A budget of $1000 can net 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-efficient gaming rig in 2020.
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The Best $1000 Gaming PC Build For 2020
Updated: January 18, 2020
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Now you may be wondering, 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 1080p 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 2K is an option, but more on that later.
However, what really 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 nevertheless, 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 3600X
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 3600X.
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 3.8GHz, with a maximum boost clock of 4.4GHz. 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 3600X comes with a very good stock cooler.
All in all, the Ryzen 5 3600X is an amazing choice 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 Spire
The Wraith Spire is a very efficient stock cooler; in fact, it’s one of the best. The Wraith Stealth cooler that comes with less powerful CPUs still gets the job done, but the Spire outclasses it by even offering some value for light overclocking.
The only thing it has going against it is the fact that the X-model that it comes with has a much bigger premium on it than the case was was with last-gen Ryzen CPUs.
So if you want to save a bit of cash, you could get the base Ryzen 5 3600. Technically, it does perform slightly worse, but we have to emphasize the word slightly.
The largest difference will be in the stock cooler, but while the Wraith Stealth is inferior to the Wraith Spire, it’s still good enough to run the Ryzen 5 3600 without any problems at stock settings. And since the price gap between the 3600 and the 3600X is a good $50, you could even buy an aftermarket cooler to go with the base Ryzen 5 3600 – something like the Deepcool Gammaxx 400R – and still, save around $30.
It’s not preferable to just getting the Ryzen 5 3600X with the Wraith Spire, but if you need to cut some costs, here’s your chance.
Related: Best CPU Cooler
GPU: Sapphire Pulse RX 5700 XT 8GB
Now here’s where things get spicy. We’ve selected one of the new GPUs from AMD’s RX 5000 series– the Sapphire Pulse RX 5700 XT – to take care of the graphics.
We know that when the reference design first launched the RX 5700 XT didn’t receive the warmest reception, but our trusty Sapphire managed to remove and replace virtually all the scorn-worthy elements of the original design, and so here we are.
Related: Best RTX 2060 Graphics Card
The biggest complaint regarding the original was its insane temperature. It went past 90 degrees Celsius! But leave it to Sapphire to fix the problem.
For only $10 more the Sapphire Pulse card has two 100mm fans instead of one, which not only allow for better cooling but also spin slower making them quieter. This simple improvement along with a large heatsink managed to lower the temperatures by almost 30 degrees Celsius!
The horizontally-oriented fins allow for part of the air to leave the case, and part of it to go toward the CPU as opposed to vertical fins which blow all the hot air into the glass or directly onto the motherboard.
As for the part you’re probably the most interested in, you can rest assured, this rig will comfortably allow you to max out virtually any game at 1080p, and still never fall below 60FPS.
Granted, the infamous Assassin’s Creed Odyssey sticks around 55FPS, but as we all know that’s the toughest game to please these days you can be reasonably sure that that’s as low as it will go. And keep in mind, that’s on ultra! With just a little tweaking the FPS could easily jump to 70.
But there’s more good news. When you can max out the newest games at 1080p and get 60FPS out of them, hitting that 60FPS mark at 1440p is no longer a dream either, although it will require a little tinkering with the settings.
Not to mention that the card fits perfectly with the motherboard’s red and black theme.
It should also be worth noting that the only graphics card that can stand up to it from the Green team is the GTX 2060 Super, which is no negligible thing.
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: MSI B450 Gaming Plus MAX
Before we start, let’s get something out of the way. This is not a fancy motherboard. There was simply neither need nor room in the budget for one.
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 or RGB.
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 4133MHz, so no worries on that front.
The Gaming Plus MAX also has PCI-E Steel Slot and Armor to protect your VGA cards against bending, Turbo M.2 for maximized NVMe performance, decent heatsinks, and DDR4, core, and audio boosts.
Like we’ve said, nothing fancy, 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), and 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 decent 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: Thermaltake SMART 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 wary 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 Thermaltake, a very trustworthy manufacturer, the Thermaltake SMART 650W has other things going for it:
- It’s 80+ Bronze certified
- Has a 5-year replacement guarantee
- Has a smart temperature control fan
- It has flat cables
Unfortunately, it’s non-modular, but the flat cables make the management much easier, so you won’t have to worry about them looking messy in your awesome new case.
Related: How To Choose A Power Supply
Case: Cooler Master MasterCase H500
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 exactly why we chose the Cooler Master MasterCase H500 – this case has virtually everything you’ll ever need and more.
Let’s get into the details.
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.
That’s why the MasterCase H500 comes with no less than three pre-installed fans, and not just any fans either. While the rear holds one regular 120mm fan, the front is equipped with two monster 200mm RGB ones! The top of the case also holds room for more if you deem it necessary, but for now, we think the three you get will be more than enough.
The front panel is mesh by default, but the case also comes with a transparent front panel if you don’t mind sacrificing a little airflow in favor of aesthetics.
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 MasterCase H500 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.
If all of this wasn’t enough to make you fall in love with this case, you should also know that it also has not two, not three, but four USB ports- 2x USB 2.0 and 2x USB 3.0.
It’s simply perfect.
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 exact 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. And besides, the RTX 2060 is powerful, but it’s not that powerful.
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, whether to go mechanical or not, whether you 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 a ludicrous 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 are the moment are the Xbox One Controller and the DualShock 4 and 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 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 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. And 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 it 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: The Oculus 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.