I've been building rigs for nearly 30 years but these sub-$1,000 Prime Day gaming PC deals are calling me

MSI, Yeyian, and Skytech gaming PCs
(Image credit: MSI, Yeyian, Skytech)
Skytech Nebula | Intel Core i5 12400F | Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 500GB SSD | $1,299.99 $999.99 at Newegg (save $300)

Skytech Nebula | Intel Core i5 12400F | Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 500GB SSD | $1,299.99 $999.99 at Newegg (save $300)
At this point, who's going to buy a full-price Skytech gaming PC when they're pretty much guaranteed to be among the most discounted systems in any sale? I'm not complaining when you can bag a full RTX 4060 Ti gaming PC now for under $1,000. It's sporting a last-gen Intel Alder Lake chip, but it's still a six-core, 12-thread CPU of excellent gaming pedigree. The 500GB SSD feels a bit miserly in 2023, but that is one of the cheapest, and easiest upgrades you can make when you need a little more space.

MSI Codex R | Intel Core i5 13400F | Nvidia RTX 4060 | 16GB DDR5-4800 | 1TB PCIe SSD | $1,099 $989.99 at Newegg (save $109.01)

MSI Codex R | Intel Core i5 13400F | Nvidia RTX 4060 | 16GB DDR5-4800 | 1TB PCIe SSD | $1,099 $989.99 at Newegg (save $109.01)
The RTX 4060 performs at around the same level in standard games as the RTX 3060 Ti, and you can find similarly priced gaming PCs with that card inside it. But this is a fully rounded spec for under $1,000 that will allow you to get full benefit of DLSS 3 and Frame Generation where supported, too. The Raptor Lake CPU is fantastic, a 10-core, 16-thread chip that is arguably the best budget CPU around today, and you get 16GB DDR5 and a 1TB SSD to support the rest of the spec. You're not compromising here and you're not going to feel the need to upgrade for a good while, either.

That Skytech Nebula is an absolute banger of a Prime Day gaming PC deal. The RTX 4060 Ti doesn't make for a great DIY GPU upgrade, but as part of a full, sub-$1,000 system, it's a great graphics card. It's comfortably faster than an RTX 3060 Ti—which is only now making an appearance in gaming PCs at this price point—though it is just shy of the older RTX 3070's gaming performance.

Paired with the Intel Core i5 12400F, it makes for an excellent budget gaming PC and the Skytech Nebula is just $999.99 at Newegg. The core components are ably supported by 16GB of DDR4-3200 and a 500GB SSD. Honestly, that's our biggest regret about this rig. You're going to run out of storage space very quickly, and when a great 1TB SSD can be had for as little as $60 today, it's a real shame system builders are skimping on storage so much.

The older 12th Gen Intel CPU is no slouch, just a solid six-core, 12-thread processor, that will happily keep an RTX 4060 Ti fed with data enough to game at its limits.  

But that's also where the $10 cheaper MSI Codex R machine comes in, costing $989.99 also at Newegg. It's running the weaker RTX 4060 graphics card, which sometimes struggles to offer RTX 3060 Ti levels of gaming performance. The difference here is that it is a more rounded offering, and fully next-gen, too.

With the Core i5 13400F you're getting a Raptor Lake chip, that's a genuine upgrade over the Core i5 12400F. It's a 10-core, 16-thread CPU, and you're getting some faster DDR5 memory alongside it as well.

MSI also brings you a full 1TB SSD.

But if we're talking straight gaming performance then it's the Skytech Nebula, with its RTX 4060 Ti all the way. Both machines, however, will deliver a great base from which to start your PC gaming journey, or replace that ageing PC of Theseus that's got to the end of its useful life.

If you can stretch your budget, however, this Yeyian machine has my heart. The Yeyian Shoge is just $1,289 at Newegg and is a beast.

Yeyian Shoge | Intel Core i5 13400F | Nvidia RTX 4070 | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 1TB PCIe SSD | $1,599 $1,289 at Newegg (save $310)

Yeyian Shoge | Intel Core i5 13400F | Nvidia RTX 4070 | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 1TB PCIe SSD | $1,599 $1,289 at Newegg (save $310)
Normally we'd be talking about having to make do with some shoddy, 500GB SSD, or getting frustrated about having to compromise on 8GB of RAM to get such a healthy discount on a high-end gaming PC. But not here, this is a no-compromise rig that will deliver the sort of performance we'd have expected from an RTX 3080 system this time last year, and potentially more if you take DLSS 3 and Frame Generation into account. To get all this for less than $1,300 makes the Yeyian a great deal. It's a US-based company, has free shipping and there's not a lot else to worry about. Easy PC.

This is a genuine no-compromise gaming PC. Forget the fact it's not sporting DDR5, you get the best budget gaming CPU around in that Core i5 13400F and the 12GB RTX 4070. That's a graphics card that at worst will give you RTX 3080 levels of gaming performance, and with support for DLSS 3 and Frame Generation available to it, sometimes significantly more.

For $1,300 this is a gaming PC we could have only dreamt about putting together for this price just a few months back. Hell, even a couple of weeks ago you'd have struggled to find something this powerful for this little.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.