Best out-of-the-box gaming PC in 2022: budget, premium and more

Published: 2022-11-10T19:01:04

Updated: 2022-11-10T19:01:15

Buy a ready-made PC used to be something to joke about. However, things have changed as the battle for first place is an ongoing war for customer satisfaction.

Getting a new PC but don’t have the resources to build it yourself? As PC gaming gets bigger, so does the quality of pre-built machines. This used to be a gamble of overpriced, underpowered and poorly constructed machines. With a need for high-quality machines at all levels of gaming, it’s fortunate that these companies have been upping their game since the Wilderness years.

So, what’s best? Who will build you a good prebuilt pc without any complications beyond the time it takes to build it?

As we head into Black Friday and the holiday season, keep in mind that most PC builders will have long lead times. Keep that in mind when ordering.

What’s the Best Pre-Built PC?

We can deduce from the specs on offer, with the cost to you, what the best built PC for gaming is. And no, we haven’t observed every warehouse where these PCs are built – as much as we’d like to. We assume how much this would cost you compared to the price of a PC if you built it yourself.

As with Starforge’s original lineup, if the price doesn’t match the specs, we’ll be sure to highlight it here. It may end up being cheaper to get some help building it yourself.

However, our own experience shows that most prebuilt PC vendors have the right staff on board, the ones who care deeply about the tech industry or customer service. You shouldn’t worry too much about where you’re getting it from, as almost every major player in the game will build, package, and ship your PC properly. Hopefully.

Best budget pre-built gaming PC under $1000:

Unfortunately, when it comes to pre-built PCs, the budget ends up being less than $1000. PCs have become expensive, mainly because of the ongoing problems with electronics shortages around the world. With Black Friday approaching, it looks like Best Buy has some great budget-friendly, easy-to-upgrade machines up and running right now.

While they aren’t made in a bespoke workshop, with wooden desks and several garlands winding across them, they might be the best option if you want something relatively cheap and easy.

Of course, not all PCs are created equal and things like iBuyPower’s i3-12100F for a whopping $730 is an absolute rip off. You won’t get anywhere but really low-end gaming with the i3, and the GTX 1650 is slowly being phased out.

There are also many models with 8 GB of RAM. You want something that will have at least 16 GB. If you feel like it, you can always add your own, as your first step to upgrading your system.

At this point, a CyberPowerPC with an RX6700 XT and a Ryzen 7 5700 might not sound spectacular on paper compared to modern systems. However, it’s a perfectly capable machine for those into MMOs, esports, or decent 1080p gaming. It currently clocks in at $999.99, with $400 off.

Elsewhere, we also recommend B&H’s iBUYPOWER SlateMR, which has an RTX 3060 and a Ryzen 5 5600. This is similar to the one mentioned earlier, but with DLSS on board you can push it further than it normally could go.

Best mid-range pre-built gaming PC under $2000

Medium systems are where you can finally stretch your legs and find something without much reservation. Depending on where you look, you might even find a better deal than the budget PCs.

These systems often score with a 3070 Ti or similar, but can end up with DDR5 RAM. We’re going up one more level here, so expect to see over $1000, up to $2000.

If you want a solid 1440p experience, maybe even 4K, and a whole range of accessibility without worrying about the insides of your PC, this is the way to go.

Best premium pre-built gaming PC over $2000

If you’re afraid of big numbers, look away now. These PCs are tough, packed with the latest and greatest in technology. The worst thing is? Not many of us will eventually get one. It’s nice to have a look anyway.

These will probably now come out on a 4090. Yes, the $1500 Wonder of the World is definitely going to be the best buy you’ll make – if you can afford the hideous prices.

Here we recommend going for anything over an i7 or Ryzen 7. If you’ve got the money, you might as well go all in. DDR5 too, you don’t want to limit your PC if you ever plan to upgrade. Here you will find things like Alienware or even Starforge’s own systems.

This is the pinnacle of out-of-the-box PCs, and they’ll last a long time.

Is Alienware the best and worth it?

Depending on what you want from your system, Alienware may be your golden goose. However, the problem with Alienware is that they are way too expensive for what you get. Business has declined significantly over the years, but the fact remains that their pre-built PCs are expensive.

This is mainly due to the custom cases they use, but also because they are part of Dell. While their laptop division seems to have wrangled prices in recent years, their desktop division is a different story.

You will get excellent customer service, but unless you want to go all in for the flashy exterior, we can probably do better elsewhere.

What specs are good for a pre-built PC?

Depending on whether you’re looking for a turnkey PC to have an easy base to upgrade from, or just want an easy machine ready to go, you’ll still need to take care of the specs.

Now if you choose AMD or Intel, the motherboard inside is something to be aware of. Intel still supports DDR4 RAM, but since we’re on DDR5 now, older motherboards won’t support next-generation RAM. While your CPU and GPU will be fine, keep in mind that an upgrade can be much more intense than you expected.

You don’t want to be “swindled” either. Not that you won’t receive your PC, but in terms of getting an older spec machine. There are some really nasty machines from a few years ago that we highly recommend you steer clear of.

On our Black Friday page, here are our tips on what to look out for in 2022:

  • AMD Ryzen 5000 or higher
  • Intel 12th generation and above
  • RTX 30 series and above
  • Radeon RX6000 and above

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