Gaming PC Review

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Why Buy a Gaming PC?

When it comes to total triumph or crushing defeat, don’t let a subpar computer slow you down. A top gaming PC will increase your chance of survival. Unlike your clunky everyday computer, gaming desktops are specially engineered for multimedia entertainment, such as PC games or MMOs. Good gaming computers have high-end graphics cards, fast processors and liquid cooling systems to keep pace with your competitive inner gamer.

The best gaming computers, such as the XOTIC Executioner, iBuyPower Fire and the iBuyPower Mage outplay and outlast regular desktops. For an extra edge, get caught up in the world of PC gaming by reading our latest gaming PC articles. Before purchasing a prebuilt budget gaming PC or customizing a high-end gaming PC, use our reviews and comparisons to make an informed decision about what components to upgrade and what you can live without.

Gaming PCs: What to Look For

Made-to-order gaming units are the way to go if you’re interested in the ultimate gaming experience. Many gaming computers come already equipped with the finest technologies, but upgrading is the best option to ensure you get exactly what you want. Consider the following criteria before your build your dream gaming machine.

Graphics & Performance
Many of today’s hottest games incorporate 3D imagery, so you'll want to upgrade your graphics card to take full advantage of the mind-blowing scenery. Stream processors, also known as CUDA cores, are what graphics cards use to process images quickly and efficiently. The more stream processors a graphics card has, the better it is. Vendor-provided upgrades are also a very important component of purchasing a gamer computer. These customizations – which can include everything from graphics cards to speakers – let you tailor a gaming system to your personal use and preferences, and to the size of your wallet.

Processor & Storage
The best gaming computers start with a good processor. Whether you prefer AMD or Intel, look for a processor of at least 3.5 gigahertz, such as the Intel i7-4770K or the AMD FX-9590. The faster your processor, the less lag you’ll have to deal with and the more you can multitask. When it comes to storage space, more is always better. Anything larger than 1TB will provide enough room for all those game files and digital movies. If you’re looking for a less expensive option, buy a standard hard disk drive. For a faster, more reliable drive, try a solid-state drive. Although solid-state drives are more expensive, they don’t have moving parts, making them longer-lasting and more durable. Most gamer PCs even have room for multiple drives, so mix and match or add as much hard drive space as you need.

Design
The design of good gamer PCs can be both aesthetically pleasing and powerfully efficient. Start with the size: Determine whether a full-size, mid-size, slim or mini system is best for you. If you want to upgrade your machine, choose a larger chassis, but if you have limited space on your desk, look for a smaller body. Many of the best gaming PCs also have clear panels and inside lighting for showing off components to friends and competitors.

Liquid-cooled systems are the most efficient way to keep your processor from overheating, so look into a liquid-cooled system if you plan on extensive gameplay for hours on end. A good system needs enough wattage to fuel the parts in your gaming system, so look for a power supply with more than 600 watts. Plenty of USB ports will allow you to plug in mice, a keyboard and other multimedia devices, so look for more than four, and take note of how many offer USB 3.0 support.

Help & Support
If you’re looking for the best gaming desktop, you’ll also want to be looking for the best customer support. An easy-to-contact manufacturer is more likely to assist you with problems, so look for email support, phone numbers and a live chat feature on the website. If driver downloads are available on the manufacturer’s website, you can always keep your system up to date. User forums and FAQs are also helpful when you need a quick solution or want to ask a question from others who have the same gaming system. Another very important consideration is the warranty available on your gaming PC. A multi-year warranty is common, but choosing a gamer PC with three to six years of coverage will protect against any defects or damage until you buy your next gaming machine.

You might be tempted to buy an inexpensive gaming PC, but making a few upgrades will save you time, stress and money in the long run. Plus, a gaming PC has a much higher performance ceiling than gaming laptops, thanks to their larger size. Be on the lookout for fast processors, good graphics cards and large hard drives to ensure you get the most from your top gaming system.

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Electronics » Computers » Gaming PC
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
XOTIC Executioner iBuyPower Fire iBuyPower Gamer Mage Cyberpower Gamer Dragon iBuyPower Intel B85 XOTIC Tytan XOTIC Recon Cyberpower Gamer Xtreme iBuyPower Paladin iBuyPower Pro Series
XOTIC Executioner iBuyPower Fire iBuyPower Gamer Mage Cyberpower Gamer Dragon iBuyPower Intel B85 XOTIC Tytan XOTIC Recon Cyberpower Gamer Xtreme iBuyPower Paladin iBuyPower Pro Series
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Lowest Price
          
Ratings
10.00
9.90
9.78
9.65
9.65
9.63
9.45
9.32
9.23
8.98
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
9.38
10.00
10.00
9.38
9.38
9.38
10.00
9.38
10.00
9.38
10.00
9.38
10.00
10.00
10.00
8.13
10.00
10.00
8.13
10.00
10.00
10.00
8.13
9.38
10.00
8.13
10.00
9.38
10.00
8.13
10.00
8.13
10.00
 
Graphics & Performance
Base Graphics Card AMD Radeon HD 7850 AMD Radeon HD 7750 AMD Radeon HD 7730 NVIDIA GeForce GT 610 NVIDIA GeForce GT 610 AMD Radeon HD 7850 AMD Radeon HD 7750 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 NVIDIA GeForce GT 610 NVIDIA Quadro K600
Graphics Card Upgradeable to... NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 AMD Radeon HD 7970 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 AMD Radeon HD 7990 AMD Radeon HD 7950 NVIDIA Quadro K4000
Graphics Card Memory (GB) 1-6 1-6 1-3 1-6 1-6 1-6 1-6 1-6 1-3 2-6
Stream Processors 2304 2048 2304 2688 2688 2304 1536 4096 1792 768
Customizable Machine
Sound Card Upgrade Option
Processor & Storage
Base Motherboard ASUS M5A97 ASUS M5A97 ASUS M5A97 Gigabyte GA- 970A- DS3P MSI D85 G41 ASUS M5A97 ASUS M5A97 MSI Z87- G41 Gigabyte GA- Z87- HD3 Gigabyte GA- Z87- HD3
Motherboard Upgradeable to... Gigabyte GA- 990FXA Gigabyte GA- 990FXA- UD7 ASUS Crosshair V Formula ASUS Crosshair V Formula Z ASUS B85- PLUS ASUS P9X79 PRO ASUS Crosshair V Formula   ASRock X79 Extreme 11 ASRock X79 Extreme11
Form Factor ATX ATX ATX ATX ATX ATX ATX ATX ATX ATX
Base Processor AMD FX-8350 AMD FX-8350 AMD A6-6400K AMD FX-8320 Intel i3-4130 AMD FX-8350 AMD FX-4300 Intel i5-4670K Intel i5-4670K Intel i5-4670
Processor Upgradeable to... Intel i7-4770K AMD FX-9590 AMD FX-9590 AMD FX-8350 Intel i7-4770K Intel i7-4930K Intel i7-4770K Intel i7-4770K Intel i7-4960X Inte i7-4960X
Processor Speed (CPU) GHz) 3.2-4.4 3.1-4.7 3.1-4.7 3.5-4 3.1-3.6 3.1-3.8 3.1-3.8 3.4-3.5 3.4-3.7 3.0-3.7
RAM (GB) 8-32 8-32 8-32 4-32 8-32 8-32 8-64 8-32 8-32 8-32
Primary Hard Disk Drive 500GB-4TB 500GB-4TB 500GB-4TB 500GB-2TB 500GB-4TB 500GB-4TB 500GB-4TB 500GB-2TB 500GB-4TB 500GB-4TB
Primary Solid-State Drive 120-960GB 64-512GB 64-512GB 64-512GB 64-512GB 120-960GB 120-960GB 64-512GB 64-512GB 64-512GB
Total Hard Drives 3 2 2 3 2 3 3 2 2 2
Design
Tower Size Mid Mid Mid Mid Mid Full Mid Mid Mid Mid
Fan Cooling
Liquid Cooling Upgrade
Dimensions (HxDxW) (in) 18.9 x 20.5 x 9.1 20.3 x 20.9 x 8.5 20.3 x 20.9 x 8.5 16.8 x 19.6 x 7.6 18.1 x 20.6 x 8.1 24 x 24 x 9 20 x 23.3 x 10.4 19.1 x 16.8 x 8 17.3 x 19.5 x 7.7 19.5 x 20.9 x 8.7
Power Supply (Watts) 600-1500 300-1600 600-1600 600-1600 300-1600 600-1500 600-1500 430-1600 300-1600 430-1000
USB 2.0 8 7 4 9 3 12 10 11 2 4
USB 3.0 2 3 4 3 3 2 3 2 6 6
HDMI Port
DVI Port
Memory Card Reader
Standard Optical Drive DVD DVD DVD DVD DVD DVD Blu-ray DVD DVD DVD
Optical Drive Upgrade Blu-ray Blu-ray Blu-ray Blu-ray Blu-ray Blu-ray Blu-ray Blu-ray Blu-ray Blu-ray
Dual Optical Drives
Chassis Options
 
Case Lighting Options
 
Help & Support
Warranty 3-6 Years 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years 3-6 Years 3-6 Years 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years
Email Support
Phone Support
Driver Downloads
User Forums
FAQs
Live Chat
Operating Systems
Windows 8
Windows 7
Linux