Best Gaming PC Under 1200 USD – The Ultimate PC Build Guide

It seems that only yesterday building a gaming PC was something many shied away from due to how inflated the hardware prices had gotten because of the accursed crypto mining trend (may it never rise from its grave, and the memory of its existence fade into oblivion!).

But to say that now is the best time to build your PC may be an understatement (if you can get ahold of those elusive Nvidia 3000 GPUs).

After all, we said this very same thing just a few months ago, and the build we created back then can’t begin to compare to this one. That said it’s probably clear to you that this PC is a powerhouse like no other at its price point.

So if you’re looking for the best gaming PC $1200 can buy, then look no further.

Table of ContentsShow

Top Gaming PC Build Under $1200 For 2021

Updated: January 19, 2021

Click on the product images to view the product on Amazon, where you can see more images in high resolution and check the current price.

Ryzen 5 3600CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is a powerful processor that will be able to keep up with the RTX 3070 without any issues
Wraith StealthCooler

Wraith Stealth

Although the weakest of AMD's stock coolers, the Wraith Stealth comes with the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 for a reason, meaning you won't have to worry about thermals unless you're overclocking
EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 XC3 BLACK GAMINGGPU

EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 XC3 BLACK GAMING

Flawless 4K gaming is finally an option with the EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 XC3 BLACK GAMING
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GBRAM

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB

With 16GB of the ever-reliable Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM you shouldn’t ever have to worry about in-game stuttering. To make things even better, the RAM is clocked at 3200MHz, giving you that extra performance boost
ASUS Prime X570-PMotherboard

ASUS TUF GAMING X570-PLUS

The ASUS TUF GAMING X570-PLUS is aN X570 motherboard that simply screams 'GAMING'! It has everything you need to run and overclock a powerful build such as this one, including some upgradability options and PCIe 4.0 support
Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 500GBSSD

Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB

The Samsung 970 EVO Plus is among the best NVMe SSDs on the market - fast, reliable, with a 5-year warranty and a strong brand name to back it up
Corsair CXM 80 Plus Bronze 750WPower Supply

Corsair CXM 80+ Bronze 750W

The Corsair CXM 750W PSU has both the Wattage and the quality needed to support this gaming PC without ever putting it at risk
Phantex Eclipse P400A CaseCase

Phantex Eclipse P400A

Style, ease of installation, airflow, and price are the things put the Phantex Eclipse P400A a step above the competition

PC Overview

So, taking a glance at the table, what can you expect from a PC such as this one?

Well, the short of it is – you can expect to game like you never before could for $1200. But to expand upon that, there are four points this PC excels at, which are 4K gaming, streaming, VR gaming, and upgradeability.

4K Gaming

Without a doubt, the first point we’ve made has to be the most compelling one in favor of this build – 4K. It’s the dream of every gamer, and this PC can deliver it.

The raw gaming performance of this PC is immense, and it’s easily able to deliver even a 60FPS experience with only some of the graphics settings turned down a bit.

At ultra presets, you should be getting an average of around 50FPS in most games, and this number will not dip below 30FPS even in the most demanding AAA titles.

So, all in all, if you’re looking to take your gaming to the next level, this is the PC that will get you there.

VR and Streaming

Needless to say, a PC that can handle 4K can handle streaming without any hiccups.

And as for VR, it’s true that the less expensive PC builds we’ve made can let you get a feel for what it is, but we want to emphasize that that’s more or less exactly what you’re getting – just a feel, or the lay of the land if you will, compared to what this machine will be able to pull off.

Upgradeability

And finally, there’s upgradeability, something we always like to take into account when building for any price range.

So how upgradeable is this PC?

Well, since we know that the new AMD processors aren’t compatible with the 400-series motherboards without an irreversible BIOS update and since the 400-series motherboards aren’t that spectacular, we made sure to account for that by choosing an X570 model. With this, you can rest assured that even if you decide to upgrade to a 5000-series AMD CPU in the future, you won’t have to change your motherboard along with it.

If you decide to switch to team blue, however, then that’s on you! 

We want to note that even a B550 model would offer you the same upgradability path, but the X570 models have other advantages we’ll talk about later on.

The PC Build

So now that we’ve got our expectations in order let’s take a look at all of the hardware pieces that fit together to meet them.

Each of the components here was hand-picked through laborious research to bring you the best gaming experience $1200 can offer.

Fair warning, though, the monitor is not included in the budget, so if this is a problem for you check out the $1000 build or even the $800 build. We keep all our PC builds up to date so that they always present the best value. So once you account for the price of the monitor, one of these two builds should fit your budget just right.

So without any further ado, let’s begin.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is one of the most incredible CPUs the company has ever made. Not because it’s the most powerful, but because it offers incredible performance for the price you’re paying.

As far as multi-core performance is concerned, AMD has had the ball firmly in their court ever since the release of the 1st-gen Ryzen CPUs. But this processor also has the single-core performance to match it, going toe to toe with Intel’s i5-9600K in terms of in-game performance, if only barely.

Related:The Best AMD Ryzen CPUs (2021 Reviews)

Now, as we said, these two CPUs perform fairly similarly, with Intel having the advantage in some titles and AMD in others, but AMD can inch ahead not only due to its 12 logical cores compared to Intel’s 6 but also due to its price and sheer cost-efficiency.

Namely, while all unlocked Intel CPUs come without a stock cooler of any kind, the Ryzen 5 3600 comes with the pretty decent Wraith Stealth cooler (especially considering its price – $0), but more on that later.

So all in all, the choice to go with the Ryzen 5 3600 was very simple. First of all, it fit the budget like a glove, but even beyond that, no CPU in this price range can offer better in-game performance. And thanks to the high core count, it’s also able to offer an excellent VR experience.

Related:The Best CPUs For Gaming (2021 Reviews)

The Wraith Stealth may not be the best stock CPU cooler out there, but it can keep up with the Ryzen 5 3600 just fine. And best of all, it’s free!

Of course, an aftermarket solution is highly recommended if you’re into overclocking, but for casual users, this should be plenty, at least for a while.

The CPU temperature depends not only on your CPU cooler but on the general airflow in your case as well. This means that some people may have zero problems running the Ryzen 5 3600 with the Wraith Stealth for years, while others may encounter some unpleasant issues very quickly.

To avoid any surprises we suggest taking a look at your CPU temperatures from time to time to determine if you require a better cooler or not. However, if you want to be safe and not think about CPU thermals ever again, then check out some of the aftermarket solutions in the link below.

Related:The Best CPU Coolers (2021 Reviews)

This is where the real fun begins – with the EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 XC3 BLACK GAMING.

Have you ever heard anything as satisfying as: “stronger than the RTX 2080 Ti for less than half the price”?

We surely haven’t.

While it’s not as powerful as Nvidia’s new flagship, the RTX 3080, it’s still more powerful than anything we’ve had so far, and for a fraction of the price. The RTX 3070 can push 4K gaming to the max in most modern AAA titles.

Basically, anything an RTX 2080 Ti could do, the RTX 3070 can do it better!

Now, the general consensus is that if you’re already splurging on a PC, you might as well go all out and get an RTX 3080 as it’ll definitely pay off in the long run, kind of like a good pair of leather shoes. However, this doesn’t mean that the RTX 3070 is bad, far from it, but simply that the price difference isn’t that great compared to the difference in performance, so if you have the patience and means to save up a little more, it’s worth giving it a try.

On the other hand, if you’re on a strict budget you definitely won’t regret getting the RTX 3070. With its 8GB of VRAM and boost clock of 1.73GHz, this GPU will plow through any game you launch, including Crysis Remastered!

EVGA’s focus with this card was on noise reduction and cooling. The XC3 BLACK GAMING is a triple-fan graphics card, which is automatically a plus since more fans means that they don’t have to work as hard, which then means less noise. Three fans also mean better cooling, but it doesn’t stop there. EVGA improved the thermal contact surface on the card and added airflow pockets that they claim allows for the heatsink to remove more heat.

And it’s a good thing they did this because due to its sheer power, this GPU is going to need it.

It should be safe to say that there won’t be a single title that will force you to lower your resolution under 1440p any time soon. In fact, there shouldn’t be any titles that are unplayable in 4K. Lowering the resolution will only result in a better-looking game in which case you’ll have to ‘settle’ for 60FPS in 1440p. However, with the new and improved DLSS, this won’t have to happen too often either.

We hope you have plenty of time on your hands because once you get this PC we guarantee you’ll be losing sleep.

Related:The Best Graphics Cards For Gaming (2021 Reviews)

The Corsair Vengeance LPX is our RAM of choice for this build because it comes from a reliable manufacturer and it has proven its worth to us time and time again. Seeing as there was no room in the budget for any fancy RGB, there was no need to look any further than the tried and true Corsair Vengeance LPX.

We’ll be arming this PC with no fewer than 16GB of RAM clocked at 3200MHz.

Speed isn’t generally the most important aspect of RAM, but there’s no reason not to get it if the budget has enough room to accommodate it. Plus, if you’re going to be turning up the graphics settings in VR, this will definitely be appreciated.

Our advice is to go with two 8GB sticks rather than just one with 16GB of memory. It’s overall faster, and it has a nice fail-safe since you can rely on just one stick in times of emergencies if the other should fail you.

It won’t be as easy to upgrade to 32GB of RAM as it would if you were sporting only a single 16GB stick, but 32GB is excessive for gaming anyway, and there’s no reason to spend money on it if you absolutely don’t have to.

Just make sure to place them correctly to take advantage of that dual-channel performance.

Related:The Best RAMs For Gaming (2021 Reviews)

The first thing you should know about the ASUS TUF Gaming X570-PLUS is that it’s a very basic X570 board without any of the additional features like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, unfortunately. This is a sub $200 mobo, so that’s to be expected.

However, when it comes to ASUS’ TUF line of motherboards ‘basic’ doesn’t mean cheap. The TUF Gaming X570-PLUS has been stripped of any unnecessary features, but what remained was polished to perfection and made specifically to satisfy the needs of gamers and many first-time builders who aren’t in the position to spend an entire PC’s worth of money on the motherboard alone.

The TUF Gaming X570-PLUS has fantastic VRMs with 12+2 phases and 50 AMPS configuration, a 6-layer PCB, a beefy cooler, and, as all TUF boards, high-end, military-grade MOSFETs and capacitors. This means that you’ll be able to overclock the AMD Ryzen 5 3600, and even some of the more powerful CPUs without ever worrying about overheating and thermal throttling.

The same goes for memory also. The board supports up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM that you can push up to 4400MHz if you’re feeling adventurous.

On top of this, you get 2x M.2 slots that are both PCIe 4.0 along with an M.2 thermal shield for one of the slots. The chipset comes with its own active cooling solution, which is great but might add to the noise under heavier loads. And there’s also an easy de-bug feature and a USB Type-C port on the back IO.

These were just some of the features that caught our eye, but if you want to know more about the other connectivity options, we suggest you check out the link above.

Now, in the introduction, we promised to explain why we opted for an X570 motherboard despite the B550 models being cheaper, and often not noticeably worse. Well, the main reason is future-proofing.

We know this term is being flaunted around a lot, but it can be really helpful to have a plan or at least an idea of what you want to do down the line instead of rushing into the future blindly. This is why we wanted an X570 mobo that will give you the option to upgrade to a new-gen Ryzen processor if you want, but also offer you PCIe 4.0 support for that extra boost in performance and bandwidth.

PCIe 4.0 may not play a major part in your overall experience today unless you are a specific kind of user, but it’s very likely that in the near future it will become the norm, and when it does, you’ll be ready.

That said, if this is something you’re not ready to spend money on right now, you’re free to choose one of the many B550 models that are currently available. If you want to see some more choices, you can click on the link below to find out what are some of the overall best motherboards for this year.

Related:Best Gaming Motherboard 2021: Top Motherboards For Gaming

This PC is stacked with not just any SDD storage, but the ludicrously fast NVMe SSD in the form of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus with the capacity of 500GB.

Granted, 500GB can feel a bit cramped if you’ve never used a laptop, but the performance more than makes up for it.

On average, the 970 EVO Plus is at least four times faster than SATA III SSDs! So if you’re sick and tired of loading screens, well, nothing gets rid of them quite like this. 

SSDs have become a necessity for gaming, but taking it that extra step further is still a good way to assert your hardware dominance.

Of course, you could instead get the Samsung 860 EVO. It’s still one of the best SATA III SSDs for gaming, and you can get twice the storage capacity for pretty much the same price.

But we’d still argue it’s better to get the 500GB NVMe SSD now and then get another storage device or some cloud storage later if you need more than 500GB. After all, the difference between a regular 2.5 SSD and an NVMe is quite noticeable.

Related:The Best SSDs For Gaming (2021 Reviews)

The two most important things you need to take into consideration when buying a power supply for your gaming rig are the Wattage and the quality.

The second often gets neglected.

Now 750 Watts is more than enough to run this configuration even with some overclocking on the side, but more importantly, we want to highlight the 80 Bronze +  certificate on this PSU. It’s there to guarantee that this PSU adheres to some rather reassuring standards, which are also reflected in the 5-year warranty.

The Corsair CXM Bronze 750W also has some neat quality of life features, like the temperature control fan that’s very silent when it doesn’t have to deal with high loads, and on top of that it’s semi-modular, so you won’t have to worry about excess cables crowding your case.

Related:How To Choose A Power Supply

The Phantex Eclipse P400A is everything a case should be – stylish, spacious, and breezy.

When we say stylish, we don’t mean it has an abundance of RGB or a crazy design, we mean that it boasts a classic all-black exterior with a slightly stylized front panel, and a tempered glass side panel.

It doesn’t have any RGB, but that’s not a negative point, If anything, we respect the customizability options. For example, if RGB is something you absolutely must have, you can easily get RGB fans and/or LED strips for the inside of the case and it will instantly tranform your whole setup.

Speaking of fans, the P400A comes with 2 pre-installed ones, which is not bad by any means, especially considering how great the airflow of this case is, but it’s not ideal either. We suggest adding at least one more fan to help with the cooling since this PC will be housing the RTX 3070 after all.

And finally, this is quite a roomy case with enough space for an EATX motherboard, and even the most robust GPUs out there. It’s also one of the easiest cases we’ve ever worked with in terms of ease of installation and cable management which is always a huge plus.

Additionally, the I/O panel contains the power and reset buttons, headphone, and mic jacks, 2x USB 3.0., and a controller to regulate the fan speed.

All in all, this case is a DIY PC-builder’s dream come true.

Related:The Best Gaming Cases (2021 Reviews)

Peripherals

Now as always, we’ll also share our thoughts on which peripherals would best complement this PC.

Just remember, none of these are included in the price, and if you’ve already got peripherals that you’re perfectly happy with, there’s no need to change them.

But for those looking to buy a whole new set of everything, here are some excellent peripherals to go hand in hand with this $1200 build.

First up, you’ll need an operating system. While not a peripheral per se, you won’t get any further along without it than you would without a monitor. And as always, we have to recommend Windows over Linux.

Now, Linux is making some real strides for offering better and better gaming experiences, not least of which is WINE – a program that lets you run Windows applications on Linux – and Steam’s very own support for certain games that don’t otherwise have Linux support. But you can’t help but notice a recurring trend here – Windows mimicry.

So if you can’t afford Windows at the moment, you’ll have a better time gaming on Linux now that you would have had a couple of years ago, but Windows 10 is still the way to go if you want to make the best use out of your hard-earned PC.

Related:What Is The Best OS For Gaming?

When it comes to the monitor, we simply cannot present only a single model, since the hardware in this thing can cater to many profiles of gamers, most notably the 4K crowd and the high refresh rate gamers.

However, there is one that’s somewhere in the middle and that will be able to do justice to this build, and that’s the Gigabyte G27Q. This is a 27-inch monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, which is fantastic for competitive gamers, especially since it won’t burn a hole in your wallet. But it has a 1440p resolution.

Now, this is by no means a bad thing. In fact, it’s great. You’re getting stunning visuals along with a high refresh rate and the lowest possible response time. However, despite having a killer of a GPU, 4K remains outside your reach.

As we said, this is a fantastic monitor, and if you don’t mind settling for 1440p even though your PC can support higher, then you definitely won’t regret getting it. But if you do mind it, then be prepared to set aside a heftier sum since 4K monitors are quite a bit more expensive than this one. Nevertheless, we promised recommendations, so here they are!

Deciding on a 4K monitor isn’t an easy task, mainly because one of the best aspects of 4K – stunning imagery – is best augmented by an IPS panel, and IPS panel monitors are more expensive than TN ones. So if you’ve got an arm and a leg to spare after already purchasing all the hardware pieces for this PC, you’ll love the Acer Predator XB271HK. The monitor is quite genuinely eye-candy incarnate.

However, if this price is a bit too excessive for you, but you’re still dead set on 4K, then try the Asus VP28UQG. The Asus is actually larger than the Acer by an inch, standing in at 28-inches diagonally, but it is a TN monitor, which means the colors won’t look nearly as good.

Related:Should I Buy A 4K Monitor And Is It Worth It?

As for the high-performance demanding gamers out there, we recommend the Dell S2417DG YNY1D. It’s not the clearest gaming monitor, but it’s one that has the kind of performance that can satisfy anyone. 

Naturally, it uses a TN panel, so the colors won’t be the best, but not only does it come with the 1ms response time that competitive gamers crave, but also a 165Hz refresh rate. 

What’s more, while its size may seem a bit disappointing at first – after all, 24-inch monitors are a staple of 1080p gaming – this will help you cap out the FPS if you desire so, since rolling back to a 1080p resolution won’t look bad in the least on a monitor of this size.

And speaking of capping out your FPS, this monitor also comes equipped with the Nvidia G-Sync, so you don’t need to worry about screen tearing which, seeing how powerful the RTX 3070 is, could have otherwise been a problem.

Related:What Is The Best FPS For Gaming?

And finally, if you really have some serious cash burning a hole in your pocket, the LG 32UD99-W may be a good option.

There are a bunch of other great picks, but we can’t possibly list them all here. The important thing is to be aware of what your PC can do, and shop accordingly. Otherwise, you might end up limiting your other hardware.

Related:The Best Gaming Monitors (2021 Reviews)

Now with a PC as impressive-looking as this $1200 rig, you’ll want to have a keyboard that matches it – ideally both in terms of aesthetics and performance. And no keyboard does this better than the Blackwidow Elite.

The Blackwidow Elite is a very impressive mechanical keyboard, that boasts features like the USB and audio passthrough that are not present even in some more expensive keyboards such as the Huntsman Elite. If you want to avoid some of the cable clutter than inevitably ends up clogging every gamer’s desktop, this passthrough is a real lifesaver.

Then there are the standard features you should expect in such a premium keyboard – RGB lights, multimedia keys, the very handy knob that starts of controlling volume but can be assigned to other things as well, and the choice of switches (green, yellow, and orange).

But one of our favorite features has got to be the magnetic wrist rest that you can attach to the keyboard.

As far as wrist rests go, this one is amazing, so amazing that we can see users sticking with it even once they’ve switched to a different keyboard.

Related:The Best Gaming Keyboards (2021 Reviews)

Having a good mouse is a given when you’re a PC gamer. This is obviously one of those peripherals that will depend on your personal preference, so not everyone might agree with our pick here, but we tried our best to find a mouse that is objectively so good that it will please the majority of people, and that’s the Razer Viper Ultimate.

This is what we would probably call the best wireless mouse at the moment. It has all of the perks of wired mice with none of the drawbacks of wireless ones.

The Razer Viper Ultimate weighs a stunning 74g, which is an amazing upgrade compared to most other wireless mice that are usually on the heavier side, and it has light-beam-based actuation and an improved optical sensor that is able to transmit the signal to your PC quickly and reliably. No more worries about missing a beat during heated competitive matches.

Moreover, this mouse is capable of reaching 20,000 DPI! This is indeed impressive, if a little over the top, but it’s definitely not a feature you’ll scorn at. 

And finally, no true gaming mouse these days would be worthy of the name without RGB. Razer’s design and RGB are both typically… well, Razer, and this is by no means a complaint. It’s the style we’ve known and loved for 14 years and there’s no need to change it.

Overall, it’s a perfect mouse unless you have very small hands or aren’t that into competitive shooters and prefer heavier models.

Related:The Best Gaming Mice (2021 Reviews)

Now with a PC as impressive-looking as this $1200 rig, you’ll want to have a keyboard that matches it – ideally both in terms of aesthetics and performance. And no keyboard does this better than the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2.

This is an impressive mechanical keyboard that boasts features like the USB passthrough, something that’s not present even in some more expensive keyboards such as the Huntsman Elite, aircraft-grade aluminum frame, and 8MB of storage, enough for keeping up to three separate profiles saved.

Then there are the standard features you should expect in such a premium keyboard – RGB backlight with per-key effect customization, dedicated multimedia keys, anti-ghosting with full-key rollover, Windows key lock mode, and Cherry MX switches (you can choose between blue, brown. red, silent and speed).

Another great addition to this keyboard is the detachable wrist rest that doesn’t serve just for decoration, but it’s actually comfortable enough to allow you to game or type without any problems over extended periods. Now, Corsair wrist rests are generally not the most comfortable, which is why we felt the need to mention this one. Still, don’t expect too much.

We can see people using this wrist rest for a while if they prefer firmer rests, or if they don’t want to spend even more money on their setup after already spending $1200 on the main build. But we expect most people to replace it at some point with something more plushy, in which case, our go-to recommendation is the HyperX Wrist Rest.

Related:The Best Gaming Keyboards (2021 Reviews)

Now regardless of what kind of games you play, you probably still need a regular old headset. Of course, fan-favorites like the HyperX Cloud Stinger and the Razer Kraken Pro 2 are good options, but there’s a new kid on the block whose name deserves to stand above both of these and that’s the Razer BlackShark V2 X.

It’s one of the most comfortable, most lightweight, and most exciting headsets we’ve seen in recent times with an awesome microphone that does online multiplayer games justice. No, really, the microphone is amazing – no humming, no static, no crackling, and plenty of customizable settings though the software.  

The ear cups are adjustable on both individual rails, which means you can tilt them a bit back and forth if you need to, the cushions are made of memory foam, and due to their softness, and the light weight of the headset you won’t feel any pressure even if you use it over glasses. Finally, on the left ear cup, there’s a volume knob and a mute button, which is always great to have.

What’s more, it’s compatible with not only the PC but also all the current-gen consoles, so if you aren’t exclusively a PC gamer, this is a great multi-purpose purchase.

Just do keep in mind that the BlackShark V2 X is a gaming headset first and foremost, and its frequency response and features are all fine-tuned to gaming, while music and movies won’t sound as great. So if you want a headset that you can use for other things as well, then consider the Creative Sound BlasterX H6.

However, we firmly stand behind our primary recommendation, as the Razer BlackShark V2 X is among the best and most affordable headsets you can currently get. We might even go as far as to say that the additional $40 you would pay for the more “premium” version of this headset, the Razer BlackShark V2 is just not worth it.

Related:The Best Gaming Headsets (2021 Reviews)

A mouse pad is an often overlooked item when it comes to gaming setups, but it’s a necessary one. This is one of those things that simply depends on the user’s preference, and naturally, preferences differ, so no one mouse pad will work for absolutely everyone, but the HyperX FURY S comes really darn close.

This particular mouse pad comes in the sizes S, M, L, and XL. The one we chose is the extra-large one simply because it has enough space to accommodate both your keyboard and mouse with plenty of room to spare. You won’t feel restricted by it even if you own a full-sized keyboard with a wrist rest.

And the second reason is that it just looks really good, especially if you have a black desk.

The HyperX FURY S also has nicely stitched edges that don’t deform or fray, and it’s floppy enough (for lack of a better word) that it lays flat over your desk and sticks to it perfectly right out of the box despite being rolled up in a cylinder all throughout the shipping process.

If you’re looking for a new mouse pad, and you aren’t sure about which one you should pick, the HyperX FURY S is a great option. And if you prefer smaller mouse pads or ones with a little more personality, HyperX has got you covered on that front too.

Related:The Best Mouse Pads (2021 Reviews)

You need a good controller even if you’re gaming solely on a PC.

Unless you’re strictly playing FPS, MOBA or RTS games, the chances are that the games you’ll be playing will have been developed with the controller in mind. Now some of them get magnificent PC ports that really do the mouse and keyboard justice, but the keyword here is some

If you want to enjoy most AAA-titles the way developers intended you to enjoy them, then a controller is mandatory, and there’s no better choice than the Xbox One Controller.

The Dualshock 4 is a great alternative. In fact, they’re pretty much on par, but the Xbox One Controller does have the benefit of plug-and-play compatibility if nothing else. Plus, it fits really nicely into your hand and has phenomenal triggers.

The only thing about it that’s sort of meh is the D-pad, so if that’s something that’s going to be instrumental in most of the games you play, then, by all means, get a Dualshock 4. 

An Xbox 360 controller will also do in case you don’t really need the controller much, but non-console controllers are best avoided since they generally lack the durability and longevity of controllers made for consoles.

Related:The Best PC Controllers (2021 Reviews)

VR is improving, slowly but surely, and recently the industry giants have released some very interesting new hardware that we were eager to review. The ones that stood out the most were the HP Reverb G2 (which hasn’t made it to this list due to its price tag), and of course, the Oculus Quest 2.

Facebook’s recent launch has stirred up the VR gaming community and for a good reason. This is a phenomenal headset with an even better price. We don’t know how they did it, but for $299, you can get a headset that trumps more or less everything else on the market except for the Valve Index, and now the Reverb G2.

The Quest 2 has a single LCD panel with a 1832×1920 resolution per eye and supports up to 90Hz. It also has 6GB of memory and uses the XR2 Qualcomm chipset which makes this headset nearly twice as powerful as the previous Quest.

The headset is completely standalone, meaning that you can download any game you want and play it directly from the headset itself, or you can connect it to the PC, and enjoy any of the games you have in both your Oculus and Steam libraries.

Related:Best Steam VR Games 2021

As for the controllers, there aren’t any major differences compared to the original Oculus Touch, but the battery should last up to 4 times longer which is improvement enough in and of itself.

Finally, since this is a standalone device it has to have storage on which you can keep all of your games. This particular headset is the 64GB variant, and it should be enough for most users. However, for the more hardcore bunch, and those of you who want to maybe watch movies on this thing there’s the 256GB model that costs $399. If the additional storage is worth the price is completely up to you.

Now, as great as this headset is, it’s definitely not perfect.

First of all, although it’s lighter than the previous model, it has flimsy straps that make the front feel heavier than it is. There is an option to purchase a sturdier strap separately, but this just feels like cheating since it will turn out that the headset is actually more expensive than advertised. Most people won’t even bother gaming with the cloth strap because it makes the headset feel clunky.  

And the second gripe we have with this piece of hardware is the fact that you have to have a Facebook account to use it. For some people, this might not seem like a big deal, but many others might find this requirement uncomfortable raising the question ‘why’.

Nevertheless, this is a great headset and a significant improvement compared to both the original Quest and the Rift S for a lower price, and if you don’t mind the details mentioned above, you’ll have a great time gaming on this toy.

Related:The Best VR Headsets (2021 Reviews)

If your spine is screaming for help, listen!

The Office Star Mesh isn’t exactly a gaming chair. As the name says, it’s an office chair, but a really good one.

Real gaming chairs with that recognizable car-seat design are really expensive. Even though we highly recommend you invest in yourself and save up for a high-end model, we understand that that’s not something everyone can afford, so we chose something stylish and ergonomic that will break neither your spine nor the bank.

The Office Star Mesh is, like we already said, an office chair, and that means, that, like gaming chairs, it was made for people who spend long periods of time sitting. It has an ergonomic shape that follows the natural curve of your spine, and a bit of lumbar support for your lower back.

It’s made with a mesh material, so it won’t make you feel warm or sweaty, but this also means that it’s not particularly cushy. As for the customizability, it has the option to tilt your seat, and lift the armrests if you so desire.

And that’s more or less all there is to it. It’s nothing mind-blowing, but it’s a solid chair that won’t make your back hurt. It looks good, it’s breathable, and you’ll be able to sit in it for long periods of time without any discomfort unless you like to loosen up at home and game in your underwear, in which case the mesh might start to feel not so welcoming.

Finally, there’s the wrist rest. If you’re used to spending hours gaming away on your PC, you know how uncomfortable it can get, even if your keyboard already has a wrist rest.

Wrist rests that come with keyboards out of the box are usually there just for show, unless you’re using a very high-end keyboard. They can even be just a shiny piece of plastic without any padding.

This is why we wanted to suggest this alternative for all of you out there struggling to position your wrists right while gaming.

The HyperX Wrist Rest is a simple piece of incredibly soft, gel-infused memory foam covered with stylish black cloth with a red thread detail around the edges. Nothing fancy, nothing flashy, but once you try it you’ll never want to use anything else.

It’s a rare way to improve your gaming experience without tearing a hole in your wallet.

Related:The Best Wrist Rests (2021 Reviews)

Closing Thoughts

And that about does it for this build. Now all that’s left is to put to pieces together. We know that this is the part that most of your first-time builders find the most daunting, so much in fact that the benefits of building your own PC get outweighed by the anxiety of it all.

But if you want to enjoy the best possible gaming performance that $1200 can buy, then you will be pleased to know that no prebuilt solution can match this rig.

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Samuel Stewart
Samuel Stewart

Samuel is GamingScan's editor-in-chief. He describes himself as a hardcore gamer & programmer and he enjoys getting more people into gaming and answering people's questions. He closely follows the latest trends in the gaming industry in order to keep you all up-to-date with the latest news.

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