The Best $1000 Intel Build

When it comes to building a new system, things have changed significantly in the past couple of years. You have plenty of CPU choices at various price points. Also, RAM prices went back to normal, and large SSDs are reasonably priced, too. This makes building a new system on a budget significantly easier than it was a few years ago. Therefore, what we’ll be focusing on today is a $1000 Intel build.

Intel’s 10th generation processors just got released not long ago, and there are some excellent choices in the lineup. We have chosen one that has great gaming performance and can be used for work when necessary, too.

With that in mind, below is our suggestion for a $1000 Intel build. We made sure that all of the components are not just compatible with each other, but also work well with little to no bottlenecks. Overall, the entire build is a rather balanced system. It won’t cost you too much but will get you an excellent experience regardless of what you’re doing.

What can you do with this PC?

This is a major question that comes to mind when you’re building a new PC. In this case, you’re looking at a $1000 Intel build that’s primarily made for gaming. It will be push just about any title at a 1920×1080 resolution.

If you’re playing competitive titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, or Valorant and Overwatch, you will easily be able to push things to over 150 frames per second. With the latest AAA titles, you might be required to lower the details slightly. However, you should be able to get to 60 frames per second with good image quality.

To add to this, the build has a capable CPU and plenty of RAM. This makes it a good budget choice for demanding workloads like video editing or 3D design.

The $1000 Intel build

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-10400
  • Motherboard: ASRock H470 Phantom Gaming 4
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4-2666
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super
  • Storage: Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M.2
  • Power Supply: Cooler Master MWE Gold 650
  • Case: NZXT H510

CPU: Intel Core i5-10400

Intel Core i5-10400 Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.3 GHz  LGA1200...
  • 6 Cores / 12 Threads
  • Socket type LGA 1200
  • Up to 4. 3 GHz

At the core (pun intended) of this build is Intel’s new Core i5-10400 processor. This is a six-core processor where hyperthreading makes a return, so you get twelve threads as well. Six cores are plenty for both gaming and working, making this a great choice.

The base speed of the i5-10400 is an excellent 2.9GHz. However, push it hard with games or video editing, and it will turbo up to 4.3GHz. Now, this is a locked CPU, so you can’t overclock it further, but this is still a rather reasonable clock speed.

You also get support for Intel Optane Memory, which could be a nice upgrade down the road. There is Intel’s stock cooler inside the box, too, saving you a bit of money when building your system.

Motherboard: ASRock H470 Phantom Gaming 4

ASROCK H470 Phantom Gaming 4 Supports 10th Gen Intel® Core™ Processors...
  • Supports 10th Gen Intel Core Processors (Socket 1200)
  • 10 Power Phase Design
  • Supports DDR4 2933MHz

ASRock has some great motherboards when you’re limited with your budget. Since you have a locked CPU, we’ve decided to suggest the H470 Phantom Gaming 4. This is an LGA1200 socket motherboard, perfect for a 10th generation Intel CPU, and has an excellent power delivery.

There are four DIMM slots for DDR4 memory at up to 2933MHz. You can have up to 128GB of memory, which is quite a bit. There are two M.2 slots, so you can have plenty of storage on your system, too. There is even a Key E slot so you can add an internal Wi-Fi card if you want to.

With six SATA3 ports and six USB 3.2 Gen1 ports, as well as two USB 3.2 Gen2 ports, this board pretty much has you covered in terms of connectivity. Oh, did we mention it has Intel Gigabit LAN as well?

RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 2666MHz

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 2666MHz (PC4-21300) C16 Memory...
  • Hand-sorted memory chips ensure high performance with generous overclocking headroom
  • VENGEANCE LPX is optimized for wide compatibility with the latest Intel and AMD DDR4 motherboards
  • A low-profile height of just 34mm ensures that VENGEANCE LPX even fits in most small-form-factor builds

RAM prices came back to normal in the past year or two. Now, you can get a great kit like Corsair’s Vengeance LPX 16GB for a rather reasonable price. This is a 16GB kit that comes with two 8GB sticks, so you can take advantage of dual-channel memory. This is something that makes quite the difference in day to day use, as well as gaming and working.

Now, you might be wondering why only 2666MHz, when there are plenty of faster kits out there. The answer lies in Intel’s decision to limit non-K i5 CPUs to 2666MHz. There’s no point in spending extra money when you’ll be voiding your warranty if you use XMP profiles.

This is still a reasonably fast kit, with 16-18-18-35 timings. The low profile heatsink won’t cause any problems with larger CPU coolers as well. A great balance between price and performance.

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super Founders’ Edition

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 Super is a part of their RTX cards refresh. It is meant to bridge the gap between the RTX 2060, and the RTX 2070 which is significantly more expensive. With 8GB of GDDR6 memory and 2176 CUDA cores, this is a great gaming GPU for just about any games.

Nvidia has given the Founders’ Edition a base clock speed of 1470MHz, which is nice. But when pushed hard, the GPU will boost up to 1650MHz. Pair this with ray tracing capabilities and 6 Giga Rays/s, and you will get respectable framerates even if you want to enjoy the beauty of ray tracing.

Last but not least, the Founders’ Edition of the RTX 2060 Super is one beautiful GPU. The industrial design looks stunning, and the dual-fan setup keeps things reasonably cool as well.

It’s great choice for a $1000 Intel build. However, if you want something cheaper, or something more powerful, there are a few other options on our list of best GPUs for 2020.

Storage: Samsung 970 EVO 500GB

SAMSUNG (MZ-V7E500BW) 970 EVO SSD 500GB - M.2 NVMe Interface Internal Solid...
  • Innovative V-Nand Technology: Powered by Samsung V NAND Technology, the 970 EVO SSD’s NVMe interface (PCIe M.2 2280) offers enhanced bandwidth, low...
  • Breakthrough read write speeds: Sequential read and write performance levels of up to 3,500MB/s and 2,500MB/s, respectively; Random Read (4KB, QD32):...
  • Performance optimization and data security: Seamless cloning and file transfers with Samsung Magician Software, the ideal SSD management solution for...

Since you have a motherboard with M.2 slots, it only makes sense to populate at least one of them. And you should go with the most popular SSD out there at the moment – Samsung’s 970 EVO, in a 500GB capacity. It comes at a reasonable price and excellent speeds, making this the go-to fast drive for just about any build.

First things first, 500GB is a decent size. You can easily split this into two partitions and have room for your OS, most used apps, and a few games. To add to this, you’re looking at sequential read speeds of up to 3,500MB/s, as well as sequential write speeds of up to 2,500MB/s, which is quite fast.

Last but not least, the Dynamic Thermal Guard Samsung has added to the 970 EVO keeps temperatures reasonable, minimizing any performance drops due to throttling. An excellent, reliable option.

PSU: Cooler Master MWE 650 Gold

Cooler Master MWE 650 Gold Full Modular, 80+ Gold Certified 650W Power...
  • Full modular flat cables - Full modular flat cables are easy to install, reduce clutter, and maximize airflow
  • 80 plus gold certified - The 80 plus gold certification guaranties a minimum typical efficiency of 90%
  • Durable and silent LDB bearing - Silencio technology combines sealed LDB bearings with quiet fan blades delivering a long lifetime of quiet cooling

One thing we didn’t mention with the build is that the components are rather power-effective, especially the CPU. This means that you can easily run the entire build with a 500W power supply. We still opted for an MWE 650 Gold, which is 650W and gets you a bit of extra headroom for further upgrades.

This is also an 80+ Gold rated PSU, which means it guarantees at least 87% efficiency under 100% load. It uses reliable components that have little to no fluctuation when delivering power, making it a great high-quality option. 

To add to this, the MWE 650 Gold is a fully modular power supply. You can only use the cables you need, making cable management in the system itself a breeze. The included flat cables also help here, too making this an overall great choice.

Case: NZXT H510

NZXT H510 - CA-H510B-B1 - Compact ATX Mid-Tower PC Gaming Case - Front I/O...
  • New features: Front I/O USB Type-C Port and Tempered glass side panel with single screw installation
  • Enhanced cable management: Our patented cable routing kit with pre-installed channels and straps makes wiring easy and intuitive
  • STREAMLINED COOLING: 2 Aer F120mm fans included for optimal internal airflow and the front panel and PSU intakes include removable filters, removable...

You’ll want a nice case to finish off this build. When you’re on a budget, few cases are as good as NZXT’s H510, especially with components that aren’t too demanding. This is a beautiful case with a minimalistic design that truly has nothing more than what you need. It also made our list of best PC cases of 2020, for a couple of reasons.

On the outside, it’s a simple design with a top-mounted I/O. There’s the power button, a USB Type-A port, USB Type-C port, and a 3.5mm combo jack for audio. There is an exhaust vent at both the top and the rear, where you also get two preinstalled fans. The intake grill on the right side allows front-mounted fans to pull air inside.

Look through the tempered glass side panel, and behind the motherboard, and you’ll see ample room (and channels) for cable management. This makes the H510 one of the best budget cases out there at the moment.

Things you could add if your budget allows

Make no mistake, this $1000 Intel build is pretty much ready to go. But there are still a few hardware pieces that you could add if you have a bit of extra in terms of budget.

The first thing we would recommend is either a PCIe or an M.2 Wi-Fi card. Yes, you have a fast Gigabit LAN port which you should certainly use for lag-free gaming. But there’s no denying that sometimes Wi-Fi is just more convenient. Considering Wi-Fi cards aren’t too expensive at the moment, adding one shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. There are plenty of options out there, too, so feel free to check out our list and pick one.

Some people will also notice that NZXT has only included two exhaust fans, but no intake ones. This is a negative pressure setup. If you want to, you can always add a couple of intake fans, right behind the front plate. This shouldn’t cost you too much, and we’ve got a few neat options for you on the list of best PC fans for gaming setups. Note, however, that NZXT suggests a negative setup works best with the H510. You might not notice too much of a difference in terms of temperatures. 

And last but not least, if you want to make the system prettier, considering there’s a tempered glass side panel, you can always add some RGB lights. There is ample room to mount both magnetic, and adhesive ones, and there are plenty of wallet-friendly options on the market, too. Our guide for the best RGB lights should have you covered.

Wrapping things up

At the end of the day, even though you could certainly make a few changes here and there, this $1000 Intel build is a great balanced choice for people looking for a gaming rig. It will get you a great 1080p experience, and there’s also plenty of room for potential upgrades, too.

Leave a Comment: