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The best gaming PC in 2022

PC Gamer's best gaming PC buying guide header with two Dell Alienware PCs featured alongside recommended badge
(Image credit: Future)

The best gaming PC is one that games hard, doesn't cost over the odds, and is available to buy right now. The right gaming PC for you gets in on the action right away, without stress. And yes, you're right, there's a lot to be said for building your own PC, but not everyone has the time, space, or patience to build every PC we use. Sometimes you just want an easy life.

Prominent system builders—such as Alienware and HP—have better odds of securing hard-to-find GPUs and CPUs than the average consumer, which means you don't have to scout for GPU deals. You also have to note that most system builders offer generous warranties in case something goes wrong with your machine. Some cover labor, while others don't so make sure to check the policy before making your purchase.

When ordering a prebuilt PC, keep an eye on lead times; some retailers have customers wait at least three to four weeks before shipping out customized PCs. Some places offer excellent deals on PCs that are ready to ship in days, though often those can't be customized now. As PC components like CPUs and GPUs become more readily available (thank goodness), lead times should be shorter. Imagine playing Elden Ring (opens in new tab) on a new gaming PC with a GeForce RTX 3080 in less than two weeks. 

Your future gaming PC should be packing the best graphics card (opens in new tab) and best CPU for gaming (opens in new tab), as long as they fit under your budget. That's why we tested systems that give you the best framerate per dollar value at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. There's something for everyone on this list, from budget to high-end.

Best gaming PCs

Alienware Aurora R10 gaming PC pictured front-on

(Image credit: Alienware)

1. Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition

The best AMD gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X–Ryzen 9 5950X
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1660 Super–Nvidia RTX 3090
RAM: 8GB–32GB DDR4
Storage: 1TB–1TB HDD + 1TB SSD
Warranty: 1 year (onsite)

Reasons to buy

+
AMD CPU + Nvidia GPU combo
+
Ton of USB ports
+
After sales care

Reasons to avoid

-
Sounds like it'll take off
-
Divisive case design

Our favorite Aurora R10 config:

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AMD Ryzen 7 5800 | AMD RX 6800 XT | 16GB DDR4-3200 (opens in new tab)
If you thought Nvidia's best GPUs were tough to find, AMD's can be even harder. But this config can be tweaked to deliver both the latest 8-core Zen 3 CPU and the Radeon RX 6800 XT—select it from the customize graphics card section. That's a great gaming chip and probably the best graphics card AMD has ever created. Quite a combo if you're aiming to grab a new gaming PC during the chip crisis.

The Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 delivers the Zen 3-powered AMD Ryzen 5000-series CPUs and either Nvidia's high-performance RTX 30-series or AMD's RX 6000-series graphics cards. 

This is one of the few places you might be able to find an AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT (opens in new tab), too—the red team GPU is actually capable of going toe-to-toe with Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3080 (opens in new tab).

The latest AMD Ryzen processors are exemplary in terms of both performance and price. The Ryzen 9 5900X (opens in new tab) stands out as a spectacular chip not just for productivity but also for gaming. That 12-core, 24-thread CPU shows just how far AMD has managed to push its smart chiplet-based Zen 3 architecture in order to deliver an affordable, seriously high core-count processor for a gaming PC. 

These used to purely be server-side specs.

2. Alienware Aurora R13

The best Intel gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5 12400F–Core i9 12900KF
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1650 Super–RTX 3090
RAM: 8GB DDR5-4400–64GB DDR5-4400
Storage: Up to 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD + 1TB SATA HDD
Warranty: 1 Year (onsite)

Reasons to buy

+
Toolless access
+
Upgradeable
+
Solid after-sale support

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey higher end configs
-
Paucity of storage options

Our favorite Aurora R13 config:

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Intel Core i7 12700F | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | 16GB DDR5-4400 (opens in new tab)
This specific configuration of the Alienware gaming PC will get you the impressive RTX 3060 Ti in a powerful machine for under $2,000. You'll also get an Alder Lake Core i7 12700F, an impressively speedy gaming chip that doesn't demand either crazy cooling or a heap of power, and 16GB of fast DDR5 memory. This pairing will deliver seriously high-end gaming performance without breaking the bank.

While the extra-terrestrial styling may not appeal to everyone, the performance of Alienware's Aurora R13 gaming PCs remains undeniable. The latest Aurora R13 uses a new design compared with its Aurora forebears and gives the Intel 12th Gen processors and Nvidia RTX 30-series GPUs a home in Alienware's new chassis. With a window, no less.

Like the Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition, Alienware offers the choice of both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards, but you have to dig into the customization options if you want to pick from either the Radeon RX 6800 XT or RX 6900 XT cards. Alienware also offers eight discrete configurations on its site, from low-end gaming rigs sporting the GTX 1650 Super and Core i5 12400F, all the way up to RTX 3090 gaming monsters.

That gives you a range of Alienware gaming machines from reasonably affordable 1080p gaming right up to blistering 4K workload-smashing performance, and the Alienware AIO cooling system will help keep the cozy interior of the case at a reasonable temperature, too.

The best PC for streaming

Specifications

CPU: Up to AMD 5900X or Intel 10850K
GPU: Up to AMD RX 6800 XT or Nvidia RTX 3090
RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4-3200
Storage: 2x 2TB SSD
Warranty: 2 year

Reasons to buy

+
Solid Performance
+
4K Capture Card
+
Cool Case

Reasons to avoid

-
No such thing as an entry-level offering
-
Desperately needs a larger SSD

Our favorite Corsair Vengeance config:

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AMD Ryzen 5 5600X | Nvidia RTX 3070 | 16GB DDR4-3200 (opens in new tab)
The Vengeance a7200 comes with the latest hardware from AMD and Nvidia and will make for one supremely powerful gaming PC straight out of the box. This configuration comes with the outstanding hex-core Ryzen CPU and Nvidia's outstanding RTX 3070. You'll also find 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM, properly configured in dual-channel mode, and a 1TB SSD.

There's a reason Razer is desperate to follow Corsair's lead; it's one of the biggest names in PC gaming hardware right now. Through continual product expansion, and some super-smart acquisitions, Corsair now has its fingers in pretty much every facet of our hobby. 

In fact, CPUs, motherboards, and GPUs are the only places you won't find a Corsair logo, but with its impressive line of premium gaming PCs, that logo will still contain all three: the very finest of all that technical jazz.

And if you're looking to kick start your career as the next big Twitch streamer, Corsair's integration of Elgato streaming tech in its PCs means they're a great option for the budding stream-star.

Likewise the powerful AMD CPU/Nvidia GPU combo means that you'll be able to play and stream most games without much trouble. What makes this system stand out is the optional Elgato 4K60 Pro capture card in the specific "Streaming" machines. This allows for delay-free 4K gameplay footage capture from your gaming PC, consoles, or 4K camera via HDMI.

Sure, you can just use OBS Studio or Nvidia's Shadowplay (or whatever it's calling itself these days), but there will always be some overhead to deal with. Using a professional capture card can really take the load off. And that's especially good for broadcasting a livestream.

4. HP Omen

The best gaming PC around $1,500

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i9 12900K or Ryzen 9 5900X
GPU: Up to Nvidia RTX 3090
RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4-3733
Storage: Up to 2TB M.2 SSD and extra HDD storage
Warranty: 1 year

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful components 
+
Designed to remove needless frills and keep costs low

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited software 
-
Not the most optimal airflow

Our favorite HP Omen config:

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Intel Core i7 12700K | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | 16GB DDR4-3733 (opens in new tab)
Configure the system with the mighty RTX 3060 Ti, 16GB dual-channel memory, and a healthy 512GB SSD, and you've got the makings of a seriously powerful gaming PC at a decent price. There are further configuration options available, too, should you wish to bump it up to a 1TB SSD for another $100.

Hewlett Packard has been around since before the Second World War, and that historical expertise is evident in the design and construction of the Omen line of gaming PCs. I mean, they are slightly smaller than they were back in the day, but the heritage remains. HP Omen offers a wide range of customization options with its Omen 25L, 30L, 40L, and now 45L systems, allowing you to take your pick of AMD, Intel, and Nvidia component CPU and GPU options.

You can also take that configuration to the memory and storage requirements, too, allowing you to really tailor your system. HP Omen rigs are on the more restrained side of PC gaming, so you won't find an over-elaborate liquid cooling system or a massive suite of spectacular RGB lighting. Tall, surprisingly thin towers still contain some of the best hardware around today. 

Omen systems are appropriately named dense black blocks of computing power. If you value smooth lines and compact design over the flash and spectacle of RGB, you'll appreciate the dark, slightly brooding aesthetic of the HP lineup.

We've looked at machines with last-gen processors in them, and that can be a good way to save a little cash because you can still get the very latest Nvidia GPUs inside them. You can also get last-gen GPUs, but we'd advise you to steer clear of either the RX 5500 or RTX 2080 Super builds; those are still relatively expensive and the graphics hardware will date far quicker than anything else in the system.

HP has recently updated its lines to offer more options from Intel's Alder Lake up, although it's worth noting that it is sticking with DDR4 on the memory front due to the high price of DDR5 right now. This may change down the line, but that naturally has us leaning towards its mid-range and budget offerings, simply because they make more sense from a value for money perspective. 

We haven't specifically reviewed the latest range of gaming systems from HP, but we've been testing its gaming PCs since the Obelisk range, and we've always appreciated its no-unnecessary-frills approach to system-building and the value proposition of its rigs.

The special One

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel i9 12900K or AMD Ryzen 5950X
GPU: Up to RTX 3080 Ti
RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4 3200
Storage: Gen4 PCIe SSD up to 2TB
Warranty: 2 year

Reasons to buy

+
4K gaming powerhouse
+
Awesome hardware throughout
+
Great understated looks
+
Quiet/Silent running

Reasons to avoid

-
CPU runs a little hot
-
Not easily upgradeable

Our favorite Corsair One config:

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Corsair One A200 | AMD Ryzen 9 5900X | Nvidia RTX 3080 | 32GB DDR4-3200 (opens in new tab)
While we do love an overpowered machine, the savvy combination of Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 and Ryzen 9 5900X means these run quietly and still offer extreme gaming and creative performance. 

Corsair has overhauled its compact One gaming PCs with the latest parts from Intel, AMD, and Nvidia—and we're absolutely here for it. The Corsair One i300 is the latest version of the compact high-end gaming PC. That's a lot of cutting-edge hardware for what can only be described as a helluva lot of money.

Don't dismiss the memory or storage in this rig either. DDR5 is currently incredibly hard to get ahold of. In 64GB trim like we have here, you know you're not going to come up lacking in any game on this front is welcome. Yes, it's overkill, but it means you won't need to upgrade anytime soon. 

The Corsair One A200 and i300 deliver top-of-the-line gaming performance, which is perhaps unsurprisingly considering its credentials: up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti (opens in new tab) and AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (opens in new tab), while on the Intel side you can have the latest Alder Lake chips, such as the incredible Core i9 12900K (opens in new tab). It's wild what you can stuff into such a small chassis nowadays and have it run reasonably cool and quiet, too.

Something that hasn't changed too much since it first appeared on the scene, is that chassis. The idea of this being a beautiful PC is often banded around with expensive builds, but here it's genuinely warranted. This is a machine that you not only want to have in clear view on your desk, but it won't take up much room, or make too much noise if you do. Honestly, this thing is much smaller than you might think, measuring half as deep as most mid-tower systems.

The Corsair One achieves this by using two compact liquid coolers, one for the CPU and one for the GPU. You'll have to adjust your expectations for CPU temperatures perhaps a little above your comfort zone during intense operations, but there's nothing these chips aren't built to handle day in, day out.

When you're dealing with high-end kit, temperatures can get toasty. Very toasty. The Core i9 12900K in this build is a power-hungry chip (drawing up to 241W), and it can run hot when stressed even in much bigger systems with triple-fan coolers. Here, I witnessed the CPU temps touch 100°C a couple of times in testing, resulting in the chip throttling back—although only briefly even when pushed hard. This is still an incredibly powerful CPU too, so even allowing for this brief throttling, it's still one of the fastest machines I've ever used, and tops plenty of the benchmark tables.

Overall, the Corsair One ably achieves what it sets out to do. It's a compact gaming PC that showcases the latest technology an impressively smart, and dare I say, beautiful case. It's a machine that many gamers would love to own, but few can afford. But for those that can... it's a treat.

Read our full Corsair One i300 review (opens in new tab) and Corsair One A200 review (opens in new tab).

5. Origin Millenium

So many options to create your perfect gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: Up to AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and Intel Core i9 12900KS
GPU: Up to RX 6900 XT and RTX 3090 Ti
RAM: Up to 128GB DDR4-3200 and 32GB DDR5-5200
Storage: Gen4 PCIe SSD up to 2TB
Warranty: 1 year

Reasons to buy

+
4K gaming powerhouse
+
Excellent build quality
+
Tasteful RGB and case
+
Quiet running

Reasons to avoid

-
High spec builds can get pricey
-
Only one NVMe SSD included

Our favorite Origin Millenium config:

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AMD Ryzen 9 5900X | Nvidia RTX 3080 | 32GB DDR4-3200 (opens in new tab)
Configure the Millenium with our favorite Zen 3 CPU from AMD and the mighty RTX 3080 GPU from Nvidia, and this beefy machine can be both a stunning gaming rig and a hell of a workstation machine—and it will ship in around a week, too.

Best gaming laptops

best gaming laptop guide header

(Image credit: Future)

If you prefer gaming on-the-go, you'll want to take a look at our best gaming laptop (opens in new tab) guide.

The Origin 5000T Millennium gaming PC makes my current desktop look an exceptional weakling. Origin's prebuilt PC (opens in new tab) starts at $2,644, and the unit it sent me was the high-end $5,158 configuration. It's the extreme gaming PC that few can afford, but even despite the power inside, it's the  precision and care that you don't always see in prebuilt rigs is what's most impressive

In terms of raw performance, the Origin 5000T deploys its i9 12900K and GeForce RTX 3080 Ti well. The gaming PC is neck and neck in most game and synthetic benchmarks with the other two rigs we've tested with similar specs, including the Corsair One i300 and the Velocity Micro Raptor Z55. It's exactly what you'd expect from one of our favorite gaming CPUs  (opens in new tab)and a close competitor (opens in new tab) to our favorite GPUs.

At 1080p, the Origin 5000T Millennium is completely overkill. The system clocked in at over 100 frames with every game I threw at it. In F1 2020, it hit an average of 287 fps at ultra high settings. It's hard to recommend such a robust and expensive gaming PC for someone that would be much better served with something way more modest and significantly cheaper unless you're trying to play Fortnite at 360Hz, then by all means, live your life. But for 4K gaming, and to a lesser extent, 1440p gaming, this prebuilt brings in solid frame rates all around in our tests. In all of our 4K benchmarks, it hit over an average of 60 fps with highs of 90 fps. If you want to crank games up to 4K and have a smooth experience, this PC should comfortably hit that with some frames to spare.

Our version of the Origin 5000T Millennium had a few issues outside of its star hardware. It has 32GB of Corsair DDR5 memory that's clocked at 4800 MHz, which couldn't quite keep up with other PCs in our tests. Even so, the 32GB of memory is a nice addition if you want to multitask or have a bunch of chrome tabs open while you play games. It can also help out if you plan to stream too. DDR5 is still tough to get at the moment, so it's nice to see it included here. The difference between this PC and the others was fairly minimal, but it's something to keep in mind when both the Corsair One i300 and the Velocity Micro Raptor Z55 retail at a slightly cheaper price.

If it were me, I'd drop the CPU down to a i5 12600K, a GeForce RTX 3070, 32GB of RAM, Corsair H60i Pro XT, and stick with standard non-RGB fans to get the price down to around $3,000. You could grab an RTX 3080 for about $500 more, but if you're like a lot of gamers (opens in new tab), and still use a 1080p monitor, there's really no need. The 5000T case and the overall build quality is worth taking the time to mix and match hardware to fit your budget for this system.

Read our full Origin Millenium gaming PC review (opens in new tab).

Best gaming keyboard (opens in new tab) | Best gaming mouse (opens in new tab) | Best gaming chair (opens in new tab)
Best VR headset (opens in new tab) | Best wireless gaming mouse (opens in new tab) | Best CPU for gaming (opens in new tab)

Best gaming PC FAQ

Why buy a prebuilt gaming PC?

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 take your time shopping around for deals and finding 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.

What do you get for your money in a prebuilt PC?

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. 

What sets a prebuilt machine apart from a DIY build?

One of the most significant factors that make PCs stand apart from the competition is the design. Prebuilt systems like the Alienware Aurora R11 or Corsair One use unique in-house chassis designs 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, though that can make upgrading more awkward later on down the line.

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.

Dave James
Dave James

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.