Gaming PC Buying Guide

Gaming PC Buying Guide

Gaming Desktop Buying Guide: 7 Things You Need to Know

You’ve decided that you want to play Assassin’s Creed Origins or Star Wars Battlefront II in glorious 4K, or you’re ready to make the leap into virtual reality. But wait! What PC are you going to buy? What graphics card or CPU should you get? And what about the tower size and upgradability?

Before you invest a bunch of money in a new gaming system, take a gander at our guide for the ins and outs of buying a gaming desktop.
Quick Tips

Best gaming PC new

Chomping at the bit to buy that new gaming desktop, so much so that you don’t have time to go through the guide? Here’s the TL;DR version.

1. Get an AMD 500 series or Nvidia 10 series GPU if you can afford it. This will let you play the latest games at silky smooth frame rates.

2. $1,000 is the sweet spot for gaming desktops. But starting at around $699, you can get a decent rig that will have the entry- to mid-level specs.

3. Buy a VR-ready system, if you can. This will future-proof your purchase should you decide to get an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

4. Opt for an upgrade-friendly design when possible. Look for a system that you can open using few or no tools.

5. Plan to replace some parts in the future. A new GPU or SSD is easy to install and much cheaper than buying a new PC.

6. Don’t buy a smaller form factor unless you’re fine with purchasing another unit in two to three years. There’s only so much you can upgrade in a smaller system, so try to get a PC on which the CPU, RAM, and GPU can be replaced.

7. Make sure you get USB Type-C and Thunderbolt ports. This will give you the bandwidth to connect two 4K monitors at once.

Depending on your budget, you can get a desktop that’s equal parts showpiece and gaming rig. Companies like Maingear and Origin PC will let you trick out your system with custom paint jobs, liquid cooling, see-through windows, and colored cables just to name a few options. All of that finery comes at a pretty penny, however.

Photo: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s Guide
Photo: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s GuideOutfitting the Origin PC Millennium with a custom paint job costs $250, with another $69 for the interior with the liquid-cooling set at $353. That’s $672 before you even start configuring the actual specs because let’s face it: Finery isn’t cheap. Sometimes it’s just cheaper to get a really cool-looking preconfigured chassis like the ($1,699) Alienware Area 51 or the Asus ROG G20CB ($1,649).
Does PC Size Really Matter?

Desktops come in several different sizes (full tower, mid tower, mini tower, small form factors, and desktop) that take up varying levels of space. An average-size full tower like the Maingear Rush Super Stock is 24 inches in height and stands vertically on the floor, while a desktop like the Alienware Alpha can easily be stowed away in a nook or cranny.

So what size should you choose? Honestly, that depends on the size of the room your PC will be residing in as well as what kind of specs you want to cram in the case. A full tower gives you the freedom to take a kitchen-sink approach to your components: you know, an extended ATX motherboard, three GPUs and a cadre of storage in funky RAID configurations, with plenty of fans and maybe some liquid-cooling pipes and lighting.

Photo: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s GuidePhoto: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s GuideThe average height for a mid tower is 18 inches, which means you can still cram a whole lot of bells and whistles into the chassis, but in a more economical form. Averaging 12 inches, mini towers take up considerably less space, which means they also offer less space for upgrades.

MORE: Best Gaming Laptops

Small form factor PCs come in a variety of shapes in sizes, and many of them can slide into your entertainment center just like a PS4 or Xbox One. And while desktop PCs don’t offer much space for upgrading, you can still play your more powerful PC titles without sacrificing a good portion of the room to the PC gaming gods.

Another thing to keep in mind is that larger towers, especially those tricked out with a ton of goods, can definitely cost an arm, leg and a firstborn. All things considered, I’d recommend a mid or mini tower for most consumers, as you can get a good amount of solid specs at a reasonable price and have room to spare in your gaming den.

For buttery-smooth frame rates in both traditional and virtual gaming, I’d highly recommend investing in either AMD’s Polaris (RX 550, 560, 570 or 580) or Nvidia Pascal GPUs (GTX 1060, 1070, 1080 or 1080 Ti). They’re pricier, but you’ll have the power you need for years to come. Plus, it’s well worth the expense, considering that you want to maintain the 90 fps needed to stave off simulation sickness in VR.

Photo: Jeremy Lips/Tom’s Guide
Photo: Jeremy Lips/Tom’s GuideHowever, if you’re on an extra tight budget, you can opt for Nvidia’s new GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti GPUs, both of which usually sell for under $150. The 1050 Ti can even be used with the Oculus Rift, though it doesn’t meet the HTC Vibe’s official requirements.

MORE: Best GPUs: Top-Rated Graphics Cards for Gaming

When it comes to video RAM, you should go for at least 8GB. Titles such as Battlefield 1 and The Witcher 3 can be very CPU-intensive, and you’re going to need a bit of RAM to achieve those higher frame rates.

For processors, we defer to our sister site, Tom’s Hardware, which recommends the $85 Intel Pentium G4560 for an entry-level rig and the $130 AMD Ryxen 3 1300X for a midrange system. If you’re looking to harness the power of the gods themselves, you’ll want to check out Intel’s new 8th-gen Core i7 processors, which can run you over $350.
What Do You Need for VR?

Let’s say you want to play with one of those sweet VR headsets. Oculus Rift’s minimum spec requirements include an Intel Core i3-6100 or AMD FX 3450 CPU, 8GB of RAM with either a Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 GPU or AMD Radeon RX 470 GPU, and at least Windows 8. CyberPower’s $749 Gamer Ultra is a good Oculus-ready starting point.

HTC Vive with the Asus ROG G20CB. Photo: Jeremy Lips/Tom’s GuideHTC Vive with the Asus ROG G20CB. Photo: Jeremy Lips/Tom’s Guide

The Vive has a higher level of entry, requiring at least an Intel Core i5 4590 or AMD FX 8350 or greater, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 GPU or AMD Radeon 290 with 4GB of RAM, and Windows 7.

Considering the current refresh cycle for motherboards, GPUs, storage and RAM, at some point you’re going to want to swap out a part or two to keep up with the times. And when that occasion arises, I’m sure you’d rather just spend a couple of hundred bucks on that shiny new AMD or Nvidia card rather than buy a whole other preconfigured case.

Photo: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s GuidePhoto: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s Guide

When buying your PC, make sure that you can easily access the interior, including the motherboard, RAM, GPU, drive bays and fans. The Alienware Aurora and Dell XPS Tower are both great examples of upgrade-friendly PCs, as you can easily open them up and swap out parts without having to bust out any tools.

With a desktop, more ports are always better. Between monitors, peripherals and VR headsets, you’re going to want a system with a least six USB 3.0 ports, three DisplayPorts, and an HDMI port.

Photo: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s Guide
Photo: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s GuideYou might also want to check into getting a system with USB Type-C and Thunderbolt ports for good measure, so you can take advantage of those fast transfer speeds and hook up a 4K or 5K monitor if you have one handy.

MORE: Gaming Laptop Buying Guide

So how much should you reasonably expect to spend on a good gaming desktop? A nice starting point is $699, as that should get you a solid tower with entry- to mid-level specs and enough ports and room to expand on. If you’re DIY-averse, you might want to spend a bit more in an effort to future-proof your rig.

Once you hit the $1,000 range, you’re solidly mid- to high-level, with Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs on the table, 8GB of RAM, SSDs, and either a single GTX 1070 or 1080 GPU. Past $1,500, and you’re in the world of outlandish and expensive specs, where you’ll find extreme-level CPUs, multiple GPUs, and at least two hard drives or SSDs.

Home Builds The Best Budget $500 Gaming PC – Good and Cheap Build ( UPDATED 2018)

The Best Budget $500 Gaming PC – Good and Cheap Build ( UPDATED 2018)

Keep going refreshed on August 29, 2018, by Juzel Albert Padilla

500 gaming pc fabricate

Getting into PC gaming can be a bit of threatening, yet by following our guide for the best gaming PC under $500, you will think that it is significantly less demanding than it looks on the start. Furthermore, with this spending fabricate, you’ll have the capacity to appreciate all your most loved AAA amusements without burning up all available resources.

Construct Overview

Regardless of whether this could play PUBG, Fortnite, CS: GO, Overwatch, GTA V, and other AAA recreations is impossible.

This is ensured to give you a chance to play PUBG on 1080p goals with no less than a normal of 60FPS at medium to high in-diversion settings. In view of that, you know this is a decent arrangement and you know you need this modest gaming PC.

In any case, first, we should discuss the necessities we set out when making this construct. This fabricate is upgraded to be the best inside its value go at the season of composing, and furthermore to be as apprentice benevolent as could be allowed.

Elite. The graphical execution of this assemble is marginally beneath that of the PS4 Pro, however, it wipes the floor with the substance of the first PS4. The CPU is likewise a critical advance up from the intensity of the PS4 Pro’s (which is generally identical to an Athlon X4 860K) and it shouldn’t bottleneck you much on the off chance that you choose to update your illustrations card.

Upgradeability. The magnificence of the PC stage is the capacity to update along these lines, we’re on AMD’s most recent motherboard engineering. You can update both your CPU and GPU an excessive amount of all the more great partners later on, should you ever be hoping to have more execution.

Straightforwardness. We ran with a manufacturer neighborly case for this construct. While you likely should purchase an additional fan or two for ideal cooling, you shouldn’t have an issue beginning with what we’ve given you.

How We Choose the Parts and Components

In the wake of being in the business for very nearly 10 years now, we know the intricate details of building PCs, research, execution and costs, and particularly which parts and segments are good with each other.

In addition, it is of our plan to keep you refreshed with the most recent parts and costs, which is the reason we keep this construct refreshed in any event once per month.

For each new PC equipment and segments, we don’t just depend on what is publicized yet we check the item in a more close way. We don’t just check gatherings, discourses and examination, however, we chose to check what our kindred experts in the business need to state.

Tech Deals, Linus Tech Tips, and NCIX Tech Tips are among the names we depend on with regards to inside and out item audit, examination, construct, and solidness.

The Best Budget $500 Gaming PC Update: August 29, 2018

Ryzen 3 1200 CPU


A ground-breaking passage level 4core/4thread CPU by AMD – overwhelming Intel’s spending contributions.

PNY’s smooth 1050 Ti gives contending designs cards a keep running for their cash and looks forceful fine doing it.

Hitachi’s strong 1TB hard drive is as well as can be expected get for the cash.

An awesome power supply from EVGA that keeps this gaming PC’s heart thumping.

An awesome, brilliant passage level Ryzen motherboard for the financial plan cognizant fan.

Thermaltake’s Versa case gives the ideal body to this $500 gaming PC manufacturer.

(Cost are precise as of August 29, 2018. Tap the catch to see the most recent posts)

Manufacturer Details

Presently, we should jump into the gut of this mammoth.


The Ryzen 3 1200 CPU is one of the best shabby CPUs you can get at the present time, and it successfully crushes Intel’s alternatives in a similar value extend. With this processor, you’ll have the capacity to make the most of your amusements with no CPU bottlenecks for mid-extend GPUs up to the GTX 1060. Past that, you might need to move up to a higher-end Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5 or Intel i5 processor.

The Ryzen 3 1200 additionally packages a Wraith Stealth Cooler, which should give you some truly great cooling execution much superior to you’d get from an Intel stock cooler. With everything taken into account, the Ryzen 3 line is an extraordinary proposal for spending fabricates and has earned our most noteworthy reservations.


The GTX 1050 Ti is the best spending plan GPU in the $100 territory at this moment, giving 1080p 60fps in most current recreations on medium settings. It will effortlessly maximize more seasoned recreations on high to the max, however, be careful that the 1050 Ti isn’t exactly prepared for VR gaming or higher goals.

Its execution is far over that of the PS4, and around that of the PS4 Pro. For the best graphical execution, you can get in this range, look no further. PNY’s rendition of the 1050 Ti is littler than most, however, doesn’t miss out on any execution and will fit well into a little form, on the off chance that you decide on one.


8GB of RAM will offer you all that anyone could need RAM for gaming situations, with some extraordinary multitasking capacities as an afterthought. The double channel 2400 MHz RAM should help in boosting the execution of the processor so there ought to be no bargain in execution regardless of whether you’re utilizing a RAM hoard, similar to Chrome – inside reason.

Ballistix likewise makes some quite incredible memory, so you shouldn’t need to stress over these RAM sticks tossing out a few blunders unexpectedly following a couple of long periods of utilization.


Hitachi makes some entirely incredible hard drives, and their 1TB HDD is as well as can be expected find in its value extend at this moment. Other hard drives in this value run either have much lower stockpiling limit or have much lower RPM, which means much more awful speeds in document exchanges and stocking times.


This EVGA 500W PSU is an emphatically fabricated power supply from a respectable maker that offers all the power you require for this assemble. Truth be told, it offers a considerable amount more with this current form’s evaluated wattage (a minor 211W), so you have a lot of space to climb later on. Moreover, it’s a semi-secluded power supply, which will influence your working to encounter substantially more simple than it would be something else.


MSI ProSeries A320 Motherboard

MSI ProSeries A320 Motherboard

The MSI ProSeries A320 Motherboard is a section level motherboard with incredible form quality and support for the AM4 CPU attachment, including the Ryzen processors. It’s an awesome all-around motherboard, however, it comes with a drawback: an absence of overclocking usefulness. In the event that you’d get a kick out of the chance to overclock your Ryzen processor to crush better execution out of it, you’ll have to spend somewhat additional with a specific end goal to catch a motherboard that can do it, similar to this one.


Thermaltake Versa H15

Thermaltake Versa H15

The Thermaltake Versa H15 is a tastefully tight, wind current and developer amicable Micro ATX Mid Tower case from our companions over at Thermaltake. Thermaltake isn’t the most conspicuous of case producers, however, they’re still genuinely great and will give for the most part well-constructed cases to house your valuable equipment. This case is ideal for the Half-Grand Grandmaster consequently

For what reason is This The Best Cheap $500 Gaming PC Today?

In case you’re into playing AAA title recreations or maybe you are into aggressive shooting diversions, for example, PUBG, Overwatch, and Fortnite, this is the best spending gaming PC you could get your hands on at the cost of $500.

This enables you to appreciate diversions with no trade-off in speed and execution.

You have an 8GB RAM that enables you to not simply play amusements alone but rather to likewise do multitasking on the sides. Considering the way that 8GB is as yet the edge for gaming, despite everything you have enough breathing space to spend more on different parts to support execution. See more about the redesign ways underneath.

Both the CPU and the GPU is sufficient to convey 1080p gaming background with a normal of 60FPS. For more up to date AAA title diversions, be that as it may, you can even now appreciate 1080p gaming knowledge with a normal of 60FPS by conditioning down the in-amusement designs to medium/high from ultra or most astounding preset

Power is something that doesn’t miss the mark with this assemble, the 500W EVGA control supply is all that could possibly be needed to keep everything running in prime condition with no bargain by any means.

When all is said in done, the best moderate gaming PC in the 500 dollar value go is an extraordinary arrangement in the event that you are into playing Fortnite, PUBG, CS: GO, LoL, WoW, Rocket League, and the sky is the limit from there. Then again, The Witcher 3, and different illustrations concentrated amusements can, in any case, be played in return for a lower in-diversion designs set.

Comparative Prebuilt Gaming PC Under 500 dollars

At first, it is perfect to custom form a shabby gaming PC since they are less expensive contrasted with purchasing a prebuilt fix. In any case, the lack of GPU came and this started the issue on purchasing a prebuilt as opposed to building one

In any case, there are the individuals who might favor a fitting and-play fix contrasted with building the moderate apparatus with their own particular hands. For this issue, we stepped up with regards to exhibiting you a rundown of the 5 best-prebuilt gaming work area under $500.

We’ve invested the quality measure of energy to assess and demonstrate to you those that are the great incentive for your cash.

Our best spending gaming PC in the 500 dollar value run is as of now a powerful machine without anyone else, yet imagine a scenario where you could make it harder, better, quicker, more grounded.

Non-serious inquiry. This is PC gaming. Obviously, you can do that.

NOTE: These will raise the cost of the construct!

This ADATA SSD is the least expensive one I’m willing to suggest, yet offers incredible capacity limit and execution in its value extend. By putting resources into an SSD, you can store your OS and a couple of your most loved recreations inside it for quick-fire load and boot times.

An SSD is extraordinary compared to other updates you can make for your machine since it’ll offer the biggest personal satisfaction change. On the off chance that you pick an SSD, make certain to get it and mount it first amid your OS establishment, so you can mama

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