Best $1000 Gaming PC Build

At a $1000 budget, so many more options open up for you when you are building a gaming PC. For $1000, you are now definitely out of the “budget PC” and you no longer have to really skimp out on your CPU and other parts to make sure you can have space in your budget a beefy GPU.

With the build that we have for you below, you’ll get a rig that will easily run any title at 1080P/60FPS on max settings and most games at 1440P at a high level as well.


Best $1000 Pre-built PCs

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of building your own PC, you can just get a pre-built gaming PC that is ready to go out of the box. It won’t be as good as our custom $1000 build, as the the makers the pre-builts skim 20-30% off their revenue as profit while the components aren’t much more cheaper for them than for regular consumers.

Pre-built PCs are also notorious for having really crappy power supplies. It’s probably worth it to replace the PSU on your pre-built PC right after to get it.

Best Pre-built PCs for under $1000

All these pre-builts have generic garbage-tier PSUs that may potentially cause a lot of issues. Replacing them with even the cheapest 500W consumer PSUs will fix this issue.

These pre-built PCs will get obliterated by our custom $1000 build in both benchmarks and gaming — you pay a hefty price if you want someone else to build your PC.

You might want to look at our full guide for the best $1000 pre-built PC’s.


iBUYPOWER Elite Gaming PC

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X  | AMD RX 580 4GB Graphics | 16GB DDR4 RAM | 1TB HDD | 120GB SSD | Win 10

This is probably the best pre-built PC of the three not because the Ryzen 7 1800X is better than the i5 8400 on the other two PCs. It’s also not the RX 580 being better than the GTX 1060.

It is because this pre-built has 16 GB of RAM, compared to the 8 GB on the other two PCs. These days with applications and programs outside of gaming requiring so much more RAM, having 16 GB is almost an requirement at this price point.


CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme GXIVR8020A5

Intel i5-8400 | AMD RX 580 4GB | 8GB DDR4 RAM | 1TB 7200RPM HDD | WiFi | Windows 10 

Being barely $800, this pre-built is the cheapest of the three we have here. In terms of CPU and GPU horsepower, it’s the same as the other two PCs here but storage and RAM is where this PC falls behind in.

With no SSD to run Windows on, this rig will feel a lot slower loading games and browsing the web, but actual gaming FPS won’t suffer. The 8GB of RAM is really really on the edge of usability in 2018 — we always recommend 16 GB of RAM for custom builds over $600$700.

However, this PC is like almost $200 under the $1000 budget so you can just add more RAM to fix this issue.


CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8060A5

Intel i5-8400 | GTX 1060 3GB | 8GB DDR4 | 120GB SSD | 1TB HDD | WiFi | Windows 10

This PC is advertised as VR ready for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, but realistically all three of these PCs will work with VR.

What makes this otherwise decent pre-built a bit lacking is it’s RAM. You only get 1 stick of 8 GB DDR4 RAM here. This is a double-wammy since you only get 8 GB of RAM and you also suffer from low RAM speed as this computer only runs a single RAM channel — your 2400MHz ram is effectively downgraded to 1200MHz.

Fortunately, this PC being under our $1000 budget means that you can just pop in more RAM into the 3 remaining slots to fix this problem. Use the Adata XPG Z1 RAM, as it’s the same RAM that comes pre-installed in this build.


What Do We Look For in a PC?

As always, we review our parts carefully and try our best to achieve the right balance between several important factors.

Performance

Performance is the most important factor here, especially when the budget is small. While this PC isn’t a budget-tier $500 build where we try to squeeze the absolute maximum performance from a tiny budget, we still put elite performance at the top of our list of goals.

Upgradability

A lot of people build a totally new PC every few years, but many others will incrementally upgrade their PC with new parts to starve away obsolence without burning a massive hole in their wallet. This is why we always make our builds upgradable.

Aesthetics

For $1000, nobody want’s a hideous case or components with horribly mismatched designs.

Reliability

Reliability of parts is hard to gauge since most consumer PC components are pretty high reliable now, but we avoid putting brands and models with bad reputations in our guides.


 Our Gaming PC for Under $1000

PRICE
$970 - $1050
No set price as pricing of components changes day to day *
CPU
Ryzen 5 2600
The Ryzen 5 2600 is the best dollar for dollar mid-range gaming CPU in the market


GPU
ZOTAC RTX 2060 6 GB Mini
Nvidia's new Turing architecture RTX 2060 fits perfectly with this build

CPU Cooler
CRYORIG H7
More than enough cooling power to keep you R5 2600 running at low temps even on the highest loads.
Memory
CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 16 GB 3200 MHz
Fast 3200MHz RAM for the Ryzen CPU
Motherboard
MSI Arsenal Gaming B450 Tomahawk
A feature packed B450 full sized ATX motherboard


SSD
Kingston A400 240 GB SSD
Though the A400 isn't the fastest SSD, you get 240 GB of SSD storage at under the price of 1 TB hard drive.

HDD
WD Blue 1TB SATA 7200 RPM 3.5"
1 TB of cheap hard drive storage for your game collection, pictures, and other files.
PSU
Seasonic FOCUS 550W Gold
A high quality tier-1/2 power supply with plenty of power output and 80+ Gold efficiency rating.
Case
NZXT H500
A very popular and very good looking case - a favorite of Youtubers

 Why Choose This PC?

There’s lots of websites on the internet giving our guide son what parts to pick, so why choose us when there’s so many other gaming PC builds out there?

  We put heavy emphasis on reliability

We want your PC to last as long as possible, so we do not included parts with potential reliability problems, even the is higher for better quality alternatives. For example, we usually recommend the slightly pricey SeaSonic PSUs for their amazing reliability and warranty.

  Frequent updates to our content

These build guides are dynamic and are updated very often as new products hit the market and prices on existing components change. You can always rely on this site to have the most updated content as we scan each PC build guide every few weeks.

  Our PC builds are designed deliver superb performance in all areas, not just gaming

We know all of you plan to do more on your PC than just gaming, whether it is work, school, or just browsing the web. The most optimal setup for pure gaming is probably not good for everything else a desktop PC is used for. For this reason, we do not try to cram in the most powerful GPU we can find in a budget that can’t support it because we would be making unwarranted sacrifices in other crucial components.

As you can see here, we went slightly over $1,000 for this build. If you’re going to spend $1000 on a PC, paying an extra $50-60 isn’t a huge price if you want a truly well-rounded PC with quality parts.

Scroll to the bottom of this page if you want to see ways you can cut the price of this build to under $1000.

 Parts List


For the majority of PC gamers today, Ryzen is a better value than Intel CPUs. The Ryzen 5 2600 offers single core performance around the same as an Intel i5 8400, but blows the i5 out in multi-core speed as it has double the amount of threads the 6 core i5 has. The i5 8400 will usually still have slightly better gaming performance vs. a 2600 due to games being optimized for Intel CPUs more.

However, the Ryzen 5 2600’s better multi-core performance and lower price make it the better option compared to

Plus you can overclock any Ryzen CPU on non A320 motherboards, while only the binned K-series Intel are overclockable.


The graphics card is by far the most important component in a gaming PC, so a GPU is not something you should cut corners on unless you aren’t into heavy gaming.

As the Zotac Nvidia RTX 2060 alone eats up 35% of the $1000 budget, it ought to be pretty good. Though the RTX 2060 is the natural successor to the GTX 1060, it’s priced much more like a GTX 1070. The performance of this card lies between the GTX 1070 and GTX 1070 Ti, a ~50% performance boost over the GTX 1060 6GB.

The RTX 2080’s and 2070’s Ray-Tracing abilities are still pretty bad, so don’t expect the 2060 to do well when RTX is turned on.


The CRYORIG H7 is one of the better air tower coolers on the market today. It’s probably slightly overkill for a non-K-series CPU like the i5 8400, but that doesn’t mean you CPU is not going to run a lot cooler.

Though you could always pick up the ever-popular Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo for cheaper — you could even use the stock Intel heat-sink fan you really don’t care — the H7 is a much better CPU cooler overall with both better cooling performance as well as quieter fans. This is one of the first things you can throw off the list if you really want to reduce your spending, but do you really want to us the stock Intel heat sink on a $1000 build?


16 gigs of RAM is more or less mandatory for most mid-range builds these days. Running 8GB of ram is ok if you only run a few applications at a time, but you’ll want to have 16GB if you don’t want to continually have to close Chrome tabs and background programs to free up memory.

As Ryzen CPUs benefit greatly from fast RAM, it’s important that we spend the extra $20 and get a 3200MHz memory kit. You’ll see double digit FPS improvements with 3200 MHz RAM over the stock DDR4 2133 MHz.

Don’t forget to overclock the RAM in the BIOS.


Since we are using a Ryzen 2000 series CPU, we are going with a B450 chipset motherboard instead of a B350 to save you from having to update the BIOS. Though the B450 chipset is mostly still the same as the previous B350 chipset, it comes with small improvements like better compatibility for fast memory.

Other features on this motherboard include an M.2 SSD slot, SLI/Crossfire support, big VRM heatsinks, USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, a reinforced PCIe slot, support to up to 3433 MHz memory, and customizable RGB lighting on the side of the board.


SSD storage has become so cheap recently that nobody has any excuse to use a HDD as a primary drive, especially if you have a fairly large budget. SSDs might be a few times more expensive than HDDs per gigabyte, but it is also 10x faster than even the best hard drives. Storage might not directly affect actual in-game performance, but for loading games and applications as well as web browsing, it is the most important PC component.

The Kingston A400 is not the fastest SSD by a long stretch, nor does it have a ton of storage. But at under $40, it’s affordable and helps keep our build from going too far over budget.


1TB of cheap hard drive storage. Plenty of space for all your games, programs, loli stuff, and whatever crap you store in your PC.


Seasonic makes the best widely available consumer PSUs on the market today — and the only major consumer PSU brand that does it’s own manufacturing. They are priced slightly above companies like Corsair and EVGA as there aren’t any budget Seasonic PSUs, but it’s well worth the small premium to get a power supply that is recommended by basically everyone.

For this build, 550W is plenty of power even with future upgrades taken into account and the semi-modular configuration of the cables allows you to have a tidy case interior.


 CASE

A case is something that you can really skimp on because it has zero affect on how your computer performs, but the NZXT H500 is one of the prettiest and most popular cases today.

It’s easy to work with, has very good construction quality, and the glass panel ends at the bottom 1/5 of the case to cover your power supply and cables.

Preinstalled with two 120mm fans, the H500 is a case that we cannot recommend enough. There are not many cases at this price point which have a full-size tempered glass side panel. If you’re going to spend $1000 on a PC, you might as well shell out a few extra bucks on a good case to make your setup look nice.

Upgrade Options for this Build

If you can stretch you budget a bit beyond $1000, here are upgrade options over our current $1000 build.

 CPU

See Options

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

The Ryzen 5 2600X is mostly the same as the 2600 as it is just the higher binned version of the 2600, especially since both chips have unlocked multipliers.

The 2600X does have a 5-10% advantage in performance compared to 2600 due to it’s higher boost clock (4.2 GHz vs 3.9 GHz), but that might not be enough to justify the extra ~$35 the 2600X costs.

If you don’t plan to use an aftermarket cooler, however, the Ryzen 5 2600X becomes to look more attractive because it has a beefier stock cooler than the 2600.

 GPU

See Options

EVGA RTX 2070 XC Gaming 8GB GDDR6

If you’ve got an extra $150-$200 to throw away and want to maximize your gaming performance, there’s no better option than buying a RTX 2070. Depending on what game you play you’ll get around a 10-30% increase in GPU performance with the RTX 2070 compared to the RTX 2060 — which isn’t too great considering the 2070 costs around 40% more than the 2060.

Don’t worry about CPU bottlenecking — the Ryzen 5 2600 is a very good processor with a lot of headroom.

You can even possibly get SLI with this as well if you have the budget.

 CPU Cooler

See Options

Corsair Hydro Series H100i Liquid Cooler

Want a proper 240mm AIO water cooling system? Here you have it: the Corsair Hydro Series H100i. This might be an especially good option if you are going with a i5 6600k overclocking setup.

Plus the waterblock/pump on the H100i has cool adjustable RGB LED lights.

Probably don’t buy this if you don’t plan on going all-in with a i5 8600K to overclock.

Memory

See Options

CORSAIR Vengeance RGB PRO 16GB DDR4 3200MHz

RGB memory is not any faster than regular memory, but we all know RGB > performance.

 Motherboard

See Options

ASUS ROG Strix X470-F

Although the stronger VRMs on the X470 motherboards aren’t as necessarily for overclocking a mid-range CPU like the Ryzen 5 2600 using Precision Boost Override as it work be for a 2700X, it can still be nice to have top-tier motherboard with all its bells and whistles.

This ASUS Strix board comes with tons of RGB lighting, a pre-mounted I/O shield, and dual M.2 porrts.

 Storage

See Options

Samsung 970 Evo 500GB NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSD

SATA SSDs are fast, but NVMe SSDs are extremely fast. A true NVMe M.2 SSD will make even the best SATA III SSD look like a hard drive because of the fundamental data transfer cap that the SATA interface has that prevents traditional SATA SSDs to break the 600 MB/s transfer speed limit.

The 970 Evo is more than three times as fast as the average current gen 2.5″ SATA SSD.

When you buy an NVMe M.2 SSD, be sure to make sure it’s a NVMe PCIe drive, as most cheaper M.2 SSDs are just the slower SATA drives that are using the M.2 form factor.

 PSU

See Options

EVGA Supernova 750 G3

Stop reading this if you don’t plan on getting a CPU and/or GPU better than the one in the original guide. While the 550W Seasonic PSU will easily run every single configuration on this page, including those with an overclocked R5 2600 and a RTX 2060 or 2070. However, you might want to get a 650W power supply if you want to keep things cooler and be on the better end of the PSU efficiency curve.

The EVGA 750 G3 also includes a fully modular cable config. Although fully-modular is functionally identically to semi-modular because you’ll need to plug in the essential cables into a fully-modular PSU whether you like it or not, a fully modular PSU can be useful for replacing the existing cables with braided cables without having to use braided cable extensions.

 Case

See Options

NZXT H500i

The NZHT H500i is basically the spec’ed out version of the popular H500 case. Though it’s the exact same as the H500i in terms of it’s build, it has integrated digital RGB and fan control, a vertical graphics card mount, and RGB strips.

A really sexy case if you’re going for a RGB build. Pre-installed with two Aer F120mm fans.

Options to Reduce the Cost of Build

We did a little false-advertising here for this guide, as we usually do.

So it’s only far that we give you some different component options so you can keep the cost below $1000 or possibly even $900.

 CPU

See Options

Ryzen 3 2200G

Although the Ryzen 5 2600 is already a great deal for its price, you can get a usable CPU for this build for under $100 if you go with the Ryzen 3 2200G. The 2200 still has four cores and eight threads, which single core speeds only marginally lower than the 2600.

However, you’re going to lose most of the multi-core performance the six-core 2600 has if you choose to go with the four-core 2200G. CPU usage for the 2600 during gaming is around 50%, but that number will shoot to close to 100% if you use a weaker CPU like the 2200G. Forget about having lots of parallel programs and things like streaming.

 GPU

See Options

Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB 

If you want to cut the price of this build by almost $200 and still get a decent graphics card, the Sapphire RX 580 is probably your best bet. You still have the same 8 gigs of GDDR5 VRAM as on the GTX 1070, much more than the 3GB or 6GB options you find on the similarly priced GTX 1060.

Sapphire is also the best AMD graphics card maker, with the best heat-sink and fan designs of all the AMD card makers. We think it also makes some of the best looking cards on the market.

However, know that downgrading from a Nvidia GTX 1070 to even the best Radeon RX 580 will mean a ~30% drop in performance.

 CPU Cooler

See Options

Cooler Master 212 Evo

If you want to save a few buck on CPU cooling and don’t need the liquid cooler, just get the Cooler Master 212 Evo. Despite being released almost a decade ago, it’s by far the most popular aftermarket CPU cooler there is today.

Yes, it is very generic, but the 212 Evo has a great price to performance ratio.

Memory

See Options

Ryzen CPUs benefit from the fastest memory. Of course you don’t need 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM to have good performance with a Ryzen chip, but you performance suffers substantially when you’re using slow 2133 MHz or 2400 MHz memory.

 Motherboard

See Options

MSI ProSeries B450M PRO-M2

You can save quite a bit if you choose to get a motherboard with less bells and whistles. Your core performance won’t be affected especially since the 2600 is not a demanding CPU to overclock and most of what you’ll be losing is aesthetics and support for things like USB 3.0 Gen 2.

The MSI ProSeries B450 is a smaller form factor size microATX motherboard, and only has two RAM slots and one PCIe full sized slot.

 Storage

See Options

Cut out the SSD if you don’t like the idea of having a fast computer.

 PSU

See Options

Corsair CX Series 550 Watt 80 Plus Bronze 

Though it’s barely less expensive than our 550 Watt Seasonic, getting the Corsair CX 550 instead of the Seasonic PSU will help you save a few bucks. Highly recommended if you want to save a few bucks without sacrificing too much quality or performance as the CX 550 is a good PSU.

 Case

See Options

Rosewill ATX Nautilus Case

If you don’t care about aesthetics or want to see the inside of your PC, just get the cheapest servicable case that won’t fall apart on you. This case also has three pre-installed fans so you won’t have to buy aftermarket fans if you don’t want to.

Peripherals

Defined strictly, the PC part of the “personal computer” is what is inside the case. You monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers are not really part of your PC, but you PC is just a useless brick without these peripherals.

We could write 10,000 words on peripherals right here, but we to want to keep this section short. Here are just a few peripheral recommendations tailored just for this $800 PC build.

If you already have a good mouse or a good set of speakers, just save your money and use those!


Monitor

This PC is built for 1440P gaming, but 1440P still hasn’t really caught on as 1080P monitors are still much more affordable.

Acer SB220Q bi
1080 x 1920 | FreeSync | 75 Hz | 21.5" | 4ms | HDMI | VGA
If you want to get a very good 1080 display for a very good price, look no further.
Acer G257HU
2560 x 1440 | 60 Hz | 25" | 4ms | HDMI | DVI | Display Port
A sleek and relatively affordable thin-bezel 1440P monitor. Not the greatest feature-set, but 1440P is pretty awesome.

Fans – Noctua SSO NF-S12 redux-1200

120mm | 1200 RPM PVM | SSO Bearing | 150,000 hours MTBF rating | 100,6 m³/h 

The Cooler Master Masterbox 5 case in this review already comes with three fans. If you’re going to replace those fans, you’d better be replacing them with fans that a lot better or it would be a waste. The Noctua NF-S12 redux-1200 airflow fans are some of the quietest bang-for-the-buck fans out there.

Noctua doesn’t mess with the RGB crap so you’ll have to give up your pretty RGB lights if you use Noctua fans.


Keyboard

Having a good mechanical keyboard just makes you feel more civilized and refined.

Logitech G513 RGB
Mechanical | MX Blue Switches | RGB
A fantastic Logitech keyboard with an airplane grade aluminium construction.
Redragon K557 RGB Mechanical Keyboard
Mechanical | Blue Switches | RGB | Waterproof | Anti-ghosting
An RGB gaming keyboard with 104 keys, water resistance, and Cherry MX Blue equivalent mechanical switches.

Mouse

How is a gaming PC complete without a gaming mouse? It’s not. If you play any FPS games, you deserve to get yourself a decent mouse.

Logitech G403 Prodigy RGB
RGB | 12000 DPI | Wired | 6 Custom Buttons | 5G Optical Sensor
A big step above a cheap $10 mouse, with a much better sensor and construction quality.
Razer DeathAdder Elite
RGB | 16000 DPI | 7 Custom Buttons | 5G Optical Sensor
You can't go wrong with either of these gaming mice.

 Audio

Here are a few high quality gaming headsets tailored for this build.

Sennheiser GAME ONE
15-28,000 Hz | Noise cancelling
Sennheiser once again delivers a great product at a reasonable price.
HyperX Cloud Stinger
18-23,000 Hz | Memory Foam
A popular gaming headset with good sound quality

 Operating System – Windows 10

Buying an operating system sucks since it’s often a cost that doesn’t come to your mind until you realize your PC won’t run without a proper OS. While Linux is free, the vast majority of us use Windows — which with a proper license is far from free.

If you don’t feel the need to buy an official license from an official vender, there’s many ways to get Windows 10 for very cheap or even for free.

On Kinguin, you can get a resale Windows 10 license for under $30.

If you’re ok with having an unlicensed version of Windows that has a small watermark and limited customization but otherwise is 100% fully functional Windows 10, you dont even need a product key.

Just click on the “I don’t have a product key” when you are booting Windows from a flash drive.

Building Your New PC

If your budget is $1000, the chance that this is your first build is still pretty high. If this is indeed your first attempt at building your own PC, here are a few tips that might help you a bit.

Read our full guide on how to build a gaming PC for more info.

Before your parts arrive, it’s a good idea to spend a few minutes or hours each day researching PC components and reading/watching lots of guides on build PCs, whether it’s on sites like Youtube, Reddit, or Tom’s Hardware. This way, you’ll be more prepared when the time actually comes for you to put your components together.

Our Other Build Guides

Icons made by itim2101 from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY

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