Wondering what parts you should use for your $1,000 budget? In this post, we’ll take you through an AMD Ryzen 5 and an Intel 5 build that fall within this budget. We’ll also include benchmarks, comparisons, and give you our thoughts on the parts we’ve chosen.
A budget of $1,000 is plenty to make a gaming PC that will cover today’s latest AAA titles in 1080p. Yes, that’s even with current GPU prices. The key is to not overspend on parts that don’t have as big of an impact on overall performance.
2 Good $1,000 Budget Custom Desktop Builds for 2018
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. So, choose the option that works best for what you do on a daily basis.
|$1,000 Intel i5 Build||Notes||$1,000 AMD Ryzen 5 Build|
|CPU||We're going with the i5 8400 Coffee Lake 6 Core Processor with turbo up to 4GHz. 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. Alternatively you can splurge for the i5-8600k .|
|CPU Cooler||Stock Only||The Ryzen build will need a mount with this CPU Cooler that 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
|Motherboard||Our favorite budget options with plenty of features.|
|Ram||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|
|SSD||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|
|HDD||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
|GPU||GTX 1060 6GB||If you find that prices have returned to normal in the GPU market, it's possible to afford a GTX 1070 or perhaps even 1070Ti. As it sits, the GTX 1060 is a more reasonable goal for our budget.|
|Case||Corsair 100R Mid Tower Case||Corsair 100R Mid Tower Case|
|PSU||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 i5-8400
We’ve written extensively about AMD’s new Ryzen platform. This includes performance benchmarks for the Ryzen 5 1600 and the i5. If you’re looking to capitalize on the frames per second you can reach, both the Ryzen 5 1600 and the i5 8400 do a fantastic job. The i5 has a lot of single threaded performance victories here while the Ryzen 5 1600 certainly has the advantage under heavy workloads.
The Ryzen 5 1600’s 6 cores and 12 threads compared to the 6 cores of the i5-8400 could make a big difference when developers optimize for multiple cores. However, that performance is still very similar to the i5-8400 CPU right now. See the Paul’s Hardware video above for additional thoughts and benchmarks.
Conclusion on the Ryzen 5 1600
So, if you need to use this machine not only as a gaming PC, but also as a $1,000 editing or workstation PC, then we’d certainly recommend the Ryzen 5 1600. For those of you looking for a higher-end CPU also be sure to take a look at our Ryzen 7 and i7 benchmarks. For gamers on a budget, we fully recommend this $500 Ryzen 3 1200 build.
Conclusion on the i5-8400
For those who only game and want the faster IPC and slightly better gaming CPU, go with the i5-8400. However, you might want to stretch for the i5-8600k here which more soundly defeats the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1600x in gaming benchmarks.
A Good Gaming Motherboard for Around $125 to $130
We’re not recommending a pricey motherboard here. For a $1,000 budget we something moderate that has decent features, but doesn’t break our budget.
If you go with an Intel-based system, you’ll need to go with a Z370 motherboard here. We like the ASRock Z370 Pro 4 as an affordable option with a few extra features.
On the AMD AMD platform, a good B350 motherboard 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 to $400 (depending on the demand from the cryptocurrency market), you can go with whatever GPU here works for you. That being said we still prefer the GTX 1060.
For those spending in the $400 to $500 category, we like the GTX 1070 or splurging from the 1070 Ti. The GTX 1070 should cost as little as $330 but may cost you upwards of $600 in the current market. Still, the difference in performance between the cheapest card and the most expensive one isn’t that great.
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 100R. At around $40 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 i5-8400 or use the stock cooler with the Ryzen 5 1600. 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 ask away!