If you're like me and do more than just game on your computer, you need something that not only operates well with AAA titles but that does a good job running all the other software you use. Here's a look at a couple of builds in the $1,000 price point that do a good job of both.
In the past, I've discussed the advantages of having a good gaming monitor, mechanical keyboard, and mouse to use for your favorite games. So, if you like this post be sure to go and check that out as well.
Gaming Processors Around $200
In my opinion, there are a few processors that really give you a good value here. In 2019, you should be taking a look at the i5-9400F, i5-9600k, and the Ryzen 5 3600(X). All of these processors offer incredible value for what you spend. Something I wouldn't have said a couple of years ago.
Intel's i5-9400 and i5-9600k give you 6 cores of processing power. The i5-9600k can be overclocked and may give you a few extra frames per second; however, it's hard to ignore the i5-9400F's $150 price tag. Throw it in a budget build along with a cheap B365 motherboard and you've got a stellar performing build cor cheap.
What about AMD?
AMD's Ryzen 5 3600(X) offers you 6 cores and 12 threads for a similar price. Overclock it and you'll get some extra frames in games. IPC for the Ryzen 3000 series is much improved vs the previous generation but it still falls a few frames short in games. In my opinion, this is made up by having the extra threads. This should be especially important to you if you do a lot of rendering or multi-threaded tasks.
Games that take advantage of a lot of cores now and in the future may even play better with the Ryzen 5's 12 threads. Ultimately, you'll have to decide what you think is most important.
A Good CPU Cooler Under $50
In the under $50 space, there's one CPU cooler that for me really sticks out above the rest. The Hyper 212 Evo from Cooler Master is usually available for around $30 and is one of the better options below $75. At that price range, I'd recommend you look at other coolers including the Noctua 6 for air cooling, or NZXT Kraken, NH-D15, or Corsair Hydro series for water cooling.
The Cryorig H7 is another top performer for the money and my choice for the Ryzen 5 rig assuming you want to overclock. If you don't, just stick with the stock cooler.
$300 to $400 Budget Gaming Graphics Card - What to Choose?
If you were building this today and had to have it right now, I'd tell you to go with the GTX 1660 Ti or to try and reach for the RTX 2060 Super. Going with something like the i5-9400F may give you the budget room you need if you're budget is strictly $1,000.
RTX 2060 Super Benchmark
A Good Power Supply Under $75
I've always been a fan of spending a little bit more on your power supply. By spending more I don't mean you go with more capacity but rather better quality. For this build, I'm recommending a power supply I put on my tier 1 list in the EVGA SuperNova NEX. The 650W version can be as cheap as $70 if you find it on rebate. This build uses just under 481W at full load so that should be more than adequate.
Future Power Usage:
If you're wanting to go with a Dual GPU configuration in the future, it might be advisable to go with the 750W version as it's not that much more.
How Much Power Do You Really Need?
This build shouldn't draw more than 356W from the wall. So, if you'd prefer to go with the 550W SuperNova version and can find it cheaper, it's certainly an option.
An Inexpensive Alternative
There are 80 PLUS power supplies that are cheaper than the one I've recommended that are still energy efficient and relatively good quality. Something like Corsair's VS 550 can save you quite a bit of money and especially if it's on rebate and sale at the same time.
A Good Gaming Case for Around $50
Since we're looking for max FPS with this build I didn't want to recommend a computer case that was going to take anything away from more crucial components. That being said if you go with the Corsair Carbide 200R, NZXT Source 210, Cooler Master Elite 430, Rosewill Challenger, or Haf 912, then you still get a great gaming case for under $50.
Another Good Gaming Case Option:
I currently use the Fractal Design R5 in my personal build. If you're willing to stretch around $50 it gives you a few more up-to-date features and has a great new look.
Coffee Lake Z370 and AMD AM4 Motherboards from $100 to $130
If you go with a Coffee Lake processor, you'll need a compatible motherboard. The Z370 or Z390 chipset is a good option.
Right now I like The MSI Z390-a Pro and Asus' Z370-p series as a budget option for around $130. It's inexpensive and has the features that most builders in this price range are looking for.
AMD Ryzen builders will want an AMD AM4 X370 or B350 motherboard in a similar price range. B350 probably makes more sense for those of you not planning to use a dual GPU setup.
These boards are decent for overclocking and won't cost you a fortune. The ASRock Pro line and Gigabyte UD3 lineup are also very reasonable options with plenty of features for most.
Other Hardware and Parts
Ram and CAS Latency
I think there's a misconception when it comes to ram and CAS Latency. While CAS is certainly something to consider for editing, lower CAS latency won't really help you when it comes to better in-game performance.
Buy RAM that's affordable, reliable, and does a good job. I recommend something like G. Skill's Ripjaw series or Kingston's Hyper-X gaming ram which not only looks good but fits most budgets.
How much ram do you really need?
For this build, I'm recommending a total of 8GB of ram in order to afford the higher end graphics card and processor listed above. This is easy to upgrade down the road if you feel like it's insufficient.
For this build, you can choose any number of DDR4 kits. Higher speed is preferable and especially so if you go with a Ryzen CPU. For that reason, I'm recommending 8GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000MHz memory. Yes, there are cheaper options. However, I think this will be a good way to go for most.
Intel and AMD $1,000 Gaming PC Build - Final Thoughts and Summary
|Part||$1,000 Intel Build||$1,000 AMD Build|
Ryzen 5 2600(x optional)
MSI Z390-A PRO
MSI B450 Tomahawk
EVGA SuperNova G2 550W
EVGA SuperNova G2 550W
2x4GB Kit Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4
2x4GB Kit Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4
Corsair Carbide 200R
Corsair Carbide 200R
Cooler Master Hype 212 Evor
WD Caviar Blue 1TB WD Blue 250GB M.2 SSD
WD Caviar Blue 1TB WD Blue 250GB M.2 SSD
Storage Solution - SSD and HDD
Today, I can't imagine building a PC without a solid state drive. We're going with an inexpensive 250GB M.2 option in the WD Blue 250. This is more than enough room for your OS and favorite programs.
In addition, we're going with a fast hard drive in the Western Digital Caviar Blue that's 7200RPM with a 1TB capacity. An additional TB can be found in the Hitachi Deskstar series for around $20 more.
While your hard drive is certainly important for functionality it's not that important in terms of in-game performance. Try to find a 7200RPM hard drive that fits within your budget and has the amount of capacity you need. For DVD drives, I generally try to find one that's around $20 as I tend to use it only on occasion.
Finding the Right Graphics Card for Your Needs
In order to reach a higher frame rate in graphically intense games, you'll need to get a good graphics card. Understanding at each price point what the best option is for the game you play is essential. For example, graphics card recommendations for BF4 could vary substantially from what I'd recommend on another graphically intense game.
Also, while you can gain a significant performance boost by going with a SLI or Crossfire configuration, there can be stability advantages to simply going with single card. In other words, if you're willing to work with your graphics card in terms of cooling and stability to get it where you want, then a dual setup could be the way to go; however, if you don't want to mess with it, then you can still get great performance, at this price point, out of a single GPU.
Is Overclocking Worth It Here?
In our $750 build, it wasn't really worth it to upgrade to all the components we needed to do a substantial amount of overclocking. Upgrading components was a bigger priority at that budget.
For a budget of $1,000, you can really start thinking about getting the most out of the components you purchase. For this build, I'll be including a CPU cooler and an unlocked processor. That being said, the argument could still be made that putting that money towards your GPU, more hard drive space, or even a better case might be a better solution.
It's amazing how far we've come in a couple of years. The Skylake i5 solution along with GTX 1070 graphics card from NVIDIA should provide you high frame rates for 1080p or even 1440p performance. It should last you for many years to come.
That being said, the Intel and AMD debate is definitely on for 2017. Early reports show that AMD Vega and Ryzen options will be very competitive. Let me know in the poll above whether you'd prefer an Intel or AMD-based build for future posts. Also, feel free to ask me any question you may have about this build in the comment area below.
- Best Budget $500 Gaming PC Build Vs Console 2019
Looking for a good $500 Gaming PC? Why not build your own computer? Here's a look at the parts we'd recommend for a custom $500 Gaming PC.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: How much more would it cost me to upgrade my PC to 16 gigs?
Answer: If we're assuming 8GB of DDR4 memory, the amount would be $80 to $100.
Question: Will this PC be able to stream games?
Answer: Yes. Of course, there are a lot of variables here as well.
Question: What kind of power supply should I use for this PC build?
Answer: It depends on your total budget, but assuming that it's around $1,000 and you live in the US, I'd go for something like the EVGA SuperNova series.
What's the Best Under $1,000 Build You Can Come Up With?
pabble on June 04, 2018:
No offense but your 1000$ "budget build" is more likely around 1400-1500 price range. I don t even know where you get those prices from. Gtx 1070 itself is so expensive that you could make separete build out of it with it s cost.
Colby Kozaric on April 21, 2018:
Instead of using the case for this build, can i use a Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-04 Tempered Glass Case Black Red?
Just to give it a better look?
Brandon Hart (author) from The Game on February 06, 2018:
It is if you can get a GPU at MSRP. Try NVIDIA's website and join the wait list there or ride out the cryptocurrency storm that's making all of these GPUs overpriced.
Jorge on February 04, 2018:
I want to build my first pc with i5 8400 gtx 1070 and 4×2 8gb ram is that possible under 1000 € ?
Brandon Hart (author) from The Game on January 31, 2018:
Right now the GPU market is unstable. I'd go ahead and build the system I recommended above and wait until you can get a decent price on a GPU.
Oscar Collier on January 30, 2018:
Hey, I am building a $1000 computer. I would like to make a 1440p gaming system. Could you help me build a system that will last a while with at least a TB storage and 16 gb of ram as well as a monitor (All together can go a bit over). Any builds you can think of that can achieve that?
Brandon Hart (author) from The Game on January 23, 2018:
I suggest the NVIDIA website - there they sell GPUs for MSRP but are first come first serve.
Leon on January 21, 2018:
This is over $1000
GG To All Gamers on January 21, 2018:
A~ 1070 is now retailed at around 1k usd, to all gamers your hope of vr and 4k is all lost, you welcome (all graphics about 1050 has increased price by at least 200 usd)
Tom Hewetson on January 20, 2018:
What would the FPS be on Fortnite Battle Royale with the Intel build and is 8 GB RAM enough for the most demanding Games like Battlefield 1 and The Witcher 3 and PUBG.
Brandon Hart (author) from The Game on January 18, 2018:
What's your budget?
Green on January 17, 2018:
Ok so I'm new to pc and building pc but my uncle has before I was wondering what monitor should I use with this build
Brandon Hart (author) from The Game on December 11, 2017:
It'll run three monitors... however, depending on the game it may or may not be as smooth. I've run three monitors on much worse tbh :)
Romeo on December 09, 2017:
Hi! you think i can run a triple monitor setup with any of this 2 builds?
Brandon Hart (author) from The Game on December 01, 2017:
Yes although you'll want to get a Z270 mobo instead.
Jesse on November 30, 2017:
instead of the i5-8400 can I use the i5-7600k
Brandon Hart (author) from The Game on November 28, 2017:
The chart is the most correct. I update this article regularly but when I changed it the last time I probably forgot that location. Thanks for the heads up.
Buck russell on November 27, 2017:
The storage in the article and the storage on the chart seem different. 240 gb compared to 128 GB. I've been following this build exactly since all the parts have great reviews but what storage do I need to optimize my unit? Thank for all the help.
Brandon Hart (author) from The Game on November 26, 2017:
These orders usually include prices from all online retailers. So, you might have to search around a bit.
Skythz on November 24, 2017:
Missing links to all of the products, after researching a bit myself the price was $1300, am I doing something wrong? (I use the intel build)
Dankan on November 14, 2017:
is 1070 good enough compared to 1080?
Brandon Hart (author) from The Game on September 12, 2016:
Solid state drives are cheap enough now that I wouldn't recommend a hybrid option.
Preston on August 13, 2016:
Instead of having a SSD and a Hard Drive would a hybrid work?
YoBro on December 22, 2013:
Can I upgrade the PSU to somewhat as 650W? What would you recommend? (Im no good with computers)
Mitchell on December 17, 2013:
Also, Is a card reader needed? thanks!
Mitchell on December 17, 2013:
Is there any additional parts needed for this build? Excuse my ignorance, i have never built a gaming pc before. Also, how does this thing handle larger, open world games at max settings?
Brandon Hart (author) from The Game on December 16, 2013:
Yeah, and it's always hard to say. It'd be nice to get exact benchmarks for each brand and type of card, but we rarely get to see that.
Tyler on December 14, 2013:
Hey, I bought everything and even got the storm enforce but I also got the super clocked edition of the graphics card, I assume that it's just like a faster edition or something and it's pretty much the same build, what I'm trying to ask is will the super clocked edition work with the build? Please respond
Travis on November 30, 2013:
Hey, I had someone inform me that the cpu selected might bottleneck with the selected graphics card. Did you find this to be the case?
Brandon Hart (author) from The Game on November 17, 2013:
Yes, it is. The 600 watts should be plenty.
Doctor Proctor on November 16, 2013:
Is this build compatible with a Sapphire r9 290 graphics card?
Parker on November 08, 2013:
Is there a need for a SSD? What kind of performance upgrade would we see with one?
Brandon Hart (author) from The Game on November 08, 2013:
Honestly it's something that you need to pick up and do. If possible, you'll want to grab someone who has done it before, but once you get into it you'll be surprised how easy it is.
Parker on November 07, 2013:
Any advice on assembly?
Brandon Hart (author) from The Game on November 06, 2013:
Yes, that's a great case. It's the one I'm using on my main rig. Even does a good job with my CPU cooler.
Max on November 06, 2013:
Just making sure, are all these parts comparable and do they all fit into the storm enforcer?
Jon on November 03, 2013:
How long would you predict before this rig isn't able to play any new graphics intensive games at maxed out ultra settings? ie. the hardware required to run these new games on maxed out ultra exceeds the maximum performance of this setup?
Someone on October 29, 2013:
Can you tell what the Fps in bf4 is?
Brandon Hart (author) from The Game on October 24, 2013:
Yes they work together. FPS should be around 91 on ultra BF3.
Joe on October 24, 2013:
Do these parts actually work together? Can someone tell me the FPS on BF3
Gabriel on September 30, 2013:
Hey, great build :)