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.
Let us dive right into the ultimate $1000 PC build! This is the best and most cost-effective gaming rig in 2020.
Table of ContentsShow
The Best $1000 Gaming PC Build For 2020
Updated: September 28, 2020
Click on the product images to view the product on Amazon, where you can see more images in high resolution and check the current price.
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.
CPU: Ryzen 5 3600
The 3rd-gen Ryzen CPUs are simply 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 and more.
As such, we simply have to start this build with none other than the Ryzen 5 3600.
Related: Best Ryzen CPU For Gaming
Looking at the spec sheet, this CPU is absurd, 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 quite a good 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.
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.
All in all, the Ryzen 5 3600 is an amazing CPU that you certainly won’t regret, and one that will be able to see your PC through several iterations.
It’s highly unlikely that it won’t be powerful enough to get the most out of next-gen GPUs (whenever those end up launching), and with support for RAM clock speeds up to 3200MHz, you definitely won’t have to worry about hard-capping this CPU hardware-wise.
Related: Best CPU’s For Gaming
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 on running 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.
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, that you can rest assured will serve you well if, or until you choose to improve it.
Related: Best CPU Cooler
GPU: MSI GeForce RTX 2070 VENTUS GP 8G
Now here’s where things get spicy.
To take care of the graphics we have none other than the RTX 2070!
It’s amazing how far the PC hardware market has come, and how much we can get today for $1000 compared to only a year earlier.
The R5 3600 combined with the RTX 2070 is a real beast. If you tried and cut corners on all the other components you might even be able to sneak in an RTX 2070 Super, 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.
Related: Best RTX 2070 Graphics Card
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 in 1440p.
Just to get it into perspective, this build can run games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Division 2 at a stable 60FPS without any issues.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is still the black sheep of the gaming world, and here the framerates are slightly lower, hovering around 55FPS. Most other games, however, fare much better, and a fair number even reach a stable 100FPS or more in 1440p (Devil May Cry 5, PUBG, Resident Evil 2, etc.)
But this isn’t the best this PC can do.
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!
Finally, while most graphics cards from the same line are pretty similar, and which one you buy depends mostly on how many bells and whistles you want and how much you’re willing to spend to get them, we still want to say a few words about the MSI VENTUS GP.
This particular card has a fairly large heat sink and two TORX 2.0 fans with steep curved blades for improved airflow and cooling.
Naturally, G-SYNC and HDR are there, but thanks to real-time ray tracing VR is taken to a whole new level!
Finally, some of you might be interested to know that the VENTUS GP supports in-game video recording, and contains a function which automatically finds the highest stable overclock settings.
These are just some of the features this graphics card has, but if you want to know more, we highly recommend you take a look at MSI’s website.
Related: Best Graphics Card For Gaming
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB
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 if one of them dies, you still have the other to at least be able to boot up your PC.
Although, if you’re looking to cut some corners, you can get a single 8GB stick not 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; it’s much more likely that DDR4 memory will become obsolete before you’ll need that many gigabytes for gaming.
Related: Best RAM For Gaming
Motherboard: ASRock B450 Steel Legend
Before we start, let’s get something out of the way. This is not an awfully fancy motherboard despite all the RGB you see on the picture.
However, this is by no means a bad motherboard. 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 in this price range. It looks very nice, stylish without being too flashy.
The build quality is, naturally, on point, and as for functionality, it has everything you could want from a motherboard at this price. It even supports RAM speeds up to 3466MHz, so no worries on that front. To see all the details, check out ASRock’s website.
The Steel Legend’s best feature is the audio. Thanks to the excellent software and materials used on the actual board, the audio on this board can even match some of the higher-end motherboards. This includes excellent audio input as well as output, and impressive bass you’ll be sure to appreciate.
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 you might want to get an additional cooler for the VRMs.
It’s not ideal, but all in all, that’s some excellent value for such a reasonably priced motherboard.
Related: Best Gaming Motherboards
SSD: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 250GB
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.
Related: Best SSD For Gaming
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12III 80+ Bronze 650W
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 Thermaltake SMART 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.
Related: How To Choose A Power Supply
Case: be quiet! Pure Base 500DX
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 you do, it’s the item you’re probably most likely to skimp on.
We can certainly understand why this instinct is there, but it’s something to overcome.
Related: How To Choose A PC Case
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 be quiet! 500DX.
Be quiet! has stepped up their game recently regarding their cases. Whereas before they were mostly concerned with justifying their brand name with impressive acoustics, newer cases such as this one focus more on improving the airflow, which we are really glad to see.
Silent fans are a bonus, good airflow is a necessity.
(And we won’t complain about the amazing design either.)
Like we’ve mentioned before, 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 be quiet! 500DX comes with and no less than three pre-installed 140mm fans with room for another two 140mm ones, as well as a mesh front panel for improved airflow.
Speaking of panels, we know many of you will be happy to know that the side panel is full-size tinted tempered glass, which lets you show off all your gorgeous components.
And don’t worry about the interior looking cluttered either because the 500DX has plenty of room for cable management, and a PSU shroud to boot, so even with a non-modular PSU, you won’t have to worry about the excess cables being exposed.
Thanks to the size of the interior this case can fit even the larger GPUs, and up to 360mm radiator on the front, and a 240mm radiator on the top of the case.
Last, but not least, both the case has stylish ARGB illumination on both the front panel and the inside of the case that can be controlled via a switch on the front panel, or synchronized with your motherboard via an ARGB controller.
Related: Best Gaming PC Cases
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.
Operating System: Windows
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.
Related: What Is The Best OS For Gaming?
Monitor: AOC G2460PF
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.
For 1080p gaming, the RX 5700 XT is more than you’ll ever need. You’ll be able to play any AAA game on the highest settings with at least a smooth 60 FPS, which isn’t to say that you won’t be getting over 100 FPS in certain AAA titles.
For example, you should expect the FPS to constantly hover above the 200 mark at maxed-out settings in Overwatch, with a peak FPS of close to 300. Still, we don’t recommend going for a 240Hz monitor unless you’re an eSports professional since their value is rather dubious.
This means that you’ll find great value in buying either a 144Hz 1080p monitor or a 60Hz 1440p monitor.
If you’re more interested in the former, then the best option that fits the bill without costing you an arm and a leg is the unimaginatively named AOC G2460PF. Just make sure to get the 24-inch model because it really is the sweet spot for 1080p monitors.
And if larger resolutions are more to your liking, then the ViewSonic VA2719 is the ideal pick.
Sure, it only has a 60Hz refresh rate, although you’re not likely to need much more in 2K resolutions if you’re also trying to make the game look as good as possible. But most importantly, it’s an IPS monitor, which means the image will be gorgeous. And with a 27-inch monitor, you’ll be much more immersed into whichever title it is you’re playing.
It doesn’t get any better than this unless you want a 144Hz 2K IPS monitor.
If you’re fine burning a hole in your pocket even after spending the initial 1000$ then, by all means, knock yourself out with something like the ASUS MG279Q, but seeing how this monitors easily cost half your entire hardware budget, it’s best to stick to either 144Hz FullHD or 60Hz 2K for now.
Related: Best Gaming Monitors
Keyboard & Mouse: Corsair K55 + Haropoon Bundle
We’ve gone on a bit of a rant in the monitor section, but in many ways, it really is the most important peripheral for bringing your PC to life.
It’s not as if we don’t have equally as much to say about mice and keyboards. Especially if whether to go mechanical or not, whether you should buy one proportional to the price of the other components or go big because a good keyboard can outlive any other part of a PC, peripheral or otherwise, etc.
Related: Best Gaming Keyboard
Instead, we’d like to present you with one of the most cost-efficient keyboard and mouse bundles out there. The Corsair K55 RGB keyboard is a membrane keyboard that is jam-packed with features like RGB lighting, programmable macro keys, and multimedia controls.
Its partner in crime, the Corsair Harpoon, has everything you could ask for in a budget gaming mouse, with two programmable buttons, DPI modes that go up to 6000 and textured rubber grips.
Related: Best Gaming Mouse
Controller: XBOX One Controller
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.
In the meantime, if you need something more affordable (or something more extravagant), we highly recommend giving this guide a read.
Headphones: HyperX Cloud Revolver S
For most of us, headsets and headphones are the way to go to immerse ourselves in diverse gaming worlds truly. 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 HyperX Cloud Revolver S may not be the cheapest gaming headset out there, but it more than makes up for it with its features and quality build. They’re durable, they’re comfortable, and they sound great.
The detachable microphone comes equipped with noise-canceling capabilities. And to top it all off, they come with the 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound. Although if this isn’t something you care about, you can get the stereo version for 30 bucks cheaper.
Finally, they’re excellent for gaming because of their compatibility, which extends to PC as well as the PS4 and the Xbox One.
Related: Headphones vs. Headset
Webcam: Logitech HD Pro C920
We must have mentioned at least twice by now that this build is ready to tackle Streaming.
The way we see it, there’s nothing like a webcam to help get your streaming channel to pick up steam. After all, the most popular streamers all use cameras, and that’s because people don’t tune in to their streams just for the games, they come for the unique content.
And there’s no better or more cost-efficient webcam out there than the Logitech HD Pro C920. Its specs are simply amazing (15 Mpix, 1080p resolution), and they’re made even better by the excellent technology that this webcam is packing.
VR: HTC Vive
One of this setup’s biggest appeals is that it’s strong enough to support VR. VR works with this build similarly to 2K in that it’s something you can take out for a spin, but not truly push to its limit. Nevertheless, it still opens up a world of possibilities that weaker gaming rigs don’t have access to.
But you will need a VR Headset.
At the moment, you have three options: TheOculus Rift, the HTC Vive, and the PS4 VR.
We prefer the HTC Vive because of SteamVR, which will even let you play certain titles in VR that wasn’t developed for it. Besides, you’re more likely to have an exhaustive library of games on Steam than on the Oculus store.
But if VR is something you’re seriously considering, then you can read more about these headsets here and watch this video to understand why we don’t think the PS4 VR is as good as the other two on PC.
Wrist Rest: GoldenClaw WR1
Here is something that you never knew you needed – a wrist rest. The GoldenClaw WR1 Wrist Rest is an absolute steal for under $10 right now. It provides you with a keyboard and mouse wrist rest that are both very comfortable and is made of memory foam material.
Related: Best Wrist Rest
Now all that’s left is to actually assemble all these components into a functional whole.
If you’re a first-time assembler than 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.