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The best gaming PC 2020: top desktops for PC gamers

best gaming PCs
Whether you’re gaming on a budget or want a kitted-out rig, there’s something for you on this list. (Image credit: Future)

In 2020, the best gaming PCs are more powerful than ever. These battle stations on the market come with the newest and most cutting edge components, whether it’s Nvidia’s Super RTX graphics cards or AMD’s Navi cards. They can boot up and run graphics-intensive AAA games without so much as breaking a sweat. It’s never been a better time, therefore, to splurge on one.

The best PC games have been pushing the boundaries of what a truly engaging and immersive title means, and to really get the most out of them, you’ll require a beast of a machine even if you’re not playing competitively. If you want to turn up the graphics without severely hampering gameplay, you’ll need something with some serious muscle. And, that’s something the best gaming PCs can give you.

What’s more, not all gaming PCs are expensive, and some of the best processors and best graphics cards come with a surprisingly reasonable price tag. This means that you can get one of the best gaming PCs without emptying out the bank account. Whether it’s one of the best budget gaming PCs, one in a small form factor, or something with a spaceship-like design, there’s something for everyone. These are our top picks.

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. Is it a wonder why this tops our list of the best gaming PCs?

HP Omen Obelisk

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

2. 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 either. Plus, we’ve honestly seen more expensive machines for those specs.

Read the full review: HP Omen Obelisk review

(Image credit: MSI)

3. 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, it 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)

4. 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 gaming PCs 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 whole in your pocket. Of course, if you’ve got more case to spare, it’s VR ready configurations are also on hand, though even those are absolutely affordable.

Intel Ghost Canyon NUC

(Image credit: Intel)

5. 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 humbler 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 a terrific option for the budget-conscious. However, you may want to stay away from the highest configurations.