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The best gaming PC 2022: UK builds at the cheapest prices

The best gaming PC 2022 UK
(Image credit: HP)

If you're looking for one of the best gaming PCs in the UK then you're in the right place. All models featured in our roundup meld that delicate balance between affordable and powerful in equal measure in 2022. This means machines that are running respectable hardware ranging from the budget models all the way up to the bleeding edge with the latest and great components, too. 

Said parts can still be challenging to get your hands on at a decent rate, and that's where the best gaming PCs arguably find their greatest strength. You've got the easier convenience of having a system ready to go straight out of the box without having to have any knowledge on how to build a rig, nor the potential frustration that comes along with it for a first-time user. 

Regardless, we've rounded up all the best models from the entry-level to the extreme to help you find the perfect PC for you. What's more, if you want to get the low down on the newest parts, we're also accounting for the best graphics cards, best CPUs for gaming, and the best SSDs for gaming as well. 

The Best gaming PCs 2022

The best gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel Core i9-12900K
GPU: Up to Nvidia RTX 3090
RAM: Up to 64GB DDR5
Storage: Up to 2x 1TB NVMe Gen 4 SSDs; 2x 3TB HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptional build quality 
+
Futureproofed 
+
Easy to upgrade

Reasons to avoid

-
Availability is limited right now 
-
Can get loud under stress

Our favorite configuration: 

Acer Predator Orion 7000 | i9-12900K | RTX 3090 at Currys (opens in new tab)
This is the same configuration as our review unit so we can personally vouch for the prowess on display here. While pricey, there's nothing this machine cannot do and is effectively future-proofed for many years to come thanks to the 12th gen i9 with the PCIe 5.0 support. 

The Acer Predator Orion 7000 is our number one pick for the best gaming PC that you can buy in the UK for its thoughtful design, PCIe 5.0 compatibility, and powerful hardware that's sure to be futureproofed for many years to come. In our testing, we found that there was nothing we could throw at this machine that it couldn't handle, including frame rates in the 100+ FPS range in a whole suite of demanding titles in 4K, and even higher in the likes of 1440p. 

This gaming PC has been thoughtfully re-engineered to replace the old plastic panels of the previous model, instead opting for an all-glass and metal finish. Perhaps most important with the Acer Predator Orion 7000 is how its design philosophy mimics that of a traditional home-built PC without any proprietary manufactured pieces inhibiting tinkering, meaning it's easy to upgrade in the future.

The Acer Predator Orion 7000's performance is nothing short of exceptional

Acer Predator Orion 7000 review

The bump up to DDR5 RAM is a sure-fire noticeable one if you're coming from a machine running a similar frequency DDR4. We had dual-channel 4000 MHz kit inside our machine and found the difference to be light and day, made especially snappy by the lightning-fast, though admittedly hot, Intel Core i9-12900K.

Whether you want lengthy gaming sessions or lightning-fast response times in your productivity tasks, the Acer Predator Orion 7000 is easily the most feature-rich, and most capable, gaming PC on the market right now. By minimizing the bloatware, and being far more consumer-friendly than some other gaming PCs you can get your hands on, we can recommend this model to anyone wanting the best of the best in 2022. 

Various other configurations are available if you want to spec your machine out a little more humbly, though. All current-generation Acer Predator Orion 7000 models are utilizing PCIe 5.0, so you'll be futureproofed no matter the video card that's inside, which can be swapped out painlessly, too, should you need it.

2. Lenovo Legion Tower 5i

The best gaming PC under £1,100

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5-12400F
GPU: RTX 3060
RAM: 16GB DDR5-4800MHz
Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Utilizes the latest 12th gen Intel CPUs
+
Comes shipped with Gen 4 NVMe SSD
+
DDR5 RAM

Reasons to avoid

-
Difficult to upgrade due to small size

Our favorite configuration:

Lenovo Legion Tower T5i | i5-12400F | RTX 3060 (opens in new tab)
Priced at £1,049, the Lenovo Legion Tower T5i in the most basic configuration is an absolute all-star for both 1080p and 1440p gaming with ray tracing enabled. Thanks to the utilization of PCIe 5.0 architecture, there's nothing slowing this machine down, meaning that this model is ready for the latest games with no compromises.

The Lenovo Legion Tower 5i is our top pick for the best gaming PC that you can get your hands on for under £1,100, and this is because of a few key factors. Firstly, the latest line of machines are running not only RTX 30-series GPUs, but also 12th gen Intel Core CPUs, and DDR5 RAM. It's rare to find competitively priced machines utilizing the latest in PCIe 5.0 technology, and yet such Lenovo Legion Tower 5i configurations are starting from just £1,049.99.

You're keeping the price competitive here by running a modest Ampere video card instead of the likes of RTX 3070 and RTX 3080, meaning that 4K isn't really on the cards. However, for the money, you're getting a very powerful machine that's native video output should be more than sharp enough for anything you throw at it even in QHD. 

The commitment to quality in the hardware extends to far more than just these components, though, as Lenovo Legion Tower 5i models also ship with a Gen 4 NVMe SSD as standard. This is something that's decidedly rare at this price point, with many manufacturers opting for a mix of smaller capacity SATAs and HDDs to keep the costs down. 

Perhaps the greatest strength of these machines is the increased bandwidth afforded by PCIe 5.0 architecture, as even the cheapest Lenovo Legion Tower 5i models are running 16GB DDR5 clocked at 4800MHz. This means that you can be sure that your gaming PC is ready for the latest games as there's nothing to bottleneck your system, especially if you're gaming in 1080p and 1440p. 

3. Alienware Aurora R12

The best value Alienware gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel Core i9 (11th gens)
GPU: Up to RTX 3090
RAM: Up to 128GB
Storage: Up to 2TB SSD + 2TB HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Eye-catching design
+
Liquid-cooled GPUs available
+
Support for current-gen GPUs

Reasons to avoid

-
Can get expensive

Our favorite configuration:

Alienware Aurora R12 | GTX 1660 Ti | Intel Core i5-11400F at Currys (opens in new tab)
In terms of Full HD gaming, this Alienware Aurora R12 configuration has all the power you need at an incredible price. There's enough under the hood to push today's games in 1080p thanks to the prowess of the wallet-friendly 1660 Ti.

Alienware's Aurora R12 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 R12 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 R12's design is of a similar form for the last few years and is attractive enough - and unique if nothing else. 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 best Ryzen gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: up to AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
Graphics: up to Nvidia RTX 3090
RAM: up to 64GB DDR4
Storage: up to 2TB M.2 SSD & 2TB HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Stellar gaming performance
+
Easy to take off the side panels
+
Alienware Command Centre is useful
+
Lots of component customization before you buy

Reasons to avoid

-
The curved, radiator-esque front is questionable
-
Can get loud during intensive games

Our favorite configuration: 

Alienware Aurora Ryzen R10 | RTX 3070 | AMD Ryzen 9 5900 at Dell (opens in new tab)
This Alienware Aurora Ryzen R10 configuration is the best value for money in our opinion, offering up stellar 1440p and entry-level 4K gaming. You're benefitting from a current-gen Ryzen 9 CPU and the stellar RTX 3070, too.
 

The Aurora Ryzen R10 series is a Ryzen-build entry into the Aurora series, all AMD's processors at the heart instead of the Intel. The former has massively closed the gap on the latter in recent years (arguably surpassing team blue until recently), so it's no real surprise to see an Alienware PC range specifically offering that kind of chipset at the heart. 

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. In our testing, we found that this machine made short work of all of our usual benchmarking titles, with respectable performance in 1440p. Given that many configurations are available, though, you can push into 4K easily enough depending on your budget. 

There's no doubting the machine's performance, however, so you can't really go wrong with this gaming PC from a capability perspective

Aurora Ryzen R10 review

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.

The best mid-range gaming PC

Specifications

CPU:: Up to Intel Core i9 10th-gen
GPU: : Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
Memory:: Up to 64GB
Storage: : Up to 2TB SSD + 2TB HDD
Weight: 12.9kg / 28.5lb

Reasons to buy

+
Available in many different configurations
+
Reasonable pricing for a pre-built system
+
Fantastic aesthetic 

Reasons to avoid

-
Somewhat messy interior

Our favorite configuration: 

HP Omen 30L| RTX 3080 | AMD Ryzen 7 5800X at Amazon (opens in new tab)
This high-end HP Omen 30L build features everything you need to push games to their limits in 4K. Similarly, should you want high frame rates in 1440p, this unit will do that well thanks to the RTX 3080 at the heart.

If you’re not out to build your own PC (or you’ve had no luck with the current GPU lottery) but still want a powerhouse desktop for some next-gen gaming, check out HP’s Omen 30L line. Custom-built inside a slick Omen chassis, they offer solid hardware with plenty of customization options and the potential for easy future upgrades.

It’s hard to deny that this is an exceptional pre-built gaming system

HP Omen 30L

The HP Omen 30L we’ve reviewed comes with some slick, understated RGB lighting, as well as a 10th-gen Intel processor and RTX 2080 Super GPU. This version costs $1,999 (with a year’s warranty included), but pricier models are available with RTX 3000-series cards (though be prepared for all kinds of stock fluctuation given it is the year 2022). The case has two tempered glass panels to showcase your system, with easy access for adjustments and excellent ventilation to prevent overheating.

While the interior isn’t the tidiest we’ve seen amongst the best gaming PCs, the performance speaks for itself. The RTX 2080 Super GPU is still a beast at 1440p and respectable in 4K, too, with its liquid-cooled processor never getting too hot even playing the most demanding titles. HP has proven that it is taking pre-built machines seriously, so the Omen 30L gets a thumbs up from us.

The best compact gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel i9-12900K or AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 or RTX 3080 Ti
Memory: Up to 64GB of DDR5 RAM @ 4,800MHz
Storage: 1TB or 2TB NVMe SSD
Weight: Varies

Reasons to buy

+
RTX 3080 Ti performs incredibly at all resolutions
+
Incredibly compact chassis
+
Sleek and stylish appearance

Reasons to avoid

-
One of the most expensive pre-built PCs on the market

Our favorite configuration: 

Corsair One i300 | RTX 3080 | i9-12900K at Amazon (opens in new tab)
While this is still one of the pricier Corsair One i300 setups you can get, this configuration boasts all the power you need for exceptional 4K gaming factoring in the premium components and small form factor. What's more, you're benefitting from the latest 12th gen CPU and DDR5 RAM here, too.

It might be prohibitively expensive but the Corsair One i300 is, without a doubt, an absolute monster when it comes to the best gaming PCs. An Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti and Intel Core i9-12900K ensure that 4K ultra gaming at 60+ fps is achievable for virtually any game you could care to name, backed up with two terabytes of super-fast fourth-generation SSD storage and a massive 64GB of cutting-edge DDR5 RAM.

Its intelligent internal design and brilliantly small footprint are even more impressive considering that it can put many of the best gaming PCs to shame with its performance

Corsair One i300 review

All that powerhouse performance is tucked away into a sleek all-metal case with a footprint that's not much bigger than a coaster, easy to fit onto or beneath any desk. It’s quiet, too; the dark grey side panels are perforated to allow for optimal airflow as a single case fan draws air in and expels it through the top of the case.

The compact design does mean that the i300 can get pretty hot, but rarely enough to impact performance. It also precludes you from making the kind of piecemeal upgrades that are straightforward in more conventional pre-built PCs, but the components on offer here won’t need replacing any time soon. Ultimately, however, these are pretty minor concerns in the face of the One i300’s incredible performance and aesthetic, so we feel very comfortable recommending it.

The best mid-range Acer gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-10700
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
Memory: 16GB DDR4 HyperX Fury @ 2,666MHz
Storage: 512GB SSD (Boot) + 1TB HDD
Weight: 9kg / 19.8lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic 1440p performance, 4K capable
+
The price is very reasonable
+
Easy to upgrade

Reasons to avoid

-
Some elements are on the cheaper side

Our favorite configuration: 

Acer Predator Orion 3000 | RTX 3070 | i7-11700F at Currys (opens in new tab)
In terms of stellar value for money, this Acer Predator Orion 3000 configuration packs in enough horsepower for both 1440p and 4K without too much of a struggle. For the asking price, you're getting a stellar build that's ready for today's games, while also being fast enough for tomorrow's titles, too.  

Priced at £1,500 the Acer Predator Orion 3000 may be one of the best value-for-money gaming PCs on the market at the moment. Given the prowess of the Ampere series of video cards, we're now experiencing performance that would not have been possible a couple of years ago. In our testing, we found that this rig played best at 1440p (and entry-level 4K), easily chewing through the latest titles with minimal messing around.

While we found that the Acer Predator Orion 3000 isn't the most compact gaming PC you can get your hands, owing to the level of components inside, there's actually a handle on top making it easy to transport from place to place despite the considerable weight. It's in the aesthetics themselves that we can see what keeps that price tag so competitive, the case is made of plastic and the CPU is air-cooled instead of opting for an AIO. However, we still found this machine to handle intensive games and demanding software without putting up too much of a fight in both 1440p and 2160p. 

Acer has done a great job when it comes to matching the internal components at play in this PC. No one part of this build is going to bottleneck you, or hold you back when you’re contemplating upgrades a few years down the road.

Acer Predator Orion 3000 review

There's a fair amount of storage under the hood too for that asking price, our review unit came equipped with the respectable WD SN530 SSD as an OS boot and a standard 1TB HDD. While not quite a SATA III SSD model, this drive appeared to do the trick all the same. In short, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 represents stellar value for money at a time when graphics cards themselves are challenging to get your hands on. While some parts of the case feel a little less durable, this is a quality build for what you're paying. 

The best budget Asus gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: Ryzen 5 3600X / 7 3700X / 3800X
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 to RTX 2080
RAM: 8GB to 32GB DDR4-2666
Storage: Up to 512GB SSD + 2TB HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent value for money and bang-to-buck performance
+
Great design
+
Superb use of Ryzen and Nvidia components

Reasons to avoid

-
Availability could be more limited now

Our favorite configuration: 

Asus ROG Strix GA15 | Ryzen 5 5600X | GTX 1650 (opens in new tab)
As far as affordable Asus machines go, this particular GA15 model is great value for money at the £800 mark. This model benefits from a current-gen Ryzen 5 CPU so that it's not going to be bottlenecked in the near future for 1080p, too.
 

The Asus ROG Strix GA15 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 a well-placed bias! It's a joy to use as a work PC that seamlessly changes to a monster. 

A reliable, very well-performing gaming PC from a reputable gaming tech name, and it deserves to be spoken about as one of the best pre-built gaming computers of the year

Asus ROG Strix GA15 review

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 your 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.

Best gaming PCs - frequently asked questions

We've utilized our knowledge and experience with the best gaming PCs in order to answer some of the internet's burning questions regarding the platform in 2022. 

What is the price of a good gaming PC?

Generally, a good gaming PC can start as cheap as £800 depending on what you want to do with it. If you're after one of the best gaming PCs on a budget for 1080p, then it's entirely possible to get a rig in this price range. Things become more complicated when you add 1440p and 4K gaming into the mix, generally hanging around the £1,500 mark depending on the manufacturer. 

What is the best PC for gaming?

There are many great gaming PC brands out there in the prebuilt space including Asus, HP, Corsair, and Alienware. In terms of the best of them, that is going to depend on the end-user, as many different PC gamers have different requirements. We've found that Acer and HP make the best mid-range models, with Alienware and Corsair cornering the high-end market. 

Is it cheaper to build your own computer?

A couple of years ago it genuinely was cheaper to build your own system with your chosen components instead of opting for a premium prebuilt. However, in 2022, going for an entire system has been the cheaper alternative when factoring in the inflated costs of components such as graphics cards and the scarce availability of parts due to the semiconductor shortage. 

How we test gaming PCs

While we've outlined how we test gaming PCs in our full hardware policy, it's worth giving the rundown here, too. We treat each gaming PC both as the sum of its parts and the unit together. This means that we're analyzing specific components, such as the speed of the processor, the prowess of the graphics card, the effectiveness of the RAM, and the sequential performance of the storage drives. 

Any gaming PC that we have in for the review period generally replaces that of our daily driver unit, meaning that we test them thoroughly, sure, but also use them as PC gamers ourselves. This means that benchmarking is conducted as are regular play sessions, meaning you get a thorough, but also a faithful write-up of models we've had personal experience with. 


Gear up for the best gaming PCs with the best gaming keyboards, best gaming monitors, and best gaming mouse. Plus, if you're wondering whether you should overclock your PC for gaming, we're here to help. 

I'm responsible for most of the PC gaming coverage across GamesRadar on everything from the latest graphics card launches (as well as RTX 30 series restocks), to the fastest NVMe SSDs, and more key components to building and maintaining a stellar rig. When I'm not obsessing over CUDA cores and clock speeds, you can find me building and testing gaming chairs, too. Before landing here, I previously worked with the BBC, and have also written for the likes of Expert Reviews, The Rory Peck Trust, Tech Spark, and No Clean Singing. 

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