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Best gaming PCs of 2020

The best gaming PC gives you the best of both worlds: you can get blistering framerates at higher resolutions than the PS4 and Xbox One can muster, without having to worry about assembling a computer yourself. And with top titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Halo: The Master Chief Collection available on PC, there's never been a better time to experience AAA and indie games at their maximum potential. 

Having tested tons of the most popular models on the market, we currently consider the best gaming PC to be the Alienware Aurora R10, thanks to its sleek, stylish design, blistering gaming performance and painless upgradability. If you're looking for a great gaming PC under $800, the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme VR is our top budget pick. 

There are a ton of exciting new gaming PCs on the horizon for 2020, including Origin's Big O, which puts a high-end gaming desktop and a PS4 or Xbox One in the same box for the ultimate streaming battlestation. There's also Razer's modular Tomahawk PC, which is designed to let you swap out components in literal seconds.

If you want to take your games on the go, be sure to also check out our roundup of the best gaming laptops. But if you're looking for the ultimate tower for your gaming den, here are the best gaming PCs to buy right now.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

1. Alienware Aurora R10

The best gaming PC overall

VR Ready: Yes | Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 / 7 / 9 or 9th Gen Intel Core i5 / i7 / i9 | RAM: Up to 64GB | Graphics Card: Up to Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti | Storage: Up to 2TB | Accessories: N/A

Attractive design
Very easy to upgrade graphics
Sleek, customizable RGB lighting
Blistering gaming and CPU performance
Can get expensive

The Alienware Aurora R10 delivers big on every front: it's stylish; it's powerful; it's customizable and it's easy to upgrade regardless of whether or not you're a PC enthusiast. The R10 model sports Alienware's latest Legend design language, delivering a sleek, curvy chassis that looks great in both white and black and sports three fully customizable RGB zones.

But the real magic lies inside, where you can outfit the Aurora R10 with up to an Intel Core i9 or Ryzen 9 processor and multiple Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards. And even if you start small, the Aurora's smartly designed chassis lets you open the machine up and swap out the GPU and RAM without the need for any tools. No matter how you configure it, the Aurora is the best gaming PC you can buy.

Read our full Alienware Aurora R10 review.

CyberPowerPC Gamer Extreme VR

(Image credit: CyberPowerPC)

2. CyberPowerPC Gamer Extreme VR

A killer value

VR Ready: Yes | Processor: Intel Core i5-8400 | RAM: 8GB | Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 1660 | Storage: 1TB hard drive | Accessories: Cyberpower

Great performance for price
Upgradable
Included accessories
Bulky design

The CyberPower Gamer Xtreme VR is one of the best gaming PCs for folks who want to spend $800 without sacrificing much in the way of power. Packing a Core i5 processor and an Nvidia GTX 1660 graphics card, this desktop can run mainstream games at high settings and even handle virtual reality without much of a sweat. Better yet, the Gamer Xtreme VR is very easy to open up, making it a great starting point for gamers who eventually want to upgrade to more powerful parts. 

Read our full CyberPower Gamer Xtreme VR review.

Dell XPS Tower SE

3. Dell XPS Tower SE

Easy upgradability

VR Ready: Yes | Processor: Intel Core i5-8400 | RAM: 8GB | Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti GPU | Storage: 256GB SSD, 1TB hard drive | Accessories: Dell Keyboard and Mouse

Sleek, unassuming design
Painless upgradability
USB-C ports
Much improved customization
Lackluster mouse and keyboard

How do you improve on one of the slickest and easiest-to-upgrade desktops around? Simply add Intel's new 8th-gen processors, a handy front-facing USB-C port and tons of customization options at the point of purchase. These new perks are complemented by the same great Dell XPS Tower design, which you can easily open up to swap parts out without the need for tools.

Read our full Dell XPS Tower SE review.

Corsair One i160

4. Corsair One i160

Big power in a compact chassis

VR Ready: Yes | Processor: Intel Core i9-9900K | RAM: 32GB | Graphics Card: Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti | Storage: 480GB SSD, 2TB | Accessories: N/A

Wonderfully compact design
Slick, customizable RGB lighting
Strong overall performance
Expensive
Still-limited upgradability

Who says you need a gigantic tower for high-end gaming PC power? The Corsair One i160 hones the compact gaming PC concept to near perfection, cramming an Intel Core i9 processor and Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti GPU into a stunningly sleek chassis that can blend into offices and command centers equally well. The Corsair One's slick RGB lighting offers a ton of customization options, and its liquid-cooled internal design keeps this small machine quiet even during heated 4K showdowns.

Read our full Corsair One i160 review.

iBuyPower Snowblind

5. iBuyPower Snowblind

One of a kind design

VR Ready: Yes | Processor: Intel Core i7-7800X | RAM: 16GB | Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti | Storage: 500GB SSD | Accessories: Interactive LCD Panel

Unique LCD side panel
Impressive overall performance
Reasonable price
Relatively slow SSD

There's no gaming PC that quite catches the eye like the iBuyPower Snowblind. This desktop's side panel is a translucent, fully-functioning LCD display, which you can use to show off cool animated wallpapers, monitor your PC performance, or even play games (though we don't recommend that last part). It's also simply a great gaming machine, with lots of reasonably priced configuration options that support such high-end components as an Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti GPU.

Read our full iBuyPower Snowblind review.

Maingear F131

6. Maingear F131

High-end greatness for a premium price

VR Ready: Yes | Processor: Up to Intel Core i9 7980XE | RAM: Up to 64GB | Graphics Card: Up to Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti (2) | Storage: Up to 4TB SSD | Accessories: N/A

Drool-worthy looks
Innovative cooling system
Impressively powerful gaming and overall performance
Tons of customization options
Extremely expensive

Maingear has a knack for crafting extravagant, customizable showpieces for folks willing to shed a few thousand bucks, and the F131 is no exception. This stunning tower packs Maingear's new APEX liquid cooling system, which is expertly crafted to keep your system from overheating while also being a marvel to look at. Factor in a ton of droolworthy paint and lighting options and support for up to two Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti cards, and you've got the ultimate desktop for gamers looking to go all-out.

Read our full Maingear F131 review.

How we test gaming PCs

In our search to find the best gaming PC, we run every model we review through a standardized gauntlet of real-world and benchmark tests, in order to measure how each desktop stacks up as both a gaming machine and as an everyday computer.

As far as hard numbers go, we currently run the framerate benchmark utilities for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Hitman 2, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Middle-earth: Shadow of War at 1920 x 1080 with graphics maxed out, as well as at 2560 x 1440 and 4K if a system allows for it. On top of that, we play tons of graphics-intensive games such as Battlefield V, Anthem and Forza Horizon 4 in order to give you a sense of how these gaming desktops hold up in the real world.

In terms of synthetic tests, we run a gamut of benchmarks that include 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra (for graphics) and Geekbench 4 (for processor performance). We also run the SteamVR Performance Test on all of our machines to evaluate how ready they are for virtual reality. To test a system's hard drive, we measure how fast each PC can copy 4.97GB worth of multimedia files.

VR-ready gaming PCs

If you plan on gaming in VR, pay close attention to specs. At the minimum, the Oculus Rift and Oculus Rift S require an Nvidia GTX 960 or AMD equivalent graphics card, an Intel Core i3-6100 or AMD FX4350 processor, 8GB of RAM, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI 1.3 port and Windows 8 or newer. However, Oculus recommends at least a GTX 970 and Core i5 processor for the best experience.

For the Vive, HTC recommends a Core i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350 CPU, an Nvidia GTX 1060 or Radeon RX 480 GPU, 4GB of RAM, an HDMI 1.4 port or DisplayPort 1.2 or newer, 1 USB 2.0 port and Windows 7 or newer. The best gaming PC for VR will ideally meet or exceed these specs.

You can use Valve's SteamVR Performance Test to ensure your PC is Vive-ready; Oculus offers a more basic system-scanning tool on the Rift's store page