Gaming out of the box does have a certain appeal, and it doesn't always have to come with an outlandish price tag. It's easy to associate pre-built gaming PCs with the extravagant custom-built models from the likes of Origin and Maingear. Paying for the convenience of plug and play PC gaming is becoming increasingly affordable, and if you're not someone that necessarily has the time to scout out deals for individual parts and meticulously assembling them, then a pre-fab PC is an easy sell. Most manufacturers also provide a variety of models to fit nearly any budget, and as with virtually any desktop PC, you'll always have the option to upgrade as time goes on.
Performance is one thing, but aesthetics are another, and most pre-built PCs are second to none in that category offering everything from RGB lighting to custom case treatments. Additionally almost every build I've encountered includes cable management solutions that typically cost nothing but contribute a level of tidiness to a build thats difficult to match.
So you're in the market for something you can drive off the lot, what should you be looking for? If you're going all in, you'll want to make sure you take a look at some of the best 4K monitors for gaming or potentially the best 4K TVs for gaming. While some custom manufacturers will offer you the choice to include one of these panels in your finalized unit, you can typically save a good chunk of cash shopping around other retailers. In terms, of hardware, if you're looking to render in 4K, you'll want something like the RTX 2080 Super or RTX 2080 Ti. Another important note is that some manufacturers will allow you to omit some components, allowing you to save a little money if you just want to migrate parts from an existing build and just capitalize on the aesthetic value.
Don't have the room for a desktop gaming setup? Check out our guide to the best laptops for gaming for portable performance.
1. iBuyPower RDY ELIBG207
The best gaming PC
CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti | RAM: 16GB DDR4-3200 | Storage: 1TB SATA SSD
The ELIBG207 is the best gaming PC we've tested for a number of reasons, not least of which is the incredible performance provided by the mighty 2080 Ti and i9-9900K that are its beating heart. This setup is one of few that are actually able to consistently run modern, triple-A titles at 4K Ultra at anything approaching a smooth 60 FPS. But perhaps even more impressive than that is the price tag; at $2,599, the ELIBG207 actually costs about $200 less than it would to put this machine together yourself, and costs about the same as rigs with much more modest specs.
It also comes with some handy quality of life features, like easy, toolless access to the case's interior (the panels pop off after removing a handful of thumb screws) and a three year warranty. And it's a beautiful looking, compact case, with tempered glass panels on the front and left side, showing off an array of RGB lit components to great effect. It's also festooned with connections, including eight USB ports, which given the massive number of peripherals you can attach to a modern PC is very welcome.
Read our review: iBuyPower RDY ELIBG207
2. CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme
The best gaming PC for the budget conscious
CPU: Intel Core i5-9400F | GPU: GTX 1660 6GB | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB HDD 7200RPM + 128GB SSD
If you want a fantastic value for a prebuilt gaming PC look no further than Cyberpower's Gamer Xtreme. Featuring an Intel Core i5-9400F and Nvidia's Turing-in-Pascal-clothing GTX 1660, it's a great PC to rock the current generation of games for well under $1,000. It can also be readily upgraded, something we'd recommend immediately to add at least another 8GB of RAM.
If you're looking for a machine to get you into the exciting (and ever expanding) world of VR quickly and cheaply, the Gamer Xtreme is an excellent introductory option. It's specced to be VR ready right away, and the ease with which it can be upgraded means it can be modified to suit the headsets and hardware demands of the future (assuming all the manufacturers don't follow in the footsteps of Oculus' Go and Quest standalone offerings).
The Xtreme is also great for anyone looking for a PC to match the capabilities of current gen consoles, something that will bridge the gap between the PS4 and Xbox One era of games and the next console generation. Since, for better or worse, consoles largely dictate how much stress triple-A developers are willing to put on hardware when designing their games, having a PC that's specced in line with consoles means you'll be able to keep pace with the current crop of games at least until another console refresh appears on the horizon. And the Gamer Xtreme is also modular and upgradeable enough to allow you to quickly adapt when specs for the next generation are finally, properly announced.
3. Corsair Vengeance 5185
The best gaming PC for RGB spectacle and high performance
CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 | RAM: 16GB DDR4-2666 | Storage: 480GB M.2 SSD + 2TB HDD
We've tested a number of RTX-powered systems since those graphics cards released in September 2018, and Corsair's Vengeance 5180 is one of our favorites. The 5185 is a very iterative upgrade on the original, largely just accounting for the inclusion of a new 9th Gen processor from Intel. Unlike many chassis that opt for plexiglass or another type of clear paneling, the 5185 has tempered glass along the side, front, and top, creating a modern-looking aesthetic and elegantly showing off the system's innards.
To help with both aesthetics and heat management, the case rocks a dual-chambered design that separates the power supply from the GPU, RAM, and motherboard. All the shiny, RGB components are displayed front and center, while the more modest parts are tucked away out of sight.
One of the main downsides of the original Vengeance 5180 was that it featured a B360 chipset and non-K Intel CPU, so the Core i7-8700 can't be overclocked. The 5185 corrects that issue with i7-9700K, a full overclockable Coffee Lake chip.
MSRP for this stylish and powerful system is $2,399.99, a reasonable price considering the cost of components separately. You’ll pay around the same amount to build it yourself compared to buying this pre-built, so it all depends on your budget, time, and how much you value extras like warranty coverage that a prebuilt packs. With that mighty CPU and RTX 2080, this is a machine ready to dominate games at 1440p and even dip into 4K at respectable frame rates.
Read our review: Corsair Vengeance 5180
4. HP Omen Obelisk
The best gaming PC for amazing power under $2,000
CPU: Intel Core i7-8700 | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 | RAM: 16GB DDR4-2666 | Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD, 2TB HDD
Hewlett Packard has existed since before the advent of the second World War, and that long history and expertise is evident in the design and construction of the Omen Obelisk, their new gaming desktop model. The Obelisk is highly customizable on the HP storefront, starting at a GTX 1060 and Ryzen 5 2500X and reaching up some top in class parts—the review unit we received packs an RTX 2080 and an 8th Gen Core i7-8700, so you'll be well ahead of the curve in terms of the next generation of PC gaming, and ready for the moment when ray tracing stops being a buzzword and starts being an essential part of graphics rendering.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the Obelisk offering is the price tag. Despite a new, high-end RTX card and that rock solid CPU (as well as 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and 2TB HDD), the Obelisks comes in just under $2,000. This is largely due to HP trimming off all the non-essential frills that tend to pad out the price of a number of similarly specced machines from other manufacturers. You won't find an over-elaborate liquid cooling system or a massive suite of spectacular RGB lighting; the Obelisk is an appropriately named dense black block of computing power, which isn't to imply it's unattractive. As someone who values smooth lines and compact design over the flash and spectacle of RGB, I appreciate the dark, slightly brooding aesthetic of the Obelisk, and it does have a clear side panel to let you see the red-lit interior of the machine.
It's similarly configured to the slightly more expensive Corsair Vengeance, but it comes in a much smaller frame, which is a double edged sword. While on the one hand, there's less space to muck around in the case if you do decide in the future to upgrade, the Obelisk can slip easily into much smaller spaces than larger cases and is easier to transport. It's the epitome of function over form and available at a nearly unbeatable price point.
5. Corsair One i160
The best gaming PC with a compact form factor
CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K - i9-9920X | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 - RTX 2080 Ti | RAM: 32GB DDR4-2666 | Storage: up to 960GB NVMe M.2 SSD, 2TB HDD
One of our highest rated prebuilt gaming PCs is back in a brand new model, the Corsair One i160. It’s still the same, small form factor PC, but with updated hardware, a revamped internal layout, and a few other slight changes. The case design is still looks like something straight out of a Tron film. The CPU and GPU both still use independent liquid cooling solutions, and all the hot air is still pumped out by a single 140mm maglev fan. The PSU now sits below the motherboard, and some of the USB ports have been re-positioned on the front of the case, but that’s the extent of the non-hardware related changes.
Like a number of the prebuilts on this list, the i160 isn't the only configuration the One comes in. In fact, with a Intel Core i9-9900K and a RTX 2080 Ti, the i160 is the mid-range model. The lower i140 model comes with a Core i7-9700K and a RTX 2080, while the higher i180 workstation model comes with a Core i9-9920X and a RTX 2080. The price various based on the specs, of course, so if $3,599.99 for the i160 is a little too rich for your blood, the i140 is $600 less at $2,999.99. If you are in the market for a compact workstation, the i180 will zap $4,999.99 from your bank account. All three models come with 32GB of RAM, so you won't need to worry about upgrading that aspect of the One for years to come.
But regardless of the configuration, the newest Corsair One is a sleek, potent little machine designed for anyone wrestling with space considerations, or for those who want a powerful PC but don't want to listen to it whine every time it's stressed with a graphically intensive game.
Read the full review: Corsair One i160
6. iBuyPower RDY SLIIBG213
The best gaming PC for QHD at a reasonable price
CPU: i5-9400F | Graphics: RTX 2060 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 500GB SSD
iBuyPower is creating a trend of producing thoughtfully specced machines at prices near or lower than DIY costs, helped in large part by their use of parts from partner NZXT with whom they share a building. The RDY SLIIBG213 is another excellent example of this trend, a machine crafted to manhandle games at QHD Ultra at rock solid frame rates.
The core of that performance is Nvidia's new(ish) RTX 2060, an affordable card built around Turing architecture that packs dedicated cores for ray tracing and DLSS. While not as mighty as its 2070 and 2080 counterparts, its still a powerful graphics card and allows iBuyPower to offer the SLIIBG213 for around the magic $1,000 mark. Similarly, the Core i5-9400F (the indicating that the processor lacks integrated graphics, clearly not an issue in this build) is a mid-tier CPU whose inclusion ensures that the chip won't be a bottleneck and that the SLIIBG213 is prepared to deal with your day to day productivity tasks without issue. And the entire package is sheathed in a lovely gunmetal case with a vivid accent of RGB slashing the front panel and a beautiful side panel crafted from tempered glass.
Best for... Those who want a capable PC at a great price to dive deep into the world of QHD gaming
7. Dell XPS Tower Special Edition
The best gaming PC for those who prefer a minimalist presentation
CPU: Intel Core i5-9400 - i9-9900 | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti - RTX 2080 | RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4-2666 | Storage: 256GB - 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD + 1TB - 2TB 7200 RPM HDD
Like most of Dell's (and their subsidiary Alienware's) prebuilt PCs, the XPS Tower Special Edition can be configured in multiple ways depending on your needs and budget. But even the lowest config, which starts at a mere $899.99, is a VR ready PC (though just at the minimum GPU spec recommended for the Rift and Rift S) with enough horsepower to see you through until the dawn of the next generation of gaming, after which point it's upgrade-ready and can be modified to keep pace. This lowest spec features a Core i5-9400 and a GTX 1050 Ti, not a staggering amount of power but enough to handle most modern games at medium to high settings in 1080p. Built around 9th Gen processors, the XPS Special Edition is not only great for gaming but for productivity as well, and features an SD card reader on the front panel as well as a Type-C USB 3.1 port. If you want a gaming PC with a simple minimalistic look, the XPS Special Edition is definitely our top choice.
The starter spec is a great choice if you want an inexpensive PC to play Fortnite or PUBG on, or if you're craving PC exclusives but don't want to get too deep into the PC gaming rabbit hole. It's also got a cool, understated look that won't embarrass you with a rainbow spectrum of RGB lighting, and if you decide you do have a little more in the budget to allocate to a new machine, you can select some higher end components before purchase (or as an upgrade later) to bulk the XPS up a bit.
8. CLX Set Gaming
The best gaming PC packing a potent RTX 2070
CPU: Ryzen 7 2700 | Graphics: RTX 2070 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB HDD + 120GB SSD
If you're craving the dedicated ray tracing and DLSS hardware packed into an RTX card, matched with a significant performance bump from the 1060/2060 range, the Gaming Set is a fantastic option. It's priced aggressively (on sale at the time of this writing for $1,255 at Walmart, well below it's already low starting price), and that Tensor/RT Core goodness is paired with a Ryzen 7 2700, a robust CPU for productivity/multitasking.
It also has the advantage of coming in a slick looking case, it's glowing, RGB-lit internals showcased by a beautiful glass side panel. It also features a 120GB SSD, which is a little slight for packing games or storage, but plenty of room for a boot disk (and comes standard with a 1TB HDD for traditional storage). Being a CLX prebuilt, there's also full system warranty coverage, with a one year parts warranty and a lifetime labor warranty. For less than $1,300 it's almost impossible to find a similarly specced, intelligently constructed machine.
9. Maingear Vybe
The best gaming PC sitting just between high end and extreme performance
CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 | RAM: 32GB DDR4-2666 | Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD
The Maingear Vybe is an excellent prebuilt that combines a sleek aesthetic with commanding power in one very compelling machine. It runs cool as well, an efficient machine that, as Joanna noted in her review, is always cool to the touch and whisper quiet. Currently priced at $2,799 for a model slightly upgraded from the one specced out in the review, it's a touch above the cost of building it yourself but also comes with top shelf warranty coverage and a handful of other quality of life extras (beyond saving you the labor of choosing components and assembling them on your own time).
The understated design of the Vybe, with just a few muted strips of RGB lighting, belies the horsepower packed into its guts, the core of which are the RTX 2080 GPU and Core i9-9900 processor. That means it's not only a beast for standard gaming but equipped with dedicated RT cores for the ray traced games of the future (and, increasingly, the present) as well as Tensor cores for deep learning applications, most notably Nvidia's DLSS antialiasing solution. And that mighty Coffee Lake Refresh processor is a beast for productivity tasks as well, supplemented by 32GB of respectable DDR4 (up 16GB from the package in the review machine). The Vybe is a fantastic machine perched just under the precipice of extreme performance but priced very reasonably for what's on offer.
10. SkyTech Supremacy
The best gaming PC for pure aesthetics
CPU: Core i9-8700K | Graphics: Graphics: RTX 2080 Ti 11GB | RAM: 32GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
If you're looking for a machine with some impressive wow factor (but that's also no slouch in the pure performance department), SkyTech's Supremacy is right up your alley. As arresting prebuilts that will grab the attention of your guests go the Supremacy is practically unmatched, an open design with a beautiful panel of unblemished tempered glass showcasing a Z370 mobo packed with high end parts. The star of the show is the RTX 2080 Ti, the most powerful consumer-grade GPU on the market, and while the CPU is from Intel's last gen Coffee Lake stack it's still plenty powerful for most productivity needs.
The Supremacy is half art piece, half top of the line PC, and while there's definitely a markup as compared to DIY pricing, you also won't find a case like this on the shelf. Of course, because this is a modern gaming PC, the visual effect is complemented by a suite of RGB lighting, and the open case combined with robust cooling means this is a chilly, quiet, efficient build.
Choosing the best prebuilt PCs
One of the biggest advantages to building your own PC is the ability to essentially hand-pick every single component in the system. This allows you to take your time shopping around for deals and finding the perfect combination of parts to fit your budget and performance needs. The downside for most inexperienced builders is that this whole process can take some time and has the potential to cause quite a headache if something goes wrong. This is where prebuilt gaming PCs really shine.
When you pay the premium to configure or purchase a prebuilt PC you are paying for more than just the parts. You are paying for warranty service, support and the peace of mind that your system was put together by professionals. These are some of the things we value highly when considering the best prebuilt gaming PCs. We also look at other unique selling points like design, upgradability and anything you wouldn't be able to do when building it yourself.
One of the biggest factors that make our choices stand apart from the competition is the design. Prebuilts like the Alienware Aurora R7 or Corsair One use completely unique in-house chassis you wouldn't be able to purchase when building it yourself. You can take some comfort in knowing that these systems were designed and built specially to house your configuration.
When we set out to choose our top ten choices of prebuilt gaming PCs, we took a 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.
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