The best gaming PC desktops (May 2020)

Desktop computer green lighting setup

Serious gamers will agree 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 by giving you 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?

The Razer Kraken Ultimate sits on a desk in front of a PC, monitor, mouse, and keyboard, next to an Xbox One controller in front of a Han Solo doll.SoundGuys

Source: SoundGuys

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 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 Blade 15Razer

Source: Razer

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

Source: Alienware

Gaming PC 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 simply 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!

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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.

I just customized an Alienware Aurora R8 gaming PC desktop and an Alienware 51m laptop with near identical specs. They both had an Intel core i9-9900K processor, 16GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, and a 256 PCIe SSD, and the price is pretty difference is significant. The tower would cost $1,789.99, while the laptop goes for $2,544.99.

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 those 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, better mouse, a good mechanical keyboard, android authority best computer speakers, and so on. It all depends on your needs and preferences.

1. Alienware Aurora R8

Alienware Aurora gaming PC desktops

The Alienware Aurora PC is both beautiful and powerful.

Edgar Cervantes

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 product, albeit a bit 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 Ryzen Edition, which can be had with up to a Ryzen 9 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX, 64GB of RAM, and 2TB of storage. Of course, a version with those specs will come at a very high cost. But you can get an Aurora desktop for as low as $899.

2. Maingear R1 Razer Edition

Maingear R1 Razer Edition best gaming PC desktops

Razer makes some great laptops (check them out by clicking the link below), but they haven’t quite entered the gaming PC desktop market. Instead they look for partnerships with other companies for brand licensing. This is why Maingear can sell you the R1 Razer Edition, which is a great desktop computer.

Also read: The best Razer laptops

Maingear allows you to fully customize the R1 Razer Edition to your liking. Prices start as low as $1,299, and you can opt between Intel or AMD set-ups. The Maingear R1 Razer Edition mixes the benefits of the best gaming PC desktops with the looks Razer is known for.

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

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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 Obelisk

HP Omen Obelisk gaming pc desktops

HP is one of the most popular PC makers, and their Omen Obelisk line-up doesn’t fall behind the competition. These gaming PC desktops come with great specs, a simple design with gaming-focused elements, and great bang for your buck. One of the sides is transparent, so you can get creative with lighting and enjoy the view of your internals while headshooting away.

5. MSI MEG Trident X 10th

MSI MEG Trident X 10th gaming pc

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 what the advantage of this MSI computer is that it can be built with 10th generation Intel Core processors. These bring forth a great jump in performance.

6. Dell G5 gaming desktop

Dell G5 gaming PC 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.

7. Corsair One i165

Corsair One i165

The Corsair One i165 isn’t cheap at around $3,500, but it comes with all the specs you could need and a great design to boot. Its 12-liter body is small. Most full PC towers have 35-liter bodies or bigger. Specs include an Intel Core i9-9900K CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU, 32GB of DDR4-2666 RAM, a 960GB M.2 SSD, a 2TB HDD, and liquid cooling.

8. NZXT Starter PC Plus

NZXT Starter PC desktop

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 PC Plus is a great option for those who want a basic gaming PC desktop at a good price, but its specs could be better.

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

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