Best gaming PC: 8 of the top rigs you can buy in 2017

Update: Big, bold and aluminum, the Dell XPS Tower Special Edition is essentially the antithesis to monsters like the Origin Millennium. It makes a few sacrifices in the process, but ultimately it sits among the best ways to do VR on the cheap and with top-notch customer service to boot. Read on to number 4 on our list to discover this GTX 1070-powered beauty!

Moving forward into 2017, PC gaming has continued to innovate and inspire, bridging the gap between the standards of today and those of tomorrow. Unlike with consoles, the best gaming PC allows you to reach new heights. In some cases, that means achieving frame rates of up to 240 fps … if your monitor is equipped for it.

Even as top-end powerhouses still maintain their place in the world, it’s no longer a necessity to don the most capable hardware. Windows 10, for instance, has managed to not only top Windows 7 adoption in the United States, but instate a performance-heady Game Mode that makes the latest games run faster and smoother even with a low-spec PC.

A gaming PC can either be a one-time purchase or a long-term investment depending on the amount of time, effort and funding you’re willing to invest. Even if you’re apathetic to the idea of upgrading parts as newer, more powerful components make their way to market, the temptation subsists all the same – especially as VR headsets and 4K screens get more exposure.

The best gaming PC might not come cheap, though. You’ll need to reach deep into your wallet for the utmost powerful GPU and high-speed processor accompanied by capacious storage options. If you prefer that your games run with the graphics and frame rates cranked all the way up to the top, however, the lofty upfront cost may very well be justified. 

Ultimately, the choice is yours. You can either build a PC that tailors to your specific needs or effortlessly purchase one that’s pre-built by one of many manufacturers. For the easy and straightforward option, consider one of the 7 stellar gaming PCs listed below.

Overclockers Asteroid

A beefy LAN-friendly PC with a tasty design

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 – Titan X | RAM: 8GB – 16GB DDR4 (3,866MHz) | Storage: 500GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD; 1TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD | Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet; Dual-band 802.11ac WiFi | Power supply: SuperFlower 1000W | Ports: 4 x USB 3, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, Optical S/PDIF, Gigabit Ethernet, 3 x audio

The latest Overclockers machine is one of the best-designed gaming PCs we’ve ever seen, with bespoke water-cooling, a great color scheme and keen attention to detail. It marries its great design with top-notch performance in games and applications. Luckily it never gets too hot or too loud either. It is, however expensive and niche, with limited potential for upgrading. If you’re looking for an attractive and unique LAN-friendly gaming PC that can handle anything from 4K gaming to VR, the Asteroid is an out-of-this-world machine with a price tag that will bring you back down to earth.

[Editor’s Note: This product is only available in the UK and other European territories.]

Read the full review: Overclockers 8Pack Asteroid

best gaming pc

Alienware’s iconic gaming PC returns as a mini powerhouse

CPU: Intel Core i5-7400 – i7-6700K | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 460 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Storage: 1TB HDD – 256GB PCIe SSD, 2TB HDD | Connectivity: Ethernet; Intel 3165 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.2 | Power supply: 850W PSU | Ports: 7 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB-3.1 Type-C, 6 x USB 2.0, Ethernet, 4 x DisplayPort, HDMI, optical out, headphone jack, microphone jack, 7.1 surround sound out

One of the few PCs on this list to earn a perfect score, the Alienware Aurora R5 combines design elements traditional to Dell’s famed luxury gaming brand with a handful of contemporary twists. The nigh-mini ITX computer bears resemblance to, say, the Area 51, but with a case that feels strikingly more native to our home planet. Of course, it simultaneously boasts top-of-the-line specs; an overclockable K-series Intel Core i7 CPU, a GeForce GTX 1080 and a massively capable 850W power supply are just a few of the Aurora R5’s redeeming qualities. Plus, even with the small chassis, there’s plenty of room for an unparalleled SLI configuration.

Read the full review: Alienware Aurora R5

best gaming pc

Two times 1080 equals 4K at 60fps

CPU: Intel Core i3-7350K – i7-6950X | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 480 – 2 x Nvidia Titan X | RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2,400MHz) – 64GB DDR4 (2,800MHz) | Storage: 1TB HDD – 8TB HDD; 4TB SSD | Connectivity: Ethernet; 802.11ac Asus Wi-Fi GO! module; Bluetooth 4.0 | Power supply: 650W EVGA SuperNOVA G3 – 1.6kW EVGA SuperNOVA G2 | Ports: 8 x USB 3.0, 3 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 USB-C, 4 x USB 2.0, 1 optical audio out, 5 x audio jacks, 1 headphone jack, 6 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI

Sure, for the price of an Origin Millennium PC, you could buy a halfway decent car. But why would you need to leave the house when you can play games in 4K at a buttery smooth 60 fps? That’s the question Origin hopes you’ll ask when you talk to your spouse about dropping six grand on a new gaming rig. Between its pair of EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition twins and the new Intel Broadwell-E Core i7-6950X processor, there is nothing the Origin Millennium can’t handle – and on the best of the best displays at that. Of course, it’s expensive; it’s like ten years worth of future-proof.

Read the full review: Origin Millennium

A VR-ready value proposition that’s hard to resist

CPU: Intel Core i5-6200 – Core i7-6700K | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 480 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB DDR4 (2,133MHz) | Storage: 1TB HDD – 512GB SSD; 2TB HDD | Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet; 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.2 | Power supply: 460W PSU | Ports: 7 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x USB 2.0, SD card slot, HDMI, DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet, mic-in, headphone-out, 5.1 channel audio jacks

Starting RAM isn’t ideal for VR

The Dell XPS Tower Special Edition is a reminder of just how convenient and affordable it can be to skip the laborious assembly process and simply buy your gaming PC from a prominent and well-liked manufacturer. By making a few concessions in the CPU, PSU and storage departments, Dell was able to leverage a reasonable price tag and sweeten the deal with a handful of enticing additives. These include discrete graphics, a whopping 9 total USB ports and, of course, access to Dell’s online support system. That way, if something goes wrong, you’re not leafing through manuals to find out why your computer suddenly stopped working. 

Read the full review: Dell XPS Tower Special Edition

best gaming pc

A forward-thinking gaming desktop for PC enthusiasts

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 – GTX 1080 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB DDR4 (2,133MHz) | Storage: 2TB HDD; 8GB SSHD with 256GB SSD – 1TB HDD; 128GB SSD | Connectivity: Ethernet; 802.11ac; Bluetooth 4.0 | Power supply: 625W PSU | Ports: 6 x USB 3.0, 4 x USB 2.0, Ethernet, HDMI, VGA, DVI, 7.1 analog audio out, optical audio out, headphone jack, microphone jack, PS/2 combo, 7-in-1 card reader

This gaming desktop might come wrapped in a designer case, but don’t be fooled – it’s significantly more accessible and easy to upgrade than your average pre-built system short of a boutique. The arrival of the Y900, among a few other machines on this very list, herald a eureka moment in the major vendors’ approach to PC gaming: give the people exactly what they want. A tool-less internal design will help soften the blow of sub-par cable management. Meanwhile, the device has plenty of room for expansions and upgrades. If you want the lowest friction possible getting into PC gaming, the Lenovo IdeaCentre Y900 is a fine place to start.

Read the full review: Lenovo Ideacentre Y900

Cyberpower Trinity 300

Ultra HD that won’t make your wallet cry

CPU: 2.7GHz Intel Core-i5 6400 | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 480 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB DDR4 (2,400MHz) | Storage: 1TB HDD – 1TB HDD; 128GB SSD | Connectivity: | Power supply: 500W PSU | Ports: 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, 2 x USB 3.0 ports (front), 1 x USB 2.0 port (front), 2 x USB 2.0 ports (rear), 4 x USB 3.1 ports (rear), 4 x USB 3.1 ports (rear), 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA, 1 x DVI-D, 1 x LAN (RJ45), 3 x audio jacks

Hard disk increases wait times

Interested in Ultra HD gaming without spending a fortune? Enter the StormForce Tornado, a GTX 1070-equipped rig with the outward appearance of a spaceship and five drive bays for nearly limitless internal storage potential. If you don’t mind the extensive wait times of a hard drive (as opposed to a PCIe or M.2 SSD), the StormForce Tornado is a no-brainer. Starting at a mere £899 (about $1,180/AUS$1,540), the StormForce Tornado makes 1440p gaming (and even 4K, to an extent) affordable, and who doesn’t want that?

[Editor’s Note: This product is only available in the UK and other European territories.] 

Read the full review: StormForce Tornado

Overclockers UK Titan Riptide

CPU: 3.5GHz Intel Core i5-6600K | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – Titan X | RAM: 8GB – 16GB DDR4 (2,400MHz) | Storage: 1TB HDD – 3TB HDD; 1TB SSD | Connectivity: Ethernet | Ports: (Rear) 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0; (Top) 2 x USB 3.0, DisplayPort, DVI, VGA, HDMI, microphone and headphone jack

While the Titan Virtual Force is neither tastefully designed nor particularly subtle, it’s glitzy and self-indulgent, illuminating a green ooze reminiscent of the Manhattan sewers (cowabunga!). At the same time, of course, Overclockers was less concerned about making a fashion statement and more obsessed with crafting one of the most capable pre-built computers money can buy. Complete with a 4K-capable GTX 980 Ti, an overclockable Intel 6600K and 8GB of RAM at the entry level, the Titan Virtual Force serves as an excellent shortcut to buttery smooth VR, or UltraHD, gaming on the high end.

[Editor’s Note: This product is only available in the UK and other European territories.]  

Read the full review: Overclockers Titan Virtual Force

Gaudy, but more than meets the eye

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K – i7-6800K | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 480 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 | RAM: 8GB – 32GB DDR4 (2,133MHz) | Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD; 2TB HDD (7,200 rpm) – 3TB HDD; 512GB SSD | Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2×2); Bluetooth 4.0 | Power supply: 600W Silver efficiency | Ports: 8 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB-C 3.1, Ethernet, SD card reader, 2 x HDMI, 2 x DisplayPort, microphone jack, headphone jack, optical audio out

Unique and minimalistic stylingCosts a pretty penny and then some

Though you might mistake it for a Rubik’s Cube at first glance, the HP Omen X’s quirky design is all part of its charm. Don’t confuse eccentric casing with limited upgradeability, however, as the HP Omen X is more than just a pretty face. Complete with three chambers for components, including one with four hard drive bays, this desktop leaves plenty of room for expansion later down the line. Upgrad

es can be performed nearly without tools altogether, requiring not much more than a basic Allen wrench to lift up the panel. Perhaps the most practical aspect of the Omen X, though, is its ability to change the color of its lighting based on which components are sweating the most.

Read the full review: HP Omen X Desktop

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article

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