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The best gaming PC desktops to get in 2022

Take your game to another level with a serious desktop computer.
March 23, 2022
Desktop computer green lighting setup

Serious gamers will agree that the best gaming PC desktops can easily beat gaming laptops. If you are looking to get yourself a less mobile computing solution, you can’t go wrong with the power and flexibility the best gaming PC desktops have to offer. It can be hard to find the right one with so many options, though. Let’s help you out with a list of our favorites!

Keep in mind this list includes the best gaming PC desktops considering value for money. Some are very expensive, while some are more affordable. Now, if you want a cheaper gaming computer, take a look at our link below.

Also read: The best cheap gaming laptops you can buy

The best gaming PC desktops:

Why get a gaming PC desktop over a laptop?

Google Stadia controller on PC with games
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Why would you want a gaming PC desktop over a laptop? Desktops are, after all, bulky, heavy, and static. You can’t easily take the best gaming PC desktops to the coffee shop without looking like a total nut job.

Technology has advanced enough to make gaming PC laptops very powerful, often meeting the needs of demanding users. But while a laptop can be a viable option for mobile gamers, the best gaming PC desktops still have more to offer. Here are some reasons why you might want to pick one of the best gaming PC desktops instead of a laptop counterpart.

Performance differences between gaming PC desktops and laptops

Razer Book 13 Review Closed In Hand Showing Razer Logo
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

While laptops can be plenty powerful, desktop components will trump mobile ones. Processors need to be smaller for laptops, as do GPUs. This is why CPU and GPU mobile counterparts will never be quite as good as desktop ones.

Better heat control

Laptops are small, and there’s no way around physics. Putting powerful components in a thin, light, and tiny package is sure to kick the temperature up a few degrees. Running a hotter PC will result in reduced performance and possible damage over time. You always want your computer to run as cool as possible, and the best gaming PC desktops can more efficiently achieve that.

The best gaming PC desktops have more room to breathe. All this extra room can also be used to install more powerful ventilation or even water-cooling systems.

Gaming PC desktops can be easily upgraded

Alienware Aurora opened up

Gaming laptops can only be upgraded to a certain extent. Sometimes you can change the RAM and storage drive, but that is usually about it. The best gaming PC desktops give you complete freedom over your internals. You can change the processor, motherboard, cooling system, power supply, RAM, storage, and even add cool lights to please your eyes.

This proves to be of great advantage for gamers. If more RAM or a newer GPU gives you that edge to stay competitive, you can upgrade those components and be done with it. Most laptops have soldered components, and upgrading them is near impossible unless you buy a new computer.

Gaming PC desktop savings!

Money Stock Photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The best gaming PC desktops are usually much more affordable than their direct laptop competitors. Given they offer the same technology, a desktop will cost significantly less than a laptop.

You could argue the laptop comes with a keyboard, trackpad, screen, and everything you need to use the computer out of the box. The truth is any gamer will get dedicated peripherals either way, though. Gaming on a laptop isn’t optimal and is usually reserved for the times you absolutely need to go mobile. Serious laptop gamers still prefer an external monitor, a better mouse, a good mechanical keyboard, and so on. It all depends on your needs and preferences.

1. Alienware Aurora R12

Alienware Aurora R12

Alienware has been long known as a premium gaming PC brand. Every gamer in us has, at some point, wanted an Alienware computer. Whether you still believe that or not, we can’t deny they make some great-looking and powerful products, albeit slightly overpriced.

Check this out: The best Alienware laptops

Dell’s Alienware Aurora line-up is both beautiful and powerful. We specifically recommend the Alienware Aurora R12. It’s their newest desktop and can be had with 11th-gen Intel Core processors, up to 128GB of RAM, and you can even configure it to have an NVIDIA RTX 3090 GPU.

2. Razer Tomahawk

Razer Tomahawk Gaming Desktop

Razer makes some great laptops (check them out by clicking the link below), but they haven’t quite pierced through the gaming PC desktop market. This is one of their first real attempts, and they have done very well. The Razer Tomahawk is small, great-looking, has RGB lighting, and is plenty powerful.

Also read: The best Razer laptops

Specs include an Intel Core i9 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, a 2TB HDD, and active cooling. You can opt to get it with an NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU, or you can get it without and add your own graphics card.

3. Intel NUC 9 Extreme Kit

Intel NUC 9 Extreme Kit gaming pc desktop

Intel NUC computers have become very popular for their size and low profile, but they can be quite powerful if you want them to be. The NUC 9 Extreme Kit is a great example of what a small computer can do.

Intel sells multiple versions of this tiny gaming PC desktop. You can have an i5, i7, or i9. RAM is also configurable, and so is storage. The one main drawback of the NUC 9 is its lack of discrete graphics, which is a huge problem for serious gamers.

More on USB-C: The best USB-C adapters

Of course, the main thing Intel is selling here is the size and cool factor, so you can understand why this PC is lacking in the GPU department. On the bright side, you get Thunderbolt 3, which means you can use an external GPU device.

4. HP Omen 30L

HP is one of the most popular PC makers, and their Omen 30L doesn’t fall behind the competition. These gaming PC desktops come with great specs, a simple design with gaming-focused elements, and a great bang for your buck.

Also: The best HP laptops to buy

One of the sides is transparent, so you can get creative with lighting and enjoy the view of your internals while you rack up headshots and score goals. Ryzen processors power this PC, and you can pick between the AMD Ryzen 5, 7, or 9.

5. MSI MEG Trident X

MSI MEG Trident X 11

Doesn’t this look good? If you want most of the benefits of the best gaming PC desktops, but would still enjoy a smaller tower, you can’t do much better than the MSI MEG Trident X 10th.

More on this: If you still want an MSI laptop, these are the best ones.

All the best gaming PC desktops can be customized with great specs, but the advantage of this MSI computer is that it can be built with pretty beefy specs too. You can upgrade it up to an Intel Core i9, 64GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU.

6. Dell G5 gaming desktop

Dell G5 Desktop

Dell’s Alienware computers are great, but those are not the only gaming PC desktops the company offers. The Dell G5 gaming desktop is a great alternative with nice aesthetics that aren’t as extravagant as Alienware’s. These also come with great specs and lower price points than the gaming sub-brand.

You get up to 10th Gen Intel Core i9 or i9 K-Series CPUs, and options between Nvidia GTX and RTX series GPUs. There’s also up to 128GB RAM. You also get a pretty sleek design, with a front plate with a heatsink-like pattern, and optional RGB and clear window side panel.

7. Corsair Vengeance i7200

Corsair Vengeance i7200 PC

The Corsair Vengeance i7200 isn’t cheap, but it comes with all the specs you could need and a great design to boot. Specs can go up to an Intel Core i9 or a Ryzen 9 CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 GPU, 64GB of DDR4-3200 RAM, and a 2TB M.2 SSD.

As you can see, this is one of the best gaming PC desktops on this list, but at its highest configuration, it will cost a pretty penny. However, given today’s PC market, this one won’t cost you too much more than the expected current pricing of gaming desktops.

8. NZXT Starter Pro

NZXT Starter Pro

NZXT is widely known in the gaming community, mostly for their PC cases. These offer both value and quality, as well as the outlandish designs we know gamers love. The NZXT Starter Pro is a great option for those who want a basic gaming PC desktop with great looks and a good price, but its specs could be better.

See also: The best monitor deals

If you need more, you should also check out NZXT BLD, which is an initiative the Starter Pro is a part of. NZXT BLD allows you to customize your gaming PC desktop fully. We know building a computer can be a daunting task, but using NZXT’s simple website will make the process a breeze.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is $1,000 good for a gaming PC?
A. Given the current scene of PC components, with component shortages due to the chip shortage, as well as the scalping market, $1,000 isn’t as great a budget for gaming PCs as it used to be. It’s not bad, but you’re only going to get mid-range performance at best.

Q. Is a $400/$500/$600/$700 gaming PC worth it?
A. Affordable gaming PCs are not as great as they used to be, and you will get rather low performance at these prices. They’re not bad value for money given the current market scenario, as long as you’re aware of the level of performance you will get from these systems.

Q. Is it cheaper to build or buy a gaming PC?
A. The end cost won’t be too different, but it is a lot harder to source all the components to build a gaming PC, especially the GPU. If you can source the GPU close to its MSRP, you should build a PC rather than buy one.

Q. Is it worth building a gaming PC in 2022?
A. GPU prices have been seeing a bit of decline, so if you time your purchase right, you may be able to get a good deal on a gaming PC in 2022. It’s worth building a gaming PC if you can get a GPU for a price close to its MSRP.

Q. How much does a decent gaming PC cost?
A. A gaming PC typically costs between $500 to over $4,000. A solid budget for a good gaming PC is between $1,500 to $2,500.