Best gaming PC 2018 | PCGamesN

Best gaming PC 2018

Best Gaming PC

Woah, slow down. Before you can build a gaming PC you need to hand-pick the finest PC components for the ultimate gaming prowess. No matter whether your bank account is overflowing or you want something a little more modest, we've got you covered.

You’ll probably want a new screen to pair with your new PC too, so here’s our pick of the best gaming monitor around today.

Part of the beauty of putting together your own gaming rig is that you can choose each of the individual components yourself, whether that’s based on pricing or manufacturer preference. That’s because building the best gaming PC is a very personal thing. Some people might not raise a sculpted eyebrow at spending four grand on a gaming PC, while most of us would struggle to scrape together $600 for a prospective build.

But all are welcome in the world of PC gaming, and there are brilliant gaming rigs you can create no matter whether you’re an oligarch or ruthlessly raiding every piggy bank you’ve ever owned to afford a new machine.

Unfortunately, building a gaming PC on a budget is tougher than ever right now. Don't be disheartened, however. While graphics card prices are high, you can still find good deals for all the required components you want if you are prepared to devote some time to snooping around stores and being smart with your shopping.

We’ve split our builds up into three tiers, to give you an idea of what’s possible, and we’ve also added our pick of the best monitors and peripherals around right now.

Best gaming PC | Best high-end gaming PC | Best budget PC

 

Best gaming PC

AMD Ryzen 5 1600

CPU - AMD Ryzen 5 1600
Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Price: $176 | £140

The six-core Ryzen is a great-value chip, able to deliver impressive gaming chops and serious computational power too.

 

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Gigabyte AB350

Motherboard - Gigabyte AB350 Gaming
Chipset: B350 | Socket: AM4 | Price: $95 | £76

Gigabyte’s powerful B350 board is one of our favourite AM4 motherboards, and not just because of its low price.

 

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ADATA DDR4

Memory - 8GB ADATA XPG DDR4
Kit: 2 | Speed: 2,400MHz | Price: $105 | £104

AMD’s Ryzen loves speedy memory, and for the money the ADATA kit delivers a high frequency and a dual-channel setup.

 

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Samsung 850 EVO SSD

SSD - 250GB Samsung 850 EVO
Socket: SATA | Memory: MLC | Price: $111 | £77

Sure, the 850 EVO is getting on a bit now, but given the limitations of the SATA interface they’re still mighty quick SSDs.

 

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1TB Seagate

HDD - 1TB Seagate Barracuda
Socket: SATA | RPM: 7,200 | Price: $44 | £40

That 250GB SSD is going to necessitate some game library management, so you’ll want a little extra data storage too.

 

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GeForce GTX 1060

Graphics card - Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB
GPU: GP106 | Cores: 1,280 | Price: $300 | £265

This is where the bulk of your budget is going to be spent, because this is the component which will net you the most gaming grunt.

 

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EVGA 550 B3

Power supply - EVGA 550 B3
Capacity: 550W | Modular: Yes | Price: $69 | £71

This 550W PSU is reliable, relatively efficient, and won’t break the bank. It’s also fully modular for easy building.

 

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Corsair Carbide 100R

Chassis - Corsair Carbide 100R
Window: Yes | Support: ATX | Price: $50 | £42

Corsair make some gorgeous PC cases, but they also make very affordable ones too. This is a simple, no frills chassis, but no less solid for it.

 

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Windows 10 Home

OS - Windows 10 Home 64
Price: $27 | £20

Unless you want to sacrifice half your Steam library to the vagaries of Linux support, you’re going to need an OS. You can purchase license keys very cheaply, however.

Total: $977 | £835

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AMD Ryzen Threadripper release date

 Best high-end gaming PC

AMD Ryzen Threadripper

CPU - AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X
Cores: 16 | Threads: 32 | Price $879 | £685

If you're going big with your gaming rig, and are looking for some computational power for your other hobbies, it's got to be Threadripper.

 

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Enermax LIQTECH

CPU cooler - Enermax LIQTECH TR4
Size: 240mm | Fans: 2x | Price: $132 | £140

Enermax have redesigned the cooler block for this Threadripper-specific model to ensure 100% coverage for the enormous AMD CPU.

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Asus STRIX X399

Motherboard - Asus STRIX X399-E Gaming
Chipset: X399 | Socket: TR4 | Price: $367 | £350

Of course you could spend almost the cost of your CPU again on the top-end ROG X399 board, but the STRIX version has almost all the capabilities without breaking the bank.

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GSkill TridentZ

Memory - 32GB G.Skill Trident Z
Kit: 4x 8GB | Speed: 3,200MHz | Price: $552 | £500

You absolutely have to have decent memory to fill out your Threadripper rig or you’ll miss out on the performance of AMD’s high-end CPU proposition.

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Samsung 960 Pro

SSD - 512GB Samsung 960 Pro
Socket: M.2 | Memory: MLC | Price: $325 | £260

The Samsung 960 Pro is a stunning NVMe drive which packs performance, capacity, and reliability, into a tiny form factor.

 

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Samsung 850 EVO SSD

SSD - 1TB Samsung 860 EVO
Socket: SATA | Memory: MLC | Price: $275 | £248

Samsung’s older SATA tech is still a great option for some capacious data storage with a little more nip than a creaky ol’ spinning platter hard drive.

 

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Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti

Graphics card - Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti
GPU - GP102 | Cores: 3,584 | Price: $946 | £815

If you push the price up by another $3,000 then you could always by a Titan V, but if you’re not doing a lot of AI work then the mighty GTX 1080 Ti is all the GPU you need right now.

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EVGA 1000 T2

Power supply - EVGA SuperNOVA P2
Capacity: 1KW | Modular: Yes | Price: $305 | £208

A 1KW PSU is probably still overkill for this setup, but this over-specced unit gives you a lot of headroom and a slight boost to efficiency too.

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Corsair Graphite 780T

Chassis - Corsair Graphite 780T
Window: Yes | Support: ATX| Price: $160 | £183

The old 780T is years old now, but still one of the most beautiful, large-scale, PC chassis around. And in white it has that Portal sentry turret aesthetic too.

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Windows 10 Home

OS - Windows 10 Home 64
Price: $27 | £20

Unless you want to sacrifice half your Steam library to the vagaries of Linux support, you’re going to need an OS. You can purchase license keys very cheaply, however.

Total: $3,968 | £3,409

 Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti performance

Best budget gaming PC

AMD Ryzen 3 1300X

CPU - AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
Cores: 4 | Threads: 4 | Price: $123 | £94

Without the SMT enabled on the Ryzen 3 range you don’t get the extra thread-count, but a four-core design is still plenty for most modern gaming needs. You could, however, spend a touch more on an eight-threaded Ryzen 5 1400.

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ASRock AB350M

Motherboard - ASRock AB350M
Chipset: B350 | Socket: AM4 | Price: $81 | £59

The smaller-scale ASRock B350 board is great-value option, and with that diminutive size you’re only really sacrificing the needless potential for multi-GPU support.

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HyperX Fury

Memory - 8GB HyperX Fury
Kit: 2x 4GB | Speed: 2,133MHz | Price: $95 | £96

It’s still important to bag a memory setup with a pair of sticks to take advantage of the dual-channel AM4 board. Too many budget builds go for a single RAM module.

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1TB Seagate

HDD - 1TB Seagate Barracuda
Socket: SATA | RPM: 7,200 | Price: $44 | £40

At this level it’s tough to finance the installation of an SSD with enough space to act as a boot drive and have enough space for games, so a HDD is a necessary evil to start with.

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GTX 1050 Ti

Graphics card - Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti
GPU: GP107 | Cores: 768 | Price: $165 | £159

The budget GPU market is a tough one, but still the GTX 1050 Ti is your best bet for bargain gamers. It will deliver great 1080p performance with the right graphical tweaks.

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EVGA 450 BT

Power supply - EVGA 450 BT
Capacity: 450W | Modular: No | Price: $39 | £37

This 450W PSU gives you room to grow in terms of both CPU and GPU, but you’re necessarily sacrificing the modular design to hit this lower pricepoint.

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Corsair Carbide 100R

Chassis - Corsair Carbide 100R
Windowed: Yes | Support: ATX | Price: $50 | £42

Corsair make some gorgeous PC cases, but they also make very affordable ones too. This is a simple, no frills chassis, but no less solid for it.

 

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Windows 10 Home

OS - Windows 10 Home 64
Price: $27 | £20

Unless you want to sacrifice half your Steam library to the vagaries of Linux support, you’re going to need an OS. You can purchase license keys very cheaply, however. 

 Total: $624 | £547

Gaming PC

And the rest...

So those are our picks for the best components to fill out your PC, but then you need to decide whether you're going to need to make a change to the rest of yur gaming gear too. If you want to change monitor, or your choice of peripherals, these are what we'd have sitting on our desktops.

 

Asus PG279Q

Monitor - Asus ROG Swift PG279Q
Size: 27-inch | Res: 1440p | Price: $742 | £718

This Asus screen is packing in the best gaming panel I've ever seen, and it's calibrated beautifully out-of-the-box too. It might be expensive, but you pay for the best.

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LG 27UD68P

Monitor - LG 27UD68P
Size: 27-inch | Res: 4K | Price: $399 | £397

This LG IPS is one of the best-value 4K screens around and offers a quality panel where the competition might use a TN design.

 

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BenQ GW2270H

Monitor - BenQ GW2270H
Size: 21.5-inch | Res: 1080p | Price: $109 | £89

You don't have to spend a fortune to get a decent monitor for your rig. The VA panel in this bargain BenQ is a great option at this price.

 

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Corsair K70

Keyboard - Corsair K70
Type: Mech switch | Price: $145 | £120

Corsair's brilliant K70 design is still my absolute favourite gaming keyboard of all time. There are lots of different options of K70, but the basic design has yet to be bettered.

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Logitech G900

Mouse - Logitech G900
Sensor: Optical | Price: $110 | £105

The Chaos Spectrum is a stupid name for an outstanding mouse. The battery life is stunning and the wireless connection practically lag-free. The wireless charging of the G903 is great too, but an expensive upgrade.

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HyperX Cloud Alpha

Headset - HyperX Cloud Alpha
Freq. range: 13Hz - 27kHz | Price: $100 | £90

Kingston have improved upon the brilliant original Cloud design in almost every way, and have still retained the relatively reasonable price tag too. Quite simply the best overall gaming headset there is.

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Iluv2raceit Avatar
10
4 Months ago

Prices for graphics cards, SSDs (NVMe, SATA, etc), and DDR4 are ludicrously out of control right now. I will tell every single person, "DO NOT BUILD A NEW PC RIGHT NOW!".

2