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Best Gaming Desktops Under $1000

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A few years ago, before I knew better, I decided to buy a gaming PC. And it was tough. You always ask yourself a ton of questions. Which one should you buy? What gaming advantage do individual gaming PCs have over others?

Why not just buy a regular PC? There is no significant difference between gaming and normal because they both have the same input and output hardware, RAM, CPU, hard drive, et cetera. However, when you play, there is usually a high strain on the PC’s parts. The difference is that a gaming PC has a powerful CPU and a RAM with more significant storage ability.

Every gamer wants an out-of-this-world experience when playing, but you may have a restricted budget. Lucky for you, there are gaming PCs that can be as cheap as $300.

Gaming PCs come at different prices, and today we will focus on gaming PCs under $1000. You will find most people going for those going from $500-700. However, if your budget allows it, I highly recommend you go for $800-100.

I have compiled a list of gaming PCs that cost less than 1000.

First, let’s look at the factors you will consider when buying or upgrading your gaming PC.

Best Gaming PC for RTS Gamers

Dell i5675-7806BLU-PUS Inspiron Gaming PC

Dell i5675-7806BLU-PUS Inspiron Gaming PC

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Best Powerful Gaming PC

CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR

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Best Budget Gaming PC

Intel Hades Canyon NUC

Intel Hades Canyon NUC

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CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme

Good Entry Level VR Desktop

“If you are looking for a PC that will introduce you to the ever-growing world of virtual reality, here it is.”

Excellent performance for the price.

Inadequate SSD storage.

It runs very smoothly.

It needs an additional RAM of 8 GB or more for better game performance.


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The CyberPower Xtreme is a remarkable gaming PC. If you are looking for a PC that will introduce you to the ever-growing world of virtual reality, here it is. You can also play a whole lot of modern PC games on it. It is also upgradable.

You can always personalize it to fit the headsets and hardware developments of the future. CyberPower Xtreme has the technology that matches those of modern gaming consoles. Game designers always make games for consoles due to the high demand from that quarter. This PC will always be toe to toe with the consoles and their future specifications.

Features

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-9400F.
  • GPU: GTX 1660 6GB
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • Storage: I TB HDD 7200 RPM + 128 GB SSD.
  • Price: $799.99

iBuyPower Elite Gaming PC

iBuyPower Elite Gaming PC

Powerful Gaming Desktop

“It is a powerful gaming PC that will allow you to play the latest triple-A games.”

First-rate AMD processor.

The case is not so appealing.

RTX GPU

Peripherals are a bit of a let-down.

Large storage

RGB Chassis

Tempered glass

It comes with all peripheral devices.


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It is a powerful gaming PC that will allow you to play the latest triple-A games. You will also enjoy its VR capabilities. Its graphics card will enable you to play with 60 fps with high settings at 1440 P for most games. For some games, you can play with the much-desired 4K.

You have WiFi, Windows 10, and 16 GB RAM.

The PC’s support to video rendering and content creation shows its power despite its price. And you have the RGB to top all of these.

Features

  • CPU: Ryzen 7 2700X
  • GPU: RTX 2060
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 2 TB HDD and 240 GB SSD
  • Price: $10.99

Dell XPS Tower SE

Most Upgradable Gaming Desktop

“Dell XPS Tower designers have done it yet again. It is one of the most upgradable gaming PCs around.”

Stylish.

Mouse and keyboard do not meet gaming standards.

It is future proof.

USB-C ports.

Great room for customization.


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Dell XPS Tower designers have done it yet again. It is one of the most upgradable gaming PCs around. And the process is plain ingenious but straightforward at the same moment. It’s trademark design that allows you to replace parts without the need of tools remains. But now you are graced with 8th generation CPUs, accessible USB-C ports, and various options for future customization.

Features

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8400
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti
  • Storage: 256 GB + 1 TB HDD
  • Price: $599.99 at Dell, $999 at Amazon

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR

CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR

Best Powerful Gaming PC

“With 9th generation CPU and excellent GPU, it is evident this is a powerful PC made for gaming.”

Powerful processors.

You will need to add extra RAM for faster performance.

Modern RTX technology.

VR enabled.

You get peripheral devices.

Fair storage


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With 9th generation CPU and excellent GPU, it is evident this is a powerful PC made for gaming. You can play most games at maximum settings and resolutions excellently. The PC also has tempered glass allowing you a good peek inside.

The makers have assembled it in a way that creates an excellent airflow to enable extended gaming periods. You will also have 7 USB ports, HDMI, and 2 DisplayPort.

Add the excellent memory to the mix, and you have a pretty decent machine at your hands.

Features

  • CPU: i5-9400F
  • GPU: RTX 2060
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 120 GB SSD Plus 1 TB HDD
  • Cost: $749.99

CyberPowerPC Xtreme Gamer VR (i7)

Good VR Gaming PC

“Able to handle anything you throw at her.”

Personalized case lighting.

Older generation processors.

Fantastic gaming experience.

VR enabled.

The memory is decent to get you by.

VR enabled.


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In this model, the makers decided to go with older generation processors. However, it will still be able to handle anything you throw at her. Even some new generation triple-A games at high settings. Particularly VR. You will also get an additional 8 GB of RAM over the previous model.

You will also get a decent memory. Also, the PC has 8 USB ports, HDMI, and a DisplayPort.

Features 

  • CPU: i7-8700k
  • GPU: GTX 1660 TI
  • RAM: 16 6B DDR4
  • Storage: 120 GB SSD Plus 1 TB HDD
  • Price:

Acer Aspire Gaming Desktop

Acer Aspire Gaming Desktop

Excellent Gaming PC

“It has a design that gives you excellent day-to-day services as well as graphic related tasks.”

You can accommodate up to 3 monitors.

Not the best support for latest games.

It supports Windows 10.

Use of WiFi and Bluetooth.

It multitasks excellently because of its AMD processors.

4K resolution will elevate your gameplay.

Noiseless

New look.


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The Acer GX model was not only made to be excellent at gaming. It has a design that gives you excellent day-to-day services as well as graphic related tasks. It also has the latest graphic cards and the powerful AMD Ryzen CPU.

You can also play with 4K resolution for some games. The excellent design and front-facing LED design is remarkable.

Features

  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • CPU: Ryzen 7 1700X 8-Core
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 480
  • Cost: $879.99

Intel Hades Canyon NUC

Intel Hades Canyon NUC

Best Budget Gaming PC

“You will not only find a decent PC with the budget but also a compact one.”

Lots of ports

Expensive without everything included: No RAM and OS.

Upgradability meaning it is future proof.

It can only store up to 4GB video memory.

Smaller size without sacrificing its power


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Intel Hades Canyon NUC is yet another gaming PC you can review as you browse for gaming PCs under 1000. You will not only find a decent PC with the budget but also a compact one.

It packs AMD Radeon GPU and the Intel Core i7 8th generation CPU despite its size. Therefore, it can hold its ground against any gaming PC in our under 1000 PC category.

However, it comes without any OS or RAM.

Features

  • CPU: Intel Core i7
  • GPU: Radeon RX Vega M
  • RAM: Holds up to 64 GB
  • Storage: Up to 2TB SSD + 2TB HDD
  • Cost: $989.99

Dell G5 Gaming Desktop

Dell G5 Gaming Desktop

Best Cheap Gaming PC

“All of this means is that within your budget, you can still play amazing games.”

Affordable.

It won’t support demanding titles.

VR activated configurations

Unique design


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The list could not miss the latest model in the Dell G5 gaming series. You will get a unique modern case and 9th generation Intel processors. Coupled with that, you have NVIDIA’s most robust GTX and RTX GPU.

All of this means is that within your budget, you can still play amazing games.

Features

  • 9th Gen Intel Core i3-9100
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650-RTX 2070
  • RAM: 8 GB – 64 GB
  • Storage: 1 TB SSD +2 TB HDD
  • Cost: $1199.99

Dell XPS 8920 Desktop

Most Affordable Gaming PC

“Here is another affordable gaming PC from Dell. It is full of incredible features for excellent gaming immersion.”

It provides excellent gaming specs as well as multitasking and video editing needs.

The case is a little too compact.

It enables streamlined play of some GPU-heavy games.

Excellent read and write in a variety of media formats.

Decent storage.

It supports various memory stick formats such as SD, SDHC, and SDXC.

It comes with Windows 10.

It comes with external devices like Dell mouse and keyboard.

You get a powerful gaming PC at an affordable price.

It has room for upgrades


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Here is another affordable gaming PC from Dell. It is full of incredible features for excellent gaming immersion.

Features

  • CPU: Quad-Core Intel i7-700
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4; Max 64 GB
  • Storage: 1 TB HDD 7200 RPM
  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 560
  • Windows 10
  • Color: Silver
  • Bluetooth
  • Cost: $1179.99

ASUS G11CD Gaming Desktop

Good Budget Friendly Gaming Desktop

“It is a fantastic gaming desktop from ASUS made to be budget-friendly. It is fitted with 7th generation Intel CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GPU.”

Eight air vents for better air circulation.

It would be better with the traditional SSD than the SSHD it supports.

LEDs with customized light effects. If you are a lover of lighting aesthetics, you will have a myriad of colors available.

Comes with different USB sizes: two USB 3.1, TWO USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, LAN port, and HDMI.

It is affordable when you consider the specs.


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It is a fantastic gaming desktop from ASUS made to be budget-friendly. It is fitted with 7th generation Intel CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GPU.

Features

  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6400
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX950 2 GB
  • Windows 10
  • Color: Black
  • Storage size: 1 TB HDD

SkyTech Gaming ST-SHADOW-II-002 Computer

Good Gaming PC

“This SkyTech model is remarkably good for gaming for the PCs under 1000.”

SkyTech products are made to be reliable and durable.

They do not have an SSD.

Fast performance and multitasking.

SSDs have become the custom in PC gaming because of the advantages I mentioned earlier. This PC may take longer to boot.

Usable in other day-to-day activities such as content creation.

It has excellent resolution and smooth fps.


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This SkyTech model is remarkably good for gaming for the PCs under 1000. The quad-core Ryzen AMD processor is a testimony of the designer’s commitment to gamers. You will thus be able to play some CPU-heavy titles and multitask as well.

Features

  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1400
  • GPU: GTX 1060 3GB GDDR5
  • Storage: 1 TB HDD +
  • Cost: $859.99
  • Windows 10
  • One year warranty

HP Pavilion Power Gaming PC

HP Pavilion Power Gaming PC

Most Simplistic Gaming PC

“Whatever HP models lack in aesthetics, they make up for in functionality and simplicity.”

A multitasking PC- It is excellent for gaming, but you can burn discs, play older games, has an accessible card reader, et cetera.

I praised its functionality over beauty. However, I am afraid flashy gamers won’t like this.

It comes with a mouse and keyboard.


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If you consider the cost, you are fortunate if you get one of these gaming machines. It is not as beautiful as some of the abovementioned models. Whatever HP models lack in aesthetics, they make up for in functionality and simplicity.

You may not have those flickering lights, but you will play your games efficiently. You will also have a PC that supports other day-to-day activities.

Features 

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2400 clocking at 3.2 GHz.
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1060
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD +1 TB HDD
  • Remarkable hardware assemblage
  • Peripherals included.
  • Preinstalled Windows 10
  • Color: Black
  • Price: $789.99

Dell i5675-7806BLU-PUS Inspiron Gaming PC

Dell i5675-7806BLU-PUS Inspiron Gaming PC

Best Gaming PC for RTS Gamers

“It is fast for RTS gamers and games that weigh heavy on the CPU.”

It has a powerful 6-core processor that will be relevant for a few gen games ahead.

They could have gone higher on the RAM. Other gaming PCs in this list have double that.

SSD, which is excellent for windows, quick booting, and maybe a game that you cherish.

It has no optical drive for those who want to remember “’em good old days.” If you’re going to play old gen games, you have to use a USB DVD-ROM.


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The name is a mouthful one, but we picked this Dell as one of the best gaming PCs. It is a gaming machine through and through. It may only have an 8 GB RAM, but its integrated i7 technology does wonders. It is fast for RTS gamers and games that weigh heavy on the CPU.

Features

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 8700
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD + 1 TB SATA HDD
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • Windows 10
  • Color: Recon Blue
  • Price: From $945.49

Should you buy a laptop or a desktop?

Laptops will cost more than desktops when you factor in performance. Laptops always have a portability edge. Laptops also carry the day for features like touchscreen and accuracy trackpad.

Are you an indoor person, or will you be visiting friends regularly? If you are the former, a desktop with an excellent display and surround sound will be fantastic.

Gamers on the move will enjoy laptops more.

Which games will you be playing?

The PC games that enliven your day matter. If your tastes lie in the new first-person shooters (FPS), then the CPU performance won’t matter so much. You will have to shift your focus to the graphics hardware.

Turn-based war play will need a faster CPU than FPS games. These games need fast processors for quicker AI processing.

However, you should know more and more gaming companies are not making genre-specific games anymore. Nowadays, you will find games that are both multi-player FPS and strategy games. These games need both the GPU and CPU performance to be great.

Let’s see how a good gaming PC should handle your beloved games:

  • Fortnite:  Playing Fortnite with around 60 fps (frames per second) will sacrifice your resolutions, or you will have to use low settings. However, the perfect outcome is if you get between 30-40 fps with high settings and 4K.
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)Now, this is one CPU-demanding game. You can achieve up to 4K60 but at the expense of settings. Playing with around 1440p and very high settings will surely satisfy your gaming balance.
  • Monster Hunter World (MHW)1440p is enough to give you fantastic gameplay. 4K, on the other hand, isn’t practical.
  • League of Legends: It will run smoothly with 4K60. The eSports game is lightweight.
  • OverwatchYou will get about 40-50 fps when you use 4K. This game might be from eSports, but it is more demanding, so 1440p should give a fabulous gaming experience.
  • Rainbow Six: SiegeThis is yet another game that gives fantastic results at 1440p, but not at 4K60.
  • Grand Theft Auto VHere, do not even think about 4K60. Go for the 1440p with high settings.
  • WarframeNow, here is a game that will allow you to hit high settings, 100 fps in 4K without problems. Warframe is surprisingly lightweight.

Motherboard (also called Mobo)

This is the heart of your gaming PC. You won’t do anything without it, and it determines any upgrades you will have to make in the future. Get a Mobo engineered for a natural future improvement.

If you are buying a prebuilt system, you should have little worry. You need to make sure that your Mobo has the main features, such as numerous USB ports. And you are done.

However, if you are going to assemble it yourself, you’ve got plenty on your plate. First, check whether the Mobo supports the CPU and RAM speeds that you need.

What do they say about devils and details? You also have to confirm the parts compatibility. You see, the LGA 2011 uses a Mobo with LGA 2011 socket. The Ivy Bridge CPU goes with the LGA 1155 system. If you get an AMD Bulldozer CPU, you have to get an AM3+ outlet. You get the drift.

You know how we gamers love overclocking. If you plan to overclock, check that the Mobo will sustain all the new settings in its BIOS. The Mobo also has to have a robust power regulation system.

If you don’t plan to overclock, a cheaper motherboard will do.

Let’s know more about the motherboard’s simple stuff:

Form Factor– The form factor of a Mobo dictate the specs for its final shape and size. The common ones are ATX form factors and micro ATX. The ATX throws all the others out of the ring because it has additional expansion slots for gamers. Micro ATX, on the other hand, are smaller with fewer expansion slots. You do not have to have too much expertise on motherboards. If you have an old Mobo to compare different sizes and bam, you will get the best fit.

Processor Socket: We’ve just talked about this. We talked about how Intel uses LGA, AMD supports PGA, et cetera. Nowadays, manufacturers use three standard sockets: LGA, PGA, and BGA. The BGA socket is not a gamer’s cup of tea. Builders permanently embed it into the Mobo, so you will not be upgrading or servicing your system.

The socket on your Mobo goes hand in hand with the CPU you will buy. It is where the CPU will join the Mobo. You may go for the CPU you like first then find the motherboard afterward.

PCI Slots: These are the connections or ports where you will connect your expansion cards. PCI slots have been the popular expansion slots for years. Check if your motherboard has the PCI slots to support your future gaming requirements. They should also offer smaller PCIs for additional cards such as WiFi adaptors, sound cards, and any connectivity expansions you may need.

Features: On-board audio is a common feature that is already in-built. However, they are only suitable for mid-range speakers. High-end Mobos combine Bluetooth and WiFi features. If spending more isn’t a problem, buy these. You will not pay more for the expansion cards to enjoy crisp gaming sounds.

SATA: SATA ports allow additional storage drives like SSD. Make sure the Mobo has SATA ports for all your storage and optical drives. Remember that the standard SATA 6 gigabytes, sometimes called SATA 3.0, is the best. Besides, peripheral connections like USB 3.0 will be an added advantage.

For a prebuilt gaming PC, you have to live with the original case.

DIY aficionados have more to do. The gaming PC has to have excellent air circulation while maintaining noiselessness. No gamer wants roaring fans that interfere with the audio from the game.

How much storage do you need?

You should also think about storage. If you have a limited budget, it will be hard to get a PC with a compact state drive. You will have to adapt. So go for a solid-state drive (SSD) to store Windows and an additional game or two. You can then get away with a cheaper hard drive for the rest of the storage.

You will get more from a combination of a small SSD (say 124 GB) and a 1TB hard-drive than from a single 2 TB hard drive (HDD).

You have to realize the advantages of an SSD. With an SSD, you get shorter booting times, games, and game stages load faster, quicker reading and writing of data, less power usage, less noise, among others.

Your storage needs increase as your saved items increase. Do not fret. Hard drives are cheaper than SSDs by far. Go for a fast RPM drive if you need to keep more data. Preserve the SSD for Windows and that one game. You know which one.

How do you go about Graphics Display?

The GPU can be a tricky subject to navigate. You are probably out there planning to buy this kick-ass, high-end graphics card. Surprisingly, most games look fantastic on a smaller display with a 1680-by-1050 pixel resolution.

What did he say?

We saw this in Factor number 2 earlier. Most games didn’t do well with 4K. There are two 4K resolutions, and they are quite high: 3840-by-2160 pixels and 4096-by-2160 pixels.

I am not saying the GPU does not matter because it does even in CPU-heavy games like Civilization 5 or 6. Know more about the games that you love. The GPU comes next.

You want the best graphics card within the $1000 budget. Do not spend too much money on GPU only to play your games with low settings. It beats the whole logic.

The following reasons may drive you to go for first-rate graphics cards.

First, you may want to boost anti-aliasing in your games. Anti-aliasing a system is smoothening jagged lines for a more realistic and pleasant appearance.

Maybe you fancy a stereoscopic 3D, which needs very high resolutions. Make sure that you are familiar with the GPU features. A good GPU should play the graphics-heavy games at about 1080p resolution and about 60 fps on high settings.

The ideal minimum you should be willing to go can be the NVIDIA GTX 1660 6GB.

One right way to go about the GPU is allocating a third of your budget to it. Also, concentrate on the newest GPU in the market. You will be surprised to find a cheaper and better one.

What is the best CPU?

Yes, today, most games rely more on the GPU and not the CPU. So, why talk about the CPU at all? I know the CPU is not the sexiest part to pick in your PC gaming set. However, choose the wrong CPU, and your gaming goes downhill. Fast.

There are still games and certain game situations that are CPU-heavy. In FPS and massive battle games where you have more than a single player, your processors will do some heavy lifting. These are games such as Grand Auto Theft, Total War: WARHAMMER 2, or Stellaris.

Strategy games and life simulation titles (sim-style games) like Stardew Valley also tax your CPU heavily. The bigger the simulation, the more the processors work.

The efficiency of your processors has a direct effect on the rest of your parts. You can have the best of everything, but without the central star to support cast, you end up bottlenecking your computer’s abilities.

As we stated earlier, first check its compatibility with your motherboard. If you are planning to overclock any Intel K-Series CPU, you also have to get a Mobo that supports this. Look at the chipset number on the board. If it begins with a “Z,” you are in business. You can milk the CPU some more.

The parity of the CPU should not be with the Mobo alone but with the rest of the parts. For example, if you pair a 1660 Ti with a Core i9-9900K for gaming, you will be wasting your time.

You do not have to know all these pairings. Who can? You can run a simple check for free on tools like Cinebench or 3D Mark.

We cannot talk about the CPU without talking about the cooling system. If you plan to overclock, it is safe to use the best CPU coolers. The Intel K-Series particularly need coolers. They do not have a stock cooler, and the cheap kind will not handle the overheating stress. AMD stock coolers, on the other hand, are a bit okay. However, it is always wise to invest in a more efficient cooling system.

If you plan on assembling, the coolers for both AMD and Intel CPUs will have a pre-applied thermal paste. All you have to do is fit them. If you have extra cash, buy a high-end thermal paste that will save you the hassle of regular replacement.

Can you overclock? Is it good?

Overclocking your PC for gaming speeds up its processors. And yeah, that’s a pretty good cause. There are downsides, but if you do it right, you minimize them.

Imagine you’ve got your new game. You are psyched. And then on the launch day, it starts stuttering or giving poor quality. You now have to decide whether to sacrifice the settings or run at a lower FPS. Do not despair. The other option is to boost the GPU and CPU.

You squeeze more juice from your processors by exceeding the standard frequency. For example, an overclock can allow you to play certain games at 4K60 that you wouldn’t have been able to play naturally.

Overclocking is mostly dependent on the hardware. However, do not ignore the software. Upgrade the software for gaming to enhance the improvements you’ve made with overclocking. I would give anything to have the combination of upgraded software and hardware.

Most gaming PCs will support overclocking. Of course, those that go for about $2000 are better equipped, but you can still do it with some of our under $1000 PCs.

After overclocking, if anything goes wrong, the PC sends visual warnings. The game may also crash. It is a pretty good warning sign because, without the signals, the hardware may fail.

If you are high risk, high reward type, you can go the LN2 or “shunt mods” route. Here, you remove the voltage restriction to feed more power to the PC. It’s a path I wouldn’t dare trudge myself. I don’t like the smell of frying hardware. In case of a power upsurge, the hardware loss will be disastrous. Is it worth a few pleasurable gaming moments?

How do you overclock?

First, download an overclocking tool. Let’s use the MSI Afterburner as an example. It works seamlessly with most AMD and NVIDIA GeForce systems. If you don’t mind setting up an account, the EVGA Precision XOC is another free alternative.

Do a GPU stress test. 3D Max and Unigine Valley are great tools for this. Why you may ask? You can be lulled into false belief at first after overclocking. The games can run smoothly even for hours, then bam! Your game crashes. Running a test will give you the ideal settings to run the game.

Now, fire up your overclocking tool. Afterward, for example, you can increase power by up to 25%. There are also other features to fidget with, such as the temp limit, memory, or frequency. But as I warned earlier, do not tamper with the voltage.

Is your System Upgradable and Future Proof?

The future always has something better to behold. Whether you’ve gone the AMD or Intel way, you can always upgrade if you have a system that supports upgrading.

A little research on the current hardware prices and trends will be crucial. If there is an announcement of a new GPU, wait for it. There is no point in going for one then replacing it in a month.

Choose a PC with expandability features. At a lower cost, you will be able to replace old components. Isn’t that cheaper than a complete system overhaul? You restore the oldest parts first, and this will save you a great deal.

RAM

If you increase your RAM and frequency, you increase the efficiency of your gaming PC. RAM is the PC’s memory usually measured in GB. As long as your PC runs efficiently, and with speed, the gaming performance improves.

Nowadays, most PCs use DDR4 RAM format using a 2-channel or a 4-channel form. You have to remember this to ensure that the motherboard supports your RAM. Another thing to check is the frequency.

Can you afford an overclock-able RAM with a higher frequency? If you can, it will be good news for extreme gamers. Upgrading your RAM is child’s play. Make sure that its speed, size, and model match your PC.

Ideally, 16GB of RAM is enough for gaming purposes. You will find it has become customary for gaming PCs to have 16GB. You can go with a RAM speed in the region of 3,000 MHz, which is more than enough.

Power

Usually, an average CPU and GPU consume 7O watts or less when idle. At full gaming, your power consumption is less likely to exceed 300 W. That power won’t take a toll on your bills. A power supply of about 500 watts will do.

If you are planning to overclock or combine two first-rate CPUs, then you will have to add the power supply.

The Power Supply Unit

The Power Supply Unit (PSU) supplies juice to all components in your PC. The Mobo is the chief consumer of power. The GPU, hard drives and fans follow closely behind.

Choose a PSU that will supply sufficient power to all parts. If you go for a higher wattage, be ready to part with more cash. However, size doesn’t matter here. You may go for a PSU that’s too powerful. It will cost you when purchasing, run up the electricity bill and you ruin your playing efficiency.

Choose low wattage, and you may get the gamer’s dreaded nightmare. Your PC switches off when you are at your best. Add up the wattage of the individual components, and that will be the minimum wattage you will need for the PSU.

Choose a power supply with just a little more power.

What makes a Peripheral great for a Gaming PC?

You won’t be getting value for money if your peripherals do not match the gaming PC.

Keyboard 

An entry-level keyboard will give you enough for gaming. Like wine-tasting, unless you are an expert, you will rarely notice any difference among the keys.

There is so much to consider:

  • Down Travel: How far down can you press the keys? If you hit 1.5 mm of down travel, you are within our limit. If you reach 2 mm, even better! Key travel space prevents you from hitting the top of the keyboard’s frame while you type.
  • Actuation: How much force do you need to exert to press a key down? 65 to 70 grams is favorable without making the keyboard too soft.
  • Macro Keys: Macro keys are more common on desktop keyboards than on gaming notebooks. Find yourself a good collection of programmable macro keys, and, in the future, you will complete your gaming tasks flawlessly. You get a separate personalized software from the manufacturer if you order macro keys.
  • Anti-ghosting: When you combine several actions or keys at a go, anti-ghosting gives immediate results.
  • N-key roller: It means when you hit the keys together, each will be processed independently. In simple terms, no matter which combo you press, each key has to be registered on the PC. The n-key roller and anti-ghosting will significantly enhance your performance.
  • Backlighting: Cheap keyboards provide backlighting but in Red or White. High-end keyboards add other dimensions to it give the RBG backlighting. An example is the Corsair K70 RGB Low Profile.

Mouse

For the mouse, choose one with the popular HERO optical sensor and a weightless make. That feeling of total control is what every player yearns.

The Logitech Wireless Pro or the ZOWIE EC2-b Divina is the epitome of mice tech.

Monitor

Playing with over 60 fps on a 60 Hz monitor can upset your gaming experience. Upgrade to a 144 Hz monitor, and you can throw anything at it. Figuratively speaking.

Acer Predator 27 inch comes to mind when we consider our $1000 budget. There are still cheaper models out there like Asus VG278Q 27″.

Internet Connections

As you already know, you can either go wired or wireless. Ethernet cables will significantly help you get smooth connectivity. It is almost impossible to experience lag with cable unless your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is failing you.

If WiFi is your cup of tea, choose a reliable, cheap, and modern WiFi router to up your gaming.

Which Operating System should you choose?

An operating system is very crucial to the operations-no computer will work without it.

Presently, I don’t know any OS that can compete with Windows 10. It can even be tweaked to improve your gaming experience further. Getting the OEM version will save you a lot. However, you won’t be able to share or transfer it across multiple devices.

You can always go old school and buy an original Windows 10 CD.

What Sound Options are suitable for gaming?

Almost every game you encounter today will have heavy surround sound. Lucky for us gamers, gaming PCs are never a step behind. A 3D virtualization software enables the simulation of multichannel audio through speakers or headphones.

When it comes to headsets, who wouldn’t want high-quality audio, especially for FPS? Top-of-the-shelf desktop speakers or high-end headsets will change your gaming forever.

The Mackie’s CR Series 3 monitors will hold its water against any speaker out there. When it comes to headphones, known brands like Sennheiser or Audio-Technica give you the most delicate sounds in the market.

You also have to ensure the mics are loud and clear. It is crucial for online games or multi-player settings. The Blue Yeti USB Mic is perfect for gaming, podcasts, recording, streaming, and more.

Non-Gaming Performance

Imagine if you had to buy a PC for everything. Then you will have one for music, movies, reading, et cetera. The gaming PC you buy should be efficient in other functionalities, at least the simpler ones. Unless you are planning to crypto mine or some other massive action, the gaming PC should do.

When multitasking, the Intel CPU is no match to the AMD CPU. The Intel processor uses a powerful single-core performance that pales in comparison with the AMD’s twelve threads that make multitasking a whole lot easier.

Which Brand Should you choose?

Most of us are guilty of choosing a particular brand and sticking to it. And for the most part, it works. Choose a trademark that has worked for you before, especially for prebuilt PCs. When a manufacturer is a proven winner, you are almost sure you will get superb value. Also, some brands have oomph.

Some companies have better warranties. Others have better software offers. For example, Sony Vaio gives fantastic software offers that you would have bought separately in other brands.

Alternatively, you can choose to explore. I would go this route if I were to assemble the parts independently. I am sure you can name a piece that a manufacturer does exceptionally well, let’s say a motherboard. Imagine getting several superior components from several brands. Voila! You’ve got yourself a formidable machine.

Durability is another factor that you will get by going the brand way. Some companies make hard-wearing parts. Others not so much.

Now let’s talk spare parts. Cheap products may be delicate, but you will find the spare parts quickly and cheaply. For some of the known brands, you will traverse the world to get the spare parts.

Some popular brands that have stood the test of time are iBuyPower, MSI. ACER, CyberPowerPC, ABS, and SkyTech.

Does the Gaming PC’s appearance matter?

You want something of beauty, no doubt. A gaming PC or laptop that you can invite your friends over and enjoy some gaming. Personalizing the PC is not everyone, and I confess to not being a fan. But if you are, you can do some customizing with RGB.

When it comes to aesthetics, choose what appeals to you. No reviewer can tell you which PC is alluring.

Make sure you have considered the other factors first.

Warranty

Choose a company that will give you better assurances. Every manufacturer offers a guarantee. Most of these warranties last a year. However, some brands will let you extend it if you are willing to part with extra cash, of course. This cost will vary from company to company, so you should check that first.

Avoid companies with vague terms.

How do we check out these factors?

That must have crossed your mind somewhere when reading this guide. In the search for the best gaming PC, every model must first pass practical tests. We then have a yardstick model that the gaming PC must tick. We have to know which boxes the gaming PC will tick in the gaming category and everyday usage.

The second step involves a lot of gaming. You have to play every type of game I mentioned before, like the CPU-heavy games or those that are GPU-intensive. They run at different fps (frames per second) with varying resolutions in various settings.

However, technical terms do not have to roll off your tongue for you to be able to do your checkups. Use 3DMark to check your graphics and Geekbench for CPU performance. For virtual reality (VR), make use of the SteamVR Performance Test. Lastly, use “Can You Run It?” to determine whether your PC is compatible with a game you want to play.

Should you go for Prebuilt or DIY?

Many PC enthusiasts and builders tout DIY as the way to go. They say doing it yourself is inexpensive, and you get a kick out of it. It is true. You will get better equipment when you buy them separately. These several components also come at a lower price. And what a day it will be when you have assembled the whole complete machine.

However, what they avoid saying is that building one is not going to be easy. If it seems easy, it is because PC enthusiasts assemble computers mostly for a living, so they get the skill. You will also video tutorials. If you trust your skills, go for it.

I am in no way discouraging assemblage. But do you have the time to do it? Do you have the patience to stake out part by part for the best offer? Do you have the technical knowledge?

If your answers were no, there is no shame in going prebuilt. It’s a more straightforward way, and you still find a gaming PC that is within the $1000 budget. Also, there is no trial and error. You won’t have to worry about some parts going into different ports.

Tips for building your first gaming PC

I will give you simple tips to get you started. There are tons of video tutorials and in-depth guides online. You will also find that we have covered almost everything in the main body.

Have a quick look at the basic overview of assembling your first gaming PC.

1. Basic Setup

Do you have the following?

  • Central Processing Unit (CPU)
  • Motherboard
  • CPU cooler
  • Random Access Memory (RAM)
  • Graphic Processing Unit (GPU)
  • Hard Drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD)
  • Peripherals: Mouse, keyboard, monitor

2. Check the compatibility of the Motherboard and CPU

You already know that if the two are not compatible, you can’t move forward. Check the sockets, but that is not the end of the road. There are compatibility sites that can help you check for free. The wrong processor will affect the memory speed. How will you play with limited performance?

3. Fast-Performing CPUs need DRAM

As we saw earlier, most Intel and AMD CPUs use DDR4 RAM. A processor that works with more memory has a higher output. Now you have a gaming PC that is fast and responsive. Do not forget to compare the RAM for compatibility with the CPU and Mobo.

4. Why am I not getting full speed?

You should be what belongs to you. If the manufacturer, for instance, rated the package 2400 MT/s, that is what you should get. After you assemble the machine, check for speed. It might come in handy if you are asked to enter the BIOS and update the memory profile.

There are apps to show you the speed, such as Ballistix MOD Utility.

5. RAM Installation

DIMMs or RAM sticks only fit one way. It is where you have to take care not to force them the wrong way.

You can use the manufacturer’s manual to see the right way to join them. Alternatively, go online, and you will find guides.

6. Do not forget the paste

If you are new at assembling, it is forgivable to forget about the thermal paste. But keep in mind how crucial it is to a custom rig. It is also easy to use.

Make sure you put the paste on top of the CPU. The right balance, between too much and too little, is using a pea-sized drop. You want enough heat to be transferred, but you also do not want huge smears.

7. 80 Plus rating for the Power supply

Why do you need this 80 plus rating? You need a reliable power supply. The 80 Plus ratings have different criteria about the effectiveness of power supply.

Here is a list of the certifications.

  • 80 Plus.
  • 80 Plus Bronze.
  • 80 Plus Silver.
  • 80 Plus Gold.
  • 80 Plus Platinum.
  • 80 Plus Titanium.

You’ve guessed right; Titanium is the highest certification. It means that the power supply is as good as it can be. Other tools like over-current protection (OCP) and over-voltage protection (OVP) also protect your rig. For more effortless cable organization, remember to go for a full modular or a semi-modular power supply.

8. Cable Management

You don’t want a disorganized cable system. Cable management will give your rig a beautiful and organized look. It also helps in freeing more space for air circulation.

Get cable ties and tie bases for easier cable management and get some more bragging rights.

9. Overclocking

I feel that I went into great detail earlier. If you want that performance edge, overclocking is the answer.

10. Why do I still have this in my hand?

It is not easy to forget a component in the first try. You will be curious and anxious. However, after a while, cockiness sure sets in, and that’s when you forget a part.

You’ve been there for hours, read every guide, and watched hundreds of tutorials. You now have the complete rig.

Will it boot?

GAMING PCs vs. GAMING DESKTOPS UNDER 1000

As we were looking at the various models, one thing is apparent: budget gaming desktops are better than budget gaming laptops under $1000. I know it is an unfair comparison.

My point is if I were to go under $1000 between the two, I would buy the gaming desktop.

CLOSING REMARKS

When looking for gaming PCs, it is easy to fall prey. You must find a reliable and certified seller. If you are not sure, ask around or get reviews from trusted sources.

Find the best gaming PC, and you will not be back in the market soon, maybe even for years to come.

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Big Brother is still watching you and he goes by the name Facebook | John Naughton

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The security guru Bruce Schneier once famously observed that “surveillance is the business model of the internet”. Like all striking generalisations it was slightly too general: it was strictly true only if by “the internet” you meant the services of a certain number of giant tech companies, notably those of Facebook (including WhatsApp and Instagram), Google (including YouTube), Twitter and Amazon.

The trouble is (and this is what gave Schneier’s aphorism its force) that for a large chunk of networked humanity, especially inhabitants of poorer countries, these walled gardens are indeed what people regard as “the internet”. And that’s no accident. Although Chinese smartphones are pretty cheap everywhere, mobile data tends to be prohibitively expensive in poor countries. So the deal offered by western tech companies is that data charges are low or zero if you access the internet via their apps, but expensive if you venture outside their walled gardens.

Of all the companies, Facebook was the one that first appreciated the potential of this strategy. It offered a way of signing up a billion new users in hitherto underserved parts of the world, thereby reducing the digital divide between the global north and the south. This meant that it could be spun as a philanthropic initiative, initially badged as internet.org and then as Free Basics. The app gave users access to a small selection of websites and services that were stripped of photos and videos and could thus be browsed without paying for mobile data. The rationale was that Free Basics would provide a taster of the internet, which would let people see the value of being connected. Conveniently, though, it also made Facebook the gateway to the internet for these new users. It was the default setting, as it were, in an online world where most people never change defaults and so functioned as a gateway drug for online addiction.

Rather to Facebook’s surprise, Free Basics was not universally welcomed in some of its target territories. The most vocal opposition came in India, the most important market outside of the west, where ungrateful critics perceived it an example of “digital colonialism” and it was eventually blocked by the country’s telecoms regulator on the grounds that it violated the principle of net neutrality by explicitly favouring some kinds of online content while effectively blocking others. Beyond India, however, Free Basics seems to be thriving, being used by “up to 100 million” people in 65 countries, including 28 in Africa.

Last May, Facebook launched a kind of Free Basics 2.0 called Discover. It’s a mobile app that can be used to browse any website using a daily balance of free data from participating mobile network partners. Effectively, it strips out all website content that’s data-intensive (images, video, audio) and displays a pared-down version of the site. “We’re exploring ways to help people stay on the internet more consistently,” explains the Facebook blurb. “Many internet users around the world remain under-connected, regularly dropping off the internet for some period of time when they exhaust their data balance. Discover is designed to help bridge these gaps and keep people connected until they can purchase data again.”

Sounds good, eh? But a recent study by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, on how Discover works in the Philippines (where it has replaced Free Basics) found that not all websites seemed to be stripped for onward viewing. When accessing Facebook through Discover, for example, it wasn’t stripped much – just 4% of images were removed from Instagram, compared with more than 65% of images on other popular sites such as YouTube and e-commerce platform Shopee. The inference was that Discover rendered Facebook’s own services far more functional than those of its competitors. Charged with this, the company blamed a “technical error” that had since been resolved.

Maybe it has, but it might not be wise to trust what Facebook has to say on questions such as this. It’s not that long ago, for example, that it offered its users Onavo Protect, a free virtual private network (VPN) app that would protect their privacy. The company is now being sued by Australia’s competition and consumer commission (ACCC) for using Onavo to allegedly spy on users. “Through Onavo Protect,” said the regulator, “Facebook was collecting and using the very detailed and valuable personal activity data of thousands of Australian consumers for its own commercial purposes, which we believe is completely contrary to the promise of protection, secrecy and privacy that was central to Facebook’s promotion of this app.” Facebook responded that it was “always clear about the information we collect and how it is used”, that it had cooperated with the ACCC’s investigation and that it “will continue to defend” its position in response to the regulator’s filing.

You get the point? Maybe surveillance isn’t the only business model of the internet. Hypocrisy runs it a close second.

What I’ve been reading

Masters and servants
Between Golem and God: The Future of AI is a beautifully structured essay on the 3 Quarks Daily website.

Dressed for all weathers
How clothing and climate change kickstarted agriculture is the thesis of an intriguing Aeon essay by Ian Gilligan, a prehistorian at the University of Sydney.

On the mend
Monopolists Are Winning the Repair Wars is a terrific blog post by Cory Doctorow on the importance of the “right to repair” our own equipment.

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Amazon exec’s husband jailed for two years for insider trading. Yes, with Amazon stock • The Register

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The husband of an Amazon financial executive was sentenced on Thursday to 26 months behind bars for insider trading of the web giant’s stock.

Viky Bohra, 37, of Bothell, Washington, reaped a profit of $1,428,264 between January 2016 and October 2018 by buying and selling Amazon stock using eleven trading accounts managed by himself and his family.

Bohra was able to pocket these big gains because he got copies of Amazon’s confidential financial figures from his wife, Laksha Bohra, who worked as a senior manager in the mega corp’s tax department. Laksha had access to Amazon’s earnings before the numbers were publicly disclosed and reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Her husband “obtained” this secret information, despite her being repeatedly warned to not leak the confidential data, and used it to favorably trade in Amazon stock and options.

“This defendant and his wife were earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary and bonuses from their jobs in tech – but he was not content with that – greedily scheming to illegally profit by trading Amazon stock,” Acting US Attorney Tessa Gorman, said in a statement.

“This case should stand as a warning to those who try to game the markets with insider trading: there is a heavy price to pay with a felony conviction and prison sentence.”

The FBI began sniffing around, and the Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington filed criminal charges [PDF] against Viky in 2020. He pleaded guilty in November to securities fraud. The prosecution had asked the courts for a 33-month sentence.

Separately, he was also charged by the SEC and told to cough up $2,652,899 in disgorgement, interest, and penalties.

“Mr Bohra knew exactly what he was doing and was driven solely by greed,” Donald Voiret, an FBI Special Agent leading the Seattle Field Office, added. “With his nearly unlimited access and knowledge of securities trading, he undermined public trust in our financial markets.”

Laksha Bohra was suspended from her job in 2018 and resigned shortly after, according to a lawsuit filed by the SEC [PDF], and will not face criminal charges as part of Viky’s agreement to plead guilty. ®

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Stripe rolls out new tax compliance tool for merchants

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Stripe Tax automates much of the calculating and collecting of levies like VAT and sales tax for businesses.

Fintech giant Stripe is rolling out a new product to automate businesses’ tax compliance.

Stripe Tax, which was built at the company’s engineering hub in Dublin, helps businesses to automatically calculate and collect sales taxes, VAT and goods and service taxes where they do business.

The product has been rolled out in 30 countries and all US states. Stripe Tax manages the requirements for tax collecting from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This ensures merchants are in compliance with local tax rules but without the headache of managing it themselves.

According to a 2020 report from Stripe, two-thirds of businesses say that managing tasks like tax compliance inhibits their growth and takes up time that could otherwise be spent on product development.

The matter of tax has become more complex with the mix of physical and digital goods and sales across borders.

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Non-compliance with taxes, even through accidental oversight, can lead to serious sanctions or interest-laden tax bills for businesses.

Stripe Tax calculates taxes due by determining an end customer’s location and products they’re buying. It adapts as changes to tax regimes come into effect and generates reports for businesses on the levies calculated and collected.

“No one leaps out of bed in the morning excited to deal with taxes,” Stripe co-founder John Collison said. “For most businesses, managing tax compliance is a painful distraction. We simplify everything about calculating and collecting sales taxes, VAT and GST, so our users can focus on building their businesses.”

Large companies, including News UK, have started using the product.

“Directly integrating Stripe Tax into our subscriptions platform will save us countless hours, time that can be better spent elsewhere,” Ruan Odendaal, head of subscriptions platform at NewsUK, said.

Stripe has had a very busy 2021 so far. After raising funding at a $95bn valuation, it has been rolling out more services that go beyond the payments processing the company was originally built on, as well as expanding geographically with a focus on the Middle East.

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