The Best Gaming PC Build for under $1,000 (2014 Edition)


The goal of this guide is to build the best PC possible for gaming with a $1,000 budget. Not only will this system be great for gaming but also almost any other task.

The Build

CPU: Intel i5-4670 [$210]

This is the heart of your system and you want something fast. Intel i5 is the way to go for a gaming PC. Consider the K version if you want additional overclocking ability. If you can grab the K version for the same price or less, do it.

Motherboard: ASRock Extreme4 Z87 [$145]

A great value motherboard. Don’t get tricked into spending $250, $300+ here, it will not result in any additional performance.

RAM: G.Skill 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3-1600 [$150]

The key here is to just get DDR3-1600, the brand does not matter that much. G.Skill is known however for being reliable and a great value.

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB [$55]

If you go with an traditional Hard Drive (HDD) make sure you get one that spins at 7200RPM and one that operates on SATA 6.0GB/s. Slower models are for energy savings and reduce system performance; not for gaming. See the SSD upgrade option below.

GPU: PNY Nvidia GTX760 [$240]

The GPU is going to have a big impact on your gaming performance. Don’t cheap out here. The better your GPU, the higher FPS you will achieve in game as well as being able to turn up the graphics quality settings (yumm… eye candy). When looking for a GTX760, you will see many different brands. Essentially, they are all the same with slight differences having to do with MFR warranty and cooler designs. PNY, EGVA, ASUS, MSI, etc are all fine.

Case: CoolerMaster HAF912 [$60]

This is a very personal choice and there are many options. As long as it follows the ATX standard (to accept your ATX motherboard) you are pretty much fine. Choose something you like.

PSU: Corsair HX750 [$130]

Corsair PSU’s have been reliable and a good buy for many years now. 750W is enough power. Don’t cheap out on your PSU; you will regret it.

Optional Upgrades & Extras

SSD: Samsung 250GB 840 EVO [+$160]

An SSD is the single best upgrade you can do for this build or any other build. While not necessary, it will really speed up the feel of your system in everyday use as well as decrease load times in game. If you have some room in your budget, grab and SSD. Keep an HDD installed in your system as a second drive for storage.

GPU: EVGA GTX760 [+$120]

The GTX770 is about $120 more than the GTX760, however that will buy you a significant performance boost for gaming.

OS: Windows 8 [+$100]

If you want to do modern gaming, you want Windows 7 or 8 (make sure you grab a 64 bit version). If you do not have a license to use, grab an OEM copy on NewEgg for around $100.

Total: $990 (or up to $1,370 with all the upgrades)

Note: prices are always changing and generally decreasing over time (especially when it comes to technology and electronics). If you find this article later in the year, the list still applies and you are likely to get it even cheaper than the prices listed here.

What do you think?