Not every prebuilt gaming PC is created equally. Therefore, extra care and vigilance are required when choosing such a PC for your daily use.
If you are buying a prebuilt gaming PC it is either because you lack expertise on how to build a gaming PC or simply want to avoid the ongoing mess and price hikes that the PC industry is going through.
Hence in this article, I am going to tell you what you should be on the lookout for in a prebuilt gaming PC.
At the end of this article, you will be fully equipped with all the knowledge you need to make a more informed decision.
Therefore, for your ease and convenience, I have divided the key aspects into 3 distinct groups. So without further ado, the following are some key considerations you have to keep in mind.
Case Design and Aesthetics
The case design and Aesthetics encompasses the visual appearance and the design perks like form-factor, airflow, etc. More often than not gamers don’t consider the case design and aesthetics as important which bites them later on. You don’t want to be that guy now, do you?
The Case Should Have Proper Cooling and Airflow
The number 1 factor that needs thorough consideration is whether the case of the PC supports proper airflow and cooling. Heat is the kryptonite of gaming PCs and can not only affect the performance of the PC but also reduce the long-term health of the machine.
Therefore, for any good PC, it is important that it not only contains the heat but also proper channels through which heat is dissipated. This results in the proper functioning of the PC.
Ensure that the prebuilt gaming PC you are eyeing has good airflow and mechanism in place. A great sign to verify this is that the PC should have an abundant amount of case fans and should come with a case that incorporates ventilation holes in its design. AIO liquid cooling is a big plus but not essential.
The Form Factor Should Suit Your Gaming Setup
PC cases come in different form factors. Some are wide, while others are narrow. Some have a tall stature while others favor a more compact stance. Generally speaking, the case of the PC is divided into three categories
- Full-size case
- Micro-ATX case
- Mini-ATX case
As the name suggests the difference between these three case profiles differ in their dimension with micro-ATX being smaller than the full-size case and mini-ATX being smaller than micro-ATX case respectively.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to the form-factor of the PC case, and it depends on the theme and the lookout of your setup. Therefore, make sure that the form-factor of the prebuilt gaming PC you are buying compliments your setup. Don’t sleep on this as it will save you a lot of headaches later on, trust me.
Front I/O Connectivity Is King
There is nothing better than front I/O that just works. If you are unaware, the front I/O is basically the collection of the input and the output ports usually located at the front of the top of the PC.
These ports are the most used ones on the PC and are utilized almost every day for connecting peripherals like mice and keyboards and also USB pen drives. Given the importance of the front I/O, you should get a PC that has a diverse and solid I/O that can cope with all your connectivity needs.
The ideal front I/O setup would look something like this: 2+ USB Type-A ports, 1x USB-C ports, SD card slot, 3.5mm jacks for connecting audio and mic separately.
Aesthetic Is Very Important
A lot of gamers undermine the importance of aesthetics and only think performance is the factor they should consider when looking at a prebuilt gaming PC. I have to say, this is where they are wrong.
In 2022 aesthetics is as important as performance is not more in a gaming PC. Customizing your PC and making it unique is all the rave these days. When talking about aesthetics the first thing that pops to mind is RGB lighting.
Without diving much deeper into it I believe it is for the consumers to decide on how their PC looks and whether it should have RGB lighting or not.
What I would like to say is that whatever your taste in aesthetics is, just get a prebuilt gaming PC that is interesting to look at. No one likes a boring old tower sitting at the corner of the desk anymore. A gaming PC should be flashy and have a spiced-up presence at your desk.
Specification and System Performance
The next category that I would like to tackle is specification and system performance. Performance tickles the taste buds of gamers and is the favorite talking point of many yet most gamers when looking at a prebuilt gaming PC end up making wrong performance and specification speculations.
The More the CPU Cores the Better
The general rule implies that the more cores that a processor has the faster it will be able to perform all the tasks. Of course, this does not factor in the gaming performance but rather only the general day-to-day performance of the PC.
Having a higher core CPU means that each task performed on the PC can be processed faster and quicker. If you ask me, in 2022 a prebuilt gaming PC should at least have a 6-core processor with 8 cores being the sweet spot.
As for AMD Ryzen or Intel, I would opt for a prebuilt gaming PC with a Ryzen CPU because they are much more efficient and therefore produce less heat. Since the performance of both Intel and Ryzen chips is similar the heat factor is a major consideration.
Good CPU Coolers Can Boost Performance Significantly
Having a solid CPU cooler at the helm means that the processor can boost at the maximum and perform at its limit. Modern processors are designed in a way that they reach their full potential only if sufficient cooling is available to them.
Having a good CPU cooler is also trivial to help eliminate any bottleneck that may come as a result of excessive heat buildup. Unfortunately, most prebuilt gaming PCs don’t have great CPU cooling therefore you need to be quite careful when picking a prebuilt gaming PC.
This is the reason I recommend going with an AMD Ryzen processor because these chips are much more efficient and hence need less cooling compared to Intel. They are more suited for a prebuilt gaming system where most of the time CPU cooling is not a priority.
Ensure That the Prebuilt Gaming PC Has a Dedicated GPU
Graphic cards are the most important PC component for gaming. This component is responsible for rendering the graphics of the games hence it should be understood by a prebuilt gaming PC that should have a dedicated graphics card.
How capable a graphic card you need depends on your gaming needs. If you play a lot of heavy and demanding games like Red Dead Redemption, then you might stick with an Nvidia RTX 3060 gaming PC at the very least.
On the contrary, if you are a casual gamer and mostly play games like Minecraft, WoW, CSGO, or Valorant then you don’t need a high-end GPU. A PC with GTX 1660 super will be more than adequate for this price.
The resolution you will be playing the games at and the refresh rate you want to get are also important factors that play a part in which GPU your prebuilt gaming PC should have.
Have Sufficient RAM and Storage
When picking a prebuilt gaming PC, you have to be quite careful with the installed RAM and storage on that machine. If the RAM or storage is insufficient, then you are not going to have a good time.
Ideally in your gaming PC, you want at least 16GB RAM. Don’t bother with anything less because the gaming PC will not operate smoothly.
As for the storage drive, although there isn’t any fixed capacity, a safe guess is that a prebuilt gaming PC should have at least 1 TB storage space. If you are a heavy downloader and keep a lot of games installed and ready to use, then you might want to go with a higher-capacity storage drive.
Remember, the best storage always comes in the form of an SSD. Never go with a stand-alone hard drive, always look for a prebuilt gaming PC that has a combination of SSD and an HDD. In this way, you will have both fast and ample storage.
Never Cheap Out of the PSU
The Power Supply Unit or the PSU supplies the power needed by all the components of the PC to work. Hence the PSU is single-handedly responsible for keeping all the components of the PC running.
When looking at a gaming PC power supply should be your key consideration. Only buy prebuilt gaming PCs that come with high-quality 80+ rated power supplies. 80+ rating and accreditation ensures that the power supply has an efficiency of more than 80%.
Also, an 80+ rated power supply has a fewer chance of malfunctioning and screwing other PC components alongside as well.
Ports and Connectivity
Connectivity is the lifeline of any gaming PC. If your PC does not have proper connectivity, then regardless of how good the performance is you won’t be able to take complete advantage of it.
This is a situation you have to avoid at all costs. It is not hard to judge the connectivity and port selection of a gaming PC when looking at it. The following are some of the key points you should consider.
Abundant Amount of USB Ports
It won’t be wrong to say that the most used ports on the PC are the USB ports. These ports are utilized more than all the other ports combined. Therefore, a healthy selection of these ports both in the front as well as the back I/O is very important.
There should be at least 2 USB Type-A at the front of the PC and 6 USB Type-A at the back of the PC. Similarly, the number of USB-C ports should also be more than one.
Along with having an abundant amount of USB ports a prebuilt gaming PC should also come with the latest USB technology that being USB 3.2 Gen 4. This technology allows for a higher bandwidth connection hence reducing any latency or interference.
Correct Video Output Ports
The video output ports are the ones that allow the picture from the computer to be transmitted to the screen. To ensure good transmission throughout a prebuilt gaming PC should come with the correct video output ports.
Video output ports are of three types: HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI. DVI is rarely used these days so HDMI and DisplayPort should be at the top of your priority. Make sure that your monitor has the same video output port as that of your PC.
For example, if your monitor comes with an HDMI port then your prebuilt gaming PC should also have an HDMI port otherwise you won’t be able to connect the monitor with the PC.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Are a Must
These days connectivity is all about wireless transmission because it is much more convenient than using a wire. A prebuilt gaming PC is likely to be connected 24/7 with Wi-Fi therefore for your convenience consider looking at a prebuilt gaming PC with built-in Wi-Fi.
This way you will also save money on buying external Wi-Fi adapters. On the topic of Wi-Fi, make sure that the prebuilt gaming you are looking at has a good Wi-Fi 6 card capable of delivering speeds up to 1 Gbps.
As for the Bluetooth, it is just there for future-proofing. The blunt of its use will be present in the future when more and more gadgets transition towards using Bluetooth rather than cable.
Check out our price-focused prebuilt PC guides below.
- Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $500
- Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $800
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- Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $1500
- Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $2000
Check out our GPU-focused prebuilt PC guides below.
Check out our aesthetics-focused gaming PC guides below.
These were some of the important factors worth considering when looking at prebuilt gaming PCs. I tried to keep it as simple and effective as possible so that you can choose a product that best suits your needs.
If you are on the fence about getting a prebuilt gaming PC keep these key considerations in mind, and you are guaranteed to end up with a great gaming PC that you will cherish.
Now before I end this article, do let me know in the comment section whether I missed any key point regarding prebuilt gaming PCs. Also, do share your experience with prebuilt gaming PCs if you have owned one in the past.