Looking to build the best gaming PC possible for around or under $1000? This might just be it. Featuring an unlocked i5 8600k, a 6GB GTX 1060, 8GB of RAM and 1.12TB of storage!
With a budget of $1000, you can pretty much guarantee that the computer you build can handle 1080p and should also be capable of putting out 1440p if you don’t mind lower fps or lower than max settings. 1080p gaming is not even an issue. This 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.
That all said, if you’re looking for a build running an AMD Ryzen processor then you might want to check this $1000 Ryzen build out instead.
Have a question? Ask me in the comment section!
This high mid-level gaming PC build is perfectly suited for 1080p 60fps gaming on the highest settings in most AAA titles, but not all. In competitive shooters where high frame rates are crucial, like CS:GO, you can expect this build to put out well above 200fps on average. This build will also do well in sims like Xplane 11 and others.
|Case||Corsair Spec 02|
|MOBO||Gigabyte Z370P D3|
|CPU||Intel i5 8600K|
|GPU||Zotac GTX 1060 AMP Edition|
|PSU||EVGA 600 BQ 80+ Bronze|
|RAM||8GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM|
|HDD||WD Blue 1TB|
|SSD||Kingston A400 120GB|
- 1080p 60fps AAA gaming
- Great for overclocking!
- 8x USB ports total
- Integrated audio and ethernet controllers
- Easy to upgrade
The Best $1000 Gaming PC Build
Updated: April 23rd 2017
Corsair Carbide Spec 02
Mid tower ATX case, great layout and awesome cable management. Comes with 2x 120mm fans.
GIGABYTE Z370P D3
ATX form factor, Z370 chipset (supports CPU overclocking), LGA 1151 socket (8th gen Intel CPUs). Built-in ethernet and audio controllers and a total of 6 USB ports.
Intel i5 8600k
6-core/12-thread 3.7GHz (base clock) processor. Unlocked and ready to overclock! Does not come with a CPU cooler. View
Zotax GTX 1060 AMP Edition
6GB graphics card, 5 display outputs, great 1080p and even 1440p performance!
EVGA 600 BQ
600W semi-modular power supply, up to 85% efficiency. 3-year warranty.
8GB HyperX FURY DDR4 RAM
2x4GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, CL15. Dual channel pair.
WD Blue 1TB HDD
3.5 inch 7200RPM HDD, 64MB cache.
Kingston A400 120GB SSD
120GB SATA SSD. Up to 500MB/s read, 350MB/s write. Significantly faster than an HDD. Install your OS here.
Cryorig H7 CPU Cooler
Easily one of the best CPU coolers available.
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.
Windows 10 (USB Installer)
Windows 10 is your best bet when it comes to picking an operating system. This version is a USB installer. View
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
Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD
An M.2-based NVMe SSD like the 960 EVO is a step up from basic M.2 or SATA SSDs. They offer significantly more speed, but at a higher price /GB in comparison. View
Samsung Ultra-Slim External CD DVD±R/RW
External optical drives are generally just as good as their internally-mounted counterparts, and in some cases it’s necessary to go external over internal. View
Warning: GPU Shortage
Finally! The 2018 GPU shortage is almost over! But, most (if not all) graphics cards at this level are still going to be a little overpriced compared to before the shortage.
That being said, building a gaming PC is going to be a little more expensive now than it would have been previously. But, at least it’s possible without paying double for a graphics card! Woo!
As an alternative to building your own gaming PC and potentially paying more for a GPU than you should, I’ve put together a list of some really awesome prebuilt gaming desktops that’ll work as great replacements.
Below, you’ll find some options that I’ve hand-picked for this level of build based on things like price and specs. These builds range from $600-$1500 in price and are ordered from cheapest to most expensive.
Mid-range Desktops ($600-$1000):
– HP Pavillion (i5 7400 + 3GB GTX 1060 + 8GB RAM)
– CYBERPOWERPC GXIVR8020A4 (i5 7400 + 4GB RX 580 + 8GB RAM)
– CYBERPOWERPC GXiVR8060A5 (i5 8400 + 3GB GTX 1060 + 8GB RAM)
– HP Pavillion 580-068 (i7 7700 + 3GB GTX 1060 + 16GB RAM)
This $1000 gaming PC build is going to absolutely dominate anything you throw at it in 1080p and will even let you step into some 1440p gaming as well! If ultra settings in 1080p @ 60fps is what you’re aiming for, then you’ve definitely found the right gaming PC build!
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.
Corsair’s Spec 02 mid-tower ATX case is my usual go-to for most builds around this level. It’s a solid case with all of the features a builder needs to assemble a clean looking PC without spending a crazy amount. The airflow is good, the placement and number of fan mounts is near perfect, but the cable management options are somewhat lacking. It comes with 2 fans, 1x 120mm fan with a red LED and 1x plain black 120mm fan – this is enough but feel free to add more.
The Gigabyte Z370P D3 motherboard was picked from a very short list of options around the $100 mark. Overall it’s a solid motherboard for the price but there are much better options if you’re willing to pay a bit more. If you’re fine with what the Z370P D3 offers, like basic audio, on-board ethernet, 4x USB 3.0 ports + 2x USB 2.0 ports, and 6x SATA headers, then there’s no need to upgrade.
Intel’s new i5 8600K is a bit of a beast compared to previous i5 iterations. It marks the first time an Intel i5 has branched out from the 4-core formula, with great success I might add. This 6-core/12-thread beast of a CPU is capable of handling all but the most workload intensive tasks. It’ll have no problem powering through everything older i7’s did and then some! Older i5’s aren’t even in the same realm of comparison as the new i5 8600k.
Since the i5 8600K does not come with a stock CPU cooler (no k-model CPU does) we’re going to need a good aftermarket cooler. For that, I’ve picked out the Cryorig H7 for it’s compact size, quiet operation, and awesome performance. It’s easily the best option under $50 and is going to have no problem keeping the 8600K nice and cool. However, if you wanted to upgrade to something a little more beefy, check out this list of the best CPU coolers for 2018.
The 6GB GTX 1060 is a powerhouse when it comes to rendering 1080p and even 1440p in some games. It can (almost) max anything out in 1080p and performs very similarly in 1440p across less demanding titles like CS:GO. Zotac’s GTX 1060 AMP Edition comes with great cooling, customizable RGB lighting and 5 display outputs. It’ll easily support VR headsets and will deliver 60fps+ performance in pretty much any game out there.
8GB of 2666MHz RAM, in a dual channel setup, from Kingston’s HyperX FURY line is right on the cusp of being “not enough” for a build like this. But, due to the crazy RAM prices right now it’s all we could fit without making major performance sacrifices elsewhere. It came down to either skimping on both the GPU and the CPU, or running 8GB of RAM; we opted for the latter. It’s much easier to add more RAM than it is to swap out CPUs and graphics cards.
EVGA’s semi-modular 600 BQ power supply is a mid-tier bronze-rated unit that will not let you down. It’ll consistently deliver more than enough power to this build regardless if you’re running base clocks or you’ve overclocked everything to sky high numbers. It’s capable of delivering up to 85% efficiency under typical loads and comes with a 3-year warranty just in case the worst were to happen.
This build is running a typical HDD + SSD combo to solve the dilemma of storage. Ideally, it would have been nice to fit in a 250GB SSD instead of a 120GB but sacrifices had to be made in order to pack in the 8600K + 6GB GTX 1060! That said, a 120GB SSD is plenty big enough for your OS and any important programs you need to load quickly. It’s always best to have a dedicated OS/boot drive, if possible, and that’s where a 120GB SSD is a perfect fit.
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.
Since picking a monitor can be difficult with all of the different features to consider, check out my guide on how to pick the best monitor for gaming.
Even more important than picking out the right monitor is picking out the right chair. With all of the options available, it’s easy to get lost and make a bad decision. To make sure that doesn’t happen, I’ve put together this list of the 16 best gaming chairs out there!
A really awesome 24″ 1080p 144Hz monitor with a 1ms response time! View
Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum
Romer-G mechanical switches. Customizable RGB backlighting. All-around amazing keyboard for around $120!
Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum
Clean RGB lighting, very comfortable to use, great sensor accuracy, adjustable weight. View
HyperX Cloud 2 Gaming Headset
The HyperX Cloud 2 is my top rated gaming headset for under $100 and for good reason!
Logitech Z623 2.1 speakers
2.1 channel, 200W RMS/400W peak speaker setup. If you like bass and lots of it, this is an awesome choice. 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.
If you’re going to use this build for streaming, make sure you check out my guide on how to stream on Twitch!
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.
Looking for a little more mobility? Check out my best laptops for gaming under $1000!
If you have any questions, comments, concerns or otherwise, feel free to leave them in the comment section and I’ll answer them ASAP!