The Best $1,000 Mid-Range Gaming PC Build – June 2021
Critical Update: if you actually want to start gaming on a new PC any time before Fall 2021, you have two options: go for one of the very few pre-built PCs still on the market, or build up a system using the onboard graphics featured on Intel’s latest CPUs. That’s because GPUs are sold out worldwide due to the ongoing cryptocurrency mining crisis. We present both pre-built and DIY options in this guide. Based on current estimates, we believe that GPUs will not be available at retail prices until September 2021 at the earliest.
Looking to build the best PC possible for $1,000? 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.
For June 2021, this build features Intel’s awesome Core i5-11400, which uses the latest “Rocket Lake” design and packs in six cores and 12 threads, plus a maximum boost speed of up to 4.4GHz. 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. Intel is now in the unusual position of offering far superior performance per dollar, and thanks to owning its own manufacturing lines (unlike AMD), will be able to keep enthusiasts going during difficult times! For the video card, our top pick is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB, by far the best GPU under $300, but take note that like all video cards, it’s impossible to find in stock these days, so for now we suggest you use the built-in video on the Intel CPU (or an older video card you have on hand). Keeping this build fed is 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM, along with a fast 500GB solid-state drive, both of which keep will keep this system running smoothly for years to come. This build is housed in an attractive, value-packed SilverStone Fara R1 case and powered by an efficient, high-output power supply. Learn more about the Fara R1 and post your questions in our 2020 YouTube overview video!
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, B&H, 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 –
CyberpowerPC GXiVR8060A10 10400F/GTX 1660 Super$941
EXTREME DEAL! It’s hard to find a great deal these days, but this pre-built from CyberpowerPC is exactly that. Packing in an Intel Core i5-10400F 6-core, 12-thread CPU, a fast GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB video card, plus 8GB of RAM and a 500GB solid-state drive, it’s a serious gaming PC that will get you into the latest titles at a fantastic price.The Guru’s Tip
This is seriously at least $150 under the price of every other competing PC out there!
The DIY Option
Intel Core i5-11400$210 The Guru’s Tip
This CPU comes with a cooler, so there's no need to buy one!
Asus ROG Strix B560-A Gaming WIFI$180 The Guru’s Tip
This board has both HDMI 2.0 and Displayport 1.4, meaning you can easily run any monitor using the CPU we recommend without a video card in your system!
Video Card –
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB$230 The Guru’s Tip
Every GPU is currently selling for 2-3x MSRP on eBay, which is why you can't buy one at retail!
Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3200 Black$88 The Guru’s Tip
As if the GPU situation weren't bad enough, we do have to report that RAM prices are going up rapidly due to various market conditions, so if you do want to grab extra RAM, do it now, it's likely going to be more expensive soon!
Solid-State Drive –
WD Blue SN550 500GB NVMe$55 The Guru’s Tip
Because this slips into a slot on the motherboard, it requires no cables at all!
SilverStone Fara R1 Black$63 The Guru’s Tip
If you go for the standard R1, rather than the Pro, we recommend you pick up the 140mm fan below and install it in the front of the case.
Arctic P14 Silent$11 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$56 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$130 The Guru’s Tip
We want to let our readers know that Microsoft appears to be slowly discontinuing physical copies of Windows 10. You can always go for the downloadable version from the same product page. All you need is an 8GB or bigger flash drive to load the image onto.
The 24-inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor –
Acer XFA240$200 The Guru’s Tip
Note that FreeSync, developed by AMD, now works on either AMD or Nvidia video cards.
The Budget Gaming Keyboard –
Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard$47 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 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 The Guru’s Tip
This headset weighs just 250g, making it virtually disappear once you put it on!
Total Cost: $1028
The Pre-Built Option
The DIY Option
- CPU – Intel Core i5-11400 ($210)
- Motherboard – Asus ROG Strix B560-A Gaming WIFI ($180)
- Video Card – Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB ($230)
- Memory – Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3200 Black ($88)
- Solid-State Drive – WD Blue SN550 500GB NVMe ($55)
- Case – SilverStone Fara R1 Black ($63)
- Fan – Arctic P14 Silent ($11)
- Power Supply – Silverstone ET550-B ($56)
- Operating System – Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive ($130)