Gaming PCs have changed. Gone are the years of enormous immovable black boxes emitting all kinds of mystical whirring noises. Gaming PCs come in all shapes and sizes and, unlike a console, can be updated and changed according to your needs. Want a new graphics card? Congratulations, you don't need to wait another four years for a new generation of console. You can of course build your own gaming PC with separate components but buying a pre-built system is exceptionally attractive for a number of reasons. Someone else gets thermal paste all over their fingers for one thing but you'll also get a warranty in case anything goes wrong, and you'll have a great base for future upgrades.
Our selection of the best gaming PCs covers a range of budgets and graphical needs. Whether you want a GPU behemoth for ultra hi-res VR gaming or something small and subtle to plug into the TV, we've got the best gaming PCs covered. Now, because of the sheer flexibility and wealth of components involved in PC gaming, there really is no ‘ultimate pre-defined set-up’. What you’ll find here are a range of US and UK machines to fit a variety of budgets.
1. StormForce Tornado
A good value PC that can handle 4K gaming for a modest price
CPU: i5-6400 | Graphics: GTX 1070 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB HDD | Optical drive: DVD/RW | Ports: 13 x USB | Connectivity: Realtek 10/100/1000 Wired LAN | Size: 495 x 190mm x 432 mm
4K gaming doesn’t have to cost the Earth… merely several of its continents. StormForce’s oh so sultry, UK-only Tornado rig is still a significant outlay, but when you consider that investment gets you a Windows 10 PC with a GTX 1070 and 16GB of 2133MHz Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4 RAM, your money is actually going a long way. Nvidia’s stellar GPU is only outmuscled by the Green Team’s 1080 and Titan X models, and with 8GB of onboard RAM, this is graphics card can deliver the goods at 4K… with a few tweaks.
Playing games at 60fps on ultra settings is going to be off the table for more demanding titles if you hope to stay at 2160p, but dropping down to high/medium presets should net respectable framerates. At 1440p, though, the GTX 1070 is a brilliant performer, and you’ll have no problem hitting 60fps at a resolution that still offers a tangible upgrade over 1080p. Our only real gripe with this rig is the decision to build it around a slightly underpowered Intel Core i5 CPU, rather than an i7.
Best for... Those who want decent 4K results and/or excellent 2K performance
2. Asus ROG G20CB
A gorgeous, amazingly compact PC that’s well suited for VR
CPU: Intel i7-6700 | Graphics: GTX 1070 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB HDD | Optical drive: DVD/RW | Ports: 6 x USB | Connectivity: 802.11 A/C Wi-Fi | Size: 358 x 104 x 340 mm
The G20CB is not your average looking rig. This stylish, superbly compact PC sports such a bold, futuristic design it could pass for the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey… well, provided you could get some tiny chimpanzees to rub up and down it. At a little over 14 inches tall, and 13 inches long, the G20 isn’t much bigger than a PS4, yet thanks to its respectable innards, it runs rings around Sony’s sales-conquering console.
Despite its mini form factor, the G20 is no slouch when it comes to power. Packing a GTX 1070 and 16GB of RAM, this teeny rig can comfortably hand in a rock solid 1440p/60fps in many modern titles, while 4K isn’t totally off the table in well optimised games. The G20 also boasts an Oculus-ready seal of approval, meaning it’s capable of delivering the required 90fps needed to effectively combat VR motion sickness.
Best for... VR enthusiasts who also want a beautifully formed, space-saving PC
3. StormForce Inferno VR Gaming PC
A striking rig that packs one hell of a 4K-capable wallop
CPU: i7-6700K | Graphics: GTX 1080 | RAM: 32GB DDR4 | Storage: 256GB SSD/ 3TB HDD | Optical drive: None | Ports: 6 x USB/ 1 x USB C | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi | Size: 476 x 205 x 455 mm
How important is resolution to you? If your inner obsessive pixel counter yearns for Ultra HD gaming like your lungs crave oxygen, then the StormForce Inferno should be right up your 4K alley. Boasting an ultra-powerful GPU, 32GB of RAM and a beefy Intel Core i7-6700 CPU this can comfortably deliver respectable performance at 2160p. Indeed, Nvidia’s GTX 1080 is such a monster, it nails 4K/60fps in many modern titles. Plus, all wrapped up inside the shiny glass InWin 805, it's pretty easy on the eyes too.
The 256GB SSD and 3TB drive combo definitely isn't to be sniffed at. The OS runs smoothly off the SSD, while the rest of your content has plenty of room in the more traditional drive. While this is perfect to run all your games flat out on ultra settings, the GTX 1080 also makes the StormForce Inferno ideal for VR with both the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. There's even enough ports on there for the greedy USB hungry Oculus. Perfect for losing your head in the game.
Best for... Gamers who don’t mind paying top dollar for superb 4K performance
4. Ankermann-PC with Intel Core i5-6600K and GTX 1050 Ti
A good 1080p performer that offers one of the best budget GPUs around.
CPU: i5-6600K | Graphics: GTX 1050 TI | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 120GB SSD/ 1TB HDD | Optical drive: DVD/RW | Ports: 6 x USB | Connectivity: Wired LAN | Size: 460 x 180 x 430 mm
You’ll notice a trend on this list: every PC here packs a Nvidia GPU. The Green Team has long been producing graphics card for a variety of budgets that consistently outperform their AMD equivalents in most games. It’s no surprise then that this respectively specced Ankermann boasts a GeForce GTX 1050 TI at its core: one of the best budget cards around. The newest addition to Nvidia’s Pascal family is a fine 1080p performer, and will run many titles at a steady 60fps on high/medium settings.
This particular Ankermann also includes an Intel Core i5-6600K, which offers more than enough grunt to deliver stable performance at 1080ps. Oh, and it’s a good overclocker to boot. Throw in a 120GB SSD (perfect for cutting down loading times), and 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and you’re looking at a decidedly decent rig. Though Ankermann PCs are only available in Europe, gamers in the States can pick up the SkyTech Shadow from for $599.99. With its own 1050 TI and mid-range AMD processor, it offers similar bang for your buck.
Best for... Gamers who want 1080p/60fps and don’t mind cutting back a few settings
5. Alienware Aurora R5
A well designed, mid-range rig that provides effective cooling
CPU: i3-6100 | Graphics: GTX 950 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB HDD | Ports: 13 x USB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi | Size: 472 x 212 x 360 mm
Unless you have Tony Stark levels of disposable income, you probably can’t afford to buy the sort of GPU that’s going to have enough grunt to power 4K gaming. Seeing as the vast majority of PC gamers still play at 1080p or below, though, chasing the Ultra HD dream perhaps shouldn’t be your main priority. If you’re happy to give up on extreme resolutions, Alienware’s stylish, smartly designed mid-tower is well worth considering.
Now, with a Core i3 CPU and a GTX 950 graphics card, the Aurora’s performance isn’t going to blow you away. That said, for a pretty reasonable outlay of $799.99 on or £749.99 at you get a Windows 10 powered rig that has far more chance of delivering games at 1080p/60fps than a PS4 or Xbox One. Provided you drop a few settings - you’ll have to enable FXAA rather than MSAA when it comes to anti-aliasing, for example - the Aurora hands in console-beating performance with room to spare. The tower’s excellent fans and insane amount of USB slots are nice bonuses, too.
Best for... Gamers on a budget who still want PS4-beating performance
6. Origin Millennium
A custom-made dream machine that delivers extreme 4K performance
CPU: i7-6700K | Graphics: 2 x GTX 1080 | RAM: 32GB DDR4 | Storage: 480GB SSD | Optical drive: BDRW | Ports: 15 x USB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi | Size: 629 x 247 544 mm
Have you recently inherited an exceedingly wealthy, long lost relative’s estate? Congratulations! Now get out there and start building a recklessly powerful PC. Origin offers a ludicrous amount of customisation options when you buy a rig from its site; everything from the interior chassis colour to the type of thermal compound used on the CPU can be tweaked. The company’s mid-tower Millennium model probably offers the best combo of looks and size, and boy can you cram all sorts of wallet-assaulting goodies into it.
If you really want to push the boat out - and the rest of the fleet - you can stuff two GTX 1080s, an i7-6700K CPU, 32GB of DDR4 RAM and a Blu-Ray burner in there. The cost of such an absurdly powerful SLI setup will set you back $3544 from (sadly, there’s not a UK branch), so now might be the time to start looking into that second mortgage. Still, you’ll be able to play pretty much game you want at 4K/60fps on ultra settings. Now, can you lend us some cash, Mr/Mrs Moneybags?
Best for... Those with the bank balance of an oligarch who want the ultimate 4K gaming experience
7. Alienware Alpha Intel Core i3
A console-shaped rig that’s been purpose-built for streamlined gaming
CPU: i3-4170T | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX GPU with 2GB GDDR5 | RAM: 4GB DDR3 | Storage: 500GB HDD | Optical drive: NA | Ports: 4 x USB | Connectivity: AC 3160 Wi-Fi | Size: 203 x 86 x 203 mm
The first batch of Steam Machines were a great idea in practice. They were console-sized, idiot-proof next to standard PCs, and with their focus on Steam Big Picture, the discreet boxes were well suited for living room play. Trouble is, many of these systems shipped without Windows, and were limited to running Steam OS. That little omission meant you couldn’t play swathes of triple-A big hitters, like The Witcher 3, Fallout 4 or GTA 5. Thankfully, this Alienware Alpha offers a much better compromise.
For one thing, it comes with Windows 10 pre-installed, instantly opening up the whole of Steam’s vast library. You can also play Uplay and Origin games, though in somewhat fiddly fashion, the Alpha forces you to quit out of Alienware’s custom UI into desktop mode to run Ubisoft and EA’s platforms. Yet once you learn this box’s quirks, the teeny rig offers impressive, console-beating performance thanks to its Intel Core i3-4170T CPU and custom Nvidia GTX GPU that boasts 2GB of GDDR5 RAM. It’s not as flexible as a normal PC, granted. Then again, it only costs $499 from or £499 from .
Best for... Budget-minded gamers who want a hassle-free, console-like experience