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Current Best Gaming PC Builds for the Money

Q2 2019 Recommended Hardware Components to Strategically Stretch Performance, Reliability & Longevity for Any Budget When Building a Custom Desktop



Last Updated: May 11, 2019

Building the best PC build for gaming in May or June 2019 and trying to pick the current best bang for your buck PC parts on the market right now? In our continually-updated, meticulously-researched best gaming PC builds below we've done the painstaking research to design what we believe to be the current top value for money, best PC builds for gaming based on our borderline-obsessive monitoring of the ever-evolving hardware market from the perspective of gamers looking for maximum value for money, topped off with our own subjective opinion on which combination of parts would not just perform the fastest for any given budget, but that would look awesome too (and run cool and quiet).

Right now in May 2019, objectively speaking it's a very good time to build a PC. The Great GPU Drought of 2017-18 is thankfully well behind us, which for those who've been living under a rock meant we saw graphics card prices rise dramatically as Cryptocurrency miners bought almost every graphics card in sight to take advantage of the Bitcoin mining boom which required graphics card power to do effectively (GPU supply lowered, demand rose, and prices soared; economics 101). But now in mid 2019, it's not just graphics card prices that are back to normal for the most part, but CPU prices are quite attractive, RAM prices are lower than they've been for a while, and same thing with SSDs.



If you've been putting off building a gaming PC for a while now due to the volatile prices, now is a good time to consider pulling the trigger on an upgrade that will last you a long time (well, if you choose good parts!). Speaking of picking the right components, our latest edition of the best gaming PC builds for the money is now complete after endless hours carefully planning and cross-checking each individual price tier, and we hope they help you plan the best PC build for gaming for whatever your budget and performance aims are.

For those new to the site, each and every quarter of the year we do a complete overhaul of our below recommended gaming PC builds which explain in detail how we'd go about maximizing bang for your buck for any spending budget when building a gaming desktop right now to help you with choosing the current best value for money parts.

The below fine-tuned PC builds for optimal gaming performance (and to also maximize effective airflow, matching looks/themes, and allow for full upgrade flexibility) can be either used either exactly as they are (for each parts-list is carefully, thoroughly checked for full compatibility), or as a base of reference for your ongoing hardware research should you wish to further fine-tune your parts-list for your more specific wants and needs.

Part of the fun of building a gaming desktop is tweaking your hardware selections to match your individual taste, style, and performance needs, but always remember to do your compatibility checks when mixing and matching parts around (see our Complete Guide to Building Your First Gaming PC and all our other hardware guides on the site).

We hope these in-depth build guides helps a little, and good luck constructing the custom setup of your dreams that'll have you gaming in full graphical glory for years to come. Although consoles are great fun too, long live the master race; when done right, the PC really is the premier platform and the pinnacle of gaming with its vast sea of possibilities, superior performance, and sheer flexibility. Anything a console can do, a PC can do and do better. Good luck and enjoy your killer new setup to experience PC gaming at its flawlessly-smooth finest in high graphical glory for years to come.

See Also: 

5 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Build Your Next PC (Motivation if You're On the Fence)

Have Us Plan the Best Personalized Custom Parts-List for You (Our Premium Service for First-Time Builders)



The Best PC Builds for Gaming (Q2 2019)


Swipe to Scroll the Builds:


Optimal Gaming Performance, Component Quality & Build Balance for the Money

RESOLUTION
FULL REVIEW BUDGET GRAPHICS
CARD
CPU CPU COOLER MOTHERBOARD RAM HDD SSD PSU CASE



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ENTRY LEVEL < $300 Vega RX8 (integrated) Ryzen 3 2200G Stock Asus Prime B450M-A/CSM Patriot Viper 4GB DDR4 2666MHz WD 1TB Blue 7200RPM
- EVGA 450 BT Rosewill FBM 05
CHEAP < $400 Vega RX11 (integrated) Ryzen 5 2400G Stock MSI B450M Bazooka V2 Crucial Ballistix 8GB DDR4 2666MHz As Above - As Above Thermaltake Versa H15 SPCC
BUDGET < $500 Powercolor Radeon RX 570 4GB Ryzen 3 1200 Stock MSI Performance B450 ATX Kingston HyperX 8GB DDR4 2666MHz As Above - As Above Corsair Carbide 100R
MID RANGE < $600 XFX RX 580 8GB i3-8100 Stock Gigabyte B360M DS3H Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4 2400MHz As Above Kingston A400 240GB EVGA 500 BT Cooler Master MasterBox Pro 5 RGB
60FPS ULTRA < $800 MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Armor OC Ryzen 5 2600 Stock Asus Prime B450-Plus Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB DDR4 2666MHz As Above As Above EVGA 500 BQ Phanteks Eclipse P400 Tempered Glass

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GOOD 1440P < $1000 Zotac RTX 2060 6GB
i5-9400F Stock ASRock Z390 Pro4 As Above As Above As Above EVGA 550 SuperNOVA G3 Cooler Master MasterCase H500
GREAT 1440P < $1250 ASUS RTX 2060 6GB Strix OC i5-9600K Arctic Freezer 34 eSports Duo Asus Prime Z390-A Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR4 3000MHz As Above As Above EVGA 650 SuperNOVA G3 Rosewill Cullinan MX
60FPS ULTRA < $1500 Gigabyte RTX 2070 8GB OC Ryzen 7 2700X Stock Asus Prime X470 Pro As Above Seagate 2TB 7200RPM Samsung 860 EVO 250GB As Above Phanteks Enthoo Pro




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GOOD 4K < $2000 ASUS Strix RTX 2080 8GB OC
i7-9700K Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition ASUS Rog Strix Z390-E As Above As Above As Above EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G3 Corsair Crystal 570X
60FPS ULTRA < $2500 EVGA RTX 2080 Ti 11GB Black As Above Corsair Hydro H100i Pro RGB As Above As Above As Above Samsung 860 EVO 500GB Corsair RMX RM750x Corsair Graphite 780T
100FPS+ < $3000 ASUS Strix RTX 2080 Ti OC i9-9900K NZXT Kraken X72 RGB ASUS Maximus XI Hero Z390 Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB 32GB 3200MHz As Above As Above EVGA SuperNova G3 850 Gold NZXT H700i Smart RGB
144FPS ULTRA < $5000 Titan RTX or 2x RTX 2080 Ti (SLI) As Above As Above MSI Meg Z390 Godlike (haha, Meg) As Above As Above Samsung 970 EVO m.2 1TB EVGA SuperNOVA 1200W Platinum As Above







A Note On Using the Builds to Plan Your Perfect New Tailored PC

For clarification, our latest gaming PC builds above are the "best" builds you can build right now in the Q2 2019 market in terms of what we believe to be the best way to spend any particular budget as a gamer looking for maximum return on investment, and simply our own personal opinion after a thorough objective analysis of the current market on which custom parts-list we'd personally buy ourselves if we were building a gaming PC in each different price category.

Keep in mind as you tweak your perfect parts-list that our quarterly-updated recommended builds have been designed with maximum gaming performance as the chief aim; your mileage may vary, such as in instances where you value gaming performance AND workstation/multitasking/content-creation performance equally, in which case additional considerations should be made such as including more RAM for a video editing build, placing additional weight to your choice of CPU for 3D Rendering/CAD/Animation as well as when building a PC for gaming AND streaming, and so on if you don't just use your computer for gaming.

But if gaming performance is your number one priority when building your desktop because you want to play games in good graphical quality, always smoothly, and always flawlessly responsive (for competitive and/or pro gaming), the below builds are a good place to start your research of the current market as of Q2 2019 to wisely maximize any given spending budget.

We do everything we can to ensure each carefully-selected parts-list is a solid safe-bet buy for that particular price category to get the fastest gaming performance possible, but also as an example of how to intelligently balance the dozen or so component choices required for a new working computer not just for maximum gaming performance, but also for everything else that's important as a DIY gamer such as ample cooling/airflow, full upgrade flexibility, and top-notch looks to add icing to the cake.

Good luck mates and hope our current sample beginner-friendly builds may come in handy for your PC planning stage.

- Julz (Founder/Author)






Best Gaming PC Builds for 4K/VR (Extreme)


Current Best $3000 Gaming PC Build

Build Tier: Ultimate 4K and VR

Gaming Performance: 10/10

Recommended Resolutions/Refresh Rates:

4K 60Hz/144Hz or 1440p/1080p 144Hz (& flawless VR)

Current Best $2500 Gaming PC Build

Build Tier: Ultra 4K

Gaming Performance: 10/10

Recommended Resolutions/Refresh Rates:

4K 60Hz or 1440p/1080p 144Hz (& flawless VR)

Current Best $2000 Gaming PC Build

Build Tier: Good 4K

Gaming Performance: 9.5/10

Recommended Resolutions/Refresh Rates:

4K 60Hz or 1440p 60Hz/144Hz or 1080p 144Hz (& great VR)



Best Gaming PC Builds for 1440p (High End)


Current Best $1500 Gaming PC Build

Build Tier: Ultra 1440p

Gaming Performance: 9/10

Recommended Resolutions/Refresh Rates:

1440p 60Hz or 1080p 144Hz (& good VR)


Current Best $1200 Gaming PC Build

Build Tier: Great 1440p

Gaming Performance: 8.5/10

Recommended Resolutions/Refresh Rates:

1440p 60Hz or 1080p 144Hz (& good VR)


Current Best $1000 Gaming PC Build

Build Tier: Good 1440p

Gaming Performance: 8/10

Recommended Resolutions/Refresh Rates:

1440p 60Hz or 1080p 60Hz (& entry-level VR)



Best Gaming PC Builds for 1080p (Budget)


Current Best $800 Gaming PC Build

Build Tier: Ultra 1080p

Gaming Performance: 7.5/10

Recommended Resolutions/Refresh Rates:

1080p 60Hz or 1440p 60Hz


Current Best $600 Gaming PC Build

Build Tier: Mid-Range 1080p

Gaming Performance: 7/10

Recommended Resolutions/Refresh Rates:

1080p 60Hz


Current Best $500 Gaming PC Build

Build Tier: Budget 1080p

Gaming Performance: 6.5/10

Recommended Resolutions/Refresh Rates:

1080p 60Hz


Current Best $400 Gaming PC Build

Build Tier: Cheap 1080p

Gaming Performance: 5.5/10

Recommended Resolutions/Refresh Rates:

1080p, 900p, 720p (60Hz)


Current Best $300 Gaming PC Build

Build Tier: Entry-Level 1080p

Gaming Performance: 5/10 (entry level 1080p)

Recommended Resolutions/Refresh Rates: 1080p, 900p, 720p (60Hz)


Confused About Resolutions, Refresh Rates, or Frame Rates?



Gaming Builds FAQ

Which of the builds is right for me?

Can I mix and match parts around from different builds?

Do the builds have WiFi capability?

Is wired internet better than wireless for gaming?

Should I wait for component X or Y to be released before building?

When are the builds updated?

Why isn't Windows included in the price of the builds?"

Why aren't peripherals included in the price of the builds?

Are you sponsored by X or Y manufacturer because you recommend them so much?

Which countries are these gaming PC builds for?

Which online stores have the best prices on PC components?

Why trust your build recommendations? Are you hardware Jesus?


Which of the builds is right for me?

Of all the best gaming PC builds we recommend right now, if you're perhaps getting into the PC master race for the first time, you may be a little lost as to just how much you should spend on your new setup. It's a question that only you can answer...how long is a piece of string? Only you will know the answer, so don't let anyone tell you "you need to spend X amount". Even a cheap computer can go a long way when done right.

How much you spend on a new gaming computer comes down to many factors, with perhaps the biggest ones (besides how much you actually have to spend) being what resolution you want to play in (1080p, 1440p or 4K), what types of games you want to play (demanding AAA titles, older games, or a mix etc), and what type of performance you'd be happy with in those games (flawlessly smooth at all times, or can you stand a little laggy-ness or toning down the graphic settings to get better performance?).

See Also: 1080p vs 1440p vs 4K: Gaming Resolutions Explained and Compared

As a general rule of thumb, for standard 1080p resolution (full HD), which is what most gamers still use in 2018 and will continue to do so in 2019, $500 - $800 will serve you well depending on the performance level you seek. Less if you're only playing lesser-demanding games, older titles, 720p resolution, or you don't mind 1080p on the lowest graphical settings.

Next step up in quality is 1440p resolution which is also quite popular these days; you're looking at spending $800 to $1500 for a build of that nature. For virtual reality and 4K resolution, the pinnacle of PC gaming if you can afford it, you're looking at throwing down $1500 and above, with $2000-$2500 allowing for the very best performance in this resolution. Anything more than this, such as our above suggested SLI builds (read: multi GPU setups) is pure luxury and overkill for 99.953632% of gamers.


Can I mix and match parts around from different builds?

Of course - the above best gaming PC builds are our recommended "safe bets" for any particular budget based on years of hardware experience and obsessing over the ever-changing market, but go ahead and tweak these builds 'till the ends of the earth until you're 100% satisfied.

Planning the perfect custom setup is a big part of the fun, but just don't forget to always consider compatibility between all of your components. Basics changes like using a different graphics card  instead of the one we included will almost always be totally fine, although there are always exceptions to the rule so always do your homework (for example, perhaps the card you opt for is bigger and would not fit in your case, etc etc).


Do the builds have WiFi capability?

All modern motherboards come with built-in wired LAN networking capability, however most DO NOT have built-in wireless. If you want your PC to access the internet wirelessly (for gaming or non-gaming) you have three options:

Option 3 typically requires you to invest in a more expensive motherboard, so it may not be within your budget to do this. The first 2 options are most common for a cost-effective desktop build, and whether you get an internal adapter card or a USB dongle is personal preference as either can work just as well. See our guide to internal vs external wireless adapters for more on this. If you get an internal network card, which is typically better than a USB adapter, you'll want to ensure your motherboard has a spare PCI-E slot, especially if you're getting a mATX (Micro ATX) motherboard which sometimes are a little cramped.


Is wired internet better than wireless for gaming?

Generally speaking, yes. If you're gaming online, a wired LAN connection is always the most ideal as you don't have to worry about dropouts and/or potential slowdowns in your connection. This becomes more important if you're gaming competitively. However, these days wireless connections can be just as good if you have a good internet connection, a good router, and good network card/dongle.


Should I wait for component X or Y to be released before building?

This is an age-old question that will never die. Truth is, there's always new parts coming out, either really soon or in the not too distant future, so if you wait for all new releases before building your computer you'll be waiting forever. However, not all new releases are created equal, so it does depend on your particular build and the particular part you may be waiting for. Also keep in mind that even if you wait for a new part, it may not even be the best overall value for money at the price at which its released, and over its initial first few months or so, and sometimes older parts represent better bang for your buck (case in point right now is the GTX cards being better value overall than the new RTX cards).


When are the builds updated?

We thoroughly look over, re-consider and tweak (where necessary) all our recommended gaming PC builds each and every month, but we also occasionally update a build mid-month if there's any noteworthy changes to the hardware market such as a big release that deserves to be included in any given build tier, or before big sales events like Black Friday/Cyber Monday to ensure the builds are freshly-updated for those days.

In other words, these gaming PC build examples are essentially always updated and ready to go; they're the flagship feature of the site and what keeps the majority of our readers coming back to the site, therefore we always keep a close eye on them so that they are practically never outdated. Also note that sometimes a particular build will stay the exact same month to month if it still remains as the best value for money parts-list for that price in our opinion.


Why isn't Windows included in the price of the builds?

We don't include the operating system, which for most builders will be Windows 10, because A) there are other choices other than Windows such as Linux, and B) some builders will already have a (legal) copy of Windows that they can reuse for their new build (such as a multi-machine edition they previously bought).


Why aren't peripherals included in the price of the builds?

Choosing peripherals such as your monitor, keyboard, mouse and headset comes down to personal preference a lot more than the actual hardware parts, so it wouldn't make sense to include specific peripherals for each recommended build. Plus, like with the operating system, a lot of readers will already have peripherals they can use from a previous desktop build. See our peripheral buying guides in the main top menu for our top picks on these parts if you want some guidance, which also includes which features to look for in each accessory and info on what current pro gamers use as of 2019.


Are you sponsored by X or Y manufacturer because you recommend them so much?

No - we're not affiliated with any specific manufacturer. BGC prides itself on being as objective unbiased as possible, and we're independently operated, and do not accept any outside incentives to suggest a particular brand over another. All our recommendations are solely our opinion on what we genuinely believe is the best choice for most readers, and are what we would buy ourselves if building a particular tier right now. If we include a certain brand or component over and over again, it's simply because we think it's a great buy. Nor are we fanboys of any company, however in saying that we do love to see the underdog do well, because that's exactly who we are in the hardware/gaming publishing space.


Which countries are these gaming PC builds for?

Hardware is an international product, and if a certain component is a good buy in the USA it's usually also a good buy in other countries, and all our Amazon links will automatically direct you to your local countries store where possible. However pricing may differ from country to country which may be something that affects your buying decisions. For example, a certain component may be a great value buy in one country, but overpriced in another. But overall, we tweak our best gaming PC build guides for the USA and Canadian market (they're both very similar).


Which online stores have the best prices on PC components?

The following are our top recommended hardware stores to buy parts (and accessories) in 2019:

#1 Recommended Store: Amazon (tough to beat on price and shipping)

#2 Recommended Stores (3-Way Tie): BHPhotoVideo (reliable, respected company) and Newegg and OutletPC

Our top recommended hardware store in terms of the most competitive pricing, biggest range, reliability of shipping, and customer service for computer hardware in the USA (or Canada for that matter) is good-old Amazon, who are hard to beat when it comes to PC components and accessories. They're a well-oiled machine and it's rare to encounter problems with them, and their handy Prime membership (you can get a 30-day free trial here) allows you to get unlimited 2-day free shipping (without needing a minimum order size). Two alternatives we can comfortably recommend to buy hardware online for the best price and that also have good, reliable shipping and service would be BHPhotoVideo and OutletPC, who are also trusted, well-respected names for all-things computers.


Why trust your build recommendations? Are you hardware Jesus?

Yes. On a serious note, first of all this must be said: don't trust what we - or anyone - says on the internet blindly without doing your own research, especially when it comes to forking out what's likely to be a fair chunk of change on a new computer. But we have made it a mission for many years to practically obsess over the ever-changing DIY PC sphere to better serve you - the first-time (or second/third time) newbie PC builder - as best as we possibly can, and as objectively as we can (meaning we try to clarify every recommendation and take into account why it may or may not be suitable for your particular situation). 

We avoid recommending something without carefully weighing up the options and doing comprehensive analysis, and we re-evaluate our selections over and over again during our continual updates of these builds as hardware is a constantly evolving beast. Point is, we've learned a thing or two over many years regarding what makes a solid build for any given budget, and a lot of effort has gone into and continues to go into this site to make it as helpful a resource as possible for the PC building community. Your feedback over the years as readers has also helped us understand what your needs are, what we need to improve, and what the average beginner builder struggles with. So, take what you can from our guides and we genuinely hope they help you along the way, but remember they're here to supplement your own research, especially if you have more specific wants and needs than the average gamer.

PS: Speaking of heavenly hardware gods, I think we can all concur Steve from Gamer's Nexus takes the cake as hardware Jesus; even his hair agrees. Check out his solid YT channel if you want to take your DIY knowledge to the next level. A good credible guy from what I've seen. 







Leave a Comment/Question  (New)

After various requests over the years we've finally added a comments feature to all guides on the site as of May 2019, as well as new article sharing features on the top of each article to allow for effortless sharing of any particular build or guide with a gaming buddy of yours who might also benefit from it. 

So from now on, instead of using our Contact Us form to share feedback on anything you liked or disliked about one of our articles or to get help with your build, please use the new comments section below instead. Thanks for visiting and hope the site has helped you in your planning.

- Julz (Founder, Editor)