These are the gaming PCs under $1,000 that are actually any good

Sub-$1000 gaming PCs on a blue background
(Image credit: Future)

There's never a shortage of entire gaming PCs on sale for Black Friday. In fact, even when there was a shortage of GPUs it was still possible to find a gaming PC ready to ship with relatively slim lead times for delivery. Those shortages are all over now, which means Black Friday gaming PC deals (opens in new tab) are popping up like mushrooms on a rainy day.

As there are so many gaming PC deals out there right now, we need to be extra attuned to what's actually good and what's not worth your money. It's all well and good that there's a $699.99 gaming PC on sale at Amazon, but when it comes with a GTX 1650 Super and 8GB of single-channel RAM, you can do a lot better.

So, let's be critical about the gaming PCs on offer today and look out for those gaming PCs that don't make enormous sacrifices for a palatable price tag.

What we want:

  • Dual-channel memory
  • RTX 3060/RX 6600 or better
  • A current or last-gen CPU
  • 512GB SSD storage

What we want to avoid:

  • RTX 20-series or older GPU
  • Single-channel memory
  • 256GB SSD
  • Ageing CPU architecture

Those requirements may seem steep but these are the sort of specs I feel will give you the best impression of PC gaming on a budget in 2022. There's no reason not to expect all of that under $1,000, either—I've already found a few. Most under $900, in fact.

Black Friday gaming PC deals under $1,000 

CyberPower PC Gamer Xtreme | Radeon RX 6700 XT | Core i7 12700F | 500GB SSD | 16GB DDR4 | $1,199.99 (opens in new tab)

CyberPower PC Gamer Xtreme | Radeon RX 6700 XT | Core i7 12700F | 500GB SSD | 16GB DDR4 | $1,199.99 $899 at Walmart (save $300.99) (opens in new tab)
Pretty case, serious CPU, and RTX 3060 Ti-beating RX 6700 XT graphics card. And all for under $1,000. Literally, the only part of this CyberPower machine I'm not into is that 500GB SSD. That's a bit wee, even for a $1,000 gaming PC. But there are some great SSD deals right now, so don't let that put you off. Unlike the HP, this PC uses off the shelf components for a much more plug-and-play approach to PC building, so you don't have to fret about future upgrades. Upgrades should be a breeze. Also it's called the PC Gamer, what's more to like?

Lenovo IdeaCentre Gaming 5i | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | Intel Core i7 12700 | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $899.99 (opens in new tab)

Lenovo IdeaCentre Gaming 5i | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | Intel Core i7 12700 | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $899.99 $849.99 at Best Buy (save $50) (opens in new tab)
This is another OEM-style PC, which means it sacrifices the gamer aesthetic and some of the case standards we've become accustomed to. It's not so bad, however, as the actual specifications on this machine, for $849, are enough to win some favour. A really solid spec for 1080p gaming, it's the Intel Core i7 12700 that will make a huge difference if you hope to use this machine for streaming or video editing, too. 

Asus ROG Strix G10 | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | AMD Ryzen 7 5800X | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD | $1,499 (opens in new tab)

Asus ROG Strix G10 | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | AMD Ryzen 7 5800X | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD | $1,499 $759 at Newegg (save $740) (opens in new tab)
This is a deal to watch. It was so good that it sold out pretty quick when it first went live, but there's a chance stock may return so watch this space. As Newegg says: 'This product is temporarily out of stock because of high demand, we will replenish it as soon as possible.' As for the PC itself, this is a genuinely heavy hitting gaming PC for an impressively lightweight price. The RTX 3060 is an established 1080p gaming chip, but that eight-core, 16-thread Ryzen CPU is a meaty ol' processor that will go to town on anything you throw its way. This is practically half-price for a great Asus rig.

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | AMD Ryzen 7 5700G | 16GB RAM (2x 8GB) | 512GB SSD | 1TB HDD | $1,299.99 (opens in new tab)

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | AMD Ryzen 7 5700G | 16GB RAM (2x 8GB) | 512GB SSD | 1TB HDD | $1,299.99 $899.99 at HP (save $400) (opens in new tab)
This HP Pavilion is a decent deal for $900. The CyberPower is better, but I'll offer a few options just in case. It rocks an RTX 3060, which is a great 1080p gaming GPU, but the entire spec is well-to-do. There's 16GB of speedy 3,200MHz RAM installed, which will work a treat for that AMD Ryzen Zen 3 CPU. As such, you shouldn't struggle to get the most out of the components in this machine—we hate leaving performance on the table. The SSD isn't the largest right now, and no doubt it will be eaten up by a few large games, but there's another 1TB HDD thrown in here for any files you don't need rapid access too. I suppose the only thing we don't like about this HP Pavilion is the very OEM build quality on the inside, and the more unusual compact case. It's not necessarily the prettiest internally, but as a way into PC gaming it will do nicely.

Perhaps the most surprising thing for me in looking around for these worthwhile Black Friday gaming PC deals is how little there was on Amazon. I found a lot of machines asking for far too much money for old spec CPUs and either RTX 20-series or even GTX 16-series GPUs. That's just not on, and don't be fooled by these sorts of 'deals'. 

It's a buyer's market for GPUs, whether some sellers want you to know that or not, and GPU shipments are reportedly historically down (opens in new tab). You can and should score a decent RTX 30-series or RX 6000-series graphics card ahead of the more affordable next-generation GPUs from Nvidia and AMD, don't settle for less. 

The same goes for CPUs. We've had back-to-back fantastic CPU generations with Intel's 12th and 13th Gen and AMD's Ryzen 5000-series and 7000-series—unless the deal is absolutely amazing, you should stick to these more modern chips.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, however, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.