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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Best Gaming PC of 2023: Top Prebuilt Desktops

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The world of PC gaming changes quickly, but our pick for the best prebuilt gaming PC right now is the CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR. Whether you're looking for a low-power rig for DoTA or the most powerful machine on the market, there's a PC out there for you. Click to jump to detailed looks at the best gaming PCs, or check out our list below:

TL;DR – These are the Best Gaming PCs

While gaming desktops might be a bit more complicated than consoles, buying a pre-built desktop computer isn't too different from buying a new console in 2023, especially with us to help guide you.

If you're not ready for the time commitment and frustration that comes with building a rig yourself, plus the headache of components coming in and out of stock, buying a pre-built can give you a great starting point for playing PC games. There's always the option to further upgrade with a new CPU, more RAM, or a larger SSD.

If you want the best possible looking games, there are still reasons to buy a gaming PC. The gaming consoles currently on the market may offer some of the best in 4K gaming, but you can just get more raw graphical power packed into a gaming desktop. There really isn't a substitute for a desktop even when you're comparing a gaming laptop vs gaming desktop. If you opt for a machine with a graphics card from Nvidia's RTX 30 and RTX 40 lineup this power can really be seen – and click here to find our picks in the UK.

Looking for discounts? Take a look at our guide to the best gaming PC deals for the latest savings.

The Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs

CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR

Best Gaming PC

CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VRCyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR

For a beast of a gaming rig that fledgling and veteran PC gamers alike should flock to, grab the CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR. With it comes the latest 13th gen Intel Core i9 processor for insane computing power, ensuring this machine breezes through everything from daily tasks to streaming and recording gameplay. That chip pairs perfectly with the recently released Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti GPU, which is ready to play games in 1440p at high frame rates, even with ray tracing on, and can even handle some 4K gaming.

Now if that isn’t enough to sell you on the CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR, there’s 16GB of speedy DDR5 memory to make multitasking a breeze, while the 1TB SSD ensures quick boots. You also get liquid cooling and well-ventilated panels to keep its hot-running, high-powered components from overheating. Topping off this PC are tempered glass panels that show off all the impressive internals and custom RGB lighting, and you even get a gaming keyboard and mouse as a bonus.

iBuyPower SlateMesh Gaming Desktop

Best Budget Gaming PC

iBuyPower SlateMesh Gaming DesktopiBuyPower SlateMesh Gaming Desktop

To snag the latest and greatest hardware for slightly north of $1,200, the iBuyPower SlateMesh Gaming Desktop can keep up with the best of them. You get an Intel 12th Gen Core i7 processor paired with an Nvidia RTX 3060 for ample processing headroom and excellent efficiency to power through 1080p or even 1440p gaming with some graphical effects turned off.

Those components play nicely with the 16 GB of DDR4 memory, which can expand up to 128GB if you plan on using multiple heavy applications while gaming. The 500GB of PCIe 4.0 SSD storage means those programs should have speedy startups, while the 1TB HDD also ensures plenty of space to make saves. Adding more value to this well-rounded rig are the included RGB keyboard and mouse, so there are two peripherals you don’t need to worry about investing in.

Alienware Aurora R15

Best High-End Gaming PC

Alienware Aurora R15Alienware Aurora R15

If you have the budget to splurge on a gaming PC packing some serious hardware, check out the Alienware Aurora R15. Inside its head-turning, futuristic case is an Intel Core i9-13900F processor and Nvidia RTX 4090 graphics, providing plenty of muscle to handle whatever kind of gaming you want to throw its way. Whether you’re targeting high framerates at 4K or encoding videos in mere minutes, this rig is ready for the task.

It doesn’t stop there as this Alienware machine is well-fitted with plenty of storage, giving you a 1TB high-speed NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD to quickly run the OS and load all your favorite games. With 32GB of DDR5 memory running at 4800 MHz, you’ll also have no trouble multitasking. And to ensure all these components keep up peak performance is a robust cooling system that includes a 240mm radiator and five 120mm fans.

Corsair One i300

Best Mini Gaming PC

Corsair One i300Corsair One i300 This mini PC is ready to game thanks to powerful processors, high-capacity memory and storage, ample cooling, and a healthy dose of RGB lighting to top it off.

You might think a gaming PC this small surely couldn’t be that powerful—but size doesn’t matter when it comes to computers. The Corsair One i300 might be mini, but it’s mighty with Intel Core i9-12900K and Nvidia RTX 3080. With all that power, you’ll be able to simultaneously play games at 4K and a high frame rate. Plus, it has plenty of storage for your favorite games and memory to keep everything running smoothly.

All of that comes in a chassis that’s only 12 liters large, making it perfect for those without a ton of space looking to put a mini PC in their living room or bedroom. You won’t have to worry about it getting as hot as the nuclear power core it resembles, either. That’s because this compact rig features liquid cooling of the CPU and GPU, while a high-airflow fan exhaust pushes all the heat through the top like a chimney.

Where to Get the Best Gaming PC in the UK

Getting your gaming PC prebuilt can save a lot of time and hassle for you, and this is still the case no matter where you are in the world. We've cheated a little bit with this, as plenty of the options on our list are available to purchase and shipped to the UK. Newegg, for example, will ship several brilliant pre-builds, all the way from the US to the UK. Costs for shipping, and the PCs in general, are low, so you shouldn't have any worries going forward.

Alienware Aurora R15Alienware Aurora R15 £4,099.00

What to Look For in a Gaming PC

Below we go over the basic specifications you should prioritize when buying a gaming PC and how to get the most of your purchase of a prebuilt rig. We also explain a few alternative options you might find of interest as well.

Prebuilts are the most surefire way of getting into gaming and arguably the most cost-effective hardware you can buy. When buying a system, you’re not only getting the hardware inside but time savings of having to track down the best processor to best RAM for your system and putting it all together yourself and praying it actually boots up correctly.

That said, just like building your own PC you want to make sure you’re spending your money where it’s needed most. Firstly, you should prioritize you’re getting the graphics card you need for the gaming monitor or the 4K TV you’re gaming on. There’s no need for anything better than an Nvidia GTX 1660 if you’re just playing games on a 1080p display.

Likewise, you should only need an Intel Core i5 or Ryzen 5 processor with at least four cores to play most modern games comfortably at any resolution.

System memory and solid-state drives can be the biggest money sink for any system. Those comfortable with upgrading their system after it arrives should choose a configuration with the smallest storage and RAM capacities possible, as buying these components yourself can often be more cost-effective.

If that last suggestion resonates with you, perhaps a barebones system is what you seek. Barebones PCs can be much cheaper since they come with all the major hardware—such as the CPU, GPU, and power supply—installed, but they usually lack storage, memory, and an operating system as a trade-off.

Lastly, if you want more control over what exactly is going into your build, go with a boutique PC builder. Origin, Maingear, DigitalStorm, Falcon Northwest, PC Specialist, and many more companies offer excellent PC building services that let you pick exactly which components go into your gaming PC. From there, they build your system with the sort of cable management some can only dream of while ensuring it all works properly out of the box.

In case this all sounds a little overwhelming to you, NZXT has its own PC building service called BLD. Instead of picking every part that will go into your PC, you chose the games you’ll actually play and the service gives you several configuration options that will be able to run the games for a smooth experience.

Similarly, iBuyPower offers an Easy Builder service that operates in very much the same fashion. Users can select games that they play from a small pool that includes Fortnite, GTA V, Apex Legends, WoW, League of Legends, Overwatch, and Battlefield V. From there, users can select whether they play at a 1080p or 1440p resolution, as well as their budget and the system, will spit back a few configurations to choose from.

Beyond choosing the components you need, prebuilt PC's come with several features and pieces of software you might find convenient. Many gaming PCs in this category come with some sort of overclocking support and even a one-click button to boost your system's performance. Of course, it's easy enough to download a piece of overclocking software like MSI Afterburner or EVGA Precision X. Additionally, your machine may come with system monitoring software that makes downloading and updating drivers a breeze.

Life after purchase

Another important thing you'll want to keep in mind when buying a prebuilt desktop is how easy is it to upgrade down the line.

Most PC manufacturers have figured out users absolutely hate proprietary parts. While you might still find no-name motherboards installed into the hearth of your PC, they should all at least fall in line with the standard size and layout of Mini ITX or Micro ATX motherboards. The best gaming PCs should allow you to easily swap out the CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage on your system with just a few simple tools or just a screwdriver.

Better yet, systems that tout tool-less upgradability don't require you to undo screws or anything to replace any of the major components. One of the things you'll likely find on most modern chassis are thumbscrews, which can be removed after a few quick twists with your fingers rather than a screwdriver. Additionally, tool-less SSD and hard drive caddies make expanding and replacing your storage just a little bit easier.


Kevin Lee is IGN's Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam.

Image Credit: Annalee Tsujino is a multi disciplinary designer and illustrator. Check them out on Instagram @antsu_illustrations.

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