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Julian Baker
Julian Baker

What Gaming Computer Should I Buy



On top of experiencing games at blazing-fast frame rates and ultra-high resolution, these premium-priced computers can also handle graphic design, animation and streaming movies in 4K on your TV. Of course, you can also use them for everyday computing such as work. Gaming PCs are extremely versatile.




what gaming computer should i buy



We test all the new gaming PCs we can get our hands on to see if they pass muster for this list, and update the page as systems become available. Read on, and we'll help you find your next great gaming machine.


Alienware claims to have redesigned it to run cooler and quieter than the older Aurora gaming PCs, and our experience putting a top-tier review unit through its paces bears that out. The Aurora R15's sleek oblong case isn't as easy to work inside as some larger cases, and some design choices make upgrading components harder than necessary, but that's the price you pay for its well-organized good looks.


If you can afford it, Alienware will fill the Aurora R15 with top-of-the-line components that make it a top-tier gaming PC. At roughly $5k our review unit is far from cheap, but it's powerful enough to play the latest and greatest games in 4K for years to come.


Apart from that, the Vengeance i7200 features beautiful RGB lighting, a tasteful glass side panel and extremely quiet fans. That makes it a good productivity tool in addition to a gaming powerhouse. Whether you game in QHD or 4K, there's almost certainly a Vengeance i7200 build that will work with your setup.


It's not a great choice if you're looking to play games at 4K, however, and its packed-in keyboard and mouse leave much to be desired. The Orion 3000 also fared slightly worse in our suite of performance tests than some similarly-priced gaming PCs, perhaps because our review unit arrived with just 16GB of RAM.


The case is well-organized and easy to open though, so it should be pretty easy to upgrade this machine with more RAM when you need it. With its sub-$2,000 price, beefy components, and stylish, accessible case, Acer's Predator Orion 3000 is a great first gaming PC for someone looking to get into the hobby.


Admittedly, the Turbo's small, stylish case isn't easy to poke around in once you fill it up with a cooling system, a giant GPU and some storage drives. But if you have the cash to burn and just want a quiet, stylish compact PC that can run all the latest games at blistering-fast framerates, this is the gaming rig for you.


If you want a powerful pre-built gaming PC, but want to steer clear of Intel and Nvidia components, then the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 is the way to go. This gaming PC is large and heavy, but that's because it packs top-of-the-line AMD CPUs and GPUs. It's a powerful tool for full HD, QHD or even 4K gaming, and yet it's not as obscenely expensive as these systems come.


Granted, Alienware machines tend to sound like jet engines, and the Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 is no exception. Furthermore, the R10's built-in software tends to confuse rather than enhance the experience. But when it comes to high-fidelity gaming with AMD components, the Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 is one of the most comprehensive systems currently available.


The first thing you'll notice about the MSI MEG Trident X is that it's absolutely gorgeous. This small, angular machine fits easily into just about any gaming nook, and is ideal for either desktop or living room setups. The second thing you'll notice is that it runs games absolutely beautifully, whether you want to experience them at full HD, QHD or UHD settings. With a variety of processor, GPU and RAM options from which to choose, you'll be able to customize a machine that works for your games, and for your monitor.


The HP Omen 30L Gaming Desktop has one significant advantage over many of its competitors: It's quiet. It turns on with a gentle whirr and provides ambient white noise when you're running demanding games. Compare and contrast to the jet engine sounds of other modern gaming rigs, and the Omen 30L has a lot going for it, even just as an everyday productivity machine.


The HP Omen 30L also runs games beautifully, thanks to its powerful hardware and quiet cooling system. It's expensive, though, and packed with a lot of extraneous software and accessories. Still, the HP Omen 30L Gaming Desktop is a thing of beauty: an elegant, quiet and powerful gaming PC.


The Dell G5 5090 is one of the best gaming PCs for folks who want a solid entry-level machine that's very easy to upgrade. This fairly affordable desktop starts with a modest Core i3 processor and Nvidia GTX 1650 card but can be outfitted with up to a Core i7 CPU and RTX 2080 GPU for more intensive gaming.


One of the G5's biggest selling points is its sleek, foolproof chassis, which is incredibly easy to open up should you want to swap out components over time. We found Dell's desktop to be reliable for playing AAA games at 1080p and 60 frames per second, and like that the machine comes mostly free of bloatware. Overall, if you need a good, affordable desktop that you can make more powerful over time, the Dell G5 5090 is a great choice.


Price: If affordability is your concern, most decent gaming PCs start around $700 to $1,000. For that price, you're looking at specs such as Intel Core i3 and Core i5 processors, Nvidia 1660 and 1660 Ti GPUs and 8GB to 16GB of RAM.


Performance: Think about the type of gaming experience you're after. Game streaming services like Google Stadia can offer decent performance, but if its solid 1080p/60fps gaming you want, a machine with a decent Core i5 processor and GeForce 2060 or AMD Radeon RX 5600 GPU will get you there. Cards such as the Radeon RX 5700 and GeForce 2080 hit a nice sweet spot for dependable 1440p gaming. Going 4K? You'll want to spring for hardware such as an RTX 3080 or AMD RX 6800.


Upgradability: Gaming PC components are always evolving, and the best gaming PCs can be easily upgraded with new parts over time. Machines such as the Alienware Aurora and Dell G5 are easy to open up and tinker with, even for the less tech-savvy. Compact machines, such as the Corsair One, can be a bit harder to open up. So if you plan on upgrading your investment over time, keep this in mind.


In our search to find the best gaming PC, we run every model we review through a standardized gauntlet of real-world and benchmark tests, in order to measure how each desktop stacks up as both a gaming machine and as an everyday computer.


As far as hard numbers go, we currently run the framerate benchmark utilities for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Far Cry: New Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto V at 1920 x 1080 with graphics maxed out, as well as at 2560 x 1440 and 4K if a system allows for it. On top of that, we play tons of graphics-intensive games in order to give you a sense of how these gaming desktops hold up anecdotally.


One of the most significant advantages of building your PC is the ability to hand-pick every single component in the system. This enables you to shop around for deals and find the best combination of parts to fit your budget and performance needs. The downside for most inexperienced builders is that this process can take some time and cause quite a headache if something goes wrong. You only get warranties on the individual components, not your finished build, and this is where the best prebuilt gaming PCs shine.


When you pay the premium to configure or purchase a prebuilt PC, you pay for more than just the parts. You pay for warranty service, support, and peace of mind that professionals put your system together. These are some of the things we value highly when considering what the best gaming PC is. We also look at other selling points, like design, upgradability, and anything you wouldn't be able to do when building it yourself.


When we set out to choose our top choices of prebuilt gaming PCs, we look at almost every major manufacturer and system integrator to find the best combination of value, reliability, customer feedback, design, and performance for various budgets and needs.


The best gaming PC is meant to bring you hours and hours of joy. It's more than a collection of fancy bits stuffed in a case. That's why what we look out for in our testing is a complete system built with care by professionals and tailored to gaming performance. We also want to see that the manufacturer has put thought and care into selecting its components to fit your budget without cutting corners. And after all our testing, the best gaming PC is the NZXT BLD Kit (opens in new tab). The range offers the perfect mix of affordability, power, and sheer joy. You don't have to put it together yourself, you get to, and it's genuinely fun.


We've all seen how hard it's been to get components like the best graphics cards throughout the last couple of years. And if finding them wasn't difficult enough, they often sell well above MSRP to the point where it feels like a rip-off. There has been some improvement in product availability and pricing in 2023. Still, it remains true that the buying power of system builders means they generally have a better chance of getting hold of a new piece of hardware than you do on your own. That means it's easier and often cheaper to chase down that desirable new GPU by buying the best gaming PC and, for the most part, passing those savings onto you. I get it; nothing is better than building your own gaming rig, but not everyone has the know-how or the patience to make it happen.


But with so many different configurations, how can you tell the best gaming PC? We've switched up how we test prebuilt PCs and are focusing less on exact configurations and more on what different system builders will prioritize in terms of specs and what they offer regarding the quality of build and warranty.


The NZXT Streaming Plus BLD Kit (opens in new tab) isn't your typical off-the-shelf gaming PC. You end up with an absolute monster of a machine, but you have to put most of it together yourself. NZXT offers more traditional builds for would-be buyers, but this doesn't feel too much for most PC gamers to handle. 041b061a72


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