On the search for the simplest gaming PC in 2019? This guide could also be ready to help. But first I should disclose that, altogether my decades of offering buying advice, Windows desktop PC recommendations have always been among the foremost difficult, a minimum of beyond the essential stream-video-and-surf-the-web systems. And gaming PCs rank among one among the toughest, a minimum of if you’re within the 99% for whom price matters. There are just too many choices, with way too many permutations.

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We’ve hit an enormous transitional period with reference to picking the 2 major system components, graphics card and processor. Intel earlier this year announced the primary wave of its eagerly awaited Ice Lake-architecture 10th-gen Core i processors. Though i do not expect an enormous performance improvement in typical CPU tasks, Ice Lake’s upgraded graphics engine could affect how important a discrete graphics card is to you. The 10th-gen edition adds Thunderbolt 3 native support also — no driver necessary — which hopefully will speed its adoption in Windows desktops. At the very least, the faster transfer can potentially make storing or swapping games externally tons less painful.

In addition, AMD finally shipped the primary of its printing operation of mainstream gaming cards, the Radeon RX 5700 series. Nvidia countered with “Super” versions of its GeForce RTX cards. It doesn’t provide new performance thresholds, but the pricing change affects the head-to-head choice in gaming experience with AMD.

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Origin PC Millennium Best for take-all-my-money 4K, HDR performance Starts at $1,935 See at Origin PC
HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop The cheapest option Starts at $750 See at HP
Alienware Aurora R8 Best for 1080p or under $1,000 Starts at $900 See at Alienware
Digital Storm Bolt X Best for 1440p gaming in style Starts at $1,650 See at Digital Storm
Falcon Northwest Talon / Tiki Best for the artful gamer Starts at $2,127 See at Falcon Northwest
CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR Alternate $955 option Starts at $955 See at Amazon

Choosing the simplest gaming PC is all about trade-offs. Every game uses system resources — processor (CPU), graphics processor (GPU), memory (RAM), storage — differently, and sometimes horribly inefficiently. you cannot even calculate resource core usage consistency across a selected game genre, like first-person shooter (FPS) or platformer, because optimization levels can vary wildly. Gaming (and content-creation) PCs are the angry toddlers of consumer electronics: They’re loud, willful and need constant supervision. And just once you think they’re in check, they veer off into crazytown.

I’ll admit, I’m waving my hands a touch here: These aren’t recommendations for specific systems, more for ballpark configurations and honorable mentions of the manufacturers or system builders with a selected case design that you simply should consider in various scenarios. (And when it is time to sweat the small print, User Benchmark may be a great site for getting a way of key features, and performance deltas between different components.)

If you would like a touch more guidance beyond these recommendations for the simplest gaming PC, scroll right down to the top of the story. And note that this is often not my final word; this story will evolve over time.

Cheapest best gaming PC
HP Pavilion Gaming 790 Desktop

HP’s Pavilion Gaming Desktop may be a compact, budget-friendly, spare-me-the-flashiness model, targeting an equivalent “casual” gamer as Dell’s Inspiron Gaming or Acer’s Nitro lines, but tons more understated. This $750 base model should provide a minimum of the minimum you would like to play relatively undemanding games in 1080p without poking your eyes out with a stick: i5-8400 with a free Optane upgrade to accelerate disk operations for the 1TB hard disc a touch, a GTX 1050 Ti and 8GB of RAM. That’s about what you get with budget gaming laptops. It’s got plenty of connections on the front, though — four USB-A, one USB-C and an SD card slot.

Alternate budget option
CyberpowerPC’s Gamer Xtreme VR (GXiVR8060A7)
Another option that’s a touch more powerful for just a touch more dough, CyberpowerPC’s Gamer Xtreme VR (GXiVR8060A7) is aggressively priced for its components — for a touch over $950, you get a GTX 160 and extra 120GB SSD over the HP. that tiny nudge in specs could also be enough to tip performance into the suitable range for a few games.

Best gaming PC for under $1,000
Alienware Aurora R8

For less than a grand, you will not get terrific performance from this midsize desktop — well, midsize for a gaming system — but you ought to be ready to get quite 60fps in 1080p on action-oriented (i.e., not filled with big-texture, detailed graphics) games. The chassis not only features a lot of connectors, it’s a relative bounty of USB ports within the front — one USB-C and three USB-A.

The $900 base configuration includes an i5-9400, 8GB RAM, a Radeon RX 560X and a 1TB disk drive. If you’ll afford it, i actually recommend going with a solid-state drive (SSD) instead, albeit it’s much smaller capacities; Windows reallly does run faster. you’ll always get a cheap external disk drive for near-line storage. you’ll also want to spend a touch more for the 2×2 Wi-Fi networking card.

However, if you’re just looking to blast through 1080p and may spend more, upgrade to a GTX 1660 Ti (a plain 1660 would be fine, too, but it isn’t an option), 16GB of RAM and/or a 512GB SSD. Those should also bump your performance level up to decent 1440p performance on some games.

Best for 1440p gaming a la mode
Digital Storm Bolt X

Digital Storm
While HD (1,920×1,080 pixels) remains the foremost popular gaming resolution, 1440p (also mentioned as 2K for its 2,560×1,440-pixel resolution) is sl-o-o-o-o-wly beginning to rise in popularity. A 1440p-capable system has the side advantage of allowing smooth 1080p play at a better quality also, so albeit you are not able to play in 1440p, you’ll consider it as future-proofing.

The GTX 1660 Ti may be a solid choice here, and coupling it with an overclockable i5-9600K, 16GB 3,200MHz RAM and a 1TB SSD should offer you great 1080p frame rates and decent 1440p at top quality. it isn’t cheap at about $1,800 for the setup, but it’s reasonable for the components also as Digital Storm’s gorgeous and compact Bolt X case (though not as small because the never-materialized Project Spark), plus moral support within the company’s relatively active on-site forums.

Best for the artful gamer
Falcon Northwest Tiki and Talon

Falcon Northwest
Falcon Northwest focuses on blazingly fast systems wrapped in custom paint jobs. The Tiki is its most compact system, yet you’ll cram up to a top-of-the-line i9-9900K and GeForce RTX 2080 Ti into it.

The Talon, on the opposite hand, has the planning of an earthly midtower, but meaning it can pack during a lot of high-end components, including an 18-core i9-9980XE and dual RTX 2080 Ti cards (or dual Quadro P6000s). And once you customize the chassis it isn’t so mundane anymore.

Unfortunately, you’re cursed with the onboard audio and networking for a few of the configurations, just like the i9-9900K/dual RTX 2080 Ti we just tested, and in fact, prepare to throw wads of money at it. you are doing get personalized service, though the web site is noticeably barren of support information — all you get is that the hardcopy documentation and media arranged during a binder — and FNW doesn’t have its own command center software.

Best for 4K, HDR performance
Origin PC, other boutique builders

Sarah Tew/CNET
If you are going for max performance or maximum configurability, then go boutique. you’ll get fast systems for an equivalent breathtaking prices from companies like Alienware, but they seem to be a little more kitchen utensil (though it feels odd to call anything that appears just like the Area-51 “cookie cutter”), tend to be more conservatively tuned, and once you drop $10,000 on a system, you are still just a drop by the bucket for Dell’s business.

In addition to the additional care, boutique sites like Falcon Northwest, Origin PC, Digital Storm then on are tons more transparent about the components you’re choosing — none more extreme than Origin PC, where your choices get pretty granular. additionally to picking the brand and speed of memory and power supply, which is typical, you select which motherboard you would like and what color the duvet for the facility supply cables should be.

Being able to settle on the motherboard instead of just the chipset are often important; all of them have their quirks, lighting schemes (I love the visual of the MSI Z390 Godlike we had within the Millennium we tested) and connector differences, for instance.

And if you would like reliable, smooth 4K gaming, especially with HDR tossed in, you are going to wish a minimum of an i9-9900K and RTX 2080 Ti. Probably two 2080 Tis if you would like a side of ray tracing thereupon.

Origin PC’s cases aren’t the prettiest on the surface, though you’ll get custom paint jobs and laser etching to bling them up, but they’re neat — easy to open and work inside — and what you see through the transparent side panels looks great. And you’ll get ’em big: The Millennium is that the second-largest case option and it still intimidated all the opposite desktops on the laboratory bench.

Digital Storm also has thoughtfully designed cases. i really like the Aventum X which has perks like quick-disconnect fittings on the cooling tubes so you’ll actually get your hands in to swap components. Plus, it is a sleek standing slab with cool lighting schemes that basically give off the Tron vibe.

Origin PC is serious about its shipping.

Sarah Tew/CNET
As you configure your gaming rig, here are some considerations to stay in mind:

For whichever CPU you purchase, get the newest generation available. it’s always indicated by by the primary digit of the CPU model name. Tn this case, meaning the eighth – or ninth generation for Intel Core i (such as i7-9700K, a ninth-gen processor) and third generation for AMD Ryzen (e.g., Ryzen 7 3700X). which will or might not still be true once we see a subsequent generation of either, except for now, there are noticeable performance increases from the previous generations.
A “gaming system” is effectively defined by its use of a discrete graphics processor, which, for the instant a minimum of, means AMD Radeon or Nvidia GeForce graphics. So it (should) go without saying that you simply should avoid dirt-cheap configurations with integrated GPUs (iGPUs). However, if the simplest gaming PC you’ll afford immediately is an iGPU-based system, confirm it either has sufficient slot space and power supply for a GPU upgrade. Unfortunately, Thunderbolt 3 ports on desktops are pretty scarce, so attaching an external GPU (eGPU) at some point within the future might not be an option yet.
Figure out what quite tech support client you’re. does one waste hours banging away at a drag, scouring the online for help, instead of contacting the corporate — guilty! — or does one want humans available to you to quickly help gloss over the rough patches? Big manufacturers usually have active user forums scattered round the web for user-to-user help and knowledge-bases with some troubleshooting help; boutique builders, not such a lot, because you’re paying a premium for more personal human help and since the configurations are highly customized.

Before you begin configuring, believe what your most often played games are and inspect forums to work out whether their performance depends on a gazillion-core CPU or eats GPU cycles. Can they take noticeable advantage of 4K resolution, or do they appear an equivalent as in HD, just with an unplayably large drop by frame rate?
On the flip side, aren’t getting hung up an excessive amount of on frame rates past a particular point: If you check out the numbers across a spread of benchmarks and game types, you are doing get a way of the relative power of 1 configuration over another. But your goal is smooth gameplay — depending upon the sport and your monitor’s capabilities, which will vary from a minimum of 60fps to 240fps or more — at a top quality level that pleases you which fits within your budget. The Falcon Northwest and Origin PC systems I’ve tested last have given me over 200fps in 4K running Doom because that game takes advantage of the twin GPUs in it. But I’d be dying even as spectacularly at 120fps in 1440p (2,560×1,440) and have learned i might gladly exchange a number of those frames for more stability in Adobe’s applications.
Intel vs. AMD CPUs: Unless you’re buying a custom build or doing it yourself, you actually aren’t getting to settle on comparable configurations to combine and match. The manufacturers tend to choose the configurations supported what they think are going to be popular at given price levels. Pick your preferred graphics card then see what CPU options are on offer within your budget. AMDs tend to possess slower clock speeds — they need higher base clocks and lower boost clocks — but better multicore performance for an equivalent money. If your favorite games are old, they probably don’t cash in of quite four cores (if that), and can likely offer you the facility you would like from Intel’s fast individual cores.
Performance examples
Digital Storm Lynx (2019)
Origin PC Eon-17X (2019)
Alienware Area-51m
Falcon Northwest Talon (2018)
Origin PC Millennium (2019)
NOTE: Longer bars indicate better performance
Digital Storm Lynx (2019)
Falcon Northwest Talon 4K (2018)
Origin PC Millennium 4K (2019)
Alienware Area-51m
Origin PC Eon-17X (2019)
Origin PC Millennium (2019)
Falcon Northwest Talon (2018)
NOTE: Longer bars indicate better performance
Falcon Northwest Talon 4K (2018)
Digital Storm Lynx (2019)
Origin PC Millennium 4K (2019)
Origin PC Millennium (2019)
Falcon Northwest Talon (2018)
Origin PC Eon-17X (2019)
Alienware Area-51m
NOTE: Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS)
Alienware Area-51m Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 3.6GHz Intel Core i9-9900K; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080; (2) 512GB SSD RAID 0 + 1TB HDD
Digital Storm Lynx (2019) Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 3.2GHz AMD Ryzen 7 2700; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060; ADATA SU650 SATA600 240GB SSD + Toshiba HDW120 SATA600 2TB 7,200rpm HDD
Falcon Northwest Talon (2018) Windows 10 Professional (64-bit); 3.6GHz Intel Core i9-9900K (OC to 4.7GHz); 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,000MHz; 2 x 11,264MB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti; Samsung SSD EVO 970 2TB
Origin PC Eon-17X (2019) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 3.6GHz Intel Core i9-9900K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM3GHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080; 500GB SSD + 2TB HDD
Origin PC Millennium (2019) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 3.6GHz Intel Core i9-9900K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz; 2 x 11,264MB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti; 512GB SSD + 3TB HDD