Best $1,000 Gaming PC Build

CRITICAL COVID-19 NOTICE: We're working hard to update our guides daily with in-stock items selling at or below MSRP to ensure you get a great system and a great deal during this crisis. Unfortunately, all motherboards must now be backordered, and the same is true of some video cards and power supplies. Luckily, according to our proprietary shipment data, we can confirm that all in-stock products ordered by our readers are still shipping out daily, and if the product is in stock, you WILL get it within a few days!

Looking to build the best PC possible for under $1,000? You just found it! This guide will set you up with a build that offers 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 June 2020, this build continues to feature AMD's amazing Ryzen 5 3600 six-core CPU, which we crowned the greatest mainstream CPU ever released in our full review. While Intel has tried to counter the Ryzen 5 with a new 10th-Gen Intel Core processor, the total platform cost is still far, far higher with Intel for the same performance. For the video card, our top pick is the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT, the best GPU under $300. But take note, these and all mid-range GPUs are flying off store shelves, so you may have to backorder it! Keeping this build fed is 16GB of high-speed DDR4-3200 RAM, along with a fast 512GB solid-state drive, both of which put this build way ahead of the pre-builts you'll find (and most of the other "best $1000 PC's" on the web too!). This system is housed in the modern, low-cost SilverStone Fara R1 case and powered by an efficient, high-output power supply. Want to learn more about this build or ask questions? Then jump over to our companion YouTube video!

And if you need a monitor or peripherals, we have some great recommendations for you at the end of this guide. With that said, we also have a great pre-built option we can recommend, which you'll see if you scroll down below. Curious 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 we provide dedicated links to Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Germany for each component category, with regional substitutions made based on availability. The US links will also auto-convert for our readers in Spain, Italy, and France. To support this site, please use these links if you purchase any of the products we list.

The $1,000 Gaming PC Build - June 2020

The Pre-Built Option

  • The Budget Gaming PC:

    HP Pavilion Core i5-9400F Gaming Desktop

    Wow, now here's a deal! If you're not ready to build your own PC, HP is serving up a pre-built gaming PC packed to the gills with powerful components, at a great price. That includes an Intel Core i5-9400F six-core processor, a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB video card, 16GB of DDR4-2666 RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive, a 1TB hard drive, and Windows 10.

    The Guru's Tip:

    You also get built-in WiFi, a keyboard, and a mouse with this system, along with a full 1-year warranty with tech support.

The Build-Your-Own Option

  • CPU:

    AMD Ryzen 5 3600

    There's no better CPU for a $1,000 gaming pc build than the Ryzen 5 3600! It's 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 B450-A Pro Max

    You get a lot for your money with this board, it offers six expansion slots, 4 RAM slots, an M.2 slot, plus six USB ports. Note that the onboard video ports won't be functional in this build, as the CPU doesn't have built-in video. But don't worry - you have a video card for that purpose!

    The Guru's Tip:

    You absolutely need to backorder a motherboard at this point to get one anytime this month. Every single motherboard is currently sold out due to the pandemic. Expect a two-week delay for your board to arrive.

  • Video Card:

    Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 5600 XT 6GB

    Things are crazy in the mainstream GPU market, with AMD and Nvidia duking it out for dominance and the consumer reaping the rewards. At the $300 pricepoint, the RX 5600 XT is the new king, nearly matching the much more expensive RTX 2060 from Nvidia, and doing it with low power use and low noise levels.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Due to the limited availability of mid-range GPUs, we regularly update our recommendations in this guide.

  • Memory:

    Patriot 2x8GB Viper Steel DDR4-3200

    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:

    Prices change frequently in the RAM market, so we regularly update our pick here to get you the best value.

  • Solid-State Drive:

    XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe

    There's lots of competition in the SSD market, and the best performance per dollar is offered by XPG's SX8200 Pro. It features TLC NAND and the PCIe interface, blowing away even the best SATA drives, which often sell for more!

    The Guru's Tip:

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

  • Case:

    Silverstone Fara R1 White

    The bargain-priced case offers tremendous features for the price. It has a 120mm rear fan, triple USB ports, and a mesh front panel for great airflow. Just add the big 140mm fan listed below and you'll have amazing all-around performance!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that this case, like every case, is selling out on a daily basis. As of our latest update, it's in stock, but we expect it to be gone within the matter of days. We will update this build as soon as this case sells out.

  • Fan:

    ARCTIC F14 PWM PST 140mm Fan

    Offering tremendous airflow at a very reasonable price, the F14 from Arctic will give your system high airflow at ultra-low noise levels!

    The Guru's Tip:

    The case we recommend above has space for dual 140mm fans up front, while most competing cases don't fit 140mm fans at all!

  • Power Supply:

    Thermaltake GX2 600W Gold

    This PSU easily beats every competitor in its price class, offering top-notch quality, semi-modular cables, and Gold-rated efficiency. With 600W of power on tap, this unit has plenty of headroom to keep this system going for years, even with significant upgrades, including more powerful video cards.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This is more power than you actually need for the system as spec'd, but considering most lower-wattage units are more expensive or completely unavailable, going up in wattage makes a lot of sense! Hurry, though, because it won't last long!

  • 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:

    Windows 10 on USB recently sold out at Amazon, which is likely because Microsoft is preparing its spring update release. You can also get W10 via download - all you need is an 8GB or bigger flash drive to load the image onto.

Optional Components

  • Wireless Card:

    TP-Link Archer T4E AC1200

    Add high-speed wireless networking to your build with this great PCIe card from TP-Link!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This is so much better than all those cheap USB adapters - don't be fooled by their low price, they are junk!

  • The Budget Gaming Keyboard:

    Corsair K55 RGB

    An excellent keyboard at a great price, the K55 from Corsair 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 Mid-Range Gaming Mouse:

    Corsair Harpoon Pro RGB Gaming Mouse

    There's no better mouse under $30 than the Harpoon Pro from Corsair. It offers an incredible 12,000 DPI sensor and a comfortable grip, plus cool RGB effects!

    The Guru's Tip:

    To set the colors of this mouse, download the Corsair iCUE software.

  • The 24-inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor:

    ViewSonic VX2458-MHD

    Offering mind-blowing value in the mid-range segment, this  monitor packs in features that used to cost $300 and up. That includes a high-quality 23" panel, a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and incredible 144Hz refresh rate, and AMD's FreeSync technology for unmatched smoothness.

    The Guru's Tip:

    FreeSync is the greatest thing to come to gaming monitors in decades - it really is a game changer, as it syncs frame rendering to frame output, eliminating lag and tearing completely.