It’s an exciting time to be a gamer. With the release of massive, triple-A titles like Overwatch, Paladins, Quake and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds heralding the rise of new genres like Hero Shooters and the rebirth of classic game modes like multiplayer skirmish and deathmatch arenas, games are getting not just better looking, but more competitive.
If shooting up your friends or blowing them apart with jury-rigged explosives in stunning virtual environments isn’t your thing, there’s the opportunity to command vast armies of dwarfs, shambling vampires and rampaging orcs in Total War: Warhammer II. Or mastering the nuances of futuristic intercontinental supply and demand in Anno: 2205. And the simple pleasures of building a home and raising a family in the ever-popular Sims 4.
Whatever your genre preference, one thing’s for sure: you’re going to need a reliable gaming rig to keep up and stay competitive with today’s generation of PC games. But new computers and hardware upgrades are costly, and not every one of us has the technical confidence to throw together our own rig out of a pile of custom ordered parts.
What to do? We’ve got you covered: read on to discover the best gaming PC available to order from Amazon, and all for under $1000.
Top-Rated Cheap Gaming PCs - Comparison Table
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Reviews of the Best Gaming PCs Under $1000
What immediately signals to everyone who sees your tower that you’re a hardcore gamer? A transparent case and bright backlighting, of course.
What loudly announces to the world that you’re an Xtreme hardcore gamer? A black case, and bright, bold red backlighting, that’s what.
Color snobbery aside, in all seriousness, while the GXi10180A tries maybe a little too hard in the color department (but hey, maybe you’re into the color scheme, we don’t judge…people, anyway), it’s a solid rig for powerhouse gaming.
It’s clearly deserving of a spot on our list of best gaming desktops under $1000. And it should be: e-sports fans ought to recognize the CyberPower brand from their prolific appearance in many professional gaming leagues, and as the official gaming platform of choice for many pro gaming organizations and livestreamers.
Let’s get to the specs: the system runs off an Intel B250 Chipset and an Intel i7-7700 Quad-Core processor that tops out at a solid 3.6 GHz. It’s got 8GB DDR4, and its 1 terabyte HDD has got plenty of room to install those great online multiplayer survival games that keep auto-patching but you never actually get time to play anymore because grown-up responsibilities. (Conan Exiles, that one’s for you.)
As for luxury equipment, this baby comes equipped with a dual-layer 24X DVD-RW and runs off of 64-bit Windows 10 Home, a see-through tempered glass side case panel, and a light-‘em-up USB plug-in 7-color gaming keyboard so you could find your favorite frag keys even in the dark.
As a gamer, what you’re probably most interested in is its NVIDIA GTX 1060 Video Card: at 3GB optimized for DirectX 12 gaming, it’s no slouch for sure, a truly respectable value and a powerful contender for its price range. The entire PC setup is also tested and optimized for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift VR; just plug in your VR headset of choice and your Cyberpower’s ready to go.
If you’re on the hunt for a great gaming PC, willing to splurge for a rig that’s VR ready, but still want to stay under $1000, good news: we’ve found the perfect desktop for your gaming on a budget needs.
After scouring through the top custom gaming rigs on Amazon, we’ve come up with the AM001i, a desktop gaming PC that’s pretty much a powerhouse when it comes to gaming.
Powered by an Intel Core i5-7400 4-Core processor that clocks up to an astounding 3.5 GHz, the AM001i’s definitely no couch potato when it comes to processing speed.
Its 1TB 7200 RPM HDD means you’ll have all the storage space you need to install the latest AAA titles, with plenty of room left over for your favorite movies and livestream recordings of professional gamers for you to live vicariously through.
We all do it…have you seen competitive Starcraft? Those guys are nuts.
Its dedicated 3GB graphics card is none other than an NVIDIA GeForce GT 1060 optimized for gaming, with VR Ready Display connectors for quick and easy plug and play total immersion via the top VR devices like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
And even if you’re not into the whole VR scene, this rig’s powerful enough to output your favorite games and movies as though you’re experiencing them in VR, with Dual Link DVI-D and HDMI ports ready to take in the highest quality monitors without compromising performance.
The unit comes with a generous 6 ultra-fast USB 3.0 ports and an additional 4 USB 2.0 ports, and special add-ons include an 802.11ac Wireless Adapter and specialty iBUYPOWER gaming mouse and keyboard.
Retailing just under the $1000 threshold is the beastly impressive GXi10180A from the certified heavy-hitters of custom PCs, CyberpowerPC. Over 150 customer reviews can’t be wrong in awarding this gaming desktop an average of about 4.5 stars.
Just looking at its list of features, it’s enough to see why.
Rare is the gaming computer under $1000 that could boast a 7th generation processor -- yup, that’s a cutting-edge Intel i7-7700 we’re talking about, a 3.6GHz Quad-Core that tops out at blistering speeds when you need it the most.
Fast processing means more, of course, than awesome gaming performance: you’ll multitask faster, and your videos, 3D animations, and multimedia projects will render faster, which means more awesome all around.
That’s because the PC builders at Cyberpower not only know their stuff, but have partnered up with the eggheads at GeForce’s GTX VR Ready program to deliver you a top-of-the-line graphics card.
The graphics card is complete with NVIDIA Game Ready Drivers, ensuring that your plunge into the untamed, savage frontier of VR is as immersive, visceral, and low latency as possible.
Don’t like the graphics card? The GXi’s power supply outputs at a solid 700 watts, a long ways from the standard piddly 450 watts of a pre-made desktop from some bigger brand name company.
700 watts gives you plenty of power to swap out or add in your own hardware. All in all, that’s significant speed, power, and quality performance packed into one of the cheapest gaming computers around, making the GXi well worthy of PC Magazine’s 2016 Reader’s Choice Award.
Possibly the best part of the GXi is that gamers are writing their own rave reviews. Whether you’re hot wiring your next sweet ride through the streets of Grand Theft Auto Online or commanding your massive, bloodthirsty hordes of greenskins in Total War: Warhammer, you can be sure your rig keeps up with your most intense gaming sessions.
Hearken back to the days of the war between Autobots and Decepticons with the Rhodium GTX, from CybertronPC.
In the Transformers universe, Cybertron was the self-aware machine planet that created the sentient mechanical life forms we all know and love: a living robo-planet that made other robots.
Does the CybertronPC live up to its legacy? Well, it won’t make you an army of killer robots, but it is a pretty killer gaming rig.
The processor’s got some impressive pedigree: an AMD FX 6300 Hexa-core 3.5GHz capable of speeds of up to 4.10GHz -- that’s some excellent mileage for a rig that’s going for under $1000.
And I’m no core-ologist, but if more cores equals better, then a hexa-core will do you at least one better than the standard quad-core, improving on not only responsiveness and peak performance, but also energy efficiency.
Its NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 is an amazing steal, a solid powerhouse of a graphics card that’ll run all your favorite AAA games, 3D modeling programs, and HD video editing apps in glorious 1080p.
What’s unique about the Rhodium is that its entire chassis is streamlined and designed to maximize airflow, and minimize potential heat damage. It’s even roomy enough to accommodate plenty of future upgrades.
A generous 2TB HDD and fully equipped Windows 10 64-bit OS rounds out the features, meaning this rig natively supports DirectX and other advanced APIs, meaning all you need to do is plug this baby in and start playing your favorite games right after install. Overall, the Rhodium’s a great buy, easily in a league of its own compared to other cheap gaming PCs.
Ah, the SkyTech. Retailing on Amazon for less than $700, it’ll set you back a few more pennies than other cheap gaming PCs on our list, but even so, it’s a great bargain.
Performance-wise, the ArchAngel’s performance is geared to soar with its 3.50 GHz 6-Core AMD FX-6300 processor, and its customized (not generic) AMD 970 Chipset motherboard is optimized for gaming.
Its impressive 1 TB 7200RPM hard drive ensures that you’ll always be spending less of your gaming time staring at ironic Protips on the loading screen (seriously, who writes those?), and more time zerging the payload.
This gaming PC’s 8GB DDR3 memory clocks in at a staggering 1866 MHz, ensuring that you’ve got one of the fastest processors on the market. And of course, its graphics hardware is a beast: a GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GDDR5, all outputting crystal clear colors and lag-free performance through its HDMI 2.0b displayport.
If you’re wondering where most of that price tag is going towards, there you have it. “But wait,” you might be thinking, “What about heat dissipation?” Never fear, astute buyer: yes, with all that added juice, you are looking at a significantly higher heat output.
But luckily, the folks at SkyTech’s got you covered: this rig has ample enough heat spreaders to help dissipate all that added hot, so the only thing you’ll need to worry about is your kill streak.
As an added bonus, the veteran PC customizers at SkyTech will be more than happy to assist you with customizing every aspect of their gaming rigs to suit your taste, down to the combo of the case and LEDs.
User reviews are quick to praise the company’s rapid response to emails and inquiries, which is always an added plus that comes to you at no extra charge.
If you’re in the market for one of the best gaming desktops under $1000, you’ve pretty much hit the jackpot, and they’ll even throw in a great customer service experience too, which is something you really can’t put a price on.
There’s nothing that says gaming rig like a see-through case and bright, funky-colored backlighting. Because let’s be honest here, part of the fun about scoring one of the best gaming PCs under $1000, is to make sure other people know you just scored a sweet new gaming PC, without letting the cat out of the bag that it’s also a cheap gaming PC.
Before we talk further about the GUA880, though, let’s get something out in the open: it deserves to be stated again that this is a review for quite possibly the best gaming desktop under $1000.
When it comes to packing a decent suite of features byte for byte, dollar for dollar, Cyberpower builds good rigs, and if you take this tower’s price range into consideration, then they built a great rig.
The GUA880’s not just decent, it’s not even just solid, it’s great. That said, no, you’re not going to be able to run fargin’ Quake Champions at ultra settings and expect to stay competitive on a massive Team Deathmatch.
You’re not going to crank up the view distance and ground clutter on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and expect that motorboat to react quite so instantaneously to your attempts at sending it careening off a ramp and into that sniper on the rooftop overlooking the marina.
If you want to be that competitive, you’d best be ready to shell out the big bucks; these are features that would easily amp up the price of your gaming PC to $150,000 or more.
But if you’re looking for a straight to the heart, no-nonsense powerhouse of a gaming rig that will run all your favorite AAA titles while also being versatile enough to double as a workhorse rig for your everyday non-gamer chores, the GUA880’s got everything you need.
And for less than $500, it’s one heck of a steal for a dependable gaming rig that won’t let you down.
But you know, as much as it pains me to sound like an infomercial: if our little bite-sized preview isn’t enough, don’t take our word for it: check out the customer reviews. At over 4.5 stars out of almost 1000 customer reviews, the GUA880 more than proves itself worthy of a spot on our list of best gaming PCs under $1000.
It’s a great steal -- sure, you won’t be running competitive King of the Kill on Ultra settings, but you’re still going to get great looking visuals at peak performance, and maximum value for your dollar.
I’ll be honest with you guys. I talk a big game, and if you’ve been keeping up with these articles, you’re well aware that I write an even bigger game.
I’ve written about hardware that’ll give you the competitive edge in multiplayer PC gaming, monitors capable of displaying graphics that are so crisp, so clear and so sharp that they might literally (okay, well, not literally, but pretty darn close) make your eyes pop out of their sockets.
I’ve written about top of the line VR equipment capable of flooding your senses and submerging you into a world so immersive you forget that you’re in your living room, specifically, where that unbelievably expensive glass coffee table is and that you probably shouldn’t put your foot through it.
But as for my own gaming rig? It’s a $500 ASUS laptop I’ve had for the past 3 years. It runs everything from World of Warcraft to Skyrim to For Honor and Rocket League at High settings with zero frame-rate stutter, and I play multiplayer Ark: Survival Evolved every weekend.
It’s also my home office rig: I routinely multitask with no fewer than a dozen tabs and at least 5 different apps open on my desktop at the same time, including image-intensive browsing and editing software.
Never once has my rig frozen on me, never once stuttered due to processor lag, and the handful of times I’ve had to Ctrl+Alt+Delete was due to Ark (Ark players will understand my suffering).
It was such a steal when I got it, I bought a second one for my husband, and he still uses his to this day. I’ve spent nearly twice as much on a next-gen gaming console that I’ve never even touched, and I can’t even use that for work.
It just goes to show that you don’t need a $150,000 PC to run your day to day gaming. Not all of us are diehard competitive gamers; most of us are just diehard gamers, and as diehard gamers, these days you are more than empowered to score some of the best gaming PCs under $1000.
We trust that our list has helped that along.
You can be sure your rig will have the horsepower to render every broken body and charred mutant carcass you’ll be clambering over on your way to the top of the leaderboards and claiming H1Z1’s coveted title of King of the Kill.