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.

This build gets a massive mid-month update for July 2019, moving to the brand-new AMD Radeon RX 5700 8GB video card, a huge upgrade from the GTX 1660 Ti 6GB we previously equipped it with. It's still packing AMD's Ryzen 5 2600X CPU, a six-core, 12-thread processor that's an absolute productivity powerhouse. Thanks to an aggressive boost mode, it will run at over 4GHz right out of the box using the included cooler, making it perfect for games that depend on fast cores. Keeping this AMD combo system fed is 16GB of ultra-high-speed DDR4 RAM, and thanks to price drops, we've been able to upgrade it from 2666MHz to 3200MHz with no increase in price! Also on board is an ultra-fast 1TB solid-state drive, which is also a tremendous bargain thanks to price cuts. The PC is housed in the ultra-compact Thermaltake H18 Micro ATX tower case and powered by an efficient 500W 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.

You can see how our component picks have changed over the months and years by flipping to our $1,000 Build Archive page. And if you do decide to build your own PC, get extra help from our in-depth pictorial, Assembling an AMD Ryzen PC.

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 - July/August 2019

    CPU:

    AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

    PRICE DROP! After another big price drop, the Ryzen 5 2600X becomes the must-have CPU of the year! Offering up 6 cores, 12 threads, and a boost speed of over 4GHz, it's a gaming and multi-tasking dynamo. It also comes with a fantastic cooler right in the box. You can learn more about this great CPU in our hands-on review.

    The Guru's Tip:

    We know a lot of folks are probably wondering why we're not going with the new Ryzen 5 3600X processor, which is about 20% faster. There are two very good reasons: (1) it's about $100 more, and (2) it requires an X570 motherboard to get out-of-the-box firmware support, and these start at a shocking $170. Going with the 2600X and the board below saves you nearly $200, so we think the trade-off is a very good one.

    Motherboard:

    Gigabyte B450 AORUS M

    You get a lot for your money with this compact micro ATX board. That includes an M.2 slot for cutting-edge solid-state drives, eight USB ports, four SATA ports, and three expansion slots, plus a built-in RGB controller that you can use to control the case lighting for this build.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The graphics ports on this board will not operate when used with the selected CPU. They are only for use with lower-end integrated "APUs". That's why you'll want the monster graphics card below!

    Video Card:

    XFX Radeon RX 5700 8GB

    For this build, we go with the best GPU ever released under $400, the brand-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:

    Note that if you need a video card solely for accelerating Adobe applications, get the compact, ultra-efficient Zotac GeForce GTX 1650 4GB... you'll save around $200 in the process!

    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 out of your AMD system by going with this ultra-high-speed 16GB DDR4-3200 kit. It offers the perfect match for this build in terms of both speed and capacity. Plus, its single-rank design ensures the motherboard will be able to accept another two sticks down the road!

    The Guru's Tip:

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

    Solid-State Drive:

    Crucial P1 1TB NVMe

    Another month, another massive price drop. The SSD market is in the midst of a giant price war, with a sudden oversupply of memory chips translating to intense competition. That's why you can now get this ultra-high-capacity, ultra-high-speed PCIe-based SSD for less than a SATA drive. That's incredible! Featuring advanced QLC NAND and the NVMe protocol, it offers the best performance and capacity per dollar of any drive on the market!

    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:

    Thermaltake Versa H18 Tempered Glass

    Offering exceptional functionality and style in a compact design, the bargain-priced H18 is the best case available under $50. It features a tempered glass side panel and blue LED strip to give it a touch of class, while a mesh front panel and 120mm exhaust fan provide the airflow.

    The Guru's Tip:

    You can easily increase the cooling potential of this case by adding the fan below.

    Fan:

    Arctic F12 PWM 120mm Fan

    Add a whole lot of airflow to your system by installing this awesome 120mm fan in the front of the case. It offers PWM control and a hydraulic bearing for ultra-silent operation.

    The Guru's Tip:

    You'll find plenty of fan headers on the motherboard, including one near the front edge of the motherboard, which will be closest to the front of the case

    Power Supply:

    EVGA 500 BR

    This PSU easily beats every competitor in its price class, offering top-notch quality, Bronze-rated efficiency, a 3-year warranty, and 120mm fan.

    The Guru's Tip:

    With 500W 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!