If you thought you had to build a gaming PC to get the most out of it, you’d be wrong. There are amazing pre-built rigs out there, like the Alienware Aurora, that give you all the fun without any of the fuss.

Best overall

Alienware Aurora

The latest Alienware Aurora is an incredible thing.

Not only does it have room for incredible gaming power, it does so in a relatively compact, well-designed case. You get options galore, too, with the latest 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processors, RTX graphics cards, 64GB of RAM and even have it liquid cooled if you wish.

Who should buy this PC?

The Aurora has spec options to suit virtually any PC gamer and as it uses standard off the shelf parts, virtually everything is upgradeable in the future.

Is it a good time to buy this PC?

With 9th Gen Intel processors and NVIDIA’s top GPUs on offer, it’s unlikely the Aurora will see any meaningful update in the near future.

Reasons to buy

  • Lots of configurations.
  • Easy to upgrade.
  • Powerful.
  • Fairly compact.

Reasons not to buy

  • No optical drive.
  • Tight on space inside.

Why the Alienware Aurora is best

Just like its parent Dell brand, Alienware has been making some amazing hardware in recent times. The Aurora was revived and reborn with a whole new design that’s both striking and clever.

You can squeeze not one, but two high-end graphics cards in the Aurora. Crazy.

Thanks to touches like the swing-out vertically mounted power supply, you get more space for more things. You can squeeze in a pair of graphics cards as well as a liquid cooler for the CPU. You also get plenty of space for additional drive bays, with two on the bottom and a 3.5-inch HDD bay mounted behind the front panel.

It isn’t even that expensive, either. Prices start at $1,400, and while you’re not getting the most powerful parts for that, the ease of upgrade means you’re not limited by what you can initially afford. Adding more RAM or a new graphics card is completely tool free and takes just a couple of minutes.

What the Aurora offers is something for everyone. Those on a tighter budget, those looking for ridiculous power, those hoping to upgrade in the future and everyone else in between.

Best small form

Zotac MEK1

Despite its tiny size, this PC from Zotac still packs a punch.

The mini ITX form factor means it’s a fraction of the size of a regular gaming rig, while still packing a GTX 1070Ti graphics card.

Toss in an Intel Core i7-7700 processor, 16GB of RAM, NVMe boot drive and a bundled mechanical keyboard and gaming mouse, you’ve got a great package at a great price.

Best budget

HP Pavilion Desktop

Spending a little can still get you a lot.

Not all PC gamers want to spend thousands or need the power from the top-of-the-line GPUs. For not a lot you can get a HP Pavilion Desktop with an Intel Core i5 processor and NVIDIA GTX 1060 3GB graphics card.

Not only this but it’s a stylish looking little box with ports galore and even an optical drive, which makes it great to double up as a home media PC, too.

The sleeper PC

Dell XPS 8930

Looks like an office PC, games like a champion.

If you want a PC to game on that doesn’t look like a teenager designed it, here it is. The Dell XPS tower is sleek and sophisticated looking while still packing some serious horsepower inside.

At the bottom end, you’re getting an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 4GB GTX 1050 Ti. The specs go all the way up to a Core i9-9900K, GTX 1080 and 64GB of RAM. Whichever spec you go for you get a professional looking PC that can also frag your friends and enjoy VR.

Bottom line

There are a lot of great pre-built gaming PCs out there but it’s hard to do better than the Alienware Aurora right now. You can either save money now and upgrade it down the line or spec it up out of the box with an insane amount of hardware. There’s something for everyone in this cleverly designed PC.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Richard Devine is a Reviews Editor at Windows Central. You’ll usually find him deep in hardware, gaming, both or drinking root beer for which he openly has a mild addiction.

Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.

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