Finding the best gaming PC can be a little daunting, but ultimately, the experience is more than worth the effort and the expense. Sure, you could always look at building your own gaming PC from scratch, meticulously researching components and soldering techniques, the truth is there are plenty of great pre-made and optimized builds on the market right now.
To make your life a little easier, GamesRadar has put together a list of what we believe are the finest gaming PCs to help you get a sense of what's available and what you should be on the lookout for when you go bargain-hunting.
Of course, it would be wise to have a rough idea of what you're looking for first. Quality and power tend to scale with price, and a great gaming PC can certainly break the bank if you aren't careful. That's why you should consider what you need your new PC to do, what you hope it will do in the future. There are the lower-end machines that will give you a great way of catching up with some of the best PC games of the last generation, and then there are the more-expensive, power-hungry rigs that will require the best gaming monitors to get the most out of. Whatever you decide, keep reading on to see our recommendations for the best gaming PC, no matter your budget.
Regardless of what you choose, the advantages of getting one of the best gaming PCs pre-built are clear. For one thing, it saves you the headaches (potentially) and labor (definitely) of the build. Secondly, you'll pick up a retailer or manufacturer warranty by default. And you might even get some benefits of their design solutions that the DIY route might not provide, like unique cooling arrangements, cable management, or parts that aren't available anywhere else.
If you do go down the pre-built route- you're on this page after all - don't forget to check out the best antivirus software going to make sure your brand new gaming powerhouse is well protected.
Looking for something a bit more portable, on the other hand? We've compared the finest models over on our guide to the best gaming laptops.
Best gaming PCs
Alienware's Aurora R11 is leading Alienware into the next generation of gaming; as well as 10th-gen Intel processors and the possibility of liquid-cooled graphics cards, it offers a variety of builds to suit most budgets. If you want to get into PC gaming for the first time or would like to upgrade your existing setup - perhaps in preparation for ray tracing games - this is the most cost-effective way to do it.
Ranging from affordable starter rigs to pimped-out super PCs, the Aurora R11 strikes a good balance of choice. Better still, these desktops can be easily opened and upgraded with different parts as and when you see fit. Want more RAM or a larger SSD? No problem. Because the power supply unit swings out on a metal arm, you get more room to fiddle with the PC's insides.
The R11's design builds on the already-attractive R9, too. Although it sticks with the distinctive case and scooped-out front of its predecessor, this update enriches that formula with new lighting around the central strip in some cases. It's an addition that turns heads and makes the design feel even more futuristic than it did before.
The Aurora Ryzen R10 series is a Ryzen-build entry into the Aurora series, all sporting third-gen AMD Ryzen processors rather than the usual Intel processors. The former have massively closed the gap on the latter in recent years and months, so it's no real surprise to see an Alienware PC range specifically offering that kind of CPU.
Focused around that Ryzen CPU, though, you can fully customize your Aurora R10 however you want, which means that whether you're a console gamer looking to break into PC gaming or a die-hard veteran who wants the ultimate build, you'll find it here. The Alienware brand name comes with the usual price premium that most Alienware products have, but if you can overcome that, and want the respective premium quality that also comes with the name, then the spaceship-inspired R10 design is for you, especially since the Alienware Command Center is a useful bit of kit packed in. The main downsides are that it can get somewhat loud, almost as if it is a spaceship engine trying to take off, and accessing the components within isn't an easy task thanks to the placement of the PSU cage. You can definitely do much worse when buying a pre-built PC though, and that Ryzen-Nvidia blend is a brilliant one that offers exquisite performance.
This is a tremendous machine and one that really harnesses a great power to performance to price balance. It's a great new design from ASUS and is a welcome addition to the pre-built gaming PC market. I use this PC every day so I am a bit biased perhaps, I'd argue, it's well-placed bias! It's a joy to use as a work PC that seamlessly changes to a monster. The components of my build, particularly, demonstrate the GA15's successful inhabiting of a place of balance between performance and value. Inside is a 3700X processor, a 2060 Super graphics card (itself probably the best bang for buck GPU in the ray-tracing category), 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD combo. It's got a sweet design, plenty of ports, runs quiet, and has some RGB fun too on the front - with ASUS making so many of the best gaming laptops right now, it's no wonder they've come out with an excellent new desktop range.
Just for clarity and to reassure you if you're following links, you might see this machine listed as a G15DH or G15 - do not worry, it's the same one as the GA15. Your options of specs might also slightly differ depending on you're location: the above list is taken straight from ASUS itself in terms of what the machine can house, but I have seen some slightly different builds - including the odd Intel CPU build - crop up at some retailers. Regardless, this is still a PC build that is extremely easy to recommend and each variant will have that ASUS stamp of quality and pedigree within that you can have confidence in.
When it comes to pre-built PCs you need to find a reputable brand that will fill your new gaming rig with the best parts, in the best configurations. For us, HP's Omen range are the best gaming PCs, not because they offer incredible power, or because they're the cheapest, but because they balance everything you need from a gaming PC. Let's start with the chassis - the Obelisk is a mid-tower case, with a lovely glass panel on the side for displaying all your innards. It has tasteful lighting inside, but nothing too excessive. There is sufficient cooling for even the highest end builds, and the case isn't too massive either. It's a nice balance.
Inside, we recommend the spec with the 2080 graphics card, if you want to keep this gaming PC for the long-term. The top end of Nvidia's new Turing cards all handle ray tracing, which is very much the future of visuals in games, and while the 2080 is super expensive (probably about 40% of the cost of this whole PC), they will last. The supporting specs perfectly compliment the card - an i7-8700 6 core CPU, 16GB of 2666 RAM, and a dual storage solution with a 256GB SSD and a 2TB HDD. Ok, in a perfect world, you'd have a 500GB SSD, but this is still more than enough to make Windows booting quick and easy.
There's tool-less access to the case, so you can dive in there and swap out parts if you feel like some quicker RAM or a bigger SSD. In all, it's an impressive machine, and one that's flexible enough for easy upgrades if you need. There are few frills - custom RGB lighting aside - which is why the price is so reasonable, for a 2080 build. Thoroughly recommended.
- Read more: HP Omen Obelisk PC review
Save up to 60% off Bitdefender Total Security antivirus
Bitdefender's security packages currently sit on top of our best antivirus guides and there's never been a better time to buy thanks to the massive discounts. In the US you can save 60% on the annual security bundles with prices starting at just $23.99 a year. In the UK 54% discounts see the prices starting at a mere £17.99.
If money is no object, then the Corsair One series is our pick of all gaming PCs. While the i140 is more than capable of handling games at 4K, we prefer the i160 variants for sheer power and gaming prowess. What's truly remarkable about the Corsair One PC line is that they pack in such power components into such a small, custom-built case, and still allow everything to run quiet and cool. The case itself has holes on each side, and fans under the unit to allow adequate airflow, along with several other cooling systems inside. As a result, the machine is whisper quiet and small enough to fit into a typical living room set-up without hogging too much space.
Inside, everything is thoughtfully built. There's a quick i9-9900K CPU, meaning the One is perfect for multitasking, so can handle video editing and art tools extremely well, along with gaming. The 2080 Ti GPU inside is top of the range, and will smash any game at 4K, while the 32GB of RAM keeps the whole system held together rather nicely. There's a big enough SSD / HDD combo (960GB SSD / 2TB HDD) to ensure you have plenty of storage for games, although, again we'd expect a slightly larger SSD for the money. You can swap components into the One, but that will invalidate the warranty, so you'd need to be confident about doing so. It's easy enough to do.
As small form-factor gaming PCs go, this is a monster, and thoroughly recommended for gaming. If you want to shave a few £s off your budget, the i140 is a great performer too, but given that you'd expect this PC to last you for years, we'd definitely pick the slightly higher-spec machine.
CybperpowerPC's machines often demonstrate how you can squeeze excellent performance and value if you apply some consideration and deliberation to a build; and the Wyvern is no exception.
Sticking to its guns of offering a solid mid-range graphics cards (either an RX 570/580 or 1650/1660/2060 Nvidia card) machine with a mid-range CPU - a Ryzen 5 or an I5-9400F are your options - these machines are great options for those needing to keep it comfortably below the four-figure mark but want something that'll crunch through any games thrown at a home machine - though perhaps not at the most extreme levels or settings. Sticking to a certain couple of CPU and storage options might seem like an overt limitation on configuration options, but it's actually a very smart way to ensure the cost stays down but the value remains incredibly solid. And given the nature of the CPU, we'd almost certainly recommend going for the extra RAM to get to the 16GB as you might as well make up for the compromises where possible.
If you're looking for a very competent and capable machine that offers a great value entry point to ray-tracing, then this is it. Plus, you'll be able to tinker with it in time, if the CPU, for example, raises a slight eyebrow now. Plus, 'Wyvern' is a very cool name isn't it.
CyberPower's Luxe gaming PC finds the upper-middle ground and nails it for power to pound ratio. This is a PC built just for power and sheer gaming chops - and all its iterations offer exactly that. Even though it doesn't have the latest 10th gen Intel processors, it's hardly a weak point and it's nitpicking at best. The two processors it offers are basically just 'underneath' those latest variants and the graphics cards to choose from are three of the very best. Getting a machine like this built by seasoned pros and with a warranty is a mighty tempting proposition.
There are only a handful of choices to make - two processors to choose from, and three graphics cards - but that's nice as it doesn't complicate things and you'll still be picking a slight difference in power anyway. Whichever one you go for will have you munching through the latest games as easy as pie. Even the 'lowest' power of the builds - the i7-9700KF teamed with the RTX 2070 Super - is a powerhouse. This is a great price point for this build too and offers a terrific value gaming PC.
While Intel is the biggest and best name in CPUs, AMD - its main rival - has several comparable chipsets which perform equally well, and come much cheaper. So, we've included an AMD build here, to help you save a bit of cash on a great spec gaming machine. If you're looking to use your PC primarily for gaming, with maybe a little work and other media usage, you'll be more than fine with an AMD processor powering everything.
Elsewhere inside this Fierce PC build you get some very solid components for your money. Whereas the RX 580 graphics card isn't the most powerful, it does offer great performance for games, while keeping the overall price of the unit down. It's complimented here by 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a standard 1TB HDD. For the price, that seems about right to us.
While this isn't a 4K machine by any stretch of the imagination, it's well specced for the current generation. The Crusader will easily handle the best games at 1080p, and bring decent frame-rates to most (60fps+ in most cases). Well recommended for pure gaming (and particularly if you've got a hankering to go deep in the back catalog and play some Crusader: No Remorse).
Away for Dell's Alienware gaming nutters, the PC-maker's own brand G-series desktop PCs are underrated machines. They often provide a great budget or entry-level route into gaming PCs and are not an afterthought: they get updates as much as any of the other desktops or laptops available at Dell. The really entry-level ones won't do gangbusting numbers or levels of graphical fidelity but they'll be great PCs to have at home for work and play.
Now that the baseline is the 10th-generation of Intel chips this is another factor to work in their favor. Particularly as the baseline is the 16-series of Nvidia cards which will handle anything just fine, and you can choose one well into the ray-tracing range including the 2070 Super. Their compact form is also a plus side, while Dell's aftercare - should you need it - is pretty good too. A value-busting quality entry in this list.
This offers great bang for buck value. The Cyberpower Gamer Xtreme - housing an Intel Core i5 9400F and Nvidia's GTX 1660 - is a great PC to rock the current generation of games and do it all for well under the four-figure mark.
Even beyond that and branching into the increasingly large world of VR, this machine will get you there on a shoestring: it's VR-ready right out of the box (just) and will be easy to upgrade when newer, more fancy headsets become more available.
The Xtreme is also great for anyone looking for a PC to match the capabilities of current-gen consoles, something that will bridge the gap between the PS4 and Xbox One era of games and the next console generation. And the Gamer Xtreme is also modular and upgradeable enough to allow you to quickly adapt when specs for the next generation are finally, properly announced. On that note, we'd probably aim to get another 8GB of RAM into this upgrade-friendly rig as soon as you can, though.
Only available at CyberPowerPC, the Infinity 910 RTX really shows what a brand-new RTX 3080 can do to a gaming PC, and where it can take the best gaming PCs.
The Infinity 910 RTX is the PC builder's latest venture in power, bringing the amazing might of the new Nvidia RTX 3080 GPU to a customisable gaming PC, built to order with your preferred specifications.
The stock model we’ve reviewed blew us away, dominating in games even at 4K ultra settings. The 10-core processor and shiny new GPU perform fantastically, with great framerates and surprisingly good heat management. Even ray-tracing is a much more viable option than in the previous generation, although it does still impact performance somewhat.
CyberPowerPC’s seasoned experts have ensured that the build quality on display here is top-notch, guaranteeing a system that looks and runs great. If you want to jump straight into some high-end gaming with a powerhouse PC, the Infinity 910 RTX is a fantastic choice.