Even if you’re interested in building your own PC, buying a pre-built can give you a great starting point. This way you can upgrade parts over time, letting you slowly get used to the various steps involved in building a PC until you’re comfortable enough to start from scratch. Until that time, here are our best picks for pre-built gaming PCs. If you’re browsing in the UK, click here to find out where you can find the best gaming PCs.
TL;DR – These are the Best Gaming PCs
1. Asus ROG Strix GA15DH
Best Gaming PC
Asus ROG Strix GA15DH
If you’re looking for the computer that will get you up to speed gaming, this config of the Asus Rog Strix GA15DH will give you that strong starting point. It comes kitted out with everything you need to get a great experience in 1080p and 1440p gaming. It’ll even excel at esports title where high framerates are a must.
So, what parts are helping it do that? For one, it has an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X eight-core CPU that’ll readily handle even the most demanding games. It pairs that with a tame but capable Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti that can easily top 100fps at 1080p and even 1440p in some games. You’ll also be getting 16GB of fast DDR4 memory and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD. Asus packs all that into a slick case with some RGB lighting and a glass side panel. The rig is even ready for some travel to LAN parties thanks to a handle built onto the top of the case.
2. Skytech Archangel
Best Budget Gaming PC
That’s right – you can get a fairly capable gaming PC all assembled, packaged, and delivered for under $1,000. This Skytech Archangel configuration is just such a computer, and it’ll make short work of almost anything you want to play in 1080p or 1440p. Plus, it comes with tons of stylish RGB lighting, so you can dazzle your friends.
This Skytech Archangel model packs in an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor that performs nearly as well as its more expensive siblings in a wide variety of games. It’s paired with 16GB of RAM and a 500GB SSD. You’ll also be getting an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super graphics processor that’ll serve as the heart of your gaming experience. And, even though the price is low, Skytech saw fit to include an 80 Plus Certified power supply for improved energy efficiency.
3. Corsair One a100
Best Compact Gaming PC
Corsair One a100
One of the best excuses for getting a pre-built gaming PC is the compact designs available. Some of them manage to pack so much power into such a tight space, it can be hard to imagine doing it yourself. The Corsair One a100 is a perfect example. This gaming PC squeezes some beefy hardware into a chassis that’s only 12 liters in volume.
How much power exactly? Well, it comes loaded with an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processor (that’s 12 cores and 24 threads), 32GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super? If you want high frame rates and resolutions all with graphics settings maxed out in games, this computer will do it. All that, and it even loads in a 2TB hard drive to complement its 500GB PCIe NVMe SSD.
4. Alienware Aurora R11
Best Upgradeable Gaming PC
Alienware Aurora R11
CPU: Intel Core i7-10700K ● GPU: Nvidia RTX 2070 Super (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) ● RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2,933MHz) ● Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD, 1TB HDD (7,200rpm) ● Weight: 39.2 pounds ● Size: 8.77″ x 17″ x 18.9″ (W x D x H)
Sure, you may miss out on some of the fun of designing a computer yourself by going with a pre-built, but the Alienware Aurora makes up for that with a stellar, compact design that will still give you the chance to get your hands dirty with plenty of upgrade options inside. The Aurora R11 desktop brings along Intel’s 10th-Gen Core processors, giving you the latest options from Team Blue including the Intel Core i5-10400F on the affordable end or as high as the Intel Core i9-10900K on the premium end. The motherboard even includes room for up to 64GB of DDR4 memory, so you can start small and load the DIMM slots up as your needs grow. Alienware also has the Aurora R10 if you want a fairly similar option packed with a Ryzen 3000-series processor instead.
With all that processing power available, it should be no surprise that the Aurora 11 also has the latest Nvidia graphics cards available to it, including the option of running dual Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti cards in SLI. The AMD Radeon VII is also an option when choosing your configuration. Dell even goes as far as offering CPU and GPU water cooling solutions. With all the customization options available at checkout, you’ll likely find yourself hardpressed to have anything else you want to change once your order arrives, though the case design makes it easy to get inside and add RAM or extra storage.
5. Dell XPS Tower Special Edition
Best Sleeper Gaming PC
Dell XPS Tower Special Edition 8940
If you prefer a gaming PC with a more unassuming design, the Dell XPS Tower Special Edition puts powerful gaming hardware into a sleek-but-plain chassis, so no one will know you’re not using it for work. It comes kitted with a plenty powerful Intel Core i7-10700 and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060. That’ll handle even high-end gaming just fine, but Dell also lets you customize your rig to include up to an i9-10900K and RTX 2070 Super.
The case is surprisingly compact, but it still boasts four USB 3.1 ports on the front panel, six USB ports around the back, as well as a full-size SD card reader and an optical disk drive. What’s more, you get a tool-less design similar to the Alienware Aurora for super easy upgrades. If you want a gaming PC that doesn’t look like a typical gaming PC, the reserved Dell XPS Tower line is a great option.
6. Maingear Turbo
Best Mini Gaming PC
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT ● GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (10GB GDDR6X VRAM) ● RAM: 32GB DDR4 (3,600MHz) ● Storage: 2TB NVMe SSD ● Weight: 35 pounds ● Size: 12.3″ x 6.7″ x 14.4″
Want a gaming PC that will make people do a double take? Then the Maingear Turbo Stage 3 might be just the one for you. This compact PC may look fairly unassuming given its small stature and muted design, but a quick peak through the tempered glass side panel will show off what makes this machine purr.
Inside, you’ll find an AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT processor with a 240mm liquid cooler mounted onto it. You’ll also be getting 32GB of RAM running at a fast 3,600MHz. And, the coup de grâce is the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (read our review) graphics processor inside. This combination of hardware will let your compact PC handle just about any gaming demands you have for it, including smooth 4K gaming.
7. MSI MPG Trident 3
Best Console-Style Prebuilt PC for Your Living Room
MSI MPG Trident 3
CPU: Intel Core i5-10400F ● GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super (6GB GDDR6 VRAM) ● RAM: 8GB DDR4 ● Storage: 512GB SSD, 1TB HDD ● Weight: 6.99 pounds ● Size: 13.93″ x 3.84″ x 9.9″
Let’s say you’re a big fan of PC gaming, but you like the couch-friendly experience of the Xbox One S or PS4 Slim. Nothing quite beats kicking back with a gamepad controller and playing games on your big-screen gaming TV, but consoles still can’t beat the PC’s do-anything nature, high level of customization, or cheap Steam Sale games. Enter the MSI MPG Trident 3 Mini PC, which proudly boasts its console-sized dimensions.
It’s available in a few different versions, with prices ranging from under $1,000 to $1,500 depending on the CPU and GPU you select. The above model is a middle-of-the-road configuration that comes with a Core i5-10400F and GTX 1660 Super, so it’s a great system for 1080p and 1440p gameplay—plus a just playable 30fps experience at 4K. It’s VR-ready, too, so if you want to explore the virtual worlds from the confines of your living room, the MSI MPG Trident 3 is prepared.
9. HP Omen Desktop 25L
It’s Just a Tower Gaming PC
HP Omen Desktop 25 L
If you’re thinking I just want a regular tower after looking through mini-PCs, cube PCs, and a gaming PC that’s basically a triangle, the Omen Desktop 25L is the system for you. It’s about as normal as gaming PC get from the major brands, but it still incorporates a few tricks like the two top panels that open to reveal hot-swappable hard drive bays.
The system is pretty well loaded as far as gaming PCs go. Users can configure their system with up to an Intel Core i9-10900K processor and Nvidia RTX 2060 Super, though we think the above configuration will suit many gamers. A big perk of this desktop’s simplicity is that it’s also easy to upgrade – no exotic motherboard or case designs making it incredibly hard to find upgrade components that will fit.
10. Origin PC Big O
The Most Customizable Gaming PC
Origin PC Big O
On Origin PC
The Origin PC Big O is the most customizable gaming PC we’ve come across on the Internet. From the outside it might seem like any other PC you would build-in Corsair’s Micro ATX case and that’s exactly what you want in a prebuilt system. As for the internal configuration, you can customize each piece from the processor, graphics card, memory, and storage capacity, and even which console you would like.
Yup, that’s right you can configure this gaming PC to come with either a PS4 Pro or Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. Of course, these consoles aren’t just stuffed into a PC box, rather Origin has disassembled the innards of each gaming box and fitted them inside each Big O. This way you get the best of both gaming worlds in one device.
Best of all you can also upgrade the storage on your console of choice with an up to 2TB SSD. You can even add liquid cooling for both your computer and console parts, as well as throw in a built-in capture card.
Where to Get the Best Gaming PC in the UK
Getting your gaming PC prebuilt can save a lot of time and hassle for you, and this is still the case no matter where you are in the world. We’ve cheated a little bit with this, as plenty of the gaming PCs on our list are available to purchase and shipped to the UK. Newegg, for example, will ship several brilliant pre-builds, all the way from the US to the UK. Costs for shipping, and the PCs in general, are low, so you shouldn’t have any worries going forward.
What to Look For in a Gaming PC
Below I go over the basic specifications you should prioritize when buying a gaming PC and how to get the most of your purchase of a prebuilt rig. I also explain a few alternative prebuilt gaming PC options you might find of interest as well.
Prebuilt gaming PCs are the most surefire way of getting into gaming and arguably the most cost-effective hardware you can buy. When buying a system, you’re not only getting the hardware inside but time savings of having to track down the best processor to best RAM for your system and putting it all together yourself and praying it actually boots up correctly.
That said, just like building your own PC you want to make sure you’re spending your money where it’s needed most. Firstly, you should prioritize you’re getting the graphics card you need for the gaming monitor or the 4K TV you’re gaming on. There’s no need for anything better than an Nvidia GTX 1660 if you’re just playing games on a 1080p display.
Likewise, you should only need an Intel Core i5 or Ryzen 5 processor with at least four cores to play most modern games comfortably at any resolution.
System memory and solid-state drives can be the biggest money sink for any system. Those comfortable with upgrading their system after it arrives should choose a configuration with the smallest storage and RAM capacities possible, as buying these components yourself can often be more cost-effective.
If that last suggestion resonates with you, perhaps a barebones system is what you seek. Barebones PCs can be much cheaper since they come with all the major hardware—such as the CPU, GPU, and power supply—installed, but they usually lack storage, memory and an operating system as a trade-off.
Lastly, if you want more control over what exactly is going into your build, go with a boutique PC builder. Origin, Maingear, DigitalStorm, Falcon Northwest, PC Specialist, and many more companies offer excellent PC building services that let you pick exactly which components go into your gaming PC. From there, they build your system with the sort of cable management some can only dream of while ensuring it all works properly out of the box.
In case this all sounds a little overwhelming to you, NZXT rolled out its own PC building service called BLD. Instead of picking every part that will go into your PC, you chose the games you’ll actually play and the service gives you several configuration options that will be able to run the games for a smooth experience.
Similarly, iBuyPower offers an Easy Builder service that operates in very much the same fashion. Users can select games that they play from a small pool that includes Fortnite, GTA V, Apex Legends, WoW, League of Legends, Overwatch, and Battlefield V. From there, users can select whether they play at a 1080p or 1440p resolution, as well as their budget and the system, will spit back a few configurations to choose from.
Beyond choosing the components you need, prebuilt PC’s come with several features and pieces of software you might find convenient. Many gaming PCs in this category come with some sort of overclocking support and even a one-click button to boost your system’s performance. Of course, it’s easy enough to download a piece of overclocking software like MSI Afterburner or EVGA Precision X. Additionally, gaming PC may come with system monitoring software that makes downloading and updating drivers a breeze.
Life after purchase
Another important thing you’ll want to keep in mind when buying a prebuilt gaming PC is how easy is it to upgrade down the line.
Most PC manufacturers have figured out users absolutely hate proprietary parts. While you might still find no-name motherboards installed into the hearth of your PC, they should all at least fall in line with the standard size and layout of Mini ITX or Micro ATX motherboards. The best gaming PCs should allow you to easily swap out the CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage on your system with just a few simple tools or just a screwdriver.
Better yet, systems that tout tool-less upgradability don’t require you to undo screws or anything to replace any of the major components. One of the things you’ll likely find on most modern chassis are thumbscrews, which can be removed after a few quick twists with your fingers rather than a screwdriver. Additionally, tool-less SSD and hard drive caddies make expanding and replacing your storage just a little bit easier.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam
Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark