If you’re in the market for a new gaming PC and you don’t have a huge budget, in this guide, we’ve covered a handful of the best prebuilt gaming PCs under $1,000 to help you find an affordable and powerful system.
We are a big proponent of building your own gaming PC. On a dollar-for-dollar basis, building your own PC will give you more performance for your money and it is a rewarding experience as well. (Check out our guide on budget-friendly gaming PC builds.)
However, not everyone wants to build their own system and that’s okay, too. The good news is that there are plenty of excellent prebuilt gaming desktops that can be had for under $1,000.
And, in this post, we’ve put together a list of five excellent prebuilt desktops that are not only affordable, but that will give you high-end performance as well. All of the desktops on this list will be good enough to max out the majority of today’s top games on a 1080P display.
We’ve also linked to a $1,000 gaming PC build as well, just in case you’re open to building your own system to maximize the performance you can get out of your budget.
But, if you’re looking for a new moderately-priced gaming PC and you don’t want to build it yourself, check out our recommendations below.
Quick Look: The Best Prebuilt PCs Under $1,000
CyberPowerPC Gamer Master
Empowered PC Stratos Micro
HP Pavilion TG01
$1,000 PC Build
*For more information on the prebuilt desktops above, click the “Read Review »” link to go to our overview of that PC.
Best prebuilt PC under $1,000
The Skytech Azure is our selection for the best overall prebuilt gaming PC under $1,000. There’s a lot to like about this system. For starters, its hardware configuration is perhaps the most well-rounded out of all of the options on this list (with exception to the DIY build).
It comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X processor, an NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti graphics card, 16GB of DDR4 memory, a 1TB SSD, and a 650-watt 80PLUS Gold-rated power supply.
The combination of the Ryzen 5 5600X, the RTX 3060 Ti, and the 16GB of RAM are powerful enough to run any game on max settings on a 1080P display and is even capable of pushing games on higher settings at 1440P resolution.
And, while the CyberPowerPC machine listed below offers next-generation components, the reality is that the older RTX 3060 Ti offers more GPU performance than the newer RTX 4060 in demanding games, thanks to the fact that it has more memory bandwidth. And, the in-game performance difference between the Ryzen 5 5600X and Ryzen 5 7600 will be minimal.
So, since these two systems are the same price, we gave the edge to this Skytech desktop because it came with the more powerful GPU.
Either option will serve you well and if you want to opt for the newer hardware, the CyberPowerPC Gamer Master or the Skytech Nebula would be a great options as well.
2. CyberPowerPC Gamer Master
The best next-gen prebuilt under $1,000
While the Skytech Azure listed above will provide a little bit more in-game performance, this CyberPowerPC desktop will perform similarly and it features newer generation hardware.
It comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 7600 processor, an NVIDIA RTX 4060 graphics card, 16GB of DDR5 memory, and a 500GB SSD.
So, that’s a CPU from AMD’s latest Ryzen release, a new RTX 4000-series GPU, and the newest class of double data rate technology (DDR4) in RAM. Unfortunately, the RTX 4060 was a let down for many thanks to its reduced 128-bit memory bandwidth. While the lower bandwidth won’t play a factor in less demanding titles, for newer and more-demanding games like Starfield, it absolutely will have a negative impact.
Still, though, the RTX 4060 is going to be able to max out most games on a 1080P monitor. And, the performance difference between the RTX 4060 and the RTX 3060 Ti will be small in the grand scheme of things. But, for the same price, why not get the more powerful GPU?
In any case, this CyberPowerPC desktop is still worth considering as it has a powerful array of hardware and offers the newer generation CPU and DDR5. It would also be worth checking just to see if the price changes on it. If it were to drop to a lower pricepoint, that might make it a better value option over the Skytech Azure.
3. Empowered PC Stratos Micro
The option with the most GPU performance
As most modern games rely far more heavily on GPU performance than they do on CPU performance, it makes sense to choose a PC that comes with the best graphics card possible, even if that means sacrificing a little CPU performance.
That’s where this Empower PC desktop has the edge.
This desktop comes with an Intel Core i5-10400F processor, an NVIDIA RTX 3070 graphics card, 16GB of DDR4 memory, and a 512GB NVME SSD.
The RTX 3070 is the best GPU out of all of the options on this list (with exception to the PC build at the bottom of this guide.) And, while its older Intel Core i5-10400F isn’t the ideal CPU for this price range, it is still a good enough processor to where it won’t bottleneck the RTX 3070 in the vast majority of gaming scenarios.
So, if you don’t mind sacrificing some CPU performance in order to obtain the most GPU performance possible, then this Empower PC computer would be worth your consideration.
4. Skytech Nebula
The best value option under $1,000
While this Skytech Nebula desktop might be lower down on this list, in reality it might be the best overall option simply because it comes in at much lower cost than the options above and it will provide similar performance.
Its hardware configuration consists of a newer Intel Core i5-13400F processor, an NVIDIA RTX 4060 graphics card, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB SSD.
Yes, it does come with the slightly weaker RTX 4060 when compared to the Azure’s stronger RTX 3060 Ti. And, yes, we gave the Azure the edge over the CyberPowerPC desktop because the Azure came with the RTX 4060.
However, those two systems were price the same. The Skytech Nebula costs ~$150 less!
There’s a lot you can do with that extra $150. You could pair this system with a 144Hz refresh rate monitor, or get a solid keyboard & mouse combo, or just pocket it.
The bottom line is that if you’re looking for the best price-to-performance option, with the exception of building the PC yourself, this Skytech desktop is probably your best bet.
5. HP Pavilion TG01
A solid cheaper prebuilt desktop
If your goal is to spend as little as possible but still get a prebuilt desktop that can easily max out anything you throw at it on a 1080P monitor, then this HP Pavilion might be the best option for you.
This HP Pavilion comes with an Intel Core i5-10400F processor, an NVIDIA RTX 3060 graphics card, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a micro-ATX case.
The best part about the HP Pavilion is the fact that it comes in at about ~$820, making it quite a bit cheaper than the other five options on this list. (Although, you could build a much more powerful system for ~$800.)
And, while it won’t offer quite the same in-game performance as the other desktops in this guide, the combination of the Intel Core i5-10400F and the RTX 3060 will be powerful enough to run anything on a 1080P monitor on higher settings.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a solid prebuilt gaming desktop that comes in at well under $1,000 and that will give you ideal performance on a 1080P monitor, then this HP gaming desktop would be worth checking out.
6. $1,000 Gaming PC Build
A lot more performance for the same cost
Here we go again. Yet another attempt to get you to try and build your own PC. Will we ever give up? Absolutely not.
While building your own PC might seem challenging, it isn’t as difficult as you’d imagne. And, you’re going to get a much better PC for the same amount of money.
Check out our Step-By-Step PC Building guide.
With a $1,000 budget, there are many routes you can go for a PC build. But, we feel the part list we have linked to here is an excellent option.
This PC build comes with an Intel Core i5-12400F processor, an XFX Radeon RX 6800 graphics card, 16GB of 3600 MHz DDR4 memory, a 1TB SSD, a mid tower tempered glass PC case, and a 650-watt fully modular 80PLUS Gold-rate power supply.
The RX 6800 graphics card in this build is a significantly more powerful GPU than all of the options on this list. That alone makes this the most powerful gaming PC in this guide.
Ultimately, whether or not buidling your own PC is the right option will come down to you. If you’re not up for the challenge, buying a prebuilt is a perfectly fine alternative. You will just be leaving performance on the table.
For the full part list and build overview, check out our guide How to Build A Gaming PC Under $1,000.
Which sub-$1,000 prebuilt gaming PC is best?
With a budget of ~$1,000, you have quite a few solid prebuilt desktop options to choose from. All of the gaming PCs listed above will easily max out any game you run on them on a 1080P monitor. And, in fact, they are also all powerful enough to where they should be paired with a higher refresh rate monitor.
So, the desktop that is best for you will really all come down to how much you want to spend and what games you’re playing (if you’re playing non-demanding games like League of Legends or Rocket League, you can get away with spending less). And, regardless of how much you have to spend and the types of games you’re playing, one of the options listed above should meet your needs.