Our Best $1000 Gaming PC Build of 2021

Built & Tested By Our Team

The Team That Worked On This Build

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Our Prebuilt Gaming PC Recommendation

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Build Overview

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With this build, our main goal was to provide the best gaming PC for under $1,000! It’s at this price range that you start needing to make fewer and fewer compromises and can instead focus on raw performance and excellence. You’re officially out of the mid-range category and have entered into the realm of premium builds where maxing out AAA titles at 1080p and 1440p becomes a doddle. At this price, you start to delve into the possibility of 4k and VR gaming which is pretty much the future of eSports.

The great thing about this build is how versatile it can be if performance levels become under par in the distant future. Everything in this build is interchangeable, meaning you can easily swap out a CPU or GPU, add extra RAM and storage to keep up to speed with the latest technological advancements.

Overall, we believe this is one of the best all-round builds we have put together so far. Please note that prices of the hardware do fluctuate daily, our team works tirelessly to try and ensure the price is as close to $1,000 as possible.

Budget

At this price point, there is a little bit more planning required to get the absolute best experience out of the system. That being said, you are still going to get a high-end gaming PC for your $1000. Our AMD build provides you with a serious amount of gaming performance with overclocking potential, new technologies such as Ray-Tracing, and a great amount of SSD storage.

Performance

As previously mentioned, both the AMD and Intel builds perform at a similar level, with there being only subtle differences to separate the two. Both processors will only enhance your gaming experience. However, the Intel CPU features strong single-core performance and just beats its rival slightly in that respect. Despite this, the AMD CPU brings its extra six threads to the table and handles multitasking in a much more efficient way.

The build features a powerful RTX 2060 Super, which breezes through games in 1080 and 1440p resolutions, with some proven performance for gaming at 4K too. With the card’s current price, it offers some serious value and can easily handle VR gaming.

With our, AMD build you are going to get a 1TB SSD, which is more than enough to store your operating system and games on. This SSD will not only give you quicker boot times, but it will also improve the gaming performance too. While we are talking about performance, it is important to mention the 16GB RAM kit in this build too. While having a high capacity memory kit installed, it is worth noting that it features a clock speed of 3600MHz, again increasing your gaming performance and future-proofing the build.

Watch Our $1000 Build Video!

How We Choose

Our team has years of experience behind them building PCs for a range of needs and budgets. All this knowledge combined with hours of research, user feedback, and onsite benchmarking is what goes into choosing the best components for our builds.

We look for value for money, how the components perform together, and focus on gamer’s needs to make sure our builds are the best your budget can buy.

We build all these PC’s ourselves, in house, so trust us when we say we want to make them as good as possible. We actually use all these builds ourselves day-to-day in the WePC offices.

How We Test

We build each of our selected PC’s from scratch to make sure all the parts we recommend work well together, fit into the selected case, and provide the best performance possible for the price range.

Once built, the PC’s are used in the office for everyday work as well as a range of games from light to heavy-duty. While we test, we also run benchmarking tests to see how well our builds perform, all while keeping an eye on the temperature of the components themselves.

We know how much some of our readers enjoy overclocking their PC’s, so we made sure to test that out too. So, you can feel safe knowing that these machines can be pushed beyond their basic capabilities. But, please make sure you know how to overclock before trying to over-task your builds.

NOTE: Due to the ongoing effects of the global coronavirus pandemic, some retailers are experiencing stock issues. WePC constantly updates our pages to reflect current availability, so if the PC you want shows as out of stock, check back later or check out these alternatives.

Our Recommended Custom Build Details

We’ve talked about what this build can do and what the requirements are. Now, let’s talk about what makes up the insides of this $1,000 gaming computer.

AMD
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Our $1000 AMD Custom Gaming PC

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Our best AMD-based custom gaming PC for under $1000 offers a great combination of performance and value. This is an excellent example of well-invested cash, with solid gaming capability at an affordable price. With the AMD path, you are getting the same cores and threads for your money but there is no compromising on performance, and with his path, you are getting one of the best gaming CPUs on the market.

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The Ryzen 5 5600X is part of AMD’s impressive Ryzen 5000 series processing units, which are considered as offering great value and performance just like the older generation. The 5600X comes with a base clock of 3.7Ghz right out of the box and can be boosted up to 4.6GHz, respectively. The 5600X’s performance is unrivaled, beating its Intel competitors and previous generation with ease.

We’ve run various benchmarking tests on the new Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 lineup and found the Ryzen 5600X is the best performing CPU for the price. You can check out our YouTube channel and benchmarking videos here.

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The Asus TUF Gaming X570-PRO Motherboard is the perfect pairing for the Ryzen 5 5600X and overall build as it brings a tonne of features and is fully compatible out of the box. This board has everything you would expect from a gaming motherboard, with some room for future expansions and storage upgrades, includes PCIe 4.0 support, M.2 slots, Wi-Fi6, and fast RAM support.

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INTEL
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Our $1000 Intel Custom Gaming PC

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Our Intel-based gaming PC for under $1000 may offer similar cores and threads for your money but unfortunately lacks the same single-core performance we see from AMD. Regardless, the Intel path features multithreading, just like the AMD path, and will give you everything you need to enjoy your gaming experience.

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The new Intel Core i5-10600K is one of the manufacturer’s latest 10th -gen gaming CPUs. While we still consider the 5600X the better option, this chip still provides great price to performance, making it ideal for a build in this category.

The i5-10600K comes with 6 cores and 12 threads, that’s right, Intel now features multithreading. The CPU runs at a base clock speed of 4.1GHz and can be boosted to an impressive 4.8GHz. This chip is great for gaming and your general multi-tasking and will serve any build well.

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The MSI Z490 Motherboard is the perfect pairing for the Intel i5-10600K and overall build as it brings a tonne of features and is fully compatible out of the box. This board has everything you would expect from a gaming motherboard, with some room for future expansions and storage upgrades, includes PCIe 4.0 support, M.2 slots, Wi-Fi, and fast RAM support.

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A high-end gaming PC is going to need a high-end memory kit. This RAM from Corsair is just that, with a 16GB capacity, RGB, and speed of 3600MHz. The performance from this RAM kit has been proven to enhance the PC’s gaming potential; especially the AMD build path.

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The PowerColor RX 5700XT is regarded as one of the most powerful families of GPUs available at present and was released to have maximum punching power at an affordable price point.  This is one of the best RX 5700XT aftermarket options available and comes sporting 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM and an efficient cooling solution. It has the ability to post high FPS in both 1080p and 1440p. It also supports VR and is great for all-round usage as well.

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As most will know by now, an SSD is the way to go if you want to decrease boot and loading times of your rig dramatically.  This Samsung 870 EVO SSD is renowned for being extremely reliable, meaning you won’t be worrying about a failed drive after a few months with this one. Furthermore, 500GB is more than enough to house windows and a few primary games that require the SSD’s fantastic loading speed. The old phrase of quality over quantity has definitely been put into practice here.

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The Phanteks P400 is a top case selection, especially considering how affordable it is. Aside from its stellar build quality, savvy layout, and excellent airflow, you get something that looks great too. It’s been designed with aesthetics in mind and has been equipped with a large tempered glass side panel to showcase everything this build has to offer. The case is made from high-quality materials, and will you serve you well long into the future.

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Now, you are going to need a reliable PSU to power this high-end gaming PC, that is where the EVGA 600 BR comes in. Aside from being a brand you can trust, this PSU also comes with a bronze efficiency rating, and is built to last.

Things To Consider

Now you have chosen your desired build, there are a few things to discuss before you make that all-important purchase. To take any stress away, we have outlined a few different factors for your consideration below.

Budget

Of course, we know the budget, in this case, is around $1000, but it is still important to make sure its the right budget for your gaming needs. For the hardcore gamers out there, it could be worth considering the next step up to truly enhance your overall gaming experience in those AAA games. It is worth mentioning, at the $1000 mark, you’re getting an excellent price to performance and great value for your hard-earned cash. The cost of this build may slightly change from time to time as the prices on Amazon can fluctuate, but in any case, it’s a top gaming build.

Upgradability & Future-Proofing

While this is still regarded as a high-end gaming PC, at $1000, there is plenty of room for improvement. Of course, any hardware upgrade is going to significantly increase the cost, but the performance will match that increase too. Whether you have chosen the AMD or Intel path, the build is ready to go with the selected upgrades if your budget can accommodate it.

Overclocking

This may not feature the same level of components you would see from the $2000 gaming PC, but it is still high-end and features plenty of overclocking room. Squeezing extra power out of your PC becomes a bit more important for some, especially when the budget is tight. With that in mind, we have selected products we know can handle overclocking. Both processors are ‘unlocked’ and ready to roll with a clock boost if you fancied it. To back up the CPUs, we have selected motherboards that can handle such tweaks. It is also worth noting that you will need to XMP overclock your RAM to get it running at its advertised speed of 3600MHz. This can be done in the BIOS, and manufacturers have simplified the process.

Ease Of Building

This is a very straight forward build, so when it comes to the physical process, you have nothing to fear. The case has ‘ease of building’ in mind and gives you zero clearance issues to worry about. When it comes to the matter of building, you should have a screwdriver to hand, as most components are installed with screws. The featured case also made cable management extremely easy, allowing you to achieve greater airflow and an excellent looking PC build. You may want to consider buying cable ties and tie bases to take your cable management to the next level. While some don’t consider anti-static equipment a necessity, some builders would rather take the risk away entirely as it is better to be safe than sorry. Both the AMD and Intel CPUs come with stock coolers. These coolers will have pre-applied thermal-paste on so you can use them straight out of the box without issue. If you can afford the extra few dollars, it is worth investing in a more premium thermal paste as this will improve your thermal results, and it will need replacing down the line anyway.

Non-Gaming Performance

So how do these powerful gaming builds stack up for non-gaming performance? While the Intel CPU features strong single-core performance and will surprise you when stressing it with tasks, it doesn’t fare well against the AMD chip. The AMD CPU and its twelve threads make light work of multitasking and give you great workstation potential. That being said, both paths will handle what you throw at them. However, the AMD build path provides you with greater flexibility overall.

Aesthetics

This gaming PC features a sleek case and gives you some fantastic aesthetics out of the box. Of course, if you desire a bit of extra style, then you can always add touches of RGB here and there. Not everyone wants to pimp out their PC, but RGB fans or even lighting strips can make a tempered glass case look even better.

Calculating The PSU Wattage

Making sure your PSU provides the correct amount of wattage to your custom build PC is an essential part of the build process. For that reason, we’ve created a handy PSU calculator that will work out exactly what PSU wattage your components require – no matter how many changes you make.

This gaming PC features a sleek case and gives you some fantastic aesthetics out of the box. Of course, if you desire a bit of extra style, then you can always add touches of RGB here and there. Not everyone wants to pimp out their PC, but RGB fans or even lighting strips can make a tempered glass case look even better.

What Games Can This PC Run?

CS:GO

Benchmark CSGO
323

1080p

280

1440p

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077
60

1080p

45

1440p

Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $1000

Not everyone is fond of building their own PCs; this is where the prebuilt PC comes in. Whether you can’t find the time, worry about breaking your new components, or just want to take advantage of those company warranties, a prebuilt can be a good option.

The team at WePC always encourages you to build your own as you will benefit from better components, the building experience, and save a lot of money. Below are our recommendations for the best-prebuilt gaming PCs under $1000.

1st
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A great prebuilt slightly over budget. This PC offers superb gaming performance thanks to the reliable AMD Ryzen 5 3600 and RTX 3060 Ti combination and also features a 1TB SSD, Wi-Fi, and 16GB of RAM.

2nd
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The ZOTAC Gaming MEK1 PC offers up a fantastic prebuilt option,  boasting the Intel Core i5-9400F, alongside the highly-popular RTX 2060 graphics card, for silky gameplay.

3rd
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Our next prebuilt option comes to us from iBUYPOWER, once again. The Intel Core i7-10700F and GTX 1660 Ti in this build is more than enough to handle some of the most demanding game titles. The combination provides an excellent gaming experience, with your day to day tasks feeling snappy.

Upgrade Path for Custom Build

At the $1000 mark, there is always going to be room for upgrades. While this gaming PC performs brilliantly, there is nothing wrong with boosting the build to further future proof it for the years ahead. Below we have outlined the necessary upgrades to take this build to the next level.

Note: These will raise the price of the build!

AMD
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This unlocked version of AMD’s Ryzen 5th Gen CPU is the natural next step up from the 5600X and on average, has between 30-40% performance gains in the multi-thread benchmarks. Like the other ‘X’ CPU’s in AMD’s hierarchy, the 5800X can be overclocked to 4.8GHz but has been equipped with two more cores and four more threads, which enable this CPU to be much more efficient.  The great thing about the $1000 build is that if you want to upgrade just the CPU, the board which we have recommended already houses the ability to accommodate both the 5600X and the 5800X!

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INTEL
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The new 10th-gen Intel Core i7-10700K is one of Intel’s most powerful gaming chips and is nothing short of brilliant. This hugely anticipated CPU comes equipped with 8 cores and 16 threads, giving consumers a similar upgrade as the AMD path. The single-core performance is superb for gaming and will give any PC a series edge. The i7-10700K runs at a base clock speed of 3.8GHz and can be boosted to 5.1GHz, meaning this CPU is easily one of the best out there for gaming.

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With our $1000 build having overclocking potential, it’s always worth bolstering your cooling system as temperatures are likely to increase when testing the CPU’s ability. We’ve selected Corsair’s Hydro Series H100i AIO cooler, which provides uncomThe new 10th-gen Intel Core i5-10600K is a powerful gaming chip and is nothing short of brilliant. This hugely anticipated CPU comes equipped with 6 cores and 12 threads, giving consumers two fewer cores than the 3700X upgrade. despite this, the single-core performance is superb for gaming and will give any PC a series edge. The i5-10600K runs at a base clock speed of 4.1GHz and can be boosted to 4.8GHz, meaning this CPU is easily one of the best out there for gaming.promising cooling throughout the entire build.

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SSD is always worth boosting if you have the extra wiggle room within your budget due to how efficient it is at speeding up your system. Installing more games and software onto your SSD will undoubtedly result in a much quicker build, so we’ve opted for a 2TB SSD upgrade. This isn’t just an upgrade on capacity however, we’ve also gone from the 860 EVO to 970 EVO which Samsung has said boosts performance by up to 6x. All this sounds very attractive and unfortunately comes at a price, which is why we recommend this in our upgrade path only.

Operating System & Peripherals

Now, ideally, you’ll already have a pre-existing OS and peripherals to transfer over from your old machine to your new one. But, in case you don’t, we’ve included this section on peripherals for this 1k rig.

Note: These will raise the price of the build!

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For the best gaming compatibility, you’ll want to use Windows 10. We’ve recommended the OEM version here since that can save you a lot of money over a retail edition. Unfortunately, it can’t be transferred to other machines or activated on multiple devices. Alternatively, if you’re still an avid user of CD’s you can purchase Windows 10 in it’s original CD form here. You’re going to want to either transfer/activate a pre-existing retail Windows license on your computer, or install a new OS.

Building Tips

This $1000 rig might be nice, but the act of physically placing the components together is just as important as carefully choosing the right components.

For first time builders, it is important to be aware of the common mistakes that newbies make. It’s also not unusual to have some questions about PC building common, so don’t feel silly for needing the extra help.

How To Build A PC

Never built a PC before? Let us guide you through everything you need to build your first PC, even if you’re a complete beginner!

Closing Thoughts

If you’ve followed our guide from start to finish, you’ve just assembled what we consider to be the best gaming computer under $1000, Congrats! You now have a PC with the ability to play any game out there in high settings. The rig supports both 4k and VR gaming and has all the future-proofing you’ll need.

Enjoy your gaming, and make sure you share your building experience with us over at the WePC community!

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The Team That Worked On This Build

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