Best Gaming Desktops of 2020
When shopping online, you’ll probably notice that there are literally thousands of manufacturers all claiming that they have the best gaming desktops or most powerful gaming desktops.
Sadly, most of the times these claims are false. At least 50% of the gaming desktops you’ll find for sale online are either outdated or overpriced. That’s why we had to dig deep to find the best deals out there.
No matter what your individual needs are, we’ve broken down these desktops into five categories so you can find the one that’s right for you. Read on to see the pros and cons of each model.
The Best High-End Gaming Desktop: CybertronPC Thallium
Cybertron gaming desktop is not one of the most popular manufacturers in the marketplace, but they certainly have a strong following.
They are a relatively small company, composed entirely of gaming enthusiasts. They put great care into picking the parts they use, making sure that every component synergizes perfectly with the rest of the system.
If you need an easy way to get the best custom gaming desktop cheap, then CyberTronPC is your go-to. The Thallium will allow you to play any modern game on the highest settings.
Let’s take a peek and see what makes this gaming PC so great.
This is not a gaming desktop you’ll want to keep on the floor. The striking design is something that deserves to be on top of your desk where everyone can see it.
The smoothed mate white siding gives it a sleek, modern appeal, while the sharp angles and blue LED fans to present an aggressive face that shows you mean business.
This is a gaming desktop that performs just as good as it looks – and maybe even better. Under the hood is a collection of the most powerful and advanced hardware that money can buy.
The processor is the centerpiece of a solid gaming PC, so that’s why they chose one of the best on the market. The i7-6700K CPU is a quad-core processor that runs at 4GHZ.
It’s not just the speed with which it can perform calculations, but the amount of data it can handle with each cycle.
Even the most demanding games in the world can’t make this CPU choke, and that’s made it the number one choice for serious gamers everywhere.
But this wasn’t enough for Cybertron, and they had to squeeze any additional performance they could out of this popular processor. That’s why they installed an advanced liquid cooling system.
Liquid cooling keeps the CPU chilled to improve boost performance even with the power draw remaining unchanged. With this cooler, the 6700k will use higher frequency more since it has the cooling to support the extra heat it puts off.
Of course, this CPU is useless unless it can get speedy access to the data it needs to work with. So this computer includes 16GB of ultra-fast DDR4 memory to make sure that commands can be executed instantly.
If we’re talking about non-volatile storage, the 400GB SSD is not only spacious enough to store your favorite games but allows them to be accessed with a performance that is up to 10x faster than standard hard drives.
We know that 400GB might not be enough space for everyone, so there is a second 2TB hard drive for long term storage of your favorite media files.
The graphics card used in Thallium desktop is an Nvidia GeForce GTX980 TI. It’s got 6GB of video memory on hand, so even the richest most detailed environments will still render with buttery smooth performance.
This is one of the best graphics cards that money can buy, and is capable of running every single game at maximum settings.
Most entry-level graphics cards achieve only 40% of what this card is capable of, so even when technology has improved in three or four years this card should still be able to play modern games.
It’s true that this is not the best graphics card on the market, but you’re beginning to approach diminishing returns. This card is already capable of everything that you can throw at it, so having a higher performance card would provide no immediate benefit.
If you’re going to drop this kind of cash on a gaming desktop, you don’t want to buy something that is going to be obsolete in a year or two.
Because technology improves so quickly, finding a system that can last a long time can be an absolute nightmare. Fortunately, this is one of the few gaming desktops that can stay with you for many years.
The components that are included are capable of playing anything that comes out for the next two years. After this time, it will be easy to perform some upgrades if you need a little boost.
The 1000W power supply is more than capable of handling extra RAM, newer graphics cards, or any other components you want to throw in there.
This will be much cheaper than replacing your gaming PC every few years, so the Thallium desktop is more of an investment than a purchase.
Best Mid-Range Gaming desktop: Asus G20CB-WS71
If you want to stretch every dollar, this custom-built gaming desktop can be an excellent purchase.
Despite being sold at a fraction of the price that high-end desktops are, you’ll still get most of the performance.
Mid-range desktops will play every game that’s released recently, although a few might have to be set for standard quality rather than ultra.
Still, you’ll get a gaming experience that is significantly better than consoles at a price that is attainable for most consumers.
This ASUS gaming desktop isn’t just striking, it’s also compact. Most gaming computers use massive cases in order to accommodate all the powerful hardware.
But ASUS had this one custom designed so they could cram the same high-performance components into a compact case. Despite its small size, you can tell just by looking at it that this is a gaming computer for serious gamers.
Just like the last gaming desktop, this one also uses the same powerful Intel I7-6700 processor. In this case, it hasn’t been modified so it will run at the standard speed of 3.4GHZ.
This is more than adequate for every game currently on the market. Backed up with 16gb of 2133 Mhz RAM, every game you run will feel snappy and responsive.
The high-end computer we reviewed included an SSD. You’ll find a lot of mid-range desktops that skip it as SSD’s are quite expensive.
But this is essential unless you have a fast drive then you’re not going to be able to access information as fast as your CPU can process it.
Fortunately, this ASUS desktop found the perfect balance between price and performance with its 256GB SSD. You’ll be able to put your favorite games on there with your operating system and still enjoy all the benefits of its speedy performance.
The rest of your data can be stored on the 1TB HDD. It’s more than adequate for music, movies, and other media, so you can save the SSD for times when performance matters.
This is the one area you really don’t want to skimp on, as poor graphics performance can destroy a perfectly good gaming experience.
Just like the high-end gaming desktop, this one includes the same GTX 980 graphics card. This one has 4GB or onboard ram instead of 6GB but still performs impressively.
While this graphics card can still run some games on Ultra settings, you’ll likely want to crank them down to “high.” Visually, this has very little impact, but this means that every game on the market will run at a high frame rate.
This gaming desktop offers a little more performance than you need for modern games, which means that it should continue to provide a high-quality gaming experience for a couple of years.
Two or three years down the road, you may want to upgrade the SSD and the memory.
This will likely cost you around $150 but should improve the performance of your PC to the point where you can get another year’s use out of it.
It’s not really the most upgradeable gaming PC on the market, but it’s important to factor cost into the equation.
You could spend $4000 on a computer that you have the ability to upgrade in three years, or you could buy this one which will perform just as well in the meantime but will probably need to be replaced in 2020.
Since this desktop only costs a third of the price of the high-end model, you could buy a whole new computer in a few years and still have spent less money than the high end one. In our eyes, this value can’t be beaten.
Best Budget Gaming Desktop: CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Ultra
Just because you don’t have thousands of dollars in the bank doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to game.
Entry-level gaming desktops usually make a few sacrifices in the name of the value, but still, offer pretty impressive performance.
This particular model is almost the same price as a console and still, offers significantly better performance. Let’s take a look and see what’s under the hood.
The Ultra might be a utilitarian gaming PC, but it still manages to look pretty sweet. The pretty standard looking black case is brought to life with striking LED lights that set the vibe for your gaming sessions.
Even though this computer is affordable, it’s still filled with powerful components. And it’s showing this hardware off through a window cut into the side of the case.
Despite its affordable price, this gaming computer will grab just as much attention as a high-end brand.
Under the hood is a surprisingly powerful AMD FX-6300 3.5Ghz six-core processor. AMD is not commonly used in gaming PCs as their performance tends to lag a little behind Intel.
But the FX series are the best chips that AMD makes, and you’re likely to be surprised at how well they perform. Almost all modern games are multi-threaded now.
This means that they can do multiple calculations at the same time. The fact that this is a six-core chip will have a serious impact on the performance.
Because it’s not quite as fast as some of the Intel chips, the extra two cores will help out when it’s time to do some serious number crunching.
Along with 8GB of DDR3 memory, you’ll always have enough data on hand to keep this CPU running optimally.
From a performance standpoint, this gaming desktop performs at a level equivalent to roughly 75% of our recommended mid-range model. Since it’s sold for 35% of the price, this computer offers pretty bang for the buck.
A graphics card is what separates the gaming desktops from the office computers. You can have the fastest CPU on the market, but without a graphics card, your computer will not provide you with immersive gaming experience.
While many entry-level gaming PCs are sold with questionable integrated chips, CYBERPOWERPC understands what gamers want and included a full-sized graphics card.
To offer the best value possible, they selected a GeForce GT720 with 1gb of video ram.
When you’re running your games on “high” or “ultra” settings, there are all kinds of lighting effects and long-range texture mapping that put a huge strain on the graphics card.
In some cases, moving from “mid” to “ultra” increases the graphics load by 1000%. So while the GT720 isn’t the most powerful card on the market, it’s good enough to play every game that’s currently out.
As games become more advanced in a year or two, you might have to start turning the settings down a bit. But considering that this entire gaming PC costs less than the graphics card used in the other two, that’s a pretty good deal.
Although this gaming desktop has lots of space for upgrades, the hardware is limited enough that it will probably be out of date in three years.
If you wanted to boost the performance early, you do have the option of adding more RAM or popping in a faster graphics card.
But if you are simply looking for an affordable way to play the latest games, you won’t have to change or upgrade anything on this affordable desktop.
Best Portable Gaming PC: Zotac NEN
This one is a little different than the computers we’ve reviewed so far. Even though the ASUS was compact for a gaming PC, it’s still a gigantic gaming tower that is virtually impossible to lug around.
Most of these computers are designed to be installed in a permanent setup. But what if you want to enjoy your games from the comfort of your couch? Or perhaps haul it with you on vacation, or to a friend’s house?
Zotac’s steam machine offers the best balance between PC and Console gaming so you can get the best of both worlds.
Before we get into the tech specs, there is one thing that separates this gaming PC from others. Instead of running Windows, it uses SteamOS.
Any PC gamer is familiar with steam, they’re the largest distributor of the world’s most popular games. Steam OS is a custom operating system designed specifically for gaming.
Generally, Windows takes up 30 to 40% of your computer’s resources just running. With steam OS, almost the entire computer is dedicated just to your game.
This means that you’ll get better performance for less money. In this particular steam box, the hardware is perfectly selected for the application.
Intel i5-6400 CPU, 8GB of ram, and a 1TB HDD come together to offer gaming performance which is both snappy and entertaining.
The GeForce GTX 960 is a pretty serious graphics card, capable of playing any game in the Steam library.
Because the computer includes a wireless controller and has an HDMI output, it’s designed to connect to your TV.
Gaming on a 50” flat screen is incredibly fun, some may argue that it even looks better than on a computer monitor.
Because of its compact size, what you see is what you get. Steam OS is still quite new. If the platform takes off, this could easily provide you with five years of casual gaming.
If it fails, there probably won’t be many new games released for it. But in its current state, there is a ton of great games available on Steam OS, and we had a great time playing around with this computer.
For anyone looking for a more casual gaming experience, I would forget all of the expensive gaming desktops and pick up a steam box. Really, it all depends on your preference.
The Best Gaming desktop Ever Built
Desktop gaming is all about being the best. You want to see your name at the top of every list. After hours of practice, it can be frustrating to find that your performance is hindered by a poorly designed gaming rig.
When many people decide to upgrade their machines, they often wonder what the best gaming PC ever built is. Today, we’re going to show you.
This unique system offers performance several magnitudes higher than most manufacturers’ top-end models. If you’re curious to see exactly how far technology can go, look no further than the i-X2 Mediaworkstation.
This is one of the best-rated gaming desktops in the world. It’s so powerful, in fact, that not a single game on the market can take advantage of all the powerful hardware inside.
Even if you were running dual 4K monitors on the highest graphics setting, this computer would run without breaking a sweat. This is obvious from the first time you set eyes on it.
The case alone is almost twice the width as a standard PC case. This is a pretty strong indicator of how powerful the hardware inside is.
When building this monster, MedixWorx designed it with the best gaming desktop specs in mind. The processor used is an Intel Xeon E5-2699. Xeons are generally used in server platforms.
Although expensive, they are much more powerful than the i7 series. Forget quad-core, this processor has 18 cores of number-crunching power, and the i-X2 has two of them for a total of 36 cores.
Don’t let the speed fool you, even though it runs at 2.6GHZ it’s still much faster than any other processor on the market.
These processors share 128GB of 2133MHZ DDR4 ram, which is likely to be more memory than you’ll ever need. Local data can be stored on the 1.7TB of SSD storage.
But this isn’t your typical SATA SSD, it’s connected to the PCI-E bus to read data at up to 2.4 GB/S, making sure that your games load instantaneously.
Generally, GTX-980 is considered to be the best gaming graphics card on the market. But what you may not know is that NVIDIA actually has a more advanced model called the GTX-1080.
This card is so powerful that a lot of games haven’t quite caught up to it yet. And this workstation doesn’t have just one, but three of these cards installed for a total of 36GB graphics memory.
When we look at how future proof a system is, we look to see if it’s something that will continue to work with technologies that have not yet been released.
But this gaming desktop isn’t just future proof, it’s designed for the future. The games that will take advantage of its powerful hardware haven’t even been released yet.
The only computers that can come close to rivaling it are the best custom-built gaming PCs, but even those are quite rare.
So if this custom gaming rig is so far above the requirements for modern games, why would anyone buy it? Typically, this gaming rig build is purchased by the people that make the games of tomorrow.
Many games take years to create, so developers have to use a powerful system like this to create next year’s hits.
Want a custom rig for yourself?
If you were hoping to score this custom gaming rig for yourself, we’ve got some bad news. Retailing for over $20,000, this awesome gaming PC is a little out of reach for most people.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a cheap custom build for a fraction of the price that will still play all the latest and greatest games. One of the ones we’ve listed above is sure to meet every one of your criteria.
Then again, if you can appreciate the incredible fusion of hardware and design that went into making the latest gaming PCs, you might be interested in trying to design one yourself.
It may seem complicated, but read on for our guide on how to make your own gamer desktop computer. Even if you’ve never built a PC before, we’ll give you everything you need to know to get started.