A high-quality gaming setup can easily cost a few thousand dollars to build, and pre-built ones are frequently on the higher end of the price spectrum due to the convenience element. However, there are lots of low-cost gaming PCs that can run recent games at reasonable settings while maintaining smooth frame rates.
We’ve gone through the various brands and hardware setups to uncover the finest affordable gaming PCs you can buy right now to assist make your journey into PC gaming easier. The prices of our recommendations range from roughly $500 to a little under $1500. This range is about as low as you can go if you want excellent gameplay performance, considering you can easily spend two or three times that on a top-tier gaming rig—and in some cases on the graphics card alone.
The PCs we chose aren’t designed for 4K gaming, and several of them have limited storage and RAM. This will limit the number of games you can install and how quickly they load, making streaming and content creation more difficult—especially if you’re simultaneously playing and recording gameplay. Most low-end PCs are also incapable of handling VR.
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Even yet, for first-time PC purchasers and those on a tight budget, a budget-level gaming system is a realistic alternative. These PCs are best suited to 1080p gaming, however, a couple can handle games at 1440p resolution with acceptable frame rates. If you have the money, you can even improve the specs on some of these devices. Please keep in mind that none of the computers on our list contain a monitor, and only a few include a mouse and keyboard, so make sure to budget for those extra costs as well.
(Please keep in mind that availability for these PCs is subject to change due to the ongoing chip scarcity and other circumstances.)
The Best For (Almost) $500 – HP Pavilion TG01-2170m:
The Pavilion TG01-2170m from HP is an excellent entry-level gaming computer. Its base all-AMD hardware combination, which includes a Ryzen 3 5300G CPU and RX 5500 4GB GPU, as well as 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, costs around the same as the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. If you want more power, you can upgrade to an Nvidia GTX 1660 Super for an extra $90, or upgrade to the next levels of CPU or RAM for an extra $100, but the standard kit can play games like Fortnite or Apex Legends on a 1080p monitor with smooth gameplay.
The TGo1-2170sole m’s potential flaw is its unimpressive casing, which is the same matte black tower that HP uses on all of its current Pavilion gaming desktops. The front panel has a few small RBG lights, but that is the case’s only distinguishing feature. Some people will love the understated style, but if you’re looking for something flashier, seek elsewhere. Fortunately, the chassis is spacious, and many of the components may be changed simply in the future.
Best For Limited Desk Space – Omen 25L GT12-1340m:
With dimensions of 6.50 inches broad, 17.05 inches tall, and 15.53 inches long, the Omen 25L is an excellent choice for folks with tiny desk surfaces.
If you want to stay under $1000, we propose the $979 all-AMD setup. It starts with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X processor and a 4GB Radeon RX 5500 GPU. If you want to go all out, this model can be upgraded to a Ryzen 9 5900X processor and an 8GB Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti graphics card (or prefer Nvidia GPUs). There are various component options with varied power between those price ranges, as well as machines with Intel i5 chips from the 10th generation (beginning at $799) or 11th generation (starting at $1350) if that’s what you want (or budget).
However, if you’re fine with playing newer games on lower settings at 1080p, the base specs are sufficient—though we recommend paying a little more to go beyond the usual 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD if you can. Each model comes with a variety of RAM and SSD size options, as well as the ability to add a wired mouse and keyboard for just $14.
Best Full-Size Gaming PC Under $1000 – Acer Predator Orion 3000 PO3-630G-UW9:
The Predator Orion 3000 from Acer comes with an Intel 11th-generation 6-core CPU and an Nvidia GTX 1660 Super graphics card. While the GTX 1660 is a budget GPU that lacks capabilities like ray tracing and Nvidia broadcast support found in Nvidia’s RTX line, it’s capable of good 1080p gaming. The 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD are modest, but that’s to be expected from a budget pre-built. Furthermore, RAM and storage are the most easily upgradeable PC components, and if you don’t have enough, you can always upgrade to a more expensive configuration.
The Acer Predator Orion 3000, like other pre-built PCs, does not come with a monitor, so you’ll need to purchase one to complete your setup. The keyboard and mouse that come with the box aren’t particularly impressive, but they do save you money. The angular form of the chassis, as well as the RGB lighting features that can be customized, give it a distinct “gamer” look.
The Best for Just Over $1000 – Skytech Gaming Blaze II:
Sketch Gaming’s Blaze II, like the other pre-builts on this list, comes in a variety of configurations, but the one with Intel’s i5 10400F processor and Nvidia GTX 1660 GPU costs $1,089. It has outstanding entry-level hardware, a stylish casing, and the ability to upgrade in the future.
To be fair, the CPU and GPU in this model aren’t much different from those in the less expensive variants we’ve looked at, but the 1TB SSD and 16GB RAM make it a more powerful system altogether. It has slightly better in-game graphics and can perform other memory-intensive operations than its less costly competitors. Because of the greater memory, video editing and even streaming will be smoother, making this an excellent choice for aspiring content creators.
The computer also appears to be in excellent condition. The casing has a tempered glass side panel that shows off the components inside, which are illuminated by the RGB ring light on the back exhaust fan. The front of the case has two more RGB ring lights, all of which are totally adjustable. There’s also plenty of room within the chassis, and the bundled 600-watt power supply can handle beefier components in the future, such as a more powerful GPU.
The Best For Hardcore DIYers – NZXT Starter Pro BLD Kit:
It may sound strange to label the NZXT Starter Pro BLD Kit a “cheap” gaming PC with a price tag just shy of $1,500, but it’s a reasonably powerful system that will boost you into the next tier of gaming performance without breaking the bank.
The only catch is that you must construct it yourself.
But don’t worry: NZXT’s BLD Kits include everything you’ll need, including detailed instructions, tutorial videos, a tool kit, and all necessary hardware. Only a monitor, keyboard, and mouse (along with any other peripherals you might need) aren’t included in the package, putting this in the unreasonably expensive category if you don’t already have those components. Nonetheless, for anyone interested in constructing their own PCs but unsure where to start, this is an excellent option.
The Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti graphics card, Intel i5-11400F CPU, 1TB SSD, and 16GB RAM in the Starter Pro BLD Kit is powerful enough for high frame rates at 1080p or 1440p resolutions, as well as advanced visual capabilities like ray tracing. This is another PC with a large case—complete with a see-through glass side panel—and a robust power supply, making it more future-proof than previous entry-level models.