Our Review For The Best Gaming PC 2019
The best gaming PC is built for performance and power. Gaming PCs utilise powerful processors, have dedicated graphics cards, and they have enough RAM to get the most from the latest games. They should be future proof so that you can upgrade hardware and components. The best gaming PCs can cost upwards of £1,000 or even more, but there are budget models that are more than capable of running the latest titles and can be upgraded when required. However, even budget PCs are capable of running the latest 4K games.
The graphics card, or GPU, is a type of processor that deals solely with visuals and graphics. The quality of the graphics card is determined by memory, clock speed, and the number of cores. GPUs can be upgraded or replaced, and most modern motherboards even allow for the addition of a second graphics card so you can buy an affordable gaming rig now and upgrade it later with a better GPU.
Recently, Nvidia has launched its latest graphics card, the RTX 2060 while AMD released the Radeon 7. If you want to play the latest games at their highest setting, you will need a card capable of running 60 frames per second at the highest possible resolution.
It is possible, albeit challenging, to upgrade the processor in a PC. Because of the difficulty in matching chipset to CPU and upgrading power supply, it is best to choose a PC that has the best processor within your budget.
Strictly speaking, games don’t require the most powerful processor, or the one with the most cores, but you should look for something at least 3GHz and with quad cores to ensure that the processor doesn’t slow the graphics card. Buying a more powerful processor can help negate the need to buy a new and upgraded PC as games progress.
If you’re looking for top end performance, Intel i7 processors are best. The i5 is more than capable of running the latest games, while AMD makes the FX processor.
The question of how much RAM you need depends on how you intend to use the PC. 8GB should be ample for gaming, and it is easy to upgrade RAM modules. More RAM is necessary for video editing and media production, but for gaming and general office work, you won’t need more.
When adding extra RAM, check what’s already installed and either add more of the same or replace existing modules with those that have more RAM.
Unless you buy a PC with mini or micro form factor, you will have plenty of room inside for extra modules and upgrades. There should be more than enough room to add a Solid State Drive (SSD), a Blu Ray drive, or you could even add a second or additional GPU to enhance graphics for your gaming.
The ability to expand your PC means that you can future proof your rig. Instead of buying a new PC as gaming improves, upgrade the RAM and GPU. You can even remove the components and add them to a new system when you do upgrade to a new PC.
Gaming PCs come in a huge range of sizes and designs. As well as the choice of laptop or desktop, there’s also a selection of mini, midi, and micro desktops. Unless you are limited for space, bigger is usually better. A bigger tower allows for additional components and upgrades.
Some systems look like standard PCs. Others come with LED lighting strips, backlit liquid cooling systems, and insane designs. If you buy an Alienware gaming PC, you can show it off with the well recognised brand and logo too.
One thing that gaming PCs have in abundance is ports. There are usually ports on the front, back, side and top of the tower. While some, like the USB and HDMI ports are used on an everyday basis, there are others that may not be instantly recognisable or used on a regular basis.
Some high end rigs have WiFi built in, and all will have a LAN port. Consider what additional hardware you are going to use. For example, if you intend to use the Oculus Rift, you’ll need an HDMI and 3 USB ports, plus ports for any extra hardware.
Gaming PCs aren’t cheap compared to other types of computer. You will have to spend hundreds of pounds if you want to play the latest games, possibly more if you want to ensure years of use.
Most gaming PCs come in a variety of different configurations, including different processors and varying levels of RAM. As such, it is difficult to review some of the models that are available. However, below are some of the best options available whether you are looking for a compact, high powered, or cheap gaming PC. When buying, whether it is through Amazon or any other website, make sure that you check the specs of the actual machine that you are buying and compare processors, RAM, and other features of similar looking models to get the best available PC for you.
1 – Corsair One Pro
Corsair has recently announced a new evolution of the One Pro gaming PC. The new model will offer more internal space for upgrades, a gunmetal finish, an i9 processor, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a 960GB HHD, and an 11GB RTX 2080Ti GPU. It also has a £5,000 price tag, which isn’t to be sniffed at, and the new model isn’t released until the end of March 2019. However, the current model is still a top quality PC.
Packing a Core i7-8700K CPU and Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU, the compact Corsair One Pro is a powerful gaming rig. You still get 16GB RAM, a 480GB SSD, and an impressive 2TB HDD.
While the new iteration of the Corsair gaming PC has double the power and processing speed of the current version, it costs more than twice as much. The new One Pro will cost more than £5,000 while the current version is available at around £2,100 and is still a powerful and compact gaming computer.
The One Pro is a powerful and compact PC. It isn’t much larger than a typical games console, and the new version comes out at the end of March. The original version is still expensive, even for a gaming system, but it is 4K and VR ready and is ideal if you’re limited for desktop space.
+ Really powerful… even this iteration
+ Compact design
– New version out soon, doubles up on virtually everything
– Very expensive, even for a gaming PC
2 – Shuttle SZ270R8
The Shuttle SZ270R8 is an ultra compact gaming PC. It’s a couple of years old, now, but it is a barebones system that can still pack a decent punch. Barebones systems include the case and the motherboard. You need to add a processor, memory, hard drive, and graphics card yourself. They are designed to make it easy to install everything you need, and one of the great benefits of a barebones system is that they have been designed to be easily upgradeable. If you find that your graphics card is outdated in a couple of years, you can swap it out and replace it with a better one.
Shuttle has the experience. They’ve been manufacturing small desktop PCs for years, and specialise in barebones systems. This particular model is around one third of the size of a standard PC, so it really is compact so is ideal if you have limited room for your rig.
+ Very compact, small device
+ Barebones system that you can customise yourself
– You need to buy and install most components yourself
– Couple of years old, but this is less important with a barebones system
3 – Lenovo Ideacentre Y900
The Lenovo Ideacentre Y900 is an attractive gaming PC that offers pretty much everything. It is a great pre-built machine right out of the box, but it also offers easy upgrade capabilities. It’s also an attractive gaming system without being too over the top.
It is clearly targeted at those that don’t want to have to build their system from the ground up but its upgrade functionality means that you won’t have to replace the whole PC if you find you’re lacking in power in a couple of years. It utilises a tool-less design. It is easy to swap out hard drives and SSDs.
Lenovo managed to reduce the price after the first couple of iterations, although they did this by offering slightly less memory, but you can add more yourself, if it’s required. It isn’t a particularly cheap model, but it is powerful and expandable, and arguably worth the money, if you have the budget.
+ Easy to upgrade
+ Looks attractive without being over the top
– Not cheap at around £1,800 for a good configuration
4 – Alienware Aurora R7
Alienware has long been one of the biggest names in the world of gaming PCs. Now owned by Dell, the brand continues to produce powerful and, frankly, great looking gaming rigs. They also tend to fall in the upper end of expensive, with the Alienware Aurora R7 being no exception.
The most recent update to this line of gaming rigs offers tool-less design and is exceptionally upgradeable. It also shuns the usual over the top design of Alienware systems. It is clearly Alienware and clearly a gaming PC, but you can leave it out on the desktop without it illuminating the whole house. Unfortunately, the power of this machine means that the fans sound like they’re industrial strength, so you probably won’t want to leave it out on the desktop in the living room. It won’t be a problem when you’re wearing headsets or if it’s well concealed under the desk, but it might be a problem for you.
There are various iterations and trims available, but you should expect to pay close to £3,000 for the top end configuration. Cheaper models, closer to £1,000 in price, are available, but these don’t offer the same power.
+ Good looking design
+ Very easy to upgrade
+ Customisable configurations available
– Fan sound is loud
– Some configurations are expensive
5 – Alienware Area 51 Threadripper Edition
The Area 51 Threadripper is an absolute beast of a machine, but it carries a beast of a price tag too. It weighs just shy of 30kg, so it is by no means a lightweight. It also has a triangular form, which looks great, but the overall shape and design might not be convenient for all positions and all gaming desks.
It is exceptionally well built, which you would expect from a near £5,000 PC. It also has a water cooler, which is literally and figuratively cool, it has twin graphics cards.
To be honest, the vast majority of gamers simply don’t need the level of power that this machine offers, and you might be better served choosing something cheaper, unless you’re heavily into video production and other core intensive applications.
+ Great looking design
+ Bulky, well built machine
+ Incredibly powerful
– Arguably too powerful
– Incredibly expensive even for a gaming PC
6 – MSI Infinite A
The MSI Infinite A is a powerful and very well stocked gaming PC, and it doesn’t cost anywhere near the kind of price tag of an Alienware. It doesn’t have quite the same impactful design as an Alienware, but it does conveniently fit into most desk configurations. It weighs around 15kg and has a carry handle so can be easily transported to LAN parties, if that’s your thing.
In terms of handling, the Infinite A will handle just about everything you can throw it at now, and is likely to stay that way in the near future. It has a host of ports and is more VR ready than almost any other machine on the market. If you believe that VR is the gaming system of the future, then this is a really good choice for you, although obviously VR headset standards could change in the future. The GTX 1080 version plays modern games with ease.
+ Powerful gaming rig
+ Really quiet operation
+ Lightweight and easy to transport
– Fairly high price tag, although cheaper than some
7 – MSI Trident 3
The MSI Trident 3 is one of the best gaming PC models available, thanks to its combination of really compact and smart design, decent power, and low price tag. If you’re looking for a cheap gaming PC, the Trident 3 costs around £700 and it offers really good gaming even on ultra settings. In order to help achieve the compact design, though, there is an external power brick, which is a little disappointing, but hardly surprising, especially considering MSI claims this machine is its console killer.
It’s easy to make comparisons between the Trident and games consoles. It is about the same size and form as an Xbox One S. It has the external power brick like most consoles, and the white model looks a lot like a Nintendo Wii. It is more expensive than a standard console, but it is also a lot more powerful and as a cheap gaming PC it really is idea for those on a budget, or for those looking to take their first steps into PC gaming.
+ Incredibly compact
+ Silent running
– That power brick!
8 – Acer Predator Orion 9000
The Acer Predator Orion 9000 is another one of those gaming PCs that offers virtually unlimited, and almost certainly unnecessary, power at an incredibly high price tag. It is a beast in a lot of regards. It has an 18-core i9 processor and 128GB of RAM. It has dual GTX 1080 GPUs.
In all honesty, it should be viewed in the same way as a prototype car. Manufacturers build them to show off what they can do, and there will be a handful of people that actually want one, but very few people actually need the very latest prototype car, and few people need the Predator Orion 9000, even though it is undoubtedly the best Acer gaming PC there is.
- The Predator Orion 9000 takes smaller PCs and eats them for breakfast. Whatever you have planned for this mammoth desktop - it's ready
- Monolithic yet malleable - the towering chassis was built to adapt, integrate and realize your gaming and mega-tasking needs
- Performance has a whole new meaning when coupled with an Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition CPU and a NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti graphics card
- Reach the peak of performance with the chill of Ice Tunnel 2.0, the Cooler Master liquid-cooled CPU and a case streamlined for thermal dominance
- Add some colour to the Orion's darkened metal exterior via Predator Sense. With a few million colour options to choose from, this could take a while
+ Insanely powerful
+ Looks great
– Unnecessarily powerful
– Insanely expensive
9 – Mesh Ryzen 7 Gaming PC-A
The Mesh Ryzen 7 Gaming PC is a powerful desktop PC that looks great. However, it is reported that it has a slow SSD and Mesh haven’t overclocked the GPU so you will always know that you’re not quite getting the most out of the machine. It does, however, have a customisable light show display; unnecessary but brilliant.
The machine has Perspex windows and just about every single component has RGB illumination support, so expect same major lighting show when you first turn the PC on. The PC comes with Windows 10 Pro as standard, and if you can change this to a less expensive operating system alternative, we strongly suggest you do so to save a bit of a cash. With that said, the Mesh is reasonably priced for what it offers.
+ Incredible light show
+ Decent price bracket
+ Powerful enough for modern games
– Windows 10 Pro!
– GPU not overclocked
Buying The Best Gaming PC For Your Needs
Your choice of the best gaming PC will ultimately be determined by what you’re looking for.
- Do you need the ultimate in power, even though you know you’ll probably only ever use a portion of it? Do you have a virtually unlimited bankroll? Then opt for the best Alienware gaming PC, the Area 51 Threadripper.
- Do you want a compact gaming PC? We’d suggest the MSI Trident 3.
- The MSI Infinite 3 is ideal if you’re looking for the best VR gaming PC.
Do remember, whatever PC you opt for, that a lot of gaming rigs are customisable, which means that the components you see in reviews may not be the components available in your build, so be careful about reviewing everything under the bonnet before you make that purchase.