Gaming computer around $1000

Hi guys,

Looking to get some advice, I'm looking to get a gaming pc for around the $1k mark.
Just wondering exactly what i would need in terms of parts and stuff (dont have a monitor as well)that would suit my budget..

Any help would be appreciated




    You can find good examples here -


    You are going to have to make a tough decision if you are definite on the $1000 cap.
    Skimp on graphics power, or skimp a little on everything else instead.

    Just priced up a halfway decent gaming rig and it pops just over at $1100 bucks.
    And that was with a cheap power supply, only a 24 inch monitor with built in speakers for sound output, and windows 7 home.

    Good Luck!


      You could always just use ubuntu with steams client :P Although definitely not for everyone, it's an option for someone on a budget.

  • +5 votes

    I second the Whirlpool recommendation above; very good advice to be found over there. However since I'm bored and feeling marginally helpful:
    What do you think of this? (sorry about the odd order of the components - I forgot all about a graphics card and had to edit the crap out of it)

    I suppose it might have better to start off with some questions…

    • Do you plan to overclock? (if so, you'll need to increase budget for a Z77 MB, a K model CPU, and preferably a better PSU).

    • Do you plan to add an additional GPU in the future? (as above)

    • Do you already have any parts you can reuse, and will you need any additional peripherals (KB, mouse, headset, etc)?

    For what it's worth:
    (I apologise in advance if I'm telling you things you already know)

    • You're better off spending more money on the graphics card, instead of the CPU. The graphics card will have a far greater effect on the quality of the games you play, whereas most any CPU these days will be able to keep up (therefore: i3's are most appropriate for a budget vs performance build). You could look into AMD CPU's as well, though I'm fairly sure Intel is ahead in raw processing power.

    • In my opinion, an SSD is definitely worth the money (I know, budget build, but humour me). The whole experience will feel much more fluid, and loading times on games will increase. They aren't necessary, by an means, but I do recommend them. If you can't (or don't want to) squeeze one into the budget, them make sure you're using a 7200RPM drive to boot from (not a 5400RPM Green drive)

    • Any RAM you buy should be 1600Mhz

    • If you want to save more money, you could look into a previous generation GPU (IMO AMD is better value), to save money, as last gen is fairly comparable to current gen, IIRC.

    • pccasegear is known to be quite reliable, so I highly recommend shopping there (they also have pre-built systems that might be worth a look into, and shipping shouldn't be too bad, since you're in Melbourne)

    • +1 vote

      I3/7870 is a MUCH better combination than the post below.

      Edit: I'm also going to put a plug in for Scorptec in Melbourne as I think they have great service (and decent prices).


        While the video card isn't that great, It will still handle any game you throw at it. I would not buy a "gaming pc" and not put a quad core in it. Thats fair bit silly.

        If I were to make a change to system I posted it would be to get a 1tb HDD and then use that money to get an upgraded video card.

        • +1 vote

          I would not buy a "gaming pc" and not put a quad core in it. Thats fair bit silly.

          Why? Many games work just as well on dual core. Again GPU is far more important.

  • +1 vote

    Hey mate, Are you close to an MSY at all, They have just updated their system price list and they look very good. If you could blow your budget by about $90 you would have a system thats future proofed and ready to run any game on the market.

    Intel Core i5-3570K 3.40/3.80GHz
    Boxed Cooling Fan (1155pin)/ Intel BXRTS2011AC Cooler (LGA-2011)
    1GB Radeon HD 7750 PCI-Express Video Card
    Patriot 8GB DDR3 1333 Memory
    Seagate 2TB SATA3 Hard Disk
    Thermaltake Versa-I Medium Tower Case
    24” Philips 244EL2SB 5ms HDMI DVI LED Backlight Monitor
    Gigabyte KM-5200 Desktop (Keyboard + Mouse)
    P8Z77-V WiFi-b/g/n (Integrated) / P9X79 (Asus PCE-N15) Wirless Network Card
    Samsung Fast Speed Dual Layer DVD Writer
    Creative SBS T10 2.0 Speakers System
    Microsoft Windows 8 64bit

    Total price Including labor for them to build it $1090

    Trust me when I say that you won't get a system anywhere close to this for the price.

    You could go with a cheaper CPU but I really would recommend the 3570K as it's currently Top of the line when it comes to gaming and overclocking.

    • +1 vote

      You could go with a cheaper CPU but I really would recommend the 3570K as it's currently Top of the line when it comes to gaming and overclocking.

      And the 7750 is REALLY NOT.

      You'd be far better off with a better video card, this one really isn't fast. That is far more important that CPU. For your budget I would try to get a 7850 or 7870 (7770 is a big drop from 7850).


        I scored one of the last HIS 6850's from pc case gear. Was definitely worth the money, have yet to find a game that won't run smoothly on top settings at 1440 x 900 resolution (my max res). Of course for a 1920 x 1080 res you might want something like a nvidea 570 or amd 7870 if you're going to be maxing out everything.

        TBH I think anything above that is overkill but I know this site is full of gaming enthusiasts… I agree with others when they say an i3 is the way to go, if you can find a cheap quad core i5 for $20-30 more I'd go with that. Because you probably won't be using this machine exclusively for gaming and a quad core just makes workflow so much more fluid when dealing with office, web browsers (java), etc.

        Don't pay for overclocking features like the K series processors or Z type motherboards a H67 is basically the cheapest option that gives you ability to crossfire or sli later.

        I also +1 pccasegear, I've heard only the best when it comes to returning products in warranty, etc. When I bought the 6850 ($162 incl. shipping) off them they sent it express for free as well :P.

    • +3 votes

      a system thats future proofed and ready to run any game on the market.

      it's currently Top of the line when it comes to gaming and overclocking.

      With a 7750? You must be joking. A 7750 is barely current-day proofed, let alone future proofed. Sure, you'd be able to run every game on the market, but that says nothing about the quality.
      I don't mean to be rude, but your advice is a bit off. This guy is a (self-admitted) newcomer looking for a budget build, and you supply him with a 3570K for overclocking? It might be 'top of the line', but the OP doesn't need that. They need a good value vs performance build, and the 3570K certainly isn't that.

      You're cutting corners on the RAM, GPU and PSU/case solely to fit in this CPU, and it's unnecessary.


    Price for the 77XX cards are expensive when a $189 7850 2gb will double their frame rates

    Also, not sure if I would go windows 8, I heard that some games arnt compatible. Atleast if you go windows 7 you can run anything without worry.

    If you plan to play online games, mmo's, FP shooters with lots of guys you will need a decent CPU. If you dont know stick within the top 3 tiers, so if you do like them you wont be hard pressed.

    For $1k excluding monitor you can get something pretty good for 1080p.

    Maybe buy a 2nd hand 19'' for $5 on ebay/gumtree to get you by until you see a super amazing special.

    Lastly, you can skip the HDD for the time being, get a good 120gb SSD. Even if you use win 7 ultimate its 30gb. That leaves about 90gb for games which is 6x 15gb games. Buy the HDD after xmas.


      That leaves about 90gb for games which is 6x 15gb games.

      If the OP is anything like me, that will definitely not be enough, even for a short time. It would be extremely easy to fill that space up, and it leaves no room for any extra files / downloads / media.


        I've always liked getting a 1TB hard drive and a 60GB SSD. Simply move games off the SSD as you stop playing them as much.


    totally forgot i posted this topic up haha!

    thanks for all the help guys, im pretty new at this so all the info is good to know!

    I'm not really planning overclock (because i dont know how), or put an additional GPU in. also I'm not too concerned about peripherals, have got those already!

    In terms of getting an SSD, is there much difference in quality/performance between the brands?
    i'm leaning towards the msy build, just because it would be easy to get.. just with an SSD, and perhaps upgrading the graphics card on that? whats the next step up?

    keep in mind im clueless about this!

    thanks guys!


      I'm not really planning overclock (because i dont know how)

      If so, don't go with the MSY build suggested above: the 3570K is a CPU for overclocking, and you would be wasting money on needless features if you don't use them. If you feel reticent about using a dual core CPU, the next best step from the i3 I posted above would be the i5 3470.
      IMO, in general, you would most benefit from a better GPU than CPU - I get by on an original AMD Phenom 9500 Quad Core, so an i3 should be fine. It really depends on how tight your budget it; if you can stretch a bit more, then I would say to get the i5 3470, however, working on the assumption that you want nothing over $1K, then I'd have to recommend the i3.

      Also: what games do you intend to be playing, exactly?

      In terms of getting an SSD, is there much difference in quality/performance between the brands?

      Yep, Intel and Samsung are generally the most reliable. Avoid OCZ like the plague; they have had awful history in reliability, and might not be able to fulfill warranties in the future. SanDisk is also pretty good, but my personal choice is the Samsung 830 (and many people on Whirlpool would agree with me).
      As for performance: not really. You would not notice any real world performance differences between brands.

      i'm leaning towards the msy build

      The parts from my pccasegear build above should be available at MSY (I used pccasegear because (a) I recommend them and (b) it's easier than MSY to put together a build. Prices should be comparable.) Since they're based in Melbourne, it should be relatively quick and easy for you to buy with them (though I understand that MSY would be easier, for some).

      Take note that the build posted by esotericizm has 1333Mhz Patriot RAM, whereas 1600Mhz from Corsair or G.skill would be better. The LG monitor I supplied is an IPS display, which is arguably better than plain old LED, and IMO the case and PSU I posted are much better than the sub-par Thermaltake PSU you'd get from esotericizm's build. The case is completely up to you; pick what you like, since it's the only part of the PC you'll be seeing for extended periods of time.

      And finally, I would not, repeat not, get anything below a 7850 / 660Ti for gaming build. A 7750 would last maybe a year, whereas a 7850 (or 7870) would last much longer, in terms of keeping up with new release games. From experience, prioritising the GPU is a much better course of action. Hell, if you can spare it, go for a 7950. You most definitely would notice the difference, and a more expensive card will last you longer.

      P.S: do you intend to build it yourself? I recommend doing so, as it is quite easy and will save you the labour fee for getting it built. It's a great learning experience (and you won't be afraid of jumping back in, in the future) and there are plenty of tutorials (on the web, and Whirlpool) to help you.


        Ah i see, well the $1k budget is sort of a loose guideline, im happy to pay more if it means more value in the long run. So I'd probably get the i5 3470 rather than the i3.

        Haha i actually hadn't thought about what games i would be playing! i guess FPS's on high settings. Thanks for the advice on the SSDs, I'll probably go the Samsung 830 then. For the hard disk is there much different between them? I'm looking for about 2TB.

        ps didnt actually see your pccasegear build (i was wondering what you were talking about), in terms of ordering from there, would you recommend delivery? or going there and picking it up?

        With the graphics card, is there much difference between the 7850 and the 7870? I'll probably pass on the 7950, just because its a bit out of my budget atm.

        I wasnt intending on building it myself, and was planning to just cop the labour fee (how much is that usually anyway?) but luckily one of my friends has volunteered to do it for me. Free labour is the best kind ;)

        So this is the build I'm looking to get now

        Intel i5-3470 $188
        Samsung 830 Series 128GB $92
        Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 $46
        Radeon HD 7870 2GB $229
        Seagate Barracuda 2TB $99
        Lian Li Lancool USB 3.0 PC-K9 Black $105
        Samsung SATA DVD RW $19
        LG IPS235V 23" Monitor $156
        ASRock B75 Pro3-M Motherboard $70
        Antec HCG 520W PSU $83

        Just one final question, should i purchase the parts separately based on wherever is cheaper? ie MSY or pccasegear. Or should I just get it all at the one place. And if I went there in person, am I able to negotiate better prices? or do they usually not budge on this sort of thing.

        Thanks so much for your help!

        • +1 vote

          is there much difference between the 7850 and the 7870

          A bit, but both are good value cards.

          I'll probably pass on the 7950

          Good call, it is not that much better than the 7870.

          I think your list is good. If you can get a better deal buying separately do so, but often shipping/fuel/time makes it not worthwhile. If you are going to shop around, as mentioned scorptec aren't too bad on prices, and I will pay a few dollars more to buy there or PCCG over MSY.


          Perfect! Thanks for your advice mate!

        • +1 vote

          Go for the 7870 which I am using now, Concievable benchmark difference and if I can recall, the main reason was that the 7870 power consumption was alot more efficient. Picked mine up around 8 months ago!, Gigaget(which I am using) make the best or HIS (runs quieter and cheaper). Make sure you're using for all your part'ing needs.


          thanks mate, just checked staticice out, the prices listed seem to be pretty good


    My advice is to reserve all your budget for the video card. Here is how you should budget in order of priority:

    1. Video card (spend as much as possible on this component)
    2. Monitor
    3. SSD
    4. RAM and CPU (any Intel K CPU is fine)
    5. the rest of the machine like Motherboard, case, keyboard, mouse, etcs.

    That's I go about it for my machine… although I've allocated even more budget for it.

    • +1 vote
      1. RAM and CPU (any Intel CPU is fine)

      Fixed that for you!

      Note that spending on SSD reliability is fine, but spending on speed can be less useful (even the slowest of SSDs is still FAST).

      Also, I suggest adding power supply into that list above the rest of the machine' level.


    for $300, you can get a HD7950. That is a great bargain for a top tier video card. The top tier single chip cards are GTX670, GTX680, HD7950, HD7970.

    Just look around at benchmarks, All these cards are a mere 5% difference in performance. It is like a car going from 0-100Km/h in 5.4 seconds versus 5.3 seconds. You may loose the bragging rights but both cars are equally exciting.

    More importantly, all these cards can do more than 60fps at 1080p resolution. That is the key requirement. And that's all you'll ever need.

  • +1 vote

    Intel i3-3220 $117
    Asus P8H77-M-LE $84
    8G Kit 1600 G.Skill-NT $35
    7870 MSI OC $235
    Intel SSD-330 SATA3 120G $97
    WD Green 2TB $99
    23” 5ms Asus IPS ML239H $179
    Coolermaster RC360 $63
    Microsoft Desktop 600 $17

    Total: 926
    Windows 7 64bit OEM $136.

    Just a bit over 1k if u include win7.

    I've chosen Intel SSD coz that is reliable and believe me, it matters.
    IPS monitor.. worth it once you use an IPS, you'll never go back to TN.

    That's my quick pick from
    I'm sure you guys can do better with more research time.


      While Intel are good, most reviewers suggest there are just as reliable options out there without so paying quite as much for the Intel name. Having said that, it is a safe bet, so go for it.

    • +1 vote

      Windows 7 64bit OEM $136.

      That is quite overpriced. Centrecom and pccasegear have it for about $40 cheaper.


        Iv bought everything except for the OS! My mate told me to get the retail version over the OEM version.. is there any benefit? besides paying triple the price…..


          Not really, no. Fundamentally, there is no difference in the OS, only the license, and it would be a massive waste of money to buy retail. For caution's sake, you can just read the small disclaimer on PC Case Gear:

          • Please be aware this is an OEM product and includes no retail packaging.
          • To purchase this OEM software, you must be a System Builder and accept this license. “System Builder” means an original equipment manufacturer, an assembler, a refurbisher, or a software pre-installer that sells the Customer System(s) to a third party and is registered with Microsoft as a system builder or OEM partner. You accept this OEM license when you open this Pack. To register go to
          • An OEM operating system is registered to the system it is originally installed on and the support for the software is handled directly by the installer and not Microsoft or ourselves. You cannot transfer this software to a different PC once activated. We recommend the purchase of retail software if you plan on upgrading major hardware in the future.

          Still, shouldn't be a problem. You don't need to do anything out of the ordinary with the OEM copy (just throw the CD in, run it through the setup, and activate as per usual). You can give this Whirlpool thread a read-over if you want, but IMO there is no benefit whatsoever (especially considering you can nearly buy 3 OEM licenses for the cost of a retail copy.)

          Congratulations on the new build :-)


          Good to hear, That's what I thought, I really didnt want to splash out $300 out of my budget build just for a cd…

          Haha thanks for all your help! All the parts are just sitting there.. waiting till the weekend when my friend is free….


          Nice, what was the final build?


    My 2c

    1. DEFINATELY go SSD - you'll enjoying being able to play your games properly even if it means install/uninstall compared to the lackluster speed and corresponding waits in load times.

    2. Get the 3TB Seagate - It beats the PANTS of the 2TB speedwise (120MB-150MB/s for decent size files)

    PS. Another believer in less CPU, more GPU if you have to choose, though I'm also happy to get a $200 dollar SILENT/QUIET video card now and upgrade it in 18 months.

    EDIT: Fixed essential SILENT/QUIET requirement which everyone should have!!!
    (more ps except for Tony who can stick to his stupid flying jumbo jet that never makes it off the ground :)

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