Best Gaming PC Under $1000, This Build’s Budget is Perfect
Today is the day to unveil the best gaming PC build for under $1,000 and I am completely jacked for this budget especially. When you have a grand to throw around you are sure to make out like a king with a powerful, fully capable machine. If you are reading this article then I am sure you are either into or looking into building your own PC and I applaud you for that! Building a new computer is exciting times and I will be glad to help you out.
Below will be an ongoing and updated parts list geared towards creating an awesome gaming machine. It will be a guideline to help out but you can certainly switch out and replace parts as you see fit for your needs. I know how it can be when designing a new machine and whether this is your first time or you are experienced it is always nice to get confirmation on your own ideas as well.
Afterwards I will go into a more in depth explanation of the parts used and then spitball some ideas for alternative parts. There will be a short discussion about operating systems and finally I will point you in the right direction for building your own PC if this is your first one (skip this part veterans).
I hope you are as excited as me for this $1,000 gaming rig so without further ado lets get into it! 🙂
Note: The goal here is to build a PC that is geared 100% towards gaming without skimping completely on things like the processor, case or motherboard, which sometimes can take a back seat in these builds.
Best Gaming PC Build Under $1,000
CPU / Processor – Intel Skylake Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler – Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Motherboard – MSI Computer ATX DDR4 Motherboard Z170A PC MATE
Graphics Card – EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GAMING ACX 3.0 GDDR5
Total Cost: $950-$1,100 Current Price: $1,063.60
As I eluded to earlier I planned on using a pretty sick case for this build so we are going with the NZXT Phantom 410 (Black). It is a beautiful and sleek, yet strong ATX mid-tower that completely fits the bill here. You will get all the bells and whistles such as ample spots for cooling fans, side window and front USB 3.0 as well. It may be alarming for some to want to spend 1/10 of the budget on the case alone but in my opinion you just can’t cut corners on a case when your looking at 4 figures for the over all budget.
Thinking back to my $800 and $900 builds, which are both great for the budget, this one is actually fairly similar to both. If you really sit down and compare you can see that at the $1,000 range there just isn’t any sacrificing.
For the processor I am going with the powerful unlocked Intel Skylake Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core backed up by a MSI Z170A PC Mate motherboard and aftermarket Cooler Master 212 Evo CPU heatsink / fan. There is a lot of performance potential here to overclock if you like or set it and forget it.
Your storage and memory needs are filled with a Seagate 1TB HDD and 16GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 2133MHz RAM.
You may be wondering why there isn’t a SSD or solid state drive in the list. This is because to me it is more of an optional item for a gaming machine. You do get a little more performance during certain situations such as loading screens but the frame per seconds won’t be effected much if any. It is a nice thing to have and if there’s some extra room in the budget go ahead and throw one it or maybe upgrade to one down the road. For now a standard hard drive will do just fine.
Lastly the center piece of the computer will be a beast of a graphics card in the GeForce GTX 1070 8GB. It will blast through your 1080p and 1440p gaming at awesome FPS levels and even allow for 4k and VR gaming as well. All of this is powered by an EVGA 650w gold power supply making sure we have plenty of electricity flowing through the rest of the parts.
What if I want to choose a different case?
A case is like a pair of shoes. Pick one that looks good, is the right price, but over all FITS your needs.
The NZXT case I have chosen above is a great pick and works with all of the parts but by all means use whatever case you like. Just be sure to make sure if it’s a smaller case that things like your heat sink and video card have enough room to fit. The rest is really just personal preference i.e. number of fan mounts and where / how many USB ports.
A word to my AMD brothers out there!
There are a lot of people out there saying you can not use AMD processors for gaming… I guess maybe even I have been caught saying that before. BUT…Not true. At all.
You can certainly use an AMD chip in your build but the reason I recommend Intel over the A team at the moment is because they are better for the money. Especially in the higher price points. A Skylake i5 will run cooler, faster and give you more performance per core then an AMD FX-9590 for instance. With the AMD CPU you do get more cores over all but with gaming we care more about performance per core because games don’t really utilize any more then a couple at this point.
AMD is also stuck on the AM3+ chipset at the moment and until we see the “Zen” chips there isn’t much of an upgrade path for you either.
Here is what i’d suggest if you are dead set on going A team for your processor. Get a FX-6300 and spend the money you save on a SSD or upgrade the graphics card. In the end the choice is up to you and I can totally understand if you are on the dark side of the force. I might be too if there were more options.
A Knight, A King and A Graphic Card walk into a bar
I’m just kidding… a graphic card like the GeForce GTX 1070 8GB wouldn’t be seen in a lowly bar. All jokes aside this center piece of the build is a solid pick that will crush all of your modern tripple A games. Spending over 30% of the budget here is definitely worth it because it’s all about the FPS baby.
On the subject of this team or that team, you may be a AMD fan. If that’s the case you can get a RX 480 for lower price and little bit less performance of the video card I listed in the build. You will be happy with either card and have plenty of power for all your games.
Extra, Extra, Read all about it!
Operating System – Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Optical Drive – Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA OEM DRW-24B1ST
WiFi – Wireless USB Adapter
Keyboard – Logitech G105 Gaming Keyboard
Mouse – Logitech G300s Gaming Mouse
Headset – Sentey Gs-4730 Gaming Heaset
Speakers – Logitech Z523
Explanation of Extra Items
In the next segment I will go into a few thoughts about the operating system but for now lets talk about a couple extra parts you may find your self in need of. These parts are not commonly needed in all applications which is why they have been left off the main parts list.
The first thing that comes to mind is an optical drive such as the ASUS DVD-RW listed above. If you have a lot of discs that you will want to be using or burning then spend the $15-$20 extra and add one of these babies. I feel at this point a lot of people will have an old one laying around from a previous build they can scavenge or won’t need one at all. Most of your applications, software and games can be downloaded and even Windows can be installed off a USB drive.
The second part I can think of would be if you are into WiFi. If this is the case then you need to get a USB or PCI wireless adapter. I prefer to be hardwired into the router for a more reliable and typically faster network connection. Again this comes down to your specific needs so do what works.
3rd is a Solid State Drive. If you do have the extra room in the budget then by all means pick your self up that Samsung 850 EVO and throw your operating system and games on it for that little bit extra performance. Stuff will load faster so that is a plus.
Lastly there are a few picks for your standard PC peripherals so if you need a new monitor, mouse, keyboard, headset or speakers check some of my picks listed above.
We all need them. We all use them. But no one really wants to blow through $100 on an Operating System. I know how it is when money is tight and “acquiring” Windows through shady methods may enter your mind. While it happens a lot and is easy to learn how to do I am not personally going to support or condone piracy.
Lets take a look at your legit options.
1 – Steam OS is a neat concept and works well if you are into spending a lot of your time on Steam. It is a free option which is nice but there is the downfall in which Steam OS has been tested to actually bog down your gaming experience as seen from Ars Technica here.
2 – Ubuntu is a very popular Linux distribution and another free option. You can use Wine to utilize most of the Windows software you have come accustomed to. The downside here is that there are many games that still don’t support Linux so for those of us who like to be able to play every game possible the next couple options are optimal.
3 – If you have purchased a retail copy of windows previously you can use it on your new build as well. Of course this is a great option if you have it and will save you some money while still being able to get the Windows experience.
4 – If number 3 wasn’t an option then you are unfortunately looking at buying a fresh copy of Windows. The good news is that you will have the best support and ease of use.
How to Build a Gaming PC for Under $1,000 Dollars!
My suggestion if this is your first PC build ever is to watch the video below and also check out a page I have created and dedicated to building your own gaming PC here. You do not need to fear the process but it is a great idea to get your head into the game before hand and learn how it is done. Even if this is your 2nd, 3rd or 10th build (well maybe not 10th) it can be a good idea to check out some content such as this to help knock some of that rust off and help get you stoked about your upcoming project.
Why build your own gaming PC?
I have to tell ya the reason I build my PC’s is because it is flat out a stinkin’ blast! We all have our hobbies and for me it is gaming and building PC’s. Of course the latter doesn’t happen nearly as often so it is very exciting when it comes around to build time once again.
Of course there are some fringe benefits that come with the deal. When you build your own computer versus buying one off the shelf you get more bang for buck. In other words the parts you will be using will out perform those in a store bought PC. They will be higher quality over all and hand assembled by someone you know and trust very well… YOU! 🙂
Get ready for the time of your life!
Whether this is your very first build or you are an experienced veteran get ready for an exciting ride. I have done my best to show you how to build the best gaming PC for under a $1,000 budget. The machine I laid out in the parts list above should make you an awesome rig that you can be proud of. It should handle all the top tier games you can think to throw at it. I just hope I was able to help you in some way, shape or form as this was my goal and never hesitate to ask questions or let me know what you thought of the article or build.
What did you think of this PC? If you are going with this specific build or need some help just drop me a comment below. Likes, shares, tweets and +1’s are greatly appreciated as well.
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