Build a Custom Gaming PC for Under 1,000 2012

For our Gaming PC builds below $900 it was easy enough to choose where we wanted to put our money because there was always a lot of improvement needed in performance, which was always put as our priority. Going forward from here you’ll have to decide whether you’re going to continue to focus on performance or move towards improving your other components which aren’t essential towards performance.

CPU

I’m happy with the FX-8120 and 2500k we used in our $900 build, but with the additional $100 you could consider upgrading to the i7-2600k or the FX-8150. Personally, I’d rather upgrade other areas.

GPU

There are a lot of people who would call for a GPU upgrade over the HD 6950 and GTX 560Ti we recommended in the last build. If you want additional GPU performance, then in this price range you could go with the GTX 570 or the HD 6970. My preference would be to pass this upgrade in favor of a larger hard drive, 64GB SSD for Intel Smart Response Technology, and/or more Ram.

Ram

For me, this is where half of the additional money we get for this build should go.  I recommend 16GB of Corsair XMS3 or Vengeance Ram with a quad channel kit.

Motherboard

At this price point I recommend the Asus P8Z68-V/GEN3 for Intel builders or the GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 for AMD enthusiasts.

HDD

Our 500GB hard drive is in dire need of upgrade, especially if you store as much crap on your computer as I do. For performance we’ll go with the 1TB Western Digital Black WD1002FAEX. For capacity go with the Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARX.

DVD±RW

If you don’t plan on going with a Blu-ray drive, then I’d recommend sticking with an inexpensive DVD±RW like the Asus 24xDVD±RW Drive.

Case

If you want to upgrade your case, then I highly recommend the HAF Mid Tower RC-922M-KKN1-GP or the relatively new Corsair Carbide Series 500R (CC-9011012-WW) or for a full tower something like the Antec DF-85.

PSU

At this point you should still be fine with a 650+ watt PSU that is 80 PLUS certified. Because of the insane rebates available for the OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W I highly recommend it.

Summary:

In my opinion the best bet for your $1,000 gaming PC build is to improve the overall functionality of your machine by improving the capacity and speed of your hard drive and adding some ram.

As with all of our builds, here’s a table which breaks down the build above:

AMD PC Gaming Build Price / DealsIntel PC Gaming BuildPrice / Deals
Total Price:$964.49$985.81
CPUAMD FX 8120 8-Core Processor 3.1 8 Socket AM3 - FD8120FRGUBOX
Intel Core i5-2500 3.3 GHz 6 MB Cache Socket LGA1155 Processor
GPUXFX AMD Radeon HD 6950 800M 2 GB DDR5 Dual MiniDP HDMI Dual DVI PCI-E Video Card HD695XCNFC
Rebate Available.

EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Superclocked 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card - Lifetime Warranty 01G-P3-1563-AR
Rebate is available.

RamCorsair XMS3 16GB (4x 4GB) PC3-10666 1333MHz DDR3 Memory Kit for AMD and Intel Dual Channel Processors CMX16GX3M4A1333C9
Corsair 16 GB Vengeance Blue Low Profile 1600mhz PC3-12800 240-pin Quad Channel Kit CML16GX3M4A1600C9B
MotherboardGIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
ASUS LGA 1155 - Z68 - PCIe 3.0 and UEFI BIOS Intel Z68 ATX DDR3 2200 LGA 1155 Motherboards P8Z68-V/GEN3
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Green 2 TB Desktop Hard Drive WD20EARX

Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Desktop Hard Drive Bulk/OEM - WD1002FAEX
DVD±RW:Asus 24xDVD±RW Drive DVD-RAM/±R/±RW 24x8x16x(DVD) 48x32x48x(CD) Serial ATA Internal OEM DRW-24B1ST - 19
Same as AMD Build
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 Mid Tower ATX Case (RC-912-KKN1)
Same as AMD Build
PSUOCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom
Either go with the Corsair model to the left or save yourself another $30 by going with the OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply which always has great rebates available.
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10 Responses to Build a Custom Gaming PC for Under 1,000 2012

  1. Anonymous says:

    Are all of these parts compatible with each other? If I was to purchase all of these parts to build the tower what else would I need?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is there a video of the step by step process of this being built

  3. Nate says:

    Why so much ram? Most gaming builds I see only include 8 GB.

    • Tyler says:

      the reason why is because the more ram is required since they are sorta skimping out on the graphics card to save money it will make the whole set faster

  4. Anonymous says:

    Could this play Battle Field 3

  5. Eric says:

    What the hell is with this stupid pop up on this page with the facebook like, tweet shit, etc. …. Can’t even read the article. Good work people.

  6. John says:

    Anyone have a benchmark for this build?

  7. Josh says:

    Nice build, I cant wait to buy the parts for it…. When I get a job LOL!

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