Our Best $1000 Gaming PC Build of 2021

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The Team That Worked On This Build

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Our $1000 AMD Custom Gaming PC
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Our Prebuilt Gaming PC Recommendation

Best Gaming PC Under $1000

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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 become a doddle, with some 1440p performance too.

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.

VIDEO: $1,000 Gaming PC Build!

What You Get For Your $1000

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 and upgradability.

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 AMD CPU is one of the best on the market and handles multitasking in a much more efficient way.

Graphically, you can expect excellent results in 1080p while playing in max settings or with a high refresh rate monitor.

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.

AMD vs. Intel

At this price range, the lines begin to blur between the build paths, but we feel the AMD build is the way to go. The Intel build is superb and will give you high levels of gaming performance; however, the AMD build path features better value and certainly protects your system for a longer amount of time. Regardless of which you choose, you are going to get some serious enjoyment out of this $1000 gaming PC.

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 PCs 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 PCs 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 PCs, 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.

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.

CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC

A great prebuilt slightly over budget. This PC offers superb gaming performance thanks to the reliable Intel i5-10400F and GTX 1660 Super combination and also features a 500GB SSD, and Wi-Fi.

Skytech arcangel

Skytech Archangel Gaming PC

CPU

Ryzen 5 3600

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 6G

RAM

8GB DDR4

SSD

500GB

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.

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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.

With the increased price of GPUs, we have avoided putting a 5600X into this build at this stage. Regardless, the 3600 is a solid price to performance CPU and comes with a max boost speed of 4.2GHz.

We’ve run various benchmarking tests on the new 3rd and 4th-gen lineups and found the Ryzen 36X/56X variants offer the best performance for the price.

Due to stock issues and increased prices, we have decided to go with the Asus Tuf B450M motherboard, a solid pairing for the Ryzen CPU, with plenty of features for an affordable board. This board has everything you would expect from a gaming motherboard, with some room for future expansions and storage upgrades, M.2 compatibility, and fast RAM support.

A high-end gaming PC is going to need a fast, reliable memory kit. This RAM from Teamgroup is just that, with a 16GB capacity, RGB, and speed of 3200MHz. The performance from this RAM kit has been proven to enhance the PC’s gaming potential, especially the AMD build path.

The 1660 Super is regarded as one of the ultimate price to performance graphics cards available at present and was released to have maximum punching power at an affordable price point.  This model sports 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM and an efficient cooling solution. It has the ability to post high FPS in both 1080p, with some performance in 1440p too. It also supports VR and is great for all-round usage as well.

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 500GB 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, 500 is more than enough to house windows and a few primary games that require the SSD’s fantastic loading speed.

The Antec DF700 is a top case selection, especially considering how affordable it is. Aside from its stellar build quality, savvy layout, and out-of-the-box 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.

EVGA 500 BQ, 80+ BRONZE 500W

EVGA BQ 80+ Bronze 500W Semi Modular PSU

Wattage

500W

Certification

80+ Bronze

Modular?

Semi modular

Now, you are going to need a reliable PSU to power this high-end gaming PC, that is where the EVGA 500 BQ comes in. Aside from being a brand you can trust, this PSU also comes with a bronze efficiency rating, and is built to last.

AMD
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Things To Consider

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 straightforward 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.

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Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Brands

Every recommended prebuilt gaming PC in this article is from a reputable manufacturer. You are probably wondering how we know what the best gaming PC brands are? Well, we have done our research and purchased PCs from these brands.

Most notable brands:

Alienware
Corsair
CyberPowerPC
SkyTech
iBUYPOWER
Thermaltake
MSI
Scan 3XS
Overclockers UK

 

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.

Upgrade Options For This $1000 Custom Gaming PC

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!

Corsair Hydro Series H100i Pro RGB

Corsair Hydro Series H100i Pro RGB

Air or Liquid?

Liquid

Max RPM

2400 RPM (+/- 10%)

Max Noise

37 dBA

Dimensions (with fan/height x width x depth)

276 x 120 x 27mm (radiator)

Samsung 970 evo m.2 2tb
Samsung Logo

Samsung 970 EVO – 2TB

Read/Write

3500 / 2500MB/s

Capacity

2TB

Interface

NVME PCIe m.2

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!

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

Team Shaun
Custom Build Specialist
at
WePC

Shaun is a gaming enthusiast and computer science graduate who has been working with computers for the last 15 years. He took a shine to competitive FPS back in the mid-2000s and hasn’t looked back since.

Independent, transparent, rigorous and authentic, our reviews are the most thorough and honest in PC gaming. Learn about our review process.

Team Charlie
Custom Build Specialist
at
WePC

For as long as Charlie can remember, he has always been interested in computers and gaming. It all started with the Sega Mega Drive and then evolved into PC gaming in his early teens. CS 1.6 was his first go at competitive gaming which soon evolved into CS:Source and now CS:GO. Throughout that period he has been a keen PC builder and enthusiast and is currently running an ASUS Rog RTX 2070 with AMD’s Ryzen 2700X.

Independent, transparent, rigorous and authentic, our reviews are the most thorough and honest in PC gaming. Learn about our review process.