Gaming

The Best Gaming PC Builds For $1000

Building a gaming PC used to be a much tougher job that involved picking parts from various retailers, getting a tech-savvy friend to help, and diagnosing issues with one’s build in case they mixed up the instructions. It is now much easier to build a DIY PC as PC part manufacturers make it easier to install hardware. Precise instructions and a plethora of online information (often in video format) assist first-time and intermediate-level PC builders attempting to do so on their own.



Part of what appeals to a lot of users when it comes to building a PC is the amount of customizability that is available so that they can build a PC that is specific to their needs and the games they play. While some users prefer prebuilt PCs simply because of how easy they are to set up and use, others prefer the fine-grained control they get in their preferred PC. Custom-built PCs often have higher-end internal components that get overlooked by system builders, such as faster SSDs, better memory, and performance coolers.

While gaming PCs are something that many gamers know as well as the back of their hands, others might be a bit uneasy trying to put parts together to avoid making a mistake or overcomplicating their PC build. This is in particular a concern when selecting components that represent excellent value and price-performance ratios that clock in at around or below $1,000.


How To Build A Balanced Gaming PC For $1000

Building a balanced gaming PC can be a challenge for even the most seasoned of PC builders. This is because dealing with any sort of budget when building a PC that can have as many as seven or more key components nearly always means compromising one way or another. This is particularly true for builds that are considerably more restricted in terms of pricing at certain price points (such as $1000). However, prospective PC builders can consider some of the key factors that make a gaming PC balanced and functional:

Needs-Based Choices: At $1000, prospective gamers and system builders have a fair amount of budget to play with to ensure they end up with a balanced gaming PC, but what is required by the gamer and the titles they play is key to determining what specific components will be purchased. For example, some titles benefit from faster CPUs while others find themselves bottlenecked by GPUs. Making tradeoffs that favor the games one intends to play means building around their needs as a gamer instead of going with more generic builds.

Target Resolutions: Gamers may have different performance demands. CPU/GPU needs vary based on the titles and their target resolutions. Higher resolutions require considerably beefier GPUs and memory as opposed to more balanced PC builds, which would see more spending on ancillary PC parts such as a PSU/Case/Cooler.

A Quality PSU: Power supplies (PSUs) are often the most easily overlooked aspect of any PC build. They are, however, some of the most important given that they ensure stability, performance, and future upgrade potential for a gaming PC.

Aesthetics: While it is tempting to get the latest and greatest when it comes to RGB lighting and premium AIOs and cases, one must consider the performance implications of reallocating a significant amount of a user’s budget towards how a PC looks rather than how it performs, especially when working with a limited $1000 budget.

Estimated build costs are based on the cheapest price available on Newegg and Amazon at the time these builds were made. Prices are subject to change by these vendors. Game Rant will strive to keep the builds up to date as better alternatives appear on the market or prices change significantly.

First Build: Well-Rounded Value-Added Performance

  • Intel Core i5 13500 Processor

    Core i5 13500

    $245 $260 Save $15

    The Intel Core i5-13500 Processor is a slight step up from the entry-level Core i5-13400 Processor and adds 4 more efficiency cores into the mix, enabling it to drive as many as 20 threads to its smaller siblings while boosting slightly higher at 4.8GHz versus 4.6Ghz.

  • MSI MAG B760 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4

    MSI MAG B760 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4

    $170 $190 Save $20

    MSI’s MAG B760 Tomahawk Wi-Fi DDR4 motherboard is a capable entry from the well-known Taiwan-based tech manufacturer that offers a slew of I/O and onboard slots in a bid to capture the mainstream Intel CPU-based audience with a blend of value, functionality, and reliability.

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    TEAMGROUP T-Force Delta RGB DDR4 32GB Kit

    The TEAMGROUP T-Force Delta RGB is a gaming memory module that comes in a set of 2 x 16 GB sticks. It operates at 3600MHz (PC4-28800) with a latency of CL18. The T-Force Delta RGB DDR4 features full-color RGB lighting, adding another visual effect to your gaming rig. The memory module supports XMP2.0 one-click overclocking technology, making it easier to get more performance out of your system. The TEAMGROUP T-Force Delta RGB DDR4 32GB is compatible with both Intel and AMD motherboards.

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    Kingston NV2 1TB M.2 2280 NVMe Internal SSD

    This internal solid-state drive from Kingston has 1 TB of digital storage capacity. The NV2 series SSD is designed to be compatible with laptops. It operates on PCIe 4.0 Gen 4×4 technology, features an M.2 2280 form factor, and delivers read speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s. It has lower power requirements, generating minimal heat, which makes it perfect for compact devices.

  • MSI GeForce RTX™ 4060 VENTUS 2X BLACK 8G OC

    MSI GeForce RTX™ 4060 VENTUS 2X BLACK 8G OC

    The MSI GeForce RTX 4060 VENTUS 2X BLACK 8G OC is an excellent GPU offering as far as RTX 4060 offerings go. It offers an excellent, balanced take on Nvidia’s entry-level Ada Lovelace-based RTX 4000 series, offering low power consumption, a compact design, and a single 8-pin power connector to handle its power needs, making it a silent performer that delivers on its promise.

  • LIAN LI LANCOOL 216 E-ATX PC Case

    LIAN LI LANCOOL 216 PC Case

    The LANCOOL 216 is a mid-tower case with all-around mesh panels for optimal airflow. Thanks to its modular rear panel, it can be optimized for air or water cooling. It includes 2 x 160mm and 1 x 140mm pre-installed PWM fans and an innovative rear PCIe fan bracket to maximize airflow.

  • GIGABYTE GP-UD1000GM PG5 Rev2.0 1000W

    GIGABYTE GP-UD1000GM PG5 Rev2.0 1000W PSU

    $145 $160 Save $15

    The GIGABYTE GP-UD1000GM PG5 Rev2.0 1000W is the second revision of the successful PG5 PSU with the addition of a native 16-pin PCI-E 5.0 power connector and compliance with Intel’s new ATX 3.0 PSU standards in a fully modular design backed by as much as 10 years of warranty at an affordable price.

The first build aims to hit a balance between price and performance, offering a powerful locked Raptor Lake CPU in the shape of the Intel Core i5 13500. The Core i5 CPU offers 14 cores that handle 20 threads in a 6P+8E core arrangement. This allows it to not only handle most games at a reasonable frame rate thanks to its decent single-core performance, but it also offers considerable muscle for more multicore-centric titles, such as newer games in the Assasin’s Creed franchise as well as Grand Theft Auto V.

While the GPU does take a step back from the previous recommendation (the RTX 3060) in terms of memory (8GB versus 12GB), it does provide a slightly faster experience with more efficiency, making it a significantly better investment currently than an RTX 3060 at current pricing if users are building a new gaming PC or making a generational jump from RTX 2000 or older GPUs. It also offers significant gains over its predecessor when it comes to DLSS 3 and DLSS 3.5 performance.

With an excellent and cost-effective 32GB, 3600MHz RAM kit from Teamgroup that offers RGB and clocks in above the recommended 3200MHz DDR4 speeds for Intel’s 13th-generation processors paired with a capable Kingston NV2 1TB PCI-E 4.0 SSD offering plenty of storage from the get-go for gamers, the build chosen here is both upgradeable and balanced with low-latency memory and excellent storage options. It also benefits from recent price reductions on memory and storage, allowing us to spend more on other components in future builds.

The bundled Gigabyte 1000W PSU is an excellent addition to a well-balanced rig that can handle up to an RTX 4080/4090 if one wishes to upgrade down the line. For users looking to save on a PSU currently and buy one later with a GPU upgrade down the line, they can swap out the Gigabyte recommendation with a cheaper SKU that can still handle both, a smaller upgrade in the future and the current PC with ease.

The Lian Li Lancool 216 is an excellent airflow-centric case that offers a dedicated RGB controller integrated at the back for users looking to sync more fans or RGB hardware on a motherboard with limited headers. It also allows for a 360mm AIO liquid cooler to be mounted at either the front or the top of the case, making it incredibly upgrade-friendly at the price point it currently commands. This also allows the Intel Core i5 13500’s stock cooler, which is in use for this build, to have some breathing room thanks to its significantly better airflow performance on offer.

For users who want to go for an alternative, this can easily be swapped with another PC case that better suits their needs while accommodating the current PC build.

Total Estimated Build Cost: $1,032

Second Build: Leaning On the Processor

  • AMD Ryzen 5 7600X

    AMD Ryzen 5 7600X

    $229 $299 Save $70

    Gamers interested in upgrading to a newer CPU from Team Red will find the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X to be of spectacular value thanks to its high single-core performance, efficient hexacore architecture, and compatibility with newer technology such as PCI-E 5.0 and DDR5 memory. It also abandons AMD’s AM4 design, going for a pin-less processor offering by moving them to the motherboard instead.

  • ID-COOLING SE-214-XT ARGB CPU Cooler

    ID-COOLING SE-214-XT ARGB CPU Cooler

    The ID-COOLING SE-214-XT ARGB CPU Cooler is one of the better air coolers in the market that replaces stock coolers from Intel and AMD, doing an excellent job at a price that makes it a steal. With the ability to cool CPUs with a TDP of up to 180W and an excellent bundled PWM ARGB fan, this adds both color and competent cooling at a price that seems almost criminal to ignore.

  • Gigabyte B650 Aorus Elite AX

    GIGABYTE B650 AORUS Elite AX

    $220 $230 Save $10

    The Gigabyte B650 Aorus Elite AX is a high-end motherboard featuring the B650 chipset that allows it to command a much lower price point, closer to AMD’s more budget-oriented motherboard lineups. It is a capable entry that also offers a PCI-E Gen 5 M2 slot that should allow access to faster PCI-E 5.0 storage down the line.

  • G.Skill Flare X5 Series (AMD Expo) 6000MHz 32GB (CL36)

    G.Skill Flare X5 Series (AMD Expo) 6000MHz 32GB (CL36)

    The G.Skill Flare X5 Series RAM kits are DDR5 RAMs that operate at an overclocked 6000MHz sweet spot for AMD AM5 processors with a lower latency EXPO profile available to allow users to overclock their memory with a push of a button while costing significantly lower than the competition. 

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    Kingston NV2 1TB M.2 2280 NVMe Internal SSD

    This internal solid-state drive from Kingston has 1 TB of digital storage capacity. The NV2 series SSD is designed to be compatible with laptops. It operates on PCIe 4.0 Gen 4×4 technology, features an M.2 2280 form factor, and delivers read speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s. It has lower power requirements, generating minimal heat, which makes it perfect for compact devices.

  • Gigabyte Radeon RX 7600 OC 8GB Windforce

    Gigabyte Radeon RX 7600 Gaming OC

    The Gigabyte Radeon RX 7600 Gaming OC is a triple-fan dual-slot graphics card that brings Gigabyte’s effective WINDFORCE cooling technology. It has three 80mm fans with alternate spinning that work alongside the five composite copper heat pipes that directly touch the GPU. The GPU uses the highest-grade metal chokes, 2oz copper PCB, lower ESR solid capacitors, and lower RDS(on) MOSFETs, among other features.

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    Thermaltake SMART 600W ATX PSU

    The Thermaltake SMART 600W ATX is a power supply unit that is designed to provide reliable and efficient power for your computer. This unit delivers 600 watts of continuous output. It complies with both Intel ATX 12V 2.31 and EPS 12V 2.92 standards, ensuring compatibility with many PC builds.

    The SMART 600W ATX has received an 80 PLUS certification, indicating 80% efficiency under a typical load. This power supply supports two PCI-E 6 plus 2-pin connectors.

  • MSI Mag Forge 112R

    MSI MAG Forge 112R Case

    The MSI MAG Forge 112R is an excellent affordable case for both gamers and content creators. Featuring 4 ARGB fans and an included controller box, the case lights up with some spectacular preset effects. A 4 mm tempered glass panel showcases the best components and is easily removed without tools. The case accommodates liquid cooling radiators and promotes efficient cooling through its mesh front panel. 

The first build suits most gamers and rightfully so. It bundles a processor with excellent single-core and multicore performance with a capable GPU and well-rounded PC parts performance. But what if one played esports titles that were more CPU intensive, such as CS: GO, Valorant, or DotA 2? Find a powerful, unlocked CPU that can push the needle forward meaningfully when it comes to single-core performance. The alternative, of course, is going GPU-heavy while compromising on the CPU end of things, as illustrated in the third PC build.

The second build leverages the excellent gaming prowess of the powerful, unlocked hexacore AMD Ryzen 5 7600X, bundling it with a capable Gigabyte B650 Aorus Elite motherboard as well as 32GB of G.Skill’s Flare X5 offering 6000MHz DDR5 memory with an EXPO profile with decent timings (CL36). This offers end-users a future-proof AM5 motherboard and memory in addition to a capable gaming CPU with the newer Zen 4 cores. This allows it to deliver better performance while requiring less thermal headroom versus the older Ryzen 5000 series processors thanks to them using a newer, more efficient design and fabs (5nm vs 7nm).

The newer RX 7600 replaces the RX 6600 from the previous build without pushing the budget much higher, but it does so with a performance uplift that makes the current build a much better purchase, even if users are waiting to upgrade the GPU down the line. At about a sub-35% performance gain across the board, the RX 7600 is a worthwhile upgrade to pursue versus its predecessor. It also offers a free copy of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora as part of an ongoing AMD Rewards promotion.

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For this build, an entry-level 600W ThermalTake 80+ Smart PSU gets the job done given the PC specs, but it does not account for the upgrade needs that users might have down the line. If users are on a budget that allows them to account for a later upgrade, however, they can get a more expensive but higher-capacity Gold-Rated PSU that will get the job done. This allows for upgrades up to an RTX 4070TI SUPER or higher down the line.

With one of the best gaming CPUs in the business, plenty of power capacity under the hood, and excellent memory, there isn’t much to improve given budget constraints when targeting a sub-$1000 PC build without going considerably overboard. The build utilizes the MSI MAG Forge 112R Case, which arguably is one of the best value-centric cases within its price range, and a mid-range Kingston NV2 SSD offering 1TB of space for gamers looking to handle their storage capacity needs meaningfully in the coming days.

To decide if it fits a user’s needs, Game Rant has a dedicated review for the MSI MAG Forge 112R available. If not, they can always interchange it with another PC case that better suits their needs while accommodating the current PC build.

Total Estimated Build Cost: $1,024

Third Build: Crosshairs Centered On The GPU

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    AMD Ryzen 7 5700X CPU

    The AMD Ryzen 7 5700X is a mid-to-high-end gaming CPU that has a maximum clock speed of 4.6 GHz. According to AMD it can deliver over 100 FPS performance in some of the world’s most popular games with a compatible graphics card. The processor has 8 cores and 16 processing threads, which are based on the AMD Zen 3 architecture.

    Other specs include 36 MB of cache, DDR4-3200 support, and overclocking capability. The AMD Ryzen 7 5700X CPU is compatible with a Socket AM4 motherboard.

  • Deepcool GAMMAXX GT CPU Cooler

    Deepcool GAMMAXX GT CPU Cooler

    The DeepCool GAMMAXX GT CPU air cooler combines the best performance with efficient power usage and stunning RGB effects. The cooler uses four direct-contact heat pipes for 180w TDP heat dissipation, cooling even the most intense gaming PCs. The 1500 RPM PWM fan provides ample airflow without distracting noise levels. The DeepCool GAMMAXX GT is compatible with a wide range of Intel and AMD processors. 

  • Gigabyte B550M Micro ATX Motherboard

    Gigabyte B550M K Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard

    $85 $100 Save $15

    The Gigabyte B550M K Micro ATX AM4 motherboard supports the AMD Ryzen 5000 Series/ Ryzen 5000 G-Series/ Ryzen 4000 G-Series and Ryzen 3000 Series family of CPUs. The motherboard features a sturdy power design and offers support for HDMI 2.1 to meet the latest standards in 4K video playback with HDR. 

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    TEAMGROUP T-Force Delta RGB DDR4 32GB Kit

    The TEAMGROUP T-Force Delta RGB is a gaming memory module that comes in a set of 2 x 16 GB sticks. It operates at 3600MHz (PC4-28800) with a latency of CL18. The T-Force Delta RGB DDR4 features full-color RGB lighting, adding another visual effect to your gaming rig. The memory module supports XMP2.0 one-click overclocking technology, making it easier to get more performance out of your system. The TEAMGROUP T-Force Delta RGB DDR4 32GB is compatible with both Intel and AMD motherboards.

  • GIGABYTE Radeon RX 7700 XT GAMING OC 12G on Newegg

    GIGABYTE Radeon RX 7700 XT GAMING OC 12G

    The GIGABYTE Radeon RX 7700 XT GAMING OC 12G graphics card is a mid-tier offering in the Radeon 7000 series. Based on the Navi 32 platform, the graphics card comes with a boost clock speed of up to 2599 MHz and a game clock speed of up to 2276 MHz. The GIGABYTE Radeon RX 7700 XT GAMING OC 12G comes with a triple-fan cooler design, two 8-pin connectors, two DisplayPort 2.1, and two HDMI 2.1 ports.

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    Kingston NV2 1TB M.2 2280 NVMe Internal SSD

    This internal solid-state drive from Kingston has 1 TB of digital storage capacity. The NV2 series SSD is designed to be compatible with laptops. It operates on PCIe 4.0 Gen 4×4 technology, features an M.2 2280 form factor, and delivers read speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s. It has lower power requirements, generating minimal heat, which makes it perfect for compact devices.

  • The Antec Performance Series P7 Neo Case Mid-Tower Case

    Antec Performance Series P7 Neo Case

    $75 $90 Save $15

    The Antec Performance Series P7 Neo Case is a mid-tower case for gamers who value the efficient and silent performance of their components. The P7 Neo employs sound-dampening side panels to drown out loud fans from CPU coolers and graphics cards. To maintain its clean classic look, the P7 Neo places front air intake vents on the sides of the front panel. The rock-solid case proudly maintains the Antec tradition of superior build quality and offers ample space in its chassis for motherboards up to E-ATX size.

  • GIGABYTE GP-UD1000GM PG5 Rev2.0 1000W

    GIGABYTE GP-UD1000GM PG5 Rev2.0 1000W PSU

    $145 $160 Save $15

    The GIGABYTE GP-UD1000GM PG5 Rev2.0 1000W is the second revision of the successful PG5 PSU with the addition of a native 16-pin PCI-E 5.0 power connector and compliance with Intel’s new ATX 3.0 PSU standards in a fully modular design backed by as much as 10 years of warranty at an affordable price.

For the third build, Game Rant decided to focus on the GPU and picked up a current generation Gigabyte Radeon RX 7700XT to bundle with the rest of the system. It comprehensively beats the alternatives from Team Green, Nvidia’s RTX 3070, and the newer RTX 4060TI in real-world performance with a price tag that offers considerably better value than its competition, making it a powerful, yet price-conscious choice.

The team decided to bundle this with the capable octa-core Ryzen 5 5700X and 32GB of low latency 3600MHz DDR4 RAM, knowing AMD’s penchant for better-clocked memory on its Ryzen 5000 series CPUs. It is paired with a relatively inexpensive aftermarket cooler that delivers better cooling than most of its stock alternatives thanks to its dedicated quad copper heat pipes at work.

The Kingston NV2 1TB PCI-E 4.0 SSD is an excellent storage option and should make for an excellent primary drive for the user’s OS, games, and software needs while delivering sufficient performance for their gaming needs. The Antec Performance Series P7 Neo Case is a capable mid-tower PC case that can handle most of the motherboards buyers might consider while also throwing in support for larger E-ATX motherboards down the line along with 3 fans bundled with the case itself.

While the excellent but expensive Gigabyte PSU seems to be highly unnecessary, it’s PCI-E 5.0 compliant and has native support for the new ATX 3.0 spec, making upgrades a relative breeze. Users can, however, opt for a more to-spec PSU to keep their budget for the PC build within its intended $1000 target with ease.

The third build is an excellent offering for players focused on single-player games who would like to concentrate on visual fidelity over maximizing their frame rate in e-sports titles, making full use of the system’s relatively beefier GPU and a competitive CPU with decent multicore performance on the mature AM4 platform. If DIY PC builders plan to play games that are more demanding on the GPU and don’t mind a small cost overrun, this is the build they should go for. It has the best GPU and PSU of all the current selections and has easy, current-gen upgrade paths as a result.

This PC also includes AMD’s current AMD Rewards Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora Game Bundle thanks to the RX 7700XT GPU being picked as part of its build components.

Total Estimated Build Cost: $1,083

Other Considerations When Building A Gaming PC

What Memory Capacity Should Buyers Aim For?

A gaming PC generally needs more memory than standard computers, which ship with 8 to 16 gigabytes of memory. While most PC games recommend up to 16GB of memory, recent games like Hogwarts Legacy (specific to ultra settings) and other titles tend to push for 32GB of memory. While 16GB of memory will work for most users, it can’t hurt to have more, especially given that memory prices are considerably lower now than in the past.

Ideally, users should aim for 32GB of memory if their budget allows it. There are currently not many use cases for 64GB of memory, even if one can afford it. However, if budget constraints apply, 16GB of memory should tide users over until games get demanding to the point of one needing more memory to meet specifications.

Should Gamers Buy A High-end Power Supply?

Most PSUs work most efficiently when running at about 50% load. With power costs rising, this is an important consideration. More importantly, higher-end PSUs have significant protection for PCs, such as OVP (Overvoltage Protection) and OCP (Overcurrent Protection), which can safeguard their components from adverse internal and external issues.

A PSU is probably the component of one’s PC that is (hopefully) not going to be regularly changed. It makes sense to get one that can handle higher or more demanding PC hardware down the line, allowing easy upgrades without needing it to be swapped while reliable power is available to one’s system. Most high-end PSUs last many years with many clocking in up to a decade of service before requiring a replacement or repair.

MORE:

Best Gaming GPUs

FAQ

Q: Can anyone build a PC?

Yes, building a PC is not a complicated endeavor. It does however mean having to research the PC parts you need to pick up to avoid getting incompatible hardware by mistake.

Q: Can a gaming PC be upgraded over time?

Yes, users can build a gaming PC part by part on an existing PC system or simply by ordering some of the parts recommended and upgrading them one by one.

Antonio Josse

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