Best gaming PC (in 2016)

Gaming on PC is the only way to get the very best versions of multiplatform games because - unlike a console - PCs can be upgraded, piece by piece, to keep them up to speed with the latest technology. And it's also true, without question, that it's cheaper to buy the components that make up a great gaming PC and put them together yourself, instead of buying a pre-built rig off the shelf. But that does require time and effort. So if you're looking to get into PC gaming and just want to buy a great rig that will play the best games at their best settings, you could do a lot worse than any of the following. There isn't actually such thing as the ultimate gaming PC as theer are so many variables. However, we've got some US options and some UK (so look for the headers below) to suit different budgets. But let's start with something that you can buy in either territory. A Steam Machine.

Alienware Steam Machine

If you want a PC that behaves and looks like a console, then Steam Machines are the way to go. But be warned! Seeing as they run Steam OS rather than Windows, these systems only support games that also support Steam OS out of the box, which isn't a great many (yet). So check your Steam library to find out. You could feasibly install Windows on it instead, but at that point you'd probably be better off with a desktop machine as it's more versatile. Still, with 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive and a 4th Generation Intel Core i7 Processor, this box is great when it comes to gaming. The i7 version costs $679 from Amazon US or £703.94 from Amazon UK, though there are different specs on offer at different price points, so take a look and see what takes your fancy.

UK deals

Freshtech Intel Core i7

This tower comes with 4x USB 3.0 connections as well as a couple of USB 2.0, which will let you connect fats external drives, headsets, controllers, a mouse and keyboard with ease. It's very, very fast too, thank to its Intel i7 innards and 16GB of RAM. Bit of a monster, yet it's reasonably priced at £718 with Windows 10 Home 64-bit from Amazon UK. And if that's a bit expensive, you can get it for less without an operating system if you prefer. But then you would need an operating system.

Freshtech Intel Skylake I7

This is a super-premium desktop gaming rig, but the specs say it all. The 4.0GHz processor can be turbo boosted to a whopping 4.2GHz. It's got 16gb of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3000mhz Performance RAM. And it comes with a VR-Ready Nvidia Geforce GTX 980TI graphics card. You also get The Division with it. It costs all the money at £1,409 from Amazon UK, but you do get Windows 10 with it. And the knowledge that you've got one of the best gaming rigs around.

ADMI ultra gaming PC

This rig is pre-installed with Windows 10 and has some great specs. An AMD Piledriver FX-6350 six core 3.90GHz Processor (with 4.20GHz Turbo mode when necessary). Add in 8GB of DDR3 1600Mhz RAM and a 1TB hard drive and you're well away. Oh, and the graphics? An NVIDIA GTX750 Ti 2GB with HDMI out. Yes, you're right - you could use that with your living room TV. This PC is £489.95 from Amazon UK but that is without a monitor, so make sure you have something to play it on.

US deals

CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3100A Gaming Desktop

This gaming rig's processor isn't quite as fast, at 3.8GHz and four core, but it's still no slouch. It packs a SATA III hard drive as well as the now-obligatory 8GB of RAM. Its USB ports are all USB 2.0, which isn't the newest standard any more, but with 2GB of dedicated graphics memory and HDMI out, it's going to get the job done nicely for modern gaming. It's $539.99 from Amazon US.

CybertronPC Borg Q-860X

You're probably picturing the Borg from Star Trek living on the Transformers' home planet, Cybertron. No? Just me. OK. Well, you're looking at a Liquid-Cooled AMD Athlon II X4 860K running at 3.70GHz 4-Core (with a 4.0GHz Boost). There's 8GB of DDR3-1600 RAM and a 1TB hard drive. It comes with Windows 10 64-bit, but no monitor. Still, a great rig for a comparatively cheap $629.99 from Amazon US.

CybertronPC Titanium X99 X5 Red Gamer

This one's pricey, but has a great spec. It's got a liquid-cooled Intel Core i7-5930K 3.50GHz Hexa-Core processor, 16GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB GDDR5 graphics and 64-bit Windows 10. At $2,699.99 from Amazon US you would expect it to be good, and sure enough, it's going to run games on maximum settings and is likely future-proof for a few years.

But of course, PC tech moves very quickly, so we'll keep this list updated to give you the best deals. Speaking of which, you should also consider the best surround systems. And if you think maybe you'd be better off sticking with consoles, you should check out our Best PS4 deals, Best Xbox One deals, and the Best TVs for gaming.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The longest-serving GR+ staffer, I was here when all this was just fields. I'm currently Reviews Editor but still find time to speedrun Sonic levels and make daft Photoshop articles.

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