Buying a new PC can be intimidating even for experienced buyers. There are a lot of specs to look at, and there will rarely be a single PC that’s the best at everything. The PC with the best CPU may not have as much RAM as another choice with a slower CPU. The machine with the best graphics card might have a slower CPU or less storage. The one with blazing-fast gaming RAM may have a last-gen graphics card.

If you want to spend thousands of dollars, it’s easy to get a system that is best in all categories. Otherwise, the entire process is a balancing act.

For people who aren’t PC experts, the purchasing process can be even more challenging. If you’ve spent the last 20 years gaming on a console, you may not even know what all the specs mean. That’s entirely reasonable. After all, nobody pays attention to computer specs if they’re using their PC for email and web browsing. It either works or it doesn’t.

Even PC experts may have been out of the market for a while. If it’s been a few years since you bought your last graphics card or hard drive, you’ll need to readjust your understanding of what a reasonable price is. This guide is written for experts and novices alike. We’ll go over each of these $1000 PCs piece by piece to make sure you understand what you’re getting into.

At a $1000 price point, we’ll be looking for a few things. First, we’ll be looking for a processor that’s fast enough to run any game on the market. Depending on the CPU, this may require some overclocking, so we want PCs with plenty of cooling and good power supplies. We’re also looking for future-proof graphics cards and a decent amount of RAM. Ideally, we’ll want our PC to have a solid-state drive, even if it’s just a small one for the OS.

Before we begin, here’s a quick look at the 7 prebuilt gaming PCs that made our final cut.

The 7 Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $1000 For 2019

PCCPU Base FrequencyGPURAM 
SkyTech Siege (Editor's Pick)3.5 GHzNvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti16GB DDR4
Centaurus Andromeda A23.4 GHz*
*Comes overclocked to 3.8 GHz
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB16GB DDR4
CUK Mantis2.8 GHzNvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB16GB DDR4
SkyTech Shadow3.8 GHzGTX 750 Ti 2GB8GB DDR3
Dell Inspiron 56753.4 GHzAMD Radeon RX 580 8GB8GB DDR4
CUK Continuum3.2 GHzAMD Radeon RX 580 4GB16GB DDR4
Dell Inspiron 81003.6 GHzNvidia GeForce GTX 1050 2GB8GB DDR4

SkyTech Siege

Best Gaming Pc Under 1000

About the PC

The first PC on our list is the SkyTech Siege. The thing that attracted us to this system was the liquid cooling system, which you won’t find on most PCs in this price range. It’s not strictly necessary, since there’s nothing in this rig that the standard case fans can’t handle, but it means you can upgrade or overclock your rig without having to worry about it overheating.

The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X processor clocks at 3.5 GHz, and can increase to 3.7 GHz for short bursts using AMD’s Turbo Boost technology. The benchmark for this CPU is better than some Intel Core i7s, and it’s a far better value for the money considering that the high-end Core i7s are so expensive.

The GPU is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, which is more or less the standard for modern games. You can do better, of course, and some of the PCs on our list do, but this GPU will still allow you to run Fallout 76 in Ultra mode.

The 16GB of DDR4 RAM meet the requirements of every game on the market today. If you want to upgrade down the road, there are 4 DIMM slots, which pushes your maximum capacity to 64GB with 4 16GB cards.

Like most gaming PCs, the SkyTech Siege has two hard drives: a 250GB SSD, and a 1TB HDD. This will give you fast boot times, and fast load times for your most frequently used games. If you play a lot of games, you’ll need to store some of them on the HDD, so plan accordingly.

If you have a lot of peripherals, the SkyTech Siege has you covered. It has two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and six USB 3.0 ports. It ships as a tower only, so make sure you have a mouse, keyboard and monitor ready to go.

Best Gaming Desktop Under 1000

Our Thoughts

We really like this PC. It’s not the best at any one thing, but there’s no significant drawback either. It just works, which is what a prebuilt gaming PC should do. We were originally attracted by the liquid cooling, but we stayed for the other features.

The only downside to the SkyTech Siege is that it doesn’t have a CD/DVD drive. If you want to install your old games from CDs, you’ll need to install an optical disc drive first. That said, most gamers these days get their games from Steam or GoG, so we don’t consider this a major drawback.

This PC will run any game on the market, and with a few tweaks it will be good for years of gaming. That said, the first thing you’ll need to replace will probably be the processor. 3.5 GHz is fast enough for now, but the maximum turbo boost of 3.7 GHz is a hard cap. Eventually, you’ll want a later generation Core i7, or a better processor that hasn’t been produced yet.

All in all, there’s a lot to like about this PC, and nothing to dislike. Just make sure you have your peripherals ready to go, or be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars on a mouse, monitor and keyboard if this is your first PC.

What We Loved

  • 3.5 GHz processor
  • GTX 1050 Ti graphics card
  • 16GB RAM upgradable to 64GB
  • 250GB SSD for fast load times
  • Liquid cooling system

What We Didn’t Like

  • No CD/DVD drive

Centaurus Andromeda A2

Best Prebuilt Gaming Pc

About the PC

The Centaurus Andromeda A2 is a purpose-built gaming PC with a lot to recommend it. In terms of sheer performance, it’s the best PC on our list, but there are other factors to consider as well. To begin with, let’s look at what it does well.

The AMD Ryzen 5 2600 processor has benchmark performance that’s better than any Intel processor other than the Core i7-8700, and even that high-end CPU only beats the Ryzen 5 2600 by a hair. Centaurus makes it even better by overclocking the CPU to 3.8 GHz out of the box.

This rig has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB GPU, which is even better than the 1050 Ti. Expect to run any current game on High or Ultra settings. Even notorious GPU hogs like Kingdom Come: Deliverance and Battlefield V will look fantastic on this PC.

Like the SkyTech Siege, the Andromeda A2 comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and is upgradable to 64GB if you put a 16GB stick in all four slots. Let’s be clear: by the time you need 64GB of RAM in your PC, you’ll be playing VR games on game consoles that haven’t even been invented yet.

This PC has a 1TB HDD , but no SSD. That’s not exactly a deal-breaker, but it does mean you’ll have longer boot and load times than you’ll get from a system with even a small SSD.

There’s enough connectivity on this box to get you going. It has two USB 3.0 ports on the top, and an additional four USB 2.0 ports on the back. This is plenty for standard peripherals, but you may need to invest in a USB hub if you have a large number of devices. It ships as the tower only, with no keyboard, mouse or monitor.

Best Gaming Computer Under 1000

Our Thoughts

There’s a lot to like about this rig, but it also has a couple of serious drawbacks that kept it from being our top choice despite its great features. Let’s start with the positives.

The 3.8 GHz processor and GTX 1060 3GB GPU are both the fastest on our list. In terms of performance, it’s hard to beat this machine without buying a significantly more expensive PC. It also has no preinstalled bloatware, just a clean copy of Windows 10. And it comes with a 3-year warranty, which is impressive from a custom build.

On the other hand, the lack of an SSD is disappointing. Every time you boot the Andromeda A2, you’ll wish you had one. This wouldn’t be so bad, except that the case only has room for one additional drive. If you add an SSD, you’ll be fresh out of space. And since Windows comes preinstalled on the HDD, you’ll still have to deal with long booting times, even though games will load faster.

This is a great build for people who want maximum performance and are willing to deal with longer load screens. If you want your games to load quickly, though, you’ll want to use a different system, or plan on investing some money in an SSD as soon as possible.

What We Loved

  • 3.8 GHz processor
  • Blazing fast GTX 1060 3GB GPU
  • 16GB RAM upgradable to 64GB
  • 3 120mm fans
  • 3-year warranty

What We Didn’t Like

  • No SSD
  • Limited space for expansion

CUK Mantis

Prebuilt Gaming Pc

About the PC

There were two things that attracted us to the CUK Mantis: the graphics card and the hard drive. Beyond that, this is a fairly average PC, but we thought we’d give it a shot nonetheless. Let’s see how it stacks up.

The Intel Core i5-8400 CPU benchmarks even better than some Core i7 CPUs, mostly because it has six cores. This is nice in theory, but in practice the 2.8 GHz clock speed is going to be too slow for most modern games. If you’re comfortable overclocking your processor, this one can run as high as 4.1 GHz with an upgraded heat sink, but that’s going to cost extra money.

Like the Centaurus Andromeda A2, the CUK Mantis has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB GPU. This is a top-tier GPU that will be current for years to come, but the low CPU speed will bottleneck your performance out of the box.

This PC ships with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and is upgradable to 64GB. We’ve already beaten that horse to death, so suffice it to say that you’re not going to run into any RAM issues for some time.

The Mantis has a 500GB SSD, which is big enough to run a decent-sized number of games without the need for extra storage. You’ll get lightning-fast load speeds, although true game addicts will want to add an HDD for extra storage.

There are two USB 2.0 ports on the top of the box, as well as a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port and a USB 3.0 port. An additional four USB 3.0 ports provide plenty of connectivity. It ships with a gaming mouse and gaming keyboard, but you’ll need to use your old monitor or buy a new one.

Prebuilt Gaming Pc

Our Thoughts

We wanted to like this machine, and to be fair there’s a lot to like. While the 2.8 GHz processor is fairly slow, it’s easy to overclock, and the six 120mm cooling fans provide plenty of airflow to get this done without melting anything in your rig.

The real disappointment here was the case, which is made from flimsy plastic. The ports all feel loose, including the HDMI port, which is loose enough that your screen will flicker if you’re an aggressive typer. Considering that a case is one of the cheapest parts of a PC, this really struck a nerve. There’s simply no excuse for not putting an extra $20 into getting a decent case.

If that’s not enough, the Mantis also doesn’t have a wireless card. Sure, they’re cheap, and sure, you can just use an Ethernet cable to get online, but this is a basic, basic feature that we’d expect to see in any $1000 prebuilt gaming PC.

That said, the GPU is one of the best that money can buy, and the 3-year warranty is better than you’ll find on most custom-built PCs. If you’re willing to deal with the drawbacks, the Mantis is a solid gaming PC.

What We Loved

  • Powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB GPU
  • 500GB solid state drive
  • 6 120mm cooling fans
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Comes with gaming mouse and gaming keyboard

What We Didn’t Like

  • You’ll need to overclock the CPU immediately
  • Weak, plastic case
  • No wireless card

SkyTech Shadow

Best Pre Built Gaming Pc

About the PC

While we were hesitant to review the SkyTech Shadow based on its specs, we decided to give it a shot since it has a fast processor, and because SkyTech is a quality brand. We also liked the case, because it just looks awesome.

The AMD FX-4300 Quad-Core CPU is one of the most powerful on the market, with a base frequency of 3.8 GHz. That said, it falls short of most Core i7 processors on benchmark tests, mostly because the i7 line processors are either six or eight cores. It’s still a beast, though, and can run at 4.0 Ghz for short periods with turbo boost.

The Shadow has a GTX 750 Ti 2GB GPU, which is less powerful than the GTX 1050 2GB, never mind the 1050 Ti. It will still run any game on Steam, but don’t expect to run PUBG on anything higher than medium settings.

We didn’t mind the fact that this PC only has 8GB of RAM. That’s still enough for most games, and RAM is a cheap upgrade. Unfortunately, there are only 2 DIMM slots, and they’re DDR3. This effectively limits you to 32GB of RAM, and only then if you’re willing to drop a small fortune on 16GB DDR3 chips.

For storage, this rig has a 1TB HDD, with no SSD. This is plenty of storage space, but the absence of an SSD means you’ll need to expect longer load and boot times.

The Shadow has 2 USB 3.0 ports and 7 USB 2.0 ports, which should be plenty for all your peripherals. It also includes a keyboard and mouse, although they’re just standard peripherals, not optimized for gaming. You’ll need to provide your own monitor.

Gaming Pcs Under 1000

Our Thoughts

Wow. What a disappointment. We thought a SkyTech gaming PC with a 3.8 GHz processor would at least be halfway decent, but the processor is one of the few good points about this system. The other major selling point is the fact that it comes with a clean Windows 10 install with no bloatware, but we expect that from any custom built PC.

The graphics card is decent, but it’s barely good enough to run current games, never mind being future-proof. In a $500 PC, it would be a great deal, but for $1000 we’d like to see a GeForce GTX 1050 2GB at a bare minimum.

And why are they still using DDR3 RAM? DDR4 has “only” been the standard since 2008. This is another serious oversight, which will lead to frustration in the future if RAM of all things ends up being your major speed bottleneck. Couple this with the lack of an SSD and you have a decent PC that’s hobbled by slow load times, slow boot times, and lots of texture pop-in even on medium settings.

To be fair, there’s plenty of room in the case for expansion. You can add an SSD for relatively cheap. Still, a modern gaming PC should have more features. As much as we like SkyTech, the Shadow is at most an $800 PC. If you’re willing to spend $1000 on a prebuilt gaming PC, spend it on a rig that has more features.

What We Loved

  • 3.8 GHz processor
  • No bloatware
  • Keyboard and mouse included
  • Plenty of room for expansion

What We Didn’t Like

  • Underwhelming graphics card
  • DDR3 RAM
  • No SSD

Dell Inspiron 5675

Best Prebuilt Gaming Pc Under 1000

About the PC

Dell PCs have their own unique set of pros and cons. On the one hand, they’re one of the oldest custom PC builders in the business, so they know what they’re doing. On the other hand, they’re notorious for going cheap with their motherboards and power supplies, so you’ll tend to have limited upgrade options.

The Inspirons 5675’s AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU is reasonably fast. It has a base frequency of 3.4 GHz, and can briefly run at 3.8 GHz with turbo boost. Its benchmark rating is better than most Intel Core i7 CPUs, with the exception of the 8700.

The AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB graphics card falls squarely in the middle of the pack. It’s not the most advanced GPU out there, but you’ll be able to run most current games on Medium or High settings. At the end of the day, though, you’re going to want an upgrade if you want to keep gaming on this rig through 2024.

The biggest disappointment here is the RAM. It only has 8GB, which isn’t terrible, but the maximum amount is 32GB. This is plenty of RAM for the foreseeable future, but this speaks to one of Dell’s frequent issues: skimping on the motherboard. Any gaming PC should have 4 DIMM slots, and the fact that this one only takes two RAM chips is disappointing, if predictable.

The 1TB HDD will be more than enough to hold your entire game library, but there’s no SSD. Expect booting and loading times to be longer than you’d get on an equivalent PC with an SSD.

This rig does have a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port which will support your bleeding-edge peripherals, and also sports six USB 3.0 ports for everything else. This isn’t a ton of connectivity, but it should be enough for most gamers. It ships with a keyboard and mouse, but not a monitor.

Best Gaming Pc

Our Thoughts

This PC is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the processor is blazing fast, more than sufficient to run games for the next several years. The GPU is also reasonably good, and it has a dual-layer DVD burner for gamers who like to sail the high seas for some of their games – not that we condone that.

The lack of an SSD is a drawback, but it isn’t a huge deal considering that the case has two expansion slots. At most, you’re looking at a couple of hundred dollars to outfit this rig with a faster drive. The 8GB of RAM falls into this same category of “disappointing, but fixable”.

These drawbacks speak to Dell’s cheapness, though, since they ultimately went with a sub-par motherboard and power supply. If you want to upgrade the graphics card, expect to replace the PSU, a baffling decision for a gaming PC.

On the plus side, this is a Dell system, which means you can count on Dell support if you run into any issues. Consider this PC if you’re buying your first gaming PC, if only because you’re unlikely to have any funky manufacturer-related problems. If you’re a PC expert, or if you’re looking for a future-proof system, there are better gaming PCs available at this price.

What We Loved

  • 3.4 GHz processor with 3.8 GHz turbo boost
  • AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB graphics card
  • Dual-layer DVD burner
  • Includes a mouse and keyboard
  • Dell warranty and support

What We Didn’t Like

  • No SSD
  • Only 8GB of RAM

CUK Continuum

Gaming Desktops Under 1000

About the PC

We were excited to review the CUK Continuum because it’s a custom-built gaming PC with a solid processor and graphics card. The five 120mm cooling fans also give it plenty of potential for overclocking and upgrades.

Let’s start with the CPU, which is truly impressive. The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X’s base clock speed of 3.7 GHz is already good, but it can be overclocked up to 4.3 GHz with a good cooling system, which the Continuum has. It outperforms the Core i7 8700 on benchmark tests, which makes it the most powerful GPU we’ve looked at.

The AMD RX 580 4 GB GPU is the same one as the Inspiron 5675, with all the same pros and cons. You won’t have any trouble running today’s games, but expect to upgrade this in a couple of years if you want to stay current.

The 16GB of DDR4 RAM can be upgraded to 64GB. In this respect, the system is infinitely future-proof, and the presence of 4 DIMM slots speaks to a high-quality motherboard.

The CUK Continuum has a 500GB SSD, which ties it with the largest SSD of any PC we’ve reviewed. This is enough to hold virtually any game library. If you need more space, there’s no HDD, but there’s enough expansion space to add one if you need it.

The box has two USB 2.0 ports and six USB 3.0 ports, more than enough to connect all your devices. It ships with an LED lit gaming keyboard and mouse, but not a monitor. It also comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty, which is one of the best in the prebuilt PC business.

Best Gaming Computer

Our Thoughts

The CUK Continuum is an awesome gaming PC. The GPU is good enough for now, and the processor is fast enough to handle large, multiplayer Civilization VI matches without overclocking it.

The only thing that kept this PC from being our top choice was the lack of an HDD for extra storage. While the 500GB SSD should be enough for most people, there are just too many ways to use up that much space. Ideally, you’ll want more storage. There’s plenty of room for another drive, but you’ll have to pay for it.

While this wasn’t our top choice, we recommend it for anyone who doesn’t need a ton of storage. If your PC is going to be a straight-up gaming rig, and you’re not using it for music, movies or other storage-intensive applications, the CUK is the best prebuilt gaming PC under $1000.

What We Loved

  • 500GB SSD
  • AMD RX 580 4GB GPU
  • 5 120mm fans
  • 16GB RAM upgradable to 64GB
  • CPU can overclock to 4.3 GHz

What We Didn’t Like

  • No HDD for extra space

Dell Inspiron 8100

Pre Built Gaming Pc

About the PC

For our last entry, we took our chances with another Dell machine. Was it the best on our list? No. Was it even close? No. That said, it was still worth giving a shot, and there are some good points to look at.

The Intel Core i3-8100 CPU has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz, which was attractive when we first looked at it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stack up well on benchmark tests. It comes in lower than the entire Intel Core i7 series, although it’s one of the best CPUs you can get for the money if you’re buying a standalone processor.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 2GB is powerful enough to run any game on the market right now, but many of them will need to run at low settings. Expect significant drops in framerate if you’re running a GPU-intensive game like Kingdom Come: Deliverance or Battlefield V.

As with the Inspiron 5675, the RAM on the 8100 isn’t a problem in and of itself. 8GB is sufficient for most games, and can be upgraded to 32GB. But the motherboard itself is disappointing. There’s no reason not to have four DIMM slots on a $1000 PC.

While the 1TB HDD has plenty of space, the absence of an SSD is disappointing on a gaming rig. Load times and boot times will be longer than you’d get from a PC with even a small SSD.

There are six USB 3.0 ports on the box, and two USB 2.0 ports. This is plenty to attach all your peripherals. Like other Dell PCs, the Inspiron 8100 comes with a mouse and keyboard.

Best Gaming Computers Under 1000

Our Thoughts

The only good thing about this PC is the fact that you’ll get a Dell warranty and Dell support. Other than that, it’s a serious disappointment.

On paper, it’s pretty good. A 3.6 GHz CPU should be good enough for any new game, but the poor benchmark results are disappointing. The emphasis on value over quality is standard for Dell, but a CPU this bad is simply not acceptable in a $1000 PC. Add to that the sub-par motherboard and the lack of an SSD, and you have a good PC that simply isn’t a gaming PC.

That’s not to say this isn’t a good PC. It’s just not a good PC for gaming. Ultimately, Dells are made for office work, and the lack of features on this rig are a perfect example of why this is the case.

What We Loved

  • Reasonably good GPU
  • Dell warranty and service
  • 3.6 GHz CPU

What We Didn’t Like

  • Only 8GB of RAM
  • No SSD
  • Poor processor benchmarks

Do You Need a $1000 Prebuilt Gaming PC?

Whether or not you need a $1000 prebuilt gaming PC will depend on your exact needs.

$1000 is the tipping point between “good enough” and “good enough for the last several years”, so the first thing you’ll want to consider is which games you want to play. We know lots of people who are still happily playing Skyrim, which is reasonable considering the fact that new mods are available on a daily basis.

If you’re one of those people, you don’t need a $1000 PC. An $800 prebuilt gaming PC will be more than enough for your needs, and you can even get away with a $500 system if you don’t mind running the game at lower settings. The right $800 system will run virtually any game on the market right now, so consider one of those if you’re strapped for cash and just want to play Fortnite with your friends.

On the other hand, you may want a PC that can run Kingdom Come: Deliverance at maximum settings. These $1000 PCs will run it, but you won’t be able to get graphics that look this good.

People who are looking for bleeding-edge performance will need to drop $1500, $2000 or more on their PC. On the one hand, you’ll get eye-popping visuals with one of these systems. On the other hand, every dollar you invest will get you less and less extra performance. For example, a Nvidia GeForce 1080 Ti graphics card costs almost four times as much as the 1050 Ti, and while it’s certainly better, it’s not four times as good. At most, it will let you take your game settings from “High” to “Ultra”.

The other way to get the ultimate badass gaming PC is to build your own. For $1000, you can build a PC that’s not only better than anything on our list, but better than a lot of the $1500 PCs on the market. If you’re interested in giving it a shot, check out some of our PC builds to see what you can get for your money.

Building your own system may sound intimidating, but it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Here’s a thorough guide that will tell you everything you need to know.

The Best $1000 Prebuilt Gaming PC of 2019

As we said at the beginning of this review, any PC you buy in this price range will involve some kind of tradeoff. Depending on what kind of games you play and what features are most important to you, there are several candidates that could be considered the best. So before we talk about our top $1000 prebuilt gaming PC, let’s look at two of the runners-up.

Best Gaming Pc For 1000

The second runner-up is the CUK Continuum. This is the PC with the fastest load time, thanks to the 500GB SSD. There’s plenty of space on this drive for a Steam library, so you’ll be able to keep several games at once without needing to do much drive management. The AMD Ryzen RX 580 4GB GPU will run any current game, although you’ll probably want to upgrade it soon.

It has a fast processor, overclockable to 4.1 GHz, and will support enough RAM to handle a SpaceX launch. The downside? It doesn’t have an HDD, so that 500GB SSD is all the storage you get.

Best Prebuilt Gaming Pc

The first runner-up is the Centaurus Andromeda A2, which has a GTX 1060 3GB graphics card. This card will continue to run new games for the foreseeable future, and is the best you’ll get without spending close to $1000 on a GPU alone. It also has plenty of RAM, and the processor ships already overclocked to 3.8 GHz.

There’s limited room for expansion, which wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for this PC’s other limitation: it only has an HDD, so your boot and load times will suffer. If not for that, the Centaurus Andromeda A2 would have been our top choice. That said, if you’re looking for top-notch graphics and aren’t concerned about longer load times, this is a great choice.

Prebuilt Pc

Our choice for best $1000 prebuilt gaming PC is the SkyTech Siege. Although its GTX 1050 Ti graphics card isn’t quite as good as the 1060 3GB, it’s still a great GPU. Likewise, the 3.5GHz quad-core CPU isn’t the fastest you can buy, but it’s fast enough to get the job done. It also has a liquid cooling system, which is practically unheard-of in this price range. That means you can upgrade it to your heart’s content, with the confidence that your rig isn’t going to overheat.

The SkyTech Siege isn’t the best in any single category, but it’s a solid PC without any serious limitations. And that’s why it’s our top choice.

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