With this build, our goal is to provide the best gaming PC build under $1000.
Now that you’ve entered this price range, you aren’t compromising on any level of performance. This is where you easily max out every title at 1080p and start pushing for higher resolutions and higher framerates.
This is also where even more high-end tasks, like streaming and Virtual Reality, become possibilities, too. Since you’re paying about $1K, we’ve affectionately named this one the One-K King.
Our Requirements For The $1000 Gaming PC Build
The One-K King, as its title implies, boasts all the power and performance that you’d expect from a build you’re spending this much money on. Let’s see where we decided to place that.
No Compromises. When you’re working under a budget for performance-oriented reasons, you often find yourself making various compromises to get the best for your money. Not so here- value can be maintained without compromising on any part of the build or its capabilities, allowing the full range of PC gaming to be experienced with this one machine.
Overclocking Capabilities. Being able to overclock your processor and GPU is a vital part of extending the life of your build and providing more user options. While we don’t dive deep into that kind of thing here, the hardware we’ve chosen is ready for you to squeeze more out of it should you want to.
Streaming and VR-Ready. If you’re paying a thousand dollars, you should be able to enjoy all gaming has to offer. Streaming, content production and VR gaming fall under that umbrella, so we’ve ensured that this build can do all of those things.
While you would still need to invest in a VR headset to play VR titles or upgrade to an i7 for a really high-end streaming/video creation, the hardware here is already great for those tasks and should be for the foreseeable future.
Components of The One-K King Update:
EVGA ACX 3.0 GTX 1060 6GB
An excellent mid-high end GPU, more than enough for 1080p games at max and VR gaming.
Ballistix Elite 8GB DDR4-2666 RAM
All the RAM you need for gaming and multitasking, but maybe not productivity apps.
ADATA SU800 M.2 256GB SSD
An SSD big enough to hold your OS and a good few of your favorite games for fast loading.
Corsair TXM 550W 80+ Gold-Certified Semi-Modular PSU
A great power supply from Corsair that will provide all the power this build needs.
MSI Z270-A PRO Motherboard
A high-quality motherboard from Gigabyte that unlocks overclocking capabilities.
Estimated $998.58 at Amazon
(Price are accurate as of February 9, 2018)
We’ve talked about what this build can do and what the requirements are.
Now, let’s talk about what makes up the insides of this One-K King, the gaming royalty that you’re soon to be a part of.
First off, the i5-6600k makes up the heart of this build. Its gaming performance is incredible, and should give you all the power you need for your favorite games.
In addition to best-in-class gaming performance, this i5 will also do a formidable job at streaming games and rendering videos. While you may need to turn down a game’s settings to get good streaming performance and you don’t have the i7-speeds of rendering, you’ll still be in the high end performing these tasks.
We wanted to put the i5-7600K in this build instead, but at the time of writing it’s not available. If it is, add it to your build instead by clicking here.
The CRYORIG H7 is an excellent air cooler with plenty of mass on the heatsink and a huge fan to keep it all cool. You can also opt for a liquid cooler if you like, but those are a fair bit more expensive and we’ve opted to keep those in the optional upgrades section. The H7 is one of the best budget air coolers you can find out there.
The GTX 1060- both of its versions- is the best midrange GPU on the market. The 6GB version ups VRAM and overall performance in able to be able to take on Virtual Reality gaming scenarios, in addition to stronger 1440p and 4K gaming performance. EVGA is also an excellent Nvidia GPU manufacturer, thanks to their solid build quality and great customer service.
Here we come again with 8GB of DDR4 RAM. While some in this price range may opt for 16GB, we don’t find that to be necessary- until you’ve started getting really deep into content production.
8GB will more than suffice for gaming and multitasking as things are now. We’ve also bumped up the speed to 2666 Mhz.
Additionally, Crucial’s Ballistix Series offers superb performance at every price range. While higher frequency clocks don’t offer much in the way of gaming performance increases, buying quality memory will typically save you headaches in the long run.
The Toshiba P300 1TB HDD is a great storage drive, and should hold plenty of your favorite games and media with little issue. You can replace this with a larger SSD in the build if its storage isn’t to your satisfaction, but for starters the Toshiba P300 is definitely an amazing way to supplement your SSD’s speed and reliability.
Corsair makes some pretty great PC hardware all-around, and their PSUs are among my favorite to recommend because of their build quality and reliability. This 550W Gold-Certified power supply from them is no different, offering more than enough power to be the beating heart of this build and being pretty power-efficient on top of it, hopefully saving you a bit on your electric bill each month.
Since we want this build to be overclockable, we have to invest in a motherboard with the Z270 chipset. This adds quite a lot of the pricing of a motherboard, but it also adds significantly to build quality and features on hand.
While your motherboard won’t affect your level of gaming performance in any realistic way, having a better motherboard enables features like CPU and memory overclocking, alongside more ports and BIOS features for enthusiasts to enjoy.
The MSI Z270-A PRO is one of the best boards in this price range right now, and we wholeheartedly recommend it.
The Corsair SPEC-02 is one of our favorite parts in this build. Thanks to the higher price range, we were able to invest in a case with no compromises at all.
Corsair makes great builder-friendly cases, for one. You’re unlikely to have any problems putting together your PC with this as an enclosure.
In addition to superior ease-of-use and build quality, the Corsair SPEC-02 also includes two intake fans in addition to its exhaust, offering superior cooling right out of the box.
The One-K King doesn’t come without upgradeability, of course! Here are just a few recommended upgrades that we have in mind for this build.
Note: These will raise the price of the build!
If you want to dive deeper into streaming and video creation, the i7-7700K is one of the best processors on the market right now. You won’t get much of a gaming performance boost, but CPU-stressful tasks will become much easier for your machine to handle.
If you’re serious about being, say, a streamer or a YouTuber, the i7 is a worthy investment. If you’re just here for the games, though, you probably don’t need one.
The Corsair H60 is a great budget water cooling solution, and if you plan on overclocking your CPU, you’re advised to buy it. This is because liquid cooling grants much lower temps than what you can get with air cooling.
The cooler your CPU can run, the higher and safer you can overclock.
The EVGA GTX 1080 is a beast of a GPU, but this model comes with a factory overclock and EVGA’s excellent ACX cooler. Expect top-of-the-line graphics performance alongside firstclass cooling, build quality and customer service with this card.
While the 1070 can beast through most games you put on it, the GTX 1080 is even more crazy-powerful. It should allow you to easily max out games at 1440p and even start pushing higher settings in 4K/VR titles.
OS Options and Recommended Peripherals
Now, ideally, you’ll already have a pre-existing OS and peripherals to transfer over from your old machine to your new one. In case you don’t, though, we’ve included this section on peripherals for the One-K King, including OS, mouse, keyboard and monitor selections.
Note that all of these will raise the price of the build!
An operating system is required for a PC to actually do much of anything, games included. Every computer has an operating system- even your phones do!
Android phones, for instance, run on various versions of the Android operating system, typically manufacturer-specific.
In the case of your PC, you’re going to want to either transfer/activate a pre-existing retail Windows license on your computer, or install a new OS.
For the best gaming compatibility, you’ll need to buy Windows 10. We’ve recommended the OEM version here since that can save you a lot of money over a retail edition
Unfortunately, itcan’t be transferred to other machines or activated on multiple machines.
You can also install a Linux distribution for free, in the form of Ubuntu Linux or Linux Mint. However, these will have lower gaming compatibility and will be much more difficult to set up and use for the common user.
You can’t start using your One-K King without something to control it! Here are a few great mouse/keyboard options, in case you don’t have anything laying around the house.
For Starters: ($15)
The Logitech MK120 Kit bundles a mouse and keyboard together for the low, low price of $15. Logitech is a fairly great manufacturer, and this kit, in particular, is very popular in school and office environments for that reason.
While investing in better hardware may be ideal for a gaming experience, these are just fine to start you off.
For Advanced Users: ($100)
Of course, if you want some more gaming-oriented hardware, here are a few high-quality recommendations that won’t break the bank.
The Logitech G502 is one of the highest-rated gaming mice on the market, and for good reason. With a top-of-the-line sensor and build quality, it’s a staple of Logitech’s line of gaming mice and a favorite for gamers everywhere. (I use the G402, personally, but plan to upgrade soon.)
The Redragon K551 is an under-recognized miracle: a great mechanical gaming keyboard for under $50! A few years ago, the very idea of something like this was beyond comprehension, but it’s here, it’s real, and it’s quite highly-rated by the people who bought it.
We don’t normally recommend newer manufacturers, but the Redragon guys seem to know what they’re doing. Consider this mechanical keyboard if you’re serious about writing or competitive gaming!
Your monitor is key. How are you going to take in all these great graphics without the screen to take it in? Here are a few recommendations if you don’t have a monitor or HDTV around your place.
For Starters ($100)
The Asus VH238H is our entry-level 1080p monitor, optimized for gaming with a low response time. While cheap, it’s respectably built and is easily the best entry-level 1080p monitor on the market right now.
For Advanced Users ($180+)
The Acer GN246HL and Acer XF240H are two great 144hz monitors that we highly recommend to any serious gamers who want a competitive edge. Now that you’re playing with the One-K King, you’ll find that you can push many games into the 100+ FPS range at 1080p.
Whether you’re listening to music or immersed deeply in a competitive game, trust us: you need sound. Here are a few options.
The Logitech Z130 Speakers are a great, entry-level set of speakers with good sound and build quality. These come highly recommended if you don’t have speakers already and you’d like to enjoy making some noise.
You can get online through a wireless or a wired connection, and we’ll go over two great options for that here.
Want to get online? Don’t feel like blaming lag?
If that’s the case, invest in a wired connection. This 25-foot ethernet cable should do the trick perfectly, saving you from wireless interference and providing you the best possible network performance.
To show proper loyalty to your royalty, make sure to read up on these building tips before building the One-K King.
Invest In Antistatic Equipment
Static discharge can fry all those valuable components you just purchased. If you want to prevent this from happening to you, you definitely need to buy an anti-static wristband for the build process. You can also use an anti-static mat to place your motherboard and other components on, but we recommend you don’t go without the wristband.
Watch Building Guides
Building PCs can be scary for a first-timer, but, fortunately, it’s actually pretty simple. With Tek Syndicate’s build guide above, plus your own discretion with the manuals of the components you’ve purchased, you shouldn’t have a problem putting together your PC. Secure your wristband, clear your workspace, and clear your schedule while you’re at it. The first-time build may take multiple hours, but, once you’re done with it,you’re going to feel great.
Install OS Via USB
To save money and some headaches, install your OS via USB. To do this with Windows, download and run the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. All you’ll need is a 4GB USB stick and a license key, and you won’t have any problem installing your OS off your flash drive. If you’re thinking of using one of the Linux distributions, try out UNetbootin or Rufus.
And that’s it!
If you followed us properly, you’ve assembled the One-K King and have the best 1000 dollar gaming PC.
Enjoy your gaming, and remember:
Long live the King!