The best gaming PC 2024: UK builds at the cheapest prices

Quick Menu

The best gaming PCs are becoming more and more tempting if you've always played on a console. Exclusivity is dying out, first-party games are lacking, and on top of that, "pro" models that'll demand more money from you will only bring you closer to what you could have on a PC anyway. Whether you're looking to make the full switch to desktop or get a dual setup going, the PCs we recommend below could make a world of difference for you. 

Whether you're looking for the latest and greatest Alienware gaming PC, or you're a seasoned pro looking for something to modify as you go, we'd just recommend that you think about futureproofing if you invest a large sum in a gaming PC. There are loads of viable GPUs and CPUs out there just now, and there's never been so many options for DDR5-compatible parts. More than that, PCIe Gen 5 SSDs are emerging, and while you might not need their lighting-quick speeds just yet, it might be worth thinking about compatibility if you don't want to buy again further down the line.

Just keep in mind that the best graphics cards still aren't the cheapest to buy separately, so getting them in a prebuilt gaming PC can actually be surprisingly good value. Of course, there is the option to assemble newer components and build your own gaming PC from scratch. While there are definitely benefits to doing this, we'd recommend a prebuilt rig for folks who don't have the time and know-how to build. If you're looking for your first rig, a prebuild can definitely save you a lot of bother.

The Quick List

The best gaming PC overall

The best gaming PC overall

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel Core i9
GPU: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
RAM: 32GB (Up to 64GB)
Storage: 2TB SSD (with space for 2x 2.5 SATA HDD)

Reasons to buy

+
Great power in a small package
+
Keeps temperatures under control
+
BIOS improvements
+
Surprisingly quiet

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey
-
SSD lets the side down
-
Chassis connectivity could be better
-
Teething period freezes

The Acer Predator Orion X is one of the most innovative, powerful, and compact PCs we've had the pleasure of testing. This is a small form factor build, but one that acts nothing like an ITX build at all. 

Contrary to larger Orion 7000 gaming PCs, the Orion X is remarkably quiet thanks to an AIO cooler that uses a mix of water and air to keep its innards cool. It works surprisingly well, and it would need to since the configuration we tested comprises an unlocked 13th Gen i9 processor and an RTX 4080 GPU. Despite these being some of the beefiest components you can buy for PCs at the moment, they're housed in a chassis which is as quirky and inventive as ITX cases get. There are three "zones" in the chassis to direct you to different components of the rig, and while this is excellent for cramming big components inside it, it may prove quite difficult to operate on if you want to upgrade it later on. 

Regardless, in general use, gaming, and content creation, this PC performed brilliantly and outshone the larger Orion 7000 in terms of quality of life and value. This is cheaper and arguably performs better thanks to that AOI cooler. There's next to no noise pollution and it won't take up all the space underneath your desk. For us, it doesn't get much better than this in the prebuilt gaming PC world. 

The best Alienware gaming PC

The best Alienware gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel Core i9
GPU: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
RAM: Up to 64GB
Storage: Up to 4TB SSD + 2TB HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible RTX 4090 performance
+
Effective RGB lighting
+
Plenty of ports List

Reasons to avoid

-
Not so upgradable
-
Questionable case choices
-
Makes strange sounds

The Alienware Aurora R15 is an out-of-this-world powerhouse PC with exceptional gaming capabilities, and it builds upon what made the R13 and R14 so great. While it’s not a perfect system, and Dell’s dedication to using proprietary parts persists, the company’s rig is both reliable and sets itself apart with unique aesthetics. If you’re not into odd-looking PC cases, this system might not be for you, but you’ll want to read on if you’re looking for an eccentric boutique build. 

Armed with a monstrous RTX 4090, an Intel Core i9-13600K, and 32GB DDR5 RAM, the Alienware Aurora R15 we reviewed didn't remotely skimp on specs. During benchmarking, the rig made short work of demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Total War: Warhammer 3, and it consistently rolled natural 20s while powering numerous Baldur’s Gate 3 settings. We’re taking frame rates that are consistently within the realm of triple digits, and even ray tracing can’t thwart this cosmic system’s ability to boost fps.

As much as we loved the R15’s cutting-edge performance, there are a few quirks to consider before investing in this interstellar system. For starters, its shell won’t be for everyone, as it uses a lot of plastic to give it an unconventional look. As a result, you’ll sometimes hear some weird noises occur as temperatures rise and drop, which is eerie if you’re expecting standard fan acoustics. 

However, one of the R15’s biggest pitfalls is upgradability, as its motherboard isn’t standard. In fact, like a lot of ITX (small form factor) motherboards, it only features two DIMM slots, so your options are limited when it comes to RAM. There’s also not much room to work with inside the case, as Dell has carefully positioned its liquid cooling system amongst other tight-fitting parts. That aside, if you’re more likely to just buy an entirely different rig in the future rather than tinker with one, then the R15 will offer incredible performance long into the future.

Read more: Alienware Aurora R15 review

Alienware Aurora R12

The best value Alienware gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel Core i9 (11th gens)
GPU: Up to RTX 3090
RAM: Up to 128GB
Storage: Up to 2TB SSD + 2TB HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Eye-catching design
+
Liquid-cooled GPUs available
+
Support for current-gen GPUs

Reasons to avoid

-
Can get expensive

Our favorite configuration:

Image

Alienware Aurora R12 | GTX 1660 Ti | Intel Core i5-11400F at Currys
In terms of Full HD gaming, this Alienware Aurora R12 configuration has all the power you need at an incredible price. There's enough under the hood to push today's games in 1080p thanks to the prowess of the wallet-friendly 1660 Ti.

Alienware's Aurora R12 is leading Alienware into the next generation of gaming; as well as 10th-gen Intel processors and the possibility of liquid-cooled graphics cards, it offers a variety of builds to suit most budgets. If you want to get into PC gaming for the first time or would like to upgrade your existing setup - perhaps in preparation for ray tracing games - this is the most cost-effective way to do it.

Ranging from affordable starter rigs to pimped-out super PCs, the Aurora R12 strikes a good balance of choice. Better still, these desktops can be easily opened and upgraded with different parts as and when you see fit. Want more RAM or a larger SSD? No problem. Because the power supply unit swings out on a metal arm, you get more room to fiddle with the PC's insides.

The R12's design is of a similar form for the last few years and is attractive enough - and unique if nothing else. Although it sticks with the distinctive case and scooped-out front of its predecessor, this update enriches that formula with new lighting around the central strip in some cases. It's an addition that turns heads and makes the design feel even more futuristic than it did before.

The best lower-end gaming PC

3. HP Omen 25L

The best for lower-end configurations

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel Core i5-13400F / AMD Ryzen 7 5600G
GPU: Up to RTX 3060 Ti
Memory: 16GB of DDR5
Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Affordably priced configurations
+
Benefits from stellar build quality 
+
Easy enough to upgrade

Reasons to avoid

-
Can get hot under stress
-
Limited case room for larger component upgrades
-
Most configs use older-gen components
  • Our favorite configuration: 
HP Omen 25L | RTX 3060 | AMD Ryzen 5 5600G at Amazon

HP Omen 25L | RTX 3060 | AMD Ryzen 5 5600G at Amazon
This HP Omen 25L has everything you need to experience 1080p and 1440P in the latest games without breaking a sweat. As far as budget builds go, you're benefitting from the manufacturer's build quality, and you get some excellent storage for your money here too.

The HP Omen 25L line is the most accessible price-wise of the entire Omen division, which currently features support for the latest Intel 12th gen and Ryzen 5000 CPUs. At around the $1,200 mark, and below, you can expect high performance for both 1080p and 1440p all built inside a sleek chassis. What's more, the HP Omen 25L is easy to upgrade making it easy to swap out parts, such as graphics cards and RAM in the near future. 

The one negative that has circulated around the HP Omen 25L, and likely implemented as a cost-saving measure, are small issues with airflow due to the chassis' small size. This could be down to the fact that the Omen 25L lacks the same front intake fan of the larger Omen 30L. If you're aiming for modest components here then thermal throttling is unlikely to be a problem, but it's something to keep in mind all the same. 

The best value gaming PC

4. Lenovo Legion Tower 5i

The best value gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5-12400F
GPU: RTX 3060
RAM: 16GB DDR5-4800MHz
Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Utilizes the latest 12th gen Intel CPUs
+
Comes shipped with Gen 4 NVMe SSD
+
DDR5 RAM

Reasons to avoid

-
Difficult to upgrade due to small size
-
Hard to find at the moment

Our favorite configuration:

Image

Lenovo Legion Tower T5i | Ryzen 7 5800 | RX 6800XT
Priced at £1,049, the Lenovo Legion Tower T5i in the most basic configuration is an absolute all-star for both 1080p and 1440p gaming with ray tracing enabled. Thanks to the utilization of PCIe 5.0 architecture, there's nothing slowing this machine down, meaning that this model is ready for the latest games with no compromises.

The Lenovo Legion Tower 5i is our top pick for the best gaming PC that you can get your hands on for under £1,100, and this is because of a few key factors. Firstly, the latest line of machines are running not only RTX 30-series GPUs, but also 12th gen Intel Core CPUs, and DDR5 RAM. It's rare to find competitively priced machines utilizing the latest in PCIe 5.0 technology, and yet such Lenovo Legion Tower 5i configurations are starting from just £1,049.99.

You're keeping the price competitive here by running a modest Ampere video card instead of the likes of RTX 3070 and RTX 3080, meaning that 4K isn't really on the cards. However, for the money, you're getting a very powerful machine that's native video output should be more than sharp enough for anything you throw at it even in QHD. 

Perhaps the greatest strength of these machines is the increased bandwidth afforded by PCIe 5.0 architecture, as even the cheapest Lenovo Legion Tower 5i models are running 16GB DDR5 clocked at 4800MHz. This means that you can be sure that your gaming PC is ready for the latest games as there's nothing to bottleneck your system, especially if you're gaming in 1080p and 1440p. 

The best mid-range gaming PC

The best mid-range gaming PC

Specifications

CPU:: Up to Intel Core i9 10th-gen
GPU: : Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
Memory:: Up to 64GB
Storage: : Up to 2TB SSD + 2TB HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Available in many different configurations
+
Reasonable pricing for a pre-built system
+
Fantastic aesthetic 

Reasons to avoid

-
Somewhat messy interior
-
Harder to find with newer gen components
-
No DDR5

Our favorite configuration: 

Image

HP Omen 30L| RTX 3080 | AMD Ryzen 7 5800X at Amazon
This high-end HP Omen 30L build features everything you need to push games to their limits in 4K. Similarly, should you want high frame rates in 1440p, this unit will do that well thanks to the RTX 3080 at the heart.

If you’re not out to build your own PC (or you’ve had no luck with the current GPU lottery) but still want a powerhouse desktop for some next-gen gaming, check out HP’s Omen 30L line. Custom-built inside a slick Omen chassis, they offer solid hardware with plenty of customization options and the potential for easy future upgrades.

It’s hard to deny that this is an exceptional pre-built gaming system

HP Omen 30L

The HP Omen 30L we’ve reviewed comes with some slick, understated RGB lighting, as well as a 10th-gen Intel processor and RTX 2080 Super GPU. This version costs $1,999 (with a year’s warranty included), but pricier models are available with RTX 3000-series cards (though be prepared for all kinds of stock fluctuation given it is the year 2022). The case has two tempered glass panels to showcase your system, with easy access for adjustments and excellent ventilation to prevent overheating.

While the interior isn’t the tidiest we’ve seen amongst the best gaming PCs, the performance speaks for itself. The RTX 2080 Super GPU is still a beast at 1440p and respectable in 4K, too, with its liquid-cooled processor never getting too hot even playing the most demanding titles. HP has proven that it is taking pre-built machines seriously, so the Omen 30L gets a thumbs up from us.

The best handheld gaming PC

The best handheld gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme
GPU: RDNA 3
RAM: 16GB LPDDR5
Storage: 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD
Display: 7-inch IPS 120Hz 1080p
Battery: 40WHrs
Operating system: Windows 11
Size: 28.0 x 11.1 x 2.12cm
Weight: 608g

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent design and comfortable form factor
+
Crisp, vivid 1080p display
+
Powerful dual front firing speakers

Reasons to avoid

-
Thumbsticks and back buttons feel less polished
-
Windows OS holds it back
-
Framerates suffer in 1080p and outside of Turbo preset

The Asus ROG Ally is one of the best gaming handheld options out there for PC players, and while we love the Steam Deck, this rival packs more of a punch. Not only can it run more games since its a Windows 11 device, but its surprisingly capable at 1080p. 

Equipped with a 7-inch 120Hz 1080p display, the ROG Ally provides visuals above and beyond the handheld norm. For context, the Steam Deck's built in display sticks to a lower 800p resolution, and the Nintendo Switch is still rocking a 720p screen (albeit an OLED one). Just like its rivals, it's kitted out with integrated controls, but you can also connect it to the best Steam Deck dock and turn it into a mini low spec desktop rig.

The ROG Ally doesn't look drastically different from other handheld PCs out there, but it certainly looks like an Asus product. Its white shell and RGB accents underneath its thumb sticks stand out compared to Valve's subtle handheld, not to mention its screen is 16:9 rather than 16:10. It's definitely a great looking handheld, and it's pretty comfortable to hold too thanks to its ergonomic shape and weight distribution.

Admittedly, the ROG Ally isn't the fastest handheld PC in the west, as that accolade currently belongs to the more expensive Ayaneo 2S. However, it's still a mean machine, and can run games like Cyberpunk 2077 at 60fps when using the same resolution and settings as the Steam Deck. If you fancy it, you can dial things up to 1080p to take advantage of the handheld's screen, but it fully depends on whether you prefer higher fps or fidelity.

Ultimately, the Asus ROG Ally is a portable for players looking for a proper on the go PC experience. That comes with some caveats, as Windows is less optimised for portable play than SteamOS. Nevertheless, if you want all the functionality of your rig within your palms, you'll want to consider this heroic handheld.

Read more: Asus ROG Ally review

The best high-end gaming PC

The best high-end gaming PC

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel Core i9-13900KF
GPU: Up to Nvidia RTX 4090
RAM: Up to 64GB DDR5
Storage: Up to 2x 1TB NVMe Gen 4 SSDs; 2x 3TB HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Top-drawer new-gen components
+
RTX 4090 does a lot of heavy lifting
+
Beautiful design

Reasons to avoid

-
No XMP compatibility
-
Disgustingly loud fans
-
CPU runs hot
-
Pricey

Our favorite configuration: 

Acer Predator Orion 7000 | i9-13900KF | RTX 4090 at Currys

Acer Predator Orion 7000 | i9-13900KF | RTX 4090 at Currys
This is the same configuration as our review unit so we can personally vouch for the prowess on display here. While pricey, there's nothing this machine cannot do, and it's future-proofed for years to come thanks to the 13th gen i9 with PCIe 5.0 support. 

The Acer Predator Orion 7000 has been one of the top dogs of the prebuilt gaming PC market for a while now. With the Orion 7000 of 2022 releasing just before the launch of new-gen CPUs, GPUs, and more widespread adoption of DDR5 RAM, Acer made the wise decision to refresh its flagship gaming PC with a new motherboard that could handle the power of these 13th Gen Intel processors.

Now fully compatible with 13th Gen CPUs, DDR5, and wielding the Lovelace power of Nvidia's RTX 40 series, Acer has futureproofed its flagship's innards for the new generation. 

There's barely any game you could throw at the refreshed Acer Predator Orion 7000 that it won't crunch up and spit out with ease.

Acer Predator Orion 7000 (2023) review

The version we tested was crammed full of power, housing an unlocked 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900KF CPU and an RTX 4090. Although that rig, in particular, is pricey, and probably one of the most powerful gaming PCs you can get your hands on at the moment, the Predator Orion 7000 can be found in more configurations than ever before, and we're sure as time goes on we'll begin to see a wider spread of builds up and down the price range.

Should you buy one of the priciest big-name pre-built gaming PCs on the market? On paper, and when it comes to in-game performances, the answer's a pretty simple yes. There's barely any game you could throw at the refreshed Acer Predator Orion 7000 that it won't crunch up and spit out with ease. If you have the money for it, this is a cracking PC to play games on.

Having said that, if you're going to buy this monster of a gaming PC, I would strongly, strongly urge you to take a look at the best PC headset for gaming, because by golly are you going to need it. The fans in this rig seem louder than they've ever been, and in all honesty, don't do a great job of keeping the components cool. 13th Gen CPUs are known to run hot, but no one should have to suffer this much noise pollution for temperatures that are still this high.

Finally, I'm a bit baffled by the fact that these newly refreshed motherboards don't have any XMP compatibility. On the other hand, we did recently review the new Orion X and see improvements to the Predator Sense BIOS, so if those improvements have rolled out to other Acer PCs, you could be in luck. 

Best gaming PCs - frequently asked questions

What is the price of a good gaming PC?

Generally, a good gaming PC can start as cheap as £800-£1,000 depending on what you want to do with it. If you're after one of the best gaming PCs on a budget for 1080p, then it's entirely possible to get a rig in this price range. Things become more complicated when you add 1440p and 4K gaming into the mix, generally hanging around the £1,500 mark depending on the manufacturer. 

What is the best PC for gaming?

There are many great gaming PC brands out there in the prebuilt space including Asus, HP, Corsair, and Alienware. In terms of the best of them, that is going to depend on the end-user, as many different PC gamers have different requirements. We've found that Acer and HP make the best mid-range models, with Alienware and Corsair cornering the high-end market. 

Is it cheaper to build your own computer?

A couple of years ago it genuinely was cheaper to build your own system with your chosen components instead of opting for a premium prebuild. However, pre-built machines may be the cheaper option in the coming weeks, now that a new 40 series of GPUs is being released. As new machines with those 40 series graphics cards are assembled by manufacturers, it's much more likely that our current picks for best gaming PC that house 30 series cards will drop down in price.

How we test gaming PCs

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

While we've outlined how we test gaming PCs in our full hardware policy, it's worth giving the rundown here, too. We treat each gaming PC both as the sum of its parts and the unit together. This means that we're analyzing specific components, such as the speed of the processor, the prowess of the graphics card, the effectiveness of the RAM, and the sequential performance of the storage drives. 

Any gaming PC that we have in for the review period generally replaces that of our daily driver unit, meaning that we test them thoroughly, sure, but also use them as PC gamers ourselves. This means that benchmarking is conducted as are regular play sessions, meaning you get a thorough, but also a faithful write-up of models we've had personal experience with.   

For our personal testing experience with each machine be sure to check out the review where we summarise exactly how we used to the rig at the bottom of the page. This can be helpful to understand how each machine will work with certain games you might be hoping to run. 


Gear up for the best gaming PCs with the best gaming keyboards, best gaming monitors, and best gaming mouse. Plus, if you're wondering whether you should overclock your PC for gaming, we're here to help.  

And for audio upgrades, check out the best computer speakers and best gaming headsets going.

Duncan Robertson
Hardware Editor

Ever since playing Journey at the age of 15, I’ve been desperate to cover video games for a living. After graduating from Edinburgh Napier University with a degree in Journalism, I contributed to the Scottish Games Network and completed an Editorial Internship over at Expert Reviews. Besides that, I’ve been managing my own YouTube channel and Podcast for the last 7 years. It’s been a long road, but all that experience somehow landed me a dream job covering gaming hardware. I’m a self-confessing PlayStation fanboy, but my experience covering the larger business and developer side of the whole industry has given me a strong knowledge of all platforms. When I’m not testing out every peripheral I can get my hands on, I’m probably either playing tennis or dissecting game design for an upcoming video essay. Now, I better stop myself here before I get talking about my favourite games like HUNT: Showdown, Dishonored, and Towerfall Ascension. Location: UK Remote

With contributions from