Best 1000 Dollar Gaming PC in 2020 (Console Killer)

written by jacob tuwiner Jacob Tuwiner

The time has come, we’re rolling out the big guns! In this guide we’re going to take a look at the best gaming pc build under 1000 dollars.

We tried our best to give you the best bang-for-your-buck with $1000 in your pocket and our builds today are sure to give you an amazing gaming (or otherwise) experience for the price.

Prebuilt Choice: iBuyPower Element 9260 Gaming Desktop

It always begins with the pre-built option, and we found a pretty damn good one at that.

Comparing our pre-built to the custom build options it doesn’t win any awards, but it sure does provide a great experience regardless.

Packing 8 cores in its CPU, it should do better in compute and workstation tasks but its GPU definitely falls behind.

best prebuilt gaming pc under 1000 dollars

Specs:

  • Intel Core i7-9700F
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM

iBuyPower’s Element 9260 Gaming Desktop hits all the marks for an out-of-the-box gaming experience in providing not just high-end internal components, but also including a mouse and keyboard set, all for under 1000 dollars.

Its 1TB 7200RPM hard drive ensures you’ll have enough space for your entire Steam, Origin, or EpicGames libraries, and the speed of its 240GB SSD allows for speedy boot times.

And along with that keyboard and mouse that we mentioned, it also comes pre-installed with a full copy of Windows 10 — the included features don’t end there though.

This $1000 prebuilt gaming PC also includes a Wi-Fi card in case you don’t have readily accessible Ethernet, and you get a 1-Year Parts & Labor warranty with free lifetime tech support.

iBuyPower’s just swell ain’t it.

Best 1000 Dollar Gaming PC Build

Alright, the moment you’ve all been waiting for — it’s time to talk about the custom gaming PC build!

When it comes to gaming, this puppy can power through literally anything; except maybe Crisis max settings.

Just kidding.

Seriously though, the sheer firepower you’ll be wielding in this thing is enough to blaze through any triple-A title at 1080p 60fps no problem.

Even 1440p should have no problems here, and you can even go 4K at a playable framerate.

Not to mention the fact that your RTX 2060 Super has that whole ray-tracing thingy that, you know, makes your games look freakin’ amazing.

Even with ray-tracing on, unlike the regular RTX 2060, you should be able to play your games at pretty high settings too.

CPU: Intel Core i5-9600KF

intel core i5-9600kf - cpu for $100 gaming pc

You can’t really beat Intel’s Core i5-9600KF at most mid to high-range pricepoints since the price gaps between Intel processors are so large, but it’s still suitable for all of your gaming needs.

Sporting 6 cores without hyperthreading, you might think it wouldn’t perform too well against the Ryzen 5 3600X’s 6 cores and 12 threads, but you’d be horribly wrong. With a baseline performance almost equalling the 3600X and superb overclocked performance to boot, you’d be hard-pressed to find a CPU that provides this much for the price.

The only real downsides to the 9600KF are the lack of integrated graphics for one (but that doesn’t matter too much with our dedicated graphics card) and the fact that you need an expensive Z390 board to get any overclocking out of the chip.

CPU Cooler: Hyper 212 Black Edition

hyper 212 black edition - cpu cooler for $100 gaming pc

The most popular CPU cooler on the market right now is the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, but we much more prefer the sleek darkness of the Hyper 212 Black Edition for just $5USD extra.

The power of the Hyper 212 series is comparable to that of lower-end water coolers for pretty much half the price, so there’s no reason not to go for it unless you really need to flex the fact that your processor is water-cooled.

Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 UD

gigabyte z390 ud - motherboard for $100 gaming pc

Leave it to Intel to send in for the cheap overclocking boards, and leave it to Gigabyte to give us the Z390 UD.

This board really saved our behinds with its low price.

Don’t let that fool you, however, because it ain’t lacking in any areas.

Since we had to worry about a CPU cooler for the Intel build, the reduced price of this overclock-capable board really helps it out, giving it a supreme edge in gaming and elsewhere.

Its internal and rear IO doesn’t hold back in the slightest, allowing you to plug in up to 6 slots worth of expansion cards, an M.2 SSD, and a ton of SATA storage if need be. Plus, as we mentioned already, the overclocking will boost your performance greatly.

We should also mention that this board has an extra 4-pin ATX power port at the top alongside the normal CPU power ports.

It is not required that this port be powered, and our chosen power supply doesn’t have the extra connector anyway.

This port is for extreme overclocking and we don’t suggest you spend the money to use it unless you have an insanely powerful CPU like an Intel i9.

Internal & Rear IO:

  • 3 PCIE x16 Slot
  • 3 PCIE x1 Slot
  • 6 SATA 6GB/s Ports
  • 1 M.2 Slot
  • 1 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • 6 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Ports

RAM: Team T-Force Delta RGB 2x8GB Memory Kit

team t force delta rgb 2x8gb memory kit - ram for $100 gaming pc

It’s all about the RGB! Thanks to the Team T-Force Delta RGB 2x8GB memory kit, finally we have access to high-speed memory with some nice RGB lighting at a reasonable price.

Running at a base speed of 3000MHz, this kit already supplies you with fast enough speeds to handle all of those Google Chrome tabs with ease.

Not to mention, as with many other internal components, system memory is easily overclockable.

Unfortunately, though, RGB memory tends to overclock a little bit lower than other RAM sticks as it has to divert some power to the lighting and data transfer for said lighting.

However, since our chosen motherboard has trouble with 3000MHz speeds, this shouldn’t be too big of a worry. 2666MHz is still pretty fast anyway!

HDD: Seagate Barracuda Compute 2TB Hard Drive

Seagate Barracuda Compute 2TB Hard Drive - hdd for $100 gaming pc

Thankfully we were able to get you guys a whole 2TB 7200RPM HDD thanks to Seagate’s Barracuda Compute.

The Seagate Compute is an extraordinary drive for its price.

Running just $10USD more than the average 1TB 7200RPM hard drive, it offers you 2 whole terabytes with a 256MB cache to boot.

If you want to check out performance benchmarks for these drives you can go right ahead and check our benchmark section at the bottom. Alternatively, you can take my word for it right here.

SSD: Silicon Power Ace A55 128GB

Silicon Power Ace A55 128GB - ssd for $100 gaming pc

The Ace A55 is a great drive too.

It does its job in providing high-speed solid-state storage, and gives you some extra headroom with the 8 extra gigs it has as a buffer.

Graphics: Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super Mini

Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super Mini - gpu for $100 gaming pc

Nvidia threw a huge curveball this year, and it’ll give your wallet a break for once. Introducing the Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super Mini.

We had plans to suggest the regular RTX 2060 for this build but considering our $900 build guide already used it, we knew we had to upgrade. Thankfully, the RTX 2060 Super provides RTX 2070-like performance for a much lower price — it’s amazing.

Play all your favorite games at 1080p or even 1440p at 60fps for sure, maybe even some sick 4K gaming.

Additionally, unlike the baseline RTX 2060, you can run this puppy with ray-tracing on with no worries!

Power Supply: Rosewill Photon 750W

Rosewill Photon 750W  - psu for $100 gaming pc

Boy, do we love future-proofing, and Rosewill’s Photon 750W power supply is one of the best PSU deals we’ve found in a very long time.

For a low price, you can have your very own fully-modular 80+ Gold certified 750 Watt power supply for your next gaming system. That’s unbelievable.

This power supply, while already packing all of the features of a high-end power supply, also contains systems such as silent mode and automatic fan speed control built within the PSU.

Oh, and did we mention is has a 5-Year warranty?

Better read that fine print on the warranty though, just sayin’.

Case: Rosewill Prism S Lite

Rosewill Prism S Lite  - case for $100 gaming pc

The Rosewill Prism S Lite offers a clean look and a sexy tempered glass side panel all at a great price.

Including 2 120mm case fans pre-installed, it harbors support for up to 6 and up to a 240mm water cooling radiator on the front of the case, 360mm radiator on the bottom, or a maximum of 160mm tall CPU cooler.

Its top-mounted power supply shroud makes it so that cool air can be pulled right into the power supply for optimal cooling, and it offers some extra cable management room as well.

Performance Benchmarks

Welcome to the benchmark section of the guide where we either prove your hypothesis or crush your dreams in a matter of minutes.

Now check out those performance numbers!

Gaming Benchmark

gaming performance benchmark

Holy crap! The gaming benchmarks left us freakin’ speechless.

We did not expect AMD’s side to take the cake in the slightest, and these numbers are honestly crazy. AMD’s side wins in not only 1, 2, or 3 benchmarks but 4 out of 5 games we had for testing, geez.

Imagine what the i5-9600KF could do paired with an RX 5700 XT…

CPU Speed Benchmark

base cpu performance benchmark

There isn’t really anything to note in regard to our baseline CPU benchmark. Intel wins in single-core and AMD wins in multi-core as always.

overclock cpu performance benchmark

However, once we switch gears to our overclocked benchmark something pretty interesting happens.

Intel continues to widen the gap between AMD when it comes to single-core performance, but it looks like they’re getting the hang of multi-core as well seeing that the i5-9600KF not only catches up to the 3600X but surpasses it, if even by only a small margin.

Read/Write Hard Drive Benchmark

base read/write benchmark

On our drive speed benchmark, we compared our Seagate drive to Western Digital’s closest offering (which costs over $100USD). It holds its own for sure in the regular read/write benchmark, especially when you consider the price difference.

As for the SSDs, the 128GB Ace A55 surprisingly outperforms its 240GB PNY competitor in the baseline tests.

4k read/write performance benchmark

For 4K read/writes everything changes quite a bit.

Looking at the hard drives, the WD Black 2TB beats out our Seagate drive by miles, and we sort of expected it anyways. On the SSD side, the CS900 retakes its throne with a marginal performance gap between itself and the Ace A55.