best gaming pcs

The best gaming PCs under £1,000

The Best Gaming PCs Under £1,000

Need a new rig that can ably handle Fortnite? Or are you more a fan of PUBG? A machine to handle your BattleTech or Rainbow Six Siege, your Subnautica or Monster Hunter World? But you need something more affordable, clocking in at under a grand? You’ve come to the right place. Set aside your worries about RAM and graphics cards, and whether the machine will handle your favourite game’s requirements, and let us guide you towards the perfect low- to mid-range desktop. From PC gaming newcomers to more experienced players looking for a bargain, there’s something here for you.

1. Punch Technology AMD Gaming PC

+ Highly affordable

+ Good looking

– Lower frame rates

Punch Technology is an experienced, reliable UK brand with a solid history in custom PCs dating back to before the public even got its hands on the World Wide Web (doesn’t that sound quaint now?). The AMD Gaming PC features an AMD A8-9600 3.1GHz Quad Core processor working alongside Radeon R7 Integrated Graphics and 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB 7200RPM SATA HDD, running Windows 10. As such, even on such a modest budget you’ll be able to experience PC gaming, accessibly, affordably, quickly and quietly. The experience will be on a par with what you can expect from a console but all packaged in the handsome mATX Gaming Case.

2. Punch Ryzen 3 Vega 8 Gaming PC Ubuntu

+ Great value

+ Upgradeable

– No Windows 10

Preinstalled with Ubuntu (but capable of running Windows 10), this entry-level gaming machine is powered by the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad Core CPU, released in 2018 and featuring an integrated Radeon Vega graphics card. The processor means you can run AAA titles on medium settings and resolution between HD and FHD. Fortnite, for example, will run at about 50FPS. It’s also quick and responsive thanks to a 120GB SSD and features an additional 1TB hard drive for storage, and features 8GB of RAM. There’s also room for expansion. If you’re new to PC gaming, perhaps dipping in your toe after playing on consoles, this is an ideal starting point.

3.Punch Ryzen 3 Vega 8 Gaming PC

+ Decent storage

+ Striking case

– Integrated graphics card

A little snazzier than the above, this Vega 8 comes pre-installed with Windows 10, if you’re more used to that operating system and prefer its familiarity while you’re en route to booting up your current game of choice. It features the same AMD Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad Core processor with integrated Radeon Vega graphics card, 8MB RAM, 120GB SSD and 1TB HD. But the particularly striking element here is the case: the Contour Helios ATX Cube, constructed with tempered glass and high-quality steel and featuring 200mm red LED cooling fans on the top and front.

4.Punch Technology Core Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB Gaming PC

+ Core i5 CPU

+ Separate GPU

– Long boot times

Things are a little different at this price point, as you’ll get the benefit of a machine with a 7th generation Core i5 processor with Intel Turbo Boost working together with the separate GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. Powered by Nvidia Pascal, ‘the most advanced GPU architecture ever created’, it’ll handle high settings for PUBG and Fortnite, the latter at more than 100FPS. It also features 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 1TB SATA HDD and comes with Windows 10. This is a real step up from console gaming and entry-level PC gaming, and is excellent value for money.

5.OMEN by HP 880-000na NVIDIA GTX 1060 3GB Gaming Desktop PC

+ Highly upgradeable

+ DVD writer

– Glaring red LEDs

You’re getting some serious hardware here at a shade under £850. Out of the box it’s powerful, but importantly it’s also versatile and expandable, supporting up to four HDD of up to 3TB each. For starters, it comes with 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD storage, 8GB RAM, an Intel Core i5 7400 quad-core processor and a Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card with Pascal architecture and dedicated 3GB GDDR5 memory. The build-in Omen Command Centre allows you to fine-tune settings, even potentially overclock, and manage networking by prioritising gaming traffic. It’s fast, quiet and cool in both senses, with the black and red 32-litre case served by two 120mm fans. It also comes with Windows 10 and a DVD writer, a feature not generally included with lower-budget machines.

6.Punch Technology Ryzen 5 1060 Gaming PC

+ Six-core CPU

+ Cool blue case

– No optical drive

Here are some bangs for your buck (er, quid): this version of the Punch Ryzen 5 has an AMD Ryzen 5 2600 3.4GHz CPU, with six cores, running to a maximum of 3.9GHz. There’s also 8GB of RAM, a 240GB SSD and a 1TB SATA HD. It also features the essential Nvidia GTX 1060. In a recent Steam hardware survey, the 1060 came out as the most popular graphics card in the world. Perhaps more importantly, Eurogamer also says this powerhouse is the best video card for 1080p gaming. This rig comes with a 6GB version of the 1060, providing real gaming heft at still very competitive price.

Making a decision about investing in new hardware can be a challenge. It’s exciting but can be boggling. You’ve chatted to friends in-game, in forums or on social media, trawled through magazines and websites, and glutted yourself on specs, reviews and information. In some ways, that’s part of the fun, but choice can be overwhelming and custom build can be a minefield. Now you’re here, though, you can relax, as one of these machines is just what you need, all very capable gaming devices in the surprising sub-£1,000 price range. You’re welcome. Enjoy.

PC Specialist Vanquish Goliath - if you want to go over budget

PC Specialist Vanquish Goliath - if you want to go over budget
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    PC Specialist Vanquish Goliath - if you want to go over budget