What’s the best gaming computer?
There are plenty of people who enjoy playing video games, but they don’t have the time or inclination to build their own system. That usually involves a lot of research and planning, and you must also make sure the parts are compatible.
The easier — and sometimes cheaper — way is to buy a gaming computer that’s already assembled. You’ll need to do nothing else except turn it on and install your favorite games. If that sounds like a dream, then the 2022 HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop PC is an excellent option.
What to know before you buy a gaming computer
Consider what games you’ll play most
What you can do and how well you can do it depends on the PC’s internal components. A gaming computer should be strong enough to play the latest titles, but consider what else you’ll use it for. If you do occasional graphic design, you’ll greatly benefit from more memory and a faster graphics card. Remember, you don’t need the latest and greatest components to enjoy top-tier games, so there’s no need to go over budget.
Additional components might be necessary but tricky
A pre-built computer uses the manufacturer’s components as well as some third-party parts. While that ensures compatibility, it’s not always the best. For example, a computer with a powerful graphics card needs more cooling or ventilation inside a stock PC case. So consider installing a liquid cooling system or adding more extraction fans. This can get tricky, as you must ensure the case is large enough and the components remain compatible.
You must have your own accessories
A pre-built computer is all the components assembled in the case, so it’s ready to play games straight out of the box. But it doesn’t come with any accessories or peripherals. If a pre-built machine is your first PC, you must also buy a gaming monitor, a keyboard and a mouse. For sound, you have a couple of options, but most gamers prefer to use a wired headset unless the motherboard has built-in Bluetooth — then, you can use a wireless headset.
What to look for in a quality gaming computer
Central processing unit
The CPU is at the heart of any computer, responsible for sending instructions to the other components. Depending on the motherboard, the CPU will either be made by Intel or AMD. The CPU is less crucial for gaming in terms of graphical quality but nonetheless important. A good-quality computer has at least an Intel Core i5 or an AMD Ryzen 5 CPU.
Random access memory
The RAM is the computer’s memory and stores all the short-term data required to execute tasks. The more RAM you have, the faster a PC can get things done without slowing down. A good-quality gaming PC has at least 8 gigabytes of RAM, but 16GB is becoming the norm as video games become more resource-demanding.
When it comes to video games, the graphics card plays an integral role. It’s the main component that determines visual quality. Most gamers go for an Nvidia graphics card, with the RTX 30 series being the latest. Others prefer AMD’s cards, with the Radeon RX 6000 series as the newest model.
How much you can expect to spend on a gaming computer
This largely depends on the manufacturer and the quality of the internal components. An entry-level gaming computer with 32GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5 CPU costs $1,000-$1,200. However, a more powerful PC with a high-end graphics card runs $2,000-$3,000.
Gaming computer FAQ
Can you use any mouse and keyboard?
A. Yes, you can use whatever mouse or keyboard brand you want. It will work as long as the accessory connects wirelessly or through a USB port. Your accessories are not dependent on the PC’s internal components.
How do you add storage space?
A. To add hard drive space, you have a few options. Depending on the motherboard’s configuration, you can easily add another SSD or hard drive. If there isn’t enough space in the case, you can always connect an external hard drive through a USB port.
What’s the best gaming computer to buy?
Top gaming computer
What you need to know: This computer has enough RAM and hard drive space to power through the most demanding tasks.
What you’ll love: Shipped in an elegant HP case with subtle green lighting on the front, this pre-built computer has 32GB of RAM, a 1 terabyte solid-state hard drive and a 2TB traditional hard drive. The CPU is an Intel Core i5 with a maximum clock speed of 4.3 gigahertz, and the graphics card is a powerful Nvidia RTX 3060 12GB. It comes with a wired mouse and keyboard.
What you should consider: The case doesn’t have a lot of ventilation holes, so installing an after-market liquid cooler is best.
Top gaming computer for the money
What you need to know: With a high-end Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, this affordable computer is a great choice for any gamer.
What you’ll love: Powered by an Intel Core i7 CPU, it has 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB solid-state hard drive and comes with Windows 11 installed. The case features a tempered glass window, customizable Aura Sync lighting and two isolated air chambers for better ventilation.
What you should consider: Some users said the case’s open design makes the system noisy when switched on.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you have some serious extra cash, this beast of a gaming machine is all you need for the next few years.
What you’ll love: Packing a powerful Intel Core i9 with a maximum clock speed of 5.2 gigahertz, there will be very few games it can’t handle on the best settings. It comes with 32GB of RAM (expandable up to 128GB), a 1TB M.2 solid-state hard drive and an Nvidia RTX 3080Ti 8GB graphics card.
What you should consider: The PC case is in Alienware’s distinct futuristic shape, which might not be a look for everyone.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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