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The Best Gaming Desktop PCs for Every Budget

pop gaming desktops 1610126113When it comes to hardware, gamers typically favor desktop computers for their versatility, as well as the almost limitless customization and upgrade options they offer. For comparison, the only upgradeable part on high-powered gaming consoles like Sony’s PlayStation 5 and the Microsoft Xbox Series X is the storage.

Also unlike consoles, desktop PCs allow players to choose between using a keyboard and mouse or a controller. But possibly best of all, they also double as powerful workstations with amazing multitasking capabilities.

Take a look at some buying advice below that’ll help guide your gaming PC purchase if you’re in the market, then scroll farther for our reviews of some of the best models.

Things to Consider
First off, the graphics card (GPU) and the processor (CPU) are the most important hardware bits to take into account when shopping for a gaming rig. The GPU renders the graphics; the more powerful it is, the richer the detail and smoother the gameplay will be.

Even entry-level GPU models from the likes of AMD and Nvidia are capable of delivering and good gaming experience in Full HD resolution. And consider that the more powerful the graphics card is, the longer you can go between upgrades. But choosing the right model also depends on the gaming monitor you’re planning to use; a sharp display with a high refresh rate requires a more powerful GPU.

We recommend that you opt for a gaming desktop with at least an Nvidia GTX 16 Series card. An Nvidia RTX 20 Series GPU, on the other hand, is pricier but also considerably more capable. Continuing into higher-end cards, consider the recently launched Nvidia RTX 30 Series graphics card, if budget permits and you can find it in stock. It is the most powerful and futureproof.

As for processors, we recommend choosing between a 10th-generation Intel Core or an AMD Ryzen 5000 Series. Chips from these product families will ensure that you won’t have to think about upgrading for a long time. (But it’s worth noting that Intel will launch the even more capable 11th-generation Core processor in the months ahead.)

Connectivity options are also important. Consider a tower with enough ports to accommodate not only the most essential accessories (monitor, keyboard, mouse) but also a webcam and an external microphone (a must for streamers).

There are extras and the design worth keeping in mind, too. Some gaming PCs have customizable RGB lighting and a transparent case to showcase their hardware bits. Others have more understated looks, which allows them to blend in more easily with home decor.

And if you’re also considering a gaming laptop, know that desktops typically have longer lifespans because they’re fully upgradeable. Without much effort, you can replace just about any hardware bit, including the CPU and the GPU, to the latest and greatest (albeit depending on the age of the desktop). For comparison, a gaming laptop only has upgradeable memory and storage.

How We Selected
During our research, we focused on products with up-to-date hardware specs and reasonable pricing from today’s leading brands. We also factored in the upgradeability of each one, because, as we mentioned, it’s among the main reasons to buy a gaming desktop.

Pricing was important as well, naturally, because you might have to fit a quality monitor, as well as additional accessories (keyboard, mouse, headset, speakers, webcam, USB microphone, etc.) in your budget.

After many hours of sifting through specs, reading consumer feedback, and consulting in-depth reviews from other industry experts, we called in and tested several of the most promising gaming PCs by playing popular games. Those that we haven’t been able to get our hands on yet we evaluated from afar relying on our previous testing and knowledge of gaming computers. Here are the best.

The Omen impressed us with its sleek design, solid specs headlined by a 10th-generation Intel Core processor and an Nvidia RTX 20 Series GPU, and impressive performance, all at a reasonable price.

We like that you can remove the side panel of the Omen 25L without tools to easily access its guts for upgrades. We also like that, thanks to customizable lighting, the PC can blend in with your desktop setup or become the centerpiece.

Another thing the Omen 25 L has going for it: a wide array of connectivity options, among them a USB-C 3.2 port, eight USB-A ports, an HDMI, and a DisplayPort, among others. It’s guaranteed to impress even the most discerning power users.

The RoG Strix G15CK is a great gaming desktop with top-notch specs and attention-commanding design. It’s considerably pricier than the HP Omen 25L, but also more capable, thanks to a beefier Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super graphics card.

Compared to its HP rival, this PC also features more future-proof Wi-Fi 6. The device’s wired connectivity options are also excellent. They include two USB-C ports, seven USB-A ports, an HDMI, and a trio of DisplayPort connectors. Bluetooth 5 connectivity is also on board.

As for that attention-commanding design, the tower of the RoG Strix G15CK has a built-in handle, a transparent side panel, and customizable RGB lighting. The hardware is also easy to upgrade.

For the price, Asus bundles a quality Strix Flare mechanical keyboard, as well as a high-performance Gladius II gaming mouse.

Full disclosure: We haven’t tested the Razer Tomahawk yet, but it surely looks like an exciting option for gamers with a big budget for a new system. The monstrously powerful gaming rig (it has enough space for full-size GPUs) has a compact chassis with modular design, which allows for upgrades and parts swaps without the need for tools.

The HP Envy 32 is not only one of the best all-in-one desktop computers available today, but also a respectable gaming rig. Available with a capable Nvidia GeForce RTX2060 graphics card, the space-saving PC can deliver an excellent big-screen gaming experience in Full HD. The Envy 32 has a 32-inch 4K HDR display panel, providing a vast and vibrant canvas for working, playing, or streaming. We also like that its base has a built-in Qi wireless charger for smartphones and other compatible gadgets.

I enjoyed being able to instantly switch between work and gameplay on the Envy 32. The process was as easy as connecting an Xbox wireless controller and launching a game.

What’s more, its audio performance is the best we’ve experienced in a desktop PC to date. The Envy 32 is equipped with powerful front-facing speakers tuned by Bang & Olufsen. The sonic experience they deliver can rival that of a high-quality soundbar.

The Nitro 50 is a great gaming desktop PC for budget-minded shoppers. Priced well below $1,000, it has an understated design and robust hardware specs, including a 10th-generation Intel Core i5 CPU with 6-core architecture, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, and a speedy 512-gigabyte SSD. Combined, they can deliver Full HD gameplay with good quality.

Acer has also equipped the Nitro 50 with an impressive set of wired and wireless connectivity options. The highlights include Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5, seven USB-A ports, and a USB-C connector.

We like the transparent side panel of the Acer Nitro 50, as well as its easily upgradeable hardware. The last bit will likely come handy soon after you purchase the computer, because it comes with a mere 8 GB of RAM. Thankfully, it has a maximum RAM capacity of 64 GB.

The cherry on top: This gaming rig comes bundled with a keyboard and a mouse, leaving you to buy only the monitor separately if you don’t have one already.

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