Build an Intel i7-9700k vs Ryzen 7 3700X Gaming PC for Under $1,500 2019
If you're planning on building a computer for $1,500, here's a look at the parts we'd choose along with an explanation for each. You can either build a PC exactly like this one or modify it to fit your needs. Either way, we'll get you updated with all the latest information you'll need along the way.
I7-9700k vs Ryzen 7 3700X
For a $1,500 budget, I recommend you go for a processor in the $300 to $350 range. So, it really comes down to the Ryzen 7 3700X and the i7-9700(k) which are both available in this pricepoint as of today.
Against the , the Ryzen 7 3700X loses a few frames in a few games. For me, this difference is only important if you plan on just gaming. If you don't do much gaming or if you do additional tasks like rendering on your gaming PC, the Ryzen 7 3700X certainly makes a lot of sense here. The difference in gaming here comes down to Intel's slightly higher clockspeeds and core ringbus. Intel Core i7-9700k
Still, the 3700X makes huge improvements vs the 2700X and the additional threads allow this CPU to take the crown in anything that is more than lightly multi-threaded. In addition, as more games continue to optimize for additional cores, you may find that the 3700X has some additional longevity vs. the i7-9700k.
You'll have to take a look at your own workload to make a decision here. These are both great processors and unlike in previous years, I don't think you'll be regretting your decision too much one way or another. I'm waiting for a response from Intel but it's hard to deny that AMD and the are looking very impressive. Ryzen 7 3700X
Here's a look at the 2 builds I'd go for at the $1,500 price point:
Intel i7-9700k vs Ryzen 7 3700X $1,500 Build for 2019
$1500 Intel Build
$1500 Ryzen 7 Build
Ryzen 7 3700X
9th Gen, OF 3.6GHz - Turbo 4.9GHz, 8-Core / Thread
3000 Series, OF 3.6GHz - Turbo 4.4GHz, 8-Core / 16 Thread
Corsair H100i PRO
Corsair H100i PRO
Asus Prime Z390-A
Gigabyte X570 Gaming X
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
Samsung 970 Evo 500GB M.2
Samsung 970 Evo 500GB M.2
RTX 2070 or 2060 Super
RTX 2070 or 2060 Super
EVGA SuperNova G3
EVGA SuperNova G3
Good Graphics Card Options from $400 to $500 - To Super or not to Super?
NVIDIA recently released it's Super RTX 2060 and 2070. These cards give you significant performance boosts vs the standard 2060 and 2070. That being said, I'm finding the price differential between these models to be significant right now in most cases so some shopping on your part may be well worth it.
And if you're finding a 2070 for cheaper than a RTX 2060 Super, I'd recommend that route as it's still the better performer (most of the time). If you can find the 2070 and the 2070 Super at the same price, obviously go with the Super version.
Gamer's Nexus does a great job of comparing these GPUs. So, if you're wanting to get the best overall value, it's a video worth watching.
What about Radeon VII?
Radeon VII isn't really competitive right now at its price point. Stay tuned as this may change but as of right now I'm only recommending these NVIDIA products at the $400 to $500 price.
Motherboard Options for Intel and AMD under $200
If you're looking for a Good Z390-A motherboard I like the . No, it doesn't have the gaming tag, but it has all the features you need as well as some solid overclocking potential. Not to mention, plenty of eye candy potential in the Asus Aura system with full RGB lighting control. Asus Prime Z390-A
If you don't need quite as many features you can spend even less and go with a board in the $150 price range like the MSI Z390-A PRO. This is another solid board with plenty of features and still very capable of a solid overclock.
A Motherboard for the Ryzen 7 3700X
Overall, I'd say that the motherboard is probably the easiest place to overspend right now. Most of the features consumers purchase they simply don't use. So, don't be afraid to go with a budget option here.
A Good Power Supply Under $100
Regardless of what you end up doing for your build, I highly recommend you spend a bit more on your power supply to get one that I'd consider to be in the top tier. EVGA has the most reasonable option in this tier in its SuperNova Series. The is all you'll need but the 750W is often the same price. EVGA SuperNova 550W option
If you're looking for an option at a different price point, take a look at my post on the best power supplies for the money by budget.
Best Air and Liquid CPU Coolers Under $100
If you don't care about hitting any overclocking records, you could save some money over our choice above by using something like the . It does the best job of giving you a decent overclock at that price point. It gives you most of the performance of the most expensive water and fan coolers, but without the inflated price. Hyper 212 EVO from Cooler Master
If you want to go with something a bit more premium, I've recommended the Corsair H100i as a liquid CPU cooler above. It should allow you to get all the overclock you'll want and keep your CPU cool.
2 Good PC Cases for the Money
I recently wrapped up my post on the best mid-tower gaming cases. Clearly there are a plethora of different case options that would work really well here. Looking at budgets and value for the money you pay, I'll narrow it down to two that I like right now.
If you go with a full-tower Case I'd go with the Phanteks Enthoo Pro. For another option that's about half the price, I like the Corsair Carbide 200R and the NZXT S340.
Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full Tower CaseClick thumbnail to view full-size
If you're looking for a full tower case with a ton of features which don't cost a lot, the Phanteks Enthoo Pro is still a great option. While it's a couple of years old now that simply means that it's more tested, more refined, and all for less money than day 1.
The case itself is made of steel and plastic and has a side window for viewing all your hardware.
Expansion and Flexibility
For expansion it has 8 slots and can hold up to 10 120mm fans, 7 140 mm fans, or 2 200mm fans. That's a lot of air! Included with the case are 1 200mm fan in the front and a 140mm fan in the rear. For flexibility the SSD bracket is on a drop and lock system that can be placed in two different locations. Both HDD cages are removable as well.
Corsair Carbide Series 200R Case
If you prefer to go with something cheaper and more compact than a full-sized tower, I like Corsair's Carbide model 200R. It's a black steel and plastic case with plenty of airflow and expansion slots.
Corsair makes it Easy
I've done several builds in Corsair cases over the years and they always make it easy. Knowing the build doesn't take very long makes it easier to setup and upgrade in the future. The 200R has thumbscrews for the SSD, hard drive, an optical drives making it a tool-free setup.
Expansion and Compatibility
The 200R has seven PCI-E slots all with thumbscrews and allows for a GPU of up to 430mm long. CPU Coolers up to 160mm in height fit and the side panels can hold up to 8 fan mounts. The case comes with 2 x 120mm fans.
Overall, this is one of the better cases you'll find in the $50 range. It's sturdy, makes it easy to install, and has plenty of expansion. Find it on rebate for sub $50 pricing.
In the past, I'd skimp on storage options to get every bit of raw performance I could out of my gaming PC. Now, I opt for a good amount of storage as I understand just how important it is.
A solid-state drive here is a must here. If you play multiplayer it loads maps faster and in real-life performance, it's just about as important as any component I can think of.
I've gone with an NVMe drive in the Samsung 960 here. 500GB for better speeds and a lower price. I've purchased several of these over the last year and typically go with this model unless other options are substantially cheaper.
For Hard drive, we're going with the Hitachi Deskstar 7200RPM 2TB hard drive. It's regularly on sale for around $60 and for $10 more than the popular Caviar Blue 1 TB model from WD, gives you twice as much storage. If you store as many videos, shows, photos, and files as I do on your PC, then that extra storage will be something you're glad to have.
DDR4 Memory Options
If you're moving from a DDR3 rig, unfortunately, you won't be able to use what you already have. Still, you should be able to use what you buy here in your next few upgrades.
I can't imagine building a PC at this price range and not throwing at least 16GB of memory at it. In 2019, good ram isn't nearly as expensive as last year. So, I'd recommend you get all that you think you'll need for now. 16GB is plenty for most.
I especially like the Corsair Vengeance LPX series. It's inexpensive, good quality, and overclocks super well. G. Skill also makes their Ripjaws V series which is often available at a decent price for even 3000MHz speeds.
Why You Should Build Your Own Custom Computer
When you think about the parts you'd want to put in your PC with a budget of $1500, there's a lot of expectations. You'd expect a quality 80 Plus power supply with room to upgrade and overclock if you wanted. The manufacturer of a pre-built machine wants to give you the bare minimum of what you need.
For the motherboard, you'd pick exactly what you wanted. Either a motherboard with plenty of features, overclocking headroom, or perhaps one that didn't cost a lot.
If you let someone else take over, then you're allowing them to make all the big decisions. In terms of quality, it's a bit of a crap shoot on what you'll get.
With all of this being said, my point is that you should just build your own PC. If you've never done it before, then hopefully I can help you pick out the parts that will give you the best overall value. Putting the parts together is actually rather simple. The best way to get going is to just order the parts, get started, and grab a friend if you need help. I can answer any other questions you may have below.
Final Thoughts, AMD vs NVIDIA in 2019, and Summary
2019 is a great year to build a computer. Ryzen's 3000 series of processors is definitely a winner and Intel has stepped up their game as well. So, picking either the i7-9700k or Ryzen 7 3700X seems like a win in either scenario. If you care a lot about FPS in games, go with the i7-9700k. For heavy workloads, the Ryzen 7 3700X will be best.
If you'd like more options and more builds, I highly recommend you take a look at my build a gaming PC series on YouTube. Some of it gets a bit out of date from time to time but I typically redo all of my builds each quarter.
My $1500 Build YouTube Video:
You can go to my YouTube Channel for an alternate version of this build where I do a little more of a mainstream build. I've also posted my $300 to $2000 builds there as well as here.
If you're looking for an always up-to-date version of the build above you can also see my page on the top gaming computers of 2019. It includes 10 builds from $200 to $2500 that are frequently updated.
Should you Go SLI?
Potential Advantages of SLI
Better performance for your money. While this may not have completely been true in years past it's definitely true right now. The reason for this is that scaling has gotten better. By that, I simply mean that if you use two cards in SLI you can get closer to double the performance of a single card than ever before. In addition, it works really well with multiple monitor configurations.
Disadvantages of SLI
There are still a lot of disadvantages to SLI in 2016. When you have two graphics cards side by side in a case it uses more power and can get a bit hot from time to time. Also, not every game supports dual card configurations. That being said, most graphically intense games like Battlefield 4 provide support for this and AMD and NVIDIA provide driver updates regularly. In addition, micro stuttering can occur on occasion although, this is very limited on NVIDIA's newer cards.
Thoughts about Dual Card Configurations:
Starting out with a single card can also be advantageous if you want to SLI or Crossfire down the line. For example, if I bought a GTX 1070 today, then I could purchase another GTX 1070 years from now for a discount and save myself from having to upgrade.
That being said if you go with a dual card configuration for a similar budget, you're likely to get better performance right now. Either way, it's really a matter of personal preference, but with SLI configurations getting simpler, it'll probably become a more popular option over the next couple of years.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Is it possible to use the S340 Elite instead of the Corsair case in the PC build in your article?
Yes, that would work out fine.