Gaming desktops are available in various configurations and at different prices depending on the amount of processing power, features (RGB lighting, liquid/ air cooling, storage configuration, etc.), and manufacturer. We have noticed that extremely cheap gaming desktops such as the ones below 500 dollars might not always offer you the most value for your money. For example, let’s assume that you purchase a 500-dollar PC that is powered by an AMD FX 6300 quad core processor, and uses a GT 730 graphics card from NVIDIA. This configuration is typical of a super cheap prebuilt computer- a processor from AMD that is 3 years old, and a low-end GPU from NVIDIA that is barely more powerful than current-gen Intel HD graphics.
With these specs, you will be lucky to get 30 fps on most modern games at low-medium settings and 1080p resolution. The only reason you would want to buy a super cheap PC with outdated hardware, is if you plan on playing e-sports games such as DOTA 2, LOL, CS GO, Overwatch, etc. But even those games are beginning to get more demanding as the expected baseline performance standard for gaming desktops has risen quite significantly over the last 3-4 years.
So, how about you save up for a couple more months, and gather an extra 300-400 dollars? By spending 50-60% more on your gaming desktop, you can get 300-400% more performance. Don’t believe us? Let’s see what the typical graphics card in a 500-dollar PC is- either a R9 360 or a GT 730/ 720. But when you spend an extra 300-400 bucks, you get a GTX 1060 3GB or a GTX 1050ti 4GB graphics card. Either of these two is at least 4-5 times more powerful than a low-end GPU from 3 years ago. Now, the processor will most likely be a Ryzen 5 series or Intel Core i5 7500/ Core i7 7700. Any of the modern mid-range desktop CPUs are at least 3-4 times faster and more efficient when compared to the ancient AMD FX 6300 or Intel Pentium/ i3 processor that you will find in ultra-cheap computers.
You see, there is a certain thing such as a “sweet spot”. Not too costly, not too cheap- it is simply the point at which you get the most performance per dollar. And this sweet spot is between the 1000 to 1500-dollar range. Don’t forget that premium gaming desktops include liquid cooling, RGB lighting, more reliable PSUs, etc. And by spending a little more money now, you make sure that you don’t have to invest every year in order to upgrade your PC with new components since it was so weak to begin with.
You can buy a premium gaming desktop and enjoy it for the next 4-5 years. With super cheap gaming computers, the effective lifespan is no more than 1-2 years since they already begin their lifespan on the lower end of the power spectrum, so you need to keep pouring in money every 1-2 years on the CPU, GPU, RAM, etc.
Now let us take a look at six of the best gaming desktops under 1000 dollars that offer you the most value for your money. These models were selected on the basis of performance, features, brand value, and customer ratings. Read each of the reviews, see which computer suits your needs the best.
This gaming desktop is the cheapest option on our list, however it is definitely not a weak performer by any means. Powered by an Intel Core i5 7400 quad-core CPU, the Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8060A2 packs decent gaming as well as multitasking power for all kinds of users- casual gamers, hardcore gamers, multitaskers, and even beginning content creators or streamers who don’t have the budget to purchase an all-out dedicated rendering/ streaming system that would probably cost over 2500 dollars.
Graphics is handled by a 3GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060- it is about 15-20% behind a 6GB GTX 1060 in games that explicitly require more than 3GB of video memory (ultra-settings on DOOM, Mirrors Edge 2, Rainbow Six Siege, etc.), otherwise both the 6GB and 3GB variants perform nearly identically despite the difference in their VRAM buffers.
Whether you are a casual or hardcore gamer, if you plan on playing at 1080p and high-ultra settings at a smooth 60 fps- this gaming desktop offers you the option to do so at an incredibly low price. It is the cheapest option on this list, but performs almost identically to competing models that cost up to 100 dollars more.
One might wonder, how is it possible to offer performance similar to desktops that cost 900-1000 dollars at a price that is extremely close to 800 dollars? Well, they certainly did not cut corners when it comes to build quality- the entire system is built inside a premium quality mid-tower ATX chassis that features metal construction and a transparent side panel. There are ample USB ports on the top front of the case for easy access, along with a perforated metal grill front panel that allows for adequate airflow across the case. Two red LED fans on the front act as intake, while a single red LED fan on the rear acts as exhaust.
The Intel Core i5 7400 processor in this computer is air cooled by a stock cooler, hence maintaining low temperatures isn’t exactly the forte of this system. The 7400 is based on the newest architecture from Intel, called Kaby Lake. This CPU has 4 physical cores, no hyperthreading, and a base clock speed of 3.00 GHz, along with a boost clock of 3.5 GHz and 6 MB of cache. It should be more than enough for gaming at 60 fps, and will handle multitasking just fine for average users who tend to browse the web while downloading torrent files and doing a virus scan in the background/ playing music simultaneously. But don’t try streaming at 1080p, 60 fps- this CPU is not an i7.
Gaming at 1080p is an extremely smooth experience, thanks to the GTX 1060 3GB graphics card. It can handle all modern titles such as Prey, Far Cry Primal, Mass Effect Andromeda, Witcher III, etc. at a mix of medium-high details and 60+ fps. You might need to stick to high textures instead of ultra in certain games such as DOOM 2016, Rainbow Six Siege, Mirrors Edge 2, etc. because of the limited VRAM. The computer comes with 8 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 120 GB SSD, along with a 1 TB 7200 rpm HDD. Windows 10 Home 64-bit is preinstalled on the SSD.
Very nice GPU for the price- GTX 1060 3GB
Intel Core i5 7400 processor- highly efficient and excellent value for money, can run almost any game smoothly
802.11 AC WIFI adapter provided
Windows 10 64-bit preinstalled
8 GB of RAM- good for now, but you need 16 GB to be future proof for another 4-5 years
120 GB SSD- don’t try storing too many games on the SSD, only the ones that you play the most
You’ll need to pick up your own peripherals. Check out our article on the best keyboards under $50 to avoid breaking the budget for a good keyboard to pair up.
While it is incredibly surprising that a sub 1000-dollar gaming PC has an overclockable Intel Core i5 7600k processor inside that runs at a base clock of 3.5 GHz and a boost clock of 3.8 GHz, the fact that it is mounted on a B250 chipset based motherboard completely nullifies all the advantages that this chip provides over a non-k SKU such as the Core i5 7600.
You can’t overclock this processor, but at least it runs faster than a Core i5 7400 or 7500. With that said, the GTX 1050ti graphics card inside this gaming desktop provides ample performance for running modern AAA title on medium-high settings and 1080p. It will play Battlefield 1, COD Infinite Warfare, NFS, Prey, Witcher III, and many more highly demanding games at elevated levels of visual detail and extremely smooth framerates (60+ fps).
The Intel Core i5 7600k is the exact same processor as the 7600, except for the fact that it features an unlocked multiplier which lets you bump up the clock speed from a base speed of 3.6 GHz, all the way up to 4.6 GHz guaranteed, or even 5 GHz if you get lucky in the silicon lottery. However, since the Gamer Xtreme GXi1980OPT doesn’t use a Z270 motherboard, and uses a B250 chipset based board instead, you will not be able to take advantage of the overclocking potential on this CPU. Which is definitely a little disappointing considering how good the rest of the hardware is- a GTX 1050ti and 8GB of DDR4 RAM provide you with all the power that you need to blaze through the latest AAA game titles at high settings and 1080p resolution.
The 1050ti from NVIDIA is based on their latest Pascal GPU architecture, and is incredibly power efficient while also being immensely powerful for the price. It packs 4 GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and can handle games such as Battlefield 1, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, Overwatch, Assassins Creed Unity, etc. on medium-high details without dipping below 60 fps on 1080p for an ultra-smooth experience. There is a 2 TB HDD for mass storage, but no SSD. However, it does come with a 16 GB Intel Optane module.
Of course, you would need a chassis to put all this processing power inside of- so the Gamer Xtreme GXi1980OPT uses a very well built and beautiful black and white themed mid tower ATX case that features metallic mesh grills on the front and a transparent side panel. There are two white LED cooling fans on the front, along with a single white LED cooling fan on the rear. The power buttons and USB ports are mounted to the side of the front panel, so this will help a lot if you use the PC on the desk, besides your display. You don’t have to get up every time you have to plug in a flash drive or press the power switch.
Nvidia GTX 1050ti 4GB graphics
Intel Core i5 7600k quad-core processor, max turbo speed of 3.8 GHz
Free RGB Gaming Keyboard from CYBERPOWERPC
Windows 10 Home 64-bit preinstalled
B250 chipset based motherboard doesn’t allow you to overclock
Unlike the previous offering from CYBERPOWERPC, this one doesn’t pack an unlocked Core i5 7600 processor. But guess what- it doesn’t need to, since the performance will be similar, or even better thanks to the fact that there is now a GTX 1060 6GB graphics card instead of a GTX 1050ti 4 GB card.
The price is slightly higher, but if you know anything about computer hardware pricing, you will immediately recognize that the GTX 1060 6GB model is worth about twice as much as a GTX 1050ti 4GB model. The reason for that is the fact that the 1060 performs about 60-70% better in most games and even twice as good in some titles. While the 1050ti is a low-end card designed for beginning gamers and e-sports enthusiasts, the 1060 is geared towards serious 1080p gaming and will deliver more than 60 fps on almost any AAA title with a combination of high-ultra graphics settings.
Despite being marginally costlier than the Gamer Xtreme GXi1980OPT, the Gamer Xtreme GXi10100A Desktop Gaming PC offers about 40-50% more frames per second on average thanks to its usage of a GTX 1060 6GB graphics card instead of the lower-end GTX 1050ti 4GB GPU.
How did CYBERPOWERPC manage to integrate such a significant improvement in terms of performance with such a tiny increase in price? Well, they simply switched out the Core i5 7600k processor with its non-overclockable brother, the Core i5 7600. Unless you have a Z-series chipset based motherboard, you can’t take advantage of overclocking on a K-series processor, and the Gamer Xtreme GXi1980OPT used a B250 motherboard, so the 7600-k processor was kind of a wasted chance.
Instead, they used an even cheaper H110 motherboard this time, as well as the slightly cheaper 7600 non-k CPU that performs identically to the 7600k at the same clock speeds. Both are the exact same piece of silicon, the only difference being that the k-series chip has an unlocked multiplier. The amount of money that was saved, allowed CYBERPOWERPC to invest in a much more powerful graphics card, thus significantly boosting overall performance. There is no Intel Optane memory module either, and the SSD is now 1TB instead of 2 TB. There is still 8 GB of DDR4 memory running at 2666 MHz, and Windows 10 Home 64- bit is preinstalled.
One really cool feature is the inclusion of RGB lighting inside the case, you can control it with the included lighting remote control. It uses the exact same chassis as the Gamer Xtreme GXi1980OPT, but features RGB strips and fans instead of plain red fans. There are 4 USB 3.0 ports, along with 4 USB 2.0 ports. The package also includes a 7-color backlit gaming keyboard + mouse combo from CYBERPOWERPC, along with free lifetime tech support and a 1-year warranty that covers parts and labor.
NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB graphics card
Windows 10 Home 64-bit preinstalled
Really cool RGB lighting
Weighs 32 pounds
While it certainly looks amazing, the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme GXi10180A desktop is truly a marvelous performer in terms of sheer multitasking power. You can play your favorite games on it and stream at the same time, or you can do content creation such as video and photo editing/ 3D model rendering, etc.
The power of an Intel Core i7 7700 3.6 GHz CPU lets you play games and do your work on the same PC. There is a total of 4 cores and 8 threads for you to play with, no game exists that will not run at max details on this processor, provided you pair it with a good enough graphics card. And talking of good graphics cards, how about a GTX 1060 3GB version made by NVIDIA?
Despite costing only a few dollars more than the previous CYBERPOWERPC model, this one packs a Core i7 7700 3.6 GHz processor. Meaning, it can process twice as many instruction threads simultaneously. This is still not as good as a true 8-core CPU, but it still beats a non-hyperthreaded 4-core processor in almost all workloads. The clock speed can boost up to 4.2 GHz, meaning that you can gain significant performance boosts while playing demanding games that take a heavy toll on your CPU processing times. There is 8 MB of cache for effortless application access and super-fast multitasking. You can game, stream, create, and work- all on the same PC.
But in order to play games, you need a good CPU paired with a good graphics card. And the GTX 1060 3GB is one really good graphics card- it packs almost as much power as a 6GB GTX 1060. You will find that the performance difference doesn’t become visually apparent until you actually play game that explicitly request more than 3 GB of VRAM such as DOOM on ultra, or Witcher III on ultra. If you plan on playing esports titles such as DOTA 2, LOL, CS GO, etc. then this is the perfect graphics card for that task.
Gaming at 1080p is a very smooth experience on this gaming desktop, and that is further augmented by the 7.1 channel surround audio support that is built into the onboard audio controller. The tempered glass side panel and red LED fans give this system a unique and stylish look, which means that you can enjoy staring at the powerful hardware inside this beautiful metallic case through the glass side panel whenever you are not busy working or gaming on your PC.
A 7-color gaming keyboard + mouse combo comes for free, along with the usual 1-year warranty on parts and labor as well as free lifetime tech support. Windows 10 Home 64-bit is preinstalled on the 1 TB, 7200 rpm HDD.
Great multitasking power with the Core i7 7700 4-core, 8-thread processor
GTX 1060 3GB graphics
Tempered glass side panels, red LED fans
Windows 10 Home 64-bit preinstalled
Heavy (31 pounds)
The Palladium 970Z desktop from CybertronPC packs the exact same hardware as the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme GXi10180A, with a few minor changes to the internal configuration. For example, there is 16 GB of DDR4 memory instead of 8, and the case is provided by the renowned PC case manufacturer Corsair. There is a 600-watt power supply, so you can easily upgrade the computer with a more powerful processor or graphics card in the future, without having to worry about PSU limitations. There are blue LED fans for intake and exhaust, and the side panel is transparent.
CybertronPC is known for providing reliable, well-optimized, and bloatware-free desktop gaming PCs at a reasonable price. The Palladium 970Z is no exception to that heritage, and comes with enough processing power to run almost any game at 1080p, 60 fps on high-ultra settings.
The CPU in this PC is one of the best all-round processors- it has strong enough single-thread performance for gaming, as well as great multitasking ability due to its 4 cores and 8 threads. The Intel Core i7 7700 runs at a base clock of 3.6 GHz, and has a boost clock of 4.2 GHz. There is 8 MB of cache onboard for effortless multitasking and smooth transitioning between multiple applications which are all open at the same time.
The graphics processor is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB model, this graphics chip is an appropriate companion for the Core i7 7700 processor. With the 1060 3GB version, you can play almost every game at high settings and 60+ fps. While it is certainly not as fast as the 6 GB version, you can still expect this GPU to perform almost as well in most scenarios.
Which brings us to the main point of attraction- the 16 GB of DDR4 RAM. While all the other desktops until now had been providing 8 GB of RAM, the Palladium 970Z comes with twice the amount of memory for smoother multitasking and it also gives you the ability to run certain open-world games that would not run at optimum levels on the rest of the machines until now. Besides, 16 GB of RAM is going to be adequate for another 4-5 years if you just plan on gaming.
The HDD is a 1 TB, 7200 rpm model and has Windows 10 Home 64-bit preinstalled so you can simply take the computer out of the box, boot it up, load your games, and start playing. Loading games will be a very fast process- there is a 24X DVD+/- Dual Layer optical drive, as well as 10/100/1000 Gigabit ethernet.
Eight USB 3.0 slots and 3 display ports take care of wired connectivity, while HDMI and DVI output ensure easy connections to displays/ projectors, etc. Free lifetime tech support and 1-year warranty on parts as well as labor if something goes wrong with your system (which should be very rare considering how well-built it is).
Core i7 77000 processor
GTX 1060 3GB graphics
Corsair case with good airflow and transparent side panel + 600w PSU
16 GB of RAM
Windows 10 Home 64-bit preinstalled
Color of lights cannot be changed
You’ll need to buy a keyboard and mouse separately. Pick a keyboard from our list here for best results.
This is the only gaming desktop we could find for under 1000 dollars that uses the famous AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor. It is in a league of its own when you consider multitasking power, and that should come as no surprise since the Ryzen 7 1700 packs 8 physical cores with simultaneous multi-threading (AMDs version of hyperthreading), meaning that this CPU can process 16 threads at the same time. The system is built inside a very beautiful case with tempered glass side panels, and graphics is handled by the AMD RX 580 GPU.
If you happen to be a fan of team RED, then this gaming desktop is perfect for you. And no, we are not saying that simply because it comes with an AMD graphics card and processor. We recommend this gaming desktop for hardcore multitaskers and content creators who want to game and stream at the same time without dropping a single frame, we recommend this desktop for 3D model designers and CAD enthusiasts who want an affordable starter PC to begin learning the essentials of 3D design and special effects, we recommend this desktop for professionals who wish to edit 4K videos. And the reason for all this is the fact that the Gamer Master GMA2200A has the best consumer grade desktop processor of any prebuilt system under 1000 dollars: the brand-new AMD Ryzen 7 1700 octa-core CPU.
Not only is the Ryzen 7 1700 a beastly processor due to the 16 threads that it can process simultaneously, but its single thread performance is about 40-50% better than previous generation Bulldozer CPUs. This massive increase in IPC along with a humungous amount of threads allows you to tackle almost any heavy-duty workload that you can think of.
For example, you can game in 4k while also recording and streaming to your platform of choice (Twitch, YouTube, etc.) at 1080p, 60 fps. You can edit and render 4k videos, work on massive and intricately detailed 3D models in Blender or Maya/ 3DS Max, and you can take on 4-5 applications at the same time without feeling even the slightest lag.
The graphics card is a 4GB AMD RX 580, it is superior to the GTX 1060 3GB by a tiny margin because of the performance advantage that AMD holds in DX12 and Vulkan titles, as well as the extra 1 GB of VRAM. To top it all off, the entire system is built inside a beautiful black and red themed case that has a tempered glass side panel.
You also get a 7-color backlit gaming keyboard and 4000 DPI mouse for free, along with free lifetime tech support and a 1-year warranty on parts and labor. Windows 10 Home 64-bit comes preinstalled on the 2TB, 7200 rpm HDD. And, there is 16GB of DDR4 RAM for future proofing.
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 8 core/ 16- thread CPU, best multitasking/ gaming processor you can find in any desktop under 1000 dollars
AMD RX 480 4GB graphics, superior to GTX 1060 3GB
16 GB of DDR4 RAM
2 TB, 7200 rpm HDD
Tempered glass side panel, brilliant internal lighting
Thermaltake 600W PSU
No built-in WIFI adapter
Everyone has unique needs, so the gaming desktop that you choose needs to be suited to the games that you play, as well as the budget that you have. All the six gaming desktops on this list are priced similarly, but there are a few differences between them in terms of hardware.
Choose wisely, and remember to take your time, as well as do some research before you settle on any particular configuration. We recommend the Ryzen system (the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Master GMA2200A) if you are a hardcore multitasker who does gaming along with streaming and content creation. For light gaming or playing esports-specific titles on a budget, the first computer on this list would be a great purchase.