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Best Gaming Desktop PC of 2018

Best overall:
Alienware Aurora

See at Dell

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, and you can go up to the latest 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processors, a pair of GTX 1080ti graphics cards, 64GB of RAM and even have it liquid cooled if you wish. If you go for a lower spec option, you get oodles of space to add your own upgrades down the line.

Prices start under $800 and go all the way up to just under $4,000.

Bottom line: A desktop with something to offer everyone, from more budget conscious gamers through to the most demanding performance seekers.

One more thing: You can add a pair of top-end GPUs at the point of purchase if you wish.

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 GTX 1080Ti 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 GTX 1080ti 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 less than $800, 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 budget, those looking for ridiculous power, those hoping to upgrade in the future and everyone else in between.

Best small form:
Corsair One

See at Amazon

What you get inside this fairly tall but very slender box is astonishing. Corsair’s first PC is a barnstormer with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 graphics card. It’s supremely powerful but also supremely quiet.

And because Corsair uses industry standard parts inside the One, it’s future proof. If you want to upgrade bits, you can. The exterior panels peel away giving you easy access to the components within.

Prices start at $1,800 for the GTX 1070 model.

Bottom line: Incredible power from a small, sleek machine.

One more thing: The $400 premium for the GTX 1080 model includes liquid cooling and an unlocked Core i7 processor.

Best budget:
HP Omen Desktop

See at Amazon

Not all PC gamers want to spend thousands or need the power from the top-of-the-line GPUs. For $700 you can get a HP Omen Desktop with a 7th-generation Core i3 and AMD RX 560 graphics card. Our favorite, though, is the $720 model with a Core i5 and a GTX 1060 graphics card.

The extra spend is worth it for much more capable hardware, and HP has designed a great looking PC that’s also fairly easy to get in and upgrade down the line.

Bottom line: Great for less demanding gamers and those on a tighter budget.

One more thing: The Core i5 model also comes with a combination of SSD and HDD storage.

The sleeper PC:
Dell XPS 8930

See at Dell

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 1050ti for $1,149. The specs go all the way up to a Core i7, 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: Looks can be decieving, as this is far more than just a workstation.

One more thing: The various configurations also include compatibility with VR systems like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

Best overall:
Alienware Aurora

See at Dell

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, and you can go up to the latest 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processors, a pair of GTX 1080ti graphics cards, 64GB of RAM and even have it liquid cooled if you wish. If you go for a lower spec option, you get oodles of space to add your own upgrades down the line.

Prices start under $800 and go all the way up to just under $4,000.

Bottom line: A desktop with something to offer everyone, from more budget conscious gamers through to the most demanding performance seekers.

One more thing: You can add a pair of top-end GPUs at the point of purchase if you wish.

Updated January 24, 2018: We’ve refreshed this list to make sure you’re still getting the best gaming desktop PCs in 2018.

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