Need the best gaming PC for your budget in 2019? This guide gives you five of the best gaming computer builds and pre-built gaming PC options at a variety of price points.
With modern PC games advancing at such a rapid rate, there is no surprise that there are multiple games that have been released that most standard cookie-cutter computers (cheap pre-built systems) can barely handle. And, as PC gamers we like to have and experience the best… We like to play our games on the highest settings possible, with the highest framerate possible.
Fortunately, in this day and age, even a budget gaming PC build will allow you to play most games on higher settings on an affordable 1080p monitor. (Although, in this guide, we’ll be talking about high-end gaming computers, rather than budget-friendly systems.)
This is especially true when you take it upon yourself to build your own custom gaming desktop, which will ultimately save you a ton of money on the markup prices that you would’ve paid for a pre-built computer (like an Alienware or Cyber Power PC system) or a high-end gaming laptop.
The good news is that building a computer is a very doable thing for just about anyone. Seriously… if you can operate a screwdriver and read, then I’m pretty confident that you can build your own PC.
In this guide, we’ve given you part lists for the most powerful gaming PC builds at five different price ranges. We’ve also linked to similarly-priced high-end pre-built gaming computers as well so that if you don’t want to build your own desktop, you can go the pre-built route as well. These pre-built systems won’t offer quite the same performance as if you were to build a computer for the same amount of money. However, they should still give you a fairly high-end experience.
For those of you who just want to get right into ordering the parts for your system, I’ve put together five different pre-made part lists ($1,000, $1,250, $1,500, $1,750, & $2,000) so that you can bypass the component selection process and get right into building your new high-end, self-built gaming PC for 2019.
These part lists are updated with the top components at the best prices on a regular basis. So, if you’re looking at these builds you can bet they’ll give you maximum performance for the budget you’ve set. And, if you’re looking for a similarly priced pre-built gaming computer, just click on the “PRE-BUILT »” link to check out an alternative desktop option.
*Note: As all of these PC builds come with high-end NVIDIA graphics cards, make sure you pair them with a solid G-Sync monitor in order to take full advantage of the power they offer.
$2,000 Gaming PC
$1,750 Gaming PC
$1,500 Gaming PC
$1,250 Gaming PC
$1,000 Gaming PC
*These components are updated about once per week. If the lists contain components that are out-of-stock or if the price is higher than listed, either search for similar replacement components or use the comment form below to ask for advice on alternative options.
So you’ve decided to go all out… You’re not spending a dime under $2,000 on computer parts for your new ridiculously awesome computer build. Alright… that’s cool…
I guess some people just have to have the best!
Fortunately, for $2,000 you can really max out your build. You can run a high-end video card. You can utilize a processor with six or more cores and threads (which will really help you with stuff like video rendering and image editing.) And, you can leave yourself with a ton of options for upgrading in the future.
This is a high-end 4K gaming computer that can easily handle virtual reality games with the Oculus Rift headset and can serve as a powerful workstation as well. Also, if you’re going to drop this much on a PC, be sure to pair it with some high-end peripherals as well, like a solid computer gaming chair, a G-Sync monitor, and a nice-sounding PC gaming headset.
We did include a new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 in this build, but the reality is that if you want to save some money, you could go with a GTX 1080 Ti instead as the performance difference between the two is minimal in most games (although, the RTX 2080 does offer the ability to use ray tracing on some games and does show a decent performance boost in certain games over the 1080 Ti.)
In any case, whether you go with an RTX 2080 or a GTX 1080 Ti, I believe these parts will treat you well at ~$2,000:
For $1,750 the sky is the limit in terms of performance. Seriously, with a RTX 2080 this build is ready to push games on a 4K monitor…
$1,750 will also give you plenty of other options as well.
For instance, if you’re planning on doing some system tuning, this kind of budget will allow you to hit some decent overclocks. And, it’s definitely Oculus Rift and VR ready.
You will also get an SSD and 16GB of RAM. While 16GB of memory won’t be used in most games, newer games are starting to utilize over 8GB of RAM and so the extra memory will ensure that you have enough to meet their demands.
This build comes with the following components:
For $1,500 you’re getting a very similar build to our $1,250 build. The only difference? You get a better CPU!
While the Intel Core i7-8700K won’t give you a significant performance increase in games over the Ryzen 5 2600X found in the $1,250 build below, it is a better overall processor that should give you a small bump in FPS while gaming and will serve you better for non-gaming tasks as well.
Ultimately, this build is capable of maxing out anything on a 2560×1440 monitor, handling pretty much anything on a 4K monitor, will work well with a 1080P 144Hz monitor, and will allow you to play VR games with the Oculus Rift.
The following is a list of components that will help you build the best computer for gaming under $1,500:
With a budget of $1,250 or more, you can expect to get a truly awesome custom gaming desktop.
At this price range, you will be able to put together a machine that will be able to handle games on 1080P 144Hz monitors. It will also serve as a 4K gaming PC as well.
However, playing on the highest settings is just one of the many benefits you will receive when you drop $1,250 on parts for a custom gaming computer.
You can also expect your computer to stay relevant for a long time and you can be sure that you have high-quality components all throughout your build. That means along with a great processor and excellent video card, you will also get a high-end motherboard and a well-built power supply.
And, this system easily meets the Oculus Rift requirements so it is definitely VR-gaming ready.
The build listed below is based on my extensive research. I have spent many hours evaluating parts and looking at prices and have come up with these parts for a $1,250 desktop gaming computer:
For $1,000 you can expect to put together a system that can max out any game on 2560×1440 resolution and is ready for VR gaming and the Oculus Rift headset. And, you can even expect a $1,000 gaming PC to handle 4K gaming just fine.
The $1,000 mark is the sweet spot for building your own computer, as $1,000 in components is enough to provide optimal in-game performance while still maintaining a reasonable budget.
The following are the parts I currently recommend for building the best gaming PC under $1,000:
If you need help picking out parts for your build, leave your questions below!