Choosing the Best Gaming PC with the Black Friday Deals is a little easier than building one. While we love building our systems as much as the next person, a fully-built one will alleviate some of the hassle and some of the risk. It’s certainly an easier way to access those otherwise inaccessible parts, and a decent all-over warranty never goes amiss.
With it being a faff to get hold of a discrete graphics card right now, a pre-built system remains one of your best bets—no need to go all fisticuffs outside your local Best Buy. System builders like Alienware or Corsair have an easier time acquiring new GPUs than we do. Granted, these gaming desktop lead times can be pretty long, though we’ve seen some exceptions. You can rest assured you’ll get a working gaming PC eventually.
To keep you up-to-date with the latest updates and products, we’re constantly testing the latest gaming PCs from most major brands and builders to see whose is the fastest, offers the best build quality, and delivers the best service.
When buying a pre-built rig, the main thing to look out for is that the spec sheet touts a perfect balance of price and performance. Ideally, your gaming PC will have one of the best graphics cards and the best CPUs for gaming, but there’s something for everyone out there.
Best gaming PCs
Our favorite Aurora R10 config:
Ryzen 7 5800 | Radeon RX 6800 XT | 16GB DDR4-3200
If you thought Nvidia GPUs were tough to find, AMD’s GPUs are even rarer. But this config delivers both the latest 8-core Zen 3 CPU and the Radeon RX 6800 XT. That’s one of the best gaming processors around and probably the best graphics card AMD has ever created.
It took a while to come, but Alienware finally listened and created an AMD-focused line of its popular Aurora machines. The latest edition, the Aurora Ryzen Edition R10, delivers the latest AMD Ryzen 5000-series CPUs and either Nvidia’s high-performance RTX 30-series or AMD’s RX 6000-series graphics cards.
This is one of the few places you might be able to find yourself an AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT, too—the red team GPU capable of going toe-to-toe with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080.
The latest AMD Ryzen processors are exemplary in terms of both performance and price, with the Ryzen 9 5900X, in particular, being a spectacular chip not just for productivity but for gaming too.
The different configurations start at $1,080, for which you get a six-core Ryzen 5 5600X alongside a Radeon RX 5300. We’d recommend upgrading the graphics to a GeForce GTX 1660 Super for less than $30 extra so that you can nail 1080p gaming in that sleek Alienware chassis.
Like the other Aurora cases, it’s not necessarily the easiest to upgrade due to its bespoke design, but as a first machine, the R10 will not do you wrong. And given the general component drought right now, the fact that you can bag an all-AMD Alienware machine with just a month lead time is pretty great.
2. Alienware Aurora R12: The best Intel gaming PC
Our favorite Corsair Vengeance config:
Ryzen 5 5600X | RTX 3070
The Vengeance a7200 machine comes with the latest hardware from AMD and Nvidia and will make for one supremely powerful gaming PC straight out of the box. This configuration comes with the outstanding hex-core Ryzen CPU and Nvidia’s outstanding RTX 3070. You’ll also find 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM and a 1TB SSD.
If you’re looking to kick start your career as the next big Twitch streamer, the last thing you need to worry about is letting down your audience because your broadcast crapped out in the middle of your epic Call of Duty: Warzone match. Enter the latest range of Corsair Vengeance gaming PCs.
This powerful AMD/RTX combo means that you’ll be able to play and stream most games without much trouble. What makes this system stand out is the optional inclusion of an Elgato 4K60 Pro capture card in the specific ‘Streaming’ machines. This allows for delay-free 4K gameplay footage capture from your gaming PC, consoles, or 4K camera via HDMI.
Since Corsair acquired Elgato, it now has access to some of the best streaming hardware on the planet for its Vengeance rigs. Pair that with Corsair’s classic component quality, and you have a recipe for not only great gaming PCs but fantastic streaming rigs too. You’ve got to hand it to Corsair, and it sure knows how to build a fine PC.
Our favorite HP Omen config:
Core i5 11400 | Nvidia RTX 3060
For under $1,200, you can grab this six-core, 12-thread Rocket Lake gaming PC, one that comes with a robust little Nvidia RTX 3060 with 12GB GDDR6 memory. The standard config comes with 8GB dual-channel memory and a 256GB SSD, but there are configuration options galore to tweak, and we’d recommend taking a look at a 16GB memory spec with a larger SSD if you can afford it.
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 Obelisk. The Obelisk is highly customizable, starting with a GTX 1660 Super and Ryzen 5 3600 and reaching some top-class parts, including the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080. We received the original review unit packed an RTX 2080 and an 8th Gen Core i7 8700, but we’ve come a long way since then.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the Obelisk is the price tag. Despite the high-end RTX card and that rock-solid CPU (as well as 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and 2TB HDD), the Obelisks comes in just under $2,000. This is mainly due to HP trimming off all the non-essential frills that tend to pad out the price of several similarly specced machines.
You won’t find an over-elaborate liquid cooling system or a massive suite of spectacular RGB lighting; the Obelisk is an appropriately named dense black block 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 Obelisk.
It’s similarly configured to the slightly more expensive Corsair Vengeance, but it comes in a much smaller frame. While on the one hand, there’s less space to muck around in the case if you do decide to upgrade in the future, the Obelisk can slip easily into much tighter spaces than a more significant case and is easier to transport. It’s the epitome of function over form and is available at a great price.
Our favorite Corsair One config:
If you prefer gaming on the go, you’ll want to take a look at our best gaming laptop guide.
Corsair has overhauled its compact One gaming PCs with the latest parts from both AMD and Nvidia—and we’re here for it.
The Corsair One A200 delivers top-of-the-line gaming performance, which is perhaps unsurprisingly considering its credentials: up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. It’s wild what you can stuff into such a small chassis nowadays and have it run reasonably cool and quiet too.
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 nothing these chips aren’t built to handle day in, day out.
It’s an impressive PC given its small stature—you could happily sit this PC on your desktop and still leave plenty of room for your gamer drinks and tinted glasses.