Best Gaming PCs 2017: Gaming PC Reviews

  • 178 Views

Gaming is one area in which the desktop PC still reigns supreme. Consoles are great, but they simply can’t match the graphical power of the latest gaming PCs.

Of course, you also get plenty of performance for all your non-gaming needs and a graphics card can also offer a considerable performance boost to other applications, such as photo and video editing software.

Your Buying Guide for the Best Gaming PCs in 2017

While you can go straight to the list below and buy a PC in the exact specification reviewed, it’s worth understanding what to look for as each supplier allows you to customise and configure your PC to tailor it for your needs. 

Processor

Different games place different demands on your computer hardware, but choosing a gaming PC will involve a balancing act between CPU and graphics performance.

For gaming PCs we’re happy to allow system builders to overclock processors, which can significantly increase performance without having to stump up for the most expensive chips, like Intel’s 7th-gen Core chips and AMD’s Ryzen.

Overclocked processors place additional demands on the system’s power supply and also require better cooling, so expect to pay more for PCs with more extreme overclocking. You can overclock the processor yourself if you wish, but it can be a good idea to buy a pre-overclocked system that’s covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

Motherboard

There are several points to consider when choosing the right motherboard for your PC. If you’re not into technical details you may be tempted to overlook the motherboard and concentrate on the processor and graphics, but the motherboard is extremely important.

Not all motherboards support overclocking, and opting for a lower-cost motherboard can allow you to spend a little more on your graphics card, which can have a big impact on your final performance figures.

If you want the latest ports and connectors including USB 3.1 Gen 2 (which supports transfers at twice the speed of USB 3.0  – also known as USB 3.1 Gen 1) then make sure you check this before ordering.

Graphics card

It’s usually the graphics card that will determine the overall quality of your gaming experience. This is why we suggest gamers go for a mid-range processor as the difference in price will almost certainly serve you better spent on the graphics card rather than on the CPU.

To ensure smooth gameplay, you generally want to achieve a minimum of 60 frames per second (fps) in your game. This is the limiting speed of most PC displays, so you won’t really need to go faster than this unless you have a high-speed gaming monitor that allows for faster refresh rates.

Any extra performance will then allow you to increase the quality settings in your game, making characters sharper, textures more realistic and graphical effects more immersive.

AMD’s fastest card – the RX 580 – isn’t as quick as Nvidia’s GTX 1080 Ti, so read our graphics card reviews to find out how each card performs.

Virtual Reality

It’s still niche, but you can buy an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift and play VR games on a PC. 

You can read our complete guide to VR for more in-depth information on the headsets, games and apps available, but your PC will need to meet the recommended specs below.

If your PC struggles to play games at 1920×1080 – the minimum is considered 30 frames per second – then it’s not going to cope with running an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive which both have a 2160×1200 screen, especially if you want 90fps.

A VR-ready PC will need to have the following specifications (or better) to drive a VR headset and produce a ‘great experience’:

  • Nvidia GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 290 graphics card
  • HDMI 1.3 output
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • Intel Core i5-4590 (or equivalent)
  • 8GB of RAM
  • Windows 7 SP1 or later

You may be able to get away with a less powerful CPU, but it’s inadvisable to do so as developers are also working with these specifications to ensure games run well.

For more, see Nvidia’s VR Ready site and AMD’s Radeon VR Ready page.

Cases and cooling

We’ve already talked about processor cooling, but gamers tend to like their PC tower system to look the part as well. Many come with fans that light up in various colours, but don’t overlook the fact that  the case needs to be practical. Internal cable management aids airflow, while fan controllers let you reduce noise or boost cooling as necessary.

Graphics cards can also come with various cooling systems, the more advanced of which can allow for faster clock speeds on the GPU and less noise when playing games.

Monitor

For more immersive gameplay, go for the largest display you can find and one with a good contrast ratio. TN-based monitors will cost less and provide most of these features, but IPS-based displays will give you better overall colour reproduction and wider viewing angles, although response times tend to be slower.

For a more responsive display, go for a gaming monitor with a high refresh rate of 120- or 144Hz, although you’ll need powerful graphics to supply frames at this speed.

For more see our list of the best gaming monitors.

Peripherals

If you’re using your PC on a desk with a monitor, you’ll benefit from the improved responsiveness of wired rather than wireless devices. Look for high-resolution mice, and keyboards with programmable keys and backlighting.

High-grade mechanical switches in keyboards have a better ‘feel’ and provide longer life than cheap membrane switches. Here are the best gaming keyboards.

A gaming sound card can provide a more immersive experience by adding multiple sound effects, with improved audio fidelity. Also consider a gaming headset with a built-in mic.

Warranty

Warranty terms are crucial when it comes to gaming PCs and a key advantage of buying a pre-built overclocked PC is that all of the overclocking will be tested and covered by the vendor’s warranty. The longer the warranty the better, but also look for a collect-and-return rather than return-to-base option. Also pay attention to whether parts and labour are both covered and for how long.

Best gaming PCs 2017 UK – gaming PC reviews


1.

Chillblast Fusion Adamantium 3



2.

Yoyotech BlackBox SP


Yoyotech BlackBox SP


3.

Overclockers UK Titan Falcon


Overclockers UK Titan Falcon


4.

Wired2Fire Pyro Ryzen DG review


Wired2Fire Pyro Ryzen DG review


5.

Mesh Ryzen 7 Gaming PC-A


Mesh Ryzen 7 Gaming PC-A


6.

Wired2Fire Diablo Fury


Wired2Fire Diablo Fury


7.

Yoyotech Warbird RS10 V2


Yoyotech Warbird RS10 V2


9.

Overclockers UK Kinetic H1


Overclockers UK Kinetic H1


10.

Mesh Storm PCA


Mesh Storm PCA

Source link
 

Previous «
Next »