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The top gaming PCs of 2023, evaluated and tested by experts


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Buying a gaming PC doesn't have to be complicated. While building a PC isn't as complex as it may sound, opting for prebuilt configurations from brands like HP, MSI, or Alienware is a great one-stop way to get the most value out of your gaming PC and guarantee you'll get your hands on popular components like RTX 30 and RTX 40 series graphics cards.  

While Intel used to be the superior gaming and office PC processor (CPU), with new Ryzen 7000 CPUs and GPUs, AMD also proves that it's capable of some serious power. However, you should be aware that AMD components run a bit hotter than their Intel counterparts, so make sure that you have sufficient cooling options like extra case fans or even a liquid cooling setup.

Also: The best gaming laptops

With this in mind, I pulled from my knowledge and experience as a gamer and content creator to find the best gaming PCs available, from budget-conscious selections to premium options with price tags to match. Our top choice, the Alienware Aurora R15 for its Intel and AMD configuration options, unique chassis, and options for either liquid or air cooling. Read to see how options from other big gaming brands like MSI, HP, and more compare. 

Pros

  • Liquid cooling
  • Up to RTX 4080 GPU
  • Dual storage drives
  • Intel and AMD configurations

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Unique chassis design isn't for everyone

Alienware Aurora R14 Ryzen Edition tech specs: CPU: Up to Intel Core i7-13700F or AMD Ryzen 9 7900X | GPU: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 | RAM: Up to 32GB | Power supply: Up to 1350W | Storage: 1TB SSD and 2TB HDD | Cooling system: Air or Liquid 

The Alienware Aurora R15 Ryzen Edition is the best gaming PC you can buy right now. You can configure the PC with up to AMD Ryzen 9 7900X CPU or an Intel Core i7-13700F processor, up to 32GB of RAM, and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card for all the power you need to play the hottest triple-A titles and most graphically demanding games. 

The AMD Ryzen 9 7900X has a base clock speed of 4.7GHz, while the Intel Core i7-1300F starts at 2.1GHz. If you want more power, you can overclock the processor to a maximum speed of 5.6GHz and 4.1GHz, respectively. And with dual storage drives, you'll have plenty of space for your entire game library plus room to grow. 

A liquid cooling system works with the pre-installed fans to draw waste heat away from components, keeping everything running at optimal temperatures for better performance and power efficiency. However, you can opt for an all-air cooling system for less power-hungry components. The chassis also sports a unique, rounded design to stand out from the rest of the box-style midsize towers on the market. And with tool-less access, it's easy to open up the tower to clean out fans, reroute cables, or even upgrade components.

Pros

  • High-end components
  • Customizable case lighting per fan
  • Supports up to 4 displays
  • Mid-size tower is great for most spaces

Cons

  • Only one USB-C port
  • Glass case panel requires frequent cleaning

Lenovo Legion Tower 5i Gen 8 tech specs: CPU: Intel Core i7-13700F| GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 | RAM: 16GB | Power supply: 500W | Storage: 1TB SSD | Cooling system: Air 

I did hands-on testing of the Lenovo Legion Tower 5i Gen 8, and it has convinced me to switch from my AMD-based, custom-built gaming PC. It's built with an Intel Core i7-13700F CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card, making it one of the more powerful gaming PCs on the market. The combination of the 13th-gen Intel Core processor and RTX 40 series GPU meant that I was able to not only multitask writing, editing photos, and doing research for work, but I was also able to play some of the most graphically and processor-bandwidth-hungry games. 

The Legion Tower 5i Gen 8 could handle ARMA III with a ridiculously immense mod pack almost flawlessly since my framerate issues were more likely due to my internet connection rather than the PC itself. The glass side panel of the tower gives you a nice view of the RGB lighting, which you can customize within the Lenovo Vantage desktop app. The tower also has plenty of USB ports as well as HDMI and DisplayPort inputs for connecting up to four displays, though there is only one USB-C port.

Pros

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU
  • Under $1000
  • Office-friendly chassis
  • Bluetooth 5.1

Cons

  • No USB-C inputs
  • No CD/DVD drive

Lenovo IdeaCentre Gaming 5i tech specs: CPU: Intel Core i5-12400F | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 | RAM: 16GB | Power supply: 500W | Storage: 512GB SSD | Cooling system: Air 

The Lenovo IdeaCentre Gaming 5i desktop is a great, budget-friendly option for both PC gaming novices and experienced gamers looking for an affordable rig. It's built with a 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card. The case features an office-friendly design perfect for shared spaces or dual-purpose work/gaming rooms where RGB lighting may be distracting. Along with plenty of USB inputs, you'll also get Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity for wireless peripherals and a VGA port for older monitors. With support for up to 32GB of RAM, you can upgrade and swap out components as your needs change in the future.

Pros

  • Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 support
  • Configurable design
  • Compact chassis
  • Up to 1TB SSD

Cons

  • MicroATX form may make replacing parts tricky
  • Limited USB inputs

HP Omen 25L tech specs: CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600G | GPU: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 | RAM: 8GB | Power supply: 600W | Storage: Up to 1TB SSD | Cooling system: Air 

Whether you're an AMD loyalist or looking for an alternative to pricier Intel-based gaming rigs, the HP Omen 25L is the best AMD-based gaming rig you can buy. It's built with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600G CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and you can configure it with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card. The 1TB SSD will give your current game library and any new games you purchase plenty of room. It supports Wi-Fi 6 connectivity for faster wireless internet speeds as well as Bluetooth 5.2 for more reliable connections to wireless peripherals like headsets and mice. It also features a more compact design than its other Omen counterparts, making it great for smaller gaming spaces and desks.

Pros

  • RTX 4080 graphics card
  • 13th generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • Liquid cooling

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Heavy (31 pounds)

Corsair Vengeance i7400 tech specs: CPU: Intel Core i7-13700K | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 | RAM: 32GB | Power supply: 850W | Storage: 2TB SSD | Cooling system: Liquid 

If you're an established Twitch streamer or gaming content creator, the Corsair Vengeance i7400 is a great option for a gaming rig upgrade. It's built with a 13th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB of RAM, a 2TB SSD, and a GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card. This configuration gives you plenty of power for rendering video files, editing thumbnails, and multitasking with streaming and gaming programs. It also gives you plenty of storage for raw and edited files as well as your game library. The Vengeance i7400 also features a liquid cooling system to help better dissipate waste heat and keep your components running at optimal temperatures, especially if you like to overclock your CPU. And the mid-size tower design means it's more compact, making it perfect for smaller desks and gaming spaces.

The Alienware Aurora Ryzen R15 is the best gaming PC overall, thanks to its superior CPU, RAM, GPU, and storage. The MSI Aegis RS is best for content creators, while the HP Omen 25L is the best gaming PC under $1500. The MSI Infinite RS has the best graphics card, and the MSI MPG Trident AS is the best compact gaming PC.

Best gaming PC

Starting Price

CPU/GPU

RAM/Storage

Alienware Aurora R15

$1,500

Intel Core i7-1300F or up to AMD Ryzen 9 5900, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

32GB, 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD

Lenovo IdeaCentre Gaming 5i

$939

Intel Core i5-12400F, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050

16GB, 512GB SSD

HP Omen 25L 

$840

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G, Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050

8GB, Up to 1TB SSD

Lenovo Legion Tower 5i Gen 8

$2,000

Intel Core i7-13700F, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070

16GB, 1TB SSD

Corsair Vengeance i7400

$3,250

Intel Core i7-13700K, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

32GB, 2TB SSD

*Lowest price at the time of writing. Please note that actual prices may vary depending on the retailer and available promotions.

The snarky answer is the one you can afford. But jokes aside, besides price, I'd say RAM, storage, and configuration are your most important considerations. You want to choose a prebuilt PC with at least 8GB of RAM and a storage drive (a solid-state or a traditional hard disk drive) with no less than 256GB of space. The graphics card model in your build isn't as important as RAM since the system memory is what actually renders game assets. 

Krishna Madala, a former professional coach for Overwatch eSports teams like Singularity Esports and the Samsung Morning Stars, says that buyers "try to over spec a lot when going for [prebuilt PCs]" and that games like League of Legends "could run[...] on a standard Dell tower with integrated graphics and still get 60fps." However, if you're looking for a decent gaming PC at a reasonable price, Madala suggests a rig with at least 16GB of RAM, a 512GB storage drive, and a CPU and GPU that are within the last 2 or 3 tech generations.  

Choose this gaming PC...

If you need...

Alienware Aurora R15

A well-rounded gaming PC with a powerful processor and GPU. This PC features an Intel or Ryzen processor and an Nvidia GPU, making it a solid choice for gaming and creative work.

Lenovo IdeaCentre Gaming 5i

A budget-friendly gaming PC. It retails under $1,000, making it perfect for beginner PC gamers and anyone looking to save big on their next gaming rig.

HP Omen 25L

An AMD-based gaming rig. It's built with the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G CPU, giving you power and performance for indie and triple-A games.

Lenovo Legion Tower 5i

An Intel-based gaming rig. It uses a 13th-generation Intel Core i7 processor for better efficiency and multitasking.

Corsair Vengeance i7400

A gaming rig for content creators. It features an RTX 4080 graphics card, 32GB of RAM, and a 2TB SSD for power and performance for gaming, streaming, and video editing.

When shopping for a new, pre-built gaming PC, there are several factors to consider:

  • CPU: Whether you're an Intel or AMD loyalist, you'll want to look for a gaming PC with a processor that was released within the last 5 years. This ensures that your computer will have enough power to actually play games, and by opting for a slightly older CPU, you can save a bit of money on a build.

  • Graphics card: You don't have to have the latest RTX 40 series cards to get the most out of your gaming PC. When it comes to GPUs, the amount of VRAM it provides and which versions of DirectX it supports is more important than the particular chipset generation. You could buy an RTX 4070 8GB card, but if your games push that VRAM to its limits, you're getting less performance than an older card with 12GB of VRAM.

  • Power supply: This is more for DIY enthusiasts, but if you ever need to replace or upgrade your power supply, you'll need to make sure it has enough power (plus a little extra) to safely run all of your components. I like to add about 20 percent more than I think I'll need to have a built-in margin in case my GPU or CPU needs to draw extra power for whatever reason. 

  • Tower type: Gaming PCs come in three different flavors: full-sized, mid-size, and miniATX towers. While full and mid-sized towers can hold the same kinds of components, miniATX cases require specially designed graphics cards and motherboards to fit their exceptionally compact sizes. So keep this in mind if you plan to drop new components to your tower case later on.

  • Cooling system: Not all gaming PCs are created equal, and premium-grade components draw more power than their more affordable counterparts. This means that they'll need more efficient cooling than stock and aftermarket fans can provide. If you're looking to buy a high-end gaming PC, you'll want to opt for a build that either already comes equipped with or has room for a liquid cooling system. A liquid-cooled CPU is safer to overclock and run at higher capacities for longer, making it a great option for content creators who need to run simultaneous CPU-hungry programs.

Yes, you can absolutely find a budget-friendly, sub-$1,000 gaming computer with the storage space and processing power for just about any game. Read here for my top selections of budget gaming PCs.You can also save money on a prebuilt or custom build by opting for an older GPU. While these aren't the newest, shiniest tech, budget gaming PCs still have plenty of juice to run a lot of triple-A titles at decent settings. 

You can also save by choosing a configuration with less RAM and storage since you can often swap them out later; this lets you take advantage of component sales that work with your overall budget. Just be sure to check that your gaming laptop doesn't have a RAM stick that can't be removed or replaced. 

8GB - 16GB of RAM is plenty to provide a smooth gaming experience. You can also find configurations with upwards of 128GB of RAM, and while this would certainly give you more system memory for very technically and graphically demanding games, this amount of RAM is geared towards animators and professional content creators. 

Yes, it can be. Gaming PCs are one of those things that you can spend as little or as much on as you want. Prebuilt gaming desktops and laptops are great for anyone who doesn't have time or isn't comfortable with building a gaming computer. They're also more expeditious since you don't have to wait for individual components to ship (and hopefully not get damaged in transit). 

The first reason you may want to build your own gaming PC is it gives you an opportunity to save some cash since you can build around component sales. Just make sure you aren't mixing AMD and Intel components; they won't communicate with each other. 

The second reason you may want to build a PC yourself is that you can tailor your model to your exact needs and liking. Plus, you can ditch the components you're less likely to fully utilize, such as HDDs or SSDs with more than 2TB of space, more than 16GB of RAM, or a super-advanced motherboard with features you won't ever use.

It's all about balancing your budget with how convenient you want buying a gaming PC to be or how comfortable you are with building computers.

Contrary to popular belief, the "best" gaming PCs aren't necessarily configured with high-end components. What ultimately makes a difference, however, is CPU and RAM storage capacity -- even an older GTX 1660 Super or RTX 2070 is capable of running demanding triple-A titles.

Liquid cooling your PC can be overkill unless you have high-end, power-hungry components like the new RTX 4090 graphics card. However, a liquid cooling system is more efficient at drawing away waste heat than traditional, air-cooling fan systems. With the advent of all-in-one cooling systems, first-time builders can liquid-cool their gaming rigs without the fear of leaks; but the AIO systems are meant to focus on single components like CPUs or graphics cards. 

If you want to liquid cool your entire rig, you'll need a custom cooling system, including a radiator, plenty of tubing, coolant pumps, and an exhaust fan. DIY PC pros can set up intricate liquid cooling systems to maintain optimal temperatures while showing off their personal style with colored coolant, RGB lights, and copper tubing.

Both intake and exhaust fans are important for maintaining proper airflow. Ideally, you want to have an equal number of both to even dissipation of waste heat and intake of fresh, cool air. However, if your case isn't set up for that many fans, it's better to have more exhaust fan units to draw out waste heat, which will make it easier for the intake fans to draw in fresh air.

Power supply ratings are divided into six categories: white, bronze, silver, gold, platinum, and titanium. A white rating means that the PSU has the lowest power efficiency, while a titanium rating indicates the very best power efficiency. While it's tempting to spring for a white-rated PSU, you may end up spending a lot more in the long run since it will be more prone to failure and might require frequent replacing. 

But this doesn't mean you have to spring for the ultra-expensive titanium rating. An 80-plus gold rating is more than enough power efficiency for most gaming PCs, but if you're a content creator, you may want to consider a platinum or titanium-rated PSU to protect high-end components like graphics cards and processors against power fluctuations.

There are tons of options out there for prebuilt gaming PCs. Below is a list of runner-ups that, while they're great computers, might not appeal to everyone. They include picks that are more suited to creative professionals or from less well-known brands. 

Great mid-range gaming PC alternative
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CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme
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This gaming PC tower from CyberPowerPC is a great, middle-of-the-road option for most gamers. It's built with a 12th-generation Intel Core i5 CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 500GB SSD, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card -- all of which make this machine possible to play any triple-A or Indie game on your wishlist. 
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Corsair Vengeance i7300
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The Corsair Vengeance i7300 is not only a great gaming rig, but it is also a solid choice for Twitch streamers, YouTubers, and other content creators. It features a 12th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU, 32GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card. This gives you all of the power and performance you need to game, edit videos and thumbnails, or live stream.

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