Best gaming PC: 10 of the top rigs you can buy in 2017

With PC exclusives like Cliff Blezinski’s Overwatch-rivaling Lawbreakers and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds now more popular than ever, you may be thinking about getting started with a brand-new gaming PC. But, unlike in the console space, there are so many options that making this purchasing decision is often more overwhelming than it’s worth. 

That being the case, you may have your heart set on an equally convenient gaming laptop. But if you want to upgrade the hardware later, frankly that won’t be an option beyond perhaps memory and storage. Needless to say, there’s still plenty of room in your life for the classic tower of power, some of which – like the Asus VivoPC X – aren’t much bigger than a console.

Especially if you would rather spend your time playing games than learning how to build a computer, the best gaming PCs below are the best place to start. Most are upgradeable, but with their already-impressive set of specs, you’ll be able to get all of your games up and running without even touching a thumbscrew.

best gaming pc

1. Alienware Aurora R5

Alienware's iconic gaming PC returns as a mini powerhouse

CPU: Intel Core i5-7400 – i7-6700K | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 460 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Storage: 1TB HDD – 256GB PCIe SSD, 2TB HDD | Connectivity: Ethernet; Intel 3165 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.2 | Power supply: 850W PSU | Ports: 7 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB-3.1 Type-C, 6 x USB 2.0, Ethernet, 4 x DisplayPort, HDMI, optical out, headphone jack, microphone jack, 7.1 surround sound out

Easy to upgrade
Distinct case design
PSU gets in the way of cooler

One of the few PCs on this list to earn a perfect score, the Alienware Aurora R5 combines design elements traditional to Dell's famed luxury gaming brand with a handful of contemporary twists. The nigh-mini ITX computer bears resemblance to, say, the Area 51, but with a case that feels strikingly more native to our home planet. Of course, it simultaneously boasts top-of-the-line specs; an overclockable K-series Intel Core i7 CPU, a GeForce GTX 1080 and a massively capable 850W power supply are just a few of the Aurora R5's redeeming qualities. Plus, even with the small chassis, there's plenty of room for an unparalleled SLI configuration.

Read the full review: Alienware Aurora R5

Overclockers Asteroid

2. Overclockers 8Pack Asteroid

A beefy LAN-friendly PC with a tasty design

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 – Titan X | RAM: 8GB – 16GB DDR4 (3,866MHz) | Storage: 500GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD; 1TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD | Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet; Dual-band 802.11ac WiFi | Power supply: SuperFlower 1000W | Ports: 4 x USB 3, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, Optical S/PDIF, Gigabit Ethernet, 3 x audio

Insanely powerful
Compact design
Expensive
Lacks M.2 storage

The latest Overclockers machine is one of the best-designed gaming PCs we've ever seen, with bespoke water-cooling, a great color scheme and keen attention to detail. It marries its great design with top-notch performance in games and applications. Luckily it never gets too hot or too loud either. It is, however expensive and niche, with limited potential for upgrading. If you're looking for an attractive and unique LAN-friendly gaming PC that can handle anything from 4K gaming to VR, the Asteroid is an out-of-this-world machine with a price tag that will bring you back down to earth.

Read the full review: Overclockers 8Pack Asteroid

  • This product is only available in the UK as of this writing. US and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Origin Millennium.

3. MSI Trident 3

A slimline console-sized mini PC for your living room

CPU: Intel Core i5-7400 – i7-7700 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti – 1060 | RAM: 8GB – 32GB DDR4 (2,400MHz) | Storage: 2TB HDD; 120GB SSD – 2TB HDD; 1TB SSD | Connectivity: Intel Wireless-AC 3165 (802.11ac); Bluetooth 4.2 SmartReady | Ports: 1 x headphone jack, 2 x microphone jack, 1 x USB-C 3.1 Type-C, 3 x USB-A 3.1 (Gen 1), 1 x VR-Link HDMI, 4 x USB-A 2.0, 3 x HDMI, 2 x DisplayPort, 1x DVI, Ethernet, 1 x VR-Link (connect front VR-Link and graphic card)

Compact size
Silent and cool running
External 330W power brick

Positioned as a “console killer”, the MSI Trident 3 looks a lot like an Xbox One S and is more powerful than a PS4 Pro, but at the end of the day, it’s a PC that feels just right in your living room. Complete with all the ports you could ever dream of and VR support for both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the MSI Trident 3 may cost nearly four times as much as an Xbox, but the performance advantages are clear. Still, it’s not without its faults. In trying to be as thin and light as possible, the MSI Trident 3 comes equipped with a 330W external power supply brick, resembling some of the most less attractive console designs. 

Read the full review: MSI Trident 3

best gaming pc

4. Lenovo Ideacentre Y900

PC gaming on the high-end, no tools required

CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K – i7-6700K | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 – 1080 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB DDR4 (2,133MHz) | Storage: 1TB HDD – 2TB HDD, 256GB SSD | Connectivity: Ethernet; 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 | Power supply: 625W PSU | Ports: 4 x USB 2.0, 6 x USB 3.0,1 Gigabit LAN, 1 x HDMI / 1 x VGA / 1 x DVI, 6 x Audio Jack with SPDIF (7.1 Surround Sound), 1 PS/2 Combo, 7-in-1 Card Reader, 2 x Audio / Microphone Jack

Available GTX 1080 GPU
Looks awesome
Included mouse and keyboard stink
Limited store upgrade options

If you’re buying a pre-built PC, upgrades should be simple, right? That’s the philosophy behind the Lenovo IdeaCentre Y900, which bears a boisterous appearance that practically typecasts it as a gaming PC. It’s embellished with red lights all over, one of which even manages to make the letter “Y” look cool. The front of the chassis is bespeckled with textured patterns that’ll no doubt make your friends jealous. On top of offering support for a VR-ready GTX 1080, the Lenovo IdeaCentre boasts SLI support and room for up to 64GB of RAM, which are thankfully complemented by a convenient tool-less design.

Read the full review: Lenovo IdeaCentre Y900

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Corsair One.

5. Dell XPS Tower Special Edition

A gaming rig disguised as a workspace computer

CPU: Intel Core i5-7400 – Core i7-7700K | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 580 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB DDR4 (2,400MHz) | Storage: 256GB SSD; 1TB HDD – 512GB SSD; 2TB HDD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.2 | Power supply: 460W | Ports: 7 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x USB 2.0, SD card slot, HDMI, Display Port, Gigabit Ethernet, mic-in, headphone-out, 5.1 channel audio jacks

Compact, minimalist design
Full online customer support
Starting memory isn’t ideal for VR
Lower graphical performance compared to rivals

The Dell XPS Tower Special Edition is a reminder of just how convenient and affordable it can be to skip the laborious assembly process and simply buy your gaming PC from a prominent and well-liked manufacturer. By making a few concessions in the CPU, PSU and storage departments, Dell was able to leverage a reasonable price tag and sweeten the deal with a handful of enticing additives. These include powerful discrete graphics, a whopping 9 total USB ports and, of course, access to Dell’s online support system. That way, if something goes wrong, you’re not leafing through manuals to find out why your computer suddenly stopped working. 

Read the full review: Dell XPS Tower Special Edition

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Corsair One.

best gaming pc

6. Origin Millennium

Two times 1080 equals 4K at 60fps

CPU: Intel Core i3-7350K – i7-6950X | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 480 – 2 x Nvidia Titan X | RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2,400MHz) – 64GB DDR4 (2,800MHz) | Storage: 1TB HDD – 8TB HDD; 4TB SSD | Connectivity: Ethernet; 802.11ac Asus Wi-Fi GO! module; Bluetooth 4.0 | Power supply: 650W EVGA SuperNOVA G3 – 1.6kW EVGA SuperNOVA G2 | Ports: 8 x USB 3.0, 3 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 USB-C, 4 x USB 2.0, 1 optical audio out, 5 x audio jacks, 1 headphone jack, 6 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI

Immense power
Customizable RGB lighting
Immense price
Rattly plastic shell

Sure, for the price of an Origin Millennium PC, you could buy a halfway decent car. But why would you need to leave the house when you can play games in 4K at a buttery smooth 60 fps? That's the question Origin hopes you'll ask when you talk to your spouse about dropping six grand on a new gaming rig. Between its pair of EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition twins and the new Intel Broadwell-E Core i7-6950X processor, there is nothing the Origin Millennium can't handle – and on the best of the best displays at that. Of course, it's expensive; it's like ten years worth of future-proof.

Read the full review: Origin Millennium

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Overclockers 8Pack Asteroid.

7. MSI Aegis 3

Finally, a true contender to building it yourself

CPU: Intel Core i5-7400 – i7-7700 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – 1080 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Storage: 2TB HDD; 256GB SSD – 2TB HDD; 512GB SSD | Connectivity: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168; Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet | Power supply: 450W – 600W PSU **Ports:** 1 x USB 3.1 Type C, 2 x USB 2.0 (with Super Charger 2),1 x Mic in / 1 x Headphone out, 1 x HDMI out (VR Link), 2 x USB 2.0, 4 x USB 3.1 Type A, 1 x HDMI out, 1 x HDMI in (connect Graphic card and front VR-Link port), 1 x Display Port, 5 x OFC Audio jacks, 1 x S/PDIF, 1 x RJ45 LAN, 1 x Gaming device port(PS/2)

Tons of ports
So very, very quiet
Surprisingly heavy
Difficult to open chassis 

Both in its appearances and temperature, the MSI Aegis 3 is one of those few examples of a gaming computer that’s way cooler pre-built than what you could probably assemble yourself. Not only does its chassis look like an anime mecha robot, but it also features customizable, interactive lighting. What’s more, it’s similar in size to the Alienware Aurora, but with a Kaby Lake processor rather than a Skylake. Plus, there’s an acceptable MSI-branded keyboard and mouse included in the box. The only downside, then, is that the MSI Aegis 3 isn’t DIY upgrade-friendly. Swarming with Phillips head screws, you’ll be begging for tool-lessness.

Read the full review: MSI Aegis 3

8. Corsair One

This part maker's best (and only) gaming PC

CPU: Intel Core i7-7700 – i7-7700K | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 – 1080 Ti | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 240GB – 960GB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac; Gigabit Ethernet | Ports: 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 4 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x DP 1.4, 5.1 channel audio jacks

Powerful components
Small footprint
Expensive
Not user-upgradeable

If you want a powerful gaming PC that can run everything at the highest settings, but without building or tweaking it yourself, the Corsair One is an obvious choice. Equipped with a liquid-cooled, Pascal-series Nvidia GPU, an Intel Core i7 processor and nothing but an SSD for storage, this is a machine that’s all about power and speed. But, given its compact enclosure, it also prides itself in not occupying too much space. The Corsair One is also whisper-quiet without breaking a sweat. It may be expensive and impossible to repair without voiding the warranty, but its small form factor and powerful components help make up for the lackluster options for ardent DIY-ers.

Read the full review: Corsair One

9. Zotac Magnus EN1080

No one mini PC should have all this power

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 | RAM: Not included; up to 32GB DDR4 | Storage: Not included | Connectivity: 802.11ac; Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports; Bluetooth 4.0 | Power supply: 2 x AC Adapter (DC 19.5V/180W) | Ports: 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 USB 3.1 Type-C, 1x microphone jack, 1x headphone jack, 2 x DisplayPort 1.3, 3 x HDMI 2.0, SD card reader

Elegant design
Fantastic GPU performance
Limited upgrade options
Very expensive for a barebones unit

Like the Zotac Magnus EN1060 before it, the Magnus EN1080 is a barebones mini PC with some assembly required, namely in the storage and memory departments. Its main differentiators are its inclusion of an Intel Core i7-6700 and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. With these components on-hand, the EN1080 can handle everything from 4K gaming at middling frame rates to 1080p gaming at refresh rates upwards of 120Hz. Though it’s as costly a unit as might be expected from a PC armed with these specs, there are very few mid- to large-form factor PCs, not to mention mini computers, that can match the sheer heft of the EN1080’s performance output. 

Read the full review: Zotac Magnus EN1080

10. HP Omen X Desktop

Gaudy, but more than meets the eye

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K – i7-6800K | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 480 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 | RAM: 8GB – 32GB DDR4 (2,133MHz) | Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD; 2TB HDD (7,200 rpm) – 3TB HDD; 512GB SSD | Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2x2); Bluetooth 4.0 | Power supply: 600W Silver efficiency | Ports: 8 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB-C 3.1, Ethernet, SD card reader, 2 x HDMI, 2 x DisplayPort, microphone jack, headphone jack, optical audio out

Unique and minimalistic styling
Immense upgradeability
Larger than life presence
Costs a pretty penny and then some

Though you might mistake it for a Rubik’s Cube at first glance, the HP Omen X’s quirky design is all part of its charm. Don’t confuse eccentric casing with limited upgradeability, however, as the HP Omen X is more than just a pretty face. Complete with three chambers for components, including one with four hard drive bays, this desktop leaves plenty of room for expansion later down the line. Upgrades can be performed nearly without tools altogether, requiring not much more than a basic Allen wrench to lift up the panel. Perhaps the most practical aspect of the Omen X, though, is its ability to change the color of its lighting based on which components are sweating the most.

Read the full review: HP Omen X Desktop

Joe Osborne and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article