Prebuilt manufacturers have really been stepping up their game since the dawn of the RTX era, and sorting out which is producing the best gaming PC can be somewhat of a challenge. While any of these builders can theoretically stuff a bunch of blazing fast performance parts into a case and come away with a mighty gaming rig, the devil, as they say, is in the details. You need to pair that performance with excellent heat management, for instance, intelligent sinking and ventilation that doesn't cause your fans to kick out noise at the level of a V2 rocket launch. Value is king, of course, you really want to avoid paying too much of a premium versus the cost of building a machine yourself, but there are other critical features too, like cable management, inclusion of quality proprietary parts, and warranty. To sort out how we figure out which machines make the cut, check out our gaming PC testing guide.
Best deal today
HP Omen Obelisk is $1,449 (Used, like new) at Amazon
The Obelisk is a powerful, aggressively priced machine that's well specced to handle even 4K gaming at reasonable frame rates and will crush 1440p. While the machine at the listed price is used, getting it for less than $1,500 (and under warranty, of course) makes it pretty wildly attractive, and if you prefer a new model, you can grab one for $1,879, too.
What should you be looking for when you start shopping for the best gaming PC? Obviously, the best graphics card should be top of mind, and that can mean different things for different people. Gamers obviously will need something at least relatively capable to handle modern triple-A games, but there are additional considerations, like whether or not you're sold on Nvidia's predicted ray tracing future. If you are, you'll like want to invest in one of their RTX cards (while ray tracing support is coming to GTX Pascal architecture, it'll never match the performance derived from the RTX line's dedicated ray tracing cores). However, if ray tracing isn't a priority, you can save yourself some cash and invest in a machine built around a GTX or one of AMD's card.
Given how increasingly important main processing is for games, you'll also want to avoid bottlenecks with one of models from our best CPU for PC gaming roundup. You'll want something in the Core i5 range as a baseline, but if you plan on doing any significant amount of productivity work on your machine you should really opt for a higher end CPU, something in the Core i7-8700 to Core i9-9900K range.
You'll need great peripherals to attach to your incredible new machine, so make sure to grab the best gaming keyboard and best gaming mouse. And to make sense of the cloud of complex terminology that inevitably hovers around any PC conversation, head over to our hardware glossary.
1. iBuyPower RDY ELIBG205
The best gaming PC available
CPU: i9 9900K | Graphics: RTX 2080 Ti | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB SATA SSD
The ELIBG205 is the best gaming PC you can get for a number of reasons, the most crucial of which is that it's a ridiculously powerful machine that you can buy from the manufacturer for less than it would cost you to assemble it yourself (by a margin of nearly $200). It's loaded for bear with an RTX 2080 Ti and a scorching hot Core i9-9900K processor, and is one of the only machines we've tested that's capable of realistically handling modern, triple-A titles at 4K Ultra anywhere close to 60 FPS. Even the extremely demanding, GPU devouring Metro Exodus, with its ridiculously gorgeous landscapes and much vaunted ray tracing support, runs smoothly at 30 FPS or more.
There are also some thoughtful additional features, stuff like toolless case access by removing either side panel, and a ton of USB ports to plug all your peripherals into. It also comes under the aegis of a nice three year warranty, so you can rest assured your investment won't crumble on you a few months into its life cycle.
Best for... Anyone looking to buy a high-end gaming PC.
2. Corsair Vengeance 5180
RGB flash with the performance to back it up
CPU: i7 8700 | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX560/ GTX 1050 Ti 4GB/ GTX 1060 6GB/ GTX 1080 8GB | RAM: 8GB DDR4/16GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB - 2TB HDD
While at first glance the Corsair Vengeance 5180 might seem like a lot of RGB lighting, signifying nothing, the reality is it's packed with powerful hardware and some thoughtful design decisions that elevate above even the other gaming PCs on our list.
Inside the spacious case you'll find one of Nvidia's mighty new ray tracing cards, the RTX 2080, and a very capable Core i7-8700. It also comes with a very welcome, generous 480GB SSD as well as 2TB of traditional storage. The glass tempered panes of glass on the front, side, and top and massive RGB light-show might be the headline (or at the very least, most eye-catching) feature, but the 5180 is no slouch in performance, either.
One of my favorite features is actually the case design. While it's a pretty massive piece of kit, the space is used extremely well in a dual-chambered design that separates the motherboard, GPU, and RAM into one side and the storage drives and PSU into the other. This makes tinkering a breeze, with no massive cable snakes to navigate around when you're swapping out the graphics card or adding RAM. On the other side, handy removable hard drive bays allow you to easily add additional storage if you're so inclined, and all the PSU cables are wrapped and neatly tucked so they won't interfere.
Of course, if you do fancy an RGB light show from your desktop, the Corsair can be lit like a Christmas tree and becomes a flashing, 16.8 million color equipped show piece for the easily impressed amongst your friends and families. Even as someone who's not a particular fan of the RGB frenzy currently gripping gaming PC and accessory manufacturers, I don't hate the candy colored display the Corsair presents every time you power it on.
Best for… Gamers who want a powerful, fully-featured machine that's as capable as it is flashy
3. Acer Aspire
A value gaming PC that can still put a console to shame
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1400 | Graphics: GTX 1050 (2GB) | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB HDD
If you're really not sure if PC gaming is the way to go and just want to dip your toe, or if you only want the minimum specs (maybe so you can add onto it in the future, maybe to use as a streaming machine), you probably don't want to blow tons of money on your pre-built. That's where the Acer Aspire comes in - which is to say it's well below the $1000 / £1000 line.
It comes equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 1400 CPU, 8GB of RAM, an Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics card with 2GB of dedicated video memory, and a 1TB hard drive. None of these are top of the line components, of course, but they'll outperform everything save for maybe an Xbox One X. And for less than $800, it's a remarkable value. Keep in mind too that you can always give your Aspire a boost down the line with more RAM, an SSD, or a more powerful GPU. In the meantime, this will run most modern games at 1080p, 60fps on high or ultra settings, and that's nothing to sneeze at.
The Aspire is a great console replacement option. If you've been stuck on PS4 or Xbox and have heard your friends chattering about the huge number of PC exclusives that get dumped onto Steam every month, the Aspire is an excellent starting point. If you're on an even tighter budget, or maybe are buying a cheap PC to haul to college or a second machine to run background executables, there are even cheaper options in the Aspire family with integrated graphics. They won't do you many favors if you're looking for a gaming machine, admittedly, but they can certainly handle streaming video if you want to offload your second screen onto a different machine, and they will certainly handle older/indie games or MMOs/MOBAs - in other words, a lot of the games that you come to PC to play in the first place.
Best for... Those who don't need 4K yet and/or are on a budget
4. HP Omen Obelisk
Killer specs at a very competitive price
CPU: Intel Core i7-8700 | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 | RAM: 16GB DDR4-2666 | Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD, 2TB HDD
While Alienware used to be known solely for flashy lights and little else, things have definitely changed for the PC manufacturer. Now happily owned by Dell, Alienware’s latest range of offerings is an impressive array of PCs that focus more on performance than flash. The Alienware Aurora is a perfect example, an incredibly customizable PC that's priced competitively and designed to be easy to upgrade even beyond the initial, compelling specs. Available in four default configs, the Aurora ranges from a budget friendly build packing a Core i5 and a GTX 1060 all the way up to a gaming monster with a Core i9 and RTX 2080 Ti.
Everything is accessible inside the sleek case if you want to tinker with the Aurora's guts, and there’s impressive customization options for the RGB lighting system (Alienware hasn't completely abandoned their chrome and neon roots). You’ll also never be in need of a USB port either, with a staggering array of them on both the front and rear of the machine, including a welcome 3 USB-C ports. With its slick, modular case, easy-to-upgrade design, and bevy of customization options, the Aurora is our top choice for a gaming PC to suit nearly every need (and every budget).
Best for… Designing your own PC without having to build it yourself, and anyone interested in eventually upgrading
5. iBUYPOWER Trace 9220
An amazingly compact PC that’s well suited for VR
CPU: Core i7-8700K | Graphics: Graphics: RTX 2070 8GB | RAM: RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB HDD and 240GB SSD
iBuyPower's Trace 9220 is a great entry point for someone making their way for the first time into the world of gaming PCs and PC upgrading. While the stock configuration is more than capable enough to handle modern gaming, even 4K gaming at mid to high settings, it's also built to overclock should the need arise. The CPU, RAM, and video card are all overclock ready, meaning you can step the power of this machine up significantly without having to invest in any additional hardware.
What you will likely need if you start adding components, however, is a new PSU. The power supply the Trace 9220 comes with only outputs 500W, which you'll easily outpace if you start adding hardware. Luckily, PSUs are relatively cheap, and the core of machine likely won't need upgrading for some time anyway (though I'd recommend some additional RAM to complement the stock 16GB of DDR4; the board will accommodate up to 64GB). Otherwise, the Trace 9220 is an excellent option for anyone who wants a powerful gaming PC without spending a huge amount of cash, and it's currently on sale at Amazon for $300 off the list price, and comes with a pair of new triple-A shooters, Call of Duty: Blacks Ops 4 and Battlefield V, effectively saving you another $120.
Best for… Amateur overclockers, and anyone in the market for a balance of power and price
- Best gaming monitor - No good having a great PC without a monitor to match
- Best gaming chairs - Your butt deserves the best
- PC headsets for gaming - get the finest audio you can
6. SkyTech Legacy Extreme
A truly mighty powerhouse PC for extreme gamers and multitaskers
CPU: Core i9-9900K | Graphics: Graphics: RTX 2080 Ti 11GB | RAM: RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
If you're looking for the best of both worlds, a powerful processor to handle workload and a top-end graphics card to make your games shine in 4K, Skytech's Legacy Extreme is one of the most reasonably priced and impressively kitted out power PCs on the market. Coming in well under the $3,000 mark, it nonetheless packs Nvidia's shiny new RTX 2080 Ti, the top end GPU in its much ballyhooed new raytracing family of cards, as well as Intel's potent Core-i9 9900K, their top mainstream 9th gen Coffee Lake processor. This beast will easily handle any games or apps you feed it, and laugh off even intense video rendering or editing tasks.
The only shortcoming in the Legacy Extreme's default configuration is its 16GB of RAM. While that's not an insignificant amount of memory, it is a bit on the slight side for a PC packing this much horsepower. But given that you can find this monster at around the $2,600 price mark, it's perhaps not surprising that some cost cutting measures were taken elsewhere in the build. Luckily, RAM's fairly cheap at the moment, so if you do want to upgrade, you can do so fairly inexpensively. Otherwise, the Legacy Extreme is a future-proofed behemoth, a gaming titan that shouldn't require meaningful upgrades for many years to come. It even comes with a terabyte NVMe SSD, the new PCIe powered ultrafast storage solution, to ensure loading screens are practically undetectable.
Best for... Hardcore gamers and professionals who need a powerful machine for work and play
7. Corsair One
A beast of a PC at a beast of a price
CPU: i7-9700K | Graphics: RTX 2080 8GB | RAM: 32GB DDR4 | Storage: 2TB HDD + 480GB SSD
The Corsair One series is incredibly small and lightweight (at least considering how much power it's packing), and has an attractive form factor. As a step-up option from Corsair's flashier but more modestly outfitted Vengeance model, the Corsair has a few advantages that will primarily appeal to those looking for more workload capability and who are focused on gaming as a more secondary concern. The Corsair One is decidedly a workstation focused rig, though it certainly doesn't slouch in the gaming department either.
The One comes in a few flavors, but the best dollars-to-performance value is in the package around the $3,000 mark. It's built around the same GPU as the Vengeance, an RTX 2080, and contains the same storage drives, a 480 SSD and a 2 TB HDD. Where it exceeds the Vengeance's specs are in the CPU, an overclockable Core i7-9700K, and also in a nod to megatasking workload scenarios, it packs double the RAM, at 32GB of DDR4-2666. It will manhandle modern games at 4K with ease, and it's also suitable for heavy rendering, CAD, or other workstation style applications.
If that's not enough horsepower for you, however, for another $600 you can raise the bar all the way up to the most powerful mainstream card Nvidia produces, the RTX 2080 Ti, as well as moving up to a Core i9-9900K, a ridiculously powerful processor. It's sort of the ultimate gaming/workstation hybrid, though if you find your bank balance is absolutely bursting with discretionary income, first, call me, but second you might also want to consider the top option in the Corsair family. The ridiculous $5,000 option includes the $1,200, wildly overpowered 9th gen Core i9-9920X CPU, which Intel insists on describing (and probably rightly so) as the "best processor for gaming." It also throws in a massive 960GB SSD so you can stash practically all of your games and applications all on a speedy static drive.
Best for… Content creators for whom gaming is an important but secondary concern, or professionals who love to game in their spare time but prioritize processing power
8. MSI Aegis 3
A portable party machine with an unconventional design
CPU: i7-8700 | Graphics: GTX 1070 Ti | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD
MSI is known more for their components than their complete pre-built gaming PCs, but that shouldn't stop you from considering the MSI Aegis 3. It's not the most ludicrously powerful machine out there, but it's well beyond a budget PC, too. And thanks to its lightweight, portable design (it has a built-in handle!) you can always say "yes" when your friend asks if you can bring your PC over for a LAN party.
Packed in the Aegis you'll find an excellent Core i7-8700 processor, a GTX 1070 Ti with 8GB of onboard video memory, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and a 256GB SSD paired with a 2TB HDD. Really, the biggest drawback is the Aegis' garish design...though, okay, yes, it does have kind of a Dead Space helmet vibe going on. If you're okay with that aesthetic, this is an excellent mid-range gaming PC, and still outperforms even the most powerful console.
Best for... Those who want to take a powerful (but not worldshaking) PC over to a friend's place
9. Origin Neuron
Ridiculously customizable for control freaks, and well specced to boot
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X | Graphics: RTX 2080 FE | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 512TB SSD, 2TB HDD
The Neuron is a well specced machine, packing a mighty RTX 2080 and a powerful Ryzen 7 2700X CPU, and is one of the most customizable PCs money can buy, particularly in terms of aesthetics. On top a range of options for what parts you want included in the machine, Origin will let you get nearly any image you provide them etched onto the beautiful tempered glass that makes up the side panel of the Neuron, so get your best cat GIFs or memes ready. You can even decide to have them UV etched or added as textured images for a more tactile experience.
The Neuron also features some nice quality of life touches, like the side panel that magnetically seals and can be swung easily open, entirely without tools, to access the performance parts and do any upgrading your heart desires. And it's competitively priced at $2,399, putting it in direct competition with the top PC on our list, the Corsair Vengeance.
Best for... anyone looking to precisely tailor their PC to their performance needs and aesthetics
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