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The best gaming PCs starting at $800

A pre-built gaming PC can let you quickly play your favorite games and new triple-A titles. These are the best gaming desktops on the market.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer on

Buying a gaming PC doesn't have to be a painful experience. Opting for a prebuilt configuration from brands like HP, MSI, or Alienware is a great way to get the most value out of your gaming PC. You can nail down a budget and select the configuration that gives you the best components for the price. 

Building a PC is simple enough, but it can be intimidating to new PC gamers and frustrating for gaming veterans who don't want to deal with shipping delays on individual components. And contrary to popular belief, having a high-end GPU like an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 doesn't mean your new gaming PC is automatically the best; what counts is the CPU and how much RAM and storage your configuration has. Because even an older GTX 1660 Super or RTX 2070 is still capable of running demanding triple-A titles.

Gaming and office PCs alike use either Intel or AMD processors and compatible components, and it used to be that Intel was the clearly superior choice. But with the new Ryzen 6000 CPUs and GPUs, AMD has proven that it is capable of serious power. If you want to know more about the different CPUs available for gaming PCs, you can check out our list of the best gaming CPUs.

I've combed the web to find the best gaming PCs available at just about every price point, and I've broken down their features and best-use cases to help you choose the best one that fits both your budget and needs.


Pros & Cons
  • Liquid cooling
  • RTX 3080 GPU
  • Dual storage drives
  • Pricey
  • Design won't appeal to everyone
More Details

Alienware Aurora R14 Ryzen Edition features: CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900 | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 | RAM: 32GB | Power supply: 850W | Storage: 1TB SSD and 2TB HDD | Cooling system: Liquid 

The Alienware Aurora R14 Ryzen Edition is the best gaming PC you can buy right now. It's built with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900 CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card for all the power you need to play the hottest triple-A titles and most graphically demanding games. 

The AMD Ryzen 9 5900 has a base clock speed of 3.0GHz, which is the third-most popular choice for AMD users that took the April 2023 Steam Survey; but if you want more power, you can overclock the processor to a maximum speed of 4.7GHz. And with dual storage drives, you'll have plenty of space for your entire game library plus room to grow. 

A liquid cooling system works with the pre-installed fans to draw waste heat away from components, keeping everything running at optimal temperatures for better performance and power efficiency. The chassis also sports a unique, rounded design to stand out from the rest of the box-style, midsize towers on the market. And with tool-less access, it's easy to open up the tower to clean out fans, reroute cables, or upgrade components.

Pros & Cons
  • GeForce RTX 4080 GPU
  • 13th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU
  • Supports up to 128GB RAM
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 support
  • Very expensive
  • No Thunderbolt support
More Details

MSI Aegis RS features: CPU: Intel Core i9-13900K | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 | RAM: 32GB | Power supply: 1000W | Storage: Up to 2TB SSD and 2TB HDD | Cooling system: Liquid

Whether you make videos for YouTube and TikTok or stream live on Twitch, the MSI Aegis RS is an almost perfect gaming PC for you. It's built with a 13th-generation Intel Core i7-13700KF CPU, 16GB of DDR5 RAM, a 2TB SSD, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card. These premium-grade components ensure that you'll have power and performance to spare when playing graphically intensive games, streaming videos, editing thumbnails, or rendering animations. 

And if you ever need to upgrade, the Aegis RS supports up to 128GB of RAM as well as secondary HDD or SSD storage drives so your PC can grow and adapt to your needs. The Aegis RS also supports Wi-Fi 6 for blazing-fast wireless internet speeds as well as Bluetooth 5.2 for more stable connections to wireless peripherals like headsets, keyboards, and mice.

Pros & Cons
  • Under $1500
  • Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Keyboard and mouse included
  • RTX 3050 graphics card
  • White case shows dirt and dust
  • No Thunderbolt support
More Details

HP Omen 25L features: CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600G | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 | RAM: 8GB | Power supply: 600W | Storage: 512GB SSD | Cooling system: Air

Buying a pre-built gaming PC with higher-end components doesn't have to cost you a fortune. The HP Omen 25L is built with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600G processor, RTX 3050 GPU, a 512GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM to let you keep up with all the hottest triple-A releases. It also supports Wi-Fi 6 for blazing fast and reliable wireless internet speeds, so online lag is virtually gone. And with Bluetooth connectivity, you can set up wireless peripherals like headsets, mice, and keyboards for a custom battle station. 

It also has 3 USB-C ports for faster data transfer speeds and more reliable connectivity for peripherals and storage devices. And RGB lighting within the case lets you show off your personal style or sync with other RGB components and peripherals. The Omen 25L also comes bundled with a keyboard and mouse so you can get started playing your favorite games right out of the box.

Pros & Cons
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU
  • 13th gen Intel Core i9 CPU
  • Liquid cooling
  • Dual storage drives
  • Very, very expensive
  • No peripherals bundled with it
More Details

MSI Infinite RS features: CPU: Intel Core i9-13900K | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 | RAM: 32GB | Power supply: 1000W | Storage: Up to 2TB SSD and 2TB HDD | Cooling system: Liquid

The Nvidia RTX 4090 graphics card was released on Oct. 12, 2022 with a retail price of around $1600. The high price and demand for the GPU mean that one of the few reliable (and financially practical) ways to get your hands on one is to get a pre-built gaming PC equipped with one. The MSI Infinite RS is built with the RTX 4090, placing it in the very top tier of gaming PCs. With 24GB of VRAM as well as 32GB of DDR5 RAM, you'll get an incredibly fast and smooth gaming experience. 

The Infinite RS also comes equipped with an Intel Core i9-13900K for the ultra-high performance needed for the most graphically demanding game titles. The tower is liquid-cooled for more efficient heat dissipation, and the dual storage drives give you plenty of space for your Steam, Origin, or Epic store library. But all of this comes at a pretty steep price: with such high-end and powerful components, be prepared to shell out almost $5,000 for the tower alone.

Pros & Cons
  • Incredibly compact and lightweight design
  • 7.1CH virtual surround sound
  • Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 support
  • Expensive
  • Mini form factor makes replacing components tricky
More Details

MSI MPG Trident AS features: CPU: Intel Core i7-12700F | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 | RAM: 16GB | Power supply: 750W | Storage: 1TB SSD | Cooling system: Air

While full and mid-size towers are some of the most popular form factors for gaming PCs, the MSI MPG Trident AS makes a strong case for compact rigs. The Trident AS has an impressively small footprint, measuring just 15.6 x 5 x 15 inches and weighing about 14.5 pounds, making it perfect for smaller desks, gaming spaces, and multi-monitor setups. And just because it's small, that doesn't mean it's not still mighty. 

This gaming PC is built with an Intel Core i7-12700F CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card, letting you take on everything from retro classics to the latest triple-A releases. It also offers 7.1CH virtual surround sound for excellent, room-filling audio with dedicated speakers or spatial audio with a headset. It also supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity for ultra-fast internet browsing and downloads as well as more reliable connections with wireless peripherals.

What is the best gaming PC?

The Alienware Aurora Ryzen R14 is the best gaming PC overall, thanks to its superior CPU, RAM, GPU, and storage. The MSI Aegis RS is best for content creators, while the HP Omen 25L is the best gaming PC under $1500. The MSI Infinite RS has the best graphics card, and the MSI MPG Trident AS is the best compact gaming PC.

Gaming PCPriceWhere to buyGPUCPURAMPower supplyStorageCooling system
Alienware Aurora Ryzen$1000DellNvidia GeForce RTX 3080AMD Ryzen 9 590032GB850W1TB SSD and 2TB HDDLiquid
MSI Aegis RS$3029AmazonNvidia GeForce RTX 4090Intel Core i9-13900K32GB1000WUp to 2TB SSD and 2TB HDDLiquid
HP Omen 25L$800Best BuyNvidia GeForce RTX 3050AMD Ryzen 5 5600G8GB600W512GB SSDAir
MSI Infinite RS$4399AmazonNvidia GeForce RTX 4090Intel Core i9-13900K32GB1000WUp to 2TB SSD and 2TB HDDLiquid
MSI MPG Trident AS$2172WalmartNvidia GeForce RTX 3080Intel Core i7-12700F16GB750W1TB SSDAir

Which gaming PC is right for you?

The snarky answer is the one you can afford. But jokes aside, other than price, you want to pay close attention to how much RAM and storage a configuration has. You want to choose a prebuilt PC that has at least 8GB of RAM and a storage drive (either a solid-state drive or a traditional hard disk drive) with no less than 256GB of space. The graphics card model in your build isn't as important as RAM, since the system memory is what actually renders game assets. 

Krishna Madala, a former professional coach for Overwatch eSports teams like Singularity Esports and the Samsung Morning Stars, says that buyers "try to overspec a lot when going for [pre-built PCs]," and that games like League of Legends "could run[...] on a standard Dell tower with integrated graphics and still get 60fps." However, if you're looking for a decent gaming PC at a reasonable price, Madala suggests a rig with at least 16GB of RAM and a 512GB storage drive as well as a CPU and GPU that are within the last 2 or 3 tech generations.  

Choose this gaming PC...

If you need...

Alienware Aurora R14 Ryzen Edition

A well-rounded gaming PC with a powerful processor and GPU. This PC features a Ryzen processor and an Nvidia GPU, making it a solid choice for gaming and creative work.

MSI Aegis RS

A gaming PC for content creators. This PC is equipped with high-end components that make it an excellent choice for demanding work, such as video editing and 3D modeling.

HP Omen 25L

A more affordable, pre-built gaming PC. Despite its lower price point, this gaming PC still packs a punch with a powerful CPU and GPU, making it a great choice for those on a budget.

MSI Infinite RS

A pre-build gaming PC with an RTX 4090 GPU. This PC is a top-of-the-line option for gamers who want the best possible performance.

MSI MPG Trident AS

A compact gaming PC. It may be small in size, but it still has powerful components that make it a great option for gaming in a smaller space.

How did we choose these gaming PCs?

I chose these gaming PCs because they offer a great balance between price and components. Higher-end models, like the Alienware Aurora Ryzen R14, come with top-of-the-line components to give you a gaming PC that will last for years before you need to think about upgrading. Others, like the HP Victus desktop, are more budget-friendly options for folks who either are new to PC gaming or who aren't worried about trying to keep up with the latest triple-A games.

Is a cheap gaming PC a good choice?

You can absolutely find a budget-friendly (around $1,000 is considered "budget" when it comes to prebuilt gaming desktops and laptops) gaming computer that is going to have the storage space and processing power for just about any game. You can save money on a prebuilt or custom build by opting for an older GPU (when you can get any). While they aren't the newest, shiniest tech, they still have plenty of juice to run a lot of triple-A titles at decent settings. 

You also can save by choosing a configuration with less RAM and storage, since you can often swap them out yourself later; this lets you take advantage of component sales that work with your overall budget. Make sure you check your gaming laptop though, since they can sometimes have soldered RAM sticks that cannot be removed or changed out.

How much RAM do I need for gaming?

For most games, either 8GB or 16GB of RAM is going to be plenty to get a smooth experience. You can find configurations with upwards of 128GB of RAM, and while this would certainly give you more system memory for very technically and graphically demanding games, you are never going to be able to take full advantage of so much RAM (unless you're an animator or professional content creator).

Is it cheaper to build a gaming PC myself?

It can be. Gaming PCs are one of those things that you can spend as little or as much on as you want. Prebuilt gaming desktops and laptops are great for anyone who either doesn't have time to build or isn't comfortable with building a gaming computer. They're also more expeditious since you don't have to wait for individual components to ship (and hopefully not get damaged in transit). 

Building a gaming PC yourself does give you the opportunity to save a bit of cash since you can plan your build around component sales. Just make sure you aren't mixing AMD and Intel components; they won't communicate with each other. Building one yourself also allows you to create a PC that exactly fits your needs, since you aren't likely to buy components you won't utilize fully, such as HDDs or SSDs with more than 2TB of space, more than 16GB of RAM, or a super-advanced motherboard that has features you won't ever use, etc. 

It's all about balancing your budget with how convenient you want buying a gaming PC to be or how comfortable you are with building computers.

Is liquid cooling your gaming PC worth it?

Unless you have high-end, power-hungry components like the new RTX 4090 graphics card, liquid cooling your PC can be overkill. However, a liquid cooling system is more efficient at drawing away waste heat than traditional, air-cooling fan systems. And with the advent of all-in-one cooling systems, first-time builders can liquid-cool their gaming rigs without the fear of leaks; but the AIO systems are meant to focus on single components like CPUs or graphics cards. 

If you want to liquid cool your entire rig, you'll need a custom cooling system, including a radiator, plenty of tubing, coolant pumps, and an exhaust fan. DIY PC pros can set up intricate liquid cooling systems to maintain optimal temperatures while also showing off their personal style with colored coolant, RGB lights, and copper tubing.

Is it better to have more intake or exhaust fans to air cool my gaming PC?

Both intake and exhaust fans are important for maintaining proper airflow. Ideally, you want to have an equal number of both to have even dissipation of waste heat and intake of fresh, cool air. However, if your case isn't set up for that many fans, it's better to have more exhaust fan units to draw out waste heat, which will make it easier for the intake fans to draw in fresh air.

How do you clean a gaming PC?

Cleaning your gaming PC is important to allow for proper airflow in order to cool components and prevent electrical fires and malfunctions. The quickest and easiest way to clean your PC is to open up the case and use a can of compressed air, like what you use to get crumbs out of your keyboard, to remove loose dust and debris. 

If your PC components need a more thorough cleaning, you can use either rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs to gently clean away stubborn dirt or a can of CRC electronics cleaner. Both rubbing alcohol and the electronics cleaner are safe for connections and circuitry, so you can thoroughly clean components without fear of ruining them.

Can pre-built gaming PCs run the latest games?

Yes, most pre-built gaming PCs are designed to run the latest games. However, the performance may vary depending on the PC's specifications and the requirements of the game. It's important to research the recommended specs for the games you want to play and compare them to the specs of the pre-built gaming PC you're considering.

Are there alternative gaming PCs worth considering?

There are tons of options out there for prebuilt gaming PCs. Below is a list of runner-ups that, while they're great computers, might not appeal to everyone. Some are quite expensive or more suited to creative professionals or from brands that are less well-known. 

A CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme desktop on a grey background


CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme - Great mid-range gaming PC

This gaming PC tower from CyberPowerPC is a great, middle-of-the-road option for most gamers. It's built with a 12th-generation Intel Core i5 CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 500GB SSD, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card. This configuration means that you'll be able to play just about any triple-A or indie game in your library or on your wishlist.

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A Corsair Vengeance i7300 desktop on  a grey background


Corsair Vengeance i7300 - Great for content creators

The Corsair Vengeance i7300 is not only a great gaming rig, it's also a solid choice for Twitch streamers, YouTubers, and other content creators. It features a 12th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU, 32GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card. This gives you all of the power and performance you need to game, edit videos and thumbnails, or live stream.

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