Best Gaming Desktop in 2019

Here’s our list of the best gaming desktops currently on the market – for those who don’t want to bother with building a gaming rig from scratch.

August 25, 2019

After buying the best gaming keyboard, the best gaming mouse and a good headset,  will 2019 be the year that you finally upgrade to a serious gaming rig? If you have the time, money, and technical know-how, nothing beats buying all the parts and building a gaming PC to meet your own unique specifications.

If you’re like me (and most sane people) that’s just a tad bit intimidating however. I’ve tinkered with PC’s before, installing new graphics and sound cards, adding more RAM, etc., but I’ve never had the guts to go full-bore Mad Scientist and build my own machine from scratch. 

Even buying a pre-built gaming PC can be an overwhelming experience. Things are constantly changing, and there’s so many different sources of information. If you’re like my dad, you ignore the whole problem and just go to the nearest big box store to buy whichever piece of hardware that the random person working in the electronics section recommends. It’s not my preferred approach but in his defense the whole process is over very quickly.

If you’re looking for a happy medium between these two approaches, you’ll be happy to know that I’ve done most of the grunt work for you. I tried to keep all of my recommendations to a reasonable price point, although I did include some more expensive pre-built PCs for those who have a bigger budget.

Nobody paid me to recommend anything on this list, and I would be happy to buy any one of them for my own personal use. And while you’re at it, take a look at our lists of the best gaming routers and best gaming chairs

Pros Cons Conclusion

Editor's pick

best gaming desktop
CORSAIR Vengeance 5185
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Can be overclocked, top of the line CPU/GPU, tons of RGB
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High price, May need more RAM A powerful, brand name pre-built gaming PC if your budget is over $2k.

Best for the budget

cyberpower gamer supreme best gaming desktop
Cyberpower Gamer Supreme
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9th Gen Intel CPU, Latest High-End GeForce GPU

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Luck of the draw for motherboard brand, certain other internals The most affordable option to get top tier CPU/GPU
cuk continuum micro gamer pc 200 best gaming desktop
CUK Continuum Micro Gamer PC
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Extremely high-quality build, high-end components, 3-Year limited warranty
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RGB only controllable through remote control, expensive Great performance at a fair price, but not the best-looking
hp omen gaming desktop 200 best gaming desktop
HP Omen Gaming Desktop
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Extremely high-quality build, high-end components, 3-Year limited warranty.
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RGB only controllable through remote control, expensive Great performance at a fair price, but not the best-looking
alienware aurora r8 best gaming desktop
Alienware Aurora R8
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Brand name, affordable, disc drive
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Large case, not quite top-tier CPU/GPU A surprisingly affordable PC that is a great buy if you don’t need the absolute latest and greatest parts

10 Corsair Vengeance 5180 Gaming PC

ProsExcellent price, quality GPU/CPU/RAM/Storage
ConsNot overclocking capable
ConclusionIf you can get it for the sale price, go for it

Razer Corsair Vengeance 5180 Gaming PC

i7-9700K, GeForce RTX 2080

 This rig is a beast, and with the price drop it’s pretty hard to find a better pre built gaming PC in the $2,000.00 and under bracket. In fact, you could do a lot worse for more money! A sub-$2k gaming PC with an NVIDIA GEFORCE 2080, an 8th Gen Intel processor, and SSD/HDD dual storage.

The only real downside, as PC Gamer points out, is that this model can’t be overclocked. But like with other entries on this list, if overclocking is your concern, I’m not sure why you’re buying a pre-built PC in the first place.

I won’t pretend to be immune to marketing and popular trends. I used to drool over the advertisements in gaming magazines for the Falcon Northwest Fragbox when it first came out 15 years ago (yikes-I’m getting old).

My first big purchase when I got a “real” job was an Alienware laptop; I could lie and tell you that it was the system specs and performance benchmarks that drew me to it, but we both know I bought it because of those damned glowing alien eyes on the back of the case.

The idea of getting my grubby, Games Workshop paint-stained hands on a Corsair gaming rig for an affordable price is getting me all sweaty. Maybe it’s the brand name driving me crazy, but make no mistake: The Corsair Vengeance 5180 Gaming PC packs some serious firepower.

9 Alienware Aurora R8

ProsBrand name, affordable, disc drive
ConsLarge case, not quite top-tier CPU/GPU
ConclusionA surprisingly affordable PC that is a great buy if you don’t need the absolute latest and greatest parts

Alienware Aurora R8

9th Gen Intel Core i7 9700 (8-Core, 12MB Cache

Glowing alien head? Check. Case that looks like it came from another planet? Check. Exorbitantly expensive and gimmicky brand-name pre-built gaming PC? 

I know that Alienware generates a lot of controversy, but as I mentioned earlier I am a shameless fanboy. At this price point though, I feel justified including the Aurora R8 on this list, regardless of differing opinions on the Alienware brand. Just be forewarned, it is a full-sized case, despite their advertising to the contrary.

At 23.5in long, 19.29in wide, and 15.26 in tall, Alienware is stretching the definition to the limit to call this case “compact.” At that size, it’s definitely a statement piece that will dominate the top of your desk, as an Alienware PC should.

The Aurora R8 comes with a 9th Gen. Intel i7-9700 which while not the latest and greatest CPU on the market, is still pretty decent. With 8 cores, 8 threads, and running between 3.00GHz-4.70GHz, the i7-9700 delivers solid performance considering  its price.

The 256GB SSD/2TB HDD combo drive is similarly middle-of-the-pack, but respectable given the overall price point. It’s not the latest and greatest SUPER version, but the Aurora R8 does come with the GeForce RTX 2070. It’s a great GPU, and the fact that you get it in a sub-$2k pre-built PC is one of the main reasons I’ve included it on this list.  Go ahead and overclock it to your heart’s content.

Final note: the Aurora R8 has a DVD/RW drive, which is one of those funny things where you don’t realize how much you miss it until it’s gone.

8 MSI Trident X Plus 9SF-054US

ProsExtremely powerful performance, compact size
ConsMay want to consider upgrading the power supply, some people report problems with the MSI proprietary software
ConclusionA good option if you want to drop serious cash on a pre-built since the CPU/GPU are half of the total price

MSI Trident X Plus 9SF-054US

High-End Small Form Factor PC Intel Core i9-9900K

MSI is a very respected brand, and the Trident X Plus is great if you want a seriously high-end pre-built PC that won’t completely take over the top of your desk. Taking advantage of its Mini-ITX size motherboard, the Trident X Plus is tiny compared to some of the other cases on this list.

At 15x15x5 inches, it’s a great option if size is an issue in your setup. Besides the fact that you could easily fit the Trident X Plus into a bookbag, which is great if you’re into LAN parties (are LAN parties still a thing?), I like this case because it bucks the trend of being completely ostentatious that seems to have taken over the market.

It’s sleek, and it comes with both a steel side wall and a tempered glass side panel to show off your RGB, depending on your mood. You could definitely use this in a professional setting and not look too out of place.

The MSI Trident X Plus is not cheap, but at least half of the price is taken up by the CPU and GPU alone. The Intel Core i9-990K is a 3.6GHz 9th Gen. 8 core, 16 thread CPU capable of overclocking.

The NVIDIA GeForce 2080 Ti Ventus retails in the $1,100.00-$1,400.00 (USD) range and is currently one of the best GPUs available for gaming (yes, I know that $6K+ GPUs exist for rendering, 3D modelling, etc., and no, you don’t need one for gaming) on max settings, multiple screens, and with ray tracing enabled.

7 CyberPower Gamer Infinity 8800 PRO

ProsGreat case, 9th Gen Intel CPU, GeForce 2070 SUPER GPU, best quality RAM
ConsMissing some extras, luck of the draw on some parts
ConclusionAn easy buy recommendation for $1,759.00 (USD)

CyberPower Gamer Infinity

8800 PRO

The 8800 PRO model comes standard with a Corsair brand 275R TG ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case with a full side tempered glass window, perfect for showing off all the RGB parts inside. It has a 9th Gen. Intel i7 9700, which is a much better processor than is usually found in sub-$2k pre-built PCs.

The 16GB of DDR4/3000MHz RAM is just listed as coming from a “Major Brand,” but like with everything else on this PC there’s an option to upgrade to a specific brand for just a little bit extra. Pay an extra $50-$75 and throw some Corsair or ADATA RGB RAM if the RGB from the ASUS Prime Z390-P ATX isn’t colorful enough for you.

The video card is much better than I expected to find in a sub-$2k pre built gaming PC. The GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB DDR6 can handle anything that you can throw at it. If you need a better graphics card than this, it’s probably time for you to just go ahead and build your own rig from scratch. Combo SSD/HDD storage isn’t something you usually find in a budget pre-built PC either.

The spec sheet lists a 1TB Intel 660P SSD, which is 2-3 times larger than most entries at this price point, and a generic 4TB SATA III HDD. There is a lot of variation in quality and performance of hard drives, so I would recommend shelling out some extra bucks and upgrading this option to a brand you know and trust.

Also, you should really spring for a second drive and go for a basic RAID set up, but that’s getting beyond the scope of this article. As it stands, the off the shelf option is perfectly suited to handle your gaming needs, just make sure that you’re backing up your important data on your preferred cloud option or physical external medium.

There are two top-mounted USB 2.0 ports on the case, which is very convenient, and two more on the back. If you keep this on top of your desk, the two in the back aren’t an issue (and since this case is an RGB showcase, I’m guessing the vast majority of people would proudly show it off on top), but if you’re going to tuck this away underneath your desk then it could get annoying.

The base model does not include a wireless network card, and the 1-year parts-only warranty isn’t great, but these are relatively minor gripes. With only $1,759.00 (USD) to work with, the CyberPower Gamer Infinity 8800 definitely falls into the budget category, but its very high-end CPU/GPU/RAM combo makes it play like a much more expensive machine.

6 CyberPower Gamer Supreme

Pros9th Gen Intel CPU, Latest High-End GeForce GPU
ConsLuck of the draw for motherboard brand, certain other internals
ConclusionThe most affordable option to get top tier CPU/GPU

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Supreme

Liquid Cool Gaming PC

Most pre-built PCs in the $2,000.00 range come with a compromise in one area or another. Even in the $3-$4,000.00 range you need to do your homework because it’s probably got either last year’s graphics card or a wimpy processor. The CyberPower Gamer Supreme defied my expectations and has the spec sheet of a much more expensive model.

It’s a challenge to find a pre-built PC with better hardware at a similar price. The Intel Core i9-9900K 3.6GHz processor hasn’t been on the market for a full year yet, and retails in the $500.00 (USD) range. It’s still among the most powerful processors available, and while the 10nm 10th gen. processors produce considerably less heat, the i9-9900K will satisfy your gaming needs for a long time yet.

I like this processor because it has room to grow with you if you ever want to upgrade-it can handle up to 128GB of DDR4-2666 RAM. DDR4-2666 may not be the latest and the greatest, but it’s still pretty good, and being able to stuff that much of it inside a PC is impressive.

The CyberPower Gamer Supreme comes equipped with the just-released GEFORCE RTX 2080 SUPER graphics card. Like the processor, the RTX 2080 SUPER is something you’d expect to find in a much more expensive PC. The popular thing to do currently is to double up on 2080 SUPER cards, because it beats the performance of the 2080Ti for about the same price.

Furthermore, the CyberPower Gamer Supreme comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512GB SSD/2TB HDD combo drive and Windows 10 (for better or for worse) for starters. A very nice-looking glass sided case with two top-mounted USB 3.0 ports (and a total listed 8 USB ports), a liquid cooling system, 1-year parts and labor warranty, lifetime tech support, and a mouse and keyboard. Of course, the case, mouse, and keyboard are all RGB. You could do a lot worse at this price point, and it would be hard to do much better. This is one of my favorites available on Amazon.

5 Corsair Vengeance 5185

ProsCan be overclocked, top of the line CPU/GPU, tons of RGB
ConsHigh price, May need more RAM
ConclusionA powerful, brand name pre-built gaming PC if your budget is over $2k

CORSAIR Vengeance 5185

i7-9700K,GeForce RTX 2080

The Corsair Vengeance 5185 is basically a beefed-up version of the 5180 that also appears in this article. Maybe the Corsair direct site doesn’t ship to your region, or maybe like me you have a ton of points on Amazon because you signed up for a rewards credit card that is slowly ruining your life.

Either way, I just want to show you that you have options. Probably the biggest difference between this and the 5180 is that the Intel Z390 motherboard allows for overclocking. If you want to go down that rabbit hole, just make sure that you’re using a trusted source of information so that you don’t end up melting your new toy.

There’s always more performance to be squeezed out of your gaming PC, but unless you shell out for a $600.00 (USD) monitor, I’m not sure that you’re actually going to appreciate what the overclocking is doing for you. It’s up to you though, and I like that it’s an option here, which isn’t always the case with pre-built PCs.

Although the Super series is out now, NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2080 is still a flagship product. Where the 5180 has an 8th Gen. Intel CPU, the Corsair Vengeance 5185 has the excellent 9th Gen. Intel i7-9700k.

The motherboard and the CPU make up the bulk of the price difference between this and the 5180. The included 16GB of DDR4 2666MHz RAM is fine, but I would recommend shelling out some money down the line to double that. The 480GB SSD/2 TB combo drive is good, but there are better on this list.

4 NZXT Streaming Pre-Built

ProsSolid CPU, really great RTX 2070 Super series GPU
ConsOnly has 1TB Intel 660p SSD, a little light on the RAM
ConclusionBuy it- truly an excellent value for the price

NZXT Streaming Pre-Built

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER – EVGA BLACK

The two sub-$1000.00 pre-builts are better than many of their competitors at that price point, but I’m recommending the streaming model which is slightly more expensive. While all three models use fairly average, middle of the pack parts, the streaming model pulls from the higher end of that spectrum.

Few, if any, games in the next couple years will require better specs than what this pc has to offer, even while streaming or with other tasks running in the background. It won’t handle all of the demands that a pro youtuber/streamer has, but if streaming is your career, I seriously doubt that you’ll be looking at pre built PCs anyway.

NZXT’s streaming model is beefy enough to handle all of the most popular online games while streaming, just check out the benchmarks for yourself on their site.

The streaming Pre-Built gets you a GeForce RTX 2070 series graphics card, an AMD Ryzen 2700 CPU, Team T-FORCE Delta RGB 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 RAM at 3000MHz, Intel 660p 1TB SSD, an MSI B450 Tomahawk motherboard, AMD Wraith Prism, Seasonic s12II 620w power supply, MSI ms-b905c WIFI card, Windows 10 Home, and a NZXT H500 case.

It also comes with Windows 10, and a standard 2-Year warranty. That seems pretty fair. If you’re on a budget this is probably the Pre-Built PC that you want to consider.

3 CUK Continuum Micro Gamer PC

ProsExtremely high-quality build, high-end components, 3-Year limited warranty
ConsRGB only controllable through remote control, expensive
ConclusionGreat performance at a fair price, but not the best-looking

CUK Continuum Micro Gamer PC

Intel i9-9900K with Liquid Cooling

The CUK Continuum Micro Gamer PC has quite a few different pre-built models available on Amazon. Computer Upgrade Kings (CUK) proudly advertises the build quality of their machines, and their marketing material states that each PC is assembled start-to-finish by one person.

The model I’m recommending will meet or exceed your gaming needs for years to come. The Intel i9-9900K is a very powerful CPU, and is paired with the recently released GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPU.

You’ll be able to proudly display these components in a very nicely designed case with a full-glass hinged side panel.

The included 1TB SSD/2TB HDD combo drive doesn’t have a brand listed, but customers are reporting that it comes with high quality brand name components from the likes of Samsung, etc. This model also comes with 32GB of DDR4 RAM.

Beyond being visually pleasing with a ton of remote-controlled RGB lights, the Continuum Micro Gamer PC has six adjustable RGB fans, making it a great case for protecting your very expensive components.

It also comes with a 700-watt power supply which is way better than what most pre-built PCs come with. All of this gives me a good feeling that CUK is doing their best to maximize the lifetime of your investment.

2 HP OMEN Gaming Desktop

ProsExtremely high-quality build, high-end components, 3-Year limited warranty
ConsRGB only controllable through remote control, expensive
ConclusionGreat performance at a fair price, but not the best-looking

OMEN by HP Gaming Desktop Computer

Intel Core i7-9700K Processor

Maybe you don’t think of the major brands like HP or Dell when you’re shopping for a gaming PC, but HP has a pretty solid product in the OMEN series. There’s also advantages in dealing with a big company when it comes to tech support and honoring the warranty.

The top-of-the-line OMEN model costs  has an option for an all-glass side panel. I know it’s subjective, but I happen to very much like the case design on the OMEN.

The red lighting and sharp angles give it a sinister, alien-like appearance that hearkens back to the 90’s/early 2000’s era of case design.

Many of the ports you’ll be using most frequently are mounted on top of the case, and the hard drive and CD/DVD drive are located inside a hidden compartment on the front, which is really cool.

One downside to the case for the RGB enthusiasts out there- it seems the internal lighting only comes in red, so it’s not truly an RGB system.

The HP OMEN pre-built PC has excellent components which you would expect for this price. The Intel i7-9700K CPU/NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080Ti GPU combo is pretty much the best setup out there right now for gaming.

The included Command Center software will allow you to overclock this system with relative ease if you want to squeeze all of the performance that you can get out of this. I also appreciate the hard drive bay is the pop-in pop-out type, so no messing around with wires or cracking open the case necessary.

1 CyberPower Gamer Infinity XLC

Pros9th Gen. Intel CPU, awesome case, lots of storage, GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU
ConsExpensive, especially if you have to pay full price
ConclusionA great starting point for building a really high-end custom PC. Buy if you want a hobby machine that you can have fun upgrading later

CyberPower Gamer Infinity XLC

16GB DDR4, GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11 GB

If your budget is a little bigger, the Gamer Infinity XLC is a great option from CyberPower for a pre-built PC. The Gamer Infinity XLC is worth considering for full price, but with CyberPower’s summer sale dropping the price, it’s one of the better deals out there right now. It’s best to be suspicious about sales in the PC world, but they’re not cutting any corners with this rig – it’s stuffed full of high-end components with names you’ll recognize.

The LIAN LI PC-011 Dynamic ATX Gaming Case has tons of great reviews from both industry critics and the public. It has a lot of glass for RGB enthusiasts, and for showing off all of the very expensive components in this specific model. The general consensus is that this case has a high build quality, is easy to work in, and is perfectly suitable for a water-cooling system should you decide to upgrade to that later on down the road.

The Gamer Infinity XLC comes with a 9th Gen. Intel i9 9900K CPU which retails for around $500.00. Yes, there are newer, better CPUs but this one is still a monster, especially since this is still a relatively budget-friendly pre-built PC.

The 512GB Intel 660P M.2 SSD/3TB HDD combo drive is also very attractive.

The graphics card in this rig though…you might just want to take out an insurance policy on it. It’s the GEFORCE RTX 2080 Ti. It retails for $1,199.00 if you’re lucky enough to find one for sale anywhere. You will have absolutely no problems gaming and streaming, no matter if it’s in 1080, 4k, VR, or whatever else you can think of.

BONUS Corsair One PRO i180 High-Performance PC

ProsNo skimping anywhere, can be cheaper than buying all the parts individually
ConsYou could buy two of the other pre-built PCs on this list for the price of this bad boy, case is not good for RGB aficionados
ConclusionWhen only the best will do! Do your stretching exercises so you don’t pull a muscle rubbing your superiority in everyone’s faces.

CORSAIR ONE PRO i180

High-Performance PC

Pretty much any of Corsair’s One Series pre-built PCs are worthy of a recommendation, but the top of the line model is the One PRO i180. It’s available on Amazon at a list price of $4,999.00/$4,319.99 for Prime users.

I think the real sweet spot of the One Series is the i160 model, but A: I wanted to include something that would be at the top of any sane person’s pre-built budget and B: Good luck finding the i160 for sale-as soon as they come back on Amazon they’re all sold out again.

The One PRO i180 is more geared towards (duh) tech professionals, but obviously you should let it live its best life as a gaming PC. Plus, these days gaming is just the beginning: gamers are streaming; are engaging on their socials; and have a chat client, voice client, and a web browser running in the background. All of that takes power-just the kind of power that pre-builts geared towards the professional audience tend to have.

Let’s start with the CPU: the Intel i9-9920X X-series Processor. Although it’s on the 9th Gen. 14nm platform, with all those “X’s” in the title you know this has to be a serious piece of hardware. The 9920X is a 12 core, 24 thread 3.5GHz CPU, which makes it perfectly suited for running multiple power-intensive apps simultaneously.

No more worrying dropping framerates while streaming, or putting out a low-quality stream on the newest games. Retailing for $1,199.00 (USD), this monster CPU is a full quarter of the price of this rig.

The GPU in the One PRO i180 is equally impressive: the NVIDIA GeForce 2080Ti pairs perfectly with the CPU to get you gaming in 4K on 2, 3, or even 4 screens. Yes, there are $6,000.00 (USD) GPUs aimed at the software developer audience that blow the 2080Ti out of the water, but in terms of consumer-grade graphical performance, this is pretty much the top of the line.

The One Pro i180 comes with 32GB of Corsair’s proprietary DDR4-2666MHz RAM, which is double what most pre-built PCs on this list have. You may not think that it needs the 128GB of RAM that this system will support, but with a rig this sweet I’d think you would want to at least double it to 64GB.

The 960GB SSD/2TB HDD combo drive is a nice touch, as you’ll easily be able to load your top ten favorite games on the boot drive. Besides the price and the probable need to upgrade the RAM, the only negative I can come up with for this is the case.

If you want to show off all of your high-end components that cost more than a used car, this isn’t the case for you. It’s perfectly functional, but its all-plastic sides and top will not please the RGB fans out there.

Final Notes

Any one of these Pre-Built gaming PCs will let you play the latest and greatest games, now and for a while into the future. The only area of disappointment for me is that most of these don’t include 3000MHz+ RAM, but since RAM is one of the most consumer-friendly parts to upgrade in a PC I’m still comfortable recommending them. Many people will tell you that PCs have moved on from the old days where piling on the most RAM possible was very important to system performance. I’m definitely a “more is better” person though. I primarily looked at overall build quality, and I also made sure that each Pre-Built PC I recommended has a top-notch CPU/GPU, but I still feel the need to point out that many of these will perform even better if you shell out a couple hundred bucks to upgrade the memory.

Matt Dixon

Matt Dixon

Contributor

He prefers to play RPGs, but also enjoys strategy games and the latest AAA titles. When he’s not glued to a screen, he can usually be found painting Warhammer 40K models or trying out the latest board game. Occasionally, Matt’s wife makes him leave the house to travel the world.

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