If you want the best gaming computer under 1000 dollars you can’t buy a pre-built computer. You MUST find the best components that fit this budget and build the PC yourself.

The question is… Ryzen or Intel?

Best $1000 Gaming PC Builds

I put the builds here so you can easily navigate to them in case you already know what you want.

For those whose aren’t 100% sure about what to choose between Intel and AMD, keep reading!

Intel Or AMD? Coffe Lake VS Ryzen 5

In order to get a real perspective of what each CPU can do, I’ve prepared a couple of tables with some critical information of both processors families.

Technical Specifications

So, we will start taking a look at the basics: the technical specs. What differences can you see at first glance?

Note: for the $1000 build, we are mainly concerned about the i3-8350K and the Ryzen 5 1600x. I’ve added the other two processors to the tables to show you a more global image of the different CPU families.

Ryzen 5/7 VS Coffe Lake i3/i5 - Technical Specifications
Ryzen 5 1600Xi3-8350KRyzen 7 1700i5-8600K
Base Clock3.6 GHz4.0 GHz3.0 GHz3.6 GHz
Boost Clock4.0 GHz-3.7 GHz4.3 GHz
Total Cache16 MB8 MB16 MB9 MB
TDP95 W91 W65 W95 W

Before you ask, I know there is a price difference of $40 between the i3 and the 1600X. This is on purpose, as Coffe Lake’s motherboards start at $110, while a decent Ryzen compatible motherboard costs around $65.

So the initial price difference of the CPUs is compensated by the MOBOs.

Due to the higher number of threads, Ryzen CPUs are especially recommended for multi-core applications, such as video editing, deep learning, graphic design, … but will it be also better for gaming?

Ryzen Pros

  • Ryzen 5 1600X CPU has 2 extra cores + 8 extra threads!!! (Question is how important this really is for gaming PCs)
  • Both the Ryzen 1600X and the i3-8350K can be overclocked
  • Boost frequencies and higher cache. The i3 doesn’t have boost clock.
  • In the long term, games will make use of the extra cores/threads (future proofing)
  • AMD will support the AM4 socket in the next generations (Ryzen 2 at least), so you can reuse the motherboard in case you upgrade the CPU.

Intel Pros

  • The performance per core is higher
  • Best performance in older games and most of newer games

Gaming Benchmarks

We’ve seen that the main difference between the two processors is that the Ryzen 5 1600X offers more cores and threads than the Coffe Lake i3-8350K.

But we still have one question to answer: how do they perform on some of the most popular games?

Here you will find some game benchmarks tested with 16GB DDR4 memory and GTX 1080 graphics card.

Ryzen 5 1600X VS Coffe Lake i3-8350K - Gaming Benchmark (avg. FPS, 1080p)
Coffee Lake i3-8350KRyzen 5 1600X
Rise Of The Tomb Raider (DX 12, Very High)139114
GTA V (Ultra)123107
Total Warhammer (Ultra)129125
Watch Dogs 2 (High)7586
Hitman (DX12, Ultra)110106
Far Cry Primal (Very High)10693


As we could expect from the higher performance per core of the Coffee Lake, this CPU performs slightly better than the 1600X. Exceptionally better in some cases I would say (Rise Of The Tomb Raider or Far Cry Primal).

In general, it seems there is an average FPS difference between 5-15 FPS which is not big deal if you consider the other use cases where the Ryzen outperforms the i3-8350K.

My Recommendation

If you read the comparisons I made for lower budgets, especially in the $600 and $800 budgets, you can see that the Ryzen advantage vanishes as the budget is increased and the final decision is harder to take.

With $1000 you can build a PC with the latest Intel processors, the Coffee Lake generation, and given its scalability issues, it’s still the most powerful option.

But, what do you value the most: performance or scalability? In my case, I will always prefer future proofing my rig for the coming years so I can be sure that if I have to upgrade any part I could do it without any hassle.

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Adrian Benavides

I've been always an avid gamer with limited resources. This led me to learn how to build the best gaming computers within tight budgets. Now, I want to share the knowledge I've acquired over the years with the world!

2 thoughts on “Best Gaming PC Under $1000 – ULTRA 1440p! (Feb 2018)

  1. I really like this build! I’m very new to this, but I plan on getting a monitor called a ‘Asus PG348Q’? I’ve heard it needs a beefy GPU to support it, but I don’t know how it will function with this build. Will I need to get other pieces/swap out pieces to support it? I don’t want my entire rig to combust because I built irresponsibly

    1. The Asus PG348Q is, as you probably know, a top-notch monitor for hard-core gamers. It works at a maximum resolution of 3440×1440 at 100Hz (ultra wide 2k resolution).

      The GTX 1060 can handle 1440p resolutions at max settings on some games, but it will struggle to keep a constant 60 FPS rate on new games.

      If you want to squeeze all the monitor potential I would recommend you to get a GTX 1070, or even a GTX 1080 if you can afford it.

      Take a look at de $1250 build for a GTX 1070 build.

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