What computers are good for gaming: The best gaming PCs in 2023

Alienware Aurora R15 review: Cool under pressure

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Alienware improves on a classic with the new Aurora R15, which looks like its predecessors but runs cooler and quieter.

Editor’s Choice

(Image: © Future)

Tom’s Guide Verdict

The Alienware Aurora R15 is an excellent gaming PC that improves upon its predecessors in a few key ways, packing the most powerful components you can afford in an attractive, easy-to-open chassis that stays cool under pressure.

Pros
  • +

    Compact, attractive case design

  • +

    Top-tier performance (if you pay for it)

  • +

    Easy to open, plenty of ports

  • +

    Stays cool and quiet under load

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Alienware Aurora R15 specs (as reviewed)

Price: $4,588 as reviewed
Processor: Intel Core i9-13900KF
RAM: 32 GB
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
Storage: 1 TB SSD, 1 TB HDD
Ports: USB-A, USB-C, 3.5 mm audio, Ethernet, DisplayPort, HDMI, SPDIF, surround sound
Size: 23.2 x 20.1 x 8.86 inches
Weight: Up to 36.4 pounds (depending on config)

The Alienware Aurora R15 ($1,399 to start) is an excellent gaming PC that improves upon its predecessors in a few key ways, packing the most powerful components you can afford in an attractive, easy-to-open chassis.

Though that chassis looks awfully similar to the Legend 2.0 case which debuted last year with the Aurora R13, Alienware claims to have redesigned it to run cooler and quieter, and my experience putting our review unit through its paces bears that out.  

But while case design is a surprisingly important part of choosing the best gaming PC for you given that their internals are typically highly customizable (and thus not a meaningful differentiator between PCs), it’s far from the most exciting aspect of these machines. No, what we get most hyped about is how well a gaming PC plays the latest and greatest games with all the settings cranked to max. 

When Alienware sent us a tricked-out Aurora R15 review unit with an RTX 4090 and a high-end 13th Gen Intel CPU I did everything I could to bring it to its knees, but even when gaming at 4K with every bell and whistle firing it ran whisper-quiet and delivered great framerates. That level of performance is far from cheap, but if you can afford it this is a gaming PC that will last you for years to come. 

Alienware Aurora R15 review: Price and availability

  • Starts at $1,399, but you can easily pay over $5k if you want the best
  • Highly customizable with the latest from AMD, Intel and Nvidia

The Alienware Aurora R15 is available for purchase right now via Dell’s website in either white or black (Lunar Light and Dark Side of the Moon, technically), and you can order a stock config or customize your own. The price tag on this Windows 11 gaming PC starts as low as $1,399 (at time of review), and for that you get a 13th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, 8GB of DDR5 RAM and a 256GB SSD for storage.

That’s a decent machine for the price and it should be able to run many games well enough (though 8GB of RAM really isn’t much, so you should probably add more), but it won’t play the latest and greatest PC games at high resolution with great framerates.

(Image credit: Future)

Of course, Alienware is happy to sell you more power if you can afford it. The company offers at least 7 pre-configured builds of the Aurora R15 on its website, some with Intel CPUs and others with AMD chips. 

The price tag for these builds ranges as high as $4,499, and for that you get a top-of-the-line liquid-cooled R15 with a 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900KF CPU, an Nvidia Geforce RTX 4090 GPU, 32GB of DDR5 RAM and a 1TB SSD for booting plus another 1TB hard disk drive (HDD) spinning at 7,200 RPM for added storage. It’s a beefy rig, as befits a nearly $5k price tag, and it’s what Alienware sent us to review. 

But for true enthusiasts, Alienware offers the option of configuring your own build. In addition to the remarkably powerful Intel Core i9-13900KF CPU and GeForce RTX 4090 GPU, you can configure an Aurora R15 with up to 64GB of DDR5 RAM (at either 4800MHz or the faster, more expensive 5200MHz) and up to a 4TB SSD + a 2TB hard drive.  Such a rig would cost you roughly $5,500, though it could climb even higher if you splurged for a Pro copy of Windows 11 and some of Alienware’s gaming accessories.

Alienware Aurora R15 review: Design

  • Redesigned Legend chassis runs cool and quiet, still looks great
  • Those fins on the back can leave wicked scratches on your wall

The Aurora R15 looks very similar to its predecessor the Alienware Aurora R13 at a glance, from the reclining oval face to the stubby fins on the back that left a few scratches on the wall behind my desk.  

Dig deeper and you’ll see how Alienware has redesigned the case to improve airflow by, among other things, punching some hexagonal holes in the side and expanding the cooling complement for high-end models (those with an Intel CPU ending in “K”, denoting overclock capabilities) to a set of five 120mm case fans.  The company also changed up the motherboard’s design and relocated some things within the case to try and make room for today’s beefy GPUs while ensuring the R15 runs quieter and cooler.

(Image credit: Future)

After spending some time with our review unit I can’t say for sure how much quieter it is than the R13 I reviewed last year, but I can say I barely noticed any fan noise or heat from the R15, even after spending hours playing a game like Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K resolution with all setting maxed. This is a nice change from when I was playing the same game on the older R13, since I can remember that machine getting a bit louder and putting out a noticeable amount of hot air after I’d been playing for an hour or two.

I barely noticed any fan noise or heat from the R15, even after spending hours playing a game like Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K with all setting maxed.”

Like the R13, the new Alienware Aurora R15 has an optional clear glass side panel (not available on all models) which lets you peer inside your PC to watch the components at work. New to the R15 is the afore-mentioned grille of hexagonal cutouts along the bottom half of the panel for improved airflow. If you want to get inside the PC this is the panel you want to remove, and it’s easy to do: simply unscrew one screw on the back of the PC and then (gently) prying it off. You can pull the other side off as well, and even the top of the case if you want to break out a screwdriver, but you can get to most of the PC’s innards just from the left side panel.

You can get around inside to just about anything you need to, but expect it to take a while—the case is tightly organized, and there are more than one or two brackets and stays between you and some areas of the case. This is the trade-off you make for the Aurora R15’s attractive case design and relatively compact size: Limited upgradability.  

Still, it’s not hard to see the appeal of the Aurora R15 at a glance. The oblong case is easy on the eyes and, if not exactly light, at least more convenient to lug around than many full-sized gaming PCs. Not long ago I reviewed the Acer Predator Orion 7000, another great gaming PC that comes in a full tower case, and if I had to pick one to carry up a flight of stairs, I’d go Aurora every time. 

Alienware Aurora R15 review: Ports and upgradability

  • Plenty of ports on front and back, though none up top
  • Case is easy to open, but difficult to work in

That removable side panel is one of the nicer aspects of the Aurora R15’s design because it makes it awfully easy to get into the PC and start mucking around. I really like this ease of access to the case, even if I’m less fond of the way Alienware routes as many cables as possible behind the motherboard and up the right side. This keeps cable clutter minimal in the case (which looks great) but can make it tricky to modify or add your own touches since you’ll need to work within the limits of the case.

This is true for working within the case in general: It’s easy enough to get in there and start fiddling with things, but you’ll be hampered by Alienware’s design work. While swapping in new RAM is easy enough, expect to have to remove brackets and move components around to do more complicated things like swap out a GPU in the case. Since Alienware uses a proprietary motherboard, your options for upgrading it (and by extension the CPU) down the road are limited at best. 

Alienware’s Aurora R15 sports all the ports a PC gaming enthusiast could want, with some on the front and the rest on the rear. However you won’t find any top-mounted ports on this PC, which might be a bummer for those who like to keep their gaming rig on the floor. 

While plugging things into the front of the case does mar the clean lines of the R15 somewhat, you can’t beat the convenience. Up front you get a headphone jack and a vertical lineup of USB-C ports: 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, another USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 with PowerShare (which just means the port delivers power to connected devices even when the PC is switched off) and a USB-C Gen 2 port with PowerShare. 

(Image credit: Future)

But that’s just a teaser. The real port smorgasbord is on the back of the PC, where you get a quartet of classic USB-A 2.0 ports as well as a newer USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port and a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2×2 port. As far as graphics go, your GPU choice will dictate what sorts of port options you have for outputting to monitors, and the 4090 in our review unit offers 3 DisplayPort jacks and one HDMI out.

The Aurora R15 also comes with a detachable cover you can slide over the rear to cut down on visible cable clutter. (Image credit: Future)

If you want to invest in a serious speaker setup to go with your new gaming PC, the Aurora R15 sports the ports you want. In addition to side, rear and center/subwoofer output ports you get line in and line out, a microphone in, and two SPDIF digital outputs: one for Toslink cables and the other for coax.  

You’ll want to plug into a high-speed wired Internet connection for online gaming, of course, so it’s nice to see the Aurora R15 also includes an RJ-45 jack with support for Intel’s Killer E3100G Gigabit Ethernet.

The Aurora R15 also comes with a detachable rear cover you can slide over the back of the PC to help route cables and hide them from view.

Alienware Aurora R15 review: Gaming performance

  • Our ~$5K review unit excels at 4K gaming thanks to Nvidia’s RTX 4090
  • …but you can get nearly as good gaming performance from a PC over $1k less

The Alienware Aurora R15 unit we received for review is an excellent gaming machine thanks to its GeForce RTX 4090 GPU, Core i9 CPU and 32GB of DDR5 RAM. I enjoyed my time reviewing this PC immensely, as it had no trouble running any game I cared to launch. 

At home I have a dual-monitor setup, one 1080p and one 1440p, and our Aurora R15 was able to run everything from Cyberpunk 2077 to Death Stranding to Marvel’s Midnight Suns at 1440p with all the settings maxed out. With most games it had no trouble delivering 60 frames per second or better, especially when I flipped on Nvidia’s DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) in games which support it. 

(Image credit: Future)

Even when I (carefully) dragged the Aurora R15 over to my LG C2 OLED TV and hooked it up to see how well it could spit game at 4K, I was not disappointed. While our Aurora R15 review unit could only manage between 30-40 fps while running Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K with all settings cranked to max, that was before I flipped on Nvidia’s DLSS. 

Nvidia rolled out a new version of the tech (DLSS 3) alongside its GeForce RTX 4000 series, and Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the first games to get updated with support for DLSS 3. Not only does DLSS 3 tap the Tensor Cores in Nvidia GPUs to dynamically enhance image quality while you’re playing, it actually inserts new frames in between frames of gameplay. It can be confusing to understand when you read about it, but once I saw it in action on our Aurora R15 I was impressed by how much it improved my experience of playing Cyberpunk 2077 without any noticeable graphical issues. When I would use older versions of DLSS in times gone by I would often notice graphical distortions cropping up that made it appear as though the image was being smeared or blurred out slightly, especially during scenes of fast action.

If you want a great PC for gaming at 4K, Alienware delivers with the Aurora R15—assuming you’re willing to pay for the privilege.”

Not so with DLSS 3 and Cyberpunk 2077. When I flipped on DLSS 3 in the game’s settings, that 30-40 fps at 4K shot up to 100-120 fps, with no noticeable degradation in image quality. If DLSS 3 can do for every game what it did for my experience playing Cyberpunk at 4K, call me a believer.

Of course, we don’t just rely on or own anecdotal experience when reviewing PCs here at Tom’s Guide. We also run every machine through our testing lab (don’t miss our guide to how we test products), where we subject it to a battery of performance tests to see how it stacks up against the competition.

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Gaming benchmarks in fps @ 1080p/4K
Row 0 – Cell 0 Alienware Aurora R15 Corsair One i300 Origin PC Millennium Origin Chronos V3
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 200/116 122/70 115/62 184/91
Dirt 5 243/183 175/68 171/92 241/127
Far Cry 6 129/109 143/82 112/67 125/89
Grand Theft Auto V 186/53 181/66 178/67 185/56

As you might expect, our nearly $5K review unit achieved high scores across the board in these tests. In fact it significantly outperformed some of the most powerful gaming PCs we’ve tested in the last year, including the Origin PC Millennium (2022) (i9-12900K, GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, 32GB RAM) and the Corsair One i300 (i9-12900K, GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, 64GB RAM). 

(Image credit: Future)

However, keep in mind those are older PCs packing last-gen parts. We haven’t tested a ton of 2023 PCs with the latest and greatest components yet, but we did recently test a cheaper Origin Chronos V3 gaming PC (priced upwards of $3.5K) with only slightly less powerful guts—specifically, it arrived with an Intel Core i9-13900K CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU and 32GB of RAM. Our Aurora R15 review unit still managed to outperform this Origin in nearly every gaming benchmark, but as you can see from the chart of results above, the two were neck-and-neck in many of them. 

So if you want a great PC for gaming at 4K, Alienware delivers with the Aurora R15—assuming you’re willing to pay for the privilege.  

Alienware Aurora R15 review: Overall performance

  • 13th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU blazes through performance benchmarks
  • Excellent ray tracing, but cheaper PCs outperform this monster elsewhere

You shouldn’t need to worry about performance when using a gaming PC for day-to-day work tasks, especially when that PC cost you nearly $5K. The Aurora R15 meets that expectation with flying colors, as it ran whisper-quiet and never hitched or froze  no matter how many browser tabs, productivity applications and streams of data I opened at once.

(Image credit: Future)

Our performance tests reveal that this is an excellent machine for running demanding applications for work like video editing, game development and the like, but you could have guessed that from the smorgasbord of high-powered parts inside. However, it was again neck-and-neck with the new Origin Chronos V3 we just tested, which managed to outperform the Aurora R15 in a few key areas.  

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Row 0 – Cell 0 Alienware Aurora R15 Corsair One i300 Origin PC Millennium Origin Chronos V3
Geekbench 5 22,494 17,965 18,096 24,054
25 GB File Copy (MBps) 1,340 3,006 1,023 1,809
Handbrake (Min:Seconds) 3:12 3:28 3:22 2:48

Notably, our Alienware Aurora R15 review unit was less speedy than the Origin Chronos V3 in terms of CPU performance (22,494 vs 24,054), file transfer speeds (1,340 MBps vs 1,809) and video editing performance (3:12 vs 2:48), which we measure by timing how long it takes the PC to transcode a 4K video down to 1080p using Handbrake.

We also run every PC we review through a few benchmarks designed to evaluate how well it performs at tasks like rendering graphics (3DMark), editing media like photos in Adobe Photoshop Elements (HDXPRT 4), or more esoteric computing tasks like facial recognition (CrossMark).  As you might expect, our Aurora R15 performed quite well in these tests, putting up high scores across the board. 

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Row 0 – Cell 0 Alienware Aurora R15 Corsair One i300 Origin PC Millennium Origin Chronos V3
CrossMark 2,232 2,268 2,286 2,385
HDXPRT 4 140 DNR 156 163
3DMark Port Royal Ray Tracing test 25,695 12,803 12,486 17,522

Here again that Origin Chronos V3 put up better numbers than our Aurora R15 review unit in CrossMark and HDXPRT 4, though the difference between the two is relatively small. However, the power of the RTX 4090 helped the R15 achieve a far better score than the Chronos in 3DMark’s Port Royal test, which evaluates how well a PC handles ray tracing.

Given that this is a machine tuned for gaming it’s nice to see that it excels in the ray tracing department, since ray tracing tech is showing up in more and more games every year.

Alienware Aurora R15 review: Software

  • Minimal bloatware, which is great
  • Alienware Command Center is the MVP 

There wasn’t much installed on our Aurora R15 review unit when it arrived save Windows 11 and a few Dell/Alienware applications you’ll rarely touch, including My Alienware, Alienware Customer Connect and Alienware Update (which you use to do things like update your BIOS).

(Image credit: Future)

The one piece of pre-installed software you’ll likely use a lot is the Alienware Command Center. This is the most feature-rich Alienware app on the system, as it allows you to do things like monitor and manage your system cooling, create and implement system overclock profiles, customize the case’s RGB lighting and more.  

Alienware Aurora R15 review: Verdict

The Alienware Aurora R15 is a great gaming PC that improves upon its predecessors in small but meaningful ways. While how well it plays games will depend on what you can afford to put in it, getting in there is easy thanks to the accessible design of the case. 

The fact that our Aurora R15 review unit never got hot or loud during the review process, even when playing demanding games at 4K for hours with all settings cranked to max, suggest Alienware’s efforts to improve the case design paid off. While ours is admittedly liquid-cooled with Alienware’s Cryo-Tech cooler, which is only available on the higher-end models (the cheapest Aurora R15 units are simply air-cooled), the cost of adding such cooling to an R15 is a few hundred bucks. Not cheap, but certainly not on the level of upgrading the GPU to the 4090 in our review unit.

And really, that’s the main appeal of this PC: You can get one with the latest and greatest components inside, and my experience playing games on one suggests its worth the high cost of entry. Of course, more and more PCs with 13th Gen Intel chips and 40-series Nvidia GPUs are hitting the market every week, some of which (like the Origin Chronos V3 we’re reviewing) might actually outperform the R15 in some areas despite costing less. 

But even the truly flush who are out there scouring storefronts for the perfect RTX 4090-powered gaming PC would be well-served by the Aurora R15 thanks to its easy-to-access case and excellent cooling. Plus, it looks real good on a desk.

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice. 

Build Redux Good gaming PC review

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(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

The name may be basic, but this is a quality build that focuses on gaming first and foremost. Shame a bit more attention didn’t go into the storage though.

For
  • Good part selection and build
  • Great case airflow
  • Strong 1440p gaming performance
Against
  • Unimpressive SSD
  • No USB Type-C ports

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Build Redux sets out to make buying a new gaming PC a much easier affair than normal. The traditional frustrations of wading through nonsense names trying to work out whether they’ll handle your game of choice will be familiar to any PC gamer. This system builder offers three main gaming PCs to choose from and each one can be configured slightly further by throwing a bit more cash at the system if you do want to dig into the details.  

You can also select which games you want to play, and it’ll recommend a system for you. There isn’t an exhaustive list of games to pick from here, but enough to give you an idea of what the overall performance might be. 

The most affordable of these is simply labelled ‘Good’, which starts at $1,305 with a $99 build fee bringing it up to $1,404 for the whole system. The ‘Better’ machine will set you back $1,878, while the ‘Best’ has a $2,228 starting price point and is built around an Intel Core i7 12700F and an Nvidia RTX 3080. 

If you’re feeling flush, then a fourth build has recently appeared, this ‘Ultimate’ build will net you an RTX 4090 machine for $3,644. Gulp.

Build Redux ‘Good’ spec

CPU: Intel Core i5 12400F
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE
RAM: 16GB DDR4-3200
Motherboard: Asus B660
Storage: 500GB Kingston NV1
Front I/O: 2x USB 3. 0 Type-A, headphone jack, mic in,
Rear I/O: 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 4x USB 2.0, 1x PS/2, 3x audio
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth, Ethernet
PSU: 700W ATX 80 Plus Gold
Case: Cooler Master TD500 RGB
OS: Windows 11 Home
Warranty: 2 Years parts and labor
Price: $1,504

Back to reality and the machine Build Redux sent for review is based on the ‘Good’ build, but with one important change—instead of featuring the default RTX 3060, the company has instead upgraded this to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. This is a smart move, as this offers far better performance for your hard-earned cash and should see the machine stay relevant for that much longer. Even ray tracing is possible here, especially if the game in question has support for DLSS 2.

This upgrade means you’re looking at a system price of $1,504, which also nets you an Intel Core i5 12400F, 16GB of Patriot DDR4-3200, and a Kingston NV1 500GB NVMe SSD, all in a big Cooler Master TD500 case festooned with RGB fans. It ain’t subtle, but it runs cool and never gets too loud, even when under serious load, thanks in no small part to the mesh-fronted case not blocking airflow with any silly glass panel. It’s a real shame there are no USB Type-C ports though.

Unfortunately, shipping the machine across the Atlantic for testing didn’t go entirely smoothly, and the graphics card was damaged on the way. Build Redux used foam packing inside the machine to try and prevent such horrors, but it wasn’t quite as snug as we would have liked, and there was no bracing mount included to make sure it didn’t shift in transit. 

Booting resulted in a flickery screen and attempting to game caused a full system crash. Clearly not happy. Reseating the card did momentarily appear to rectify things, but only for it to crash out once any games started running. 

(Image credit: Future)

This is a well-thought-out system that packs a punch where it matters most.

Luckily we had an identical Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE on hand so we could put the machine through its paces, and there was no obvious damage elsewhere. It’s also worth noting that shipping across the US shouldn’t be quite so stressful, although it is a big ol’ place, and couriers aren’t renowned for being particularly careful with big boxes. More packaging would be preferable basically, even if we were a little unlucky here.

System performance

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There’s nothing too surprising here in terms of the system performance benchmarks, apart from the SSD performance. The 3DMark Storage Benchmark simulate game loading, and here the Build Redux ‘Good’ doesn’t exactly impress—and that’s when comparing against the not-exactly-stunning SN570 that can be found in the similarly-priced NZXT machine and iBuyPower rigs.

The Core i5 12400F is a capable enough CPU, managing reasonable results in Cinebench R23 and the X264 video encoding benchmark. If you want more raw CPU grunt, you’re going to want to upgrade to a Core i7, as found in the iBuyPower machine, but that would need compromises elsewhere.

Gaming benchmarks

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The good news is that the Build Redux Good is a decent machine when it comes to gaming. The key component here is the RTX 3060 Ti, which can handle anything you can throw at it at 1080p, and as can be seen from the benchmarks is capable enough at 1440p too. There’s not a lot between this machine and the ABS Master, which packs the same GPU. 

Even in the likes of the ray tracing heavy Metro Exodus Enhanced, you’re looking at 55fps at 1440p, and that’s at the ultra setting. You shouldn’t have to compromise much if at all, to hit smooth frame rates in the very latest games. 

The only slight fly in the ointment here is that the NZXT Streaming Plus BLD Kit rolls in at the same price point but comes with the RTX 3070. That’s simply a more capable card, which can be seen in the frame rates, although in some cases the difference is slight—you’re looking at just 3fps difference in Far Cry 6. Most games show a bigger delta though.

(Image credit: Future)

This is a capable gaming system then, although it’s a shame about that Kingston NV1 SSD, which has peak read/write speeds of just 2,100MB/s and 1,700MB/s. It’s better than a SATA drive, sure, but it’s only half as fast as a decent PCIe 3.0 SSD and nearly a quarter the speed of a high-end PCIe 4.0 SSD. 500GB is pretty tight too—we struggled to get all of our benchmark suite on here in one go. 

You can upgrade this to a 1TB drive at the time of purchase for an extra $30, which doesn’t seem bad, but it’ll still be a slow drive. You can upgrade this yourself easily enough down the road, and there’s plenty of room to do so, but for this much cash, I’d prefer to not have to worry about space.

It’s worth highlighting that Build Redux has gone for an air cooler for the Core i5 12400F, specifically the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo. This means the chip can get a little warmer than some machines do under load, but not to dangerous levels, and thanks to the overall airflow through the machine, it’s never a problem. The cable management here is well done too, which helps on this front.

Overall, the Build Redux ‘Good’ is a capable gaming machine representing strong value for money. The component selection is mostly spot on and SSD aside, this should last you a good few years of gaming without worries.

Build Redux Good: Price Comparison

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Build Redux Good

The name may be basic, but this is a quality build that focuses on gaming first and foremost. Shame a bit more attention didn’t go into the storage though.

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He’s very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.

How to choose a good gaming computer from ITmag

The modern desire for mobility is moving gamers into the laptop proponent segment. But a good gaming PC is ideal for handling complex applications, easily adapting to changing software.

How to determine that you have a powerful gaming PC in front of you:

  • component balance. If a powerful video card is installed in it, then the processor and RAM are selected in such a way as to fully reveal its potential. The power declared by the manufacturer will be clearly demonstrated in modern games;
  • reliable thermoregulation. The cooling strategy is ideally thought out by the developers, even with a margin for a possible upgrade;
  • easy scalability. In the system unit, you can install the required number of memory bars, additional drives, a more advanced graphics accelerator, and even a processor.

High gaming performance is possible on a PC where all components are high-end. The desire to save on one module will not allow everyone else to “accelerate”. Compatible structural elements contribute to active work without delays, lags and braking.

What is a good computer for games:

  • equipped with a convenient monitor, peripherals;
  • adapted to your wishes – mobility with a compact system unit or without reference to dimensions, because it is always permanently installed in one place;
  • CPU with support for multi-threading tasks. 2-4 cores is enough for Full HD mode. CPU Core i5 / i7 are suitable, only the frequency is not lower than 2.5 GHz;
  • RAM from 8 GB;
  • internal storage 512 GB or more;
  • fully equipped with interfaces for connecting peripherals, keyboards, mice.

It’s convenient that a modern good gaming PC can be neat and tidy without a bunch of wires. Only the connected monitor and all. Other external devices can be connected via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi.

What parameters should a good computer have?

Only examples will help to better understand the big picture. In deciding how to choose a PC for gaming, the microprocessor (Intel Core i7-7700, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X), RAM (8/16/32 GB and above) and video card (GeForce with at least 3 GB of video memory) should be key.

There are other accessories to consider as well. A hard drive for storing video content and media files is better to pick up at least 2 TB, it’s good when there is a high-speed solid-state SSD for installing the OS, for example.

The more powerful the “stuffing”, the more power each component needs. The power supply must be from 600 watts. When the system unit is completed, select a monitor. You need at least a Full HD screen with a minimum response (no more than 5 ms) so that dynamic scenes are not blurry.

How to choose a gaming computer – the question is individual in each case. It all depends on the planned budget.

What accessories to choose for a gaming PC

The foundation of the system is the motherboard. In recent years, Intel has pursued a policy of authoritarian upgrades – changing the processor, you will need to replace the entire motherboard. Only the standard case, power supply and hard drive will remain.

You can assemble a good PC for games on your own with the possibility of further upgrading it. It’s much cheaper and easier than upgrading a laptop. Gaming equipment is similar to choosing a workstation for specific tasks (working with 3D). The main trio:

  • the most powerful processor (4 cores, 8 threads or more). Hi-end “pebbles” make a good gaming computer more expensive;
  • graphic software is processed precisely on RAM, so its volume must be sufficient;
  • only a discrete video card (unless you only have Photoshop in your arsenal, then the integrated module will suffice).

When choosing components for specific purposes, you know for sure that every penny of the budget is rationally invested. And in the event of a repair, you are not left without computer equipment (this will be the case with a laptop), but you can only give a failed part to the service.

Purchase in Kazakhstan

Confused in the parameters, do not know how to choose a computer for games? Itmag.kz specialists will help you decide on ready-made solutions, assemble a car from the components you have chosen. In our catalog you will find balanced systems, where everything is matched in detail.

We focused on Acer, DELL, HP, Lenovo brands. The developers offer basic series for episodic entry into the gaming space, ordinary user tasks with graphics processing, eSports machines for complex calculations, streaming lines. We will show you how to choose a computer for games and work of any complexity for users with different requirements. And all within the planned budget. Delivery of equipment to Almaty, Nur-Sultan (Astana), Karaganda.

How to choose a gaming PC in 2023 – a guide from Delta Game

How to choose a gaming PC in 2023 – a guide from Delta Game

  • Video card
  • Processor
  • RAM
  • HDD and SSD
  • Power supply, cooling and case

When choosing a gaming computer, you need to ask yourself questions:
– For what purpose do I take it? What games do I plan to play?
– How much budget can I budget for its purchase?
– What screen resolution will I be playing in?

If you’re going to play casual games like Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege or Fortnite, you won’t need a powerful computer, even at the highest settings. But in demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077, Metro Exodus or Call of Duty Modern Warfare, you will need a powerful build with a good graphics card. A little lower, you will see a table with FPS indicators in various games and video cards and understand how powerful a video card you need. If you want a computer for streaming or work, you need a powerful processor and plenty of RAM.

The graphics card is the most important component in a gaming computer. It largely affects how many frames per second (FPS) your PC will give out.

How many shots do you need? The more the better, the smoother the gameplay will be and you will see more details. The minimum required for comfortable gaming is 60 FPS. However, FPS is limited by the refresh rate of the monitor. If the frequency is 60 Hz, and your video card produces 200 FPS in the game, then you will still only see 60. Therefore, to get more than 60 FPS on the monitor, you need to purchase a monitor with a refresh rate of 120, 144, 165 Hz or more.

When choosing a gaming PC, you should pay attention to the resolution of the monitor. The larger it is, the more powerful the video card must be in order to get an acceptable FPS. For 1920×1080 (FHD) resolution, you need a graphics card from GTX 1650 to RTX 3060. For 2560×1440 (2K, QHD) – RTX 3060 / RTX 3060 Ti and above, and for 3840×2160 (4K) – RTX 4070 – RTX 4090

Let’s take a look at the average FPS in the games: Borderlands 3, Far Cry 6, Flight Simulator, Forza Horizon 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2, Total War Warhammer 3 and Watch Dogs Legion. This will allow you to evaluate the difference between video cards and understand which one you need.

901 10

9011 0

9011 0

9011 0

Video card 1080p, medium 1080p, ultra 2K, ultra 4K, ultra
GeForce RTX 4090 190 FPS 152 FPS 143 FPS Radeon RX 7900 XTX 114 FPS 148 FPS 134 FPS 93 FPS
GeForce RTX 4080 184 FPS 143 FPS 129 FPS 89 FPS
Radeon RX 7900 XT 183 FPS 80 FPS
Radeon RX 6950XT 187 FPS 136 FPS 114 FPS 68 FPS
GeForce RTX 4070 Ti 181 FPS 135 FPS 72 FPS
GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 180 FPS 132 FPS 114 FPS 76 FPS
103 FPS 59 FPS
GeForce RTX 3090 178 FPS 107 FPS 69 FPS
GeForce RTX 3080 12GB 4 FPS 66 FPS
GeForce RTX 4070 176 FPS 9 124 FPS 99 FPS 57 FPS
GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 175 FPS 67 FPS
GeForce RTX 3080 173 FPS 116 FPS 96 FPS 61 FPS
GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 161 FPS 106 FPS 48 FPS
Radeon RX 6750 XT 165 FPS 104 FPS 78 FPS 43 FPS
GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 160 FPS 0101

76 FPS 40 FPS
GeForce RTX 3070 156 FPS 101 79 FPS 44 FPS
GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 148 FPS 92 FPS 71 FPS
144 FPS 82 FPS 56 FPS 29 FPS
Radeon RX 6650 XT 138 FPS 101

GeForce RTX 3060 121 FPS 73 FPS 54 FPS
GeForce RTX 2060 Super 106 FPS 65 FPS 48 FPS
GeForce RTX 2060 97 FPS 55 FPS 39GeForce RTX 3050 89 FPS 52 FPS 39 FPS
GeForce GTX 1660 Super 82 FPS 45 FPS 32 FPS
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 82 FPS 45 FPS 32 FPS 0 75 FPS 40 FPS 29 FPS – 9 34 FPS 23 FPS
Radeon RX 6500 XT 66 FPS 31 FPS 18 FPS
GeForce GTX 1650 57 FPS 29 FPS

The second most important component is the processor. This is the most important component for computing tasks, content creation. Processor performance depends on the number of cores, threads, and architecture. With each generation, the architecture improves, so we recommend buying a gaming PC with the latest generation processor.

Currently, the current line of 13th generation Intel Core processors starts with the Core i3-13100F with 4 cores and 8 threads and ends with the Core i9-13900K with 24 cores and 32 threads. An i3 processor may not be enough, and an i9 will be redundant, look at the Core i5 and Core i7. The “K” suffix in the name of the processor means that it has an unlocked multiplier and can be overclocked by increasing the clock frequency. And the “F” suffix, that it does not have a built-in video core, which you will not need, because a gaming computer always has a discrete video card, and you will save. Therefore, it makes sense to choose a PC with such a processor.

The AMD Ryzen 7000-series processor line starts with the Ryzen 7 7700X with 8 cores and 16 threads and ends with the Ryzen 9 7950X with 16 cores and 32 threads. Ryzen 9 is overkill for gaming, go for Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7. Ryzen processors deliver high performance in multi-threaded workloads. The “X” suffix means that this version of the processor is slightly faster than the one without the “X”.

The most modern type of RAM is DDR5, which replaced DDR4 (how do they differ?). It operates at a higher frequency – from 3200 MHz and above. Right now, DDR5 provides only a small performance boost, is expensive, and requires an expensive motherboard. Therefore, DDR4 memory will remain relevant for several more years.

Modern motherboards from Intel (B760 / H770 / Z790) and AMD (B650 / X670) have the ability to automatically overclock RAM, so you can choose the RAM with the frequency that the motherboard allows. However, the higher the frequency, the more expensive the memory, in fact, for most users, 3200 – 3600 MHz of the DDR4 type is enough.

The amount of RAM sufficient for the current year is 16 GB. 32 GB and above will be useful for those who work with large files in special programs, such as Photoshop, or to have a margin for future games. If the budget is tight, then you can take 8 GB (but be sure to increase it in the future), but this will not be enough in many modern games, which will lead to friezes in games. DDR5 memory usually goes from 32 GB and above.

Nowadays, any computer, not just a gaming one, must have an SSD drive. The price for them is no longer high, but the benefits are very significant. Thanks to him, the operating system, programs, games, files on the solid state drive will load instantly. The minimum amount for a gaming computer is 240 – 256 GB, this is enough for the OS, programs and several large games. The optimal amount depends on how many games you plan to install and whether you will store files on an SSD drive.

SDDs come in two formats:
SATA is the most common format with a speed limit of 600 MB/s. Much cheaper than an M.2 SSD.
M.2 is a more modern format in which the SSD is inserted into a slot on the motherboard and takes up less space. Costs more than SATA-SSD, but speeds up to 7000 MB/s.
The best option is to install a bunch of SSD + HDD. On the first one there will be a system, programs and games, and on the HDD there will be games that are not demanding on the drive, documents, images, video and audio. However, if you do not plan to store files on your computer, then you can get by with one SSD.

One of the main parameters of the power supply is its energy efficiency (COP). The higher the efficiency, the less heat it needs to remove and, accordingly, the less cooling it needs and the power supply will work quieter. There is an 80 PLUS certification program, according to which power supplies with an energy efficiency of at least 80% at a load of 20%, 50% and 100% meet the standard. There are several levels of certification: 80 Plus, 80 Plus Bronze, 80 Plus Silver, 80 Plus Gold, 80 Plus Platinum and 80 Plus Titanium. The higher the level, the higher the energy efficiency of the power supply.

The power of the power supply also affects the noise level. The more headroom, the less load it receives and the less cooling it needs.