How much is a gaming computer?

Gaming & Accessories

Given the speed, durability, versatility, longevity and ease with which you can update the components of gaming laptops, some savvy professionals purchase them for work, even if they have no desire to play games.

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What is a gaming computer?

PS5 - Sony PlayStation 5 Digital Edition Gaming Console

Gaming is a billion-dollar industry that is more popular than ever, and new consoles continue to hit the market. While the PS5 and Xbox Series X are still popular, a gaming computer can take your gameplay to the next level. You can certainly play games on a regular computer, but because of the high resolution and extremely fast frame rates, gaming computers are a must for any competitive gamer looking to optimize performance.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all gaming computer, and many enthusiasts opt to build their own by purchasing the main components separately to better customize their experience. Gaming computers are also versatile and can be more beneficial than the traditional PC when it comes to graphic design, animation, or simply streaming movies and TV.

Build your own vs. pre-built gaming computers

What sets pre-built gaming PCs apart is the design and the infrastructure. You’re paying for more than just the parts; you’re paying for the warranty, support and the knowledge that it was properly assembled. Given how quickly technology can advance, it’s beneficial to look for models that are easy to upgrade. This prevents you from having to purchase a brand-new system down the road.

If you’re strapped for cash and have the knowledge, building your own PC can be beneficial. This allows you to take advantage of discounts, sales, coupon codes, and combo deals on individual components. It also makes it easy to upgrade and you can reuse some parts and components that aren’t out of date for your new build.

Laptop or desktop?

The differences between a gaming laptop and desktop are similar to the choices you face when purchasing a regular PC, so you want to consider the same factors. If low cost and portability are a priority, then laptops are ideal. Desktops are better suited for those who seek higher performance and the ability to upgrade easier.

Essential components of a gaming computer

CPU

Think of the central processing unit as the brain of your computer. These range from 4 core/4 thread for beginners up to 6 core/12 thread for more advanced. They can even get more powerful if so desired, but that has minimal impact when it comes to gaming.

Graphics cards

MSI Computer Video Graphic Cards GeForce GTX 1050 TI GAMING X 4G

Graphic processing units (GPU) are essential because they are the heart and soul of your computer. High-quality graphics cards are worth the investment if you’re replacing your existing gaming computer or building your own.

RAM

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB

This is your memory. Between 8GB and 16GB of RAM is sufficient for most modern games while still leaving plenty of room for other applications. Memory kits can be sold separately.   

Monitors

Sceptre 24" Curved 75Hz Gaming LED Monitor Full HD 1080P HDMI VGA Speakers

Monitors are often sold separately, and the size you need depends on how close you plan to sit to your station. Unless sitting extremely close, 24- to 27-inch monitors are considered ideal. Full HD monitors are some of the most popular.

Cooling system

Cooler Master MasterLiquid LC240E RGB Close-Loop AIO CPU Liquid Cooler

Overheating can damage your equipment over time. The more processing power, the more heat your computer can generate. Cooling units can also be sold separately, but it’s important to consider the additional noise created by the fan.

What you can expect to spend on a gaming computer

High

NZXT Kraken CPU Liquid Cooler

A high-end gaming computer will cost you well over $1,000 dollars and can go significantly beyond that for the best of the best. They have top-end processing power and luxuries like liquid cooling. Many are VR-ready, so they can run the most complex games.

Moderate

These run between $600-$900. These models still have solid processing power and decent graphics cards but lack some of the high-end features of the more expensive models. Upgrades might be required much sooner.

Low

If on a budget, you can purchase a gaming computer for between $400-$600. However, you will most likely need to upgrade sooner to include the newest tech and make it compatible with the latest accessories and games. In this price range, tradeoffs are often necessary, and it’s beneficial if you can swap out certain components. You might sacrifice processing power in exchange for a better graphics card.

The best gaming computers

Alienware Aurora R10

Alienware Aurora R10

A trusted brand in the industry, this is a powerful computer with a fast processor. It is easy to set up and upgrade. Customers are happy with the audio quality, and the case is compact, so it doesn’t take up much room.  

Where to buy: Amazon

CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR

CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR

Optimized for gaming and VR ready. It comes complete with Intel CPU, high-power memory and high-performance GPU. This doesn’t have all the perks of a top-tier PC, but it’s a great option for a beginner.

Where to buy: Amazon

Omen by HP 30L

Omen by HP 30L

Stylish, but also powerful. This model comes with high-end components included, such as a top-notch graphics card and 16GB of memory. This model is also easy to customize if upgrades are needed down the road.

Where to buy: HP

SkyTech Archangel 3.0

SkyTech Archangel 3.0

This is one of the best models for beginners, but it’s also easy to customize and upgrade, so it can last. Customers have been happy with the consistently smooth gameplay.

Where to buy: Amazon

ASUS ROG Strix GL10DH

ASUS ROG Strix GL10DH

A solid gaming computer for when shopping on a budget. It’s optimized for multitasking and is VR-ready. Consumers have been happy with the fast load times and easy set up.

Where to buy: Amazon

Dell G5 Gaming Desktop 5090

Dell G5 Gaming Desktop 5090

This popular gaming PC is good for those who are looking for a solid entry computer that can be upgraded when needed. The sleek chassis is easy to open when it comes time to swap out parts.

Where to buy: Amazon

Gaming PC Desktop Computer by Alarco

Gaming PC Desktop Computer by Alarco

An inexpensive gaming PC that is great for kids who are just getting involved in gaming. It works well for all of the most popular games.

Where to buy: Amazon

 

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Ryan Dempsey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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