The Best Gaming PC Build For Under $1000

In $900-$1400, Custom Builds by Branton226 Comments

best gaming pc build under 1000 gtx 1060

Looking to build the best gaming PC possible for around or under $1000? This might just be it. Featuring an unlocked Skylake i5 6600k, a Gigabyte GTX 1060, an MSI Z170 motherboard, and 1.25TB of storage, you’ll be comfortably gaming for a very long time to come!

With a budget of $1000, you can pretty much guarantee that the computer you build can handle 1440p and should also be capable of putting out 4k if you don’t mind lower fps. 1080p? Not even an issue. It is basically a perfectly balanced price-point for building your own gaming PC, it’s enough to get you amazing hardware while still maintaining a reasonable budget.

I hope you enjoy this build guide, and without any more delays, here are the parts I recommend for building your own gaming PC on a budget of $1000.

  • A couple different styled/sized screwdrivers
  • Anti-static wristband (optional but suggested)
  • Patience

That’s about all you’re going to need, seriously. If this is your first attempt at building your own gaming PC, you’re going to want to be well-informed before you tackle the actual build process. There are a lot of walk-throughs and guides on YouTube, and a lot of these are really great to follow, I would highly recommend checking a couple out.

It’s not that building your desktop is going to be hard, but there are some things to take into consideration when doing it, grounding yourself so you don’t fry your new parts with static for instance.

If you’re still thinking that it’s a super-difficult process, just click (or tap) below, skim through the video, and then you’ll know for sure.

Here are the basic steps that I follow when building:
  1. Install the Power Supply into the Case
  2. Install the processor (make sure the arrows line up)
  3. Install RAM (make sure they are in the right way before you try to seat them!)
  4. Mount the CPU cooler
  5. Place the rear I/O plate
  6. Mount the motherboard to the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
  7. Plug your GPU in
  8. Install any storage
  9. Plug everything into the appropriate spots
  10. Turn it on / Install OS & drivers!

Video Walkthrough

Instead of me typing out a ton of of words to explain this process, why not watch this video put together by EasyPCbuilder.com? He does a great job of explaining everything in detail, and is going to get you running in 30 minutes.

The Best $1000 Gaming PC Build

Updated: January 1st, 2017

  • Corsair Carbide Spec-2

    Mid tower, great layout, good cable management, front USB 3.0, 2 preinstalled fans.
    View

  • MSI Z170 PC Mate

    ATX, LGA 1151, Z170 chipset, integrated audio & ethernet, 6x USB 3.0 ports.
    View

  • Intel i5 6600k

    LGA 1151 (Skylake), 3.5GHz, 6MB cache, overclock ready.
    View

  • Gigabyte GTX 1060

    6GB GDDR5 VRAM, 192-bit memory, comes with a backplate! Performs great!
    View

  • EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G1

    650W semi-modular power supply, 90% efficiency and a 10-year warranty!
    View

  • Crucial Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM

    8GB dual channel pair (2x4GB), 2400MHz, CL14.
    View

  • WD Blue 1TB HDD

    3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache.
    View

  • Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD

    Up to 540MB/s read, 520MB/s write, random read/write IOPs up to 97K/88K.
    View

  • Cryorig H7

    After market heatsinks/coolers help keep your CPU cool when overclocking!
    View

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Potential Upgrades

Although not entirely necessary, some add ons like optical drives can sometimes improve your experience. If you’re installing your operating system from a disc opposed to a USB flash drive, then you’ll definitely need an optical drive.

  • Corsair H80i Liquid CPU Cooler

    Instead of air cooling for your CPU, why not try a closed loop liquid cooler? Corsair’s Spec 02 case is guaranteed to work with the H80i.
    *You don’t need air cooling if you’re choosing to run liquid cooling!
    View

  • Crucial MX300 M.2 SSD 275GB

    Conventional SSDs are pretty quick, but most simply can’t compete with an M.2-based SSD like the Crucial MX300! Random read/write up to 92K/83K
    View

  • Samsung Internal 24x CD DVD±R/RW kit

    Comes with mounting hardware & cables. An optical drive isn’t necessary, but if you’re installing your OS from a disc you’ll need it.
    View

  • Samsung Ultra-Slim External CD DVD±R/RW

    A lot of people are moving away from internally mounted optical drives, and it’s easy to see why! This one is definitely one of the cheaper & better options to consider.
    View

Details

This $1000 gaming PC build is going to absolutely dominate anything you throw at it. It’s guaranteed to run games flawlessly in 1440p, and will even work as an entry-level 4k setup. Keep in mind that the price above is for the core components only, you will still need an operating system, and any other peripherals you don’t currently have.

gigabyte-gtx-1060The brand new 6GB GTX 1060 is a powerhouse when it comes to rendering 1080p and 1440p resolutions. It can max anything out in 1080p and performs very similarly in 1440p. I’d suggest ignoring the reviews right now as they’re only negative due to the price of release during the first week – which has come down to where it should be now. Otherwise, no one has really complained about the 1060’s performance, yet. Gigabyte’s GTX 1060 comes with great cooling, customizable RGB lighting and lots of display outputs.

With $1000 to invest, a high-end CPU like the unlocked i5 6600k is well within reach, and that’s exactly the processor loaded into this build. Although, having a CPU that can be overclocked is nothing without a motherboard that also supports it, so I picked out a really strong motherboard from MSI that’ll not only support another R9 390, but it will let you overclock the crap out of that i5 6600k if you feel the need to.

cryorig-h7If you wanted to do any kind of overclocking, then you’re going to need an aftermarket CPU cooler like the Cryorig H7. Not only that, but the i5 6600k does not come with a stock cooler – I guess Intel caught on that the stock coolers in their unlocked processors always got tossed anyways. There are other options available also, a closed water loop like the Corsair H80i would be a great upgrade in the cooling dept.

8GB of 2400MHz RAM, in a dual channel setup, from Corsair’s Vengeance LPX line is really all you really need to game with great performance. That said, if you tend to do a lot of multitasking like I do, you might want to consider upgrading to 16GB of RAM instead.

With 1.25GB of internal storage split between an SSD and an HDD, you shouldn’t run short anytime soon. You should definitely install your operating system on your SSD, as well as any games you plan on playing regularly, everything else can go on your HDD without problem.

corsair-carbide-spec-2Corsair’s Carbide Spec line of cases are absolutely awesome, there are 3 levels with different options and it’s got to be one of my favorite cases. It has lots of fan mounts for customizing your air flow, plenty of space for mounting hardware & cable management, and it looks awesome on top of everything. With that said, cases are subjective and you should definitely browse around for another ATX case that will fit the graphics card.

If you’re on a budget of $1000, you’re in luck, because that’s the perfect amount to spend on a DIY gaming PC build. If you were to go to Best Buy and pick a prefab PC up for $1000, you wouldn’t get anything near the level of this beast.

Operating System

When it comes down to picking an operating system for this build, you have a couple of options. One is free, the other is about $100.

windows-10-homeThe best choice if you want access to the widest array of compatible programs & games is going to be Windows. There are a few different versions available, but the one you’ll want to look at is Windows 10 – especially if you want to take advantage of DirectX 12, and you do.

Your free option would be to grab yourself a copy of Ubuntu and run that. It’s a solid Linux-based OS which is widely supported by most Windows based programs and games, although you might have to run some in a program called Wine.

When it comes to actually installing your OS, you basically have 2 choices. You can either do it the old fashioned way by using the retail DVD, or you could create your own bootable flash drive. If you’re planning to use Linux you can also burn an installation DVD. For instructions on how to create your own bootable flash drive, check here.

Extras

If you don’t already have things like a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and some kind of audio, you might want to take a look at some of my suggestions. They’re hand-picked to match this budget level, and they’re all great peripherals.

  • BenQ RL2455HM

    A really awesome 24″ 1080p 60Hz monitor with a 1ms response time! Comes in 27″ also.
    View

  • Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum

    Romer-G mechanical switches. Customizable RGB backlighting. All-around amazing keyboard for around $120!
    View

  • Razer DeathAdder Chroma

    Razer’s DeathAdder is an awesome gaming mouse offering great accuracy and a lot of comfort!
    View

  • Creative Sound BlasterX H5

    The Sound BlasterX H5 is my top rated gaming headset for under $100 for a reason!
    View

  • Reflex Lab Mouse Pad

    Super smooth, very accurate, and extremely comfortable to use! Reflex Lab mouse pads are available in 4 sizes from your basic 9″ x 8″ right up to a whopping 36″ x 18″!
    View

WiFi

Since the motherboard in this build comes equipped with an ethernet controller, it can easily connect to the internet via a wired connection. But, if your only option is WiFi, then you’re also going to need a WiFi adapter.

There are a couple routes you can choose. You could get a decent USB-based WiFi adapter for around $20 and it would work alright. Alternatively, you could get a more reliable internally mounted WiFi adapter for around $35.

  • TP-LINK TL-WDN4800

    Internally mounted WiFi adapter. 2.4GHz or 5GHz.
    View

  • TP-LINK TL-WN722N

    USB WiFi adapter. 2.4GHz
    View

Conclusion

For around $1000, this gaming PC build will last you well into the future of modern games and continue to give you a seriously incredible gaming experience. If you need to game on the highest settings then you’ve found the right build because I’ve set you up with a rig that is definitely delivering a lot of bang for your hard-earned bucks.

It’ll handle basically any game you can throw at it in 1440p on high settings or better without breaking a sweat. In 1080p, you could easily max anything out and get 60fps or better.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns or otherwise, feel free to leave them in the comment section and I’ll answer them ASAP! 

Order This $1000 Build!

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Author

Branton

The first game that I ever played on a PC was Ultima Online in 1999, and since then I have been hooked on PC gaming, and putting together awesome builds. Thanks for stopping by!

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226 Comments on “The Best Gaming PC Build For Under $1000”

  1. Hi Branton, I’m new to this and was wondering about getting this case for this build(Corsair Carbide Series 100R Mid Tower Case) or should I go with yours.

    1. Hey Adam,

      You can definitely use the Carbide 100R, or pretty much any other “ATX” case that you find & like!

  2. HI branton right now this build is $921, this same build with an i7 6700k is 1001, and this same build with the i5 but a gtx1070 is 1047 which would you recommend. All of these are right in my budget but I wasn’t sure if having a better processor for less or having a better graphics card for just a little more money is better. Thanks man

    1. Hey Zee,

      That would be caused by the pre-Black Friday sales 🙂 I would strongly suggest opting for the GTX 1070 + i5 6600K setup over the i7 6700K + GTX 1060. When in doubt, always go for the stronger GPU 🙂 Upgrading to an i7 6700K might give you 10-15FPS more in some select games, but upgrading to the GTX 1070 will give you more like +20-50fps in pretty much everything, sometimes even more!

      Hope that helps!

  3. Hi Branton,

    I consider myself a relatively tech savvy individual and have been using computers since 1998. I haven’t however built one before! Your website has really given me the insight I was looking for and I’m feeling confident about it. I’m on the verge of buying this complete set up, though I want to go with a faster processor (Intel Core i5 6600K 3.50 GHz Quad Core Skylake Desktop Processor, Socket LGA 1151, 6MB Cache (BX80662I56600K)). Hope that would still work fine with everything else in this build?

    I’m in Nigeria and we use the same voltage system as the UK (220volts). I just wanted to also get some clarification on the power supply. I don’t know much about these things and I was wondering if I can use the same power supply (EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G1) in my region. Does that make any sense to you??! Haha
    I ask because I know that back in the days, American electronics were built to work at 140volts or so and they didn’t work over here. Maybe technology has advanced.

    I look forward to hearing your comments.
    Thanks!

    1. Hey Chuck,

      You’re definitely going to enjoy putting your own PC together, it can actually be a lot of fun! I’m glad that my site could be of use to you, that’s the main reason it exists 🙂 The i5 6600K is what’s loaded into this build already, so you were already getting the fastest i5 out right now!

      The SuperNOVA 650 G1 is rated to work with your higher voltage sockets, etc, you just need the right adapter/cable to fit the type of socket you’re going to be using (I’m not sure what the standard wall plug is in Nigeria).

      Hope that helps!

      1. Hello Branton,

        Thanks for the prompt response! Sorry about the processor mix up. I was actually looking at the $900 build and this $1000 build at the same time and I mixed it up. The sockets here in Nigeria are 3 square pins at 220volts (I don’t know the technical name). The adapter/cable isn’t included in the package?

        Apologies for all the questions, the fees from Amazon for shipping down here a pretty high and I just wanted to get all I needed in one attempt.

        Thanks

        1. Not a problem! I figured that was what happened, but I didn’t want to assume 🙂 It’ll come with a cable using this style of power plug, but I believe you’ll need an adapter from that style to your style of plug. Alternatively, if you can find a cable using your style of plug and this style of coupler, that would also work – ac power cables are basically universal and it’s completely fine to use a different power cable on your PSU.

          Questions are why the comment section is here, no need to be sorry! That said, feel free to ask any other questions you might have.

          1. You’ve cleared the doubt I had with the voltage. After looking at the pictures, I just realized that I actually have a chord from an older computer of mine with that coupler and the right plug to fit into the wall socket. Alternatively, I also have an adapter that will fit with the default plug coming with the SuperNOVA 650 G1.

            Thanks Branton for taking your time to answer my questions. I really do appreciate it! That would be all for now! I’ll be back in a few weeks when the parts arrive LOL. Take care

            1. Awesome, glad to hear it, Chuck! I figured you might have one of those kicking around 🙂

              It’s not a problem! Hopefully it all comes fast, the anticipation is probably the worst part of any build!

              1. Hi Branton, its me again! The parts have been arriving slowly. A few of them were unavailable for international shipping or were out of stock and I had to either look for other sellers or wait for them to restock or in some cases use an intermediary (which buys from amazon and ships down to Nigeria) causing the deliveries to arrive in slow motion. The motherboard, graphics card & processor are all in transit at the moment and these are the last parts left. I did my best to order through the referral links in this post but due to the issues I just mentioned, I’m not too sure of how many of them stuck through.

                I watched the video and I observed 2 things;
                1. The anti static wristband : I wish I watched the video earlier as I would have tried ordering it all together with the other parts.
                2. The screws : So far, None of the parts have come with screws. I have to admit that I haven’t opened the case yet. Could they be there? Or perhaps would some come with the motherboard? Or would I have to buy them too??

                Thanks 🙂

                1. Hey Chuck, welcome back!

                  Ah, that is brutal and I’m sorry to hear that! I’ve heard that it can be really difficult/slow getting PC components shipped to Africa.

                  The anti-static wristband isn’t a huuuuuge thing, an alternative is to keep a piece of metal nearby that you can touch occasionally, this will discharge any built up static 🙂 If you’re not working on carpet, static won’t even be an issue.

                  All of the mounting hardware that you need will come with the various components, your mobo mounting screws should be inside of your case, along with some other bits of hardware – you really only need a few screws (and the standoffs) to mount your mobo, everything else is “toolless” if you got the Corsair Spec 02.

                  Hope that helps!

                  1. Yes, its the Corsair Spec 02 case I got. I pretty much ordered everything the way it was listed on here lol. So its the same exact build. Just the processor left now to arrive and from the tracking info, looks like it’ll be here after Christmas (hopefully before the new year). Can’t wait!

                    Happy Holidays Branton. I appreciate 🙂

                    1. Awesome, good to hear! I hope that your CPU shows up sooner than later, I’m excited for you to start gaming on your new build!

                      Thanks and same to you, Chuck!

                    2. So I ended up chiseling the screws just a tiny bit and they fit in. I’m done with the build and successfully booted windows. Updating the drivers atm Had to read up on the mobo manual as well as watch a few other videos as a few things were a little different in the build used in the video posted on this page. I couldn’t be any more happy and relieved too!!!! haha

                      Thanks a lot Branton

                    3. Hey Chuck,

                      I’m glad to hear that you got it sorted out! It’s EXTREEEEMELY rare for that to happen and it comes down to either the CPU cooler or the motherboard being off by millimeters. It’s always suggested to read the motherboard for its wiring diagrams, every mobo is laid out a little different than the next one.

  4. Branton I finally got my computer put together and love it. I ended up upgrading to the 1070 and so glad I did. The card came with watchdogs 2 and it looks amazing on ultra setting on a 65″ running at 3840 x 2160 and the only time it got choppy is when I was in the trees in the fog running from the cops. The video you linked for building was a huge help..now if I could just find some time to play on it…..lol thanks man

    1. Hey Zee,

      I’m glad you like it and it sounds like its performing as it should – The GTX 1070 is a powerhouse compared to the 1060! The Nvidia Fog in WD2 is pretty demanding at certain times, similar to Hairworks and especially in 4K! Are you using DSR or playing on a 4K TV?

  5. It”s on a Samsung 4k TV with very low input lag. Besides madden I don’t think I will ever go back to console the computer looks amazing.

    1. Nice! That’s how I like to play a lot of games also 🙂 Consoles are definitely the way to go for sports games, I think the last time they even made Madden on PC was in 2008 – hopefully that’ll change as PC gaming becomes more and more mainstream!

  6. Hi branton,

    This is going to be my first build and I’m still wondering what pc I’m going to get. I’m basically a noob with computers: i don’t know what the parts do so I give you my trust. I was just wondering if this pc could run csgo 150 fps and overwatch 110 fps. If not, what upgrades can i make to get those frames? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hey Henri,

      This build will far surpass your expectations, especially in CS:GO which will run at above 200fps. Overwatch will be more like 100fps on average completely maxed out, but it wouldn’t be hard to squeeze out another 10fps by dropping a graphical setting or two down a level. You could actually go with my $800 build and get pretty much the exact same performance in both Overwatch and CS:GO if you wanted to save a couple hundred $.

      Hope that helps!

  7. I’m sory to bother again but is the ssd optional or do you really recommend it?
    Thanks again Branton. 😉

    1. It’s no problem at all, the comment section is here for you to ask questions 🙂

      I really recommend it, it doesn’t necessarily need to be 250GB but you should have at least a 120GB SSD to use as your “boot drive” – where Windows is installed along with other essential programs. It’s a good idea with this level of build and will really improve your experience, especially if you’re used to HDD speeds!

  8. I have a question in reference to the SSD. I see where the Crucial MX300 M.2 SSD 275GB is shown as an upgrade. Right now it’s listed on Amazon for $72.99 and the Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD is listed for $89.99. I should definitely go with the Crucial then right?

    1. Hey Dan,

      It depends if you’re comfortable with using an M.2-based SSD, a lot of people aren’t for whatever reason. If you’re down for using one (they’re awesome) than the M.2 MX300 would be a great choice. That said, the Samsung 850 EVO is one of those rare units that will generally outperform most M.2-based SSDs.

  9. Hi did you put down a power supply. Thank you im new to this computer stuff and i want to get the best i can without haveing to upgrade for a while.

    1. Hey Jacob,

      Yep, I sure did! It would have a hard time being a gaming PC without one :p It’s the “EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G1” in the parts list.

      Hope that helps!

    1. Hey Noah,

      The absolute easiest and most sure-fire way to avoid static when assembling your desktop is by using an anti-static wristband, but there are other things you can do as well…

      Things like:
      – Work on hardwood/tile or anything that’s not carpet
      – Keep a small piece of metal nearby to touch occasionally to discharge any built up static
      – Keep pets away while building

      Hope that helps!

  10. Just finished this build and its amazing…Thanks so much for all the help with the supplies. Merry Christmas

  11. Branton,
    I’ve ordered and received all the parts listed in your build and am getting ready to begin assembly. I did go with two of your recommended upgrades. The minor upgrade being the Samsung optical drive and the most important upgrade being the Corsair H80I liquid cooler. My question is will the EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G1 power supply be sufficient for this? I’m assuming it is but wanted your opinion. Thanks!

    1. Hey Dan,

      Awesome, good to hear! The EVGA 650 G1 will definitely be enough for everything including your specific upgrades 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  12. I have next to no experience with PC I’ve had some cheap laptops so this would be my first build attempt I saw this from Microcenter and wanted to ask your opinion on this build and its components thanks http://www.microcenter.com/product/467635/G313_Desktop_Computer
    i read that it comes with Either a MSI AERO 8GB GTX 1070 Version or the ZOTAC 8GB GTX 1070 graphics card.
    it has a Micron M500 480GB SATA 6Gbps 2.5″ Internal Solid State Drive

    here’s the overview $999.99
    Intel Core i5-6600K Processor 3.5GHz
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 VR Ready
    16GB RAM
    480GB SSD
    Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit
    Asus 24x DVDRW Drive
    Multi-in-One Memory Card Reader
    10/100/1000 Network
    802.11b/g/n Wireless
    MSI Z170A PC Mate Systemboard

    1. Hey Quincy,

      Wow, that’s a really decent desktop for the price! I would jump on it for sure, before it goes back up to the original price!

  13. Hello Again,

    Correction to my above Reply. The liquid cooler you recommend is the Corsair H80i Liquid CPU Cooler and it goes for $90.00. I may up my budget to 90.00 for a liquid cooler. Newegg has a deal on the Corsair Hydro Series H100i V2 for $90.00 after a 10.00 rebate.

    This a double fan and have read some mixed reviews on Newegg. Mostly about the fitting and the screws. I think I will still take a chance, seems like a decent deal.

    Is there any other liquid fan you would recommend over this one give or take a few dollars.

    Thanks,
    Raymond

    1. Unfortunately, the H100i V2 won’t fit in the Spec 02 case easily – people have definitely fit it in there but not without a lot of hassle. I would suggest sticking with the H80i V2 or the H60 with this build.

      Hope that helps!

  14. Hi mate

    I’m looking at building my first pc at the end of Jan with around £1000 to spend, can you recommend any hardware alterations with this build? I will only be using my PC for gaming and have thought about duel screens? i currently have an LG ultra wide monitor so not sure if it would be worth it? Can you throw any tips my way.

    Thank you

      1. Hey Steven,

        Sorry that I missed your first question, don’t know how that happened! That looks like a very solid build, a little over your budget of £1k but it would serve you well 🙂

  15. Thanks a lot for responding Branton I’ve been trying to figure out if it was worth and your approval means a lot. Guess I’m getting my first PC at last

  16. Heya Branton!

    I came to see this build too, but is there a significant difference between this one and the $1200 one?

    1. The main games I play are CS:GO, Overwatch, GTA V, and Gmod, but is this build good enough for these games?

      1. Oh yeah, this build is definitely good enough for those games – you could actually go down to my $800 build and still get a solid 60+fps experience on ultra settings 🙂

    2. There’s a fairly substantial difference in the graphics cards, but everything else is pretty much the same. My $1200 build is more suited for 1440p gaming and this build is the best for 1080p.

    1. Hey Clayton,

      Although I’m not entirely familiar with that case, it looks like it should work. That said, I would feel better recommending this one from VIVO if you’re looking for a blue color scheme 🙂

      1. Thanks! I’ve went with the case that you linked and ordered everything, so it should all be coming soon. Can’t wait to put it all together!

  17. Also it seems that I’ve accidentally purchased the wrong cooler (somehow) it turns out that I got a “Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO” is it okay if I just use this one instead of the Cryorig or would it not be able to keep the core cool?

    1. Strange indeed! The Hyper 212 EVO and the Cryorig H7 are very close in terms of performance and there won’t be any issues either way 🙂

  18. Hello, I am planning on Streaming as well as running all the latest and greatest titles. I am new”ish” to building PCs and haven’t been in the scene for awhile so a lot of things escape me. With this build, would I be able to handle streaming at a high level on top of running multiple programs / games? I have around 1000$ to work with.

    1. Hey Goz,

      This build will definitely allow you to stream games very well. Keep in mind that you’ll still need an operating system and any other peripherals you don’t already have – these things could cut into your ~$1k budget quite a bit.

      Hope that helps!

  19. Hi

    Would you recommend getting this computer, getting a linux operating system, using an old monitor, using an old keyboard and mice, not getting a headset or microphone

    or

    Getting the 800$ computer, getting windows 10, getting an extra 8 gigs of ram (16 now), buying a new monitor, keyboard, mice, and getting a headset and a microphone

    The 800$ one ends up being around 1200$ and the 1000$ one would probably at max be 1100$
    What would you recommend

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