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Best Gaming PCs of 2022

Image of a gaming PC with red RGB lights.
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

When you're in the market for a gaming PC, there's a lot to consider: power, size, components and what resolution you want to play at. If all you need is to play a few AAA titles at 1080p, you won't need a high-end CPU and graphics card. 

But if you want to play at 1440p or 4K, then you need to start thinking about saving more for your rig. CPU horsepower is also tied to gaming acumen, but branching out into anything much over a quad-core processor will primarily see performance gains in multi-threaded workloads such as video processing, rendering and encoding, not games.

Because component shortages have become less of a problem, you may now be able to get a prebuilt gaming PC with one of the best graphics cards for gaming without paying a hefty premium or having to wait weeks or months for you system to arrive.

Intel's full 12th Gen "Alder Lake" lineup is here and, for the most part, quite impressive. We don't expect AMD's new AM5-based Ryzen 7000 CPUs until later in the year. 

On the graphics front, rumors have suggested we could see new 40-series Nvidia GeForce graphics cards soon, so keep your eyes peeled.  The latest leaks suggest that the RTX 40-series will use a ton of power, especially on the high-end, which means we'll likely see pre-built gaming PCs with higher-wattage PSUs than we currently see on the market. We'll jump into our tested picks for best prebuilt gaming PCs directly below. But if you want more advice about how to shop and specific things to look for, our buying advice follows our top gaming PC picks.

Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs You Can Buy Today

Best Mainstream Gaming PC: MSI Aegis RS 11th Gen (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
The Best Mainstream Gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-11700K
GPU: MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Ventus 3X OC
RAM: 16GB Crucial Ballistix DDR4-300
Storage: 1TB XPG Gammix S70 PCIe Gen 4, 2TB Seagate Barracuda (7,200 RPM)

Reasons to buy

+
Off the shelf parts
+
Powerful gaming performance
+
Decent pack-in peripherals

Reasons to avoid

-
MSI Center software is clunky
-
Middling file transfer speeds

The MSI Aegis RS 11th is a top-of-the line prebuilt gaming desktop. The 11th Gen Intel Core CPU and options for an RTX 3080 bring awesome gaming performance in a design that you can upgrade yourself down the line.

All of the parts are standardized, including the case. In fact, MSI makes the case, motherboard, CPU cooler, fans, GPU and power supply. This is the type of prebuilt desktop that you can upgrade, tinker with and make your own over the next several years. 

If you don't have a keyboard and mouse, the peripherals that MSI includes are decent enough to get started, though you'll likely want to bump up the keyboard to something with mechanical switches eventually.

Read: MSI Aegis RS 11th review

Our suggested MSI Aegis RS config:

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MSI Aegis RS Config: Intel Core i7-12700K | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD (opens in new tab)
As of this writing, there aren't a ton of configurations for MSI's prebuilt Aegis RS line. This one is a bit on the advanced side, with an Intel Core i7-12700K and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070. But you get a roomy 1TB of SSD storage, which should hold a few games, and you still get a water cooler for the CPU to keep temperatures low.  


Powerhouse PC With RTX 3090: Alienware Aurora R11

Powerhouse PC With RTX 3090: Alienware Aurora R11 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
A Powerhouse PC With an RTX 3090

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i9-10900K
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
RAM: 64GB HyperX Fury DDR4-3200MHz
Storage: 2 TB M.2 NVMe SSD and 2 TB, 7,200-rpm HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Fairly compact design
+
Strong gaming performance with 10th Gen Core i9 and RTX 3090
+
Little bloatware

Reasons to avoid

-
Loud and needs better cooling
-
Very expensive

The Alienware Aurora R11 prebuilt muscled its way onto our list with its sheer GPU power. Right now, it's really hard to find one of Nvidia's Ampere GPUs, but as of this writing Alienware is shipping with both RTX 3080 and RTX 3090, so that's one way to go.

The design is futuristic, and while it may be divisive to some, you can't argue that it's fairly compact. The RTX 3090, compared with the Intel Core i9-10900K in our review unit, offered some top-notch gaming performance. It uses largely standardized parts and has plenty of room for extra drives.

The biggest downside is that the machine gets loud with few case fans. It's also expensive, but it's a maxxed-out machine, not just the graphics card.

Read: Alienware Aurora R11 review

Our suggested Alienware Aurora config:

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Alienware Aurora Config: Intel Core i7-12700F | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD (opens in new tab)
Alienware's latest, the Aurora R13, ranges from around $1,300 to over $4,200 as of this writing. A model currently going for $1,899.99 gets you an Intel Core i7-12700F, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. It also has a slightly revamped chassis with a side window so you can see your components. 


A Subtle Small Form Factor Gaming PC: iBuypower Revolt 3 i7BG  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
The Best Small Form Factor Gaming PC (for Most People)

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-11700KF
GPU: Aorus GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming OC 10G (10GB GDDR6X)
RAM: 16GB T-Force DDR4-3200
Storage: Western Digital SN550 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Attractive, understated case
+
Includes a handle and two headset hangers
+
Great performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited space for upgrades
-
Bottom-mounted IO complicates peripheral swaps

No intense lighting, no glass windows, just a small tower packed with gaming power. The iBuypower Revolt 3 has steel panels, black mesh and a largely subtle design. It's clever, though, with two headset hangers and a built-in handle to carry it to your next LAN party.

At $2,599 as tested with an Intel Core i7-11700KF and an RTX 3080, it's not listed at a crazy price considering today's component shortage. And those components offer excellent performance in this tiny chassis.

Small form factor PCs can bring some oddities. This one has the motherboard I/O on the bottom of the case, so you have to lift it up to plug in or remove peripherals. Additionally, there is limited room in this case for when you want to make upgrades.

We also happen to like this case this system comes in on its own, if you're looking to build your own PC.

Read: iBuypower Revolt 3 i7BG Review 


Best Premium Small Form Factor Gaming PC: Corsair One i300  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best Premium Small Form Factor Gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i9-12900K
GPU: Liquid-cooled Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti (12GB GDDR6X)
RAM: 64GB Micron DDR5-4800
Storage: 2TB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Compact, 12-liter chassis
+
Stronger CPU and GPU performance
+
Two-year warranty 

Reasons to avoid

-
Harder to upgrade than standard towers
-
Expensive

In some ways, the Corsair One i300 is a console-like prebuilt PC. It takes up very little space on a desk with a 6.93 x 7.87-inch base that rises slightly taller than an Xbox Series X. But in that metal chassis is a set of top-end components, including an Intel Core i9-12900K, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, 64GB of DDR5 RAM and a 2TB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD.

The design pulls in air through the sides and exhausts it out the top, and it's not particularly loud. But that same petite form factor is what makes it difficult to upgrade. Sure, it's possible, but you have very limited room to work with, and the sides don't come off because the radiators are connected to them.

In order to get this top-tier, tiny system, you'll have to pay a high price, however. We tested it at a wallet-busting $4,999, and the other configuration with Intel's 12th Gen CPUs starts at $3,649.99. If that's too much (and it is a lot of money!) you may want to consider some of the cheaper options on this list.

Read: Corsair One i300 Review

Our suggested Corsair One config:

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Corsair One Config: Intel Core i7-11700K | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 | 32GB RAM | 1TB SSD and 2TB HDD (opens in new tab)
Yes, we're recommending an 11th Gen Intel system when a 12th Gen version exists. But here me out: This model of Corsair's tiny desktop is $3,599.99, and you get 3TB of storage (1TB on an SSD and 2TB on an HDD) as well as an RTX 3080. While the jump up to a 2TB SSD is nice (but no HDD), as is the RTX 3080 Ti, that's an extra $1,000 as of this writing, coming out to $4,599.99. If you can afford that, go for it. Over $3,000, you may not be counting. But I'd go for this version if my money were on the table. 


(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
An attractive design with name-brand parts

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i9-10900K
GPU: Custom HP GeForce RTX 3080 (10GB GDDR6X)
RAM: 32GB HyperX DDR4-3200
Storage: 2TB WD Black M.2 NVMe, 2TB Seagate 2.5-inch SATA HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Improved, attractive design
+
Powerful-name brand components

Reasons to avoid

-
Cooling could use improvement
-
Has a lot of bloatware

The HP Omen 30L is a big-box gaming PC that feels like one you build. The latest design adds more airflow with an intake fan, plus sleek glass front and side panels and still has an easy-access panel to get to the most critical components. Oh, and of course the new intake fan has some sleek RGB to go with the new logo and the rest of the system.

The version we tested, with a 10th Gen Intel Core i9 and an RTX 3080 proved powerful in our gaming benchmarks and productivity tests. We do wish that HP had a more powerful CPU cooler, as the single 120 mm fan isn't always enough for the Intel Core i9.

The addition of name-brand parts is also nice to see. There's little, if anything, proprietary about the system, which includes a micro-ATX motherboard, WD Black SSD, Seagate HDD and a 750W power supply. That's the special sauce that makes it feel a bit more like an enthusiast machine than some alternatives.

Read: HP Omen 30L Review

Our suggested HP Omen 30L config:

(opens in new tab)

HP Omen 30L Config: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD (opens in new tab)
The HP Omen 30L is extremely customizable. Here, we have a mid-level build based on AMD's Ryzen platform, along with an RTX 3060 Ti, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD that's $1,319 as of this writing. (If you click on the link, you'll have to customize it yourself.) If you prefer Intel, that's available too, as are more expensive, higher-end options.


Gaming PCs You Can Get During the Component Shortage

Right now, we're going through a global component shortage, which has made it difficult to buy the best CPUs for gaming, the best GPUs and really anything that goes in a gaming PC at all. In turn, people are turning to buy anything they can, including full-built gaming PCs, even if they only need a few parts. This is especially the case with Nvidia's RTX graphics cards.

We haven't been able to review all of these PCs, so shop with caution, but we're keeping an eye on the market so you can see what may be available since our last update.

$2,000 and more Gaming PCs

Skytech Chronos Gaming PCAMD Ryzen 5 5600X / Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070See at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Alienware Aurora R12Intel Core i9-11900F / Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 TiSee at Dell (opens in new tab)

$1,000 - $2,000 Gaming PCs

Alienware Aurora R12Intel Core i7-11700F / Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 TiSee at Dell (opens in new tab)
Cyberpower PC Gamer XtremeIntel Core i7-11700F / Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060See at Best Buy (opens in new tab)

Under $1,000 Gaming PCs

Lenovo Legion Tower 5iIntel Core i5-11400 / Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 SuperSee at Best Buy (opens in new tab)

How to Choose a Gaming PC

  • Bigger isn't always better: You don’t need a huge tower to get a system with high-end components. Only buy a big desktop tower if you like the look of it and want lots of room to install future upgrades.

  • Get an SSD if at all possible: This will make your computer far more faster than loading off of a traditional HDD, and has no moving parts. Look for at least a 256GB SSD boot drive, ideally paired with a larger secondary SSD or hard drive for storage.

  • You can't lose with Intel or AMD: As long as you opt for a current-generation chip, both companies offer comparable overall performance. Intel’s CPUs tend to perform a bit better when running games at lower resolutions (1080p and below), while AMD’s Ryzen processors often handle tasks like video editing better, thanks to their extra cores and threads.

  • Don’t buy more RAM than you need: 8GB is OK in a pinch, but 16GB is ideal for most users. Serious game streamers and those doing high-end media creation working with large files will want more, but will have to pay a lot for options going as high as 64 or even 128GB.

  • Don’t buy a multi-card gaming rig unless you have to: If you’re a serious gamer, get a system with the best-performing single graphics card you can afford. Many games don’t perform significantly better with two or more cards in Crossfire or SLI, and some perform worse, forcing you to disable an expensive piece of hardware to get the best experience possible. Because of these complications, you should only consider a multi-card desktop if you are after more performance than can be achieved with the best high-end consumer graphics card.

  • The power supply is important: Does the PSU offer enough juice to cover the hardware inside? (In most cases, the answer is yes, but there are some exceptions, particularly if you intend to overclock a CPU.) Additionally, note if the PSU will offer enough power for future upgrades to GPUs and other components. Case size and expansion options vary drastically between our picks.

  • Ports matter: Beyond the connections necessary to plug in your monitor(s), you’ll want plenty of USB ports for plugging in other peripherals and external storage. Front-facing ports are very handy for flash drives, card readers, and other frequently used devices. For added future-proofing, look for a system with USB 3.1 Gen 2 and USB-C ports.
Gaming PC Configuration Tip

Mirror Maze PC Build

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Most pre-built gaming PCs, including those on our list of the best, come in multiple configurations. While we list the ones we reviewed, others may be better for you. 

Graphics cards, including Nvidia's RTX 3090, RTX 3080, and RTX 3070 GPUs, are still hard to get although supply and pricing are improving. Some of our Nvidia-based picks still have the last-gen cards, though those who are patient or keep checking back may be able to find them with the latest and greatest. 

For most people, budget plays the biggest role in a desktop buying decision. You can sometimes find good deals on big-box desktops when they go on sale, but you’ll be stuck with the components chosen by the likes of HP, Lenovo or Dell. The beauty of a custom-built PC is that you can adjust the component configuration until it suits your needs and budget. We are happy, though, to see more builds coming with standardized parts than ever before, so you can upgrade them later on.

Intel's Alder Lake CPUs are here, and AMD is teasing its Ryzen 7000 processors based on Zen 4, likely to show up later this year, so we should see new PCs throughout the year. 

Discounts on the Best Gaming PCs

If you're looking for a system that's among our best gaming PCs or something similar, you may find savings by checking out the latest Newegg promo codes, Corsair coupon codes, Dell coupon codes, HP coupon codes, Lenovo coupon codes or Razer promo codes.

MORE: Best Gaming Laptops
MORE: 
Best PC Builds

Andrew E. Freedman
Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE

  • Colif
    You can't lose with Intel or AMD

    Damn it, I wanted a Cyrux cpu...

    wonders why Razer promo codes are at bottom of post when no razer PC was mentioned in article.
    Reply
  • NTNER
    Alienware made the list lol? I guess I should have less faith that TH lists are actually tested?


    8ulhFi5N2hcView: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ulhFi5N2hc
    Reply
  • Ahmed_Khalifa
    What are your thoughts on the gaming PCs listed on this post (https://custom-pcbuilding.com/the-best-pre-built-gaming-pc-under-1000-1500-2000/)? It seems like they are very well priced, especially when compared to the ones on this post, and they use high-quality components. Let me know if you have any suggestions, please.
    Reply
  • Ahmed_Khalifa
    NTNER said:
    Alienware made the list lol? I guess I should have less faith that TH lists are actually tested?


    8ulhFi5N2hcView: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ulhFi5N2hc
    What are your thoughts on the gaming PCs listed on this post (https://custom-pcbuilding.com/the-best-pre-built-gaming-pc-under-1000-1500-2000/)? It seems like they are very well priced, especially when compared to the ones on this post, and they use high-quality components. Let me know if you have any suggestions, please.
    Reply
  • Colif
    Ahmed_Khalifa said:
    What are your thoughts on the gaming PCs listed on this post (https://custom-pcbuilding.com/the-best-pre-built-gaming-pc-under-1000-1500-2000/)? It seems like they are very well priced, especially when compared to the ones on this post, and they use high-quality components. Let me know if you have any suggestions, please.
    Make a new post about it in a new thread and more people will reply. You shouldn't hijack a news thread :)
    Reply
  • DingusDog
    NTNER said:
    Alienware made the list lol? I guess I should have less faith that TH lists are actually tested?


    8ulhFi5N2hcView: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ulhFi5N2hc
    My thoughts exactly.
    Reply