While prebuilt gaming PCs are known to be too expensive for what they offer, you can score a great prebuilt machine if you’re ready to do some research. While you won’t get the same amount of bang for your buck compared to a DIY PC, you’ll still get your money’s worth as long as you don’t settle for the first configuration you stumble upon online.
Overvalue is a severe issue in the prebuilt PC market. A ton of prebuilt machines offer horrendous value. Many configurations include dated or low-quality components while being grossly overpriced. However, if you check out our best gaming PCs under $1000 guide, you’ll find half a dozen excellent prebuilt machines buying which won’t look like a highway robbery. Now, again, prebuilts simply don’t and can’t offer as much value as a DIY gaming PC. But going the DIY route includes spending days, weeks even, scouring the best deals, then waiting for all components to arrive, and finally spending the whole day assembling the said PC. So, read on if you just want to click on a button and get a fully working gaming PC.
Now, PC buyers usually also need a monitor. Our list of the best IPS monitors includes a couple of excellent options for budget gamers. Next, the quality of peripherals bundled with prebuilt PCs is horrendous. We recommend checking our lists of the best TKL mechanical keyboards and the best 65% keyboards; they include many fantastic mechanical gaming keyboards.
1. Skytech Blaze II: Best prebuilt gaming PC under $1000 overall
Now, the Skytech Blaze II, based on the Ryzen 5 5600G and the RTX 3060, isn’t technically the best overall prebuilt gaming PC under $1000. The truth is, this configuration costs about 10 percent over the budget. With that said, we believe it’s worth stretching your budget a bit to get this configuration.
Considering the components found in this PC, this is by far the best gaming combo you can get for around $1000. The thing is, you won’t get near the GPU power of the RTX 3060-powered Skytech Blaze II for $1000 or less. The second most powerful GPU you can find at this price point is the RTX 3050, which is almost 40 percent slower than the RTX 3060. In other words, we think that going 10 percent over the $1000 budget for a 35 percent higher gaming performance is definitely worth it.
This is a serious 1440p gaming machine. It can run most recent AAA games in this resolution and with mid to high visuals. On top of that, the RTX 3060 has DLSS and RTX support. Sure, its ray tracing performance is way below high-end cards such as the RTX 3080 but still, the 3060 should offer playable ray tracing performance when combined with DLSS. As for the 1080p resolution, the RTX 3060 will run any game with ultra details and above 60fps.
2. AVGPC Hellfire II: Best value prebuilt gaming PC under $1000
The Hellfire II from AVGPC isn’t the fastest PC on this list. However, it is the best value prebuilt gaming PC under $1000 you can find. If you’re on a tight budget and simply can’t go over $1000 this is the prebuilt PC to get. The cornerstone of the Hellfire II consists of a Ryzen 5600G and an RTX 3050. The two aren’t the most potent combo on this list, but they can achieve outstanding 1080p gaming performance. We’re talking about 60fps with most visuals turned to high, even in the latest AAA titles.
Other components range from fine to fabulous. For instance, the PC features a 240mm AIO from Cooler Master, which is overkill for the 5600G, but hey, at least it’s quite capable and will be enough for any future CPU upgrade. Next, the Cooler Master MWE 650 Gold PSU is another quality component you won’t usually find on such an affordable prebuilt PC. On the flip side, 16GB of memory runs in single-channel mode, which is a definite minus.
That said, 16GB of single-channel DDR4 3200 MT/s RAM isn’t that bad. In most games, you’re looking at less than 10 percent slower performance than with 16GB dual-channel memory. Also, the RTX 3050 is faster than the RTX 1660 Super, which is the best-case GPU found in the majority of prebuilt gaming PCs that cost less than $1000. With the RTX 3050, you’ve got DLSS and RTX support and 2GB more memory, which is nothing to sneeze at.
The second option is an RTX 3050 combined with 8GB of RAM, which is even worse combo in a prebuilt PC that costs around $1000. Overall, the Hellfire II is an excellent prebuilt gaming PC under $1000 and one of the best choices in the ~$1000 prebuilt PC market. The only way to get a faster GPU in a prebuilt PC is to cross the $1000 mark.
3. HP Victus 15L: Best budget prebuilt gaming PC under $1000
The HP Victus 15L features the Ryzen 5600G and the Nvidia GTX 1660 Super while selling for way less than $1000. In other words, considering its price and components, this is, hands down, the best budget prebuilt gaming PC under $1000 you can get right now. The only major downside is only 8GB of memory, but at least HP used two sticks of RAM.
Using two memory sticks allows the memory to run in dual channel mode, which equals about ten percent higher gaming performance on average. We really like this because most prebuilts with 8GB of RAM only include a single memory module. Another nitpick we have is a tiny, 256GB SSD. That said, you can get a 1TB hard drive for cheap and store games on it.
As for the gaming performance, this is a more than capable 1080p gaming machine that can also run games in 1440p, albeit with lower settings. Only 8GB of memory might prove an issue with new AAA titles, but overall, you should be OK with most games. Especially since the memory runs in dual-channel mode.
4. HP Victus 15L: Best white prebuilt gaming PC under $1000
When it comes to the best white prebuilt gaming PC for $1000 or less, the Victus 15L from HP wins again. The 16GB version of our budget pick has enough oomph for 1080p and 1440p gaming, but this time you have enough memory for any current and future AAA title.
Further, 16GB of dual-channel memory instead of 8GB means zero stuttering in demanding games and a bit faster gaming performance overall. Finally, a 512GB SSD instead of a 256GB unit means you’ll be able to store a couple of the games you play the most on it and skip getting a hard drive.
5. iBUYPOWER Trace 9100W: Cheapest prebuilt gaming PC under $1000
The iBUYPOWER Trace 9100W is a very cheap prebuilt PC with a price way lower than even our budget pick. The thing is, other prebuilt gaming PCs in the same price bracket offer way less for the money. With the iBUYPOWER Trace 9100W, you’ve got a still decent Ryzen 3100 CPU that can handle new AAA titles at at least 60fps. Then we have the RX 570, 4GB version, which can run most newer games in 1080p@60fps with medium visual settings.
Overall, this is a solid entry-level package and should be powerful enough for undemanding gamers. On the other hand, it’s way more powerful than the majority of similarly priced prebuilt PCs that include GTX 1030s or even slower graphics cards.
As for the rest of the package, 8GB of single-channel memory is less than ideal, but you cannot expect anything more at this price. Also, the 128GB SSD is only enough for the OS and a game or two, but luckily, the machine does come with a 1TB HDD, which is great to see in such a cheap prebuilt.
6. SkyTech Chronos Mini: Best prebuilt gaming PC under $1000 with Intel CPU
As you’ve probably noticed by now, all our picks ’till now feature AMD CPUs and Nvidia GPUs. Well, while we couldn’t find a competitive prebuilt gaming PC under $1000 with an AMD GPU, we have found a pretty solid prebuilt PC powered by an Intel CPU. The Core i5-10400F in question isn’t the latest or greatest gaming CPU from Intel but it’s still pretty good.
It’s almost as fast as the 11400F and still a great choice for a mid-range gaming PC. Next, we have a GTX 1660 graphics card. Not great but far from terrible. It’s more than enough for 1080p gaming and a low-tier choice for gaming in 1440p resolution. You’ve also got 16GB of 3200 MT/s memory working in dual channel (SkyTech is using a B560 motherboard that supports memory OC) and a 1TB NVMe SSD.
Last but not least we have an mATX case with a mesh front panel. In other words, this is the only PC on this list that has a modern, high-airflow PC case. Overall, this is a pretty good all-around prebuilt PC for 1080p gaming. If you’re planning to game at 1440p we recommend getting something faster, such as the GTX 1660 Super or RTX 3050. The latter one is our recommendation since it has DLSS support, which is an important, performance-enhancing feature to have in a lower mid-range graphics card.