When choosing the best gaming PC for you, there are a variety of different factors based on the games you want to play, how beautiful you want them to look, and the most importantly; how much you are willing to spend. We’re going to be detailing priced builds from a high end $5000 rig all the way down to a budget $300 build, so you should be able to find the best gaming PC for you.
If you’re new to the PC building scene you may not know the ins and outs of the specific terminology, or what components are compatible with what. To help, we’ll be detailing some key tips and tricks, along with breaking down some of the PC jargon to help ensure your building journey is as smooth as possible.
Unfortunately, due to various factors, the prices of the hardware listed fluctuate daily. We aim to update all of our builds as much as we can to ensure they are as close to the specified build price as possible.
This $5000 gaming PC not only has all the bells and whistles, but the power to back it up. The Ryzen 9 3900X processor coupled with the 2080ti GPU makes this build a performance powerhouse, running all the latest AAA games like it’s nothing. Additionally, the RAM, PSU, motherboard and multiple storage solutions are all top of the line, ensuring reliability long into the future. The multiple RGB elements beef up the already aesthetically pleasing Phantex Enthoo 719 case, making this build a gamer’s dream.
Spending $3000 on a gaming PC, like the $5000 build, ensures that you are getting incredible performance on all the latest AAA titles. We’re sticking with mainly the same components as the $5000 build but just scaling back a little. We’ve reduced the ram from 64GB to 32GB which does give it less memory than the higher-end build, but it doesn’t affect performance enough to justify the extra spend.
The $2000 mark is where we start taking a sizable hit in terms of performance compared to the $3000 and $5000 builds. We’re looking at 16GB of RAM and a small change in terms of GPU, going down from the 2080ti to the regular 2080. You are, however, still looking at a 4k and VR ready machine maxing out the requirements of many games including Fortnite and CS:GO.
Now we’re at the lower end of the high tier gaming PCs, you aren’t getting the 4k power of the other builds, but it can, however, achieve huge FPS in 1440p resolutions which is more than enough for most. We’re still looking at great CPU power with the Ryzen 5 3600, coupled with the sleek look of the Phanteks Eclipse Steel case.
For $1000, the gaming PC you’ll be receiving is not only exceedingly powerful, but it is also somewhat futureproofed. With the Ryzen 5 3600 that goes into this build, you’ll avoid potential bottlenecking when upgrading the GPU from the RTX 2060 in the future. Also, the difference between this and the $800 build is relatively significant, posting 40 FPS at 4k in Fortnite and 50 FPS at 4k in Overwatch, a massive upgrade from the lower resolution capacity.
Check out our $1,000 gaming PC build right here.
Spending $800 on a gaming PC will still get you a console destroying, VR capable machine. You’ll still be getting the Ryzen 5 3600 that goes into the more pricier $1000 build, compromising on the graphics card with the GTX 1660 Super instead of the RTX 2060. As well as being VR capable, you’re also going to be able to run most current-gen games at 1440p resolution but at lower frame rates, and at potentially poorer graphical settings.
Now we’re fully into the mid-tier section of the best gaming PCs, you might be expecting something with the capacity to run AAA games and high graphical settings with ease. You’d be right. $700 will get you a gaming PC that showcases your favorite titles in full 1080p resolution and on high settings. You will be able to run VR games thanks to the Ryzen 5 3600X RTX 2060 combo, but at just about playable frame rates.
With $600, you’re on the cusp of leaving the ‘budget’ builds and entering the mid-tier of gaming PCs. Due to this, you’re going to be getting a rig that we call the ‘console killer’. We’re looking at the standard 16GB of RAM and the Ryzen 5 2600 used in the $500 build, but they’ll be increased storage space with the 512GB SSD and the improved graphical capacity of the RX 580 GTS XXX Edition.
$500 will get you a solid entry-level gaming PC, allowing for a dedicated GPU alongside a powerful CPU. For this one, you’re looking at a Ryzen 5 2600 CPU and the RX 570 RS XXX Edition graphics card giving you full 1080p gaming on all games at stable, high FPS. Of course, it does have its limitations, you aren’t going to be getting something that far outweighs current-gen consoles, but it will be running at a similar level.
As this is the middle of the park when we think of budget builds you will be getting a capable, entry-level gaming PC that can run some less graphically intensive games at 1080p with playable frame rates. You are, however, looking more like 900p max for most. This is due to the lack of a dedicated GPU in this build. For the price, the Ryzen 5 3400G is still fantastic value for money, especially when used in conjunction with 16GB of RAM, there’s little to complain about at this price point.
With $300 it is quite tricky to actually build a PC that has the capabilities to run games nevermind the AAA titles of today. You’re not going to be able to play these AAA games at maximum frame rates, but with components like the Ryzen 3 2200G APU, you will be able to run games like Fortnite, CS:GO and Rocket League at more than playable levels.
There are a lot of confusing terms when it comes to buying the right power supply for your PC; What wattage do I need? What is an efficiency rating? What do bronze, silver and gold ratings mean? So on and so forth. Without over complicating this, we recommend almost disregarding any power supply that doesn’t have a good efficiency rating. This is because if you choose an extremely cheap supply that doesn’t have that good efficiency rating, it is a lot more likely to fail, leaving you needing to purchase another just to make your PC come alive. Bronze, silver, and gold ratings are an added extra that gives you better efficiencies at different loads, with bronze being the worst and gold is the best. When we think about wattage, things get a little more convoluted, you need to look at all the other components and almost calculate the combined power required. The general rule is to look at how much wattage is required from your graphics card and go from there. You’re looking at between 500w and 650w needed for most builds, but using lower/higher-powered components will sway this, so get your calculator out and start adding.
To ensure you’re choosing a CPU that’s compatible with your motherboard, you need to first choose which brand of CPU you’re going for; AMD or Intel as all motherboards support one brand and not the other. Once that’s been done, choose the processor. Let’s say you’re looking at an AMD Ryzen 5 3600, this is a 3rd generation Ryzen CPU so you’re going to have to choose a motherboard that supports that. It is a very common mistake choosing a motherboard that doesn’t support your generation, so check that product description to make sure it does.
The short answer is yes. You need enough memory speed to match your processor i.e. the Ryzen 5 3600 performs best with 3000 MHz. If you were to have lower speeds than what is optimal for your CPU, then you’re going to be looking at worse overall PC performance.
You do get a lot more storage for your money choosing a traditional hard drive over a solid-state drive but what you’re not getting is the speeds. The speed increase from an SSD compared to an HDD can be between 5 and 20 times, making it almost a necessity for playing today’s games. You could, however, add an HDD as a second drive for storing all of your documents and downloads on due to that higher storage capacity and overall reliability.
Electrical components are fragile at the best of times so taking care when building is essential. However, what many don’t consider is the effect static electricity can have. If a static discharge occurs, it can damage your components beyond repair, which then means a whole lot of wasted money.
You can avoid any potential component damage in a couple of ways, with the most common being; using an anti-static mat for your components and wearing an anti-static wristband when assembling.
You’re going to want to get your tools ready because you don’t want to start to assemble your rig and not be able to due to not having the correct equipment. There aren’t masses of tools you need to successfully assemble a PC but what is essential, is a screwdriver with multiple bits. There are a few screws that are needed to secure both the components and assembling the case itself. These can usually be fitted using the same Phillips bit, with the most common being #2. However, make sure you have #1 and #3 just in case.