Generally, the rule to get the best gaming desktops has been the more money you are able to spend the better the computer, and thus the better gaming experience, you can get.
If you have tons of money to spend you can even get a custom PC built from famous custom PC manufacturers.
It is entirely possible though to get a standard PC from mainstream manufactures that can give you the same great experience and graphics that you might see from your Sony Playstation PS4 or your Microsoft XBOX ONE S.
The Best Gaming Desktops: The Ultimate Guide
Let’s take a look at some of the best gaming desktops and what to consider when selecting your PC.
Highest Priority: Graphics
The graphics card is where buyers will want to invest most of their money. Most computers will come with a mid range or good graphics card already.
Typically, the more you spend on the computer the better graphics card you will get. It is important to note if the PC you are selecting has the ability add more graphics cards in the future.
This is where you can really achieve the high performing graphics and can make your computer stand out from other gaming PC’s.
You will need to decide which 3D graphics subsystem you would like to use. For the best images from the top 3D titles you will want to use one or possibly two additional discrete graphics cards. For better performance gamers have turned to cards produced by either Nvidia or AMD.
While both cards boast exclusive benefits and features, it ultimately will come down to how much you want to spend. Of course if you are only intending to play 2D games you can rely on the integrated graphics within your computer.
Our top three PC’s of choice for the best budget gaming PC’s all feature the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card including the Corsair One Pro and the CyberPower Gamer Master Ultra. Our third top choice, the Origin Neuron, contains the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
Making the Process Work
While it is important to have amazingly detailed graphics, it is equally important to have the power to keep your game running smoothly. This can include everything from making sure your gameplay runs without a hitch, the music syncs correctly, and that your targets are achieved.
Just like the battle between graphic cards manufacturers there are two key processor manufacturers that are leading the race with gamers.
Both AMD and Intel have the market cornered for the most power for your buck. Priced around $2,000 each, the Ryzen Threadripper CPUs have 16 cores and the power to process 32 threads at the same time. The Core X-Series Extreme Edition, produced by Intel, boasts 18 cores with 36 threads.
A cheaper alternative processor for budget games, which are still very speedy, are quad-core processors. Both the AMD Ryzen and the Core i5 by Intel are top choices among budget gamers.
Remember the Memory
A very important component in a gaming computer is the RAM.
When using games today in PC’s often the RAM can get a workout trying to keep up with how powerful games are designed to be. A good recommendation is to give your gaming PC a minimum of 8 GB of RAM.
If you really want to have a computer running quickly without any lag, it is a good idea to try for at least 32 GB. Of course though, with the added RAM, your wallet will feel the pinch.
By having a faster memory in your computer you will be able to help improve the stability of your CPU if by chance you happen to overclock your computer. Ultimately though, having a higher RAM with a high clocked memory wont help your CPU if your processor is not able to handle the faster speeds.
You will need to find the right balance for your budget between a high functioning processor and a fast enough RAM to achieve the best possible performance from your gaming PC.
The biggest trend lately is to use solid-state drivers, also called SSD, ever since the prices for these began to drop a few years ago.
Gamers notice faster speeds in boot up time, game launch time, and faster wake up times. While large SSD is still very expensive, many gamers choose to use a small SSD of around 128G and pair it with a larger spinning hard drive of 1TB or larger.
Comparing the top gaming PC’s of this year we have come up with the top three computers for budget gamers. Our top choices are the Corsair One Pro, the CyberPower Gamer Master Ultra, and the Origin Neuron.
While all three feature similar graphics cards, the Nvidia GeForce GTX and comparable RAM of 16 GB each, we find that this is where the comparable features end. Compared to the other top budget PC’s, the Origin Neuron’s specs begin to run away with the show announcing itself very quickly as the key winner.
The Origin Neuron starts to pull away from its competitors with a 5 GHz processing speed. When compared to our other top computers they cannot even begin to touch this speed.
The Corsair One Pro can only boast a 4.2 GHz processing speed. The slowest of our comparable computers is the CyberPower Gamer Master Ultra with a measly 3.6 GHz processing speed. Clearly, for this measuring metric, the Origin Neuron is the clear winner.
But the separation doesn’t end there. The Origin Neuron also has an unheard of storage capacity. The second and third place computers can’t even light a candle to what the Neuron has.
The Corsair has a capacity of 960 GB while the CyberPower Gamer Master Ultra only has 2512 MB. With both of these computers, the gamer would be forced to spend more money to purchase a spinning hard drive to get the speed most gamers are looking for in a high performing computer.
The Origin Neuron though blows away the competition. Our top pick for the best budget gaming PC has an unheard of 2.5 TB. This far out performs the competitors in storage.
Where the Origin Neuron really stands out is the price, which is undoubtedly the most important metric for gamers working within a budget. The Corsair One Pro, while impressive in its own right with dazzling graphics and a strong processor, comes with a hefty price tag of $1,749.
More expensive still is the CyberPower Gamer Master Ultra. While this is a great computer for gamers, it really fails to stack up the competition and yet comes with a steep $2,399 price.
The Origin Neuron though, with all of its specs out performing the competition comes in at almost half the price. The Origin Neuron keeps the budget gamer under $1,000 and has a price of around $964.
When selecting a computer for gaming, gamers will want a good value while still enjoying their passion. It can be easy to get bogged down with the multitude of choices out there.
Do you buy a custom computer or go with the standard options? Do you buy the minimum or buy a fully stocked computer?
With the evidence given here, it is clear that the best budget gaming PC is the Origin Neuron. Gamers will experience flawless graphics, fast speeds, and unheard of storage.
With the price coming in under $1,000 gamers will be pleased to find more money in the coffers to help pay for added accessories and games to enjoy.
Five Of The Best Gaming Desktops Under $500
Building a PC is fun, but the cost can spiral out of control very quickly. Once you’ve actually got the rig built, you’ve got to shell out for a copy of Windows and all the other software that you take for granted when you buy a desktop in one piece, ready to plug in and play the minute you take it out of the box.
Here’s the good news: If you’re spending more than, say, six or seven hundred dollars on a gaming PC, you’re pretty much paying for bells and whistles at that point. Everything you need to run high-end games can be had for under five hundred bucks, and here’s the proof:
CYBERPOWER PC Ultra
Some of the desktops on this list are general purpose PC’s that also do gaming. The CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra setup is built specifically for the gamer.
The system is built on an FX-4300 Quad-Core with a 1TB HDD, a Radeon R7 240 card, and packaged in a sleek tempered glass side case. You can pick this tower up on a budget, but it’s not a budget PC.
The build is streamlined and optimized for visual performance, meaning that it’s one of very few gaming desktops under $500 that can compete with desktops at double its price.
Acer Veriton X
The Acer Veriton X Flagship will run most games, but that’s not really what it’s for.
Bear in mind that when you buy a PC that’s not especially built for high-end visual tasks like gaming and video editing, that you are probably going to want to upgrade the RAM and the graphics card before you have it playing at a competitive level.
That said, the Veriton X is a decent out-of-the-box gaming PC, and a really good foundation if you want to upgrade it.
The Intel i5 Quad-Core is a good starting point. It comes with 8GB DDR3 of memory standard and Intel HD 4600. If you’re willing to upgrade that to 16 gigs and a Radeon graphics card, you’ll have a pretty sweet little gaming rig on your hands.
Built around an AMD Dual-Core with a Radeon GPU and gigabit LAN, the Electrum is a sweet little rig that’s more than sufficient for high-end gaming.
Sixteen gigs of DDR3 memory and a 1TB hard drive make this one of the faster PC’s on the list.
Built for gaming, but pretty effective if you want to do video capturing, editing, 3D modeling and livestreaming, too. That it looks like a jukebox from a Fallout game is just a nice bonus.
iBUYPOWER Gaming PC
The AMD 6-Core processor and RX 550 graphics make this one of the better gaming desktops under $500.
You can play just about anything on it with no frame drop or lag (assuming you’ve got a good Internet provider)… If you’re okay with medium to medium-high graphic setting.
It’s a great computer, but it does feel a little last-generation in comparison to some of the other PC’s on this list. Compatibility won’t be an issue, but when you’re playing PvP you might want to crank the settings down a little to maintain a competitive framerate.
CUK HP Pavilion
Probably the best all-around PC that happens to be a pretty decent gaming rig.
It’s built around an Intel i5-7400 Quad Core with sixteen gigs of RAM right out of the box with a Radeon 7450 graphics card.
If you’re not going to use your PC just for gaming, then this is pretty much all you need to run most high-end games.
And The Winner Is…
The CYBERPOWERPC Ultra PC by a mile.
The main thing to look at when buying a gaming PC is the processor. Everything else is pretty cheap to upgrade, but the processor is the foundation of the desktop’s power.
The Ultra’s AMD Quad-Core is a heck of a cornerstone to build a PC around. You could just about plug it into an actual toaster and get a decent gaming experience.
Being built especially for the gamer, the tower is ready to go right out of the box. There are $1,000 gaming PCs that require a little extra RAM or a new graphics card before you’re playing Resident Evil 7 at 60 fps on them.
It’s nice to know that when a Steam sale rolls around, you don’t have to check your specs, you can just grab whichever game you like and start playing.
The 7.1 channel audio is very much appreciated. A lot of gaming desktops are built to produce great video and screenshots because that makes for better marketing material.
It’s hard to show people how good your audio is through a Youtube ad so a lot of desktop-builders put that one on the backburner. They went above and beyond here, and the Ultra wouldn’t be a bad hub for a surround sound system.
Although this tops our list of gaming desktops under $500, there are some points to mark on the “disadvantages” list.
Most games will run at full speed at the highest graphical settings, but console ports that are poorly optimized or games that are built specifically for the $1,000+ PC gaming market might take a hit.
But, if you’re willing to upgrade the graphics card, then you’re still getting a PC for under six hundred that can compete with desktops at twice its price.
You may also want to buy a Wifi adapter to go with the desktop. Hardcore gamers know that plugging your PC right into the router is the best way to reduce lag and get lightning fast speed in PvP and co-op games, so of course, it makes sense that Wifi would be one of the features that you drop in order to keep the price down.
But plugging right into the router might not always be an option, and even when it is, maybe you just don’t want to dangle Ethernet cords all over the house and hog all the bandwidth while your roommate’s trying to watch Netflix.
But Wifi adapters can be had for under twenty bucks, so even when you add this price on top of the tower and the graphics card, you’re still getting a good deal.
It’s worth noting that the tempered glass casing isn’t just there to look cool. It actually lets you keep an eye on the interior of the machine. With age, components will wear down, and the fans are usually the first to go.
When a fan burns out, you’re going to be sitting there wondering why you’re getting so much slowdown, why your PC keeps crashing, and every time you boot it up, you’re going to be doing more and more damage to the processor, the motherboard, the graphics card and the HDD.
With the glass casing, you can watch the gears turning, so to speak. If a fan burns out, you’ll be able to spot it and replace it well before you do any lasting damage to the pricier components in the tower.
We’re willing to bet that you’re upgrading from a “normie” PC, so you probably already have your monitor, keyboard and mouse laid out and ready to plug in and play.
But, if you’re thinking of maybe using your new PC as an excuse to invest in a new display, the HP Pavillion 22cwa is a pretty good 21.5 inch screen at eighty nine ninety nine. Or, if you want the big screen experience without spending too much extra, maybe skip all that and plug it right into your HDTV with an HDMI cable.
Our runner up would have to be the Acer Veriton X, which will essentially be the second most powerful PC on the list if you’re willing to put aside another seventy five bucks or so for upgrades.
But for a right-out-of-the-box, plug-and-play gaming desktops under $500, the Ultra wins by a landslide.