Gaming has come a long way in recent years. With incredible leaps in graphics and computing technology, today’s games offer stunningly realistic worlds and intense, fast-paced action that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. To fully experience everything cutting-edge games have to offer, you need a PC that can keep up. This is where customizable gaming desktops come in.
Gaming PCs allow you to choose high-end components like the GPU, CPU, RAM and more to build a machine tailored specifically to your needs. Unlike gaming laptops or pre-built desktops with fixed hardware, you can craft your ideal gaming rig with a customizable desktop. Serious gamers need top notch specs like a powerful graphics card, multi-core processor, lots of RAM and superior cooling to run the latest games smoothly at high settings. This level of performance doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth it for enthusiasts who want to experience games to the fullest.
This article will cover the top 5 customizable gaming desktops on the market for discerning gamers who want to build the PC of their dreams. We’ll also discuss what to look for when selecting components for a high-end system. Let’s dive in!
What to Look for in a Customizable Gaming Desktop
Gaming computers may seem complicated if you’re unfamiliar with their internal components. But understanding the basic parts of a custom gaming PC helps ensure you get the right system for your needs and budget. Here are the most important elements to consider when selecting components:
GPU (Graphics Card) – The graphics card is by far the most critical component of any gaming PC. The GPU handles rendering all the 3D environments and textures when playing games. You’ll want an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 or 3090, or an AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT or 6900 XT to enable smooth 4K gaming or high frame rates on a 1440p monitor. These latest generation GPUs also support real-time ray tracing for enhanced graphics.
CPU (Processor) – The processor handles critical background tasks while gaming like physics, AI, and generally keeping game worlds running. A fast multi-core CPU also helps with streaming and running other applications at the same time as your game. Aim for an 8-core Intel Core i7 or i9 CPU, or a 12 or 16-core AMD Ryzen 7 or 9 processor.
RAM – Having enough RAM keeps your games running smoothly and allows you to have multiple games and apps open at once. 16GB is usually enough for today’s games, but 32GB is recommended for lasting performance as games become more demanding.
Cooling – Powerful gaming PCs produce a lot of heat. Good cooling keeps your CPU and GPU from thermal throttling which can seriously impact frame rates. Look for liquid cooling (AIO) units or heavy duty air coolers from trusted brands like NZXT or Noctua.
Storage – Fast solid state drives (SSDs) are essential in 2022. Look for at least a 1TB SSD to hold your operating system and games. Supplement with a high capacity HDD for media storage.
The motherboard, case, power supply and other components factor in as well. We’ll cover all the finest options available when discussing the top pre-built gaming PCs next.
The Top 5 Customizable Gaming Desktops
Let’s look at the creme de la creme when it comes to pre-built gaming PCs that also offer customization and future upgradability.
1. Origin PC Neuron/Millennium
Origin PC is one of the most well known and highly regarded custom gaming PC companies. Their systems offer unrivaled customization combined with expert craftsmanship.
The Neuron and Millennium mid-sized tower cases providestellar thermals to support the beefiest CPU and GPU combos. Their tempered glass side panels and customizable RGB case lighting enable you to glimpse the high-end hardware within.
Origin PC systems can be configured with virtually any top shelf components you desire. You can equip them with Intel Core i9 processors, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 graphics cards, up to 64GB of blisteringly fast RAM, multiple PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs, 360mm all-in-oneliquid coolers, and other premium parts. If money is no object when constructing your dream gaming rig, Origin PC delivers.
Both the Neuron and Millennium cases offer tool-less entry and Origin PC’s renowned cable routing to keep your system neat and organized. Their modular designs also make upgrading and swapping parts a breeze down the line.
You can further customize your Origin PC with custom graphics and laser etching for a truly bespoke gaming machine. To provide peace of mind with your investment, Origin PC backs all systems with a generous 5 year part replacement warranty.
As you may expect, the limitless customization and premium quality of Origin PC systems comes at a high cost. Plan to spend $2500 and up for a high-end configuration. But for gamers who desire an unmatched custom gaming experience, Origin PC is a top choice.
2. CLX Set/Veronica
CLX Gaming is another company crafting excellent customizable gaming PCs. The Set mid-tower strikes an admirable balance of thermals, expansion potential, and features. It sports angular styling with programmable RGB LEDs illuminating the front fans. A tempered glass side panel shows off your high-end hardware.
You can configure a Set system with up to an Intel Core i9-12900K processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090, 64GB of DDR4 memory, and effective 360mm liquid cooling. This beastly hardware combination provides elite-level gaming and content creation performance.
CLX gaming desktops also include the CLX Control Center software suite. This allows controlling your system’s RGB lighting effects and enables pushing your hardware’s performance via automatic overclocking tools.
The company stands behind their systems with a 3 year standard warranty that can be extended to up to 5 years for additional peace of mind.
CLX Gaming PCs with potent Core i9 and RTX 3090 builds cost over $2000. But they provide an excellent blend of performance, features, quality, and support compared to alternatives.
3. NZXT BLD Kit
NZXT BLD lets you order a custom gaming PC fully configured to your specifications. This includes selecting the case, CPU, GPU, storage, RAM, cooling and other components.
Where NZXT stands out is their excellent pricing. Despite offering premium brand name parts, their gaming rigs cost measurably less than rivals.
For instance, the NZXT BLD Kit starts you off with a base system including the case, power supply, SSD, and more. You then customize by selecting your ideal processor like the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, your preferred NVIDIA RTX 30 series graphics card, RAM amount, cooling solution, and other options.
The BLD Kit case comes with tempered glass for peering at your components, removable radiator mounting for liquid cooling upgrades, and clean cable management. It’s designed to support new GPUs and upgrades you may want to install later as well.
NZXT protects your investment with a 2 year warranty that can be extended to 5 years. The affordability, quality and upgrade potential combine to make NZXT BLD Kit systems a very appealing customizable gaming desktop option.
4. CyberPowerPC Syber
CyberPowerPC is a veteran gaming PC company that offers a broad selection of customizable towers and desktops at reasonable prices. Their Syber line includes uniquely styled cases to house your choice of high-end hardware.
For example, the Syber Luminia and Syber Cube support full sized GPUs and liquid cooling radiators to handle an Intel Core i9 CPU and NVIDIA RTX 3090 without breaking a sweat. Configuring a system with that level of hardware provides uncompromising 4K gaming performance.
But CyberPowerPC’s more creative case designs help their systems stand out. Options like the Syber C Sync feature an exterior ring of RGB light tubes. Or the vertical orientation and angled front panel of the Syber Qube make for a distinct small form factor gaming PC.
CyberPowerPC’s gaming systems are backed by a 1 year warranty. Added peace of mind can be obtained by purchasing optional 2 or 3 year extensions.
For the hardware you get, CyberPowerPC’s prices are quite reasonable. Depending on promotions and sales, you can outfit a gaming rig with AMD’s latest Ryzen 7 processor and an RTX 3070 Ti for under $2000. Making CyberPowerPC Syber systems a smart mid-range buy.
5. ABS Master/Gladiator
ABS gaming PCs are yet another line from Newegg providing quality customizable systems at approachable pricing. Between the Master full tower and Gladiator mid-tower chassis, you have plenty of options.
Both support the latest Intel 10th/11th Gen Core processors up to the 10-core i9-10850K, or AMD Ryzen 5000 chips like the 8-core 5800X. For graphics, you can configure up to an NVIDIA RTX 3090 or AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT to deliver elite 4K gaming performance. 16GB of fast DDR4 RAM, 1TB NVMe SSDs, and effective closed-loop liquid CPU coolers come standard as well.
Despite their affordable pricing, ABS doesn’t cut corners on components. Their power supplies, SSDs, and coolers are leading brand names to provide the best performance and reliability. And their open-air case designs prioritize ample airflow for keeping temperatures low across the board.
ABS also designed their systems with future upgrades in mind. Their uncluttered case interiors and modular power supplies make installing additional storage, GPUs, cooling, and other hardware simple for years to come.
Gamers seeking superb price to performance can count on ABS Master and Gladiator gaming rigs starting under $1500. Even a high-end build with Intel Core i9 CPU and GeForce RTX 3090 costs less than $2500. That’s excellent value for a top-tier gaming desktop.
How to Choose Your Custom Gaming Desktop
Now that you have a sense of the excellent customizable gaming PCs available, here are some tips for choosing the right system and components for your needs:
- Determine your budget. This will dictate just how high-end you can go with the graphics card, CPU, and other parts. $1500 is enough for a solid mid-range build, while $2500+ is ideal for uncompromising performance.
- Choose your CPU wisely. 6 core processors like the Ryzen 5600X or Core i5-11600K deliver excellent gaming performance already. But higher core counts like 8 or 12 help with streaming, editing and productivity tasks.
- Pick an appropriate GPU for your gaming target. The RTX 3060 Ti or RX 6700 XT are great for smooth 1440p gaming. Step up to an RTX 3080 or Radeon 6800 XT to enable 4K gaming with max settings.
- Don’t skimp on RAM. 16GB is the bare minimum most would recommend today for high-end gaming. But 32GB helps future proof your system for years to come as games become more demanding.
- Select the right storage. You’ll definitely want a 1 TB NVMe M.2 SSD for lightning fast game load times and improved level streaming. Then add a 2+ TB HDD for media storage.
- Make cooling a priority. A reputable 240mm or 360mm all-in-one liquid cooler is recommended, or an elite air cooler like Noctua’s NH-D15. This keeps your CPU and in turn GPU running optimally cool.
- Choose a quality motherboard from trusted brands like ASUS, Gigabyte or MSI that supports overclocking your CPU and GPU. For AMD, the X570 or B550 chipsets are ideal. Z590 or Z490 for Intel.
- Don’t neglect the power supply. Aim for 80+ Gold certification or better. Modular cables help with managing cables for a clean build. Wattage should be 750W+ to support top-tier GPUs.
- Pick a well designed case with good airflow and build quality that fits your space. Prioritize airflow with mesh front panels rather than solid glass. And make sure it has great cable management.
That covers the key components. Taking the time to research parts and read customer PC builder reviews helps immensely as well when creating your perfect customized gaming rig.
Frequently Asked Questions About Custom Gaming PCs
If you’re new to the world of gaming PCs, you likely still have plenty of questions. Here are answers to some of the most common queries we hear from enthusiasts interested in purchasing or building a high-end gaming desktop:
How much more expensive are custom gaming PCs compared to building your own PC?
Pre-built systems from trusted manufacturers are typically 15-25% more expensive than building yourself. You’re paying for the cost of professional assembly, testing, warranty, tech support, and the builder’s profit margin. However, during periods when graphics cards are extremely hard to find at retail, pre-built can sometimes be cheaper than DIY.
Are customizable pre-built PCs higher quality than building your own?
Quality comes down to the specific components used rather than pre-built versus self-built. Top tier manufacturers only use brand name parts from reputable companies just like DIY builders do. You’re paying for assembly, warranty, technical support, and convenience when going pre-built.
Can you upgrade and customize a pre-built gaming desktop later?
Absolutely. Reputable builders design their gaming PCs specifically to be user upgradeable. They utilize standard motherboards and power supplies that can support next generation GPUs and CPUs. But always confirm upgradability before purchasing.
Is a 1-year warranty enough for a gaming desktop?
1 year is typically the minimum warranty period for a pre-built gaming PC. However, 2 or 3 year warranties are recommended, especially considering the cost of high-end graphics cards and power supplies. Many manufacturers offer extended warranty periods for purchase to give you more peace of mind. Just be sure labor is included.
What questions should I ask a custom PC builder?
Ask what components they recommend for your specific budget, performance goals, and use case. Inquire about their build quality, warranties, upgrade policies, customer service reputation, order lead times, and shipping methods. Communicate your needs and expectations clearly so they can suggest the ideal parts to exceed them.
Is liquid or air CPU cooling better for gaming desktops?
360mm closed-loop liquid coolers are generally the best for keeping high core count CPUs like the Ryzen 9 5900X cool during intense gaming sessions. But elite air coolers like the Noctua NH-D15 can work very well too. Just avoid small, cheap air coolers that can’t handle major CPUs under heavy load.
How future proof should a high-end gaming PC be?
It’s smart to leave room for upgrades when investing $2000+ in a gaming desktop. Choose a case, motherboard and power supply that will support next generation GPUs and CPUs. Go with 32GB of RAM if possible as well. This can extend its viability 3-5 years before needing any major upgrades.
What are symptoms of a bottleneck slowing down gaming performance?
The main symptom of a CPU, GPU, or other bottleneck is lower than expected FPS and game performance. Other signs are frame rate drops during intense gaming moments, graphics stuttering, games not reaching expected FPS even on lower graphics settings. Benchmarking tools can help identify precisely where the bottleneck lies.
I hope this guide has helped demystify high-end gaming PCs! Building or buying a customized dream machine enables you to fully experience today’s cutting edge games. Take your time researching the many excellent component and case options. And invest in a quality system that will provide years of gaming enjoyment. Let us know if you have any other questions. Game on!