Need the best gaming PC for 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 prebuilt gaming 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.
If you’re on the fence of whether or not you should build your own gaming computer, buy a pre-built PC, get a gaming laptop, or go with a console (like a PS4, PS4 Pro, or XBox One), we’ve put together a list of answers to some questions you likely have.
1. What Is the Best Computer for Gaming?
You could easily get by with a $1,000 gaming PC build (or less).
If you want to game on a new 4K monitor, you’re going to need a much better system because of how much more demanding 4K gaming is.
Or, if you want a capable gaming computer that will also serve as a workstation desktop for your profession, you’ll want to alter the type of system you build or buy to accommodate your needs.
So, the bottom line is that, there is no such thing as the single “best” gaming computer. The reality is that everyone has different needs and a different budget. So, the best gaming PC will be one that gives you the performance you need at a price you can afford.
2. Is Building/Buying A Gaming PC Worth It?
If you’re a console gamer that wants to jump into PC gaming, you probably won’t want to start out with an extreme system because there’s no guarantee that you will prefer PC gaming to console gaming. Sometimes console gamers jump into PC gaming because they hear good things about it, only to switch back to console gaming because that’s what all their friends play on. So, that’s another important factor to consider: if you game a lot with your friends, are they PC gamers or console gamers? If they’re all console gamers, it also wouldn’t be a good idea to invest into a high-end system—because you might find out that, regardless of what platform has the better games or graphics, you enjoy playing with your friends above everything else.
There are a lot of perks to getting a high-end gaming PC, though. A gaming PC will not only serve you well for gaming purposes, but it will also double as a personal computer and/or media playback device. And, on average, PC gaming offers more games, better graphics, more customization (via mods), and more potential for higher performance (via better hardware, higher FPS, and higher refresh rate monitors.)
Ultimately, buying a gaming PC won’t be worth it for everyone. But, if you’re a serious gamer, you have a decent budget to spend on a computer, and you want to be able to game with the least restrictions possible, a gaming PC would likely be worth it for you.
3. What Do I Need to Build A Gaming PC in 2019?
- Storage (SSD and/or HDD)
- Power Supply
- Operating System
Along with the core components listed above, you will also need:
- A Phillips screw driver
- The correct cables
- Cable management supplies (like zip-ties)
For the most part, all of the cables you will need to build your system will come with the individual components you purchase. In certain scenarios, though, you may need extra cables. For example, if you’re looking to add a bunch of RGB lighting to your build, you’ll likely need extra cables. If you’re planning on adding multiple SATA storage devices, you might want to order some extra SATA cables just in case your motherboard doesn’t come with enough.
As for cable management, most higher-end PC cases come with velcro straps or zip ties to help you through the process. However, if you want to be on the safe side, you could always pick up an extra pack of zip ties and/or velcro straps to ensure that you have enough help in organizing the cables in your build. (Check out these examples of good cable management for inspiration for your upcoming build.)
Other than those considerations, all you will need to build a PC will be the core components listed above and a Phillips screw driver. If you’re unsure of what parts to get, in the section below we’ve provided five different build templates that you can use as is or modify to your liking.
4. How Do You Build Your Own PC?
5. Should I Get A Gaming Laptop or A Desktop?
The new RTX 2080 laptops, RTX 2070 laptops, and RTX 2060 laptops are all capable of maxing out any games you throw at them.
On the flip side, though, for the same amount of money, you can build a desktop that offers more performance and better cooling.
So, whether or not you should get a laptop or a desktop will come down to how much you value the mobility of a laptop. If you need a mobile system that you can take with you on the go, sacrificing a little bit of performance for the mobility that a laptop provides is probably your best option.
If you need as much performance as possible and you don’t mind opting for a stationary system, then a desktop is the way to go.
6. Which is Better? A Gaming PC, PS4, or XBox One?
For starters, certain games are only available on consoles. Red Dead Redemption 2, MLB The Show, and Spider-Man are all console exclusives. If those are the games you want to primarily play, you probably shouldn’t spend a ton of money to build a high-end gaming PC.
Of course, PC has its own exclusive titles as well (League of Legends, Dota 2, World of Warcraft, etc.) And, of the games that you can play on both the PC and console (Apex Legends, PUBG, Rocket League, Fortnite, etc.), most of them will play better on a PC than they will on a console.
As I mentioned earlier, though, if you love gaming with your friends and they all game on a console, it might not be worth it for you to get a gaming PC. Regardless of the advantages that PC gaming has over console gaming, its always more fun to game with your friends than it is to game alone.
So, again, the reality is that, while PC gaming does offer some advantages over console gaming, there isn’t a right answer to which platform is better for you.
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 eight 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.
This build comes with an Intel Core i7-9700K processor, an RTX 2080 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM. The combination of the RTX 2080 and the i7-9700K CPU will be more than powerful enough to have you maxing out games on a 4K monitor or a 1440P 144Hz monitor.
This system also comes with a 500GB NVME SSD, a 4TB hard drive, and an 850W Platinum power supply. And, while there are a wide option of computer cases that would be able to accommodate this part list, we’ve included the Thermaltake Core X71 for its large size, tempered glass side panel, and its above-average air flow. You can check out our guide on the best full tower cases for more options.
Ultimately, this gaming PC build will be able to handle anything you throw at it; both now and in the years to come.
*If you’re not sure whether to get a laptop or a desktop, you might also want to check out our guide on the Best RTX 2080 Laptops to see what kind of high-end laptop options you have.
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 a VR-ready PC build (Oculus Rift or HTC Vive).
Along with the RTX 2080 graphics card, this build also comes with an Intel Core i7-9700K, a high-end CPU cooler, and a 650W Gold power supply. You will also get a 500GB SSD, a secondary 1TB hard drive, 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 PC build is powerful enough to handle any game on max settings on a 1080P monitor. But, if you are going to go with this build, you’d be better off pairing it with a 1080P 144Hz monitor, a 1440P 144Hz monitor, or a 4K monitor. Because, this system will be overkill for a standard 1080P 60Hz monitor.
And, if you don’t want to build this PC, the pre-built system we’ve linked to below will serve as a nice alternative.
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 i7-9700K in this build 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.
This system also comes with an RTX 2070 video card, 16GB of DDR4 memory, a 500GB SSD, a secondary 1TB hard drive, and a 650W power supply.
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. It has plenty of storage for your needs and it has enough space to allow you to upgrade in the future as well.
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 a VR-ready PC.
For specs, this gaming PC build comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 2600X procesoor, an RTX 2070 graphics card, 16GB of memory, a 256GB SSD, and a secondary 1TB hard drive.
While this system doesn’t quite have the same power that the $2,000 and $1,750 builds listed above have, the combination of parts will still give you a ton of performance right now and well into the future as well.
Here’s the part list for this gaming PC build:
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.
This PC build comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 2600 CPU, an RTX 2060 video card, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 240GB SSD, and a 1TB hard drive.
Overall, this is the perfect gaming PC build for anyone who is looking to max out games on a 1080P 144Hz monitor, or even a higher 1440P resolution monitor, too. Again, this build should be able to handle games at 4K resolution as well. However, for more demanding games, at 4K resolution, you’ll have to turn down some settings in order to maintain a higher framerate.
*If you’re considering a gaming laptop as well as a desktop, check out our guide on the Best RTX 2070 Laptops, as they will offer a high-end gaming experience as well.
If you need help picking out parts for your build, leave your questions below!