Scouring the internet for the best PCs of the year can be confusing, tiring and off-putting; we've been there, but we're here to lend a hand, intrepid gamers - giving you the skinny on the best gaming PCs under £1,000. In recent years, we've seen a meteoric rise in the popularity of PC gaming. With an audience of approximately 1.8 billion PC players as of last year and numbers rising daily, it's safe to say PC gaming is a huge platform.
While consoles are fantastic ways to experience gaming - you'll find that console gaming doesn't have the freedom, the open customisation, and the sheer library of games available to PC gamers. 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 good, but a self-build can feel like an overwhelming prospect to a newcomer in a world already heavy with jargon, abbreviations, and acronyms. This article is here to help you and advise you on how to grab the best gaming PCs under £1,000.
The best gaming PCs under £1,000 at a glance:
• Best value gaming PC under £1000: ADMI Gaming PC: i5 11400F - View at Amazon
• Best gaming PC graphics card under £1000: CyberPowerPC Wyvern Gaming PC Nvidia GTX 1650 - View at Amazon
• Best PC case: ADMI | Gaming PC - Ryzen 5600 - RTX 3060 Ti - View on Amazon
To help you easily uncover some excellent gaming experiences, we’ve rounded up the best gaming PCs under £1,000. These incredible budget PCs we’ve selected are all ready to go, carry some very impressive specifications, and provide a solid base for future additions and upgrades.
These powerful PCs will be ideal for accessing smooth and immersive gaming experiences. With hugely respectable CPUs, GPUs and RAM, our selected options are perfect 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 II. There’s also a guide to some key computer terminologies to bust some jargon, 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.
Please note: All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.
Best value gaming PC under £1000
This one-of-a-kind gaming PC is in short supply, so you'd better get yours ASAP. Aside from the
- Fantastic RTX 3050 GPU
- Great storage
- Nice case
- A weaker CPU may lead to some bottlenecking
Best gaming PC graphics card under £1,000
CyberPowerPC's Wyvern has been a mainstay of great budget gaming PCs for a while now, and with
- Great graphics card
- Solid PC case
- Good amount of RAM
- Low SSD storage
- Weak CPU
Best PC case
British manufacturer, ADMI, has been crushing the competition when it comes to assembling some of
- Fantastic graphics card with great VRAM
- Great case
- Plenty of storage
- PC case might not be for everyone
Best CPU in a gaming PC under £1,000
Acer's Nitro line is simply fantastic for affordable, high-performance gaming without the caveat
- Fantastic next-generation performance
- A good amount of storage
- Slightly over the £1,000 budget
- Only one HDMI port with three DisplayPorts
Best budget gaming PC under £1,000
ADMI's solid Ryzen 5500 gaming PC is one of the most excellent budget PC offers we've come across
- GPU with plenty of grunt
- SSD and HDD
- Plenty of RAM
- Small SSD
Best RAM in a gaming PC under £1,000
With a huge amount of RAM, a stunning RTX 3060 GPU, a solid I5 CPU, and a unique, eye-catching
- Terrific GPU with 12GB VRAM
- Amazing 32GB DDR4 RAM
- Solid I5 CPU
- Hybrid storage leaves much to be desired
An excellent mid-range gaming tower with some exciting gaming potential, CyberPowerPC's Wyvern
- Great RTX 3050 GPU
- Excellent value
- Great case aesthetic
- Low storage, may need upgrading
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.
Blockbusters like Call of Duty Modern Warfare II and _Red Dead Redemptio_n 2 and the next-generation update of The Witcher III are very resource-heavy, requiring plenty of RAM and a powerful GPU. However, older releases and indie 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now you've got your PC, you're probably wondering, what should I play? Here are the best PC games available right now.
Popular game specs quick reference guide
Specifications as reported by wepc.com
• 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
• 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
• 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
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.
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 the 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.
A graphics card’s job is to convert CPU data into visual output. There are many types, specifications, and sizes of graphics cards. Typically, these cards have dedicated RAM and processor(s), 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?
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 the Deputy Commercial Content Editor and reviewer for What's The Best, specialising in technology, gaming and outdoors. He also writes for Empire Online.
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