Saturday, March 2, 2024

The 6 best gaming PCs under $1,000 in 2024

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Buying yourself a gaming PC can be frustrating, especially with how expensive GPUs have gotten on the market recently. That said, you don’t have to spend a huge amount of money on the game, and while you certainly won’t be able to get high-end performance, you can certainly do something relatively good for less than $1,000. Interestingly, there are actually quite a lot of options for under $1,000, although they range heavily in quality, and it’s nearly impossible to find a good gaming PC configuration from the big brand names that cost less than that.

To that end, we’ve done our best to collect the best picks under various categories. It’s important to note that the more you spend at this price bracket, the more you’re going to get out of it, which is unlike what you’d find at the higher-end, where you start getting diminishing returns. Of course, it’s important to grab something you can afford and feel comfortable with, so be sure to check all the options below thoroughly before taking the plunge, and if you can swing a little extra, it will go a long way.

The Best Gaming PCs Under $1,000 in 2024

  • Buy the 

    if you want the best low-price gaming PC under $1,000

  • Buy the 

    if you want the best gaming PC under $1,000 with a mouse and keyboard

  • Buy the 

    if you want the best gaming PC under $1,000 with integrated graphics

  • Buy the 

    if you want the best gaming PC under $1,000 with an RTX 3050

  • Buy the

    if you want the best gaming PC under $1,000 with RTX 3060

  • Buy the 

    if you want the best expensive gaming PC under $1,000

Skytech Gaming

Best low-price gaming PC under $1,000

Skytech

Pros
Cons

Excellent price
Doesn’t bundle a keyboard and mouse

Comes with 16Gb of RAM
GPU could be better

Good storage

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This is the cheapest gaming PC on the list, and while it won’t be able to play most modern games on high settings, you will be able to do some casual and indie gaming, as well as some more modern gaming with some graphical compromises. The GTX 1650 is part of the older GTX-16 series, so it’s showing its age at this point, but it can still manage to do some 1080p gaming, especially if you’re aiming for some of the free-to-play games out there, which tend to be well-optimized for entry-level graphics cards. Also, at this price, it’s a solid jumping-off point if you want to make any upgrades in the future, and while this won’t handle any of the higher-end cards, you can certainly go for a mid-range option sometime down the line.

As for processing power, you get the i3-12100F, which is an entry-level desktop CPU that pairs nicely with the GTX 1650 and will be able to handle some strategy and simulation games, although more likely ones that are a few years old. It’s also going to handle most productivity tasks just fine, although don’t expect to get more complex things like graphical editing or anything like that, at least not without a lot of slow-down. That said, it’s a perfect option if you want to be within a low budget while still having some versatility in what the PC can do.

Probably one of the most impressive things about this PC is the 16GB of RAM, which is something you don’t regularly see at this price point and will give you a lot more quality of life overall. In terms of storage, you get a 500GB SSD, so it’s going to be pretty fast, and the size isn’t too bad, especially since most games this GPU can handle won’t require the 2k or 4k files that are very large in size. The only big downside here is that you don’t get a mouse and keyboard, which is a shame.

Specifications

CPU

i3-12100F

Graphics Card

GTX 1650

RAM
16GB DDR4

Storage
500 GB

Dimensions

16 x 8.4 x 18,1 inches

Weight

23 pounds

iBUYPOWER SlateMR

Best gaming PC under $1,000 with mouse and keyboard

iBUYPOWER

Pros
Cons

Includes mouse and keyboard
GPU isn’t that great

Solid CPU performance
RAM could be better

Good amount of storage

This configuration of the iBUYPOWER is very similar to the Skytech, with the one positive being that it throws in both a mouse and keyboard, which is great for those who want to keep their expenditures as low as possible. Of course, the downside is that these are generic and aren’t going to be as good as a brand-name keyboard and mouse, but they’re a good starter set to get you going, and you could always upgrade them down the line.

In terms of gaming performance, you get the RX550, which is an AMD GPU and roughly equivalent to a GTX 1050, which is a bit worse off than something like the GTX 1650 above. So, you are giving up a bit of graphical performance for the extra gear, but you should still manage most older games without an issue, and free-to-play games should also not be that much of a problem with some graphical compromises. And, of course, this is a good platform for upgrades later, especially since the 600-watt power supply shouldn’t struggle with a slightly better GPU if you want to upgrade at some point.

As for the CPU, the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is roughly equivalent to the Intel i3 from above, so it’s well-paired with the RX550, and it’s always nice to see an all-AMD setup. Productivity should also be pretty good on this, although, again, editing might be a bit difficult. You also do get only 8GB of RAM, which is the minimum we’d expect to see, although for a budget gaming PC, and at this price point, it’s about right, as is the 500GB of storage. Overall, this iBUYPOWER configuration is all about trading some specs for the inclusion of the mouse and keyboard while keeping it at a low price.

Specifications

CPU

AMD Ryzen 3 3100

Graphics Card

AMD RX550

RAM
8GB

Storage
500 GB

Dimensions

13.78 x 7.56 x 14.96 inches

Weight

38 pounds

CLX SET Gaming Desktop

Best gaming PC under $1,000 with integrated graphics

CLX

Pros
Cons

Excellent CPU
Doesn’t have a discrete GPU

Lots of RAM and storage

Comes with a mouse and keyboard

If you’re willing to give up a discreet GPU for a much better processor, you could consider going for this configuration of the CLX SET. Now, you might be wondering why you’d buy a gaming PC without an actual GPU, but if you’re mostly playing older games or want something that can handle emulation, something with a much more powerful CPU makes a lot of sense. Not only that, but you could always add a discrete GPU somewhere down the line if you want, so it’s not a complete loss on that front, either.

As for the CPU you’re getting, it’s the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G, which is a mid-to-high-end CPU that’s a lot more versatile and two levels above the Intel i3 and Ryzen R3 you’ve seen so far. It can handle pretty much any productivity task you throw at it, and it should be able to handle some editing tasks as well, which is nice. As for what it can run, well, that’s going to be a bit more complicated since that will vary wildly on what you want to run, but there are many games, especially from around 2017 and before, that it should be able to handle. Plus, it can likely run most emulation software just fine, so if you’re a retro gamer, it’s a pretty solid option.

You also do get 16GB of RAM, which really does go a long way in terms of quality of life and having a much smoother overall experience, so we’re happy to see that here. We’re also rather impressed to see a much larger 1TB of storage, so you aren’t likely to run up against any storage issues any time soon. CLX has even thrown in a mouse and keyboard for good measure, so besides grabbing a monitor and headphones, you should be ready to get started on gaming immediately.

Specifications

CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 5700G

Graphics Card

Integrated

RAM
16GB DDR4

Storage
1TB

Dimensions

11.73 x 4.61 x 1.81 inches

Weight

27 pounds

CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme

Best gaming PC under $1,000 with RTX 3050

CyberPowerPC

Pros
Cons

Comes with an RTX 3050
CPU could be a bit better for the price

Has 16GB of RAM

Access to DLSS

Moving up to a more modern GPU, this CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme is a better option if you’re looking for something that can handle more modern games. That’s because it comes with an RTX 3050, and while that’s still a budget-friendly GPU, it does have some positives over the older GTX lineup. That means you not only get really solid 1080p performance, even with modern games, but you also get access to DLSS, which is a technology that can help increase framerates without impacting performance significantly.

The CPU is a mid-range Intel Core i5-12400F, which won’t bottleneck the RTX 3050 and will provide a lot of added benefits to the lower-model i3s that you saw with the first couple of listings. That means more productivity work and a greater ability to handle strategy and simulation games. We also appreciate that CyberPowerPC has included 16GB of RAM, which will give you a smoother experience when gaming and browsing and is way better than the typical 8GB of RAM you’d see at this price point.

As for storage, you’re looking at 1TB, which isn’t too bad, even for the more modern games that the RTX 3050 can handle. You even get a mouse and keyboard thrown into the mix, although, at this point, we’d probably consider going for one of these mouse deals or keyboard deals since they’re a better upgrade than a newer GPU. So, overall, this is probably the most rounded of the gaming PCs under $1,000, so if you want something that has a little bit of everything, we’d suggest springing for this one.

Specifications

CPU

Intel Core i5-12400F

Graphics Card

RTX 3060

RAM
16GB

Storage
1 TB

Dimensions

18.7 x 8.2 x 18.5 inches

Weight

28 pounds

CyberPowerPC Gamer Master

Best gaming PC under $1,000 with RTX 3060

CyberPowerPC

Pros
Cons

Has an RTX 3060
CPU could be a bit better

Great storage and RAM
A bit more storage would also have been nice

Access to DLSS

Going up yet another level, this configuration has an RTX 3060, which is a very versatile card, especially if you’re considering moving up a resolution at some point. While overall the RTX 3060 is an excellent 1080p gaming card, it actually recently did a good job at 1440p, although you probably won’t push over 60Hz with good graphical settings. As such, this is actually a great option if you have a 2k gaming monitor with a solid refresh rate, where you can prioritize graphics, resolution, or refresh rate, depending on what you want to get out of your gaming experience.

In terms of processing power, you get the mid-range AMD Ryzen 5 5500, which is a fairly versatile CPU and won’t bottleneck the RTX 3060, but we would have liked to see something like Ryzen 7 on this at this price point. Even so, it’s not even remotely a deal-breaker, especially since it’s still pretty good for productivity and editing. We’re also very happy to see that it comes with 16GB, especially at this price, considering you’re already getting close to that $1,000 mark.

You’ll also be happy to know that CyberPowerPC also throws in a keyboard and mouse, although, much like the other options, it’s probably better to grab brand-name ones. As for storage, the 1TB is more than enough for most use cases, although if you ever feel like you are, you should be able to add another SSD in there for a little bit extra.

Specifications

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 5500

Graphics Card

RTX 3060

RAM
16GB

Storage
1 TB

Dimensions

17.7 x 7.8 x 17.9 inches

Weight

33 pounds

iBUYPOWER SlateMesh

Best expensive gaming PC under $1,000

Pros
Cons

Excellent GPU performance
RAM could have been better

Solid CPU

The final PC on this list doesn’t have an Nvidia graphics card but instead runs an AMD Radeon RX 6700, which is roughly equivalent to an RTX 4060 Ti, so it’s a solid option if you want to start thinking about mid-tier gaming. For the most part, the RX 6700 is a good option if you want to game at 1440p, and even outshines the RTX 4060 Ti in that regard when it comes to certain games. That said, you don’t get access to the latest DLSS 3.0, which is an Nvidia tech, and AMD’s ray-tracing tech isn’t quite at the level of Nvidia, but it’s pretty close.

As for processing power, we’re very happy to see the inclusion of the AMD Ryzen 7 5700, a mid-to-high-end CPU that’s perfect for most tasks you’re likely to throw at it, whether it’s gaming or productivity. Also, much like a couple of other options on this list, you get 16GB of RAM, although we will say that it would have been nice if they were DDR5, especially given that this PC is just a cent cheaper than $1,000. It’s certainly not a dealbreaker, though, especially since you probably won’t get a ton of use out of the latest DDR5 RAM with the rest of these specifications anyway.

Storage sits at 1TB, which is great, and you get a mouse and keyboard, both of which you should consider upgrading as soon as possible. Overall, the iBUYPOWER SlateMesh is really the gaming PC you should go for if you want the best you can buy while spending just shy of $1,000.

Specifications

CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 5700

Graphics Card

AMD Radeon RX 6700

RAM
16GB

Storage
1 TB

Dimensions

17.9 x 8.6x 18 inches

Weight

38 pounds

How We Chose These Gaming PCs Under $1,000

Graphics performance

When it comes to a gaming PC, one of the most important things is how good it is at playing games, and a lot of that relies on the sort of GPU that it has. That said, GPU prices have skyrocketed in the past couple of years, and it’s become harder and harder to find good PCs with powerful GPUs at good prices. That means that pretty much any PC you’re going to get for under $1,000 is going to be entry-level since that’s the sort of level of gear that we’re currently seeing on the market.

Even so, that doesn’t mean you don’t have any options, and we’ve done our best to pick configurations that will at least handle indie and casual games and potentially some older games or emulation software relatively well. But it’s important to note that you aren’t going to be able to play the latest AAA games on high graphical settings, even at 1080p, if you want to spend less than $1,000. This isn’t all bad, especially if you don’t really care about the latest AAA games and are mostly interested in free-to-play games, older games, emulation, or casual stuff.

Expandability

One thing that we consider a saving grace when it comes to these entry-level computers is that they do have some capacity to be upgraded with relative ease in the future. Now, of course, you aren’t going to be able to stick something like an RTX 4090 in these; the CPUs won’t be able to handle it, and neither will the PCI-e slots or the power supply. Even so, you should be able to make some upgrades to all the picks we’ve done here, as we’ve avoided some of the brand-name PCs that have proprietary hardware. So, upgrading to an RTX 3050 or one of the RTX 20-series GPUs, such as the RTX 2060 super or RTX 2070 super, isn’t completely out of the question, although it’s always worth double-checking if your motherboard, PSU, and CPU can support your upgrade before doing it.

This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.

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