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

For $1200, you can actually build an amazing PC if you get the right components. Here's the best gaming PC build under $1200, which includes the RTX 3070.

Recently, it seems like everyone and their mother is out to build a new PC, and they’re all struggling with the same problems — availability and inflated prices.

We get how frustrating it can be to build your dream system on paper and then realize that half of those components are impossible to find!

But getting worked up over something so utterly out of your control won’t do anyone any good — enter this article.

We’ve put together this guide to show you the best PC under $1200 that you could actually get your hands on if you decided to build your rig today.

It may look a little different from what you imagined, but the performance and build quality are on point.

So, if you want to know what the best gaming PC under $1200 currently looks like, check out the full guide below.

Table of ContentsShow

Top Gaming PC Build Under $1200 For 2021

Updated: November 25, 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.

Intel Core i5 10400FCPU

Intel Core i5-10400F

The Intel Core i5-10400F is a powerful processor that will be able to keep up with the RTX 3070 without any issues
Cooler

Intel Stock Cooler

The Intel Stock Cooler is not the most powerful cooler out there, it's not even the most powerful stock cooler out there, but it will do its job adequately until you are in the position to upgrade to an aftermarket solution
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
Crucial Ballistix 16GB (2 x 8GB)RAM

Crucial Ballistix 16 GB

With 16GB of the ever-reliable Crucial Ballistix 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
MSI MPG Z490 GAMING PLUSMotherboard

MSI MPG Z490 GAMING PLUS

The MSI MPG Z490 GAMING PLUS is a motherboard that has everything you need to run a powerful build such as this one, including some great upgradability options
Western Digital Blue SN550 1TBSSD

Western Digital Blue SN550 1TB

The Western Digital Blue SN550 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
EVGA SuperNOVA GA 650W 80+ GoldPower Supply

EVGA SuperNOVA GA 650W 80+ Gold

The EVGA SuperNOVA GA 650W 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 that 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 like this one?

Well, the short of it is — you can expect to game like never before for $1200. To expand upon that, there are four aspects that this PC excels at and those 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 every gamer’s dream, and this PC can deliver it.

Its raw gaming performance is immense. This PC is easily able to deliver a 60FPS experience with only some of the graphics settings slightly turned down. 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.

All in all, if you’re looking to take your gaming to the next level and not spend an arm and a leg doing so, 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.

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

Finally, there’s upgradeability, something we always like to take into account when building for any price range. In this case, well, let’s just say you can upgrade more or less anything you can think of.

If you want more storage, you can get more storage. Better cooler? Go for it! Or perhaps you need more RAM? That’s possible too. This is all thanks to the awesome power supply and motherboard we’ve chosen for this build.

Speaking of the motherboard, you can even upgrade the CPU without any issues since we managed to fit a Z490 model into the budget. Now, this is only true if you choose to upgrade to an 11th-gen Intel processor, but it’s a welcome option nonetheless. Naturally, if you decide to switch to AMD later that’s a whole different story.

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 one 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 you were looking to spend no more than $1200 for the entire PC, including the peripherals, we recommend you check out our $1000 build or even the $800 build. We keep all our PC builds up to date so that they always present the best value. As such, 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 Intel Core i5-10400F is one of the best CPUs the company has ever made to our knowledge. Not because it’s the most powerful, but because it offers incredible performance for the price you’re paying.

This is a 6-core, 12-thread CPU with the base and max boost frequency of 2.9GHz and 4.3GHz respectively.

True, 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 CPU, and as far as workloads are concerned AMD may still have the upper hand.

However, when it comes to gaming performance, the i5-10400F and its Team Red counterpart, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 are about the same. The reason we chose one over the other in this case is simply that Intel processors are currently more readily available than the AMD 3000 series.

Related:AMD Ryzen vs Intel – Which CPU Brand To Pick For Gaming

Now, as we said, these two CPUs perform fairly similarly, with Intel having the advantage in some titles and AMD in others. This is especially true now that Intel finally introduced hyper-threading to all of their processors.

The only difference is that the lower-tier Intel processors are not unlocked while Ryzen processors are, so if overclocking is something you’re interested in you can either wait for the supply of Ryzen 3000 processors to stabilize, or go for the slightly more expensive Intel Core i5-10600K instead.

One thing we have to mention here though is that none of Intel’s unlocked processors come with a stock cooler, so that’s an additional expense you’ll have to account for.

In a perfect world, this spot would be occupied by the AMD Ryzen 5 3600, but since that’s not something we can be sure you can get at the moment, the Intel Core i5-10400F is the next best thing. It’s a processor that has everything you need to run games, manage multiple tasks and programs simultaneously, and enjoy VR without any hiccups. And it comes with its own stock cooler.

Related:The Best CPUs For Gaming (2021 Reviews)

The Intel Stock cooler may not be the best stock CPU cooler out there, but it is an adequate cooling solution for the Intel Core i5-10400F, at least for the time being. And best of all, it’s free!

That said, Intel’s stock coolers aren’t exactly known for their stellar performance, so getting an aftermarket cooler once you get the chance would definitely be something to consider.

Luckily though, the i5-10400F is a locked processor, meaning you wouldn’t be able to overclock it even if you wanted to, which therefore means that you wouldn’t need an over-the-top cooler, it would only need to be good enough to keep up with the processor under heavier loads, which is a perfectly doable task for a decent $30 cooler such as the Arctic Freezer 7X, for example.

Now, regardless if you’re overclocking or not, keep in mind that the CPU temperature doesn’t only depend on your CPU cooler but the general airflow in your case as well. This means that some people may have zero problems running the i5-10400F with the stock cooler 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 check if you require a better cooler or not. Or, if you want to be safe and not think about CPU thermals ever again, you should check out some more 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.

Despite not being as powerful as Nvidia’s new flagship GPU, the RTX 3070 is still more powerful than anything we’ve had so far, and for a fraction of the price. It 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 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 — sort of like a good pair of leather shoes.

However, this doesn’t mean that the RTX 3070 is bad, far from it. It simply means 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.

Still, as we said, 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 less noise and better cooling.

But it doesn’t stop there. EVGA improved the thermal contact surface on the card and added airflow pockets that they claim allow for the heatsink to remove more heat. That’s particularly welcome here 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 unplayable titles 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 if you get this PC, we guarantee you’ll be losing sleep.

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

The Crucial Ballistix 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. 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 Crucial.

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 faster DIMMs if the budget can 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. Overall, it’s faster, and it acts as fail-safe since you can rely on just one stick in times of emergencies, should the other ever fail you.

It won’t be as easy to upgrade to 32GB of RAM as it would be 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 don’t have to.

Just make sure to place them on your motherboards correctly so that you can take advantage of that dual-channel performance.

Related:The Best RAMs For Gaming (2021 Reviews)

There are a plethora of great motherboards around the $200 price range. They won’t support extreme overclocking, and there won’t be any nifty overclocking features or Thunderbolt ports included, but in general, you’ll be able to get a solid motherboard with decent overclocking potential and plenty of connectivity options for this price, regardless of the board you choose.

For our build, we opted for the MSI MPG Z490 GAMING PLUS. It has everything you’d expect from a good motherboard: a quality build, great looks, all the necessary features, overclocking potential, and most importantly, perfect synergy with the i5-10400F.

Thanks to the 6-layer PCB and a stable power system running your i5-10400F on this mobo will be smooth sailing from day one. You’ll also enjoy all the benefits of MSI’s excellent temperature control system for both the VRMs and your M.2 slots.

The BIOS is easy to navigate and even though the i5-10400F is locked, you’ll still be able to use your RAM sticks to their full potential with only a few clicks thanks to the intuitive settings and the motherboard’s substantial RAM overclocking potential.

The board has plenty of other welcome features such as the Twin Turbo M.2 slots, a reinforced GPU slot, pump fan support, cool RGB, 2.5G LAN, etc. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have Wi-Fi, but if that’s something you can’t compromise on, you can go for the MSI MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE WIFI. Although, you will have to pay a little extra for that one.

As for the other non-Wi-Fi alternatives, the MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK and the Gigabyte Z490 AORUS ELITE are also fantastic choices, but they both cost about $20 more than the GAMING PLUS.

A good thing to note is that this motherboard does not support PCIe 4.0, but like all Z490 motherboards it does support 11th-gen Intel processors. This means you’ll be able to upgrade your CPU without having to look for a new board which is a pretty neat thing we’re glad Intel finally decided to implement.

So all in all, the MSI MPG Z490 GAMING PLUS is a pretty solid motherboard regardless if you’re an overclocker or not. It fits the budget and it will look great in any kind of system. We couldn’t have asked for much more.

Related:The Best Gaming Motherboards (2021 Reviews)

This PC is stacked with not just any SDD, but the lightning-fast NVMe SSD – the Western Digital Blue SN550 with 1TB of storage.

SSDs have become a necessity for gaming, but taking it one step further is still a good way to assert your hardware dominance. On average, NVMe SSDs are 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 an NVMe SSD. 

Granted, not all NVMe SSDs are created equal. Some are faster than others, and the Western Digital Blue SN550, while still incredibly fast, is not among the top players out there. Still, it does have the capacity to make up for it.

It offers such a perfect blend of volume and speed that you might not even need to think about additional storage, at least not for a long while, depending on what type of user you are.

If you want an even faster NVMe SSD and you’re willing to invest a little extra money, then we recommend getting the Samsung 970 EVO Plus instead.

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 latter tends to get neglected. We’ve chosen the EVGA SuperNOVA GA 650W with both of these aspects in mind.

The Wattage is more than enough to run this configuration even with some overclocking on the side. More importantly, though, we want to highlight the 80 + Gold certificate on this PSU. It’s there to guarantee that this power supply adheres to some rather reassuring standards, which are also reflected in its 10-year warranty.

The EVGA SuperNOVA GA also has some neat quality-of-life features, like the double ball bearing fan and EVGA eco mode that makes it run at exceptionally low noise levels. On top of that, the PSU is fully modular, so you won’t have to worry about excess cables crowding your case.

It may be a little pricey, but considering the quality and power of the components in this build, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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 flaw. 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 transform your whole setup.

Speaking of fans, the P400A comes with 2 pre-installed ones. This 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. After all, this PC will be housing the RTX 3070.

Moreover, 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 most user-friendly cases we’ve ever worked with in terms of ease of installation and cable management, which is always a plus.

Additionally, the I/O panel contains the power and reset buttons, headphone, 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

As always, we’ll now share our thoughts on which peripherals would best complement this PC.

Just remember, none of these are included in the price. 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.

Linux is making some real strides for offering increasingly 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 support Linux. But we 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 than 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 monitors, we simply cannot present a single model, since the hardware in this thing can cater to many gamer profiles, most notably the 4K crowd and the high-refresh-rate gamers.

However, there’s a monitor 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 a 1ms response time. This is a fantastic option for competitive gamers, especially since it won’t burn a hole in your wallet.

The only disadvantage is its 1440p resolution. 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. If this does bother you, however, 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 purchasing all the hardware pieces for this PC, you’ll love the Acer Predator XB271HK. This monitor is quite genuinely eye-candy incarnate.

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 larger than the Acer by an inch, standing in at 28”. The only downside is that it’s a TN monitor, which means the colors won’t look nearly as good as on the Acer Predator.

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

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

Naturally, it uses a TN panel, so the colors won’t be the best. Still, not only does it come with a 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, since rolling back to a 1080p resolution won’t look bad in the least on a monitor of this size.

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

Related:What Is The Best FPS For Gaming?

Finally, if you really have some serious cash burning a hole in your pocket, the LG 32UD99-W is always 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)

Having a good mouse is a given for every PC gamer. This is obviously one of those peripherals that will depend on your personal preference. As such, 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. We’re talking about 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. Gone are the days of worrying 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 something you’ll mind having. 

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 should be taken as a compliment. 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)

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. Well, no keyboard does this better than the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2.

This is an impressive mechanical keyboard that boasts features like an aircraft-grade aluminum frame8MB of storage, enough for keeping up to three separate profiles saved, and the USB passthrough, something that’s not present even in some more expensive keyboards such as the Huntsman Elite.

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 just serve for decoration but is actually comfortable enough to allow you to game or type without any problems over extended periods of time.

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 still expect most people to replace it at some point with something more plushy. If you’re thinking about doing this, our go-to recommendation is the HyperX Wrist Rest.

Related:The Best Gaming Keyboards (2021 Reviews)

Now, regardless of the 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 — the Razer BlackShark V2 X.

It’s one of the most comfortable, lightweight and 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 slightly tilt them back and forth if you need to and the cushions are made of memory foam. Due to their softness, and the overall 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, this headset is 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.

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, consider getting 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 your preference, so no one mouse pad will work for absolutely everyone. Nevertheless, we’d say the HyperX FURY S comes really darn close.

This particular mouse pad comes in the sizes S, M, L and XL. We chose 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.

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. 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, chances are that the games you’ll be playing will have been developed with the controller in mind. 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, 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 in 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, uses the XR2 Qualcomm chipset, which makes this headset nearly twice as powerful as the previous Quest, and the cheaper version has now been upgraded to include 128GB of storage instead of 64GB. Good news for everyone except the poor souls who have already bought the 64GB version for the same price.

The headset is completely standalone, meaning that you can download any game you want and play it directly from the headset itself. Alternatively, 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 needs to have enough storage to allow you to 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 for $399. If the additional storage is worth the price for you, that would be a good option.

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’s an option to purchase a sturdier strap separately, but this just feels like cheating since it will make the headset more expensive than advertised. Most people won’t even bother gaming with the cloth strap because it makes the headset feel clunky.  

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 and are confused about the reason behind it.

Nevertheless, this is a great headset. Soon there’s even a possibility that you’ll be able to use it in combination with the Steam Deck. Fingers crossed, but nothing is confirmed yet.

The Oculus Quest 2 is definitely 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. That’s why we chose something stylish and ergonomic that will break neither your spine nor the bank.

The Office Star Mesh, as we’ve said, is an office chair, which 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 gives you the option to tilt your seat, and lift the armrests if you wish to.

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, of course, you like to loosen up at home and game in your underwear, in which case the mesh might not feel 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 awesome $1200 build. Now, all that’s left is to put the pieces together.

This is the part that first-time builders find the most daunting, so much so that the benefits of building a PC often get outweighed by the anxiety of it all.

However, there are few things more rewarding than powering up the PC that you built yourself for the first time and seeing it all work as intended. Plus, we can assure you that, no matter the budget, a custom PC will always be miles better than a prebuilt one with the same price tag.

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

Now, we’ve already mentioned this, but $1200 was the budget for the main build only. If your $1200 budget is meant to also accommodate some of the peripherals, we suggest taking a look at some of our cheaper builds like the $1000 build or the $800 build. They may not be able to match the raw power of this $1200 build, but they aren’t too far off either.

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Samuel Stewart
Samuel Stewart

Samuel is GamingScan's editor-in-chief. He describes himself as a dedicated gamer and programmer. He enjoys helping others discover the joys of gaming. Samuel closely follows the latest trends in the gaming industry in order to keep the visitors in the flow.

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