Building a gaming PC will almost always get you the most bang for your buck – not to mention teach you a lot about PCs in the process. But as someone who has built and bought countless PCs—not just for myself, but for family and friends—I know that building a rig isn’t for everyone. Sometimes you’d rather have something that works right out of the box, with a number you can call if something goes wrong. Not to mention when you go with a respected PC builder you usually get quality craftsmanship, an interesting and/or unique chassis, and warranty support too. If this is what you’re looking for, then here is my list of the best prebuilt PCs you can buy right now.
Or course, the new 2080 cards are out and the best way to get one is in a prebuilt PC. Eventually those will become the norm, but for now, your best bet is still a 10-series PC.
*Psst: This would also be a good place to remind you that you’re in the market for a prebuilt rig, IGN’s Daily Deals typically includes quite a few pre-made PCs, often at extreme discounts.
Best RTX 2080 Prebuilt PC
The next-generation of graphics cards are here, and they’re powerful, expensive, and hard to find. A prebuilt PC is one of the best ways to secure your own, and this Genesis from Origin PC can be tricked out in countless, insanely awesome ways. If a single 2080 card isn’t enough, why not 2? Or how about a pair of “Origin Cryogenic Liquid Cooled 11GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition” cards? That option is a few extra thousand dollars, but the sky’s the limit with an Origin PC. The sheer volume of customization options make this a great choice for your next PC.
Best Compact Prebuilt PC
Corsair has been manufacturing PC components for years, and its first foray into prebuilt PCs is surprisingly good. The Corsair One isn’t the smallest PC on the market, but its power-to-size ratio is as good as it gets from a PC with this footprint. And while it isn’t cheap, it’s actually a decent value, considering the parts inside and how compact it is. The One Pro comes with an Intel Core i7-7700K quad-core processor, an NVIDIA GTX 1080, 16GB of RAM, and storage from a 480GB SSD and 2TB HDD.
Corsair has multiple models with varying hardware, going all the way up to a One Elite model rocking a six-core i7-8700K CPU, GTX 1080 Ti, 32GB of RAM, and a 960GB PCIe SSD for out-of-this-world performance. The design of this prebuilt PC is cool without being too flashy, as it sports some subtle lighting and small triangular vents along the side.
The CPU and GPU are liquid cooled for cool and quiet performance, and it comes with six USB ports, four of which are USB 3.1. Even the base model can handle VR like a champ and 4K gaming at playable framerates, and while it isn’t as upgradeable as a larger PC, it’s a solid contender for any gamer’s looking for a compact, quiet, and powerful rig.
Best Upgradeable Prebuilt PC
Alienware likes to promote its lavish Area 51 PC, but the more subdued Aurora line is affordable and has something for everybody. Models range from basic to burly, with the base model packing a six-core Intel Core i5-8400 CPU, an AMD Radeon RX 560 graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. That’s a pretty basic system, but you can customize a PC to be as bad as you want it to be. Dell has options for the RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 Ti, as well.
Finally, though it uses a Micro-ATX motherboard the chassis is a mid-tower, and it’s one of the best features of this lineup. It offers a pretty understated design that looks surprisingly non-alien, but some flair is added via customizable lighting with 20 colors to choose from. However, the main reason this is on our list is Alienware has designed the entire chassis to be tool-less, so upgrades or hardware swaps are literally just plug-and-play. That’s a very handy feature to have for anyone who likes fiddling inside their PCs, and though you won’t need to upgrade for awhile, when you do it’ll be a cake walk.
Best Prebuilt PC for a Classic Look
If you prefer a more unassuming style in a prebuilt PC needs, the Dell XPS Tower Special Edition puts powerful gaming hardware in a sleek-but-plain chassis, so no one will know you’re not using it for work. The base model come with a six-core Intel i5-8400 CPU, NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD with a 1TB hard drive for data storage. That’ll handle basic gaming just fine, but Dell also lets you customize your rig to include a heck of a lot more—up to an i7-8700K, GTX 1080, 64GB RAM, and a 2TB SSD with a 2TB HDD. That version will run you around $3,000 but there’s a lot of options in between including 4K and VR-ready configurations.
The case is surprisingly compact, but still boasts four USB 3.1 ports on the front and seven USB ports in the back, not to mention the same tool-less design as the Alienware Aurora for super easy upgrades. If you want a gaming PC that doesn’t look like a typical gaming PC, the reserved Dell XPS Tower line is a great option.
Best Console-Style Prebuilt PC for Your Living Room
Let’s say you’re a big fan of PC gaming, but you like the couch-friendly experience of consoles. There’s something to say for kicking back with a gamepad at the end of the day, but consoles still can’t beat the PC’s do-anything nature, high level of configurability, and cheap Steam Sale games. Enter the ASUS GR8 II-6GT024Z VR Ready Mini PC, which proudly boasts its console-sized dimensions.
It’s available in two different versions, one with an Intel i5 and 3GB GTX 1060, and the other with an i7 and GTX 1060 with 6GB VRAM. It’s VR-ready, too, so if you want to explore the virtual worlds from the confines of your living room, the ASUS GR8 is, well, great.
Best Cheap Prebuilt PC
We get it; PC gaming is expensive. Not everyone has the budget for a balls-to-the-wall gaming monstrosity, and that’s okay—because there are some decent budget-friendly prebuilt PC options out there. At the time of this writing, I think the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR is a tough option to beat, with a six-core Intel Core i5-8400 CPU, an AMD Radeon RX 580 graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive, all for only $730. (I doubt I could even build a comparable PC for that price) It won’t play everything maxed out at 4K, but for 1080p gaming at medium to high settings, it’ll do the job—and it comes with a mouse and keyboard to boot.
There’s also no SSD in the $730 base model, but you can always check out more powerful versions of this model. Also, since CyberPowerPC’s rigs tend to use lots of off-the-shelf parts and tool-less components, you can swap in better parts down the line. You can also get one at Walmart with free shipping.
Whitson Gordon is a writer, gamer, and tech nerd who has been building PCs for 10 years. He eats potato chips with chopsticks so he doesn’t get grease on his mechanical keyboard.