics card, the 16 GB of RAM, and the beautiful design.
There is not really a whole lot to talk about over here- this is simply put, the best prebuilt gaming PC that you can buy for less than 1500 dollars right now. It is powered by one of the best high-end desktop CPUs on the market right now, and comes with the second most powerful gaming graphics card ever invented.
Yes, we are talking about the NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X. It is succeeded only by the GTX 1080Ti, and when you overclock this beast of a graphics card, it does creep to within 15-20% of a stock GTX 1080Ti. But there are other prebuilt gaming desktops on the market that offer GTX 1080s, what makes this one so special? Well, the real star of the show over here happens to be the AMD RYZEN 7 1700 8-core, 16-thread CPU.
This is one heck of a processor, it completely blows away any of the Intel Core i7s in terms of productivity benchmarks, and absolutely demolishes the Core i7 7700k in anything that is not pure gaming.
For example, if you plan on gaming and streaming at the same time with a 7700k, you will have to stick with 720p or else frames will be dropped on your stream. But there are no such issues with the Ryzen 7 1700 CPU- you can game, stream, and do 2 to 3 more tasks at the same time. Sixteen threads are a lot, and the IPC of this CPU is no joke either- it is only 20-25% behind Skylake and the power efficiency is almost as good as Intel’s flagship CPUs.
The Ryzen 7 1700 truly shines in productivity-oriented workloads such as 3D modelling, photo editing, video encoding, etc. Compression and decompression, encryption, etc. will run magnificently on the Ryzen 7 1700, and if you slap a liquid cooler on this chip, you might be able to overclock it 3.9 or even 4.0 GHz, at which point it is basically a Ryzen 7 1800X. There is 16 GB of DDR4 RAM onboard, along with a 128 GB SSD + 1TB HDD.
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU, 8 cores and 16 threads of jaw dropping performance
GTX 1080 graphics
16 GB of DDR4 RAM
Lots of I/O
Free keyboard + mouse
Windows 10 Home 64-bit preinstalled
128 GB SSD is kind of small
No optical drive
Now that you have taken a look at each of the three gaming desktops on our list, we suggest that you review the core specifications and decide which configuration would be the best for your specific needs. For example, the CYBERPOWERPC BattleBox Essential SLC8420A is great for games that are more CPU dependent, such as DOTA 2 or CS GO.
You can also choose the BattleBox if you are into esports, and wish to achieve ultra-high framerates in games that are not very graphically intensive. The second gaming desktop rocks a GTX 1080, meaning that you will achieve higher framerates in AAA games that are very graphically intensive, such as Rise of the Tomb Raider, Mass Effect Andromeda, Prey, Witcher 3, etc.
We recommend the last two gaming desktops for 1440p or even 4k gaming, since the GTX 1080s power is not fully utilized at 1080p resolutions. The final gaming desktop on this list, the CybertronPC CLX SET Gaming PC, is an optimum AAA gaming + streaming/ content creation platform. You can play and stream at 1080p, 60 fps without dropping a single frame, the 16 threads of the Ryzen 7 1700 are perfect for heavy duty multitasking.
You can also use the Ryzen 7 1700 CPU in this desktop for content creation- video editing in Premier Pro, photo editing in Lightroom and Photoshop, 3D modelling in Blender/ Maya/ 3DS Max- all of these tasks can be done smoothly on the Ryzen 7 1700 processor. It sports 8 cores capable of SMT, resulting in 16 threads.