Choose the best gaming PC for you

The best gaming PC will allow you to play the hottest new titles at their maximum potential, whether you’re looking to dominate in Apex Legends or get immersed in Control.

Sure, the PS5 and Xbox Series X are on the way, but you can enjoy features such as ray tracing, 4K and 60 fps gaming and zippy SSD load times right now if you find the right gaming PC. And while there’s a certain amount of satisfaction to building your own desktop, there are plenty of great pre-built gaming PCs that let you enjoy great specs for a solid price right out of the box.

  • Need something portable? Here are the best gaming laptops
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  • Check out the best monitors for gaming and everything else

That being said, the sheer amount of gaming PCs at various sizes and price points can get overwhelming. Fortunately, we’ve done the research and testing necessary to help you find the best gaming PCs available right now.

What are the best gaming PCs right now?

Having tested tons of the most popular models on the market, we currently consider the best gaming PC to be the Alienware Aurora R10, thanks to its sleek, stylish design, blistering gaming performance and painless upgradability. If you’re looking for the best cheap gaming PC, the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme VR is our top budget pick.

Ready to find the ultimate tower for your command center? Here are the best gaming PCs to buy right now.

The best gaming PCs

1. Alienware Aurora R10

The best gaming PC overall

VR Ready: Yes | Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 / 7 / 9 or 9th Gen Intel Core i5 / i7 / i9 | RAM: Up to 64GB | Graphics Card: Up to Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti | Storage: Up to 2TB | Accessories: N/A

Attractive design
Very easy to upgrade graphics
Sleek, customizable RGB lighting
Blistering gaming and CPU performance
Can get expensive

The Alienware Aurora R10 delivers big on every front: it’s stylish; it’s powerful; it’s customizable and it’s easy to upgrade regardless of whether or not you’re a PC enthusiast. The R10 model sports Alienware’s latest Legend design language, delivering a sleek, curvy chassis that looks great in both white and black and sports three fully customizable RGB zones.

But the real magic lies inside, where you can outfit the Aurora R10 with up to an Intel Core i9 or Ryzen 9 processor and multiple Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards for handling the best VR games without a sweat. And even if you start small, the Aurora’s smartly designed chassis lets you open the machine up and swap out the GPU and RAM without the need for any tools. No matter how you configure it, the Aurora is the best gaming PC you can buy.

2. CyberPowerPC Gamer Extreme VR

A killer value

VR Ready: Yes | Processor: Intel Core i5-8400 | RAM: 8GB | Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 1660 | Storage: 1TB hard drive | Accessories: Cyberpower

Great performance for price
Upgradable
Included accessories
Bulky design

The CyberPower Gamer Xtreme VR is one of the best gaming PCs for folks who want to spend $800 without sacrificing much in the way of power. Packing a Core i5 processor and an Nvidia GTX 1660 graphics card, this desktop can run mainstream games at high settings and even handle virtual reality without much of a sweat. Better yet, the Gamer Xtreme VR is very easy to open up, making it a great starting point for gamers who eventually want to upgrade to more powerful parts.

3. Dell G5 Gaming Desktop 5090

Entry-level and easy to upgrade

VR Ready: Yes | Processor: Up to 9th Gen Intel Core i7 9700 | RAM: Up to 64GB | Graphics Card: Up to Nvidia RTX 2080 | Storage: Up to 1TB SSD + 2TB hard drive | Accessories: Dell optical mouse and multimedia keyboard

Good productivity and gaming performance
Reasonably priced
Great chassis
Preinstalled software can be a pain
Not ideal for QHD/UHD gaming

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 fairy 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.

4. Corsair One i160

Big power in a compact chassis

VR Ready: Yes | Processor: Intel Core i9-9900K | RAM: 32GB | Graphics Card: Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti | Storage: 480GB SSD, 2TB | Accessories: N/A

Wonderfully compact design
Slick, customizable RGB lighting
Strong overall performance
Expensive
Still-limited upgradability

Who says you need a gigantic tower for high-end gaming PC power? The Corsair One i160 hones the compact gaming PC concept to near perfection, cramming an Intel Core i9 processor and Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti GPU into a stunningly sleek chassis that can blend into offices and command centers equally well.

The Corsair One’s slick RGB lighting offers a ton of customization options, and its liquid-cooled internal design keeps this small machine quiet even during heated 4K showdowns. It’s worth noting that the Corsair One isn’t the most upgrade-friendly machine, so you’ll need to pick a configuration you’ll want to stick with or have some decent technical know-how to swap out parts. But if you’re limited on space but don’t want to sacrifice performance, the Corsair One is one of the best gaming PCs for fans of compact machines.

5. iBuyPower Snowblind

One of a kind design

VR Ready: Yes | Processor: Intel Core i7-7800X | RAM: 16GB | Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti | Storage: 500GB SSD | Accessories: Interactive LCD Panel

Unique LCD side panel
Impressive overall performance
Reasonable price
Relatively slow SSD

There’s no good gamer pc that quite catches the eye like the iBuyPower Snowblind. The best gaming PC design we’ve seen, this desktop’s side panel is a translucent, fully-functioning LCD display. You can use this panel to show off cool animated wallpapers, monitor your PC performance, or even play games (though we don’t recommend that last part).

It’s also simply a great gaming machine, with lots of reasonably priced configuration options that support such high-end components as an Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti GPU. If you’re the type of gaming PC enthusiast who values aesthetics as much as strong performance, the iBuyPower Snowblind is one of the most unique and impressive desktops out there.

6. Maingear F131

High-end greatness for a premium price

VR Ready: Yes | Processor: Up to Intel Core i9 7980XE | RAM: Up to 64GB | Graphics Card: Up to Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti (2) | Storage: Up to 4TB SSD | Accessories: N/A

Drool-worthy looks
Innovative cooling system
Impressively powerful gaming and overall performance
Tons of customization options
Extremely expensive

Maingear has a knack for crafting extravagant, customizable showpieces for folks willing to shed a few thousand bucks, and the F131 is no exception. This stunning tower packs Maingear’s new APEX liquid cooling system, which is expertly crafted to keep your system from overheating while also being a marvel to look at.

Factor in a ton of droolworthy paint and lighting options and support for up to two Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti cards, and you’ve got one of the best gaming PCs for players looking to go all-out. Naturally, the Maingear F131’s high price tag means it’s more ideal for hardcore enthusiasts than gamers looking for something basic to get started with. But if you have the cash to spend and want to be able to customize every single aspect of your battle station, few manufacturers do it better than Maingear.

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 time of gaming experience you’re after. 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 2080 Ti or AMD Radeon VII.

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.

VR-readiness: Want to game in VR? Requirements for headsets such as the Oculus Rift S and HTC Vive start at an Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti / AMD Radeon RX 470 GPU, an Intel Core i3 or Ryzen 3 processor, 8GB of RAM and a DisplayPort 1.2 or mini DisplayPort. Make sure your machine meets this requirements before you plunk down cash for one.

How we test the best gaming PCs

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, Hitman 2, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Middle-earth: Shadow of War 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 such as Battlefield V, Anthem and Forza Horizon 4 in order to give you a sense of how these gaming desktops hold up in the real world.

In terms of synthetic tests, we run a gamut of benchmarks that include 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra (for graphics) and Geekbench 4 (for processor performance). We also run the SteamVR Performance Test on all of our machines to evaluate how ready they are for virtual reality. To test a system’s hard drive, we measure how fast each PC can copy 4.97GB worth of multimedia files.

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