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Best Gaming PC under $1000 in 2021

We take a look at the best gaming PC you can build or buy for under $1,000.
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1000 dollar gaming pc

Our $1,000 AMD Custom Gaming PC Build

Our $1000 AMD gaming build gives you tremendous value for your money, with peak performance for what you’re investing. AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600x offers amazing performance and matches the Intel processor in terms of both cores and threading. You really won’t find a better custom PC build at this price anywhere else.

$1000 is a decent price point to be searching for a solid gaming PC. This build brings you as much power as possible for the best price, enabling you to play almost all of the latest games at 1440p and with decent framerates. You might even be able to start thinking about the future of gaming, e.g. 4K and VR games. 

Even better than the performance is the freedom this build has to grow. If the future rolls around and you start to feel underpowered this build gives you plenty of options for slotting in better graphics cards, RAM sticks, or CPUs. 

You won’t find a better build for $1000 dollars anyway, because we worked hard to make this one of the best builds yet.

What You Get For $1000

When you start hitting 4-digits, you’re really entering the realms of high-end PC gaming. That means more power, but it also means you need to really think and be creative when coming up with the build, as the number of options at this level is staggering. 

With our $1000 build, both AMD and Intel versions give you a lot of those bells and whistles you expect from a high-performance machine. Both computers are able to handle ray tracing in a variety of popular titles, and both machines feature the powerful Radeon RX 5700 8GB GDDR6 graphics cards to ensure smooth framerates. 

Of course, with that sort of power, you’ll also be able to enjoy 4K resolution, albeit you may have to knock some of those fancy visual effects down if you’re playing cutting-edge games with exceptional graphics. You’ll also be able to dive eyeballs-first into the world of VR, assuming your PC room has the floor space. 

Both builds also offer decent storage, both coming with the Samsung 870 EVO 500GB SSD. This means you’re already in your OS before you even realized that you’d started your computer, not to mention the boost to game performance. You’ll also have no worries when it comes to upgrading. The Intel build has an LGA 1200 socket, which can support anything up to an Intel Core i9-11900K, while the AMD builds AM4 can support up to the Ryzen 9 5950X.

How We Made This Build

As with all of our builds, we used our team’s cumulative decades of experience to pick out the best components needed within our budget. We rigorously research, build, and test each of the builds on our site so that you can be sure you’re getting the absolute best PC you can for the price. 

We run the PCs we build in our offices every day to ensure that they’re capable of anything you could throw at them. From the cheeky lunch break gaming session to the rigours of day-to-day work, these builds are put through their paces in every situation imaginable. 

You can be sure that if this PC can do it, we’ve tested it. That includes the PC gamer’s gold standard of overclocking the hardware. Just make sure you know what you’re doing before attempting it yourself.

Our Recommended Custom Build Details

Looking for your best possible PC for only $1,000? Well, you’ve found it. Now let’s take a look at this gaming PC.

1000 dollar gaming pc

Our $1,000 AMD Custom Gaming PC Build

Our $1000 AMD gaming build gives you tremendous value for your money, with peak performance for what you’re investing. AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600x offers amazing performance and matches the Intel processor in terms of both cores and threading. You really won’t find a better custom PC build at this price anywhere else.

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CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

AMD really knows how to put together a gaming process, and every bit of that knowledge went into creating the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X. You’re getting a real 6-core powerhouse with a base clock speed of 3.7GHz unboosted, but you can push that even further with boosting to a maximum 4.7GHz. 

In the entire Ryzen 5000 series, you won’t find a CPU with a better ratio between cost and performance. Trust us, we checked.

Motherboard

Asus TUF Gaming X570-PRO (WI-FI6)

If you hate latency then you’re going to love the Asus TUF Gaming X570-PRO (WI-FI6). Not only does it work great with the Ryzen 5 CPU, but it also comes with a whole suite of excellent features to make your gaming experience even better. One of those aforementioned features is some seriously streamlined networking capabilities, so you won’t be able to use lag as an excuse anymore.

RAM

G.SKILL Trident Z Neo

Getting the most out of your build means getting a decent memory kit, and the G.SKILL Trident Z Neo 16GB kit fits that description neatly. Not only does it give you 16GB of DDR4 RAM clocking in at 3600MHz. Plus, it just looks cool with that special RGB detailing, and you know that has to count for something.

GPU

PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT

The PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT is one of the most powerful and efficient cards available in this price range, sporting 8GB of DDR6 VRAM. You’ll be seeing some pretty high frame counts at both 1080p and 1440p, and it goes without saying that this absolute monster of a card can handle VR without any trouble.

SSD

Samsung 870 EVO 500GB SSD

If you want your computer to boot your OS without requiring you to take a power nap, then you need an SSD, and who better than Samsung to provide it? The Samsung 870 EVO 500GB SSD offers incredible value for money, with sequential read and write speeds coming in at well over 500Mb per second. You know that any games installed on this thing will be loading at lightning speeds.

PSU

EVGA 600 BR

To get all that fancy equipment up and running you need power, and the EVGA 600 BR is a great choice. Not only will this PSU give you enough juice to get you up and running, but with the 3-year warranty you know it’ll last you a long time too.

PC Case

Phanteks Eclipse P400 Steel

What good is all of this hardware if you’ve got nowhere to keep it? That’s where the Phanteks Eclipse P400 Steel case comes in. Available in three different colours, this case has an incredibly stylish minimalist design. It’s also nice and spacious and has a few convinced built-in to make putting this thing together with a breeze.

Things to Consider

Budget & Upgradability

At the $1000 mark, you’re starting to dip your toes into the territory of high-end gaming PCs. Of course, the more money you put into a build, the more performance you’ll get out of it, but this build is a great starting place if you’re thinking of upgrading at a later date. 

There’s plenty of space to get more expensive processors and graphics cards thanks to the PCIe 4.0 slots and advanced CPU sockets in both motherboards. You only really need to think about upgrading if you want the most cutting-edge performance you can get from new AAA titles. 

Overclocking Capabilities

While not something newer PC builders may want to touch, both the AMD and Intel builds are completely ready for overclocking. Both CPUs are unlocked, and the motherboards are ready to supply some extra power to squeeze the most out of those processors. You’ll also need to wrap your head around XMP overclocking if you want to boost your RAM to its max speed as well. 

Ease Of Building

As with many of our builds, this $1000 PC should be no trouble to put together, even for someone new to PC-building. The case is spacious, features decent cable management solutions, and has hard drive trays that are nice and easy to release and replace.

If you’re a complete novice when it comes to putting a PC together, you should probably invest in some anti-static equipment before trying to put anything together. You don’t want to fry your components, or yourself. Also, if you want everything to be as high-performance as possible it might be worth investing in some premium thermal paste. The CPU’s come with thermal paste already, but you’ll likely get better cooling from a premium paste. 

Non-Gaming Performance

As fun as gaming is, a PC offers you so much more. With both of these builds, you’ll find yourself able to multi-task effectively, although if you’re hoping to do a lot of processor-intensive work, such as video rendering, then you’d be best going with the AMD build. 

Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $1,000

It’s possible that reading through all those component descriptions has you a little nervous about building a PC. Don’t worry, we’ve collected some of the best options for a pre-built gaming machine at around the $1000 price point. Just remember, pre-built generally means you have to increase the budget, or decrease the performance. 

#1  – Skytech Shadow 3.0 Gaming PC

The Skytech Shadow 3.0 Gaming PC is a bit over the budget price, but the extra outlay is worth it. You get a well-built machine that is kitted out with all the RGB a Pro Gamer™ could ever ask for. You also get an RTX 2070 Ti for that huge dose of fancy ray-tracing technology, and a 1TB SSD big enough to actually install a decent chunk of your game library on. 

#2 – Zotac Gaming MEK1 Gaming PC

If you’re looking for the sort of pre-build you can take to a buddy’s LAN party then the MEK1 is a perfect fit for you. It bundles an Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 7th-Gen i7 7700, all into a relatively tiny package that you can fit inside a relatively large backpack. You also get a mouse and keyboard thrown in too, so the name of Zotac’s game is clearly ‘convenience’.  

#3 –  iBUYPOWER Gaming PC Computer Desktop Element MR 9320

Our final top pre-build option in the price range comes from iBUYPOWER, and is rocking a pretty respectable processor for the price. Inside the Element MR 9320 has a 10th-Gen 17-10700F, as well as the GTX 1660 Ti, making this a pretty solid choice for a great performance to price ratio. You also get that ever-important RGB so everyone knows you’re a gamer when you turn it on. 

Upgrade Path for Custom Build

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

If you’re looking to boost your general performance, then a better CPU should probably be your first go-to option. Moving from the Ryzen 5 5600X to the Ryzen 7 5800X is a no-brainer, seeing performance boosts of between 30-40% in our benchmarking tests. 

Like the CPU in the default version of this build, the 5800X can be overclocked, achieving a clock speed of 4.8 GHz. Unlike the previously mentioned processor, this one has some extra cores and threads to make it incredibly more efficient when it comes to managing tasks on your PC. 

Corsair Hydro Series H100i Pro RGB

There are a fair few folks in the PC-building world that swear by water-cooling, and it’s not hard to see why. Liquid cooling can be 2-10 times more effective than simple air cooling, so the Corsair Hydro Series H100i Pro RGB is a great choice for anyone that wants to overclock their components without worrying about them melting. If you can’t tell by the name, it also comes with RGB, because you can never have enough RGB. If anyone tells you that you can, they’re lying. 

Samsung 970 EVO – 2TB

The Samsung 970 EVO – 2TB is another top choice when it comes to thinking about upgrades for your build. Having a small SSD to fit your OS on is nice when it comes to booting, but having a huge SSD you can fit all of your games onto is even better. With this huge amount of space at your disposal, you’ll be running games with lightning-quick load times, especially with the jump from the 860 EVO to the 970 EVO. 

Operating System & Peripherals

You’ve now got everything you need to build your PC, but here are a few extras we think you’ll find invaluable for your gaming experience. 

Windows 10 Home USB 

Once you’ve built your PC you’ll need an OS to actually install it on, assuming that you haven’t thought of that already. The best option when it comes to running a wide variety of both games and software is Windows 10. Plumbing for the OEM version means you save a fair bit of cash, but bear in mind that you’ll only be able to install your OS on a single machine if you choose to go for the cheaper option. 

Logitech G Pro

The Logitech G Pro is one of the best wireless gaming mice on the market, and even manages to beat the performance and feel of some wired gaming mice. The lack of a wire means there’s nothing holding you back, and the usual drawbacks of wireless mice appear to have been avoided by Logitech somehow. Just don’t ask us how they did it. 

BenQ Zowie EC2-B Divina

If you’re adamant about having a wired mouse, then consider the BenQ Zowie EC2-B Divina. Not only does this mouse come with a great optical sensor, and an unbeatable ergonomic design, but it also comes with a big endorsement. E-sports professionals and aspiring pro gamers agree that this is one of the best gaming mice around. 

Corsair K70 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

When it comes to PC gaming, a keyboard is as important as the mouse is. The Corsair K70 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a great choice, with Cherry MX Red switches that are perfect for rapid-fire gaming.The switches come with no click  too, so you’ll not be overly annoying when things get intense in-game.  You also get access to Corsair’s RGB software, iCUE, allowing you customize that way your keyboard flashes to your liking. 

SteelSeries QcK Gaming Surface – XL

If you don’t know already, mouse pads are very 1997. These days, you’re best off with a complete surface to cover both your mouse and keyboard area. SteelSeries are well-known as a creator of top-tier gaming surfaces, and the QcK Gaming Surface is no exception with some fantastic build-quality on display. There’s also a version that comes with RGB, squeezing even more RGB into your build. 

 

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ

 

There’s no point in squeezing all of those extra frames out of your hardware if you don’t have a decent monitor that can actually display them all. That’s why your best option for a high-end gaming monitor is the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ. With a refresh rate of 165Hz, your top viewable framerate maxes out at 165 FPS, giving you crisp gameplay that cannot be beat. It also supports 1440p resolution and has an almost-imperceptible 1ms response time. 

 

ASUS VG278Q Gaming Monitor

 

If your budget is getting a little tight with all of these extras, the ASUS VG278Q Gaming Monitor is certainly a more affordable option. It supports 1080p and has a refresh rate of 144Hz, so you’re not quit getting the most out of your hardware here, but in the name of saving a buck the sacrifice may be worth it. You also get to keep the VG27AQ’s 1ms response time, which is worth keeping in mind. 

 

Mackie CR3-X 3-Inch Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors

 

For professional-quality sound, Mackie’s CR3-X 3-Inch Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors are a top-tier choice. Not only do they offer great quality in terms of sound reproduction, but they also come with some pro-level audio editing software as part of the package. 

 

Sennheiser GAME ONE Gaming Headset

 

In the world of sound equipment, Sennheiser has long been a favourite of professionals and enthusiasts alike, and the GAME ONE headset is no exception to that. As well as exceptional sound quality, you’ll get some of the best noise cancellation for the mic, and perhaps most important to gamers, an extra comfy feeling for non-stop gaming. 

 

Blue Yeti Pro

 

While there are better professional microphones out there, the Blue Yeti Pro is a great option with a mixture of quality and flexibility. If you don’t feel the need to invest in a mini-mixer and miles of XLR cables to start with, you can rely on the USB input for now, and upgrade to the higher-quality audio option down the line. 

Closing Thoughts

1000 dollar gaming pc

Our $1,000 AMD Custom Gaming PC Build

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