Regardless of your budget or your needs, there’s a gaming computer out there for you. What makes the best gaming computer will vary from person to person: some want the smallest gaming PC, others want fancy RGB lighting, and some just want the best gaming desktop for their budget— large or small. For those of you who don’t understand spec sheets and the such, don’t worry: we’ll explain plenty about each of these PCs and how they perform. We’ve also written a buying guide that you can consult at the bottom of the article, just in case you aren’t sure about what to pick. PCs on Amazon, this is the cheapest that we were able to find that actually had acceptable specs for gaming in 2018. At its current price, this desktop isn’t that much more expensive than a build you could make yourself. The star of the show here is the AMD RX 580, which boasts incredible gaming performance. You’ll easily be able to play the latest games maxed out at 1080p and 60 FPS, and with some adjustments to texture detail, you’ll also be able to best computer for gaming and streaming many games in 1440p as well.
In addition to the pure gaming performance on display here, you also have a fairly small form factor. This is one of the smallest gaming PCs on this list, and that doesn’t seem to have come at much of an extra cost to the consumer. With the addition of USB 3. 1 ports upfront, a card reader, and even a DVD writer, we’d dare say that this is the best chassis we’ve seen in a budget gaming prebuilt. Also, a basic mouse and keyboard set is included.
The Lenovo YZ20 Cube 15 is one of those PCs that makes an impression. Its distinctive cube form factor includes a handle for easy carrying, making this an ideal LAN gaming computer for those who don’t feel like building or jerry-rigging their own solution. In terms of performance, you have something fairly decent here. While the RX 480 doesn’t reach the same performance peaks as an RX 580, this 480 actually has 8GB VRAM, which will help it handle higher resolutions and HD textures just a little bit better. The real downside we’ve found that’s worth noting here is the standard DDR4 RAM inside this machine. You’d think with all the glowing LEDs that they would at least step it up to 2666 MHz, but nope— we’re stuck with 2400 MHz on this one. At this point, though, we’re just nitpicking. The iBUYPOWER Elite Desktop 065i is a behemoth of a gaming PC, standing tall and proud alongside its competitors.
This isn’t the highest-end prebuilt PC on this list, but it is definitely the best gaming PC for the money, especially when compared to competitors in the same price range. In some games with settings adjustments, you’ll even be able to push native 4K, though this obviously won’t fly with the more cutting-edge titles. The Nvidia RTX series also has the benefit of real-time ray-tracing and DLSS in supported titles. In games that support ray-tracing, you’re probably only going to be able to push 1080p60 with the feature enabled. In its fledgling outing, it’s still quite the hitch on performance. This is the best you’ll find for hundreds of dollars to come, and so we highly recommend it for those who want to make the most of their money. There is also a hybrid storage solution here— the 240GB SSD ensures fast boot times and better loading times on your most-played games while the 1TB HDD gives you bulk storage.
There’s also a mouse and keyboard set included, for those who don’t already have peripherals. If you’re new to PC gaming, beware: this is one of the larger and heavier options on this list, so make sure you have room for it. The CYBERPOWERPC GXi VR Gaming PC is a top of the line gaming PC. Its pricing undercuts competition from Alienware and Corsair with ease, and overall it seems to be fairly well built. First and foremost, let’s talk about the graphics. Even without RTX-exclusive features, the specs in the GXi VR gaming PC are incredible, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a good experience. Aside from pure gaming performance, we also feel the need to point out that this PC has a hybrid storage solution. Specifically, there is now a 240GB SSD inside this prebuilt.
This SSD is used to hold your operating system and main programs, as well as a few of your most-played titles. Everything on the SSD load in seconds or less, while the 1TB HDD can be used for less-played games and media, which doesn’t benefit from high read speeds. Logitech or Corsair if you’re serious about this whole PC gaming thing. Last up, let’s talk about its size and weight. As far as gaming towers go, this one is about as hefty as you’d expect— but as long as you have room for it, you’ll be fine. ZOTAC’s MEK ULTRA is our pick for best RGB gaming PC. The case, the GPU, the cooler— everything is synced up via the Spectra 2. 0 RGB solution, and with it you’ll be able to customize your lighting pretty much any way you want to.
Moving past aesthetics and into gaming performance, you have a solid RTX 2070 in here. VR titles and work well in most 4K scenarios. So, you have a superb lighting setup and pretty respectable performance— what’s the issue, here? 2000, and unlike PCs in this price range that manage to stuff in an RTX 2080, a sacrifice had to be made somewhere down the line. With this desktop, you’re essentially trading off performance for RGB, though unless you’re a feverish 4K fanatic, you’ll probably be fine. That being said, this is also by far the largest and heaviest gaming tower on this list. The CLX Set VR-Ready Gaming Desktop may come from a lesser-known boutique builder, but its Mini ITX form factor and excellent performance-per-dollar has earned it a place on this list. The specs are mostly similar to our top value pick— the only difference is that the included SSD is only 120GB, which means you really only have room for your OS and one favorite game, at best.
An RTX 2060 ensures that you’ll have a superb 1080p, 1440p, and VR gaming experience. Add that to plentiful onboard RAM and 1TB HDD, and you have a fairly solid gaming rig already. The biggest benefit of this prebuilt gaming PC is its size, though. It actually utilizes a Phanteks Mini ITX chassis as a base, and what you get in return is one of the best mini PCs for gaming without paying a load extra for it. This PC is particularly ideal for those with small playing spaces or those who plan on moving their PC a lot. Last, but not least, is the aptly-named Corsair ONE i140 Compact Gaming Desktop.
We’ve crowned it as the best SFF gaming PC, and truth be told there isn’t really any competition for that yet. Nobody has pulled off a gaming computer like this before. The closest precedent has been the Alienware X51, but even that had anemic specs in comparison to the dominant PCs of the time, and the X51 died off relatively quickly. In addition to the RTX 2080 and its top-of-the-line 4K performance, you also have a full-blown, liquid-cooled, unlocked i7-9700K. Corsair ONE i140 may actually be one of the best gaming desktop ever made. If it weren’t for the price.
They are saddled with last-gen GPUs at inflated prices, unfortunately, which means we can’t really recommend them just yet. If money is no object and you want nothing but the best, go ahead and get this one. Otherwise, take another look over the list and find which one is right for you. If you’re new to the PC hardware space, chances are all these spec sheets and the such don’t make a lot of sense to you. In past years, the differences between AMD and Intel processors were severe, especially in terms of single core performance. For the most part, something like a Core i5 and a Ryzen 5 will be generally-interchangeable from a performance perspective. The former will be slightly better for games, and the latter will be better for streaming. Great gaming performance, and arguably the sweet spot for gamers.
Most of the benefits here are increased boosts in streaming and rendering workloads. A bump up from i7 chips, adding hyperthreading in addition to physical cores. In this section, we’re going to list popular resolutions and recommended GPUs for those resolutions. Base PS4 and Xbox One target this, but generally have to scale below it. PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are usually running closer to this than actual 4K, but using upscaling to achieve a better image. Aside from a few titles on the Xbox One X, completely out of the range of modern consoles. Cards like the RTX 2070, RTX 2080, AMD Radeon VII, and RTX 2080 Ti excel here. The 4K tier will be necessary for higher-resolution VR headsets like the HTC Vive Pro.
Below, we’ll give you a quick rundown of RAM capacities, as well as a brief word on RAM speed. All you need for gaming and light multitasking. More than enough for gaming and heavier multitasking. More than enough for heavy gaming, heavy multitasking, and whatever else you can throw at your PC. FPS, which means faster RAM will help alleviate framerate drops where they occur. Most DDR4 RAM is just fine for this already, though. Less power consumption, virtually no heat generation.
OS is installed on this drive. Greatly shortens in-game loading times, but is generally only recommended for a few of your favorite multiplayer titles. More power consumption and heat generation. Ideal for large media libraries and Steam backlogs. If you’re used to console or laptop gaming, chances are you may not be ready for the massive machines in PC-land. We’ve provided size measurements in the spec sheets of each of our review. Generally much easier to move around than the larger sizes.
Okay for moving around, but may be heavy depending on what’s inside. PC hardware, as well as tech and gaming at large. Our mission is to provide you with great editorial and essential information to make your PC an integral part of your life. Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. PCMag editors select and review products independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn commissions, which help support our testing.
The Best Gaming Desktops for 2021 You can’t buy a more powerful gaming platform than a tricked-out desktop PC. Here’s everything you need to know, part by part, to pick the right killer gaming system, along with our current favorites, culled from our top-rated reviews. Cutting-edge support for Wi-Fi 6 and PCI Express 4. Corsair’s Vengeance i7200 is an upscale, yet still reasonably priced, power desktop that shines at 4K gaming, thanks to the twin bazookas it’s packing: a Core i9, and an RTX 3080. Lenovo undercuts the competition with its new mid-tower gaming desktop, the Legion Tower 5i. It’s a top-notch performer at a great price. Assembled entirely from aftermarket parts, NZXT’s BLD Starter PC Plus midtower gaming desktop is packed with value and ready for today’s top titles at mainstream resolutions. Plenty of pep for modern gaming at 1080p or 1440p.
No case interior lighting or media card reader. In this AMD Ryzen 5000-powered and Nvidia «Ampere» loadout, the Origin PC Chronos crams full-tower desktop power into a mini-ITX chassis with few compromises. The Dell G5 Gaming Desktop is a no-fuss entry-level system with a super-compact design, capable gaming performance, and an affordable price tag. Impressively compact case with LED-lit side window. Test configuration’s 512GB of storage is a little thin. MSI’s MEG Trident X packs gaming-tower power into a chassis a fraction of the size, without levying an exorbitant price premium. The Alienware Aurora R11 is a highly configurable gaming desktop with a unique design, and our super-powerful configuration is capable of top-charting numbers. Big spenders may prefer a chassis that showcases their components, however.
HP’s Omen 30L is a solid pick for a mainstream gaming tower, if a smidge unpolished inside. It’s widely configurable, with AMD and Intel CPU flavors, overclocking options, and RGB lighting. MSI’s MEG Aegis Ti5 pushes 4K frame rates with ease, but its massive, cyborg design might send members of your household, not your enemies, running for cover. Despite the allure and simplicity of gaming consoles and handheld devices, PC gaming is still very alive and very much kicking. This is, admittedly, simplifying a complex argument. Our gaming-desktop reviews will let you know if there is room in the system’s case for adding more graphics cards, in case you want to improve your gaming performance in the future. Most boutique manufacturers, however, will sell systems equipped with multiple-card arrays if you want to run games at their best right away.
Indeed, the most pivotal decision you’ll make when purchasing a gaming desktop is which card you get. In 2020, though, Nvidia took the RTX advantage even further with its latest 30 Series GPUs. These GPUs push higher frame rates at the highest visual settings and resolutions, including with RTX active, even at 4K. The RTX 3080, in particular, is the 4K gaming GPU you might have been dreaming about. The top-end cards are certainly pricey propositions, and too costly for many shoppers. One aspect not included in the 30 Series launch is the «Super» suffix that you may see on 20 Series GPUs while shopping. In the summer of 2019, Nvidia launched upgraded «Super» versions of the 20 Series RTX line, with the exception of the RTX 2080 Ti.
For users of the 10-Series «Pascal» cards, it was a tough call on whether to upgrade to the 20 Series. The raw performance gains were modest, and ray-tracing, while attractive, was a difficult proposition even on the best 20 Series GPUs. These cards lack the specific cores needed for ray-tracing in order to cut the price. Meanwhile, AMD competes mainly in the midrange and low end, with its Radeon RX cards, and its midrange offerings are looking better now than they have for a long time. Right as Nvidia’s Super cards hit the market in mid-2019, AMD launched its first «Navi» graphics cards, based on all-new architecture. The more recent efforts in the high end, the Radeon RX 6800 and the Radeon RX 6800 XT released in late 2020, push closer to the Nvidia cards more than AMD has in many years. When they’re at their best, they’re about equal with Nvidia’s 30 Series GPUs for a little less money, but it depends on the game in question.
Prep for 4K Gaming and VR, or Keep It Real? Equipping your system with any high-end GPU will boost your total PC bill by a few hundred dollars per card. VR headsets have much higher pixel counts than a «simple» 1080p HD monitor. Perfect Processor Power: Picking the CPUThe parallel heart in any gaming system to its GPU is its main processor chip, or CPU. While the GPU specializes in graphics quality and some physics calculations, the CPU takes care of everything else, and it also determines how able your PC will be for demanding tasks that require non-graphics calculations. On the CPU front, AMD and Intel are in a race to see who can provide the most power to gamers.
In 2017, AMD restarted the competition for the top spot anew with its Ryzen Threadripper CPUs, which feature up to 32 cores and the ability to process 64 threads simultaneously. A good example is the recent Ryzen Threadripper 3970X. These CPU advancements are exciting, but it’s not essential to invest in one of these elite-level Threadripper or Core X-Series processors to enjoy excellent PC gaming. To that point, Intel also launched mainstream Core i9 chips outside of the Extreme Edition platforms in late 2018, bringing increased speed to the main consumer line. The latest from AMD at this power tier is the Ryzen 9 5900X, which finally rivals Intel’s Core i9 superiority in gaming. It’s not as much of a bargain as some AMD chips are when compared to Intel, but perhaps more important, it is the better performer.
AMD is really making a case for its chips in all scenarios, and gaming was the final frontier. If your choice comes down to paying for a higher-level GPU or a higher-level CPU, and gaming is the primary use you will have for the system, favor the graphics, in most cases. Outfit your PC with a bare minimum of 8GB of RAM, and budget for 16GB if you’re serious about freeing up this potential performance bottleneck. The most powerful machines out there will pack 32GB, though there are diminishing returns for gaming beyond 16GB. They speed up boot time, wake-from-sleep time, and the time it takes to launch a game and load a new level. Favor, where you can, PCI Express SSDs over SATA ones. The former are the performance darlings of the moment, and increasingly the norm in desktop gaming systems.
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It is the better performer. But its Mini ITX form factor and excellent performance, as well as tech and gaming at large. The Dell G5 Gaming Desktop is a no — and the full catalog now includes more than 800 titles. One of the best streaming PCs on the market for gamers, but doing so in case your internet goes out will ensure you can still enjoy your favorites. 1 ports upfront, design is simplistic and toned down.
Almost all of these drives come on gumstick-size modules in a format called M. If you want to be able to use one of these to its fullest, your PC will need to meet the headset’s system requirements. You’ll also want a newer AMD or Intel CPU with a minimum of four processing cores. Intel Core i5, i7, or i9. Any of AMD’s Ryzen Threadrippers or Intel’s Core X-Series chips will do, too. Once you have your ideal gaming desktop, a couple of extras can really enhance your gaming experience. So, Which Gaming Desktop Should I Buy?
Below are the best gaming desktops we’ve tested of late. Many are configured-to-order PCs from boutique manufacturers, but some come from bigger brands normally associated with consumer-grade desktops. Note that many of the same manufacturers also make gaming laptops, if you’re weighing between the two. Finding the best streaming PC has become way easier as the world of live streaming has taken off. With many companies starting to produce streaming PC’s the possibilities are endless. Finding the best one can be a difficult task. Choosing the best streaming PC isn’t really hard. You mainly are looking for having a highly powerful processor.
Each PC has different advantages and drawbacks, you need to make sure you read about all of that before buying. A streaming PC is broken into two types, ones where it will be the sole computer you use or for a dual computer setup. 1000 but don’t expect the quality of the stream to be amazing. When choosing the best streaming PC, there are some integral factors that have to be taken into consideration. In some cases, people think a highly developed GPU is needed, but this is not really true. However, having a powerful processor is really important. If you really want to pick the best streaming PC, remember to keep yourself informed about the advantages as well as the drawbacks. This is what we will do in this article. This computer features the Intel Core i7-9700F 3.
The IBUYPOWER PC packs a powerful amount of power for a well-priced PC. An elegant design, with trace tempered side panels made out of a glass. Games like Fortnite will provide you with over 100 FPS consistently, allowing for you to show off your skills when streaming. Remember, this IBUYPOWER PC may be one of the lowest price items on the list but for the price you can’t beat it. Switching between programs will not be a problem. The warranty on parts is precisely one year. Smooth and responsive performance saves time and power.
It has only a few USB slots. Powered by AMD’s Ryzen CPU, the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Master GMA8800CPGV2 is one of the best streaming pc on the market today. The processor is one of the best around, this computer lives up to the hype. The windows 10 AMI possesses the ability to generate richer graphics than you could imagine and advanced quick processing. Playing all the newest PC games will be easier than ever with amazing frame rates for all your Fortnite Adventures. The technologies that have been integrated into the CPU are innovative and highly developed. Looking to stream some VR games, the CyperPOWERPC is an amazing VR computer. Summit1G has only talked about good things from CyberPOWER PC’s.
It also helps that it has an overall rating of 4. It is optimized for ultra-high gaming settings. The keyboard is designed especially for gaming! Also, this system is recommended by professional game players. It can be noisy at times. Equipped with AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 8-Core 3.