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The best gaming PC 2018: 10 of the top gaming desktops you can buy

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With so many of the best PC games coming out all the time, the best gaming PCs continue to be the best place to play your games. From best-in-class RPGs like Dragon Quest XI to intense action games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, having the best gaming PC for your budget can make a lot of difference.

It doesn’t matter whether you prefer Intel, AMD or Nvidia – most PC makers will let you choose the best processors and best graphics card for your needs anyway. And, now that Nvidia Turing graphics cards are finally out in the wild, the  top gaming PCs are about to get way better. 

You’ll find the best gaming PCs from manufacturers you know and love like Alienware and Lenovo to those you’ve probably never heard of like Corsair and Zotac. We went ahead and collected all the best gaming PCs we could find – after putting them through hardy tests to decide which ones will provide the most bang for your buck. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the top 10 best gaming PCs your money can buy, so you can get to pushing your pixels. 

As is custom with pre-built gaming PCs, the Alienware Aurora R7 isn’t just a computer. It’s a whole menu of computers that you can choose from and personalize based on the specs of your liking combined with a set budget. It’s important, then, for it to be easily upgradeable and attractive to look at considering its awfully high price tag. Fortunately, the Alienware Aurora R7 is both of those things and will impress those unconvinced that they should build their own rig.

Read the full review: Alienware Aurora R7

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the MSI Aegis 3 

It’s not uncommon anymore for PC makers to brandish their pre-built desktop rigs as VR-ready. What is unusual is to do so with a computer that’s also ready to conquer any game you throw at it at well over 60 frames per second and for under two grand. That’s exactly what MSI has accomplished with the Infinite A, a tower whose graphical efforts aren’t thwarted by its preparedness for VR, nor is it so expensive that it would see your head turn the other way.

Read the full review: MSI Infinite A

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. Australian and UK readers: check out a fine alternative in the Overclockers 8Pack Asteroid 

If you want one of the best gaming PCs, but you don’t have a lot of space, you’re in luck. With the Intel Hades Canyon NUC, you can have a moderately powerful gaming PC that’s much smaller than the usual affair – looking more like a set top box than a PC. Don’t go thinking that this small form factor means it’s weak, though – it packs just as much power as the best gaming laptops with its beefy 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and discrete-class Radeon graphics. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to supply your own RAM, storage and OS. 

Read the full review: Intel Hades Canyon NUC 

Positioned as a ’console killer,’ the MSI Trident 3 looks a lot like an Xbox One S and is more powerful than a PS4 Pro, but at the end of the day, it’s a PC that feels just right in your living room. Complete with all the ports you could ever dream of, the MSI Trident 3’s advantages are clear. Still, in trying to be as thin and light as possible, the MSI Trident 3 comes equipped with a 330W external power supply brick, resembling some of the most less attractive console designs.

Read the full review: MSI Trident 3

best gaming pc

If you’re buying a pre-built PC, upgrades should be simple, right? That’s the philosophy behind the Lenovo IdeaCentre Y900. Embellished with red lights all over, the front of its chassis is bespeckled with textured patterns that’ll no doubt make your friends jealous. On top of offering support for a VR-ready GTX 1080, the Lenovo IdeaCentre boasts SLI support and room for up to 64GB of RAM, which are thankfully complemented by a convenient tool-less design.

Read the full review: Lenovo IdeaCentre Y900

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Corsair One.

The Dell XPS Tower, much like the sublime XPS 13 is a lesson in packing beefy specs into a subtle chassis. This inconspicuous gaming rig looks like something you’d find in your dad’s office, rather than something powering the latest PC games. But, beneath that quiet exterior, the Dell XPS Tower is one of the best gaming PCs, packing an Intel 8th-generation Coffee Lake processor and an Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti at the lowest configuration option. With the Dell XPS Tower Special Edition, you’re getting one of the best gaming PCs you can buy in 2018, without any of the off-putting ‘gamer aesthetic’. 

Read the full review: Dell XPS Tower Special Edition 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Corsair One.

When you buy a computer from Origin, it’s almost like you’re building it on your own. You have to be familiar enough with PC components to decide for yourself what goes into the rig and how much money you’re going to spend on it. So, of course, our only real criticism of the Origin Millennium is that you can build a similar model for cheaper. However, because of its subtle design and flexible specs, we’re willing to bet you won’t want to.

Read the full review: Origin Millennium 

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Overclockers 8Pack Asteroid.

In classic Alienware fashion, the Area 51 Threadripper Edition pushes the limits of both technology and your wallet. It’s wildly powerful, markedly featuring the latest AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X across all of its configurations. The Area 51’s triad-design hasn’t changed much since its introduction back in 2014, but on the inside this machine is essentially tool-less to upgrade, not that you would even need to.

Read the full review: Alienware Area 51 Threadripper Edition 

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Corsair One  

Last year’s MSI Aegis 3 was one of the best gaming PCs already, but now MSI has turned things up to 11 with 8th-generation Coffee Lake processors and up to a GTX 1080. This is all done while maintaining the small, but awesome form factor of the previous model – meaning it’ll look just as good on your desk as it performs in your games. We wish there was the optional upgrade for an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, but even without it, it’s one of the best gaming PCs on the market today – especially for 1080p, high refresh rate gaming.

Read the full review: MSI Aegis 3 2018 

Corsair has made a name for itself in pretty much every category of PC components, so it’s only natural that it would eventually create one of the best gaming PCs you can buy today. Enter the Corsair One Elite, a high-spec PC in a compact and quiet case that, while expensive, blows the competition out of the water. The Elite is a huge improvement over the original Corsair One, packed with an 8th-generation Core i7 processor, a Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti and more water cooling than you can shake a stick at. If you can afford its high price tag, the Corsair One Elite is one of the best gaming PCs you can buy today. 

Read the full review: Corsair One Elite 

Joe Osborne and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article

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