The Best $1000 Mid-Range Gaming PC Build – November 2021

By Ari Altman | Published October 26, 2021 | Updated October 27, 2021

CRITICAL UPDATE:

Due to the ongoing cryptocurrency mining craze, it’s currently impossible to buy video cards at retail prices. Even if you came here looking to build your own PC, we strongly recommend you get a pre-built PC. Definitely check out our top recommendation in this price range by scrolling down below. For reference, we still list our recommended DIY build at the $1000 pricepoint. Based on current market conditions, we do not believe this generation of GPUs will ever return to MSRP, so lower prices will have to wait until late 2022 when the next generation arrives!

A Mainstream Gaming PC to Grow With!

Looking to build the best PC possible for $1000? This guide will set you up! We profile 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 content creation, just follow this guide to get the best component picks.

This Month’s Build, Featuring Intel and Nvidia!

For November 2021, this build features Intel’s proven Core i3-10100F, which packs in four cores and 8 threads. It’s an absolute gaming bargain, offering amazing performance for the price. While AMD was aggressive in launching some new high-end CPUs in late 2020, AMD shockingly no longer has anything worth considering in the mid-range market, despite its reputation for value. For the video card, our top pick is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB, the best GPU available for around $500 today!

Keeping this build fed is 16GB of DDR4-2666 RAM, along with a fast 500GB solid-state drive, both of which ensure that the system will run smoothly for years to come. This build is housed in an attractive, value-packed Thermaltake H18 case and powered by an efficient, high-output 550W power supply.

Parting Thoughts

If you need a monitor or peripherals, you can check out our dedicated guides, although we also have some great recommendations for you at the end of this guide. Note that we provide dedicated links to Amazon or Newegg in the US, and our Amazon links will auto-convert for readers in Canada, the UK, and parts of the EU, 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 Pre-Built Option

  • The Mainstream Gaming Desktop

    ABS Master 11400F/RTX 2060 @Newegg

    $1100

    HOT DEAL! Want to game today? You’re best is a pre-built, and Newegg’s ABS division packs a ton of power into this awesome mainstream gaming system! It all starts with the potent Intel Core i5-11400F 6-core, 12-thread processor, which will easily power through any game. It’s backing up a high-powered GPU, the GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, which has dedicated Ray Tracing cores and the ability to utilize cutting-edge features like DLSS. The system also includes 16GB of RAM and a 512GB solid-state drive, along with a stylish case and powerful CPU cooler from Deepcool!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This deal is honestly too good to pass up! The GPU in it alone sells for about 3/4 the price of the system!

The DIY Option

  • CPU

    Intel Core i3-10100F

    $96

    While AMD ruled the budget sector for a while, Intel has come roaring back, and its Core i3-10100F is simply unbeatable at the price, thanks to its 4 cores, 8 threads, and high clock speed. It’s by far the best gaming CPU at its pricepoint.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU includes a cooler, but we recommend a much better one later in this guide.

  • Motherboard

    Gigabyte B460M DS3H v2

    $95
    This board is the perfect choice for a low-cost build. With four PCIe slots, five USB ports, four RAM slots, and four SATA ports, it gives the system room to grow. Plus it has a PCIe M.2 slot, which you’ll be taking advantage of with this build’s SSD!
    The Guru’s Tip

    While you can use more expensive B560 boards with this system, they won't provide any added benefit with the 10th-Gen CPU we recommend. Also make sure that whatever you buy, it's micro ATX (mATX), or it won't fit in this build's case!

  • Video Card

    Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB

    $500

    Offering high performance in a compact package, along with very low power use, the GTX 1660 Super 6GB set new standards for GPUs at its pricepoint. It’s significantly faster than the original 1660 due to a much more advanced memory subsystem.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Right now, this GPU is selling for around 2x its MSRP. Unfortunately, that's the going rate, and even then it's usually sold out. If you want to save some money, we suggest you strongly consider the pre-built PC we listed earlier in this guide.

  • Memory

    Silicon Power 2x8GB DDR4 2666 Grey

    $53
    This cost-effective 16GB RAM kit will give you plenty of capacity to use your PC to its fullest! While 8GB is passable, there’s a good chance that modern apps will use the entire amount, leaving nothing for your OS and slowing the system down to a crawl.
    The Guru’s Tip

    With these two sticks installed, you'll still have 2 free slots available for an upgrade down the line!

  • Solid-State Drive

    WD Blue SN550 500GB NVMe

    $43

    Experience blazing-fast drive performance at a bargain price with WD’s Blue SN550 500GB solid-state drive. Utilizing the PCIe-interface and the NVMe protocol, it can achieve sequential speeds of up to 2,400MB/s, making it nearly five times faster than any SATA-based SSD, and orders of magnitude faster than a hard drive! To install this drive, affix it in the motherboard’s M.2 slot using a jeweler’s-type screwdriver.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Because this slips into a slot on the motherboard, it requires no cables at all!

  • Case

    Thermaltake Versa H18 Tempered Glass

    $55
    The H18 offers plenty of features plus a sleek style at a bargain price. With extensive venting, a 120mm exhaust fan, and a glass side panel, you get performance and looks, plus a whole lot more convenience than typical budget PCs!
    The Guru’s Tip

    We recommend you pick up the 140mm fan below and install it in the front of the case to enhance overall performance for a low cost.

  • Fan

    Arctic P14 Silent

    $10
    We recommend you upgrade the case’s cooling by installing this affordable 140mm fan in the front. It’s quieter than most 120mm fans, while providing far more airflow! The fluid dynamic bearing in this fan offers a long lifespan and smooth performance.
    The Guru’s Tip

    We've found that Arctic's P-series fans are the best all-around fans on the market!

  • Power Supply

    Silverstone ET550-B

    $48
    This PSU easily beats every competitor in its price class, offering top-notch quality and Bronze-rated efficiency. With 550W 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

    Please avoid no-name PSUs from brands like RaidMax, Apevia, and Aresgame. They are complete junk, and only exist because there was a run on power supplies in mid-2020.

  • Operating System

    Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive @Newegg

    $130
    Windows 10 is the most popular operating system in the world, and Microsoft continues to support users not only with regular security updates, but with major content releases every year. This USB version installs in under 5 minutes, meaning you can get right into using your system!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Windows 11 has launched and will be rolled out as a free update to all users of W10.

Optional Products

  • Wireless Card

    TP-Link Archer T5E AC1200/Bluetooth 4.2

    $35
    Need wireless networking? Look no further than this ultra-high-speed 802.11ac PCIe-based card!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Rare among WiFi cards, this one also has built-in Bluetooth, which is great for use with a wide variety of peripherals.

  • The Budget Gaming Keyboard

    Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard

    $50
    Pick up a great keyboard at a great price with the G213. It’s quick, quiet, and responsive, and it also has sweet RGB backlighting, of course!
    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

    Logitech G502 Hero

    $47
    Get a jump on your competition with this awesome gaming mouse from Logitech, which features a next-gen 16,000dpi sensor and a classic ergonomic shape!
    The Guru’s Tip

    To control the various features of this mouse, you'll want to download Logitech's GHub software.

  • The Mainstream Gaming Headset

    Corsair HS35 Stereo

    $35
    Assuming you actually want to hear the bullets whizzing by you in your games, you’re going to need a great audio source, and there’s no better budget gaming headset on the market than the HS35 from Corsair! With 50mm drivers and a comfortable fit, it’s the real deal, where all the other headsets in its price range are just pretending.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This headset weighs just 250g, making it virtually disappear once you put it on!

  • The 24-inch 165Hz Gaming Monitor

    Asus VG248QG

    $200

    Asus pioneered the high-refresh rate gaming monitor years ago, and has returned to the mid-range market with the VG248QG, which boasts amazing specs for the price. It gives you a 24″ 1920×1080 TN panel with a refresh rate overclockable to 165Hz (144Hz is standard), plus a 0.5ms (GTG) response time. It boasts adaptive-sync technology to provide stutter and screen tearing, plus a highly-adjustable stand to dial in just the right ergonomics.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Note that FreeSync, features on this monitor, was originally created by AMD, but now works with both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.

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