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


Despite the fact that if you plan on upgrading to processors in a few months, , the PC gaming space has plenty to offer to those dissuaded by consoles. Even if you’re married to the controller at this point, Microsoft has made its Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows just as easy to use as .

That being the case, you may have your heart set on an equally convenient . But if you want to upgrade the hardware later, frankly that won’t be an option beyond perhaps memory and storage. Therefore, a desktop tower is the way to go for gamers looking to squeeze out the most juice for the least amount of money.

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

The nigh-mini ITX Alienware Aurora R5 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. Never getting too hot or too loud, the Overclockers 8Pack Asteroid is as covert as it is stylish. There’s limited room for upgrading, but 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 .

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 and is more powerful than a , 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, the MSI Trident 3’s advantages are clear. Still, 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:

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. Embellished with red lights all over, the front of its 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 .

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 doing it yourself and just buy your PC from a reputable manufacturer. By making a few minor concessions, 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. 

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 .

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? Between its pair of EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition twins and the 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. 

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, 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, speed and portability. It may be impossible to repair without voiding the warranty, but its small form factor and powerful components undoubtedly compensate for any shortcomings.

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 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. 

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 (2×2); 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. 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. 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

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