The best gaming PC is one that meets or exceeds your needs, accommodates your level of technical know-how and offers as much future-proofing as possible within your budget. That means the best PC for you might not be the best PC for everyone else, so lets look at this in just a bit more detail - below I'll break down the best gaming PCs we have to offer at CCL for a range of different tasks and hopefully by the end of it we'll have at least one option that fits you like a glove.
A gaming PC is a very personal thing - as indicated by the abbreviation - so you'll find that all the PCs listed below can be customised if there are parts you want to change, upgrade or even downgrade to protect your budget. Want a different case? Do it. Pick the option that makes you go 'ooo'.
Best PCs for Gaming by Budget
Gaming PCs under £1000
Finding the best gaming PC under £1000 means allowing for some concessions, as you're not going to get the best hardware on the market - but you can still put together a very capable gaming PC that'll do plow through most modern game titles for years to come.
HORIZON VECTIS GAMING PC
My first recommendation is the Horizon Vectis - which I'll preface by saying it does actually come in very slightly over the £1,000 budget at time for writing, but only if you're purchasing Windows with the system. No relation to the similar sounding, but differently spelt Stranger Things villain (and this system will perform for much longer than it took for you to binge season 4).
This system combines a 12th-gen Core i5 processor with an RTX 3060 GPU, Kingston FURY 16GB DDR4 RAM and a Samsung 980 500GB NVMe drive, for a very well balanced set of specs for the price. The B660M motherboard also includes an AX WiFi adapter so you have a wireless option if your home isn't already a snake-pit of ethernet cables.
Perfect for 1080p gaming, and in a smaller form-factor with the Montech Sky one Mini case as the default option.
HORIZON NITRO GAMING PC
Want to dial back the price-point further? I hear you - and the Horizon Nitro is a budget gaming PC with an excellently capable Radeon RX 6600 graphics card. With this system we're dropping from the Intel Core i5 to an Intel Core i3, but we're still running 12th-gen architecture and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. The most noticeable concession here is probably the storage, where we lose out on the NVMe drive for a 240GB Kingston SATA SSD - but storage is the simplest upgrade to implement yourself later if desired, and don't forget you can hit customise and change this - if you do, upgrading to the 500GB Samsung 980 NVMe from the previous system should only add around £30 to the total system cost.
Gaming PCs under £2000
With a £2,000 budget you start finding PCs with serious business graphics cards in the RTX midrange, up to RTX 3080. My top pick here at the moment is the Horizon 7 system below:
HORIZON 7 GAMING PC
Comfortably below our budget and powered by a triple-A-thumping RTX 3080 GPU, this machine doesn't mess about. The AMD Ryzen 5700X offers great value for performance and this system supports Gen4 NVMe drives, so naturally comes with a rapid 1TB 7000/5000MB/s read/write speed Samsung 980 PRO perfect for storing your OS and games, while a 2TB Seagate Barracuda HDD does warehouse duty for your files.
There are no shortcuts here - as you'll see in the specs, the RAM is Kingston FURY Beast RGB (3200MHz DDR4) and this Horizon 7 comes with an 80+ Gold 850W power supply, rounding off a very powerful, but great value RTX gaming system.
- Watercooled 3.4GHz AMD Ryzen 7-5700X with 12GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Graphics
- 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD, WiFi
CCL Code: HZN-AMDC0101030000020002000200010002|
Part Number: HZN-AMDC0101030000020002000200010002
Best Gaming PC for Competitive Gamers
When you're playing a game at the highest level, the last thing you need is dropped frames and poor PC performance. While many of the most popular esports titles aren't actually the most demanding games out there, with League of Legends, Valorant, Counter-Strike and so on all having very manageable system demands. That said, if you're planning to play something like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 at the highest level you need a gaming PC capable of tackling the latest and greatest games, so in that case I'd recommend taking a look at my recommendation for AAA gaming instead.
HORIZON 5M GAMING PC
This Intel i5 Horizon 5M gaming PC is a great value option that'll comfortably tackle Valorant at 1080p. or 1440p at high refresh rates. That means it'll also breeze through titles like League of Legends, Counter-Strike and Fortnite. The RTX 3050 might not be top of the GPU tree, but it's no slouch, and definitely offers more than enough power for most competitive titles. If you want a touch more oomph, take a look at the Horizon Vectis, which offers similar spec with a more powerful RTX 3060.
- 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-12400F with 8GB AMD Radeon RX 6600 Graphics
- 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, WiFi
CCL Code: HZN-M-INTB010105|
Part Number: HZN-M-INTB010105
Best Gaming PC for AAA Gaming
Most of us play AAA games, if not habitually, then at least occasionally. While they're not all incredibly demanding games, it's usually with these big titles that we find our graphics cards starting to struggle after a good few years of making their job look easy, so that means future-proofing is a consideration here, along with overall performance.
CHILLBLAST QUASAR GAMING PC
With a 13th-gen Intel i5-13600K processor and GeForce RTX 4070 Ti graphics card, this Chillblast Quasar gaming PC is a well-rounded, high-specification option that should churn through the biggest titles for years to come. We do offer more powerful systems, but this price leaps from here become more significant and this system offers a great balance with a 40-series GPU that's had some bad press, but is actually still a great price vs performance option when lined up against its competitors. To seriously improve from here you'd be shopping for a 4080 or 4090 system, which you're welcome to do so here.
- Watercooled 3.5GHz Intel Core i5-13600K with 12GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Graphics
- 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, WiFi
Best Gaming PC for Younger Gamers
When the order of the day is Minecraft, Roblox and Fortnite with a side of homework, the proposition for a gaming PC is quite different - these games aren't particularly demanding and you'll be OK with just about any modern graphics card - even the onboard graphics you'll find on many 'APU' processors are reasonably capable here, so don't feel like you need to break the bank to get a gaming PC for the kids, even though the temptation might be there to selflessly overspend.
FOR YOUNGER GAMERS: HORIZON NITRO GAMING PC
Horizon Nitro was one of my under £1000 budget picks above, and it stands out as a great choice here - it offers value for its price point and will handle a wide range of games, including all the above popular titles such as Fortnite. There are cheaper gaming PCs available, so if your budget is still stretched then don't worry, you're not at an impasse - you'll be able to play Minecraft, Roblox and Fortnite on the very affordable Horizon Integra also, but might have to make some concessions in terms of how high the graphics settings are, and it won't perform as well if more demanding games are installed later down the line, which is why the Nitro is my first recommendation.
- 3.3GHz Intel Core i3-12100F with 8GB AMD Radeon RX 6600 Graphics
- 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, WiFi
CCL Code: HZN-M-INTB0100050100010000000300000003|
Part Number: HZN-M-INTB0100050100010000000300000003
Best Gaming PC for Streamers
Live-streaming typically involves taking a hit to your in-game FPS, meaning if you want to stream smooth gameplay at a watchable resolution, your PC needs to be a cut above the standard system you'd need just to play the game - so you need to consider the system you need to play everything you want to play, and then dial the spec up another notch to ensure you won't struggle for performance while streaming. The hardware requirements for this are therefore very different if you're streaming your League of Legends plays, than if you were to do the same in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, so keep this in mind.
FOR STREAMING: HORIZON 7 GAMING PC
Combine an NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU with a 13th gen Intel Core i7-13700K and 1TB Samsung 980 PRO NVMe SSD and what do you get? A solid gaming system that'll handle streaming, that's what. This system also has a 2TB Seagate Barracuda HDD that's ideal for storing those large video files on a longer term basis while you game and record to/from the x4 NVMe SSD that, with 7000MB/s read and 5000MB/s write, has you well catered for in terms of rapid storage.
- Watercooled 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-13700K with 12GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Graphics
- 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD, WiFi
CCL Code: HZN-INTC0101040000020002000200010002|
Part Number: HZN-INTC0101040000020002000200010002
Best Gaming PC for 4k Gaming
If you're serious about 4K gaming then you need hardware as serious as you are. That is, the latest and greatest - and if you want to play games on the highest settings to really see the benefit of playing in 4K, that means RTX 4080 upwards. You can play in 4K on a 3080, but you'll see a meaningful difference in performance on the 40-series card even before factoring in the addition of DLSS 3 in some titles.
FOR 4k GAMING: CHILLBLAST SYBARIS GAMING PC
Chillblast Sybaris offers a complete next-gen platform with an RTX 4080, 13th Gen i7-13700K and 32GB DDR5 ram at 6000MHz. For gaming in 4K this is the one - and if you want to take a no-compromise, top-shelf approach, hit that customise button and you have the option to switch the CPU up to an Intel Core i9-13900K, and the GPU up to the one, the only, the true monster GPU that is the RTX 4090. Tempting, right?
Experience the ultimate in gaming power thanks to 13th Gen Core processors and RTX 40-series GPUs
- Watercooled 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-13700K with 16GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Graphics
- 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, WiFi
CCL Code: CB-SYBARIS050400000400000100000004|
Part Number: CB-SYBARIS050400000400000100000004