The best gaming PC in 2024: top prebuilt gaming PCs for serious gaming

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

Finding the best gaming PC can elevate your gaming experience to the next level by offering exceptional performance at a competitive price. 

If you're searching for the best prebuilt gaming PC, look no further than our top pick, the Corsair One i500. This powerhouse machine features cutting-edge specs, including the best graphics card and best processor available, all wrapped in a stylish design that’s perfect for both home setups and streaming. Despite its high-end components, the Corsair One i500 is surprisingly affordable for what it offers.

For those who prefer a more compact setup, options like the HP Victus 15L or Asus ROG G22CH are excellent choices. If you need a more robust system, the Acer Predator Orion 7000 or Alienware Aurora R16 might be right up your alley. Our comprehensive list includes these models and many more, ensuring you find the best gaming PC tailored to your needs and budget.

We've tested hundreds of PCs over the past 15 years, so we know our way around a gaming rig. We're here to leverage all of that collective knowledge earned through years of rigorous testing with the latest PC games and other benchmarking tools to help you find the best gaming PC for you hard-earned money.

The quick list

Recent updates

This guide was updated on May 6, 2024, to include the newly reviewed Corsair One i500. On March 4, 2024, the new Asus ROG G22CH was also added.

The best gaming PC in 2024

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Below you'll find full write-ups for each of the best gaming PC picks on our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted. 

The best gaming PC overall

The best gaming PC overall

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i9-14900K
Graphics: up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
RAM: Up to 64GB DDR5 RAM
Storage: 2TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic gaming performance
+
Incredible style
+
Small form factor

Reasons to avoid

-
Not very upgradable
-
Pricey

The Corsair One i500 gaming PC is a remarkable product, bringing fantastic gaming performance and design together into a single, small-form-factor PC that fits as easily into your living room's decor as it does with your existing PC gaming setup.

Featuring an eye-catching wooden front panel with fabric side panels reminiscent of a stereo speaker, this showpiece gaming PC isn't cheap to say the least. Starting at $3,599.99/£3,499.99, you could probably find a gaming PC with an Intel Core i9-14900K and Nvidia RTX 4090 for less, but it definitely won't look this good or come with AIO liquid cooling for both the CPU and GPU.

While you can upgrade the RAM and SSD easily enough by removing a few screws, upgrading the CPU and GPU is going to be a much taller order, so this is really only for those who want a one-and-done PC gaming solution that they won't need to tinker with for many years to come.

Read our full Corsair One i500 review

Before making your final choice, check out our latest Corsair promo codes to save on Corsair products.

The best budget gaming PC

HP Victus 15L on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
The best budget gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: up to Intel Core i7-13700
Graphics: up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
RAM: up to 16GB DDR4
Storage: up to 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD + 1 TB 7200 rpm SATA HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Solid gaming 1080p performance
+
Doesn’t take up a lot of space
+
Lots of accessible ports
+
Very affordable at cheapest configurations

Reasons to avoid

-
Cramped design may lead to overheating
-
Construction could be more robust

The HP Victus 15L doesn't hide the fact that it's a budget gaming PC. It's less robust, less flashy, and the available configurations are a bit less powerful than the other systems on this list. That doesn't have to be a bad thing, though: it means the starting price is a lot lower (and even the more powerful versions remain affordable), and its compact size makes it good for setups where desktop real-estate is in short supply.

Despite its budget status, we found in our testing process that the HP Victus 15L offers solid 1080p gaming performance, only requiring some modest fiddling in the graphical settings to ensure good frame rates. Stay away from Ultra presets and ray tracing, and you should be fine for the vast majority of games at 1080p. Combined with decent upgradability and a good selection of ports on the front panel, this is an excellent pick for anyone who needs a gaming PC for cheap.

Read our full HP Victus 15L review 

The best gaming PC for upgraders

Acer Predator Orion 7000 (2023) on the author's desk

(Image credit: Future / Rosario Blue)
A premium gaming PC for gamers who need a lot of power

Specifications

CPU: 13th-gen Intel Core i7 - i9
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 - 4090
RAM: 32 GB, DDR5 SDRAM
Storage: 1 TB SSD, 2 TB HDD
Total War: Warhammer III Battle Benchmark (1080p, Ultra) average framerate: 252

Reasons to buy

+
Beast performance
+
Gorgeous ARGB lighting
+
Very upgradeable

Reasons to avoid

-
Huge and heavy tower
-
Can get very noisy
-
Expensive

The Acer Predator Orion 7000 (2023) is a luxurious choice of gaming desktop, a refresh of the excellent 2022 model that continues to offer performance and style in equal measure. It sports a stunning design (with striking ARGB lighting), and more importantly, high-end specs built for 4K gaming that meant we were able to comfortably set the graphics to maximum in just about any game and enjoy smooth frame rates. In Final Fantasy VII Remake, we got a staggering 256fps at 4K Ultra with ray tracing on.

Naturally, all that power has its drawbacks: it's a pricey unit, and the fans go absolutely nuts when you're playing a graphically demanding title. That being said, those fans do a good job of keeping the system cool, and any of the best gaming headsets will shut out that noise. The chassis is great in general, easily openable for upgrades and maintenance and offering an elegant cable management solution along with plenty of I/O ports, but it's not all function and no form: this PC looks fantastic too.

Read our full Acer Predator Orion 7000 (2023) review

The best high performance gaming PC

Alienware Aurora R16 on a desk

(Image credit: Future / Allisa James)
The premium choice for current-gen gaming experience

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-13700F - i9F-13900F
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 - 4080
RAM: 16GB - 64GB DDR5
Storage: 1TB - 4TB NVMe M.2 PCIe

Reasons to buy

+
Great performance
+
Compact chassis, excellent ventilation
+
Great port selection

Reasons to avoid

-
A bit pricey
-
Glass side panel is pointless

Behold! The Alienware Aurora is dead; long live the Alienware Aurora. Yes, Dell has ditched its bizarre space-age aesthetic for its Aurora gaming desktop line, instead opting for a sleek redesign that still offers a unique aesthetic without being quite so... strange.

The new chassis is sleeker and incorporates the RGB light ring seen on the rear of laptops like the Alienware x16, but the components inside are no less powerful than before. During our tests, it powered through titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Dirt 5 at QHD resolution, and even 4K was an option in most games if you used Nvidia DLSS 3. Despite the newly shrunken case, the Aurora R16 offers excellent ventilation that ensured cool and quiet gaming throughout our lengthy testing process. A standout product reboot from Dell.

Read our full Alienware Aurora R16 review 

The best compact gaming PC

An Asus ROG G22CH on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
The best compact gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: up to 14th Gen Intel Core i7-14700F
Graphics: up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Ti
RAM: up to 32GB DDR5
Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Great performance in a compact design
+
Good starting price

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be loud
-
Hard/impossible to upgrade

The Intel NUC Extreme long held the title of the best compact gaming PC for many years. However, now that it has been discontinued, Asus has taken up the mantle where Intel left it and has produced one of the best gaming PCs going, especially for those who don't have a lot of desk space.

The ROG G22CH starts at an accessible price point (though its entry-level specs are a bit outdated), and can max out at a respectable level of hardware and performance without costing too much money.

In our tests, this little desktop gaming PC was able to chew through 1080p gaming with ease and put up very good 1440p gaming numbers. All in all, then, this is a very cleverly designed compact box of tricks, but the trade-off here is that given the form-factor, this Asus gaming PC is going to be almost impossible to upgrade. Furthermore, its mesh-paneled chassis means you're going to hear the whine of fans under load, such as when playing demanding PC games.

Read our full Asus ROG G22CH review

To ensure you're getting the best deal, browse our Asus coupon codes for potential discounts.

The best customizable gaming PC

A Maingear MG-1 AMD Advantage gaming PC on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
The best customizable gaming PC going

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel Core i9-14900K | AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D
Graphics: Up to Nvidia RTX 4090 | AMD RX 7900 XTX
RAM: Up to 128GB DDR4 / 64GB DDR5
Storage: Up to 2 x 4TB M.2 SSD + 1 x 16TB 7200PRM HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Easy PC building for the uninitiated
+
Clear and easy to follow instructions

Reasons to avoid

-
Premium price
-
Core kit has no RGB lighting

Customizable gaming PCs can be very expensive items, and for many of Maingear's high-end systems, that is definitely the case. But the Maingear MG-1 is a unique proposition where you don't necessarily have to spend a fortune to get a custom build.

The MG-1 starts out at a damn-near budget price of $1,099.99, and its specs aren't terrible for the price. The great thing about this PC is that you can swap parts in and out on Maingear's website to build the exact gaming PC you want, and trust that it will be put together by professionals who will extensively test the PC before it leaves their shop.

And if you're an international buyer outside the US, you can even arrange international shipping, so you don't have to miss out either. You might have to pay additional shipping fees, but it's worth it.

As far as performance goes, the AMD Advantage version of the MG-1 we reviewed got some of the highest scores on our various gaming and synthetic benchmarks, but your performance will obviously vary depending on which specs your configure your system with.

Read our full Maingear MG-1 review

The best gaming PC: FAQs

What type of PC is best for gaming?

There are a few things to keep in mind when buying a new gaming PC, since gaming requires very specific hardware and not all PCs have what you'll need.

The most important factor is the graphics card. Make sure that any PC you buy for gaming comes with a fairly recent graphics card. An Nvidia RTX 3000-series, AMD Radeon RX 6000-series, or Intel Arc graphics card (or GPU) are what you really want to aim for.

Next, make sure that the gaming PC has at least 16GB RAM, since 8GB of even the best RAM is not enough memory to really run modern PC games.

You'll also want a more modern processor, so Intel Core 11000-series and AMD Ryzen 5000-series or higher. You don't need the best Intel processor or best AMD processor from these generations, mind you. An Intel Core i5 or Core i7 (or AMD Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7) are perfectly fine, though if you can get an AMD Ryzen X3D-series processor (like the Ryzen 7 7800X3D), these are the best gaming processors you're going to find.

Storage is not nearly as big of an issue, and it is pretty easy to upgrade to one of the best SSDs, so a 512GB SSD is fine to start (though you'll have to manage your game installations somewhat).

If you're not particularly familiar with managing gaming specific hardware and building PCs, we'd definitely suggest sticking with larger OEM manufacturers like Dell, Alienware, HP, Lenovo, Asus, and MSI rather than more boutique builds. There's nothing wrong with companies like Maingear and Origin (who both make phenomenal systems), but these are definitely more in the enthusiast lane. If that's you, you'll love what they build, but if you don't know what a BIOS is, better to stick with more mainstream manufacturers.

Is it better to build or buy a gaming PC?

Whether to build or buy a gaming PC, that is the question. For some PC gamers, building a system is the only way to go, as this lets you customize your rig to very precise specifications. Unfortunately, finding the individual components you need to build a PC is getting tougher than ever. As much as you might want to build a custom gaming PC, you might not actually be able to do so.

If that's the case, then there's absolutely nothing wrong with buying a gaming PC. No, you might not be able to precisely customize it to your liking, but if what you want to do is play your favorite PC games, then buying one of the best gaming PCs you can afford will simply make the whole process easier.

Should you get a gaming PC or a next-gen console?

There may not be a clear answer to settle the gaming PC vs next-gen console debate, but there are a few key things you should consider before buying either one. Both pieces of technology will flawlessly play the biggest game releases, but consoles like the PS5 still have exclusive games like Horizon Forbidden West that can’t be played anywhere else.

Next-gen consoles are also an all-in-one package with the console and at least one controller in the same purchase. The best prebuilt gaming PC, however, often requires a tower PC, monitor, keyboard, and mouse - most of which all have to be purchased separately. The cost for PC gaming accessories only goes up when you want to get things like the best gaming keyboard, best gaming mouse, and best PC gaming headsets.

Both next-gen consoles and gaming PCs have been affected by component shortages, making it difficult to find consoles as well as newer PC gaming parts. If you can get these items for retail price it won’t be as much of an investment, but it has become increasingly difficult to find reasonable prices amongst scalpers. Stock often sells out fast as well, making it hard to get your hands on either technology.

So, is a gaming PC better than a next-gen console? Not necessarily, especially if you don’t have the room to devote to all the aspects of a PC gaming rig. However, the best gaming PC will run on-par with the newest next-gen consoles so it’s ultimately about the gaming experience you’re looking for - choosing between a next-gen console or gaming PC is a win either way.

How to choose the best gaming PC for you

Since building your own PC can be pricey and/or a bit of a hassle, buying the best gaming PC you can afford definitely makes the whole process easier. And with some recent offerings from companies like HP and Dell, you don't even necessarily have to spend a fortune either. Still, it's always good to go in knowing what you're looking for within your budget.

Whether you’re playing the best PC games or the best free games to save a bit of coin, your priority should be choosing something that manages to be within your budget without compromising on performance or scrimping on vital features like a healthy port selection and appealing RGB lighting. 

That could very well mean the very best prebuilt gaming PC that will see you through 4K gaming at high frame rates, or one of the best budget gaming PCs that will give you a smooth 1080p gaming experience at an accessible price point. Don’t worry so much about the frills and the design unless your budget is flexible or you’ve got deep pockets.

Once you’ve decided on your budget, you should pick a computer with the best GPU you can afford. You’ll want at least an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 if you plan on gaming in 4K while an RTX 3060 Ti can handle 1440p gaming. While you want a CPU that can keep up like Intel Core i5 or i7, pre-built PCs won’t come with underperforming CPUs.

You should also make sure you have enough speedy RAM and fast storage capable of keeping up. These days, an 8GB DDR4 memory is the bare minimum, but upgrade to 16GB if you can. Plenty of SSD storage is ideal as well, since many top titles take up a lot of space, although you can always get an additional drive later down the line.

Finally, make sure you have enough money for quality peripherals as well. After all, a gaming PC is only as good as its peripherals. Only when coupled with the best gaming monitor and the best gaming keyboards will yours be the stuff of legends.

How we tested out best gaming PC picks

A gaming PC is a big purchase that shouldn’t be taken lightly, which is why we don’t take our testing lightly either. Testing gaming PCs is always a comprehensive undertaking for us, using it to play not only the latest or hottest games but also older yet still demanding titles as well, noting things like performance – especially in gaming – as well as noise and thermal efficiency. We also run synthetic benchmarks like PCMark 10, 3DMark, and Geekbench 6.

Furthermore, we take a look at its design: things like number of available ports, expandability and upgradability, RGB lighting, and accessibility that its chassis offers. Build quality is an important factor in the best prebuilt gaming PC, and so we also look at a PC's price and if any piece of hardware feels cheap or flimsy in an expensive product, it's going to get marked down. 

For good measure, we’ll also check how it does with daily tasks, because most of us don’t only use our gaming PCs for gaming; it serves as our everyday computer as well.

We then take everything we’ve learned about the gaming PC and compare it to its price – whether or not its performance and features are worth that price tag, and whether or not it offers the best value to customers.

For more information about our process, see how we test.

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John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).

With contributions from