The best gaming PC is no longer some carefully crafted, painstakingly researched home build, it's the rig available with a short shipping time and packing in the core CPU and GPU components you're after at the time. That's the painful truth of the chip supply crisis because it's just too damned hard to track down affordable parts ourselves.
System builders simply have a better chance of getting hold of CPUs and GPUs than we do of bagging one at the local Best Buy, however early you get in line. What that means is these prebuilt PCs we've tested below may prove to be your best option for buying a powerful, modern gaming PC in 2022.
System builders like Corsair, Alienware, and Lenovo will have an easier time securing these much sought-after parts. You should prepare yourself for some pretty long lead times, around three-to-four weeks on average. There are exceptions, with the likes of iBuyPower offering its RDY prebuilt systems for same-day shipping—meaning you can get a whole new PC, with a GeForce RTX 3080, in your hands within a couple of days.
The systems below have all of the specs that strike the perfect balance of price and performance. Ideally, your gaming PC will have one of the best graphics cards and the best CPUs for gaming. Whether it's 4K gaming or a decent 1080p system that'll spit out a high frame rate for competitive gaming, there's something for everyone.
Gaming PC deals
Skytech Gaming | RTX 3060 Ti | AMD Ryzen 5 5600X | 16GB RAM | 1TB NVMe SSD |
$1,649.99 $1,499.99 at Best Buy (save $150)
AMD's mainstream end of the Ryzen 5000 market means you're still getting a six-core, 12-thread processor with both serious gaming chops and proper multithreaded grunt. Pair that with Nvidia's impressive RTX 3060 Ti and you've got an outstanding desktop that will chew through 1440p gaming at a rate of knots.
ABS Master Gaming PC | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | Intel Core i5 10400F | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD |
$1,399.99 $1,299.99 at Newegg (save $100)
The sale on this PC won't last long, so you'll want to move quickly if you're hoping to grab it. For an RTX 3060, this is $100 more than we want to pay during Black Friday. But as the supply has dried up of discount PCs, it's definitely worth considering for its more than capable 1080p specs list.
Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | AMD Ryzen 7 5800 | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD |
$1,699.99 $1,371.99 at Dell (save $328)
We highly recommend this Dell machine comes, and it's currently going for a little under its "estimated value." That said, we have seen this one go for less. But with a great GPU and CPU combo, this certainly isn't a bad way to kick-start a PC gaming habit this year. Though it's worth noting that Alienware has skimped and gone for a single stick of 16GB DDR4 memory, which means half the bandwidth of a 2x 8GB setup. But just buy another affordable 16GB stick and you're laughing.
Best gaming PCs
Our favorite Aurora R10 config:
Ryzen 7 5800 | Radeon RX 6800 XT | 16GB DDR4-3200
If you thought Nvidia GPUs were tough to find, AMD's GPUs are even rarer. But this config delivers both the latest 8-core Zen 3 CPU and the Radeon RX 6800 XT. That's one of the best gaming processors around 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.
It took a while, but Alienware finally listened and created an AMD-focused line of its popular Aurora machines. The latest edition, 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.
The latest AMD Ryzen processors are exemplary in terms of both performance and price. The Ryzen 9 5900X 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 to in order to deliver an affordable, seriously high core-count processor for a gaming PC.
These used to purely be server-side specs.
And where old AMD chips couldn't keep pace with Intel when it comes to gaming, the current Ryzen range absolutely can, especially when paired with one of the latest AMD or Nvidia graphics cards.
There are currently six different configurations on offer, though you can dig in and customize before you buy if you would prefer a different CPU or GPU or more SSD capacity. The selection starts with the GTX 1660 Super and a 6-core RX 5600X, going all the way up to the mighty GeForce RTX 3090 and the monstrous 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen 9 5950X.
You should definitely take a look in the configuration options, because the lowest spec option only comes with a single stick of DDR4 memory, which will halve the available bandwidth compared to running a pair of them, even at the same capacity. That's expensive, however, and there aren't options to, say, either have one 8GB stick or two 4GB sticks.
Take a look at the SSD on offer, too. Something with a 256GB SSD in 2022 is not going to get you much change out of having Windows 11 and Forza Horizon 5 installed at the same time.
Alienware is offering both the dark and light chassis options for the current lineup, and however you feel about the design, it does certainly make for a striking machine. The Aurora cases are not necessarily the easiest to upgrade due to their bespoke design. They're awkward to dig into if you want to start upgrading yourself, and you will soon see why they don't offer tempered glass side panels yet once you look inside.
But as a starter machine, the Alienware Aurora R10 will not do you wrong. And given the general component drought right now, that you can bag an all-AMD Alienware machine with just a few months lead time is pretty great.
Our favorite Aurora R12 config:
Core i5 11600KF | RTX 3060 Ti | 16GB DDR4-3200
This specific configuration of the Alienware gaming PC will get you the impressive RTX 3060 Ti for under $2,000. You'll also get a Rocket Lake Core i5 11600KF, an impressively speedy gaming chip that doesn't demand either crazy cooling or a heap of power. 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 R12 gaming PCs remains undeniable. The latest Aurora R12 uses the same compact design as its R9 and R10 forebears and gives the current Intel 11th Gen processors and Nvidia RTX 30-series GPUs a home in Alienware's classic chassis.
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 11400F, 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.
While the actual configs Alienware offers are great starting points, as with the Ryzen Edition, it's absolutely worth digging around in the customization options when it comes to picking the right rig for you. Our favorite setup, boasting the Core i5 11600KF and RTX 3060 Ti GPU, only comes with a 256GB SSD, and is sold with a single 16GB RAM stick of DDR4 by default.
The memory issue is something you must be aware with when buying Alienware products. In the customization options, you can choose to change that single stick of 16GB RAM to a pair of 8GB DDR modules, running at the same speed and total capacity, for free. This will double your memory bandwidth, and it's a bit off that it's otherwise sold with the weaker solitary stick.
Now, we're not entirely sold on the high-end Rocket Lake 11th Gen CPUs, but that Alienware is now offering the Core i5 11400F and 11600KF in its Intel range is a great move. Thanks to their Cypress Cove core architecture, the new Intel Core i5 chips make great gaming CPUs and would definitely be our picks if you're looking for a new Aurora R12 build.
We have played with the RTX 3090 version of the last-gen Aurora R10, sans liquid chilled GPU, and in gaming terms, you're not going to get a lot higher frame rates than you would with the RTX 3080 build. That's not a massive surprise given our testing of the RTX 3090 at launch; it only makes sense if you need that 24GB frame buffer for creative work.
The unconventional case design exploits every inch of its limited space, but it initially feels a bit awkward to tinker with. However, access to nearly every part of the PC without tools is a definite plus, as this expedites upgrades and maintenance—so long as you're familiar with the design. There's an obvious priority on providing a convenient, premium product with some potential for upgrades, and the Aurora design just about accomplishes that goal.
The issue with all gaming PCs and parts right now is availability. And that's currently hitting Alienware as hard as the everyone else. Picking up a new Aurora R12 rig today means you're not going actually to receive it for a month at best.
Our favorite Corsair Vengeance config:
Ryzen 5 5600X | RTX 3070
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.
Since Corsair acquired Elgato, it now has access to some of the world's best streaming hardware for its Vengeance rigs. Pair that with Corsair's classic component quality, and you have a recipe for not only great gaming PCs but fantastic streaming rigs, too. You've got to hand it to Corsair; it sure knows how to build a fine PC.
We've played with its more bespoke Corsair One PCs, which look like the Mac Pro or softer Series X, and they're great little machines. But the Vengeance gaming PCs are more straightforward, and that means they're also far easier to upgrade down the line.
Corsair's chassis are among the best around, and they're most accessible for DIY projects, which makes the Vengeance machines a great first PC with a view to getting into the upgrade game later on. The only issue with that is Corsair doesn't really lend itself to the more affordable end of the PC spectrum.
You're not going to get a $1,000 Vengeance rig as an entry-level PC and build from there, so don't expect to hit the budget builds here—Corsair's machines are most definitely premium PCs for the enthusiast.
Read our full Corsair Vengeance A4100 review.
Our favorite HP Omen config:
Core i7 10700 | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti
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 for a pretty 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. HP Omen offers a wide range of customisation options with its Omen 25L and Omen 30L 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. 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 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.
Our favorite Origin Chronos config:
Ryzen 9 5900X | RTX 3080
Configure the Chronos with our favorite Zen 3 CPU from AMD and the mighty RTX 3080 GPU from Nvidia, and this small form factor Chronos v2 machine can be both a stunning gaming rig and a hell of a workstation machine—especially if you're after something that isn't the size of a house, too.
Origin PC's Chronos machine is a slight form factor build that can house the most powerful gaming components around. And, to be honest, that you can squeeze a 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 in there means you could have yourself one hell of a powerful workstation, too. That next-gen hardware is now available in the Chronos V2 design.
But that leads to the path of supreme expense. Origin PCs aren't cheap, but they are well-built and super-customizable, and you could still create a far more affordable gaming machine from a Ryzen 5 5600X and an RTX 3060 pairing. If you're not sold on the actual Origin Chronos chassis and maybe fancy a little more Perspex in your build, you can go for the lovely Fractal Define Nano S instead. There's also the Fractal ERA if you're the serious type.
That will negate any potential thermal issues you might encounter dropping high-end components into the smaller confines of the Chronos case.
Our favorite Corsair One config:
Corsair One A200 | RTX 3080 + Ryzen 9 5900X
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.
If you prefer gaming on-the-go, you'll want to take a look at our best gaming laptop guide.
Corsair has overhauled its compact One gaming PCs with the latest parts from both AMD and Nvidia—and we're here for it.
The Corsair One A200 delivers top-of-the-line gaming performance, which is perhaps unsurprisingly considering its credentials: up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. It's wild what you can stuff into such a small chassis nowadays and have it run reasonably cool and quiet, too.
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.
It's an impressive PC given its small stature—you could happily sit this PC on your desktop and still leave plenty of room for your gamer drinks and tinted glasses.
Read our full Corsair One A200 review.
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.