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Last Update: May 07, 2019

Best PC for Gaming (Prebuilt)

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You want a sweet new gaming rig, but you don’t have the time, patience, or the effort for a DIY PC project, so what do you do? You play it safe and buy a prebuilt gaming computer, of course!

Skip frustrating PC builds with a prebuilt gaming PC. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to put a computer together, nor do you have to spend thousands of dollars on hardware. But sometimes, it’s best to take a shortcut to save yourself some time. If, however, you’re interested in building your own computer, don’t be that one person who skips the tutorial later to find out they have no idea how to play the game. So go ahead and read our comprehensive guide on how to build a gaming PC before you get stuck in.

Okay, back on to prebuilt PC talk!


Top 8 Gaming Prebuilt Gaming PCs

These days, pre-built gaming PCs come with some of the latest and greatest technology, as well as some pretty affordable price tags. If you’re interested, why not read more about the best budget gaming PC. That’s if you don’t purchase our best choice gaming PC which costs an arm and a leg…sorry about that! With that said, you should aim for a gaming PC with future-proof hardware for a long-lasting, reliable rig that you can game on till the cows come home.

1

Best Choice: MSI Trident 3 8RC-003US Enthusiast

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Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-8700
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • Storage: 1 TB HDD + 128 GB SSD
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4

MSI Trident 3 8RC-003US Enthusiast Review

The convenience of a console is undeniable; you can unplug it, walk on over to your friend’s house, plug it in, and boot up a game within no time—something you can’t do with a gaming PC, or can you?

Slim like Trident gum, powerful like it’s spearmint flavouring, the MSI Trident 3 is a beast of a gaming computer, and it’s our best quality PC at that. It’s a small (mid-tower) form factor PC that’s almost the size size as an Xbox Slim model at 14 inches wide and 9 inches thick. But the MSI Trident 3 has a lot more to offer than its dimensions.

Depending on what CPU and GPU you choose, prices range from $800 — about the same price as our best value prebuilt PC—to over $1,000. Sure, you could buy a couple of consoles for that, but then you wouldn’t be in the PCMR (AKA the dark side).

So for future-proof specs made for hardcore PC gamers, we decided to review the $1,250 version that boasts an Intel Core i7-8700 processor, and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. Which, as you may have guessed, make this a very powerful, VR-ready system. Although if you do purchase the Trident 3, you’ll probably have to stick with a cheap Google Cardboard VR headset and miss out on a PC-tethered virtual reality experience.

The thing about smaller PCs is that they are often limited when it comes to upgrading them. Thankfully, the CPU, GPU, and RAM are a piece of cake to swap out. On the contrary, the motherboard is non-standard, so you’re stuck with the platform for life.

Oh, and much like a console, this MSI computer requires an external 330w power brick to run. Which sadly means that if you want to upgrade the GPU on the 1060 version of the MSI Trident 3, you’ll have to upgrade the power supply to a more powerful version. Nonetheless, it’s our quality choice prebuilt PC that’ll last over the years.

+Pros
  • Award-winning, compact design
  • VR-ready
  • Silent running
-Cons
  • Requires an external 330w power brick to run
2

Premium Pick: Corsair One i160

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Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
  • Storage: 2TB HDD
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4

Corsair One i160 Review

Our best choice prebuilt gaming PC is so ridiculously expensive, that you’d probably have to sell a limb or two on the black market in order to afford it. But hear us out, as it might just be worth the price…except maybe not the loss of limbs…you’ll probably need those to game with.

Corsair’s One i160 gaming PC is a VR-ready, Oculus Rift compatible PC owing to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card and the Intel Core i9 CPU. Yet the power doesn’t stop there. If the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is too expensive for you, why not look at the older but also incredible models of the best 1080 Ti cards.

It’s a future-proof rig that’s very compact and fully liquid-cooled to keep the Corsair One i160 refreshed throughout the day. This cooling system not only allows for lower temps, but it also increases clock rates and minimizes noise. Because let’s be real, who wants a PC that sounds like a vacuum cleaner? Not me!

Want to know what else is cool? RGB lighting. It’s almost as if it’s compulsory for a gaming PC to come with at least one zone of RGB lighting, why? Purely for aesthetics. But when the user configurable lighting is built into the pipes, you can’t deny that it compliments the bead-blasted black aluminum finish perfectly.

This prebuilt gaming PC by Corsair does a lot of things right, especially the gaming ready port selection up front. From HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.1 to a combo headphone/microphone jack, this thing has it all. Sadly, Corsair removed the DVI-D port and once again, the price is ridiculous. But if you can afford to fork out $3,600 for a prebuilt PC, go for it!

+Pros
  • Eight-core i9 processor
  • Runs games smoothly
  • Future-proof
-Cons
  • Extremely expensive
3

Best Value: CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8060A7

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Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 9400F (2.9 GHz)
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 (6GB)
  • Storage: 120 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme Review

If you want a fancy new gaming PC but you’re a college student living on pasta and cheap booze, you’ll love the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme VR PC. It offers killer specs at a very competitive price, something many gamers find hard to come by. Yes, alright, it’s far more expensive than a packet of fusilli, yet you won’t be able to play the most anticipated games of 2019 using a dough tube. At least I couldn’t the last time I tried.

Featuring a six-core Intel i5-9400F CPU and the popular NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660, the CyberPower Xtreme VR PC will give you a smooth gaming experience right out of the box. What’s more is that it’s just $749, close to what you’d pay if you bought each part separately.

This hardware, alongside 8GB DDR4 RAM, make this a pretty powerful gaming rig. So much so that it’s fast enough to support virtual reality applications. Just, don’t go purchasing a flagship VR system if you’re a student who wants to eat. What you can save yourself some money on, however, are computer peripherals.

That’s right, CyberpowerPC were nice enough to add a gaming keyboard and RGB 7-colors gaming mouse to the bundle. They weren’t, however, nice enough to throw in some of the best gaming keyboards with satisfying Cherry MX switches, or a mouse with more than a couple of side buttons. Nevertheless, they work well as budget computer peripherals with our best value prebuilt gaming PC.

+Pros
  • Powerful graphics card
  • HTC VIVE and Oculus Rift VR optimized
  • Stylish RGB ring fans
-Cons
  • Poor keyboard and mouse
4

Best Upgrade Space: Alienware Aurora Mid R7

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Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-8700
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
  • Storage: 2TB HDD + 32GB Intel Optane
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4

Alienware Aurora Mid R7 Review

Alienware is renowned for manufacturing some of the best gaming PCs on the market, and the Aurora Mid R7 is our favorite prebuilt one. It’s a powerful and good looking PC with subtle AlienFX lighting, but there are other reasons why it’s loved by gamers across the globe.

While it’s bulkier than some of the other PCs on our list, the ability to upgrade it is second to none, so we forgive the size of this beast. In fact, you can upgrade it without any tools or much knowledge on how to change out the hardware. Not that you’ll need to upgrade this PC for a while anyway thanks to the use of Intel’s Core i7-8700 processor and NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1080 graphics.

What’s more is the Aurora Mid R7 comes with a 2TB HDD, 32GB Intel Optane, and 16GB DDR4 RAM, so you’ll have enough storage to last you a while.

Much like other computers, when you push the Alienware Aurora Mid R7 to its limits during intense gaming sessions, you can hear the noise of the fans going. Still, if you’re wearing one of the best gaming headsets, you won’t notice any noise while immersed in a game.

+Pros
  • Good looking design
  • Strong performance
  • Easily upgradable
-Cons
  • Loud fans
5

Best Cooling: iBuyPower Trace 9230 Pro Gaming PC

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Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
  • Storage: 1TB HDD + 240GB SSD
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4

iBuyPower Trace 9230 Pro Review

Moving onto another prebuilt gaming PC bundle, the iBuyPower Trace 9230 Pro. It’s a PC by iBuyPower, a company known for creating low priced computers, that comes equipped with some of the latest technology, which is expected for the price of $1,500.

Thanks to the 8-core Intel i7-9700 CPU and GeForce RTX 2070 GPU, games such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Battlefield V run like butter, hitting around 115 FPS on ultra high settings according to the benchmarks photographed on Amazon. Also, while you play these games, know that the liquid cooling system within the Trace 9230 will keep it cooler than you’ll look gaming on it.

The only con we could find, aside from the pretty poor keyboard and mouse, is that like the Alienware Aurora Mid R7, the fans become pretty noticeable after a while. Though don’t worry too much about loud fans as they are expected to start spinning only during intense gameplay.

+Pros
  • Liquid cooling system
  • Z370 combo for overclocking
  • RGB lighting
-Cons
  • Loud fans
6

Budget Friendly: SkyTech ArchAngel FX 6300 GTX 1050 Ti

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Specifications

  • CPU: AMD FX-6300 6-core
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti
  • Storage: 1TB
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4

SkyTech ArchAngel Review

Tired of looking at expensive PCs? Then let’s take a look at the SkyTech ArchAngel, another budget-friendly prebuilt gaming PC option that’s currently on sale!

Although not everyone will be able to fork out $650 for a gaming PC, especially not college students, the price is pretty decent for what you get, which is why we chose to review the GTX 1050 Ti version. So what’s so great about it? Or more importantly, what makes it so cheap?

In spite of the price, many modern games will run on this thing at medium settings because of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card. The processor, on the other hand, isn’t made by Intel, rather it’s an AMD FX-6300 6-core processor with 3.5 GHz base clock speeds that can be pushed to 4.1 GHz for maximum performance.

Alas, this AMD series doesn’t come with integrated graphics, and SkyTech Gaming haven’t upgraded from DDR3 RAM. Nonetheless, you get what you pay for which is a small price to pay compared to our other gaming rigs.

+Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Minimalist design
  • Great performance
-Cons
  • No solid-state drive
7

CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8100A

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Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-8700
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • Storage: 1TB HDD + 120GB SSD
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4

CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8100A Review

Cyberpower impressed us so much with their value-for-money specs, that we just had to put another one of their prebuilt computers onto our list. This time, a more powerful one, the Xtreme VR GXiVR8100A.

Our best value prebuilt PC, the Cyberpower Xtreme VR GXiVR8060A7, comes with an Intel i5 processor and a GTX 1660 GPU. On the contrary, this version is more powerful, and a tad more expensive as it brags a better CPU (Intel i7-8700) with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, and an extra 8GB of RAM.

Oh, and much like our value option, it comes with the same keyboard, but a different mouse. It isn’t as good as our best gaming mouse options, though it’s more ergonomic than the one that comes with our value prebuilt PC. Plus, it doesn’t cost a thing, saving you some extra cash for when you need it most.

+Pros
  • Value-for-money specs
  • Gaming optimized
  • Includes a keyboard and mouse
-Cons
  • Lacks USB-C port
8

Dell XPS 8930 Tower Edition

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Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-8700
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4 GB)
  • Storage: 256GB SSD and 2TB SATA
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4

Dell XPS 8930 Tower Edition Review

The Dell XPS 8930 Tower Edition is the last prebuilt gaming PC on our list, but it surely isn’t the worst. Actually, the $1,129 XPS 8930 tower we chose comes with the same i7 CPU as the Cyberpower GXiVR8100A, except it has plenty more storage. Looking at this computer you’d think like most Dell’s, it belongs in a school, but don’t judge it by its aluminum and glossy black body just yet.

A 1 TB hard drive is large enough for most gamers, though if you’re an avid gamer, you’ll love this prebuilt Dell PC. It comes with a 2TB SATA hard drive as well as a 256GB SSD, enough storage to store plenty of games and DLC through the years. It even comes with a DVD-RW drive for all of your old physical copies of games, suitable for collectors.

For those of you who prefer digital copies, you’ll be able to download and play most modern titles on ultra-high settings as the Dell XPS 8930 Tower Edition PC is equipped with NVIDIA’s GTX 1050 GPU and a top of the range i7 processor, both of which can be swapped out and upgraded with ease.

+Pros
  • Easily upgradable
  • USB-Type C + SD card slot
  • Performs well
-Cons
  • Pricey computer

Gaming PC Buying Guide

Before you take the easy route, you need to understand some important PC components in order to understand what you’re buying.

CPU

A microprocessor known as the central processing unit (CPU) acts as the brains of every computer by working hard to send signals to control other parts of the PC. As it’s the decision maker, it is a crucial piece of hardware that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Basic computers feature an Intel Celeron microprocessor, one that can handle simple tasks such as browsing the web and sending emails. Some games will run on these PCs, though most modern games require a dual-core i5 CPU. More demanding titles, on the other hand, run best on an Intel i7 quad core processor made for gaming.

Tip: If you’re unsure if you can run a specific game, check its system requirements for minimum and recommended computer specifications. If your CPU isn’t good enough to run that title, maybe you should upgrade to one of the best gaming CPUs available.

GPU

Graphics processing units (GPU) are another essential piece of hardware that shouldn’t go unnoticed. So what exactly does a graphics card do in gaming? Simply put, a GPU displays images and videos required for running games.

For fluid 30-60 FPS gaming, you should aim for a video card with a 2 to 4 GB memory size which comes as standard with GeForce GTX 1060 graphics cards. If you’re into virtual reality systems, VR headsets such as the Vive and Rift require a constant 90 FPS to work. Be aware that only the best graphics cards for gaming will support VR on your PC.

CORSAIR ONE i160 state of the art performance

Motherboard

A motherboard, aside from a GPU and CPU, is another vital piece of hardware that allows other components to communicate with each other. As it’s responsible for coordinating everything that happens in your gaming computer, you could say it’s the mother of every PC.

If you’re building your own computer, the motherboard should be purchased after the CPU as motherboards only support specific CPU sockets. If you’re unsure about the motherboard compatibility, take a look at the best gaming motherboards out there, and find out their specifications.

Something you don’t have to worry about with a prebuilt PC. 

Power Supply

As the name suggests, a power supply unit (PSU) supplies power to a PC. How? When a computer is plugged in, the power supply converts the power from the outlet into usable power for the specific parts inside your PC. Because of this, higher-end PCs and hungry hardware require at least a 500W power supply.

Storage

In our SSD vs. HDD comparison guide, we explained the differences between the two in more detail. If you didn’t manage to read that guide yet—which you should—then here’s a quick comparison.

Solid-state drives for gaming are much faster than hard disk drives (HDD), yet much more expensive. Though for gaming, a hard disk drive works just as well so long as it has enough space to store the games you wish to play.

RAM

Random-access memory, or RAM, is another important form of high-speed computer memory which stores vital information. It is important in gaming as it temporarily stores frequently used data in order to access it faster, allowing games to run smooth.

For casual gamers, 8GB DDR4 is the minimum amount needed, even if you got the best RAM for gaming we’d recommend, while more intensive tasks and games may require around 16GB of RAM. Grand Theft Auto V, for example, requires a minimum of 4GB and a recommended 8GB of RAM, so it really just depends on what you want to play.

Case Size

If you’re building your own PC, case size is important as you want to make sure everything fits inside it, especially the motherboards. While ATX mid to full-tower cases fit standard motherboards, the best mini-ITX cases are best suited for Micro-ITX boards.

Monitor

Now that you’ve picked out a gaming PC, what will you use to display all of your sweet new games? You could use a TV, but a great ultrawide gaming monitor is far superior, especially if you want an immersive experience.

CORSAIR ONE i160 Minimalist Form Factor


Gaming PC FAQ

How much does a good gaming PC cost?

A gaming PC with entry-level specs will come with a price tag of around $700. If, however, you want a higher level gaming rig that offers buttery-smooth gameplay, expect to pay over $1,000. These higher-end PCs often features a great i5 processor for gaming or even i7, alongside a GTX 1070 or 1080 graphics card.

Are gaming PCs worth it?

Absolutely! Unlike a basic PC, you’d find in a school library or your grandmother’s office space, gaming PCs are, well, made for gaming.

What’s the difference between a gaming computer and a regular computer?

To expand on the above question, gaming computers are made specifically for gaming, whereas regular computers were made for basic, everyday tasks such as browsing the web. Therefore the difference is that gaming computers come with a more powerful GPU and CPU made for gaming, contrasting basic Celeron processors used in most consumer PCs.

Is it better to build a PC or buy one?

If you’re tech-savvy or you’re simply great at following instructions, go ahead and build a gaming PC. It often ends up cheaper than buying a prebuilt one, plus, there’s always a pleasure in building something yourself.


Final Verdict

Prebuilt gaming PCs now come with some of the best hardware right out of the box, so it’s understandable why you’d want to skip the build process and jump right into a game.

If, however, you want to learn how to build your own custom PC instead, head on over to our 2019 PC building guide for a simple step-by-step. You may just prefer your own build to our best choice prebuilt computer.


Sources:

  1. Gaming Computer, Wikipedia
  2. How Computers Work: The CPU and Memory
  3. Types of Computer Cases and Motherboard Factors, November 30th, 2011
  4. Jeff Tyson & Dave Coustan, How RAM Works, How Stuff Works
  5. Matt Koble, How Much Will it Cost to Build a Gaming PC, Chron
  6. Best Specs for a Gaming PC, Crucial US
  7. What is Computer System Cooling, Webopedia
  8. Custom vs. Prebuilt PC, Razer Forums
  9. Build a PC, InstallGentoo Wiki
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