Low/Mid-Range Gaming PC for under $1000

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Alexhousek, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Posts:
    633
    Location:
    USA--Colorado
    Forgive me if this is in the wrong forum. I'm seeking input on a configuration for a low/mid range gaming PC for under $1000. I found a sale on a name brand website for under $1000 with the following configuration:

    Product specifications
    Operating system
    Windows 10 Home 64

    Processor
    Intel® Core™ i7-10700 (2.9 GHz base frequency, up to 4.7 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 16 MB L3 cache, 8 cores)

    Graphics
    Discrete: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1660 SUPER™ (6 GB GDDR6 dedicated)

    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-2933 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB)
    Maximum memory
    Upgradeable to 32 GB
    Memory slots
    2 DIMM

    Storage

    256 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD

    Secondary storage
    2 TB 7200 rpm SATA

    Total Internal Bays
    One 3.5" occupied; One 2.5" occupied

    Memory card device

    3-in-1 memory card reader

    Network interface

    Integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN

    Wireless technology

    Realtek Wi-Fi 5 (2x2) and Bluetooth® 5 Combo

    Power supply
    400 W Platinum efficiency power supply
    External I/O Ports
    Rear:4 USB 2.0 Type-A
    Front:1 SuperSpeed USB Type-C® 5Gbps signaling rate; 4 SuperSpeed USB Type-A 5Gbps signaling rate; 1 headphone/microphone combo

    Expansion slots
    1 PCIe x16; 1 PCIe x1; 2 M.2 (1 for SSD, 1 for WLAN)

    Video connector

    1 DisplayPort™; 1 HDMI; 1 DVI-D

    Audio

    5.1 surround sound​

    I would appreciate your input. Thank you.
     
  2. Joxx

    Joxx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Posts:
    1,618
    Overall sounds good, the CPU is very good and the GPU is enough to game @1440p, 16gb RAM is plenty.
    I just find a 400w PSU is a bit tight; make sure it's really a Platinum one.
    Also it says
    does that mean you can't add another internal disk?
     
  3. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Posts:
    633
    Location:
    USA--Colorado
    I assume that is the case. Yes.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    11,104
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    Alex,

    The specs say the 2.5" bay is occupied. With what? There is no standard SSD or laptop HD. THE M.2 NVMe SSD is inserted into the MB.
     
  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    3,784
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    For the record, while all relative, a budget approaching $1000 is clearly in the mid-range tier. Nothing "low-range" about it. This is especially true since it appears the keyboard, mouse and monitor are not included in that budget.

    I do have a couple concerns. The i7-10700 is a great CPU, but a better use of the budget may be to get a good i5 instead. For example, the i5-10400F might be a good choice. The savings in cost could go towards a decent graphics card.

    I don't see a case listed, or the motherboard. That information would help decide if a good deal or not.

    I also agree 400W is a bit thin. It will surely work, especially with integrated graphics. But it leaves little room for future expansion. I disagree with ensuring you get Platinum. It is critical to understand a higher certification has absolutely nothing to do with quality or reliability. Nothing at all! As seen here (hover over the logos to see) the difference between Gold and Platinum is, at most, just 3%. It would take years in energy savings to make up the typical difference in costs. If you can get a great deal on a Platinum, then fine. But do NOT think you need Platinum. Bronze is even fine though I generally recommend Gold for a good compromise.

    I would opt for at least 500GB SSD for the boot drive. This will easily support the OS, all your installed apps (except big games - which can go on secondary HD) and still leave plenty of room for the Page File, temp files, personal data files and still allow lots of free space to most efficiently support the necessary SSD housekeeping chores (TRIM and wear-leveling) that are essential (and performed automatically by Windows) for the SSD's maximum longevity. 256GB will certainly work, but many users have found that over time, free disk space becomes pinched - especially when Microsoft rolls out new feature updates.

    And I agree with Brian. The specs for the drive bays are confusing. It is probably safe to assume the 2.5" bay is occupied by the 2TB SATA hard drive. But what's then in the 3.5" bay. That is too small for a DVD/Blu-ray and the specs say the M.2 SSD is using one of the M.2 slots.
     
  6. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Posts:
    633
    Location:
    USA--Colorado
    I should have been more clear. The system I mentioned is a pre-built system. I don't know anymore about it than what I posted. Again, it is from a major manufacturer.

    I have spent the last month or so looking at many, many sites trying to find either a pre-built or a custom system for around $1000. My wants were:
    1. I-5 or Ryzen 5 (mid-range)
    2. 16 GB RAM
    3. 256-500 GB SSD
    4. 1-2 TB HDD
    5. Mid-range either Nvidia or Radeon video card
    6. 500 W power supply
    7. If possible, though not absolutely necessary, a DVD drive
    The system I mentioned in my earlier post, is $200-$250 off due to a sale.

    I cannot find a similar custom build, or even a custom build like I listed immediately above, for less than around $1200.

    At this point, I'm not interested in building my own system.

    P.S. Sites I've checked out include Ibuypower, Cyberpower, NZXT, Newegg, Amazon, HP, Lenovo, Dell, Centaurus, ABS, and Asus. If anyone has a better suggestion, I'm open to it.
     
  7. Rainwalker

    Rainwalker Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    USA
  8. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Posts:
    5,554
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    Here's an alternative -- basically giving up 1tb hdd for a faster vid card + Lenovo has a good rep:

    Lenovo Legion Tower 5 - Intel Core i7-10700F - 16 GB DDR4 - 1 TB HDD + 256 GB SSD - GeForce RTX 2060 - Windows 10 Home - Gaming Desktop (90NC001SUS)

    https://www.newegg.com/lenovo-90nc001sus-legion-tower-5/p/N82E16883994684

    Walmart specs says it has a 650W PSU

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Lenovo-L...GeForce-RTX-2060-Windows-10-Home-To/602838041

    Compare:

    GTX 1660 Super:

    https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER&id=4159

    RTX 2060:

    https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce RTX 2060&id=4037
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
  9. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Posts:
    633
    Location:
    USA--Colorado
    It's interesting that you suggested them. My current system (and my son's) are both from here. We both have had a number of issues with our PC's in the past. Regardless, I went there and checked out both a value-based Intel system and a value-based AMD system. I choose essentially the same mid-range parts as I indicated above. Both systems ended up being between $1100-$1200. That's almost $300 more than the pre-built that I am considering. I do realize, though, that both systems from ecollegepc have better power supplies and additional internal slots.

    Thank you for the suggestion.
     
  10. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Posts:
    633
    Location:
    USA--Colorado
    Thanks Hawki! That system does have everything I want; except for a DVD/CD (which I can always just buy an external one if I have to). It looks good. Though, I did notice that there's only 1 review on it. Now, I have to decide if I want an HP (the one I posted above) for about $200 less or the Lenovo.

    P.S. It does have both an SSD and a 1 TB HDD, btw.
     
  11. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Posts:
    5,554
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    Include reliability in your calculation.

    "2020 RESCUECOM Computer Reliability Report

    Microsoft soars to first place in the 2020 RESCUECOM Computer Reliability Report; Lenovo and Apple round out the top three..."

    Lenovo - Reliability Score: 192 = A-
    192

    HP - Reliability Score: 92 = C

    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/2020-rescuecom-computer-reliability-report-301068125.html

    "TBRTBR & Lenovo | Lenovo workstation PCs have fewer repairs on average than those of the competition, besting the competitor average by at least 20.3% in each of the first three years of the lifecycle..."

    https://static.lenovo.com/ww/docs/t...ility_Study_Workstation_Overview_01182019.pdf
     
  12. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Posts:
    633
    Location:
    USA--Colorado
    Great information!! Thanks a ton hawki!
     
  13. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Posts:
    5,554
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
  14. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Posts:
    5,554
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    Here's an interesting offering that meets most of your criteria:

    "CUK Stratos Micro Gaming Desktop (AMD Ryzen 5 with Radeon Graphics, 32GB 3200MHz DDR4 RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD, 500W PSU, AC WiFi, Windows 10 Home) Gamer PC Computer

    https://www.amazon.com/Stratos-Desktop-Graphics-3200MHz-Computer/dp/B08KGSPZLR/ref=sr_1_25?dchild=1&keywords=desktop+computer&qid=1606249290&refinements=p_72:1248879011,p_85:2470955011,p_36:80000-110000&rnid=2421879011&rps=1&s=pc&sr=1-25

    This PC uses the AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 4650G Six Core with onboard GPU. On the basis of Passmark Benchmarks, the AMD CPU is on a par with the i7-10700 -- i7 = 17503; AMD = 16692.

    The onboard GPU will allow you to play most games at low-medium graphics settings at acceptable framerates at 1080p -- it's at best the equivalent of a "lower end" graphics card. Depending on how important graphic-intensive gaming is in your priorities, you would have the option of installing a discrete GPU at a future time.

    Computer Upgrade King (CUK) is an established/reputable Westcoast USA custom PC builder/seller with an 87% positive seller rating on Amazon.

    https://cukusa.com/
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
  15. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Posts:
    633
    Location:
    USA--Colorado
    Thank you for the links.

    Hawki, according to the questions, this system does not come with a dedicated video card. Is that how you read it as well? I'm not sure that I want to buy a PC without a dedicated video card. Even low-mid range video cards will cost around $200.

    Question:
    What is the graphic card? because in the description its not mentioned "amd radeon graphics". in addition, in the photos there are no gpu.
    Answer:
    I had to buy a GPU for my purchase. It does not come with a graphics card unless you specifically add it to the build.​
     
  16. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Posts:
    5,554
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    Right -- no dedicated card. But the GPU onboard the CPU does a credible good job. Just thought I'd throw it out there -- Depends on your priorities. If you won't be doing all that much gaming you would get your fast processor, 500 Gb SSD, 2 TB HDD, 500W psu and a gaming-usable,although limited, GPU for under $1k.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
  17. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Posts:
    633
    Location:
    USA--Colorado
    Just to finalize this thread, with a special thank you to Hawki, I finally decided yesterday to purchase the Lenovo Legion Tower 5 he linked to above. It only has 8 GB RAM, but that's easy to upgrade. Now, it's all a waiting game.
    Thanks to everyone else who made suggestions.
     
  18. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Posts:
    5,554
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    Good Choice! It's an excellent deal on a sweet machine from a solid company.
     
  19. Joxx

    Joxx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Posts:
    1,618
    There's a funny thing about the front fans, the one on top is an intake but the one on the bottom is an exhaust.

    lenovo.jpg
     
  20. BoerenkoolMetWorst

    BoerenkoolMetWorst Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Posts:
    4,519
    Location:
    Outer space
    Wouldn't the reverse be more logical? Since air goes up when it heats up it would make more sense to have the exhaust fan higher than the intake fan.
     
  21. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Posts:
    5,554
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    The setup allows the GPU fans to suck in cooler air to blow over the heatsink and the lower fan will draw the heated air out.
     
  22. Joxx

    Joxx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Posts:
    1,618
    That makes no sense.
    Both fans should be intake. The lower one should be feeding the GPU and the PSU (which has the fan facing upwards) and cooling the HDD.
     
  23. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Posts:
    5,554
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    IMHO There needs to be at least one exhaust fan.

    There's a third fan in the back.
     
  24. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Posts:
    5,554
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
  25. Joxx

    Joxx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Posts:
    1,618
    ha, good find :)
    so it's probably a mistake from a factory worker. Or maybe the guy at pcmag for some reason :rolleyes:
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.