Customizability is one of the best aspects of building a PC – for most people. Some, however, just don’t want to bother with it. And sure enough, getting a prebuilt gaming PC really can prove to be less of a hassle, though it comes with some of its own downsides – but more on that later!
First, if you’re thinking about getting a prebuilt gaming PC, here are a few of the very best ones that you can get for under $1000!
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The 3 Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under 1000 for 2020
First up, we have a gaming PC from HP, a well-established brand but not one specifically known for gaming products. Regardless, this HP Pavillion PC is a relatively affordable mid-range beast and it is bound to appeal to those who are on a tighter budget.
Inside, you’ll find a Ryzen APU, the excellent Ryzen 5 2400G that is not only a great fit when paired up with the RX 580 but also comes with excellent integrated Vega graphics. Granted, integrated graphics aren’t really a top priority in a gaming PC, but it’s still good to have a backup in place. As for the GPU itself, the RX 580 is one of the best mid-range GPUs available at the moment (despite its age), as it offers great performance at an approachable price.
Moving on, this PC comes with the usual 8 GB of DDR4 RAM that you’d expect to see in a gaming PC at this price point. It’s not quite future-proof, but RAM is the easiest thing to upgrade further down the road if need be. As for storage, the PC comes with a 120 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD combo, which makes for a solid balance between performance and storage.
Finally, the actual case is quite beautiful, featuring vaguely Razer-esque bright green highlights, and it comes with ample front panel connectors. As can be seen above, it features the usual headphone jack but also two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports and a single USB-C port. On top of that, it also has a memory card reader, which is another convenient feature to have, though not one that most gamers will find particularly useful.
Overall, this HP Pavillion PC is quite a bargain, and perhaps more importantly, it is a very well put-together and balanced PC.
As mentioned above, the Ryzen 2400G is a great fit for this build, though being a quad-core APU, it doesn’t quite pack the processing power that you’d get with a beefier Ryzen or Intel CPU. However, it is quite sufficient for gaming when paired up with the RX 580, which holds up quite well in 2020, despite the fact that it came out all the way back in 2017.
On the other hand, we would have preferred having a larger solid-state drive, seeing as SSDs are actually quite affordable now compared to how pricey they were before, not to mention that a 128 GB SSD will get cramped quite quickly if you mainly intend on playing newer AAA games or just like having a ton of games installed at once.
In any case, this HP Pavillion configuration makes for a great mid-range gaming PC that will prove to be an excellent pick if you’re on a budget and are looking to get the most bang for your buck.
- Solid APU
- Excellent mid-range GPU
- Sleek case design
- Good value for your money
- Could use a larger SSD
SkyTech Blaze II
Moving on, we have a slightly better, slightly pricier, and arguably better-looking solution from SkyTech, and it’s their Blaze II gaming PC.
Once again, we are dealing with a Ryzen processor, only this time it’s the Ryzen 5 2600. While this CPU lacks the excellent integrated graphics of the 2400G, it more than makes up for it with extra cores and extra processing power – it is a hexa-core CPU with a total of 12 threads, which is a noticeable step up from the quad-core/8-thread 2400G APU.
The graphics card is also a slight step up, as the PC features the new GTX 1660. Granted, it doesn’t offer a big performance increase compared to the aging RX 580, but it is still a newer, more power-efficient graphics card with some extra software features that might come in handy.
On the memory front, we have 8 GB of DDR4 RAM again, while the storage comes down to a single 500 GB SSD, which makes for a great balance between pricing, performance, and storage capacity. Of course, it might not be enough if you also like keeping sizable media libraries stored locally, but if gaming is your main concern, then this SSD will most likely keep you covered.
And finally, in terms of design, the case is obviously quite something to look at, with its glass front and side panel that are so nicely complemented by the bundled fans. Furthermore, it is quite compact, too, which makes it look even better. The front panel has two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, along with a mic and headphone jack on top.
All things considered, the SkyTech Blaze II is an all-around solid gaming PC that has pretty much all the bases covered: the CPU, the GPU, the RAM, and the storage are all on point, and the bundled fans make for a good airflow boost that this compact case is bound to benefit from.
We have no real qualms with the Blaze II, apart from the fact that some users may want to add an HDD for extra storage or add an extra RAM stick if they find that 8 GB proves to be too little.
At the end of the day, this PC would be just as good a purchase as the HP Pavillion if you’re willing to spend a few extra bucks on the few extra features and the slight performance boost that you’d get from its beefier CPU and GPU.
- Hexa-core CPU with 12 threads
- Latest-generation GTX GPU
- Ample SSD storage
- Bundled case fans
- Storage may need expanding
CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8500A
Next up, we have a more serious gaming machine from CyberpowerPC, one that really pushes the limits of what you can fit in a sub-$1000 prebuilt gaming PC.
The first thing you’ll notice is that it boasts an Intel i5 CPU – the i5-9400F, to be exact. It belongs to the latest 9th generation of Intel CPUs, and the “F” indicates that it lacks integrated graphics, a feature that was present in all Core CPUs for a long time now.
The GPU – the GTX 1660 Ti – is a clear step up compared to both the regular GTX 1660 and the RX 580. It is, without a doubt, one of the very best mid-range GPUs that you can get in 2020.
On the memory front, there is not much to say: we’re still dealing with the same old 8 GB of DDR4 system RAM and, much like the HP Pavillion, this CyberpowerPC setup comes with a 128 GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD.
And as for the case, it is similar to the Blaze II in that it also boasts a glass front and side panel, allowing the RGB fans to shine in all their glory (no pun intended). The front panel is quite basic but sufficient, boasting two USB 3.0 ports, along with a headphone and mic jack.
With the above in mind, it’s fairly obvious that this PC takes things a bit farther than the previous two configurations. And while it is a very powerful setup, we do feel like it could have been a bit better.
The same thing that we’ve said before about the 128 GB SSD/1 TB HDD combo stands – such a small SSD will hardly cut it in 2020 and we would have preferred having a 500 GB SSD and no HDD instead, much like the Blaze II.
And as for the i5-9400F, it is a solid CPU, though it doesn’t quite measure up to the Ryzen 2600 or the newer Ryzen 3600 in terms of performance. Luckily, the lack of integrated graphics does make it a bit cheaper than the regular i5-9400, which is a good way to shave off some costs in a gaming PC. However, one major shortcoming of this CPU is the lackluster Intel stock cooler, which you will most likely want to replace.
Ultimately, this PC’s main selling point is its excellent GPU and its appealing, well-ventilated case, though all the fans may seem like a bit of an overkill considering that the CPU cannot even be overclocked.
- Excellent mid-range GPU
- Solid CPU
- Appealing case design
- Multiple case fans
- Poor stock CPU cooler
- Not the best overall value
- Small SSD
Should You Even Buy a Prebuilt Gaming PC?
As we’ve mentioned in the introduction, buying a prebuilt PC has its perks but also its downsides.
On the positive side of things, it is quite hassle-free, and getting a prebuilt PC can actually be cheaper than getting all the parts separately. On the other hand, no configuration is perfect and there is always some tweaking to be done if you want to get the best gaming performance and the best value for your money out of it.
Not only that, but it’s also not uncommon to see gaming PCs with inadequate GPUs or with outdated CPUs from two or more generations ago, which can be problematic not only because you might be spending more on a PC that’s worth less but also because there are also some compatibility issues to account for.
Of course, we’ve made sure only to include prebuilt PCs that use the latest or, at the very least, forward compatible older-gen components. Even so, you could probably get more for your money by building your PC from scratch: check out our $1000 PC build!
And in the case that you’re not knowledgeable/not confident enough to put the PC together yourself, it’s worth noting that there are numerous online services out there that will take care of that part of the job.
Conclusion – The Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $1000
Ultimately, if we had to choose one of the PCs listed here as the very best one, which one would we choose?
Well, this would be a difficult choice to make, as every PC has its advantages and disadvantages.
As far as value is concerned, we’d go with the HP Pavillion, as it is by far the cheapest entry on this list and arguably the most cost-efficient. However, the SkyTech Blaze II does feature newer and better components, and a larger SSD, too. Meanwhile, the third and final CyberpowerPC configuration has the best GPU out of the bunch, but it is sadly lacking in other respects.
At the end of the day, as mentioned above, we feel that your money would probably be better spent on a custom PC, but if you feel that one of the PCs listed here suit your needs, then there’s no reason not to get one.