PC gamers insist that building your own machine is better. But what if you don't wanna?
Though the thrill of chasing everything you need piece by piece and watching it all come alive like Dr. Frankenstein is the spirit of PC building, some (like me!) work better in reverse. Having everything you need and incrementally upgrading when needed is a roundabout but surefire way of learning the nooks and crannies to this complicated yet rewarding hobby.
As in our guide to gaming mice, any "gaming PC" can also be used for boring work tasks. If you're working from home, which a lot of people are these days, a gaming PC is overkill if all you're going to do is fill in spreadsheets and watch Netflix. But when the workday is done and you want to game on without getting off your seat, that's when you'll be glad to have a true stallion of a computer.
If PC assembly interests you but you're too intimidated to choose the right motherboard or graphics card, purchasing a prebuilt PC may be the best way to go. Also, in times like a pandemic where it might be harder to get exactly what part you need, it's probably wiser to buy pre-made if you're in a hurry to start gaming now.
On Amazon, options are a little scarce, but there's still a handful of choices to help you join your squad in no time. Below, we've got three optimal options within the $1,000 to $2,000 range.
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1. The best gaming PC on Amazon
Omen, an HP brand zeroed in on gamers, has a $2,280 all-in-one package that includes a pretty beefy tower and a 144Hz 24-inch monitor. (See our guide to buying monitors here.)
Inside the tower, a future-proof GeForce RTX 2080 allows you to game at high fidelity while an 8-core, Intel Core i9-9900K processor ensures your computer won't overwork itself. Despite the premium price, you really can't go wrong with HP, and this bundle on Amazon makes it super easy to get the essentials that you need.
2. The cheaper option
At a slightly more affordable price point than the OMEN, CyberpowerPC's "Gamer Supreme" package lives up to the title. A respectable Intel Core i7-9700K powers the machine with an RTX 2700 graphics card. A see-through case allows you to revel in the glory of your machine's RGB lighting, which can enhance the mood of your command center late into the night.
3. Gaming PC power for a cool $1000
For a cool thousand, iBuyPower has a modestly-powered option that one can easily upgrade with time and attention. Inside the slick tower is an Intel Core i7-9700F, 16 gigs of RAM, a one terabyte hard drive, and a 240 gigabyte SSD. The graphics card unfortunately isn't the RTX but the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is still powerful enough to some of the most popular games (albeit investing in the future isn't really in the cards). On the plus side, this PC comes with a keyboard and mouse, so if you've not picked up those yet this takes care of that chore.
Eric's Sick Picks is a weekly column recommending cool gadgets and peripherals in tech, gaming, and culture to improve your lifestyle.