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)
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:
- Install the Power Supply into the Case
- Install the processor (make sure the arrows line up)
- Install RAM (make sure they are in the right way before you try to seat them!)
- Mount the CPU cooler
- Place the rear I/O plate
- Mount the motherboard to the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
- Plug your GPU in
- Install any storage
- Plug everything into the appropriate spots
- Turn it on / Install OS & drivers!
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.
MSI Z170 PC Mate
ATX, LGA 1151, Z170 chipset, integrated audio & ethernet, 6x USB 3.0 ports.
Intel i5 6600k
LGA 1151 (Skylake), 3.5GHz, 6MB cache, overclock ready.
Gigabyte GTX 1060
6GB GDDR5 VRAM, 192-bit memory, comes with a backplate! Performs great!
EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G1
650W semi-modular power supply, 90% efficiency and a 10-year warranty!
Crucial Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM
8GB dual channel pair (2x4GB), 2400MHz, CL14.
WD Blue 1TB HDD
3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache.
Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD
Up to 540MB/s read, 520MB/s write, random read/write IOPs up to 97K/88K.
After market heatsinks/coolers help keep your CPU cool when overclocking!
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
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.
The 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.
If 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’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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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!
Razer DeathAdder Chroma
Razer’s DeathAdder is an awesome gaming mouse offering great accuracy and a lot of comfort!
Creative Sound BlasterX H5
The Sound BlasterX H5 is my top rated gaming headset for under $100 for a reason!
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
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.
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!