The 6 Best Gaming PCs to Buy in 2016

Buy the top budget, graphics, compact and design gaming PCs

When it comes to gaming, there’s plenty of attention focused on consoles and mobile, but PC gaming is still an enthusiast’s dream. Whether you’re looking for a budget option or the crème-de-la-crème, there’s something to suit the fancy of “newbie” gamers and pros alike. Some models are best suited to those looking to shift from the Xbox or PS4, while others will offer an almost infinite amount of customization. Need help deciding which is right for you? Read our picks for the best gaming desktops of 2016.

Best Overall: Lenovo Y900

Lenovo Y900
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Lenovo is a household name most computer buyers are already familiar with, but likely not in the context of gaming. The good news is the Lenovo Y900 comes ready to “play” in the gaming world. There’s plenty of reason to like this machine, including strong enough performance that’s virtual reality ready with a keyboard and mouse you’ll love right out of the box.

The Lenovo isn’t going to win any design awards, but when it comes to gaming, design is not nearly as important as how well it holds up in today’s standards. The processor/graphics combo has an Intel Core i7 paired with 8 GB of RAM, and it offers more than enough power for a robust gaming experience. It features a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 graphics coprocessor, 2 TB hard drive, 7200 RPM and has four USB 2.0 ports and six USB 3.0 ports.

The design allows quick and easy access to the internals allowing upgrades down the line, which is a huge bonus for anyone who wants to start modest and add expensive parts as time goes on. And it's proof that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a premium feel. You can even jump to 16 GB of RAM for an extra $700, offering even more performance at a still relatively inexpensive price tag for a dedicated gaming machine.

Best Budget: CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra 3400A

CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra 3400A
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Relatively unknown in the gaming world, the CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra 3400A provides a mainstream gaming experience at a fraction of the price. This gaming machine, priced at less than $600, will likely attract gamers still on the fence about switching from a game console to a gaming PC that won’t break the bank. Gamers looking to get the latest and greatest will probably find themselves disappointed by specs that can’t match more feature-rich gaming PCs, but this one offers blazing-fast performance for a price tag that’s easy to stomach.

Powered by a 2.6 GHz AMD FX-6300 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 7200 RPM and a 1 TB SATA III hard drive, there’s more than enough power to play most of today’s popular games as well as handle any of your regular computing needs. A solid 4.5-star rating on Amazon is filled with reviews that highlight its cool-run functionality as well as the comfortable keyboard and mouse.

Best for Graphics:  CybertronPC Titanium X5

CybertronPC Titanium X99 X5
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The CybertronPC Titanium X5 is where every gamer wants to be when it comes to graphical punch. This is the machine for the gaming die-hard who wants the latest and the greatest. Paired with the NVIDIA GTX980 Ti, this machine packs serious clout in the gaming department. You’ll shrug off high-performance gaming and easily run side-by-side with professional gamers with the 16 GB of RAM, 2000 GB hard drive and Intel Core i7 processor that’s 4K and virtual reality ready. It has eight USB 3.0 ports and 7200 RPM.

The price tag puts this out of reach for all but the most serious gamers, and realistically, this machine is made for those looking to instantly play the newest gaming titles. There’s more than enough power here for entertainment, spreadsheets and web browsing but, for those needs, there are dozens of options that cost a lot less.

There’s potential to argue that you could again, put together a similarly outfitted gaming machine for less, but that discussion can happen at multiple price points. For gamers who want an out-of-the-box, ready-to-go gaming experience, you can’t do better than the CybertronPC Titanium X5.

Best for Design:  Alienware Area 51VR Capable Desktop

Alienware Area 51VR Capable Desktop
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Alienware has long been synonymous with desktop gaming and Area-51 is another in a long line of eye-catching designs from the Dell-owned powerhouse. The admittedly far-out looking design weighs a hefty 61 pounds, so this isn’t your standard all-in-one desktop – it's far from it. The triangular body allows air to move quietly and diagonally out away from the system’s interior, keeping the PC cool.

For the price, there’s little to complain about when it comes to performance. The “triad” design, as Alienware affectionately calls it, has an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, a 2 TB hard drive and operates at 2133 MHz and 7200 RPM. There's also four USB 2.0 ports and six USB 3.0 ports. If you’re looking for form, function and a design that is “out of this world,” the Alienware Area-51 is everything a gamer could want.

Best Compact: MSI 27T 6QE-002US 27"

MSI 27T 6QE-002US 27
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What it lacks in powerful upgrades, the MSI 27T packs a punch in the all-in-one chassis form. The price might scare off more than a few beginners, but the two-in-one package is more than meets the eye. Gamers looking to save space will quickly fall in love with the design-conscious approach MSI took combining a 27” 1080p display and Intel Core i7 processor with 16 GB of RAM. In fact, the internals of the MSI are good for more than just gaming. This computer easily doubles as your everyday machine making the price tag a little less jaw-dropping. It has three USB 3.0 ports, 7200 RPM and a NVIDIA Geforce GTX980M graphics coprocessor.

On the downside, gamers looking for a desktop that’s fully upgradeable and extreme performance should look elsewhere. But for casual gamers and for those who want to occasionally dabble in hardcore performance, the MSI is a perfect, space-friendly gaming addition.

Best Splurge:  CybertronPC Thalium X99

CybertronPC Thalium X99
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When it comes to over-the-top gaming, few computers do it better than the CybertronPC Thalium X99. If the exorbitant price tag doesn't make you run for the hills, you'll be happy to know that there’s enough power under the hood in this device to make this the ultimate gaming experience.

In fact, one might even be convinced to consider the CybertronPC more of an attraction than a powerhouse gaming computer. The liquid-cooled Core Intel i7 8-core processor is paired with 64 GB (yes, 64 GB!) of RAM alongside NVIDIA’s GTX 980 Ti graphics card. Throw in a 3 TB hard drive, 2400 MHz, 7200 RPM, four USB 2.0 ports and ten USB 3.0 ports, and you have more than enough room for all of today’s best games and space left over for the next hot one. Sure, you have to be fully committed to the gaming world to even consider this option, but once you do every other gaming machine will pale in comparison.


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