These five rigs will keep you at the top of your game.
MSI Trident X,ometimes you just need something small and speedy.
Sometimes you just need something small and speedy. For anyone who doesn't have the extra space for a gaming setup or the desire to dedicate a corner of your hangar bay to housing a big old desk, look no further than the MSI Trident X.
The Trident is about the size of a standard game console, like an Xbox Series X or the PlayStation 5 (OK, maybe not that big.)
It's the perfect size to slip beside your TV or into an entertainment center.
Despite its compactness, the Trident X is a powerful gaming machine that can play most anything without trouble.
Alienware Aurora R11, a powerful gaming desktop, but it's also a conversation piece.
Alienware's design language used to be all about making computers look like angular space artifacts; cursed objects half-hidden beneath the sands of Mars, humming with indescribable power.
More recent Alienware products, like the Aurora R12, embrace a smoother, more organic-looking exterior design, and I couldn't be happier.
Going through the configuration tool, you'll want to choose at least an Intel Core i7 processor (i3 and i5 are weaker), which will also come with a graphics card from the RTX 30XX lineup, which will give you ample power for your money.
Origin PC Millennium,a wealth of customization options at your fingertips
Visiting Origin's website to shop for a PC is like walking into a sleek spaceport with merchants from all over the galaxy.
The Origin Millennium is a remarkably solid machine that's built to last. It arrives at your doorstep in a crate worthy of the Ark of the Covenant.
Origin's attention to detail makes it one of the best gaming rigs money can buy.
The Origin configuration tool can be a little intimidating but it's super comprehensive. You get more options here than you do for any other desktop on this list.
AMD Ryzen builds will go far, starting with a Ryzen 5 5600X processor and GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card. Don't worry too much about the motherboard and fan options, if you're unsure, just go with the defaults.
Acer Predator Orion 3000 (2021)
The Acer Predator Orion 3000 is like an angular black dreadnought cruising through space in search of its next victims.
The slate-black tower is illuminated from within by ice-blue LEDs and filled to the brim with powerful hardware.
Its "gamer aesthetic" gets a lot of criticism nowadays, but just like the exaggerated 1990's vaporwave look that's so popular right now, when gaudy is done right it's kind of great.
The Predator Orion 3000 embraces its supervillain-Sith-Lord look and pulls it off with style. Plus, since it packs an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, it's one of the easiest ways to get your hands on a powerful graphics card.
This one you'll just want to keep with it the default. They're solid and come in at a very reasonable price.
NZXT BLD, One of the best ways to get a great gaming PC is to build one yourself
The company's BLD gaming PCs let you pick the parts you'd like in your gaming rig, using handy wizards that will give you an idea of what your new machine will be capable of.
You can see framerate estimates for popular games like Fortnite or Minecraft that will update based on which graphics card, processor type, or other components you choose.
This can help you decide on the right parts even if you're not sure what they all mean.
Once you've chosen your build, the company will put it together for you and ship it to your home.
How to find a good deal on a gaming rig
Set a Budget: If you're new to PC gaming, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the price of entry. It can seem like you need to spend $2,000 or $3,000 just to get a decent gaming PC, but you don't. PC gaming is just as much about deal hunting as it is about, you know, playing games. As long as you're willing to spend $700 to $1,000, you can put together a solid gaming rig. We have a full guide on how to build a PC if you're ready to take the plunge.
Choosing a Graphics Card: For a gaming desktop, your graphics card is your most important piece of hardware, but that doesn’t mean you need the best and most expensive. If you’re getting an Nvidia card, older GeForce GTX 10XXs will be okay for some games (and possibly easier to find) but newer GeForce RTX 20XXs will handle modern games more easily.
Is a product reviewer at WIRED
Jess Grey is a product reviewer at WIRED, covering all those devices that make your life easier—and sometimes much more difficult.
Since her first byline in Dragon Magazine to her more recent work at Digital Trends, she’s covered a little bit of everything from crime, courts, and patent filings to tabletop games and laptops.
She studied at Portland State University and currently resides in Portland, Oregon.