The best gaming PCs in 2024

Best gaming PCs: Quick Menu

The best gaming PCs are powerful enough to run the most demanding video games well and do so in the biggest and most elegant design possible. While these machines arguably epitomize what a PC can be, they often come with steep price tags. Lofty costs aside, 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.

Right now, our top recommendation is the Alienware Aurora R15. Though it's not the latest model, you can kit it with the latest Intel and Nvidia components. We recommend the Dell XPS 8960 for those looking for a sub $1,000 gaming PC and the powerful Corsair Vengeance i7500 if money is no concern.

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.

Disclaimer

Editor's note: We're going to add more gaming PCs to this page soon so be sure to come back to see our picks!

The quick list

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

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 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)

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 budget gaming PC

Dell XPS 8960 review unit on desk

(Image credit: Future)

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 won't destroy your bank account, 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 value gaming PC

Acer Predator Orion 3000 on a desk, viewed front on

(Image credit: Future)

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 looking for a gaming PC that delivers excellent performance at a great value, 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 best high-end gaming pc

Corsair Vengeance i7500 review

(Image credit: Corsair)

Specifications

VR Ready: Yes
Processor: Intel Core i5-14600K
RAM: 32GB
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070
Storage: 1TB
Accessories: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Great 4K gaming performance
+
Doubles as an impressive work machine
+
Relatively quiet
+
Semi-customizable

Reasons to avoid

-
Top-end configurations are too expensive
-
Limited storage capacity on some configurations

The Corsair Vengeance i7500 is one of the most expensive gaming rigs you can buy, with even the entry-level model coming at $2,499. The steep price isn't unjustified considering the excellent performance this machine is capable of. Make no mistake, this is a high-end machine for hardcore gaming enthusiasts.

This machine might be overkill for those who just want 60 fps/4K gaming but is ideal for 120fps gaming. Considering its high-end specs, this machine will handle even the most graphically demanding titles for the next few years. Despite its beefy internals, this gaming PC remains relatively quiet. It's also fetching, with tasty RGB lighting within its non-descript case.

The Corsair Vengeance i7500 isn't cheap but it's worth the money considering everything it has to offer. This machine doesn't cut corners or lack quality-of-life features. It's the gaming rig for dedicated PC gamers.

Read our full Corsair Vengeance i7500 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 i7500230187286
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 i750025,5621,7742:10

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.