Best Dell Gaming Desktops

Updated August 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

57 Models Considered
22 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
185 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best Dell gaming desktops

If you’re into gaming, you might focus your attention on gaming consoles, but don’t forget to think about a gaming desktop computer. You want a desktop computer with plenty of processing power and the capability to handle the demands of even the toughest games, and Dell has just what you need.

Dell is one of the most trusted brand names in the desktop market. If you’re looking for a gaming computer, Dell has several models available at a variety of price points, so you can find just the right setup for your game room. And one of the best reasons to select a Dell desktop computer as your gaming device is that you can also use it for work when you aren’t gaming.

But shopping for a Dell gaming desktop can be a challenging process. Understanding all the jargon is an important starting point. You can then figure out which components are important for your gaming needs. Continue reading our buying guide to find out more about gaming computers from Dell, and take a look at some of our favorites too.

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If you want to create a display monitor setup using two or three screens for an immersive experience, select a Dell computer with a graphics card that can support multiple monitors.

Key considerations

Dell gaming desktops have basically the same components as standard work computers. The gaming machine just has more power and more processing memory and storage than a typical work computer. Here are some of the components to know when shopping for a Dell gaming computer.

CPU

The central processing unit (CPU) in gaming computers should have a fast clock speed, measured in gigahertz. A clock speed of 4 gigahertz is a good starting point for a CPU in a Dell gaming desktop. 

The processor should have multiple cores to allow for multitasking. Four cores works as a starting point, but gaming computers often have eight.

GPU

The graphics processing unit (GPU) and graphics card should have a lot of memory (GDDR), usually at least 8 gigabytes. Some computers may include 24 gigabytes of graphics memory on the card for better performance.

RAM

Gaming computers need a large amount of random access memory (RAM) to process the large amounts of data needed for gameplay and graphics rendering. A good starting point is 64 gigabytes of RAM, although some less expensive gaming machines from Dell start with 16 gigabytes. RAM is one of the easiest components to upgrade in a gaming computer, and you can always add more memory later.

Storage

For permanent hard drive storage, Dell gaming systems often use solid state drive (SSD) technology. This is a fast-performing type of storage, but it costs more than hard disk drive (HDD) technology. Look for at least 512 gigabytes of SSD storage as a starting point. Some Dell gaming desktops may have as much as 2 terabytes of SSD, or they may use a combination of SSD and HDD technology.

Power

The power supply units in Dell gaming desktops are extremely powerful. They manage the power for a computer's components, enabling them to run safely and efficiently. Large power supplies of 500 watts or more are necessary for high-end gaming machines.

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Did You Know?
A gaming desktop tends to run hotter than a standard desktop because the processors are so fast. You might need to add a specialized liquid cooling system to a high-end gaming computer.
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Features

Dell sells some computers that work for gaming under its own brand name. It also sells gaming desktops under the Alienware brand and the Aurora name. Here are some of the features specific to Dell gaming desktops that can help you find just the right machine for your needs.

Cooling

Dell gaming computers ship with special cooling components, such as copper heat pipes and vapor chambers. These items, combined with efficient airflow, help keep the computer’s components from overheating.

Overclocking

Overclocking means the RAM, CPU, and GPU can run at a faster clock speed than the manufacturer recommends. Gamers appreciate the ability to overclock, which is possible thanks to the built-in software in Dell gaming computers.

Multitasking

Dell offers large amounts of high-speed RAM to allow gamers to play their games and stream their own video at the same time on a platform like Twitch or YouTube. These computers can handle multiple tasks efficiently and without lag.

Radeon technologies

Dell gaming computers take advantage of multiple Radeon graphics-processing technologies to improve overall performance. These include the following:

Image Sharpening: This uses an algorithm to create details in the final rendering of the graphics that would be missed in a computer not built for gaming.

Anti-Lag: This is a technology that allows the CPU and GPU to work in sync, reducing the possibility of one chip going faster than the other and creating lag.

FreeSync: This technology smooths the movement of graphics data from the GPU to the display monitor, reducing choppiness and lag.

Dell gaming computers nearly always come with the Windows operating system preloaded.

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Accessories

Gaming keyboard: Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Many Dell gaming desktop computers come with a high-quality keyboard that’s made for gaming. But this Corsair keyboard is a comfortable piece of hardware that has up to 15 hours of battery life for long gaming sessions.

Gaming mouse: Razer DeathAdder Elite
This Razer mouse is great for gaming because it has a rubbery edge coating to help the player maintain their grip. This is a highly accurate mouse, which is vital for success when gaming. It’s a little bigger than average, but the buttons are responsive and well positioned.

Gaming mouse pad: Razer Firefly V2 Gaming Mouse Mat
Gamers can use any mouse pad they like, and this Razer mouse mat offers maximum accuracy for the movement of the mouse and cursor. It also has custom LED lighting that adds to the atmosphere for high-end gaming.

Gaming monitor: HP Omen X 27 Gaming Monitor
The Dell gaming computer may not come with a display monitor, so add this 27-inch HP unit to your gaming setup for excellent results. It has a native refresh rate of 240 hertz, which is perfect for fast-moving games.

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Did You Know?
If the Dell gaming computer’s graphics card has an HDMI port, you should be able to connect it to a TV and use it as your display monitor.
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Pricing

Remember that these computers rarely come with a monitor, headset, or audio speakers, so you’ll need to purchase them separately. Some units don’t come with a keyboard or mouse either. You could end up spending from $100 to $1,000 or more for extra items.

Inexpensive: The least expensive gaming desktops from Dell cost $300 to $750. Although these desktops are called “gaming” computers, they won’t provide the optimal features and components for high-end gaming. Beginning gamers might want to start with a computer in this price range.

Mid-range: These Dell gaming desktops cost $750 to $1,500. These are powerful computers that deliver the results most gamers want. One of these computers should give you a few years of strong performance before you need an upgrade or replacement.

Expensive: The most expensive Dell gaming desktops cost $1,500 to $2,500. These units contain powerful processors, the most RAM, lots of fast SSD storage, and the best GPUs. These desktops will deliver outstanding performance for several years.

Tips

Because gaming computer CPUs and GPUs must run at fast speeds, they generate a lot of heat. The Dell gaming computer has multiple cooling systems built into it to counteract that heat. To ensure the best performance from your Dell gaming desktop, it’s important to keep an eye on the following items related to heat generation.

  • Leave open space around your computer. It’s important to leave some space around the computer tower to allow air to flow into the case and cool the components. Without proper airflow, the computer could overheat.
  • Check that the fans are operating. CPUs, graphics cards, tower cases, and some other components may have fans attached to them. Make sure these fans are running properly to encourage adequate cooling.
  • Make sure the vents are clear. Vent fins on the tower case are there for ventilation. Check that nothing is plugging or blocking these vents, such as dust or pet hair. Tangles of cables can also block vents. 
  • Position the computer away from heat sources. Avoid placing the tower next to a heater or heating vent. The added heat can make the computer’s cooling system less efficient.
  • Keep the case closed. Don’t pull the cover off the computer to try to improve the airflow. The vents and fans in the computer are placed strategically for the best airflow with the cover attached. Additionally, removing the cover allows in more dust and particles that can cause other issues.
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Some serious gamers build their own gaming systems from scratch, but purchasing a Dell gaming desktop has you ready to play games right away.

FAQ

Q. How do I know if my favorite game will play on the computer?

A. If you purchase the game on an optical disc (like a DVD), it needs to be a game specifically for computers, not consoles. Check the specifications for the game and make sure the Dell computer has the power to match or (preferably) exceed those specifications.

Q. What are some disadvantages of choosing a gaming desktop computer?

A. If you want to play games somewhere else, a desktop computer is difficult to move around. It’s far easier to carry a smaller gaming console to a friend’s house for the day.

Q. Can I use Bluetooth hardware with my Dell gaming desktop?

A. Yes. Many Dell desktops have Bluetooth support built into them. However, Bluetooth can sometimes have a slight lag versus a wired connection, which can affect your gaming success. The lag may not be a huge deal on wireless headphones, but it could be the difference between winning and losing if it happens with a wireless keyboard or mouse.

Q. Should I pick a Dell gaming laptop or desktop?

A. If you want to be able to carry your computer easily to other locations, you’ll appreciate the portability of a laptop for gaming. However, a desktop computer makes it far easier to swap out components. Upgrading the hardware is a good way to give a desktop gaming computer a longer useful lifespan versus a gaming laptop.
 

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