If you’ve got $1,000 to spend, you can build a fantastic gaming PC capable of ultra settings in 1080p or even high settings in 1440p. I’ve been waiting to update our higher-end builds until we had more information on the performance of AMD’s Ryzen 5 and 7 processors. Now that they’re here, it’s time to rethink exactly what to expect in this price range.
Before, we were simply trying to hit a high frame rate in 1080p. Now, you can hit that framerate and either go the editing and workstation route or the pure PC gaming route. For that reason, this post includes both and AMD Ryzen $1,000 build as well as an Intel i5 $1,000 build. We’ll discuss which one might be right for you below.
If you’ve never built a PC before, hopefully, this article gives you everything you need to get going. It’s not difficult as long as you have compatible parts. If you have any questions about this build, ask below. I’m pretty active about answering questions.
2 Good $1,000 Budget Custom Desktop Builds for 2017
Contents at a Glance
Looking for the right parts to build your ultimate $1,000 gaming PC? Here’s a build that can be a good starting point for you. That being said, no PC build is perfect for everyone. Feel free to try to fit in the parts that work most with your needs.
|$1,000 Intel i5 Build||Notes||$1,000 to $1,100 Ryzen 5 Build|
|Intel Core i5-7600k 3.5GHz Processor||We're going with the i5-7600k here which is meant for overclockers. If you don't care to do that, you could consider using a less expensive board as well as the stock cooler for some additional savings. If you'd prefer the 6 core 12 thread Ryzen 5 1600, you can overclock it along with the B350 motherboard we've listed below.||Ryzen 5 1600
|Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO||A Cheap and quiet cooler which should give you a solid overclock for the i5-6600k. The Ryzen build will need a mount you can get free from the Cooler Master website. Alternatively, you can try your hand with the included Wraith Spire Cooler. Depending on your chip, it could be enough.||Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
|Asus Z270-P Motherboard||Our favorite budget options with plenty of features.||Gigabyte B350 Gaming 3
|Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4-3000 Memory||Inexpensive DDR4 ram with most of the performance. Ryzen likes fast ram and while this isn't Samsung B-Dye ram that will assuredly get you to 3200MHz it should still get you most of the way there.||Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4-3000 Memory
|Sandisk SSD PLUS 240GB||Spending $80 on a solid state drive for your OS and most important programs is a must for those who you this PC beyond just gaming. It won't increase your FPS, but your PC's overall speed will get a huge boost.||Sandisk SSD PLUS 240GB
|Western Digital Caviar Blue 1 TB Hard Drive||Cheap, high capacity, reliable, and 7200RPM. Double Capacity in the Hitachi Deskstar for around $15 more.||Western Digital Caviar Blue 1 TB Hard Drive
|NVIDIA GTX 1070 Video Card||GTX 1070 Mini cards are as low as $330 and performance versions of the card go over $400. Go with whatever fits your budget and needs here. A GTX 1060 6GB or RX 580 are enough for those sticking with a 1080p resolution.||NVIDIA GTX 1070 Video Card
|Corsair 200R Mid Tower Case||Corsair 200R Mid Tower Case
|EVGA SuperNova 650 G1 Gold Power Supply||For around $75 you get a power supply here that will not only be efficient, but also last you a long time.||EVGA SuperNova 650 G1 Gold Power Supply
Ryzen 5 1600 vs i5-7600k
We’ve written extensively about AMD’s new Ryzen platform. This includes performance benchmarks for the Ryzen 5 1600 and the i5-7600k. If you’re looking to capitalize on the frames per second you can reach, Intel’s Kaby Lake i5 will give you what you’re looking for. Simply put, it’s the better performer in games.
Yes, I know that some of you will conclude that down the road this might change. The Ryzen 5 1600’s 6 cores and 12 threads compared to the 4 cores of the i5-7600k could make a big difference when developers optimize for multiple cores. Unfortunately, that performance is not there now. We don’t recommendations on promises on future events.
That being said, we certainly aren’t writing the Ryzen 5 1600 off for gaming PC builds. Rather, if you need to use this machine not only as a gaming PC, but also as a $1,000 editing PC of sorts, then there’s a lot to like about Ryzen. For those of you looking for a higher-end CPU also be sure to take a look at our Ryzen 7 and i7 benchmarks.
A Good Gaming Motherboard for Around $125 to $130
We’re not going to recommend motherboards here that will make your gaming PC look like a lit up firefly. If you want that, you can certainly go for it. However, there’s not a lot of performance to be gained from it. As we focus on performance, we’ll instead recommend motherboards that give you value in terms of performance and features.
If you go with an Intel-based system, take a look at our top Intel Z270 chipset motherboards. The Asus Z270-P seems like the right board here at around $130.
On the AMD AMD platform, a good B350 motherboard is should give you similar performance to that on what you’ll get with the X370 chipset. If you’d prefer to go with the X370 chipset, as you think you’ll use a dual GPU configuration in the future, you can find our top AM4 X370 motherboards here. Otherwise, we suggest you save some money and stick with B350. We like Gigabyte’s Gaming 3 B350 for it’s BIOS, features, and overall performance.
The Best Graphics Cards from $200 to $400
RX 580 8GB vs GTX 1060 6GB
Some may not like what I have to say here; however, I feel that performance in the $200 to $250 category clearly favors the GTX 1060 6GB. Yes, there are benchmarks that favor the 580; however, a majority favor the GTX 1060 6GB. If you’ve got a budget of around $250, you can go with whatever GPU here works for you. That being said we still prefer the GTX 1060.
For those spending in the $300 to $400 category, there’s really only one option right now until the Vega release; the GTX 1070. The GTX 1070 can cost as little as $330 and as much as $450 based on which card you go for. Still, the difference in performance between the cheapest card and the most expensive one isn’t that great. Also, with GTX 1080’s falling below $500, we can’t really recommend any GTX 1070 above $430 or so.
What card you want to go with should have everything to do with the monitor you use. If you’re simply going for 60FPS in 1080p, there’s no reason here to go beyond the GTX 1060. Save that money for the next time you upgrade. For those looking for a high frame rate or a 1440p experience, the GTX 1070 should serve you well. This is especially true if you’re willing to tweak some settings.
For those wanting benchmarks, here’s a video that compares the GTX 1070, RX 480, and GTX 1060.
We’re going with cheap and effective solutions for our storage. The WD Caviar Blue 1TB drive provides amazing value and speed for around $50 while the Kingston SSDNOW drive will boost the speed of your OS and most important programs. Here’s a look at our other top nVME SSD storage solutions.
Good Value DDR4 Memory
While it’d be nice to get some good ram specifically for Ryzen, we feel like the 4x2GB Corsair Vengeance 3000MHz memory will suffice for this build and give you most of the performance you’re looking for. On the Intel side, this is certainly the case. For those concerned about getting 16GB, you can certainly do that here; however, it’s likely you’ll go over our budget. Yet, 8GB is still enough in almost all scenarios in 2017. As this is the case, this felt like an area we could save some money.
Power Supplies Under $50
Even with a $1,000 budget, it seems well worth it to get a good power supply here. Stable power and longevity are just a few of the reasons. Seasonic makes quality options that I put high up on our tier list. With the Seasonic S12G Gold PSU is on sale for around $75 after rebate, it’s a good option here. That being said, you’ll want to find a power supply when you build this PC that is similarly on a rebate. For now, the EVGA SuperNova 650W PSU seems to fall into the right category for price and quality.
Gaming Cases Under $50
There are any number of cases that would work here, but the one drawing my attention the most this month is the Corsair 200R. At around $50 it gives you a lot of value for the money and has plenty of space for the parts we’ve chosen.
I’m a huge fan of cheap air CPU coolers like the Hyper 212 Evo. You get most of the performance of the coolers that cost nearly four times as much. The Ryzen 5 does come with the Wraith CPU cooler which I’d recommend that most try and use first before going with this one. If you do go with the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO for Ryzen, be sure to get a compatible mounting bracket from Cooler Master’s website. Other than shipping, they should be free.
If you’re not an overclocker, then stick with something like the i5-7600. you can save some money not only on the cost of the CPU, but also on the cooler itself. That same money can be used here to create real, in-game performance by getting a more expensive GPU.
That’s all we’ve got for you today on this $1,000 build. Again, I can answer any questions you may have in the comment section below. Comments are approved and answered in a timely fashion so please have patience.