For those who love to play the latest and greatest PC games, prebuilt gaming PCs offer a hassle-free and easy way to jump into the world of PC gaming without the need to build a custom rig from scratch.
Prebuilt gaming PCs come in a range of configurations and prices, with some of the best options offering high-end components, cutting-edge designs, and exceptional performance.
Whether you’re a casual gamer or a hardcore enthusiast, there’s a prebuilt gaming PC out there that can deliver the immersive gaming experience you crave.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best prebuilt gaming PCs available on the market today.
Plus, at the very end, I’ll show you the best custom PC under $1000 at the time of writing, and give my opinion on whether you should go with a prebuilt machine or build your own.
CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060
CPU: Intel Core i5-11600KF
RAM: 16 GB, 2 x 8 GB DDR4 3200 MHz
Storage: 500GB SSD & 1TB HDD
One of the best prebuilt gaming PC options, the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme is as heavy-duty as its name implies.
The CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme boasts an incredible CPU/GPU combo among prebuilt PCs, with an Intel Core i5-11600KF and an Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics card.
On top of this great combination, the Xtreme has a ton of storage with both a 500GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, making bulk storage no issue and leaving your SSD free for only your most important games and programs.
Overall, as a gaming PC under $1000, the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme is an incredible option for anyone considering a new PC, especially if you’re more confident in a prebuilt PC than you are your custom PC building skills.
Skytech Blaze II
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1660 Super
CPU: Intel Core i5-10400F
RAM: 16GB, 2 x 8 DDR4
Storage: 500GB SSD
Skytech has a host of gaming PCs under $1000, the Skytech Archangel gaming computer, the Skytech Shadow Gaming PC, the Skytech Blaze II, and many more. In this article, I’m going to focus on the Skytech Blaze II and its two configurations.
The first and cheaper of the two configs, the Blaze II at $699.99 boasts an Intel Core i5-10400F and the Nvidia GTX 1660 Super, plus a 500GB SSD, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM at 3200 MHz, a 600W 80 Plus Gold power supply, and a free Windows 10 key tacked on.
The more expensive configuration only changes the CPU and GPU, now having an Intel Core i5-11400F and a switch from Nvidia to AMD for a graphics card, now having an AMD Radeon 6600 instead.
All other specs are the same, and this pre-built PC with a powerful GPU costs $749.99, more than the cheaper config by $150.
Plus, the two configs come with three fans with RGB lighting, for more effective airflow in the Blaze II case.
If you’re looking for consistent gaming performance in most games at 1080p, then the Blaze II will have you covered for quite some time.
It is one of many pre-built gaming PCs sold by Skytech, and if you’re a competitive gamer looking for the absolute best prebuilt gaming PCs you could find, then I can guarantee you’ll find an option at Skytech for a PC under $1000.
GPU: AMD Radeon 5500
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
RAM: 8GB, 1 x 8 DDR4
Storage: 256GB SSD
The HP Pavilion gaming PC is quite literally the best 1080p performance you can get at this price point.
For just under $550, you get a prebuilt gaming desktop with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600G processor, an AMD Radeon 5500 4GB GPU (graphics processing unit), 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB SSD to store whatever games you choose on.
Additionally, included with this budget prebuilt gaming PC, you get a gaming mouse and keyboard and a Windows 10 product key, from which you can upgrade to Windows 11 for free.
With the exception of a monitor, for ~$550, you can be up and running with a mid-range gaming PC and peripherals that other gaming PCs couldn’t hope to compete with in terms of value.
It’s also very possible to score a 1080p monitor for between $75 – $150, so if you’re looking for the full gaming rig to come in at under $1000, then the HP Pavilion is the best prebuilt gaming PC for you.
Overall, if you’re looking for a prebuilt PC with decent gameplay in demanding games that can satisfy even hardcore gamers , then the HP Pavilion is easily one of the best gaming PCs under $1000.
NZXT Player One
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3080
CPU: Intel Core i9-11900k
RAM: 32GB, 2 x 16 DDR4
Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
The NZXT Player One is a powerful gaming PC that offers impressive performance and stunning aesthetics.
It comes equipped with an Intel Core i9-11900K processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card, 32GB DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB NVMe SSD.
These specs are more than capable of running the latest games and handling demanding workloads with ease, outclassing most gaming PCs in price and PC features.
One of the standout features of the NZXT Player One is its design. The case is sleek and stylish, featuring tempered glass side panels that allow you to show off the internals.
The case also has a built-in RGB lighting system, which can be customized to match your personal preferences.
Overall, the NZXT Player One is a powerful and stylish pre-built gaming PC that should satisfy even the most demanding gamers and content creators.
What if my ideal gaming PC under $1000 isn’t a prebuilt gaming PC?
That’s just fine, there are plenty of part configurations that can net you a powerful gaming PC under $1000. If you look hard enough, I guarantee you’ll be able to find enough deals on new or used parts to get your shiny new gaming PC set up and ready to go. But, speaking of used parts…
Should I buy used parts?
The answer to that question depends on what part you’re talking about. Here’s a short list of parts that should be OK to purchase second-hand:
- Monitors & other peripherals
Now here are the parts you really shouldn’t buy second-hand:
- PSU (power supply)
- Hard drives
- Power cables
*When it comes to buying a used graphics card, there is a good chance that the card will either have been used normally for several years or used for cryptocurrency mining.
Mining GPUs are somewhat misrepresented as if you buy from a smart crypto miner who undervolted their GPUs, then the card should be just fine for use, potentially better than a daily driver graphics card that has been used for the same amount of time.
You should avoid buying used storage mainly because of the increased chance of failure, and if you care about your data, that’s a risk that isn’t worth taking just to save a few dollars.
As for motherboards, it comes down to not knowing the board’s history. Who knows how long that board has been in use, and who knows if (or when) the capacitors will wear out and limit your board’s functionality?
What is the best custom gaming PC under $1000?
If you’re hesitant to buy a prebuilt PC, I totally get that; there are downsides, like your gaming desktop not feeling like you put the effort into it, or maybe you don’t trust prebuilt gaming PC companies. To address those concerns, I would say that you’re better off building your own gaming desktop as long as you’ve built at least one gaming PC before, and even if you haven’t built a gaming PC, it’s very possible that you can build your own gaming PC under $1000 that can compete with any prebuilt gaming PC.
First, the CPU; the “core” (ha-ha) of the build. In the world of CPUs, there are only two options: Intel Core or AMD Ryzen. For the sake of fairness, I’ll recommend one CPU from each company.
For Intel, I highly recommend the Intel Core i3-13100, or 13100F if you don’t care about integrated graphics and want to save a few bucks.
As for Ryzen, I’d recommend the Ryzen 5 5600, or if you want to spend a bit more to increase your base clock speed and gaming performance, the 5600X.
CPUs are one of the PC components that you are safe buying used, as they can last for much longer than the life of your average gaming PC.
If you’re savvy enough on Ebay or Facebook Marketplace, then you could score a deal on an even better CPU at a price relative to the 13100 or the 5600.
However, everyone has a different level of risk tolerance for used hardware and if you’re concerned about the potential lack of warranty or how long a CPU has been used, then its always safe to just go with a new product for a similarly reasonable price tag.
When it comes to CPU coolers, there are three options: air cooling, water cooling, or an AIO (all-in-one) unit.
If you’re looking to build the best gaming PC under $1000, then water cooling is immediately out of the option due to the cost of parts.
That leaves air cooling and AIOs, which are both great options for cooling a hot CPU. However, if you’re looking for the most efficient cooling option possible, I would recommend going with an AIO, specifically the Deepcool LS520.
The Deepcool LS520 is capable of cooling more than 230 watts and is well able to cool either the Intel Core i3-13100 or the AMD Ryzen 5 5600, which average around 60 and 65 watts of power draw respectively.
In addition, from a visual standpoint, the LS520 comes with a customizable faceplate so you can put whatever you want to on its display, and comes with RGB lighting and RGB fans. The only major downside to the RGB is that it isn’t user-controllable, and will only oscillate between colors in a specific pattern.
When it comes to motherboards, the cost of a board is directly proportional to the amount of features it has, mostly nice-to-have features that aren’t required, but definitely make building and using your new PC less complicated.
For example, when it comes to more expensive motherboards, they come with the I/O shield attached already on the back of the board, and you can just slot it into your computer with no issue. However, with cheaper options, the I/O shield will come separately, requiring the user to put it on themselves.
Motherboards come with a specific socket, locking it into one form factor of CPU. This means that not all CPUs will fit into the same socket, the best example of which is seen with the separation between Intel and AMD socket types. One will not work with the other, and vice versa. So, in this budget build, I’ll give you a motherboard that can come with both an LGA1700 socket for Intel or an AM4 socket for AMD.
Designed for an Intel CPU from the 12th to 13th generations and Ryzen CPUs’ Zen+ architecture, the Gigabyte B660 (for Intel)/B550M (for AMD) DS3H AX is great for its $99.99 price tag, but it doesn’t come with all the fancy things that a more expensive board might.
As I mentioned above, this board requires you to put the I/O shield on yourself, and its smaller size means you’ll only have access to one PCIe x16 slot, limiting your future potential for expansion. In addition, there is no Bluetooth connectivity.
You can find this board in its full-ATX variety, but that is a decision for you to make if you want to spend a little bit more and open up your gaming PC’s future for expansion.
In general, it’s recommended for your graphics card to take up anywhere between 25 and 33 percent of your build’s cost.
In this case, that would mean looking for a GPU between $250 and $330 dollars which, in today’s graphics card market, can seem like an impossible price to find.
I won’t recommend Nvidia GeForce GTX series GPUs in this build because the Nvidia GeForce GTX name comes with a bit of a luxury tax, putting the best graphics card options on their side outside of the $1000 budget.
However, if you’re looking to start playing games that require a dedicated GPU as opposed to your CPU’s integrated graphics, then I would highly recommend the AMD 6600 or the 6600XT.
The 6600, the less powerful but more affordable of the two, can be found at around the low $200 mark, and if you shell out a few extra bucks, you can snag the $6600XT around the mid-to-high $200 mark if you’re looking to play more demanding PC games.
The 6600 has a max clock speed of 1900MHz compared to the 6600XT’s max of 2589MHz, which can lead to consistently higher performance by 10-15 FPS in most modern games.
AMD says that you should expect a difference of around 12 to 15% between the two cards, so if 12 to 15% is worth the price gap between the cards to you, then by all means go for the 6600XT. It has a much better overclocking capacity, and generally a higher performance ceiling than the 6600 without being too much more expensive.
If all you plan on doing with your computer is playing games, then you should be fine with a 16GB kit of RAM, AKA internal memory.
More specifically, especially if you’re using an AMD Ryzen CPU, you want a kit of two sticks of 8GB RAM because Ryzen CPUs are designed so their cores pair up to handle individual memory allocations and, because two cores finish their allocation faster than one, those cores request more data from your RAM, which it can access faster if it can pull from two RAM sticks than from one.
I’d recommend the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2×8) kit because of how affordable it is at $39.99, and because it has the highest memory speed possible for DDR4 RAM (3200 MHz) plus a CAS latency of 16.
Lower CAS latency means that your computer can read data sent from the RAM faster, and while 16 isn’t the lowest CAS latency for DDR4 RAM, lowering that number would mean sacrificing memory speed as well.
If you intend to do more creative work like graphic design or video editing, go for a 32GB kit of RAM instead so you can not only work smoothly, but enjoy a lag-free gaming experience as well.
The cheapest possible storage you can get would be a hard drive, but because other options become affordable at good capacities, I’d recommend NVMe SSD storage.
More specifically, I’d recommend the Kingston NV2 1TB SSD at $49.99, which is PCIe Gen 4 and has read and write speeds of 3500 and 2800 mb/s respectively.
That doesn’t sound like a lot compared to the high-end SSD storage options which can reach speeds of up to 7000 mb/s, but keep in mind that hard drives have read/writes of around 80-160 mb/s at the high end.
High SSD storage is also an option with the Kingston drive, with the option of a 2TB SSD for $99.99 instead if you’re looking to keep more games on your drive at once.
Plus, with an NVMe SSD as your boot drive, your operating system should run incredibly smoothly compared to a hard drive or even a SATA SSD storage option.
In general, when buying a power supply, it’s a good idea to take the TDP (thermal design power) of your parts and double it, and you should buy a power supply with a higher wattage than that number.
In this case, these parts draw about 350 watts so you should get a power supply of 700 watts or greater.
I recommend the Be Quiet! Straight Power 11 750W, not only because its wattage allows for some extra wiggle room for your parts, but because Be Quiet! as a brand does a great job making their parts quiet, as the name suggests.
When it comes to building a great gaming PC, the case can seem like putting the cherry on top of the guts of your system.
However, in terms of thermals, a good gaming PC case can be essential to encouraging effective airflow and maintaining a safe temperature for you CPU and GPU.
It’s possible to find cases like this under $100 and I personally would recommend the Corsair 4000D Airflow, but I’ve left some wiggle room in the $1000 budget for you to make your own choice, mainly because the aesthetics of a case can also be a major factor influencing a purchase, and I don’t know what you think looks cool.
Of course, it’s Windows 10 or 11. However, the exorbitant price of over $100 for a product key is way more than anyone should be willing to pay, so I recommend going on sites like Kinguin or CDKeys to find a much cheaper Windows 11 key for around $20. I’ve done so, and the key works the same as a key from Windows directly.
If you’re looking to buy or build a gaming PC under $1000, then it’s ultimately your call whether you trust yourself to build a machine or buying a prebuilt. If you have doubts about your skill or if you don’t know enough about PCs to tell what’s what inside of one, I’d recommend getting a prebuilt. If you’ve got some experience working in the guts of gaming rigs, then go wild with your $1000 budget.