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Top 5 Prebuilt Computers for Gaming in 2021

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With the GPU shortages continuing, some people are turning to prebuilt computers. These are pre-assembled PCs, usually sold at a slightly elevated price over buying the parts separately; thus, building your system yourself would normally be cheaper. However, prebuilt prices have generally not increased as much as GPU prices have, and because of that prebuilt PCs are suddenly an interesting option.

And even in situations where the prices of these pre-made computers have kept pace with the rest of the market, they are sometimes nevertheless one of the few reliable ways to obtain certain GPU models that are frequently out-of-stock when sought directly. So, as wild as it may seem coming from this particular website, in this article I will discuss 5 prebuilt computers that are currently worth the money (1 budget choice, 3 midrange choices, and 1 premium choice).

 

Budget Prebuilt PC

HP Pavilion TG01-1022 ($715)

Specs:

    • CPU: i3-10100
    • GPU: GTX 1650 Super
    • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
    • STORAGE: 256 GB NVMe SSD

Budget gaming prebuilts can be tough to find: most prebuilt PCs have an integrated GPU or use an outdated graphics card. However, this reasonably priced prebuilt has a GTX 1650 super, capable of running most (if not all) modern games at medium/high settings at 1080p. It comes with an i3-10100, which is a strong processor for the price: 4 cores/8 threads despite being relatively cheap. The cherry on top is an M.2 NVME SSD, for blazing-fast boot times. Compared to our main chart, this PC would be comparable to the ‘Fair’ tier, with the main difference being that this PC has an i3, while the ‘Fair’ tier has the i5 from the same generation. This would be a very suitable PC for anyone wanting to get into PC gaming or needing a PC for doing light workstation tasks.

 

Midrange Prebuilt PCs

 
With a higher budget, you are closer to the top of the ‘bang-for-buck efficiency curve’: in this section, you get more performance per dollar you spend, so to say.

ABS Challenger ($950)

Specs:

    • CPU: Ryzen 5 3600
    • GPU: GTX 1650
    • RAM: 16GB DDR4
    • STORAGE:  512GB SATA SSD

The first build in this section still features the 1650 (now non-Super), but the processor got a good upgrade to having 6 cores, having 12 threads, and being unlocked for overclocking. The amount of RAM and storage have doubled too! Now that the budget is going up, you can see a very popular trend amongst gaming prebuilts; they are filled with RGB! (If you do not like RGB, do not worry; you will be able to turn it off ). Due to its relatively strong CPU and RAM capacity for the price, this would be a strong choice for a person whose primary gaming interests rely on emulation.

 

ABS Master ($1200)

Specs:

    • CPU: i5-11400F
    • GPU: RTX 2060
    • RAM: 16GB DDR4
    • STORAGE: 512GB NVMe SSD

With the budget going up more, you now get an RTX GPU powerful enough for 1440p gaming or light 4K! The processor, storage, and RAM have not seen much of an upgrade, but for ~250 more this is a nice upgrade in terms of GPU power. But it does have an SSD with both the speed of the first build above and the capacity of the second build. Overall, this prebuilt is fit for serious gamers demanding a high frame rate or a high resolution.

Skytech Shadow 3.0 ($1600)

Specs:

    • CPU: i7-9700KF
    • GPU: RTX 3060
    • RAM: 16GB DDR4
    • STORAGE: 1TB SSD (type unspecified)

While still being a good bang for the buck, this PC rocks an RTX 3060 and an i7! With upgrades to the CPU, GPU, and storage capacity, this PC is very suitable for streaming, 1440p/4K gaming, or workstation processes. This build embodies one of the reasons why prebuilts are interesting option right now: you can get a gaming PC with an RTX 3060 for a price that is not exorbitant. This is because prebuilt prices have not suffered as much as GPU prices have, despite the face that they do often have GPUs in them (which, if you’re curious, is because of prebuilt manufacturers having bulk purchasing agreements directly with GPU makers).

 

Premium Prebuilt PC

Skytech Chronos ($2900)

Specs:

    • CPU: Ryzen 9 3900X
    • GPU: RTX 3080
    • RAM: 16GB DDR4
    • STORAGE: 1TB NVME SSD

The phenomenon of being able to get high-tier components for practically normal pricing inside of prebuilts continues into the ‘premium’ gaming PCs: this machine would be comparable to the ‘Exceptional’ tier of our main chart, but is $150 cheaper, has a 360mm AIO liquid cooler instead of an air cooler, and is already completely assembled! This again is another example of prebuilts temporarily (and, for us, very unintuitively) being the better option at some budget tiers. It is highly likely that the main reason this prebuilt is cheaper is that the manufacturer of the prebuilt was able to get the RTX 3080 for a far lower cost than an end user would. Anyway, enough said about that; let’s look at the specs: with a Ryzen 9 and an RTX 3080, this thing will be able to play all games at 4K (yes, even Crysis) or do big workstation jobs. Even though we’ve moved out of the midrange, the bang for the buck is good, and it’s a beast!

 

Conclusion

 
In the midst of this uncharacteristic prebuilt-love-fest, we would be remiss if we did not mention that there are at least two other reasons (less admirable than industry-scale GPU pricing) that allow prebuilts to stay competitive on pricing: (1) they sometimes cut costs by including lower-quality versions of unexciting (but utterly vital) components like the motherboard, power supply, and RAM; and (2) they tend to have advertising agreements with companies to include their programs as preinstalled bloatware in the OS.

The parts should be functional, the systems overall should covered by warranties to some degree, and the bloatware should be removable by savvy users, but these component and experience differences remain noteworthy.

Now, all of that being said, even though times may not be optimal for people wanting a gaming PC, it should be clear from this article solutions are still available. In this list, we found out that prebuilt PCs are a surprisingly good option to consider at the moment. Although pre-assembled computers have a reputation for being overpriced, they are actually cheaper at many budget levels for the time being. 

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