A budget of $1000 can get you a reasonable PC, especially if you build it yourself.
We’ve spent dozens of hours picking the best parts for a $1000 PC build and continue to do so in order to keep it up to date with the constantly evolving PC market.
And the best part?
You don’t have to spend your own time researching and possibly learning difficult technical lingo. We’ve done all of that for you in this build guide.
Let us dive right into the ultimate $1000 PC build! This is the best and most cost-effective gaming rig in 2020.
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The Best $1000 Gaming PC Build For 2020
Updated: November 29, 2020
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What exactly does a $1000 PC entail?
After all, while this much cash may not afford you the ultimate gaming PC rig, it’s no spare change either. So we’ve made sure that this PC is ready for anything.
Playing games is a given, obviously. But not every PC allows you to play games the way they were meant to be played, so we’d like to be more specific.
This build will let you play any game you want in 1440p resolution at the widely-coveted for 60 FPS.
So you can just select the ‘ultra-high’ quality preset in any game without giving the individual options a second glance. It also goes without saying that gaming in 4K is an option, but more on that later.
However, what sets this PC apart from most sub-$1000 PCs is that it’s also Streaming and VR ready.
These are both very resource-intensive tasks, so you’ll have to scale down the graphics a bit, especially for VR, but it’s an excellent entry point for you to try out both of these and see what all the fuss is about and whether they’re worth your future investments.
We also made sure to keep upgradeability in mind when picking out the parts and even gave it some overclocking potential, but we’ll talk more about that as we walk you through each of the components and discuss what exactly it is that they bring to the table.
The PC Build
So let’s take a look at each of the components that we’ve handpicked for this $1000 build and see what makes them the best.
We’ll also present you with some alternatives so that you can customize the PC more to your needs.
The 3rd-gen Ryzen CPUs are incredible.
There had been a lot of hype surrounding the launch of the Zen 2 architecture, but in this industry where products are generally overhyped, it was refreshing to see one that genuinely delivered on all its promises.
As such, we simply had to start this build with none other than the Ryzen 5 3600.
Looking at the spec sheet, this CPU is phenomenal, with no fewer than 6 physical and 12 logical cores and incredible clock speeds.
At stock settings, this CPU will net you a base clock speed of 3.6GHz, with a maximum boost clock of 4.2GHz. So even without any overclocking, you’re getting a great deal. And if you were to overclock it, it wouldn’t require too much effort to push the base clock up to and over 4.0GHz.
This may not seem like much compared to what the Zen 3 line-up has to offer, but don’t let that fool you. Zen 3 is the odd one out; a monster in its own league.
To put this in perspective, the Intel Core i5-9600K launched at around $25 more while offering similar or even slightly worse in-game performance in most titles.
The cost-efficiency swings even harder in favor of team Red once we take into account that you have to buy an aftermarket cooler for the i5-9600K, whereas the Ryzen 5 3600 comes with a decent stock cooler free of charge.
All in all, the Ryzen 5 3600 is an amazing CPU that you certainly won’t regret buying, and one that is capable of seeing your PC through several iterations.
Cooler: Wraith Stealth
The Wraith Stealth is not the most amazing CPU cooler on the market, it’s not even the best of AMD’s stock coolers, but it’s efficient, and it’s free.
If you intend to run your CPU on stock settings the Wraith Stealth will be quite enough for you.
Overclocking, however, is a different story.
An overclocked CPU generates much more heat and therefore needs a better cooling solution. But don’t worry, unless you want to go for a high-end version, a solid aftermarket cooler shouldn’t cost you more than $30-40.
This isn’t to say that you have to get it right away.
One of the great things about AMD is that you get the full package, a starter-pack if you will, and you can rest assured that it will serve you well until you choose to improve it.
Now here’s where things get spicy.
To take care of the graphics we have none other than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070!
It’s amazing how far the PC hardware has come, and how much we can get today for $1000 compared to only a year earlier.
A PC with the R5 3600 and RTX 3070 combo is a real beast. If you were to try and cut corners on all the other components you might even be able to sneak in an RTX 3080, but we chose not to do that simply because we wanted to offer you more than just the bare minimum in this build.
Now that we’ve introduced the two most important components in a gaming PC, let’s look into the specifics and see what exactly this CPU/GPU combo can do.
Like we said in the introduction, this PC has complete mastery over 1440p gaming. You can get 60FPS or more in any GPU-intensive modern game at high to ultra settings with this build at 1440p.
Just to get it into perspective, this build can run games like Control and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at a stable 70 FPS. And get this… it can run Crysis Remastered with the FPS hovering around 50. Not too shabby.
But this isn’t the best this PC can do.
The abovementioned titles are some of the most notoriously unoptimized ones out there, so that means that most other games will run as well or better. We’re talking RTX 2080 Ti-level performance after all.
Having said this it should be obvious that this PC can even run games in 4K, but be prepared to make some major adjustments in the graphics settings!
The question of RAM is a tricky one when it comes to gaming PCs. We’ve pretty much covered it all in this article, but here’s the gist:
8 GB is the bottom line for gaming right now. It’s not as if current games demand more, but background processes are becoming more demanding by the day.
Google Chrome alone is known to eat up several GBs of RAM when you’ve got multiple tabs open. And even if you meticulously close all unnecessary background processes when gaming, you may still need to have Steam running, or Discord, which can still cause unnecessary hiccups. This is why we’ve decided to equip this PC with 16 GB of the Corsair Vengeance LPX.
Our advice is always to go dual-channel. In this case, that means getting two 8 GB RAM sticks to pair up because (besides the bandwidth boost) if one of them dies, you still have the other to rely on until the problem is taken care of.
Although, if you’re looking to cut some corners, you can get a single 8GB stick now and then purchase the second one whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Just make sure you don’t overdo it!
There’s absolutely no need to equip your gaming rig with more than 16 GB of RAM. 32 GB is not future-proof (unless you’re simultaneously using your PC as both a gaming rig and workstation); it’s much more likely that DDR4 memory will become obsolete before you’ll need that many gigabytes for gaming.
Before we start, let’s get something out of the way. This is not a fancy motherboard. It’s actually pretty basic overall.
However, it’s by no means bad. It has absolutely everything a motherboard should have, and even a few neat additional features that unfortunately don’t include a built-in Wi-Fi card.
But let’s get into what it does have.
This motherboard offers one of the best price-to-performance ratios at this price range.
The build quality is, naturally, on point, and as for functionality, it has everything you could need from a motherboard at this price. It even supports RAM speeds up to 4600MHz, so no worries on that front. To see all the details, check out Gigabyte’s website, but here are some features that we would highlight:
- Q-Flash – allows you to flash the BIOS without any of the additional components installed.
- RGB Fusion 2.0 – with this you can sync the RGB effects of all your linked components easily.
- 2x M.2 slots, one of which is PCIe 4.0.
Unfortunately, while the VRM’s on this board are not bad, they are not excellent either. This means that you will have to pay attention not to overdo it when overclocking, or else you might want to get an additional cooler for the VRMs.
It’s not ideal, but all in all, it offers excellent value for such a reasonably priced motherboard.
Now when it comes to storage, you basically have two options here. Either buy a 250GB NVMe SSD for your Operating System and the most important games and a larger HDD for everything else or go all-in on SSD.
Honestly, it’s not like we can say that either option is better. Here, more than anywhere else, you’ll have to make a choice depending on what kind of a user you are.
The first option can leave you with twice the amount of storage, while still offering insane speeds for your most important games and programs, while the second would be a more balanced approach with super speeds across the board, but less storage.
You may choose whichever you like better, or whichever better suit your needs, but since this article is meant to showcase the BEST possible PC you can build for $1000, we couldn’t settle for anything less than the Samsung 970 Evo Plus.
This NVMe SSD may offer only 250GB of storage, but it’s so fast you won’t have the time to complain about it.
Still, you will probably need a dumping ground for family pictures, videos, loads of movies you’ll never watch, and the games you’ll keep installed despite never playing them (we’re not judging, happens to all of us).
For this, we suggest going with the Western Digital Blue 1 TB HDD. This will cost just a couple of extra bucks, but if you were shaking your head disapprovingly at the thought of only having 250 GB to play around with, then this is the option for you.
However, if you want to go with SSDs all the way, then consider the Western Digital Blue 3D NAND SSD.
This may not be the most affordable SSD you could find, but you can find good amounts of fast storage for a reasonable price. And if you’re already going to be storing some valuable personal information on it, you’ll want some assurance that it won’t die on you randomly, and this is precisely what the WD brand offers.
It’s very easy to undervalue the PSU when building a PC, especially if you’re new to this.
When dealing with the PSU, what you have to be aware of are low-quality products by shady manufacturers.
Order a GTX 1060 with 5GB of VRAM from China off of Aliexpress (they do exist), and the worst-case scenario is your GPU dies on you after a week. Sure, it could cause some collateral damage on its way out, but that pales in comparison to that a poor PSU can do to your computer.
It can literally fry the other components.
That’s why it’s highly advisable to pick a PSU made by a reputable manufacturer.
In addition to being made by SeaSonic, a very trustworthy manufacturer, the S12III 650W has other things going for it:
- It’s 80+ Bronze certified
- Has a 5-year warranty
- Has an S2FC SeaSonic temperature control fan
Unfortunately, it’s non-modular, but luckily, the case we’ve chosen for this build has enough room for cable management, so you won’t have to worry about them looking messy.
Nothing flashy, but all in all, a decent PSU with a reassuringly long warranty period.
Not to take anything away from what we said about PSUs, but the case is by far the king of undervalued components when building a PC.
Many beginner PC builders don’t even take it into consideration at first. And even if they do, it’s the item they’re probably most likely to skimp on.
We can certainly understand why this instinct is there, but it’s something to overcome.
A good computer case is built to offer the most optimal airflow that will facilitate cooling. Good airflow will go a long way in prolonging your PC’s life-span, which is precisely why we chose the Cooler Master MasterBox NR600 for this $1000 build.
Cooler Master has had a number of hits and misses with their chassis, but this one is definitely a hit. This isn’t a premium case, in fact, it’s among the cheaper ones, and yet its performance is comparable to some of those in the $100 price range. The design isn’t, but more on that later.
As we said, a big part of why we’ve chosen this case is its airflow.
You must keep in mind that the most important components of this build- the CPU and the GPU are also the most powerful. More power = more heat. And while both the CPU and the GPU have their own coolers, placing them in a well-ventilated case will make sure you get the best possible performance out of them.
The NR600 comes with two pre-installed fans with room for four more if you wish to further improve the cooling. Granted, this isn’t ideal. Three would be great, four would probably be ideal. More than that would likely contribute more to the aesthetics than performance. But that isn’t to say that two is bad. There are plenty of more expensive cases that come with only one, or none.
Two is enough to keep your rig afloat, but getting one or two more as your wallet allows you wouldn’t be a bad idea.
As regards the aesthetics, there really isn’t much to speak of. For those who prefer flashy and powerful-looking cases, this probably won’t look like much. It’s a box, and that’s exactly what it looks like. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
You can look at it as a blank slate. It’s simple, and it looks clean, but if you decide to add RGB fans, or LED strips inside the case it can turn into anything you want. It even has a tempered glass side panel, so you can choose to display your components instead of the chassis itself. The possibilities are endless.
If you’ve been keeping tabs on the prices of all the components we’ve listed already, what you may have noticed by now is that this guide works under the presupposition that you already own a computer from which this gaming rig would inherit all the necessary peripherals. The $1000 all go into the computer case and its contents.
Hopefully, this is the case, because if not, then all that the $1000 would land you is a metal container jam-packed with impressive pieces of hardware. But even if this isn’t the case, certain peripherals like the monitor from your old PC would most likely not fit into this new rig very well.
With that in mind, we’d still like to dedicate a section of this article to all the best-suited peripherals to draw out the full potential of your new gaming PC.
As for the OS, you’ll be running this machine on; we can’t in good conscience recommend anything but Windows for gaming.
Linux may have its perks, but for every one of them, there’s also a downside. Some of them we could overlook, but not the fact that Linux simply isn’t compatible with every game that Windows is.
What’s more, it’s also not as well optimized for gaming as Windows. This means that the exact same game on this same hardware will play differently on the two operating systems, with Windows clearly in the lead.
With a $1000 gaming PC, you should strive only for the best, but Linux does have the benefit of being free. If you do, in the end, opt for a Linux OS, the two we’d recommend you try for the best gaming experience are Steam OS and Game Drift Linux.
The monitor is, by far the, most important peripheral. However, it’s easy to overlook just how instrumental it is in bringing your gaming rig to life if you differentiate them only by size and manufacturer.
The best way to see which monitor is the right for you is by reflecting on what your graphics card is capable of and what you’ll be using it for. Since this build is written with the premise that you will be using it for gaming, we won’t bother with the other stuff.
Essentially, for gaming, you have to worry about the resolution you’ll be running your games at, how powerful your GPU is, or rather, how much FPS it can squeeze out of those games, and whether you’re predominantly interested in first-person-shooters, RPGs, strategies, etc.
When it comes to the resolution what people notice first is the image quality, and that’s essentially it. The more pixels cramped on a display, the clearer and smoother the image. Another thing to consider with higher resolution monitors is that they often come with a higher refresh rate as well.
The second is the refresh rate which boils down to this: if you have a monitor with a 60Hz refresh rate no game you play will ever run at more than 60FPS, or rather, you won’t be able to see it since your monitor will only be capable of showing you that much.
This second point is not as vital if you’re not a serious competitive player, or you play a lot of first-person shooters since 60FPS is considered the gold standard. While there is a noticeable difference between 60Hz and 144Hz, for most people this won’t be enough of a difference to justify the jump in the price, but it will be a significant step up in the overall feel of gaming.
The difference between 144Hz and 240Hz is virtually undetectable.
And the last factor is the response time which is how fast a monitor can change the color of a pixel from grey to grey. The faster the response time, the smoother the transition, and the faster the image update.
Once again, this is important if you’re playing a lot of competitive multiplayers, but a casual gamer won’t notice much of a difference between 4ms and 2ms.
The reason we explained all of this is because we want to stress the importance of picking the right monitor to those who are unaware of it since it can make or break your gaming experience.
With that said, we present to you the Gigabyte G27Q. This is a 27-inch monitor with an IPS panel, a 144Hz refresh rate, and a 1ms response time. It has an absolutely amazing display with the most vibrant colors thanks to the panel type.
This is also a monitor with a 1440p resolution. Now, this means that it’s more expensive than 1080p, that’s for sure, but it also means that it will allow you to raise your immersion to a whole new level by letting you game in 1440p.
Overall, it doesn’t get any better than this if you want a 144Hz, 1440p IPS monitor. However, we understand that a $300 monitor for a $1000 build may be a little too much for some of you, so let us give you some alternatives.
Since 1080p is much cheaper you can always get a 1080p monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time. Something like the MSI OPTIX G241, for example. This is if you want to save money, or you simply don’t think 1440p is worth the price.
On the other hand, if you’re fine burning a hole in your wallet even after spending the initial 1000$ then, by all means, knock yourself out with 4K. After all, it’s the future of gaming, and it’s the most future-proof, and most spectacular-looking option out of all of these.
But among these three options, we still believe the 1440p is the best one at the moment. It’s the golden middle. You’ll get a stunning display that can do justice to the GPU in this build, and, since monitors aren’t something you upgrade very often, it will serve you for a long time.
In the end, this is only our recommendation. If you pair it with the build above you won’t regret it. However, there are a bunch of options out there, and the holiday sales are coming up, so you might find something else you like at a discount.
We have a real treat for fans of lightweight mice out there, the Razer Viper Mini!
True, this is a “mini” mouse, being 118.3mm or 4.66” long, but the difference between it and the regular Viper is not as significant as you’d think.
Moreover, this mouse weighs only 61g which makes it perfect for those of you who like first-person-shooters where your hand constantly has to dart across the mouse pad. It’s also equipped with an 8500 DPI optical sensor, 6 programmable buttons, and the ever-comfortable, Razer trademark design perfect for everyone whether they are right or left-handed.
Seeing as this is a gaming mouse, Razer included light beam actuation which registers your clicks “at the speed of light”.
Speaking of light, no gaming mouse these days can go without RGB. Besides the RGB Razer logo, the bottom of the mouse also lights up which looks amazing on an all-black mouse pad giving it a kind of an RGB halo effect.
Overall, it’s a great choice for anyone who doesn’t like dragging around a brick while gaming. Keep in mind, though, if you have exceptionally large hands, you might want to take a look at the original Viper, or perhaps some third option.
If you’re a fan of minimalistic designs, we have just the keyboard for you. The HyperX Alloy FPS Pro is an ultra-minimalistic, tenkeyless keyboard. It doesn’t have any programmable keys, but its clean look and build-quality more than make up for that.
The Alloy FPS Pro is a portable keyboard with quite a sturdy, detachable USB cable, and it comes with a neat pouch if you ever need to move it around. Best of all, it’s equipped with anti-ghosting and N key rollover functions.
This keyboard is also perfect for red and black setups. It has a red and black braided USB cable, Cherry MX red switches, and a red LED backlight. What it doesn’t have, however, is RGB.
This is quite a surprise for a keyboard at this price range nowadays since even some cheaper keyboards have it.
RGB is, of course, not the most important thing to have, and a lot of people keep the color on red anyway, even when they have multiple colors to choose from simply because it’s the easiest on the eyes. In fact, the sheer quality of this keyboard – the metal base, the Cherry MX switches, the sturdy build without any give or bending is reason enough to give it a chance. This keyboard feels and acts premium.
If, however, you are bothered by the lack of RGB, there’s always the full-sized model that has it, but be ready to part with a few additional tens.
RGB aside, for the price, there aren’t many keyboards out there that can compare to the HyperX Alloy FPS Pro in terms of quality and performance, but if you’d still like to check out your options, we suggest clicking on the link below where we’ve assembled a list of the best gaming keyboards for this year.
For most of us, headsets and headphones are a way to go to truly immerse ourselves in diverse gaming worlds. Speakers are great and all, but unless you have a truly dedicated and isolated gaming den, they can be an inconvenience to your family. What’s more, they won’t do much to sever the connection with the real world.
The Razer BlackShark V2 X is a fairly affordable headset that doesn’t skimp on its features and build quality. It’s durable, it’s comfortable, and it sounds great.
The design is somewhat reminiscent of aviation headsets, but it’s surprisingly light. Even during extended gaming sessions, there shouldn’t be any stress on your ears and head, especially since the ear cups and headband both have memory foam cushions infused with cooling gel making the whole experience even more enjoyable.
To top it off, the headset has Triforce Titanium 50mm high-end drivers and allows individual tuning of highs, mids, and lows. For those who were wondering, yes, it has 7.1 surround sound, but you have to enable it via the software, and it works only with Windows 10 64-bit. Other than that, both the audio and the microphone have sound isolation which really helps with the overall immersion.
Finally, this headset is excellent for gaming because of its compatibility, which extends to PC as well as the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mac, and mobile devices making it ideal if you’re a cross-platform gamer.
Overall, if you’re looking for a great headset, but you aren’t ready to give $100+, this is an excellent choice.
When it comes to mouse pads, you needn’t bang your head against the wall and spend hours researching which one is the best because, in the end, it all mostly comes down to personal preference.
We say “mostly” because there still are a few things to look out for: if it rolls up or deforms over time, how large it is, and what material it’s made of (although this one largely depends on what kind of games you’re playing and your personal preference).
The Ktrio Extended Gaming Mouse Pad is a phenomenal choice for those of you looking to get a cleaner and more stylized setup without investing too much money.
This is an XL mouse pad that can fit both your keyboard and mouse with room to spare, it’s made of Lycra which is smooth, but doesn’t sacrifice control over your mouse, it has high-quality anti-fray stitching and a rubber underside which doesn’t allow it to slide or roll-up.+
An awesome additional detail is that it’s waterproof, so if you accidentally spill something, just wipe it off, and you’re good to go.
This is in all honesty probably the best mouse pad you can get if you’re on a budget, and the abundance of glowing reviews is a testament to that.
For the longest time, it used to be that controllers were synonymous with console gaming, but that time has passed. Nowadays, there are games on the PC that you can’t even run without a controller.
If we exclude indie games, the amount of titles that get ported to PC from consoles far outnumbers the number of titles that get developed for the PC first and foremost. And these games were all designed with the controller in mind. Some have great ports that make the controls functional on the mouse and keyboard, while others are more like Dark Souls 1.
The two biggest controllers at the moment are the Xbox One Controller and the DualShock 4.
While they’re both excellent, we recommend the former solely on account of being able to do everything the latter can and then some. Oh, and the plug and play support, of course, since you’ll be using Windows as your Operating System.
We have a whole video about this if you’re interested in knowing why we feel the way we feel regarding this matter.
A VR headset is far from being a gaming necessity, especially for a build that costs $1000. Most good VR headsets are very expensive, and not many people can afford one after they’ve already spent a grand on their base hardware. At least, that’s how it was until now.
We’re not by any means saying that the Oculus Quest 2 is cheap. What we are saying is that it’s far cheaper than any other VR headset with similar performance. And its performance is good enough to compete with the top players out there.
The Oculus Quest 2 boasts an LCD panel with an 1832 x 1920 resolution. It runs on the new XR2 Qualcomm chipset which virtually doubles its performance compared to the original Quest, and it supports up to 90Hz refresh rate.
Another amazing thing about this headset is that you can use it as it is, without plugging it into your PC, and if you’ve ever owned an Oculus headset, you can also access your entire library of games from the moment you get your hands on it.
But all of this comes at a price, and we’re not referring to money.
Namely, the Quest 2 requires you to log in with your Facebook account, but that’s not all. It also requires you to use your real name and to pair your phone with it before being able to use it. For a lot of frequent Facebook users, this will not be a problem. For many others, this will be an absolute deal-breaker, which we completely understand.
Nevertheless, the reason this VR headset is on this list is that it’s a genuinely great product, although it comes with baggage. So those of you who use Facebook regularly and don’t have a problem with pairing it to this device might be able to leap into VR sooner than you expected.
Here’s one of those rare peripheral items that are genuinely important regardless if you’re a casual or professional gamer.
This might be an obvious thing to say, but a comfortable seat is an incredibly important part of not only your “gaming experience”, but also your lifestyle and health, especially if you spend your days glued to a chair like most of us gamers do.
Any chair is a good chair when you’re young, but as years begin to creep up, BAM! Surprise back pain, and now you’re a barely functional human curled up on a sofa 80% of the time because the fetus is the only bearable position. If this sounds oddly specific, it’s because it is.
So don’t be sorry to splurge on a comfortable ergonomic chair. And if you’re torn between buying an awesome keyboard and mouse or a chair, get a chair. It’s an investment.
Now, the Office Star Mesh isn’t a high-end solution, but it’s a very good entry point for someone looking to graduate from their kitchen chair or some similarly uncomfortable contraption. It’s ergonomic, comfortable, has back support that follows the natural curve of your spine… or how it should be, and it’s relatively affordable.
Of course, if you have a little more flexible budget for your peripherals, or you don’t mind saving up for something better, we highly suggest you go for something even better, but otherwise the Office Star Mesh won’t disappoint you.
And the final peripheral we’d like to suggest is a wrist rest. Those of you who have never owned a decent PC before, or a PC at all might consider this a waste of money, and indeed, it’s definitely not a necessity, but others who’re used to using wrist rests will know how much of a difference it can make.
The HyperX Wrist Rest, like its name, is a very simple product, but it packs a strong punch.
It’s made with a combination of cooling gel and memory foam making it super-comfortable. The padding is thick enough to not allow your wrist to reach the bottom, and the rest itself is wide enough to cover all your hand movements so you don’t have to change its position all the time. This won’t be easy anyway since it has a rubber underside that’s meant to keep the wrist rest from moving around.
The only possible downside that applies to this particular build is that this is a rest for full-sized keyboards, and the HyperX Alloy FPS Pro that we suggested above is a tenkeyless keyboard. But this isn’t something that will hinder your typing in any way.
Now all that’s left is to actually assemble all these components into a functional whole.
If you’re a first-time assembler then it may seem like a daunting undertaking but believe us when we say that mustering the will to do it is the most difficult part.
Unfortunately, we can’t help you with that part, but for everything else, there are plenty of videos like this one to help guide you through the process.
We hope you enjoy gaming on the best PC that 1000 USD can get you right now.