The best gaming PC in 2022

Two of the best gaming PCs around for UK buyers on a white/grey background.
(Image credit: Future)

The best gaming PC will see you through your everyday tasks, and won't turn gaming into a slide-based horror show. It will give you the best fps for your budget, and a really good gaming PC should fit your lifestyle, with space to upgrade later down the line. There's the option to build your own gaming PC (opens in new tab), but a prebuilt gaming PC will free you up for more gaming time.

Merchants that build gaming systems—such as Alienware and HP—not only know what parts work well together, but tend to offer the benefit of generous warranties too, in case something goes wrong. Some warranties even cover labour, though many don't; make sure to check the policy before buying.

When ordering a prebuilt PC keep an eye on lead times, too. Some retailers will make customers wait three to four weeks before their custom PCs ships, which can be a real pain when you've got raids to see to. Some places offer excellent deals on PCs that are ready to ship next-day, but they're less likely to come customised. Since PC components like CPUs and GPUs are now becoming more readily available (thank goodness), lead times should be shorter. Though any amount of time is too long to be without a gaming PC.

Your future gaming PC should be packing the best graphics card (opens in new tab), combined with the best CPU for gaming (opens in new tab), as far as your budget will allow. That's why I went through and tested systems that give you the best frame rate for your money at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. There's something here for everyone, from budget to high-end. 

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Cyberpower Ultra 55 | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | AMD Ryzen 5 5500 | 16GB RAM | 500GB NVMe SSD | £1,299 (opens in new tab)

Cyberpower Ultra 55 | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | AMD Ryzen 5 5500 | 16GB RAM | 500GB NVMe SSD | £1,299 £1,099.20 at CyberpowerPC (save £199.80) (opens in new tab)
Shipping the day after purchase, the Ultra 55 doesn't come with the most up to date CPU around, but this is still a great buy. An RTX 3060 Ti machine topped by 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM, ain't bad and although the Kingston PCIe SSD isn't the speediest, 1TB is much appreciated. You even get Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, and Warhammer 40k: Darktide Imperial Edition with it.

AlphaSync PBA Onyx | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | AMD Ryzen 5 5600X | 16GB RAM | 1TB NVMe SSD | £899.99 at Hot UK deals (opens in new tab)

AlphaSync PBA Onyx | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | AMD Ryzen 5 5600X | 16GB RAM | 1TB NVMe SSD | £899.99 at Hot UK deals (opens in new tab)
Not the greatest gaming CPU here, but still relevant today. Coupled with the RTX 3060 Ti you can still expect to tear through plenty of games at 1080p, and some at 1440p. 1TB of NVMe SSD storage is just the cherry on the cake. This machine even comes with a 1 year parts and 3 year labour warranty.

Best gaming PCs

1. Alienware Aurora R13

The best Intel gaming PC

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
New chassis with window
+
Toolless access
+
Upgradeable
+
Solid after-sale support

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey higher end configs

Our favourite Aurora R13 config:

Intel Core i7 12700KF | Nvidia RTX 3070 | 16GB DDR5-4400 (opens in new tab)

Intel Core i7 12700KF | Nvidia RTX 3070 | 16GB DDR5-4400 (opens in new tab)
Pairing the impressive RTX 3070 with one of Intel's newest Alder Lake CPUs will give you a great gaming PC without an offensively exorbitant price tag. This config also comes with 16GB DDR5-4400—importantly configured in dual-channel mode—and a 512GB NVMe SSD. You will need to select the GPU in configuration options, to get the superior graphics card.

Look, an Alienware Aurora with a side window. What a world. The new Aurora R13 uses the release of Intel's Alder Lake processors to deliver a slight redesign of its extraterrestrial chassis and offers a host of configurations, from the Core i5 12400F, thru the i5 12600KF and i7 12700KF, all the way up to the Core i9 12900KF.

They're paired with Nvidia GPUs from the GTX 1650 Super up to the unfeasibly expensive RTX 3090, or AMD Radeon cards from the RX 6600 XT up to the RX 6900 XT. 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.

It has to be said that Alienware is being a bit stingy with its DDR5 memory here. In that only the Core i7 or i9 versions of the Aurora R13 are able to be configured with dual channel memory out of the box, or have more than 8GB of DDR5. It's also not the fastest either, with only DDR5-4400 available. 

I'll give it a break while DDR5 is expensive and hard to find, but it still stings and I'm not impressed.

CyberpowerPC Infinity X125 RTX Gaming PC

(Image credit: Future)
The best machine for 1440p gaming

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5 10400F
GPU: MSI GeForce RTX 3050 8GB
RAM: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
Warranty: 5 year

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful and quiet running
+
Standout lighting and looks
+
Excellent for 1080p and 1440p gaming

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB Type-C ports

Our favourite CyberPowerPC Infinity X109 config:

Intel Core i5 12600KF | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | 16GB DDR4-3200 (opens in new tab)

Intel Core i5 12600KF | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | 16GB DDR4-3200 (opens in new tab)
This is a slight variation on the machine we recently looked at for review, boasting a more powerful Intel Alder Lake CPU alongside the 1080p/1440p powerhouse that is the RTX 3060 Ti. This an impressively quiet gaming PC that also looks incredible thanks to a wealth of RGB-lit fans.

When you buy a new PC, you're essentially looking for a powerful system that offers decent value for money from a reliable company. You want it to look good as well. Quiet running wouldn't hurt. Throw in a graphics card that you can't buy for love or money, and you have the Cyberpower Infinity X125 Gaming PC. 

For just over a grand, you get a powerful Intel Core i5 12400F CPU. You also get a GeForce RTX 3050 (which you can and in fact should swap out for an RTX 3060 Ti), which is a solid mid-to-high-end card. It'll handle 1080p gaming just fine. 

CyberpowerPC has decided to stick with DDR4 RAM as opposed to DDR5 for this build—Intel's Alder Lake chips support both memory types. Pricing for the new memory standard is starting to come down, but DDR4 is definitely in a better place for gaming. And for the money, we'd much rather see the healthy capacity and speed that this offers over just using the newest funkiest thing. 

This also impacts the motherboard choice, as DDR5 motherboards tend to cost notably more than their DDR4 brethren. Here Cyberpower has used a budget MicroATX B660 motherboard from MSI, the PRO B660M-A WIFI, which as the name suggests, adds Wi-Fi 6 support to the mix. Don't worry though, there's an ethernet port of speedy wired connections too. This motherboard also houses the machine's 1TB SSD, which sits below a heatsink between the CPU and graphics card. 

All of this is bundled neatly into a surprisingly good looking chassis for a budget build. This has been kitted out with four RGB fans to tick that gamer aesthetic as well, although you'll be pleased to know you can turn this light show off using the included remote control easily, too. This is a glass-fronted case, but don't worry there's plenty of airflow thanks to the grills on the right-hand side and a healthy gap between the fans and that front panel. It's a good solution, that runs quiet and keeps the system components running cool.

The only downside with this case is that there are no USB Type-C ports on the front panel, just USB 3.0 Type-A. There is a USB 4 port on the motherboard itself, but this hasn't been connected to anything, something that is compounded by a lack of Type-C ports on the rear I/O—a surprising omission for any motherboard in 2022.

When it comes to performance, the Infinity X125 sits exactly where you'd expect—just about capable at 1080p, although it's a tough call at times. You're going to want to tweak some of the settings to maintain a smooth frame rate, particularly when it comes to more exacting games, which probably isn't what you want to hear after dropping a grand on a new gaming PC.

Metro Exodus, for instance, averaged 50fps at the highest settings, while turning on RTX pretties drops this down to 41fps, and yes, that's with DLSS turned on. You can tweak the settings to hit 60fps, but then you're not getting the best visual experience. At least you have GeForce Experience on hand to make the whole thing as easy as possible.

This machine runs quietly and coolly even when pushed hard too. Even though Cyberpower has used the stock Intel cooler, the temperature still only hits 79­°C. The RTX 3050 maxes out at just 66°C as well. Those case fans aren't just for the pretty RGB lights.

Overall then, there's plenty to like here. Component selection mostly makes sense and it's a surprisingly good looking system given its budget nature. I'd recommend upping the graphics card to an RTX 3060, for sure, and the lack of USB Type-C ports is annoying, but it's still a decent PC for the money. It's well built, using well-known components, and there's plenty of space for further upgrades too. 

The best compact high-end gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: Up to AMD Ryzen 9 5950X | Intel Core i9 11900K
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
RAM: 32GB DDR4-3200
Storage: Up to 2TB NVMe SSD
Warranty: 2 year

Reasons to buy

+
Slim, minimalist footprint
+
Incredible looks
+
Outstanding performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Hard to access interior

Our favorite Corsair One config:

Ryzen 9 5900X | RTX 3080 | 32GB DDR4-3200 (opens in new tab)

Ryzen 9 5900X | RTX 3080 | 32GB DDR4-3200 (opens in new tab)
Finding powerful, small form factor gaming PCs is tough going, but the Corsair One design has big Mac Pro energy, and this beastly mini machine sports both the finest AMD processor you can buy as well as Nvidia's best 30-series graphics card. And don't come at me with your overpriced RTX 3080 Ti...

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).

4. HP Omen

The best gaming PC for under £1,000

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5 10400F
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
RAM: 16GB HyperX DDR4-2666
Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD, 1TB HDD
Warranty: 1 year

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful components 
+
Sober thrill-free designed 
+
Easy to upgrade

Our favorite HP Omen config:

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | 16GB DDR4-3200 (opens in new tab)

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | 16GB DDR4-3200 (opens in new tab)
The updated HP Omen desktop machine comes with a shinier chassis and can be configured to house an RTX 3060 Ti for under £1,400. It's worth upgrading the 256GB SSD at the time of purchase through, as that's a bit pokey by modern standards.

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 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.

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.

5. Scan 3XS 3080 Gaming PC

The best PC for streaming

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7 12700F
GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 10GB
RAM: 16GB DDR4-3000
Storage: 1TB NVMe
Warranty: 3 year

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent build quality
+
Strong components selection
+
Great warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
Availability fluctuates

Our favorite Scan 3XS Gamer config:

Intel Core i7 12700F | Nvidia RTX 3080 | 16GB DDR4-3600 (opens in new tab)

Intel Core i7 12700F | Nvidia RTX 3080 | 16GB DDR4-3600 (opens in new tab)
It's not easy getting your hands on Nvidia's Ampere GPUs, but Scan is one of the biggest retailers in the UK and seems to have better access than most. This combo of Intel Core i7 12700F and RTX 3080 should see you right for years, even at 4K. 

Your next upgrade

(Image credit: Future)

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Scan has been a mainstay of system building in the UK for years, and we've used enough of their systems to know that we're in safe hands whenever we get a gaming PC in for review. The systems are well built, using well-known components, and all backed up by a brilliant three-year warranty (on-site first year). That warranty does bring peace of mind.

This 3XS Gamer 3080 is like a wishlist given physical form, boasting an RTX 3080 alongside Intel's excellent gaming CPU, the Core i7 12700F. This may not be the overclockable variant (it lacks that all-important trailing K for that), but given overclocking has little impact on gaming performance, we're cool with that. Speaking of being chill, the Corsair Hydro H100x does an excellent job of keeping the CPU in check.

You get a 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX kit for your money, which should see you good for years of gaming to come, and there's a healthy 1TB SSD from Intel to keep things humming along. This is all housed in the Corsair iCue 220T case, which is a good-looking case offering plenty of airflow to keep your components running optimally.

You can, of course, configure the machine to your heart's content, with faster processors, more memory, better storage options, you name. Scan also has a few other builds to get you started, including RTX 3070 systems from £1,500 and the option of going with either Intel's Core i5 10700 or AMD's brand new Ryzen 7 5800X.

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Best gaming PC FAQ

Should I buy a pre-built PC?

One of the most significant advantages to building your PC is the ability to 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. You only get warranties on the individual components, not your finished build, and this is where the best pre-built gaming PCs shine.

Are pre-built PCs good value for money?

When you pay the premium to configure or purchase a pre-built PC, you are paying for more than just the parts. You are paying for warranty service, support, and peace of mind that your system was put together by professionals. These are some of the things we value highly when considering what the best gaming PC is. We also look at other unique selling points like design, upgradability, and anything you wouldn't be able to do when building it yourself.

What's better, pre-built or DIY gaming PC?

One of the most significant factors that make PCs stand apart from the competition is the design. Pre-built systems like the Alienware Aurora R10 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 pre-built 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.

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.