Best gaming PCs under £1,000

They've got the power: The best PC for gaming under £1,000 with powerful CPUs, RAM and GPUs.

Best gaming PCs under £1000

by William Lobley |

The popularity of gaming PCs has grown exponentially over recent years. While consoles like the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and Nintendo Switch are very accessible platforms, a gaming PC offers players the chance to expand and customise their experience to a huge degree. They provide a sense of hands-on appreciation and pride that a console just can’t match.

If you’re looking to step into the wide and wonderful world of PC gaming and start playing the best PC games, you’ve undoubtedly realised by now that finding the right rig is a daunting process. Financially and technically, there can be a lot to take on board.

Many popular prebuilt rigs can start at over £1,000, with the option of custom configurations only adding to the cost. Custom-built PCs are ten-a-penny too, often heralded as a more economical way of getting into high-spec PC gaming. This is all well and good, but in a world already heavy with jargon, abbreviations, and acronyms, a self-build can feel like an overwhelming prospect to a newcomer. Even choosing the best gaming chair can be a daunting task to tackle.

The best gaming PCs under £1,000 shortlist:

To help you uncover some excellent gaming experiences with ease, and without completely breaking the bank, we’ve rounded up the best gaming PCs under £1,000. The PCs we’ve selected are all ready to go, and carry some very impressive specifications, and provide a solid base for future additions and upgrades.

These powerful PCs are going to be ideal for accessing smooth and immersive gaming experiences. With hugely respectable CPUs, GPUs and RAM counts, the options we’ve selected are going to be ideal for gamers, content creators and budding streamers.

All of our picks fall between £500 and £1000. If you’re on a tighter budget, head over to our article breaking down the best gaming PCs for under £500.

At the bottom of this page, we’ve included a quick reference guide to some games' system specifications, including Fortnite and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Warzone. There’s also a guide to some of the key computer terminology, like CPU, GPU, and SDD.

Please note: Due to ongoing issues in supply chains, some gaming computers and their components are hard to come by. As a result, some of the PCs we have listed below may be out of stock or built to slightly different specifications than we've mentioned. All specifications and stock availability were correct at the time of writing.

The best gaming PCs under £1,000:

What's good?

• Fantastic RTX 3060 Ti GPU

• Great storage

• Nice case

This one of a kind gaming PC is in short supply, so you'd better get yours ASAP. Aside from the obviously brilliant RTX 3060 Ti which is capable of crushing anything you could throw at it (in 4K or not), but it's got a very respectable 1TB of SSD storage, which for its price is astonishing. Alongside a semi-decent CPU, a serviceable motherboard, and a nice case that'll scratch that RGB itch any PC gaming newbies have had for a while - this build is one of the best on the market, and is totally worth your consideration.

Any negatives?

Our major issues with the build are fairly commonplace within PC builds - there are cutbacks of course to keep prices as low as possible, causing some CPU bottlenecking which is bound to happen with such a powerful card. And yet, for the price, there's no doubt that the rig won't struggle for performance with any of the latest games, and is bound to keep running well for the foreseeable future.

Pros Cons
• Fantastic GPU • Weak CPU
• Great storage • Okay motherboard
• Great RAM
Specifications
CPU: Intel i-5 11400F
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Graphics: Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti
Storage: 1 TB SSD
OS: Windows 11 Home

What's good?

• Excellent price

• Solid aesthetic

• Great performance

Annihilate some of the even most demanding games with AWD's vampiric desktop PC, delivering all the value you could ever want out of a fantastically priced rig. This is the perfect rig for some top-of-the-line 1080p gaming, where playing games like Elden Ring are going to run like a dream. Then there's that mesmerising, yet subtle case with some gorgeous RGB functionality - it's a real showstopper.

Any negatives?

Our major gripes with the machine come in the form of a weaker CPU, which may cause some bottlenecking when paired with the RTX 3050 GPU. Then there's the storage which is fairly lack-lustre, once you've downloaded a hefty game such as the upcoming Modern Warfare 2, you'll have used nearly half of your total storage. Fortunately, it's incredibly easy to upgrade.

Pros Cons
• Solid GPU • Weak storage
• Great aesthetic • Weaker CPU
• Good RAM
Specifications
CPU: Intel i5 11400F
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Graphics: GeForce RTX 3050
Storage: 500GB SSD
OS: Windows 10/11 Home

What's good?

• An absolutely mammoth GPU for the reasonable cost.

• Good CPU

Packed with some serious hardware, ADMI's gaming PCs are crushing the competition right now for the price.

Gamers may finally be able to afford rigs that are capable of running the next generation of gaming, and we couldn't be more thrilled.

This particularly solid build for under £1000 is an undeniable bargain, with hardware that's unshakeable for the price. You'll have no trouble running the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 remaster releasing later this year.

Any negatives?

My major gripe with the build is the motherboard, which is an ASUS B450m, which is a pretty cheap board to use with such an impeccable GPU. But, of course, there has to be some cutbacks on such a powerful PC, and the board is, overall, pretty decent for the price.

Another issue we have is the use of the ADMI's hybrid memory, which is popular amongst cheaper rigs. Using any form of HDD is bound to affect performance in the long run, and you'll definitely feel the longer load times in more sluggish games because of it.

Pros Cons
• Impressive RTX 3060 GPU • Weak motherboard
• Great Ryzen CPU • Decent, but lacking HDD storage
• Good RAM
Specifications
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Graphics: Nvidia RTX 3060
Storage: 240GB SSD and 1TB HDD
OS: Windows 10 Home

So, you've got your brand new shiny gaming PC, what now? Well next you're going to need some vast and spectacular RPG games to test your mettle.

What’s good?

• GPU with plenty of grunt

• SSD and HDD

This build from ADMI includes an Intel i5 9400F, which can overclock to 4.1 GHz and a very respectable 16GB of DDR4 RAM. The Nvidia RTX 2060 6GB graphics card is a real powerhouse, capable of handling 60fps for an incredibly smooth gaming experience. All of this adds up to a rig that should be able to able some pretty taxing video games.

FPS games have dominated the industry for years now, with huge player bases, devoted fans, and of course, a wide range of E-sports competitions, check out our picks for the absolute best FPS games of all time.

Any negatives?

240GB isn’t all that big for an SSD - keen file management or a quick upgrade is a must for gamers with big libraries.

Pros Cons
• Intel i5 CPU • Small SSD
• SSD & HDD storage
• 16GB DDR4 RAM
Specifications
CPU: Intel i5 9400F
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Graphics: Nvidia RTX 2060 6GB
Storage: 240GB SSD and 1TB HDD
OS: Windows 10 Home

What's good?

• Terrific GPU with 12GB VRAM

• Amazing 32GB DDR4 RAM

• Solid I5 CPU

With a huge amount of RAM, a stunning RTX 3060 GPU, a solid I5 CPU, and a unique, eye-catching case, XUM has totally knocked it out of the park when it comes to their great value gaming desktop. Fortnite, Call of Duty, CS: GO, even the upcoming Spider-man port won't stand a chance with this machine. Looking to find fame and fortune as a streamer? That 32GB or RAM will carry you through hours of editing without a hitch.

AAA games get enough love as it is, but what about indie games? Independent game developers have seen a huge amount of success in recent years, and many indie titles are considered some of the best games of all time, don't skip over these unbeatable games.

Any negatives?

Our only gripe with this build is that old familiar hybrid storage; it uses a combination of HDD and SSD, most of the storage being old-school HDD. HDD isn't only going to affect your load times in games such as Skyrim or GTA V Online, where you're constantly going through load screens, but it's going to affect the speed that you can access your files, so things like modding or organising are going to take longer than they should. Nonetheless, this is a great build that is definitely worth your consideration.

Pros Cons
• Great GPU • Hybrid storage leaves much to be desired
• Amazing 32GB RAM
• Very cool case
Specifications
CPU: Intel I5-10400F
RAM: 32GB DDR4
Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 3060 12GB
Storage: 1TB HDD 512 GB SSD
OS: Windows 11 Home

What’s good?

• Smooth HD and 1440p GPU

• Solid machine with money left over for peripherals or upgrades

The Acer Nitro N50-610 is a great rig. The i5-11400 4.3GHz CPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD make for a nice combination, with the NVIDIA GTX 1660 Super 6GB elevating proceedings to provide smooth visuals at 1080p and 1440p. You’ll also have some change left out of the £1k budget to grab a monitor and some peripherals, or a nice RAM upgrade.

Any negatives?

The only thing here is that the RAM will need upgrading to ensure that the best of PC gaming can be accessed.

Pros Cons
• Solid base for later upgrades • Not the strongest RAM
• Capable Intel i5 CPU • Hybrid storage leaves much to be desired
• Stunning case
Specifications
CPU: Intel i5-11400
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1660 Super 6GB
Storage: 1TB HDD 256GB SSD
OS: Windows 10 Home

What’s good?

• 1080p AT 110fps, 1440p at 60fps

• SSD and HDD

The Tornado R5 Gaming PC is built around AMD architecture, with the Ryzen 5 3600 (3.6GHz/4.2GHz) processor sitting at its centre. This CPU pairs well with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super GPU to deliver a reliable performance across essential PC games at 1080p/100fps. The 512GB SSD is great for installing your OS for a quick boot time, while the 1TB HDD can hold all the gaming files.

Any negative?

It carries only 8GB of DDR4 RAM at 2400MHz, but this is easily upgraded and for little cost when you fancy giving the rig a nice performance boost.

Pros Cons
• AMD Ryzen CPU • RAM upgrade recommended
• 1080p/60fps gameplay
• 1TB HDD, 512 GB SSD
Specifications
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super
Storage: 512 GB SSD and 1TB HDD
OS: Windows 10 Home

What’s good?

• AMD Ryzen CPU

• Customisable at purchase

The Enigma Essential gaming PC is just that – the essential rig for budding PC gamers. The AMD Ryzen 5 3600, with a 3.6GHz base and 4.2GHz overclocked, pumps out a reliable and powerful performance. Coupled with the 8GB DDR4 RAM and GeForce GTX 1660 Super, this PC is ideal for those looking to jump into some competitive FPS and Battle Royale titles, as well as some of the best single-player adventures from the last five years.

Because it's made to order by Overclockers UK, elements can be configured to better suit requirements and budget.

Any negatives?

Custom upgrades are exciting but potentially expensive.

Pros Cons
• Customisable at checkout • Getting a truly great rig will cost
• SSD & HDD storage
• Nice AMD CPU
Specifications
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Graphics: GeForce GTX 1660 Super
Storage: 240GB SSD and 1TB HDD
OS: Windows 10 Home Advanced

What’s good?

• Incredible GPU with some impressive gaming capabilities

• Impressive Intel i5 10400F CPU

• Ridiculously great price all in all

Any negatives?

A slightly weaker motherboard may hold back the otherwise fantastic components, but otherwise this is one of the strongest builds for under £1000 you can buy.

The Fierce Gaming PC is a ferocious rig, easily capable of running even the most demanding of games, loaded with tech goodness that, for the price, shouldn't be possible.

Our only gripes are with the weaker motherboard (which is to be expected) and the smaller than anticipated 500GB of SSD that's bound to fill up quickly.

A gaming setup is nothing without a good desk for it all to sit on. Here's the absolute best gaming desks in the UK.

Pros Cons
• Intel i5 10400 F CPU is fantastic • Weaker storage
• Fantastic GPU
• Great case
Specifications
CPU: Intel i5-10400F
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 3060
Storage: 512GB SSD
OS: Windows 11 Home

What to look for in a gaming PC and how to choose the right one

Choosing a new PC can be complicated at the best of times, but it can seem even more so when you throw gaming into the mix. With the choice of components, codes and frequencies being so vast, it can be a little overwhelming. But have no fear. You can read on to find out what to look for in a gaming PC and how to choose the right one for you.

So you've spent a ton of money on your PC and are running low on funds, what now? Well we've compiled the absolute best budget gaming monitors so you can get to gaming without breaking the bank completely.

If you would like to read more about what specific PC components do, scroll down to our Terminology 101 guide.

Number one: What games do you want to play? This can be a specific game or genre. Think about what you want to play, look up the specifications required, and search for a gaming PC based on these stats. This can help you prioritise your needs and maximise the impact of your cash.

RDR2 and Stardew Valley

Picture: Red Dead Redemption 2 & Stardew Valley - two great games, two very different PC requirements

Blockbusters like COD: Warzone, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Cyberpunk 2077 and Red Dead Redemption 2 are very resource-heavy, requiring plenty of RAM and a powerful GPU. However, older releases and indies games, from Civilisation 5 and Portal 2 to Stardew Valley and Among Us, aren’t going to need as much oomph.

Read our comprehensive guide to resolution here.

Number two: Do you want to use the PC for other tasks, like Photoshop or video editing? If so, then powerful GPUs and CPUs are be needed, even if you only ever play Minecraft. This is also the case if you’re planning to stream your content on platforms like Twitch.

Lightroom and Premier Pro

Picture: Adobe Lightroom and Premier Pro are very resource-intensive apps for creative users

If you plan on using your PC for creative pursuits, you'll also want to consider your monitor choice. When doing so, pay particular attention to the panel type and colour spectrums supported. This will need to balance with refresh rates and response times for gaming, too. You can read about the best monitors here or the best budget monitors here.

Number three: How many games do you have or want, and how big are they? The answer to this question will determine how much storage you need and in what form. Only want to play CS:GO? Cool - a 240GB SSD will do for a start. Want to play Microsoft Flight Simulator and COD: Warzone? Well, that’s over 200GB combined - so you need a big SSD or HDD. Remember, you'll need some space for updates, too.

MS FS and COD

Picture: MS Flight Simulator and COD: Warzone are big games with big maps - hence the high GB required to install

If you plan on editing photos and videos, you’re also going to find memory getting tight. An external drive will help with these, but we recommend that games are always stored internally - ideally on SSD or at least a fast HDD.

Note that storage will also need to take into account operating system files.

How to configure your gaming PC

If you feel that our picks don’t quite offer what you’re looking for, head over to Overclockers UK. Starting from a base PC, you’ll be able to specify your system’s configuration, including CPU, SSD, GPU and OS. It’ll then be built by experts and delivered to your door, ready to game.

What’s next?

Once you’ve picked out your chosen PC tower, you will want the best gaming peripherals. Check out our round-ups of gaming keyboards, gaming mice and gaming monitors – there’s something for every budget.

There's even a huge array on PC gaming controller and headsets to choose from.

Now you've got your PC, you're probably wondering what to play? Here are the best PC games available right now.

Specifications as reported by wepc.com

Fortnite

CPU - Minimum: Core i3 2.4GHz / Recommended: Core i5 2.8GHz

RAM - Minimum: 4GB RAM / Recommended: 8GB RAM

HDD - Required: 16GB free space

GPU - Minimum: Intel HD 4000 (integrated graphics) / Recommended: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660, AMD Radeon HD 7870, or equivalent with 2GB memory or higher VRAM.

OS - Required: Windows 7, 8.1, or 64-bit Windows 10

Minecraft

CPU - Minimum: Intel Core i3 3210, AMD A8 7600 APU, or equivalent / Recommended: Intel Core i5 4690, AMD A10 7800, or equivalent

RAM - Minimum: 4GB RAM / Recommended: 8GB RAM

HDD - Minimum: 1GB free space / Recommended: 4GB RAM free space

GPU - Minimum: Intel HD Graphics 4000 or AMD Radeon R5 series, NVIDIA GeForce 400 Series, AMD Radeon HD 7000 series / Recommended: NVIDIA GeForce 700 Series or AMD Radeon Rx 200 Series

• OS - Minimum: 64-bit Windows 7 or later / Recommended: 64-bit Windows 10

Call Of Duty: Warzone

CPU - Minimum: Intel Core i3-4340, AMD FX-6300 or equivalent / Recommended: Intel Core i5-2500K, AMD Ryzen R5 1600X Processor, or equivalent

RAM - Minimum: 8GB RAM / Recommended: 12GB RAM

HDD - Required: 10-20 GB of storage space

GPU - Minimum: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, AMD Radeon HD 7950, or equivalent / Recommended: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660, AMD Radeon R9 390, AMD Radeon RX 580, or equivalent

OS - Minimum: 64-bit Windows 7 or later / Recommended: 64-bit Windows 10

Terminology 101

CPU

A Central Processing Unit, or CPU, processes and executes instructions. Processors often consist of multiple cores, and the higher the number of cores the more processes it can carry out, improving performance. CPU is clock speed is also important, and is measured in GHz. While there are CPUs capable of great things, for a good experience your average player will typically want between 3.7Ghz and 5GHz.

RAM

Random Access Memory, or RAM, is a component that temporarily holds bytes of information for quick and random access by the CPU. The information will be related to programs and services that are in use. The more RAM available, the more quick-access information there is available to the CPU, thereby improving computer performance.

Gamers will want no less than 8GB of RAM.

DDR3 RAM versus DDR4 RAM

DDR3 and DDR4 are generations of RAM. DDR3 was introduced in 2007, and DDR4 in 2014. The main differences between the two relate to voltage used, latency times, clock speeds, and overall performance. For most entry-level users, the variations between the two will not matter, as both perform very well. The difference becomes more important when upgrading motherboards, CPUs, and RAM, as the two types cannot be interchanged or exchanged. Newer machines tend to use DDR4, though DDR3 is still readily available and can be more affordable.

Graphics cards

A graphics card’s job is to convert CPU data into visual output. There are many types, specifications, and sizes of graphics card. Typically, these cards have dedicated RAM and processor(s), and fans and heat-syncing solutions. Sometimes graphics cards are referred to as GPUs, which is just an abbreviation of the card's processor name, a Graphics Processing Unit.

Looking to build your own ultimate gaming PC? Here are the absolute best of the best graphics cards available now.

Dedicated graphics cards improve the visual experience and improve a PC’s overall performance – they are seen as essential components for gamers.

Some CPUs and motherboards have in-built graphics cards. While acceptable for standard computer usage, these in-built options are insufficient for high-performance gaming, especially when compared with dedicated graphics cards.

What is the difference between HDD and SSD memory?

You can read our guide to SSDs , or browse our rankings of the best

Hard drive disks (HDD) are mechanical, writing, and reading information on spinning disks (or platters) via an actuator arm, which moves across the platter. The platters are broken down into a series of tracks and sectors. It's within these that data is stored and addressed with a location.

Solid State Drives (SSD) write and read using flash memory, much like USB flash drives. Data is stored in grids and blocks, and though the process is more complicated than in HDD, the available space is utilised more efficiently thanks to a series of processes that go on behind the scenes.

HDD is reliable, though they are large and rely on mechanical procedures to store, write and read memory. SSD is a newer technology and uses no moving parts: it's far quicker at data retrieval, is smaller in size, and runs more efficiently. SSDs are popular within the gaming community due to their rapid load times. HDDs are cheaper, and are available with much larger storage capacities.

It is common practice within the gaming community to have both an SSD and HDD in a build.

William Lobley is a Content Writer and reviewer for WhatsTheBest, specialising in technology, gaming and outdoors. He also writes for Empire Online.

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