Gamers need gaming PCs and though there are heaps of desktops and laptops out there that might be designed to look or even feel the part, not all gaming PCs and gaming laptops do a fantastic job. The Micro Center Platinum Collection is a line of systems that have been specifically vetted to deliver excellent performance at a fair price, all from recognized brands.
This range of gaming PCs all feature cutting-edge gaming components in high-quality chassis, at affordable prices. There’s no need to customize, configure, or tweak them. They’ll play your favorite games and play them well.
If you’re looking for the best computers for gaming, the Micro Center Platinum Collection is a great place to start.
The Dell XPS 8940 is one of the best desktop gaming PCs out there, featuring a great selection of components in a compact, and quiet chassis. It’s sleek and attractive, without being covered in gaming-centric styling options and heavy-handed LEDs. This is a PC that is fantastic for gaming, but wouldn’t be out of place for a homework machine either; especially considering the hardware it has under the hood.
The base configuration for the XPS 8940 includes a cutting-edge Intel Core i7-11700 CPU, with eight cores and the ability to boost up to 4.9 GHz. That kind of extreme clock speed makes it a monstrously capable gaping CPU, and helps it hit high frame rates in Esports games, making this one of the best desktop PCs for gaming the Platinum Collection offers.
The powerful processor is paired up with 16GB of high-speed memory, and an Nvidia GTX 1660 Super graphics card – great for 1080p gaming. It’ll deliver comfortable frame rates at medium settings in just about anything, and there isn’t a game out there that it can’t play if you’re happy to tweak the settings.
If you want a little more power, the XPS 8940 can also come with an Nvidia RTX 3060 instead. That GPU is not only far more powerful, giving you the option of ultra-high settings in almost any game at 1080p resolution, but it packs all of the cutting-edge features offered by Nvidia’s Ampere range of graphics cards. That means RT cores for real-time
ray tracing in games like Fortnite, Resident Evil Village, and Minecraft. The onboard tensor cores also give this gaming PC support for deep learning super sampling (DLSS) in supporting games too, which can give you a big performance boost. If you’re trying to make the most of Cyberpunk 2077, Control, or Metro Exodus, it’s a great feature to have.
If you want to target higher resolutions or higher frame rates in AAA games, the XPS 8940 is also available with an Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti – a stupendously powerful graphics card in its own right. When paired with the same high-speed Intel processor, 32GB of fast memory, a terabyte of SSD storage (and an extra terabyte of hard drive space), it’s one of the best computers for gaming you can buy.
In the wake of graphics card pricing problems over the past year, gaming laptops have emerged as one of the best, and most affordable ways to enjoy your favourite games. With a new-generation of powerful mobile processors from AMD, some of the best gaming laptop deals out there are gaming laptops. Take the HP Pavilion Gaming 15, it combines the exquisite AMD Ryzen 5 5600H six core processor, with an Nvidia GTX 1650, and 8GB of high-speed memory. That’s the kind of hardware that a couple of years ago would have meant paying well north of a thousand dollars, but today it can be had for substantially less.
This laptop can easily handle competitive shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield at 1080p, well north of 60 FPS, or high frame rates in Esports games like League of Legends, Fortnite, and Rocket League. It enjoys fast boot and game load times with its half-terabyte of high-speed SSD storage, and its relatively lightweight with reasonable battery life. It’s one of the best laptops today for affordable gaming.
Upping the ante that bit more is the Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3, which is both a very capable gaming laptop, but also an absolute powerhouse of a work machine if you want one of the best Windows laptops for general computing too.
The AMD Ryzen 7 5800H eight-core processor is one of the best mobile CPUs ever made, with absolutely monstrous multi-threaded performance. When paired with a cutting-edge Nvidia RTX 3050 which supports both ray tracing and DLSS, it’s an amazing gaming laptop for this kind of money. Especially since all the pixels it renders are output through a good-looking 1080p display with support for up to a 120Hz refresh rate – perfect for high-paced, competitive play.
Other strengths include support for Gigabit Ethernet networking, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0, and half a terabyte of high-speed NVMe SSD storage.
This is easily one of the best laptop deals to be had right now and is a standout even within the Platinum Collection.
The $1,000 mark is the sweet spot for gaming laptops. They come with that bit more performance, a bit more display clarity and brightness, all wrapped up in a great-looking chassis. The MSI Katana GF66 is a great example of that. Its combination of an Intel Core i7 11800H, 16GB of high-speed memory, and an Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti make it one of the best laptop deals available today.
That’s a whole lot of hardware for the money, delivering fantastic 1080p gaming performance in absolutely any contemporary game, from high-paced (and with this, high frame rate) Esports games, to AAA experiences that will look buttery smooth on its 144Hz display.
Its only weak spot is that its power-hungry CPU can lead to lackluster battery life, so this is a gaming laptop that punches above its weight, but you’ll want to keep the charger handy if you want to game for more than a couple of hours.
One of the best laptops for gaming and general productivity, the Asus TUF A15 is packed full of high-powered components but doesn’t make cuts in the way some models do to achieve it. Its eight-core, AMD Ryzen 5800H CPU isn’t as power-hungry as some, leading to excellent battery life for a mid-range gaming laptop, and the Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti is more than capable of covering all of your gaming needs at 1080p resolution.
You can take full advantage of that too, thanks to its 144Hz display, making every game you play feel incredibly fluid. It also supports the latest generation of wireless connectivity, with Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.1 support, and has enhanced cooling over its predecessors to help maintain peak performance for longer.
Like the Asus TUF Gaming A15, but bigger, the Asus TUF Gaming A17 is a great Windows laptop for those who want a gaming machine with as big a screen as possible. A 17-inch laptop is never as portable as its smaller cousins, but there’s nothing quite like gaming on the big screen and at 17-inches, the A17 delivers a fantastic gaming experience by backing it up with heaps of powerful hardware.
The AMD Ryzen 5800H is a fantastic mobile processor, with eight high-powered cores, and support for 16 threads thanks to simultaneous multithreading. The Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti is a capable gaming GPU that can handle any game at 1080p resolution at decent settings and frame rates. With the 17-inch screen supporting a 144Hz refresh rate, all the action looks incredibly smooth, too.
These bigger laptops are always a little heavier, and at just over 5.7 pounds, the TUF Gaming A17 is no exception, but it’s no brick either. You can carry this around all day and then sit down to game in the evening, but with its size and weight, it’s not the best for gaming on the move.
One of the best laptops of 2021, the Lenovo Legion 5 15 is an absolute class leader at this price point. For just under $1,300 you get some extremely powerful hardware, a gorgeous high refresh-rate screen, a responsive and comfortable keyboard, and a good-looking chassis. That’s a lot for the money, making this one of the best laptop deals within the Micro Center Platinum Collection.
The awesome AMD Ryzen 5800H eight-core CPU is paired up with an Nvidia RTX 3060, giving this laptop all the power it needs for high-FPS 1080p gaming. The 16GB of fast memory means it’ll want for nothing in even the latest games, and with a terabyte of NVMe SSD storage, you’ll have all the space you need for your entire game library.
For long gaming sessions, or those who like to chat in-game, I particularly like the comfortable and responsive, backlit keyboard. It makes extensive typing a true pleasure and ensures that any keystrokes in high-speed games are quickly registered. The backlighting in this model is full RGB too, so if you want to use the Lenovo software to customize the look of your keyboard while you’re playing or when it’s just sat on your desk looking pretty, you have millions of colors to pick from.
The bigger brother of the Legion 5 15, this model boosts the screen size by a further two inches, letting you make the absolute most of its high-powered hardware for gorgeous 1080p gaming sessions. The same AMD Ryzen 5800H and Nvidia RTX 3060 are a perfect pairing for all sorts of games and can give you the confidence to play what you want, how you want, without worrying about having to lower settings just to make it playable.
The 17-inch screen does drain the battery a little faster than its 15-inch counterpart, but it’s not much. You can still expect up to seven hours of mixed usage, though if you’re gaming for several hours at a time, it’d be a good idea to have the charger handy so you’re not interrupted. Especially if you’re running the screen at full brightness with the keyboard’s RGB enabled.
This is a heavy laptop at over six and a half pounds, too, so be sure you have a desk somewhere to set it down to play. I wouldn’t want to play with this one on my thighs.
One of the contenders for the Platinum Collections’ best laptop of 2021 so far is the HP Omen 17. It combines one of the top Intel mobile CPUs, the Core i7-11800H, with an Nvidia RTX 3060 and 16GB of high-speed memory. That not only makes it great for gaming, but gives it an extremely powerful general compute performance profile, making it a super-fast Windows laptop for productivity-focused tasks, like video editing. The 17-inch screen gives you heaps of space for your timelines too – I’d want a machine like this for intense editing sessions.
Unlike many other modern laptops, the HP Omen 17 comes packing a range of port options, including Gigabit Ethernet, a Mini DisplayPort, and HDMI output – great for hooking up an external display for even more screen real estate. The real kicker is the Thunderbolt 4 port, though, which is something you’ll only find on Intel-based laptops. That means massive external device bandwidth for high-speed data transfers or running USB-C displays.
The HP Omen 17 is great for gaming and work, so it’d make a great streaming laptop – especially with its super faster eight-core CPU inside.
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