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The best gaming PC 2020: top desktops for PC gamers

best gaming PCs
(Image credit: Future)

Only the best gaming PCs will do, if you want something that can boot up and run graphics-intensive AAA games without breaking a sweat. They are practically battlestations and more powerful than ever before, armed with the most capable Nvidia Turing or AMD Navi cards and Intel Comet Lake processors.

Sure, any gaming PC may be capable of seeing you through your favorite PC games, but it’s the best gaming PCs that will truly deliver that incredibly immersive and butter-smooth gaming experience. The best PC games are, after all, pushing the boundaries of what a truly engaging and immersive title means, and only computers touting the best processors and best graphics cards have the muscle to handle them.

More powerful than the best laptops out there while also staying affordable, the best gaming PC has more than enough juice to handle the most demanding games. So, it’s time to swap that struggling PC you have at home for a newer, better model. From the best budget gaming PC to something that you can blow all your money on, here are the best gaming PCs on this list.

Best gaming PCs on Amazon Prime day and Black Friday

With Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday coming soon, the best gaming PCs are bound to get some massive price cuts, as they always do every year. This means that you can upgrade from your old gaming PC to a new one touting newer internals for even less, saving you more money to use for something else on your shopping list.

Whether you’re buying one for you or planning on gifting one during the holiday season, it would be wise to wait until these major deal events of the year. With Amazon Prime Day likely to arrive sometime in mid-October and Black Friday rolling around the end of November, you won’t have to wait for long.

Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10

(Image credit: Alienware)

1. Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10

Powerful gaming for all budgets

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500 – 9 3950X | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5600 – NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti | RAM: 8GB – 64GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB 7200RPM SATA – 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD + 2TB 7200RPM SATA

Powerful specs
Affordable
Stunning design
Still very expensive at highest configurations

With AMD’s solid campaign to win the CPU and GPU markets, it’s no surprise that many of the best PCs are switching over Team Red’s cause. Our favorite Alienware Aurora gaming desktop PC line is among them, fitting its R10 models with AMD’s powerful yet affordable Ryzen CPUs. Not only do these deliver brute strength when it comes to gaming, but they also tout affordability, giving budget gamers to partake in what those with souped up rigs experience everyday without burning a hole in their pockets. This is the best gaming PC, bar none – especially with the next generation rocking with configurations touting the RTX 3090 for 8K resolution gaming.

MSI Trident 3 10th

(Image credit: MSI)

2. MSI Trident 3 10th

Best small form-factor gaming PC

CPU: up to 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10700 | Graphics: up to MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Super | RAM: up to 64GB DDR4 2666MHz | Storage: 1 x M.2 SSD + 1 x 2.5" HDD / SSD

Esports-ready performance
Small form-factor
Plenty of front-facing ports
Entry level model runs off a hard drive
Not easily user-serviceable

If space is an issue, or you simply want a gaming PC set up right in your living room, then the MSI Trident 3 10th is worth considering. This isn’t just one of the smallest gaming PCs we've ever seen, not much larger than the best gaming laptops; it’s also more affordable than the competition with equivalent hardware. Without draining your wallet while touting a smaller footprint, the specs inside will be more than enough to ensure an excellent experience. And, as long as flashy RGB lighting and liquid cooling aren’t vital – and you don’t care much about upgradeability, this is the best gaming PC for you.

Read the full review: MSI Trident 3 10th

HP Omen Obelisk

This rectangular monster is definitely worthy of its moniker as it boasts lots of power. (Image credit: HP)

3. HP Omen Obelisk

Tricked out stunner for the hardcore gamer

CPU: Intel Core i5-8400 – i5-9600K | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti – RTX 2080Ti | RAM: up to 64GB | Storage: 1TB HDD – 1TB SSD, 3TB+3TB HDD

Lots of power
Appealing, tool-less design
Highly upgradeable
Base model hardly future-proof

This rectangular monster is definitely worthy of its moniker as it boasts lots of power… more than enough, in fact, for most gamers’ needs. When you’ve the funds for an upper-tier configuration, you’ll get a behemoth. Unfortunately, budget-minded buyers will have to be satisfied with gameplay at medium settings, since the lower end models don’t pack the same firepower. Still, because of its high upgradability and tool-less design, such buyers are only an upgrade or two from the best gaming experience on Ultra or Max settings. Plus, we’ve honestly seen more expensive machines for those specs. If you’re looking for the best gaming PC for cheaper, this HP PC is worth looking into.

Read the full review: HP Omen Obelisk review

Corsair One a100

(Image credit: Corsair)

4. Corsair One a100

Tiny PC, big power

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X – 3950X | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX RTX 2080 Super – 2080 Ti | RAM: 32GB DDR4-3200 | Storage: 500GB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD – 1TB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD

Extremely powerful
Looks cool
All liquid cooling
Hard to service
Expensive

Never underestimate this compact PC because of its size. The Corsair One a100 is one incredibly powerful machine, packing internals like the legendary AMD Ryzen 9 3950X and Nvidia’s unbeatable RTX 2080 Ti into a tiny chassis that would disappear into the background had it not been for its stylish RGB. Coupled with 32GB of memory and lots of storage space, this one’s a boon for the professional creative types as well. Rightly so, as they’re among the very few who can truly afford that hefty price tag. If you want something that looks cool and runs all the best games, the Corsair One a100 is the best gaming PC for you… if you have a ton of cash to throw, that is.

Read the full review: Corsair One a100

Corsair Vengeance i4200

(Image credit: Corsair)

5. Corsair Vengeance i4200

Back with a vengeance

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X – Intel Core i7-10700KF | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super – 2080 Super | RAM: 16GB – 32GB DDR4-3200 | Storage: 960GB NVMe SSD – 480GB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD

Sleek tower and lighting design through iCue
Solid gaming performance
Expensive
Storage capacity is lacking

Blending its sleek mid-tower design with clever LED lighting controls and top-tier specs, the Corsair Vengeance i4200 is no slouch, even at its lower configuration (there are only two). It’s the more powerful one that you’d want to go for here – starting at $2,000, you might as well go big – with breathtaking specs like the Intel Core i7-10700KF and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super as well as up to 32GB of memory. If you’re a hardcore gamer, then this is one of the best gaming PCs for you without going completely broke. Though get ready to shell out a bit more for an external SSD, if you find the storage offerings a bit lacking.

Read the full review: Corsair Vengeance i4200

MSI Trident A Plus

(Image credit: MSI)

6. MSI Trident A Plus

Plenty of power inside its sleek shape

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB PCIE NVME M.2 SSD (512GB x 1) + 1TB 7200RPM – 1TB PCIE NVME SSD

 Slim form factor 
 Powerful performance 
 High upgradability 
 Not cheap 

It’s downright impressive how much power the MSI Trident A Plus boasts under the hood, especially considering its slim and small-ish form factor. The self-proclaimed most compact gaming desktop right now isn’t all talk, it walks the walk too with its 5.1 x 15.06 x 15.6-inch size. For superb performance, it offers 9th-generation Intel Core processors, up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card and 16GB of memory. While it’s not necessarily kitted out, this best gaming PC still spells sheer power. This small yet mighty gaming PC also delivers 4K gaming experience, customizable Mystic Light RGB LED design and the Silent Storm Cooling 3. 

Dell G5 Gaming Desktop

The Dell G5 boasts 9th-generation Intel chips as well as Nvidia’s most powerful gaming GTX and RTX graphics cards. (Image credit: Dell)

7. Dell G5 Gaming Desktop

Budget PC gaming at its best

CPU: 9th Gen Intel Core i3-9100 – i9 9900K | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 – RTX 2070 | RAM: 8GB – 64GB | Storage: 1TBSSD – 1TB SSD + 2TB HDD

Affordable
VR-ready configurations
Base models won’t get you through the most demanding games

A unique chassis coupled with a price to beat, Dell’s latest in its G series is a solid contender in budget gaming. The Dell G5 boasts 9th-generation Intel chips as well as Nvidia’s most powerful gaming GTX and RTX graphics cards, starting with an i3 processor and the GTX 1650 to handle many powerful games without burning a hole in your pocket. Of course, if you’ve got more cash to spare, it’s VR ready configurations are also on hand, though even those are absolutely affordable.

Intel Ghost Canyon NUC

(Image credit: Intel)

8. Intel Ghost Canyon NUC

Small, but dangerous

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i5 – i9 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: 8GB – 64B DDR4 | Storage: 128GB SSD – 2TB + 2TB

Affordable at its low configurations
Highly upgradeable
Great performance
Can get pretty pricey at the highest configurations

Intel’s NUC has come a long way from its humble beginnings. For example, while the previous Hades Canyon didn’t come with a RAM or storage, the newer Ghost Canyon has both. In fact, not only does it have more offerings now in terms of specs, but it’s also highly configurable so you can personalize it to your liking before hitting that buy button. With 9th-generation Intel Core chips, up to 64GB of memory and up to 4TB dual storage, we’re all for it. The only catch is that it's pricier now as well. The lower configurations are still quite affordable, and the best gaming PC for the budget- and portability-conscious. However, you may want to stay away from the highest configurations.