The $1,000 Build

Looking to build the best PC possible for $1,000? You just found it! This guide will set you up with a system that provides excellent performance, quiet operation, and ease of assembly, all at a great price. If you're ready to build a PC that can handle anything you could throw at it, from gaming to streaming to productivity, just follow this guide to get the best component picks.

For October 2019, this build gets a huge upgrade to AMD's latest Zen 2 architecture, in the form of the amazing Ryzen 5 3600 six-core CPU, which we crowned the greatest mainstream CPU ever released in our recent review. It absolutely blows away anything Intel has to offer in its price range, while also offering tremendous efficiency and a great cooler right in the box. And it's supporting its stablemate, AMD's fantastic Radeon RX 5700 8GB video card, by far the best GPU ever released under $350, which will be able to drive any game at 1080p, and can even hold its own at 1440p. Keeping this system fed is 16GB of high-speed DDR4-3200 RAM, along with an ultra-fast 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, which is also a tremendous bargain thanks to price cuts. The PC is housed in the compact yet stylish Cooler Master NR400 micro ATX mini-tower case and powered by an efficient 450W power supply. And take note: if you need a monitor or peripherals, we have some great recommendations for you at the end of this guide.

Want to see how our component picks have changed over the years at this pricepoint? Then flip over to our $1,000 Build Archive page. Note that pricing and availability for midrange components change constantly, and we use real-time pricing engines so you always see the most up-to-date prices available. Links to Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Germany are also provided for each component category, with regional substitutions made based on availability. To support this site, please use these links if you purchase any of the products we list. 

The $1,000 Gaming / Productivity PC - October 2019

    CPU:

    AMD Ryzen 5 3600

    The king is dead, long live the king! Not only does AMD have faster CPUs than Intel, it's also actually able to produce its CPUs in quantity, which has been a challenge for Intel all year. So step up to next-gen power with the Ryzen 5 3600, a six-core, 12-thread CPU that easily beats anything Intel has ever offered anywhere near this price range. Learn more about this powerhouse CPU in our full hands-on review!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Another area where AMD dominates Intel is in the quality of the included cooler. We've received a lot of complaints about Intel's dinky cooler included with its Core i5 processors. Well, the Wraith Stealth included with the 3600 is the real deal, offering great performance and quiet operation! It actually earned an honorable mention in our recent low-profile cooler review!

    Motherboard:

    MSI B450M PRO-M2 Max

    Finally, affordable motherboards have arrived that support the awesome Ryzen 3000 series, and they come in the form of MSI's B450 Max series. Don't confuse MSI's Max boards with any other boards on the market - they are the only B450 boards that come with the proper firmware to support the amazing Ryzen 5 3600!

    The Guru's Tip:

    The graphics ports on this board will not operate when used with the recommended CPU. That's why you'll want the monster graphics card below!

    Video Card:

    Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 8GB

    For this build, we go with the best GPU ever released under $400, the new RX 5700 8GB. With performance that easily beats the GeForce RTX 2060 at a lower price, it's a great value and a true gaming powerhouse. It's also exceptionally efficient, meaning it will run cool and quiet in this system.

    The Guru's Tip:

    You'll receive code for your choice of Ghost Recon Breakpoint or Borderlands 3 with your purchase of this card, now through Dec. 31st!

    Memory:

    Ballistix 2x8GB Sport LT DDR4-3200 CL16

    With prices dropping like a rock on high-end RAM kits, we can now squeeze a whole lot of performance and capacity into your system by going with a 16GB DDR4-3200 kit. It will help you make the most of your snazzy new 3rd-gen Ryzen system, which fully supports this ultra-high RAM speed!

    The Guru's Tip:

    To reach the rated speed of this kit, make sure to enable the XMP profile in the motherboard BIOS.

    Solid-State Drive:

    Crucial P1 1TB NVMe

    A massive price war in the SSD market is leading to better values every month, and the latest star is the Crucial P1 1TB, by far the best drive at its pricepoint! It features QLC NAND and the ultra-fast PCIe interface, allowing it to blow past similarly-priced SATA drives!

    The Guru's Tip:

    To install this drive, install it in the motherboard's upper (long) M.2 slot using a jeweler's-type screwdriver.

    Case:

    Cooler Master MasterBox NR400

    The bargain-priced case offers tremendous features and style for the price. It has a tempered glass side panel to give it a touch of class, two quiet 120mm fans, plus a sleek mesh front panel for understated looks combined with great airflow.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that this is a micro ATX case, meaning it has a much more compact form factor than a traditional tower. Just make sure not to buy an ATX motherboard for it (we of course list an mATX board in this guide!).

    Power Supply:

    Seasonic S12III 450 SSR-450GB3

    This PSU easily beats every competitor in its price class, offering top-notch quality, Bronze-rated efficiency, a 5-year warranty, and a 120mm fan.

    The Guru's Tip:

    With 450W of power on tap, it has plenty of headroom to keep this system going for years, even with significant upgrades, including more powerful video cards. As configured, this system will only require about 250W, well under the peak capacity of this power supply.

    Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 Flash Drive

    There's no doubt about it: Windows 10 is the best Windows ever, and it keeps getting better thanks to the major updates that Microsoft issues every spring and fall.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This USB 3.0 version of W10 loads in under 5 minutes!

Optional Components

    Wireless Card:

    TP-LINK Archer T6E AC1300

    Add high-speed 802.11ac wireless networking to your system with this awesome, low-priced PCIe adapter from TP-Link!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This is far better than the tiny USB-based adapters you'll find all over the 'Net. They are worthless!

    The Budget Gaming Keyboard:

    Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard

    An excellent keyboard at a great price, the G213 from Logitech sets the standard by which all others are judged at the $50 pricepoint. You get a high-quality keyboard with dedicated media keys, programmable keys, and RGB lighting.

    The Guru's Tip:

    We really don't recommend wireless keyboards at all, and certainly not at this pricepoint, as the potential for connection dropouts is fairly significant, and there's little benefit to a wireless keyboard anyway, since it doesn't move.

    The Deluxe Wireless Mouse:

    Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse

    There's no better mouse under $40 than the G602 from Logitech. It offers the freedom of a wireless connection along with great battery life, an adjustable DPI, and a comfortable grip.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Read our full review of this mouse right here!

    The 23-inch General-Purpose Monitor:

    HP VH240a IPS

    Offering mind-blowing value in the mid-range segment, this new monitor from HP packs in all the features you've come to expect from $200+ monitors, but at just over half the price. That includes a high-quality IPS panel with excellent viewing angles, a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and a fully-adjustable stand, critical for setting up an ergonomic work space.

    The Guru's Tip:

    If you're a gamer and you've got the budget for it, do yourself a favor and upgrade to the ~$200 Acer XFA240. With its 144Hz TN-based 1080p panel, it loses the color quality of a 60Hz IPS-based panel, but offers vastly superior motion clarity thanks not only to its far higher refresh rate. It also has FreeSync technology, which provides mind-blowing smoothness as it syncs frame rendering to frame output, eliminating lag and tearing completely. And while this used to work only with AMD GPUs, Nvidia has now adopted FreeSync in its latest drivers!