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$1000 Gaming PC - Basic But a Solid Performer

by radar231



Date Published

Nov. 26, 2016

Date Built

Nov. 25, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.2 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.594 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8.008 GHz


I had an LGA-1155 based system that was starting to give me some motherboard problems, so rather than spend money on it to replace the motherboard and update the video card, I decided to do a new build. I did reuse the two SSD's and 1TB HDD that I had in the old PC, and also already had monitors, keyboard and mouse.

I didn't really need it, but I picked up the M.2 SSD mainly so I could do an initial OS install on the new PC without disturbing the old PC. Once I was sure everything was functional with the new PC I then transferred the old drives over.

I also didn't bother removing the SSD's from the 3.5 in trays I had them in. I just left them in the trays and put them in the lower 3.5 in drive bay. There are actually four places in this case specifically for mounting SSD's.

The total cost for this build came in at $1033 (before tax) at the local Canada Computers here in Ottawa, taking advantage of about $100 in discounts for Black Friday. I also ended up with about $100 of mail in rebates as well. This ended up costing about $20 less than I could find it in online suppliers, so buying it locally I probably saved about $100 in shipping as well, not to mention getting to build it right away. :-)

When designing this build I wanted a good solid gaming rig to take me a few years into the future, but held to around a $1000 budget. My initial tests with GTA-V gave me 60+ FPS on very-high settings, so I think it worked out quite well. Most of my gaming is 4x, strategic/tactical turn based wargaming, grand strategy (Paradox) games, flight sims, and some FPS (Arma mostly), so this build should perform great for these.

It also has some future proofing and future upgrade options, with the exception of CPU over-clocking, which had never really been a priority for me.

Part Reviews


Good CPU choice for a gaming PC build where you want a bit of extra horsepower but don't need over-clocking capabilities.


Good basic motherboard. I'm not an over-clocker, so the basic functionality provided by this board was good enough for me. The layout and connector placement is good, and I had no problems with my build using this board.


These memory sticks seem quite well made, look pretty good and are a good testament to the Kingston name.


Probably not the highest performing M.2 SSD stick, but it works as well as any SSD in my build, and it is nice to be able to have this on the motherboard with one less set of cables.

Video Card

I'm an NVidia fan boy, so I ended up going for the 1060 over the RX-480. The GTX-1060 is a good solid choice for a higher end of midrange build. This ASUS card seems to be well built and is running well for me.


A simple no frills case, but for the cost it is surprisingly well built and solid. It won't compete with a case with LED's up the ying-yang and voyeur windows all over the place (and probably costing many $100's), but for a budget build it is a very good choice.

Power Supply

A well built power supply. It is semi-modular (the two motherboard power cables are permanently connected) so it gives most of the same benefits as a fully modular power supply but at a much better price.

Comments Sorted by:

ClanScorpia 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

iirc that GPU goes for 370 at Mem express. Are those prices with tax?

Hysperion 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

Nice build, you should get a triple monitor stand for your monitors. Have you overclocked the GPU?

someta 4 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

That penguin on the shelf can mean only one thing: you're a secret Linux fan! I hope so anyway; there's far too few of us :/

It's also a nice build, I've come to like the look of that case....

Stereotypical_Whale 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

I loved using linux on my old laptop, problem is compatibility, more specifically some steam games. But the os not only is free but is definitely solid, so much so that Im now considering dual booting it for old times sake, im curious what its like right now, which version (i know its called something else but I cant remember, "build" or something" of linux would you recommend?

radar231 submitter 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

My laptop is dual boot. Which distro you use doesn't really matter in the big picture, as Linux is Linux. My personal preference is towards the .deb packages, so I run Ubuntu, currently release 16.04. I play a number of Linux Steam games on it without any issues.

someta 4 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

Sorry, scope creep kind of took this over (but I love talking about Linux)!

Well, there's many different distributions (I think that's the word you're looking for), each of them with their own advantages and drawbacks. I'm dual booting Arch Linux with the Deepin Desktop Environment from a separate hard drive on WS-1, but it might not be the best thing if you haven't done Linux in a while, since it can take a few hours to set up (almost all on the command line -- there's no installer), and there's some quirks (like the open source Nouveau driver for NVIDIA cards interfering with Kernel Mode Setting, and I still couldn't play even Minecraft with the proprietary driver)... It's also possible to break it with updates if something doesn't get patched upstream.

Even if you've got some experience, you could always go the easy route and start off with Ubuntu or Linux Mint (a popular derivative of Ubuntu, I think it's fairly new(?)). Ubuntu uses Unity as its desktop environment, but if you don't like it, you could always go with GNOME on Debian (although GNOME3 is apparently quite different from GNOME2, GUI wise). If you have switched from a Mac, then elementary OS is excellent, or if you've been using Windows, Zorin OS is recommended (although the free version is somewhat limited and I don't really like it all that much)... If you're only going to play Steam games, Valve released their Linux-based SteamOS, which is pretty much what it sounds like...

Here's the place to look up popularity and basic information on about every alternative distribution they can find: https://distrowatch.com/. It'll tell you if it's Linux based, or some other kernel (there's a couple of them), and where you can download it.

If there's any more help I can give, feel free to message me! (I don't want to take over radar231's build log any more than I have already -- sorry radar231!)

radar231 submitter 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

(I don't want to take over radar231's build log any more than I have already -- sorry radar231!)

No worries. I've been using Linux for far longer than I care to enumerate :-) so I have no problems with this devolving into a Linux tutorial.

someta 4 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

lol, in that case... jk :)

Seriously though, you've got a cool build!

I want a 1060 6 gigs, since my EVGA 970 runs way too hot for a non-reference 970 (just shy of 80C), and the 6 giggy should run cooler and has more VRAM as I've maxed out the 4 gigs on my 970 with DOOM 2016 and Rainbow Six: Siege... I've got a Fractal Design Define R5 coming, so we'll see if that quiets the rig down. If not, I'm putting a Kraken G10 bracket on the thing.

Muttonsourdough 3 Builds 1 point 27 months ago

I'm running Ubuntu 16.04 in mine as well. When I first started piddling with 14.04 under the hood it was to update the graphics driver as well, and I broke my system. I didn't expect to be able to because it was just a normal settings submenu but I followed a tutorial too quickly and missed a trick.

It's a very easy to use OS that doesn't require much tinkering to get it set up but you can still break it and lose your data pretty easily even without opening up the terminal and using commands.

On topic though I've been curious about this guy from the first time I saw it. I love a nice black aesthetic to a build but I also like a sleek white aesthetic so this card has my interest. How does you like it?

bigskoops 3 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

nice overall build man

PigWithAMustache 2 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

i like that stuffed linux penguin lol

GabrielCabria 1 point 29 months ago

I think you should get a hard drive to pair with the SSD like the Western Digital 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive...

radar231 submitter 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

In the description I mention moving two SSD's and a HDD from my old gaming computer. The HDD actually is the WD 1TB 7200 RPM. :-)

TheGoronMoron 1 point 29 months ago

Solid indeed friend :3

dexdehex 1 point 28 months ago

nice! just a question guys im a console gamer trying to move to pcmr, people have suggested everywhere its better to build your own to buy a prebuilt, so I will be trying to build my own, just a question regarding fan in this case we can see the OP has used stock cooler but if I was to go for Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO as I can see in the pictures it has 1 fan, what side is the fan to face in such scenario ? http://prntscr.com/df8w3a is the fan to face blue or red side ? I would say red side since I can see the holes over there but would like to know from the experts thanks alot :)