4 Awesome PC Builds For Under $1000 (Including A $350 ‘Console Killer’ – Cheaper Than PS5 & Xbox!)

PC hardware is getting cheaper all the time, to the point that you can build a fairly powerful 1080p gaming rig for just $350 – which is LESS than the price of a PS5 or Xbox Series X console.

So in this video, I cover four great PC part lists and builds at different prices ($350, $550, $850 and $1000).

I also touch on different alternatives you might want to get (such as ‘branded’ RAM and storage media), and also discuss why I avoided NVIDIA in every single one of these builds!

You can see the exact PC parts I recommend over at PCPartPicker:

If you prefer text over video, please read on for the guide/transcript version of this video.

Video Transcript And Guide

Hey everyone, one of my random “hobbies” is to come up with PC part lists. I don’t know why, I’m not planning on building a new PC anytime soon. But hey ho. My random “hobby” is your gain because here’s four awesome PC builds for people on a budget. The first build starts at just $350, making it much cheaper than a console like the PS5. I also cover builds at $550, $850 and $1000.

Now I should point out that these builds don’t include a keyboard, mouse or a monitor because you might already have them, but also everyone’s tastes are different – some people like basic keyboards, other people want fancy mechanical RGB ones. These builds also don’t include Wi-Fi cards, because some people – like me – run Ethernet cables to their PCs (so they don’t need WiFi support). However I’ll discuss how to add WiFi support later in this video.

$350 Build

Recommended parts for a 350 dollar PC build
Recommended parts for a 350 dollar PC build

Let’s dive into the $350 build. At such a low price point, you’ll end up needing to get a CPU with integrated graphics (instead of spending a large chunk of your budget on a separate graphics cards). It’s technically possible to get an AMD build with integrated graphics for just $300 if you go for the Ryzen 3200G, but that CPU is starting to show its age now – and the Intel Core i3 included in this build offers better performance all round at the “$100 ish” price point.

I included the cheapest 16 gig RAM and 500 gig NVMe storage I could find, but they ARE still good quality makes. You can always spend $5-10 more to get a brand like Corsair or Samsung though, if you’d prefer. The case is naturally fairly subjective and some people dislike the look of the Q300L from Cooler Master, but I quite like it. There ARE other options around $40 though, which is good.

The PSU is a fairly solid option too, and I went with a 600 watt option (instead of the cheaper 500 watt one) to give you some extra power headroom in-case you purchase a graphics card in the future. All in all this is a pretty good build, especially because it’s cheaper than a PS5 and Xbox Series X. You should be able to run the majority of PC games at 1080p (full HD) quality – with some tweaking of the graphical settings – but there’s also future proofing options here too.

$550 Build

Recommended parts for a 550 dollar PC build
Recommended parts for a 550 dollar PC build

My next build is at the $550 price, and this comes with a 6 core CPU with full PCIe gen 4 support meaning that you can go for faster NVMe drivers and graphics cards. Although admittedly, the low budget here means that I’ve stuck to a cheaper RX 580 graphics card which will deliver solid 1080p gaming, but it won’t make full use of the extra PCIe bandwidth of the CPU. Either way, this is still a solid build. I’ve gone for 16 gigs of RAM but for just $24 extra you could get 32 gigs, which is probably worth the upgrade if you have spare room in your budget.

I should point out that some people would recommend paying $40 less and getting the 6 core Ryzen 5500 instead, pointing to benchmarks that show only a marginal performance difference between the two. BUT the 5500 has half the L3 cache and doesn’t support PCIe gen 4, so I definitely think the 5600 is the better option here.

Having a solid CPU and potentially being able to get 32 gigs of RAM means that when you upgrade the graphics card in the future, you immediately have a solid 1440p gaming rig. That’s a pretty awesome position to be in, when spending just $550 or so on a complete build.

This motherboard doesn’t include Wi-Fi support, but I’ll cover how to add this in, at the end of this video.

$850 Build

Recommended parts for a 850 dollar PC build
Recommended parts for a 850 dollar PC build

Next up we have an $850 build and at this price point, you should expect a solid CPU, GPU and RAM. That’s what this build delivers, with an 8 core Ryzen CPU, 32 gigs of RAM and the RX 6700 XT GPU. This should be able to handle games up to 1440p fairly easily. It’s quite a powerful build for the budget.

I actually weighed up the graphics card choice a LOT here because NVIDIA offer some great GPUs (of course), however many were still a bit too expensive for an $850 budget. For example, spending slightly more on a 4060 Ti but ending up with less VRAM didn’t seem to make sense to me. Plus I feel like the RX 6700 XT works out better for 1440p gaming than the 4060 Ti. If you disagree with my GPU choice here though, please let me know in the comments. There’s not always a ‘right and wrong’ answer here.

This build is a solid one, especially for $850. The only real thing lacking is that it’s still stuck on DDR4. This isn’t a massive problem right now, but in a year or two, you’d probably expect any new build to start with DDR5 RAM.

$1,000 Build

Recommended parts for a 1000 dollar PC build
Recommended parts for a 1000 dollar PC build

The last build to cover is the $1000 build. I really wanted to squeeze an 8 core CPU in here, but because I went with a DDR5 (and AM5) based system where prices are a bit higher across the board, I ended up going for the Ryzen 7600X. However this is still a very solid CPU and it outperforms the previous 5700X in many lower core benchmarks, making it especially good for gaming. The budget also meant that there was no way of getting one of AMD’s “3D” V-Cache CPUs – for that you’d need to have a budget closer to $1300 for that – but you can see that this build generally offers great performance.

It has fairly good 32 gigs DDR5 RAM, a powerful RX 6800 GPU that has 16 gigs of VRAM and a semi-modular PSU to make your cable management a little easier. I also included three case fans – these are RGB but you can buy non-RGB versions for 50 cents cheaper if you prefer to avoid blingy lights everywhere. The GPU in this build is a solid performer that will easily handle 1440p gaming and will tackle some 4K games too. Overall it’s pretty awesome how much power you’ll end up getting from this $1k build.


GALAX RTX 4070 Ti all white graphics card
GALAX RTX 4070 Ti all white graphics card

I realize that I never included any NVIDIA GPUs in any of these 4 builds, but to be honest, their recent cards are just a bit too expensive for sub-$1000 builds – especially considering that many of their cards don’t always offer enough VRAM. Even their previous gen cards like the RTX 3070 are quite expensive, costing more than $500 often – and spending half your budget for a previous gen GPU with just 8 gigs of VRAM doesn’t make sense to me. You then come to the current gen for NVIDIA and you can only really get an RTX 4060 Ti within these budgets, and that’s not a great card compared to something like the RX 6800 from AMD which has more powerful compute performance and double the level of VRAM.

I discussed VRAM in a previous video, but it’s a bit frustrating to me that NVIDIA seems unable – or unwilling – to offer good cards with good amounts of VRAM at good prices. I’m not an NVIDIA hater or AMD fanboy though – if and when NVIDIA cards make sense in any of these builds, I’ll update the build list and put a comment in the description.

Adding Wi-Fi Support

Before wrapping up, I need to discuss Wi-Fi capability. As I mentioned earlier, many people prefer to run Ethernet cables to their PC for better internet stability. But if you can’t do this, you’ll need to get WiFi capability somehow. You CAN purchase little USB dongles that give you Wi-Fi, but these can be a little unreliable at times. The other choices are to either purchase a WiFi enabled motherboard (instead of the one I recommended) OR go out and purchase a Wi-Fi PCIexpress card. These plug inside your PC and then you screw some Wi-Fi antennas onto the back of them.

cropped A picture of me Tristan
About Tristan Perry

Tristan has been interested in computer hardware and software since he was 10 years old. He has built loads of computers over the years, along with installing, modifying and writing software (he's a backend software developer 'by trade').

Tristan also has an academic background in technology (in Math and Computer Science), so he enjoys drilling into the deeper aspects of technology.

Tristan is also an avid PC gamer, with FFX and Rocket League being his favorite games.

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