Best Pre-Built Streaming PC's Under $1000

If you’re looking to start getting into streaming, the first question on your mind is probably if your computer can handle it. Twitch and Mixer watchers have grown accustom to high resolution high FPS streams from top streamers.

When just starting out, you likely can’t afford seperate gaming and streaming PCs, each with a 2080Ti. Here’s our top 5 favorite pre-built computers for streaming, all under $1000.

Two Important Aspects for Streaming

1. CPU:

While a number of different parts are needed to make a solid gaming PC, the specs needed for the best streaming PC under $1000 are slightly more specific. Perhaps the most important part is a quality CPU, with Twitch recommending an Intel Core i5-4670 processor (or AMD equivalent) as a bare minimum for streaming. For streaming, the CPU will have to handle running both the game you are playing and the background streaming software at the same time. This means the CPU will often have a greater impact on your stream quality than your GPU. 

2. Internet Speed: 

The most expensive PC build will fail to offer an acceptable stream if you skimp on your internet speed. Twitch’s Broadcasting Guidelines suggest around 4,500-6,000 kilobits per second to stream 1080p at 60fps, and 3,500-5000kbps for 1080p at 30fps. Measured in upload speed, you should shoot for at least 3MB per second to deliver a quality stream to your audience. For the best results, a wired ethernet connection is prefered to a wifi connection.

Our Top Recommendations for Streaming PCs Under $1000

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

1. iBUYPOWER Element 9260 - Premium option

  • CPU: Intel i7-9700F 3.0Ghz
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
  • Ram: 16Gb DDR4
  • Storage: 240GB SSD, 1TB HDD

In a market saturated with DIY PC builds, the iBUYPOWER Element 9260 shows just how competitive pre-builds can be. With the Element 9260s i7-9700F being one of the best CPUs on the market for the price, this build will have every bit of power you need to run a quality stream without any slowdown issues. If you’re still feeling hesitant on the i7-9700F, the CPU can be boosted to a whopping 4.7GHz in the BIOS. Coupled with NVIDIA’s GTX 1660Ti, the Element 9260 can crush any triple AAA title with ease at 1080p. Upon testing, the build performed admirably even at 1440p, something many of the more budget pre-builds struggled with.

In terms of memory, the Element 9260 holds a comfortable 240GB SSD and 1TB HDD. We found that 240GB of SSD was more than enough space to store our operating system as well as a few of our favorite games. All of this alongside a healthy 16GB of RAM storage. With storage being one of the first parts that PC companies will skimp on to cut costs for pre-builds, we felt the storage space of the Element 9260 was more than sufficient for all our gaming and streaming needs.

In addition to these top-tier specs for a sub $1000 build, the Element 9260 also comes with a host of additional offerings, including pre-installed RGB fans, a PSU shroud for cable management, a tempered glass case, and even a keyboard and mouse included with the PC. 

2. SkyTech Archangel - Budget Option

  • CPU: Ryzen 1200 3.1GHz Quad-Core
  • GPU:  GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
  • Ram: 8Gb DDR4 2400
  • Storage: 1TB HDD

If the Element 9260 showcases everything possible in a sub $1000 build, SkyTech’s Archangel desktop PC build proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune for a solid streaming PC. With its futuristic, Sci-fi esque design, the Archangel continues to be a real head-turner when it comes to PC aesthetics. This large tower features a black set of tapering lazy-black covers to contrast its white case, all accented with a striking pair of LED angel eyes shining through the black panels. The case also features a portion of tempered glass along the side, allowing owners a view of the internals inside the case. 

(Note: We found the case to be quite large compared to others on our list, so desktop users without a lot of space may find it difficult to fit the Archangel on their desk). 

When it comes to streaming power, the Archangel puts out some surprising benchmarks given the price point. The Archangel’s Ryzen 1200 CPU straddles a middle ground between an i5 and i7 in terms of CPU power. We found the GPU to provide a similar middle of the road experience, with a solid performance at 1080p but notable slow down at higher resolutions. 

Our biggest complaint is the build’s lack of a SSD, though given the price point we felt this was preferable to a cut in performance to the CPU or GPU. SkyTechs inclusion of a keyboard and mouse was a nice touch to offset the lack of an SSD, though any serious gamers will eventually want to upgrade from the stock kbm combo included within the build. 

3. HP Pavilion i5-9400F

  • CPU: Intel i5-9400F 2.9GHz
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
  • Ram: 16Gb DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD

With HPs prevalence in laptops and work desktops, it’s no surprise to see them entering the PC gaming market. While we’re not convinced they’re about to corner the market on gaming desktops, the HP Pavilion i5-9400 offers a nice compromise between price and performance. While we can’t recommend this HP if your goal is turning up the graphics to ultra with 4k resolution on the newest 2020 AAA title, the i5-9400F has enough power to play and stream many less graphically-demanding scenarios without hiccups. With a max CPU output of 4.1GHz when boosted through the BIOS, we still felt the HP deserved a place on our list for best streaming builds under $1000. 

Boasting several features lacking in the other builds on our list, the HP Pavilion i5-9400F comes with 5.1 surround sound enabled, making it an ideal setup for anyone planning on using their PC for home entertainment purposes. It also comes with a USB-C slot, something notably missing on the other builds, making it slightly more “future-proof” as more and more PC and phone manufacturers switch to USB-C for charging and data transfer. The build also comes with a keyboard and mouse combo.

*Note: Due to the HP’s small size, we were unable to find space within the case for upgrading parts. This means the PC’s specs are more or less locked at their current benchmarks without room for future upgrades.*

4. CYBERPOWERPC Xtreme VR

  • CPU: Intel i5-9400F 2.9GHz
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
  • Ram: 8Gb DDR4
  • Storage: 240GB SSD, 1TB HDD

While all of the previous builds have fallen across a wide spectrum of gaming and streaming benchmarks, the CYBERPOWER PC Xtreme VR adds a new element unique to the list. VR specialization. Able to run most games at very respectable graphical settings, the Xtreme VR is a strong contender for any streamers interested in VR games. With the i5-9400F being one of the most widely available CPUs on the market, we’re confident that the Xtreme VR won’t struggle under the load of a dozen chrome tabs while Hulu streams videos in the background. 

Beyond its VR capabilities, the Xtreme VR features a tempered glass case, a beautiful set of built-in RGB lights, and a large case spacious enough to easily allow for future upgrades. Given that one of our complaints for the build is lack of RAM space, the possibility of a future upgrade to the RAM is a nice consolation. 

5. SkyTech Blaze II

  • CPU: Ryzen 5 2600 6-Core 3.4GHz
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
  • Ram: 8Gb DDR4
  • Storage: 500GB SSD

While the SkyTech Archangel took the spot for best budget streaming build, the SkyTech Blaze II features a number of big improvements to justify the price jump from its budget counterpart. With a powerful CPU capable of being boosted to 3.9GHz, the Blaze II can handle the full gamut of streaming needs with its Ryzen 5 2600 6-Core processor. The Blaze II also represents a significant graphical upgrade from the Archangel. As a reference, you can play Far Cry 5 with 93FPS at 1080p with the Blaze II, while the Archangel came in at around 45fps at 1080p. The Blaze II even handled many games at 1440p without dropping many frames, something we couldn’t achieve with our budget picks. 

*Note: While you can achieve relatively high graphical benchmarks in our games, there is a significant increase in noise from the fans to compensate for the additional load on the PC*

Regarding aesthetics, the Blaze II comes in a steel case with tempered glass with RGB internals and professional cable management, making this subtly attractive build an easy contender for a great streaming prebuild. 

Conclusion: 

For the best streaming PC under $1000, you’ll have to make some decisions about which PC components you’re willing to compromise on in order to maximize your PC’s performance. In order to have full streaming capability at a 1080p minimum, these decisions will inevitably come in the form of reduced storage space, the need to buy quality peripherals separately, or an inability to upgrade the existing build due to space restrictions. Ultimately, the best PC pre-build for you will depend on the types of games you wish to play and any intended uses for the PC outside of streaming. If nothing but the best will handle your future streaming intentions, then the iBUYPOWER Element 9260 distinguished itself as the best, full-featured streaming build under $1000. For anyone on a strict budget, the Skytech Archangel served admirably as an entry-level streaming prebuild at a great price. For any streamers envisioning a VR focus to their stream, the CYBERPOWERPC Xtreme VR is our obvious choice.