The Best $1000 Mid-Range Gaming PC Build – May 2022

By Ari Altman | Published May 6, 2022 | Updated May 15, 2022

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 May 2022, this features Intel’s potent new Core i3-12100, the best quad-core CPU ever released, with performance on average 50% faster than the 10100 it replaces! It’s delivers a fatal blow to everything AMD has in its stable under $200, and it’s the perfect CPU to use in a hot-rod gaming PC on a budget. The 12100 will do a great job feeding our GPU of choice, the awesome AMD Radeon RX 6600 8GB, which has suddenly dropped in price by hundreds of dollars, making it a fantastic bargain!

Keeping this build fed is 16GB of DDR4-3200 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 and affordable SilverStone 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 Content Creation Machine

    HP Pavilion 10400F/RTX 2060


    HOT DEAL! HP is coming out swinging in the midst of a massive component shortage to deliver a fantastic high-end deal. Its Pavilion PC is packing Intel’s Core i5-10400F six-core, 12-thread CPU along with a GeForce RTX 2060 6GB video card. Also on the component list is 16GB of RAM, a 1TB solid-state drive, and built-in wireless networking. And take note: Windows 11 is pre-installed!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This PC will be slightly slower on the whole than the DIY build we feature below, but it's still a quality pick if you'd prefer not to build your own.

The DIY Option

  • CPU

    Intel Core i3-12100


    While AMD ruled the budget sector for a while, Intel has come roaring back, and its Core i3-12100 is simply the best CPU ever released anywhere near its pricepoint, thanks to its 4 cores and 8 threads based on the cutting-edge Alder Lake architecture.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU includes a cooler, and for this build we recommend you use it to save some money!

  • Motherboard

    MSI PRO B660-A DDR4


    This budget-priced Socket 1700 ATX board from MSI is a perfect match for Intel’s latest value-packed CPUs. It offers two PCIe M.2 slots, five PCIe expansion slots (including a PCIe Gen 4 video card slot), seven USB ports (including a Type-C port), and integrated 2.5Gbs LAN. Note that it conforms to the DDR4 RAM standard, allowing the use of less expensive memory while maintaining similar performance to DDR5-based systems.

    The Guru’s Tip

    MSI motherboards are the clear winners in the budget category, as they can support the most powerful CPU upgrades, unlike many inexpensive boards.

  • Video Card

    XFX Radeon RX 6600 Speedster 8GB


    Jump into serious PC gaming today with the Radeon RX 6600 8GB. It has plenty of power to tackle any modern game, easily beating any Nvidia GeForce GPU anywhere near its pricepoint.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This card currently offers the best bang for the buck of any GPU on the market!

  • Memory

    G.Skill 2x8GB RipJaws V DDR4 3200


    Because games and other applications can take serious advantage of RAM speed on the latest CPUs, we’re spec’ing a fast DDR4-3200 kit for this build. The RipJaws V kit offers a sleek look and comes in at a lower price than all of its competition!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This system can easily take advantage of high-speed RAM like this kit.

  • Solid-State Drive

    WD Blue SN570 500GB NVMe


    WD knocked it out of the park with its high-performance yet bargain-priced SN570. Optimized for excellent real-world performance thanks to WD’s years of SSD development, it easily keeps up with much more expensive drives. This 500GB model can provide sequential read speeds of 3500MB/s and write speeds of 2300MB/s.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Because this mounts in an M.2 slot on the motherboard, it requires no cables at all!

  • Case

    SilverStone Fara R1 Black

    The bargain-priced case offers tremendous features for the price. You get a 120mm fan in the rear, a stylish front panel with ample venting for airflow, and a tempered glass panel on the side. And thanks to its modern interior, it has a very small footprint. With that said, if you want even more airflow and a whole lot more bling, go for the R1 Pro, which has four 120mm ARGB fans installed!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This case can fit ATX motherboards, but we've gone with a compact micro-ATX board, which offers greater value.

  • Case Fan

    Arctic P12 PWM


    Want to cooler your system without a noise penalty? Look no further than the excellent P12 PWM from Arctic. It offers fantastic performance at low noise levels, and comes in at a shockingly-low price, despite a market-leading 10-year warranty.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This low-cost fan will vastly increase the performance of the case - just install it in the front, centered vertically, to lower CPU and GPU temps.

  • Power Supply

    Silverstone ET550-B

    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, but this one is the real deal!

  • Operating System

    Windows 11 Home USB


    Windows 11 take everything people loved about Windows 10, and then takes it to 11! It adds significant under-the-hood changes to make it faster and more secure, and of course, the interface is sleek too!

    The Guru’s Tip

    It took a while for Win11 to arrive at retail after launching as an update to existing users, but now that it's here, it's definitely what you want to load on your new system!

Optional Products

  • Wireless Card

    TP-Link Archer T5E AC1200/Bluetooth 4.2

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

    The addition of Bluetooth on this board makes it a 2-in-1 solution!

  • The Budget Gaming Keyboard

    Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard

    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

    The lighting on this keyboard can be controlled via Logitech's GHub software.

  • The Pro Gaming Mouse

    Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed Wireless

    Offering cutting-edge performance, there’s nothing like the Basilisk X for anywhere near the price. Ultra-sensitive sensor, Razer’s awesome HyperSpeed wireless system, and perfect ergonomics. It’s a great mouse!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Given how low the price is on this wireless mouse, there's no reason to go wired!

  • The Bargain Gaming Headset

    HyperX Cloud Stinger


    HyperX absolutely nailed the design of the HyperX Cloud Stinger, which is why it has remained one of the best-selling gaming headsets on the market since its release. Offering an ultralight, ultra-comfortable design, big 50mm drivers, a flip-to-mute mic, and a sleek design, they simply can’t be beat. Learn more in our full review!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This headset's ultralight weight makes it easy to wear all day!

  • The 24-inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor

    AOC 24G2

    If you want to pick up a true “gaming” monitor, you want something with a high refresh rate. And this is the very best value out there in high-refresh-rate monitors. It features a 24″ 1920×1080 IPS panel capable of displaying images at up to 144Hz, which makes it infinitely smoother than a standard 60Hz monitor that costs just a bit less. And thanks to its FreeSync technology, it will run with zero lag or screen-tearing. Another nice feature of this model is the height-adjustable stand, which allows you to dial in just the right setup!
    The Guru’s Tip

    A monitor like this would have cost well over $200 a year ago!

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