The best gaming PCs in 2024

The best gaming PCs are powerful enough to run even the most demanding video games well and do so in the biggest and most elegant design possible. While these machines are in some ways the epitome of what a PC can be, they often come with steep price tags. While the lofty costs you pay for a top-of-the-line gaming PC are nothing to shrug at, the benefits you reap are often worth the cost of entry.

On top of experiencing games at blazing-fast frame rates and ultra-high resolution, these high-priced computers are often well-suited to demanding work in fields like game development, graphic design and animation. If you're interested in what generative AI can do, the beefy GPUs in the best gaming PCs are also well-suited to tasks like generating art via tools like Stable Diffusion.

We test all the new gaming PCs (in both our testing lab and our homes) to see if they pass muster, and we regularly update this page as systems become available. Read on, and we'll help you find your next great gaming machine.

Tony Polanco author photo
Tony Polanco

Tony is a Senior Staff Writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iPadOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on Twitter. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.

The quick list

Here's a quick overview of the best gaming PCs you can buy right now based on our testing and reviews.

The best gaming PCs you can buy right now

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The best gaming PC overall

Alienware Aurora R15 review unit on desk, Cyberpunk 2077 playing onscreen

(Image credit: Future)
Best gaming PC overall

Specifications

VR Ready: Yes
Processor: Up to an Intel Core i9 / AMD Ryzen 9
RAM: Up to 64 GB
Graphics Card: Up to Nvidia GeForce 4090
Storage: Up to 2 TB SSD x2
Accessories: Optional Dell/Alienware keyboard, mice etc.

Reasons to buy

+
Eye-catching design
+
Good performance for the price
+
Plenty of ports and easy upgrades
+
Stays quiet and cool

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited upgradability

The Alienware Aurora R15 might not be the latest model available, but it still delivers solid gaming performance in an attractive chassis.

This model has been redesigned to run cooler and quieter than its predecessors, which our in-house testing bears out. Though the chassis is large, its oblong shape can sometimes make it difficult to work inside. In addition, some of the internal design choices make it harder than necessary to upgrade components. That said, this also ensures everything is well-organized.

Currently starting at $1,149, this beastly gaming machine is relatively affordable — especially for newcomers to the world of PC gaming. Of course, upgrades will bump up the price, so keep that in mind. You can also opt for the Aurora R16 listed below, though it doesn't look as stylish as the Aurora R15.

Make sure you check our Dell coupons page to find the latest discounts.

Read our full Alienware Aurora R15 review.

The best non-descript gaming PC

Dell XPS 8960 review unit on desk

(Image credit: Future)
The best gaming PC that doesn't look like one

Specifications

VR-Ready: Yes (if configured properly)
Processor: Up to 13th gen Intel Core i9-12900K
RAM: Up to 64 GB
Graphics Card: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
Storage: Up to 2 TB SSD + 2 TB HDD
Accessories: Wired keyboard + mouse

Reasons to buy

+
Subtle, understated design
+
Quiet and cool under pressure
+
Plenty of ports
+
Easy-to-open case

Reasons to avoid

-
Unassuming design
-
Cramped case hard to work in

If you want a powerful gaming PC that doesn't look like it came from another planet, then the Dell XPS 8960 is the perfect computer for you. Like its predecessors, this desktop PC seems more at home in an office than in an RGB-drenched gaming room. Don't let its appearance fool you, as this humble-looking PC packs some serious gaming power.

There are many configuration options if you're not happy with the starting model. You can upgrade to Intel Raptor Lake 13th Gen chips and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4000 series GPUs, for example. That will raise the price (naturally), but the starting config with its RTX 4070 graphics card, Intel Core i7-13700 processor, 32GB of RAM and 1TB SSD allow you to make even the most graphically demanding games with ease.

Read our full Dell XPS 8960 review.

The best gaming PC for first-timers

Acer Predator Orion 3000 on a desk, viewed front on

(Image credit: Future)
The best gaming PC for first-timers

Specifications

VR Ready: Yes
Processor: Up to Intel Core i7
RAM: 16GB
Graphics Card: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
Storage: Up to 1TB HDD, 1TB SSD
Accessories: Predator wired keyboard and gaming mouse, both w/ customizable RPGB lighting

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish design looks good on a desk
+
Easy to open and upgrade
+
Quiet, even while gaming
+
Great 1080p performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Underwhelming performance vs. competition
-
Low-quality keyboard and mouse

If you're absolutely new to PC gaming, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 is a great mid-sized gaming PC that's powerful, attractive, and now available for less than $1,000.

There are some drawbacks, however. Though powerful, this machine is better at playing games at 1080p than in 4K resolution. We also weren't enthused with the packed-in keyboard and mouse, which pale in comparison to the best gaming keyboards and best gaming mice. This PC also didn't test as well as similarly-priced rigs we've tested, though that might be because it only has 16GB of RAM. Thankfully, the well-organized case is easy to open if you want to add more RAM or any other component.

Read our full Acer Predator Orion 3000 review.

The Corsair Vengeance i7200 features tasty RGB lighting that isn't distracting. The side glass panels do a great job of displaying this rig's internal RGB lighting and its components.

Speaking of components, it packs CPUs up to an Intel Core i9 and GPUs up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090. You can also upgrade to more current parts, though that will cost more depending on what you purchase. And given its specs, this rig is also great for everyday work and even video/audio editing.

Read our full Corsair Vengeance i7200 review.

The best mid-range gaming PC

Alienware Aurora R16

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best mid-range gaming PC

Specifications

VR Ready: Yes
Processor: Intel Core i7-13700F
RAM: 32 GB
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070
Storage: 512GB
Accessories: Keyboard & mouse

Reasons to buy

+
Elegant, discreet design
+
Small desk footprint
+
Excellent performance
+
Runs cool and quiet

Reasons to avoid

-
Proprietary design limits upgradability

The Alienware Aurora R16 is an updated version of the Aurora R15 discussed above. As you can see, it looks much different from its predecessor. Don't be fooled by this new discreet design as the latest R16 is a mid-range gaming powerhouse.

Its starting configuration lets you play games at mid to high settings out of the box, but you can also upgrade with more RAM, storage and the latest Intel processors and Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs. Thanks to its advanced cooling tech and redesigned chassis, this rig will run cool and quiet no matter what game you're playing.

Read our full Alienware Aurora R16 review.

The best mid-tower gaming PC

iBuyPower Y60 review unit on desk playing Cyberpunk 2077

(Image credit: Future)
Best mid-tower gaming PC

Specifications

VR Ready: Yes
Processor: Intel Core i7-12700KF
RAM: 16GB DDR4-3600
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
Storage: 2TB SSD
Accessories: Keyboard & mouse

Reasons to buy

+
Tempered glass case looks great
+
Easy to open and work inside
+
Plenty of ports
+
Stays reasonably quiet

Reasons to avoid

-
Gets hot
-
Large, unwieldy case

The iBuyPower Y60 doesn't take up a lot of room on a desk but its eye-catching design will certainly draw attention. Yes, it looks like a fish tank but that's part of this rig's charm.

The Hyte Y60 mid-tower case our review unit utilized packed seriously powerful components. The latest version of this gaming PC features the most up-to-date parts from Intel and Nvidia. Though this machine looks appealing, it's not easy to move around. However, once you've found a place for it, it's easy to work with. Unfortunately, our review unit kicked up a lot of heat during intense gaming sessions.

Read our full iBuyPower Y60 review.

The best gaming PCs compared

Here is a quick look at our testing data for the gaming PCs on this list. The tables below show you how well they run games and their overall performance. The latter is important since a good gaming PC is also great at other tasks like video editing and rendering.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Frame rate test results (1080p)
Header Cell - Column 0 Assassin's Creed ValhallaGrand Theft Auto VBorderlands 3
Alienware Aurora R15200186257
Dell XPS 8960188185185
Acer Predator Orion 3000204186258
Corsair Vengeance i720098160143
Alienware Aurora R16154146144
iBuyPower Y60 (2022)102N/A119
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Overall performance
Header Cell - Column 0 Geekbench 5 (multi-core)25 GB File Copy (MBps)Handbrake (Min:Seconds)
Alienware Aurora R1522,4941,3402:17
Dell XPS 896019,1342,0472:58
Acer Predator Orion 300021,3801,2332:26
Corsair Vengeance i720011,0478245:13
Alienware Aurora R1615,7641,2863:52
iBuyPower Y60 (2022)13,9181,2123:48

How to choose the best gaming PC

Price: If affordability is your concern, most decent gaming PCs start around $700 to $1,000. For that price, you're looking at basic specs such as an Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia 2000-series GPUs and 8GB to 16GB of RAM.

Performance: Think about the type of gaming experience you're after. Game streaming services like Google Stadia can offer decent performance, but if its solid 1080p/60fps gaming you want, a machine with a decent Core i5 processor and GeForce 2060 or AMD Radeon RX 5600 GPU will get you there. Cards such as the Radeon RX 5700 and GeForce 2080 hit a nice sweet spot for dependable 1440p gaming. Going 4K? You'll want to spring for hardware such as an RTX 3080 or AMD RX 6800.

Upgradability: Gaming PC components are always evolving, and the best gaming PCs can be easily upgraded with new parts over time. Machines such as the Alienware Aurora and Dell G5 are easy to open up and tinker with, even for the less tech-savvy. Compact machines, such as the Corsair One, can be a bit harder to open up. So if you plan on upgrading your investment over time, keep this in mind.

VR-readiness: Want to game in VR? Requirements for headsets such as the Oculus Rift S and HTC Vive start at an Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti / AMD Radeon RX 470 GPU, an Intel Core i3 or Ryzen 3 processor, 8GB of RAM and a DisplayPort 1.2 or mini DisplayPort. Make sure your machine meets this requirement before you plunk down cash for one. 

How we test the best 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, Far Cry: New Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto V 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 in order to give you a sense of how these gaming desktops hold up anecdotally.

In terms of synthetic tests, we run a gamut of benchmarks that include 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra (for graphics) and Geekbench 4 and 5 (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.

For more information, check out our how we test page for Tom's Guide.

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.