I estimate $1000 will get me a Geforce GTX 750 Ti, a Haswell i3, and a 120GB SSD for the OS.
This is my definition of "max out":
1920x1080 resolution 1280x720 in 3D Vision mode (if support is "Excellent" or better) All settings on (allowances can be made for that one setting that absolutely kills your frame rate, but you need to specify if you are making said allowance) Consistent 60FPS frame rate (unless locked at something lower) No AA/AF (I just don't care that much about these)
Also, what are the best games that you *can't* max out on this? --- http://thecrankyhermit.wikispaces.com/ Year-by-year analysis of the finest gaming has to offer, and (eventually) more!
You can get A LOT more than that for a 1000 bucks including the OS. Now if you need a monitor as well... --- We're Americans! We don't quit just because we're wrong. We just keep doing the wrong thing until it turns out right.
I'm including the OS, and a few splurges for the sake of quiet performance; namely an Asus Z97-A, an Antec Solo II case, the Samsung 840 Pro SSD, and a modular PSU. Also, a Blu-Ray drive, and a PCI wifi card. --- http://thecrankyhermit.wikispaces.com/ Year-by-year analysis of the finest gaming has to offer, and (eventually) more!
Especially this deal: http://slickdeals.net/f/7034832-microcenter-intel-pentium-g3258-20th-edition-overclocking-edition-msi-z97-pc-mate-motherboard-89-99-tax-bm-mir
$99 for the processor and mobo. The processor can easily be overclocked and you can get a much better GPU.
If you decide to go with this combo plus a 750 ti you can expect performance like this: https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/b/Rbhqqs
That is my brothers build, he has a 750k instead of the g3258, but they perform the same. --- i7-920 @ 3.6 // 770 GTX // 12GB G.Skill Ram // My Setup: https://imgur.com/a/2Gd8M FiiO e9+17 // AKG Q701 + M50 // Deck 82 // G27 // Qanba Q1 // PS3/360