You can build an extremely capable gaming PC for under $1000. Using all new parts at this price point is a cakewalk.
I have been in IT for a few years. But before pursuing this as a career, I was a gaming PC builder. I even began a venture where I built PCs for my own clients.
What you want to play will change the price since the hardware you need may vary. But I will show you what it takes to build a PC and a build under $1000 that will be worth it for whatever you want to use it for!
- The most critical gaming PC parts are the GPU, CPU, and RAM.
- Future-proofing your PC with better parts now will keep you from spending money on upgrades.
- Gaming becomes more hardware and software intensive as time goes on and games advance.
Crucial PC Parts for a Decent Gaming Experience
While every part of a PC is integral to its functioning properly, the parts you want to focus on for performance are the graphics card, RAM, and CPU. About 30-50% of your budget should be allocated just for the Graphics card if constraints allow.
Go through the list below when purchasing your PC parts to ensure you have everything you need.
- Power Supply Unit (PSU)
- Computer Case
- Operating System
CPU stands for Central Processing Unit. The CPU is the computer’s brain; for games to run how you want them, you must ensure the brain is powerful enough for the task. CPUs handle the bulk of your system’s process.
Some CPU-intensive games include total war games or ones where tons of NPCs are on screen at a single time.
Mid Range CPU prices are about $125-$300; here is an excellent AMD CPU I recommend.
GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit. The GPU is the powerhouse and main component when it comes to gaming.
It works in tandem with the CPU to get you the best performance. The graphics card takes care of the video output and must be strong enough to handle the games you throw its way.
Your GPU and CPU need to be close in performance so that one does not bottleneck the other. In other words, getting an expensive graphics card, but going cheap on the CPU, won’t give you the performance you desire since the CPU can’t keep up with your Graphics Card.
GPU prices can vary greatly. Some of the mid-range ones cost about $250-$500. Here is a great Nvidia GPU.
RAM stands for random-accessed memory and is a key component in making your computer function.
RAM is the memory of your device. As a rule of thumb, most recent titles use almost 8 to 12GB of RAM just to run, so going for 16GB or even more will give you some more headroom for background tasks (such as streaming).
RAM is where all our applications store and access data on a short-term basis. Along with your game, applications include things like; Google Chrome, Itunes, your mail app, etc. This means the more applications you use at once, the more RAM your PC will use.
16GB of RAM will cost between $45-$60. You can get a good pair of RAM here.
The Motherboard is the hub for all of your PC parts. It handles power distribution and allows all the components that make up the computer to communicate with one another.
When purchasing your motherboard, you must make sure you buy one compatible with the CPU you are getting. Whether it be Intel or AMD, you need to ensure they will work together.
Motherboards can cost between $80-$300. Here is a good AM4 motherboard!
The storage is where your OS (operating system), files, and games will be stored. The read and write speeds also affect the load speed of your games. It is vital to keep that in mind when purchasing your storage option.
Regarding a decent gaming PC, I highly recommend going with a Solid State Drive (SSD). SSDs are smaller, thinner, quieter, and faster than a normal hard drive. They do not have any moving parts, which means it lasts longer, But with that trade-off comes a price increase.
You should get at least 1TB of storage space, so you won’t have to worry about space when installing games. Motherboards come with multiple SATA ports, which you need for your SSD, so you can always add more storage space in the future.
There are also PCIe-mounted SSDs, which ditch the SATA connector and connect straight to the motherboard. Since it doesn’t communicate through the SATA cable, it also gets faster speeds than normal SSDs. But the price increases with this as well.
You can purchase an SSD for $50-$150. You can purchase a standard SSD like PNY CS900, but if you’re interested in the PCIe option, check out this one by WD_BLACK.
The PSU or Power Supply Unit powers your PC’s components. Depending on the parts you get, you may need to purchase one with more wattage. It is a good practice to buy one with extra wattage in the 650w range to leave room for upgrades in the future.
PSUs typically cost between $40-$100. You can get a 650w PSU here.
Windows is the best operating system for gaming, as it is the one best optimized for it. You can purchase a copy of Windows 11 Home here.
A Gaming PC under $1000
I put together a great gaming PC that will cost less than $1000. All with parts that will last you at least a few more years without you having to worry at all about upgrading. It will be a future-proofed gaming powerhouse.
You can view the PC I have put together here. All the pieces work together harmoniously to give you amazing gaming performance in the highest settings. Starting with the Ray Tracing and DLSS-capable GPU, the RTX 3060.
The AMD Ryzen 5 5600 is an excellent price-to-performance CPU that pairs exquisitely with our GPU.
The CPU and motherboard can support up to 3200mhz memory speed. So that is exactly what we are getting with the 16 GB of Corsair Vengeance RAM.
The gaming performance that this PC should get on the most popular triple-A titles can be seen below!
Building a PC can be a fun and rewarding process, and keeping it below $1000 is an easy shopping experience. You can go ahead and purchase the PC Part Picker list I assembled or build up your own. Either way, you can make a great gaming PC for under $1000.