Finding the Best Budget Prebuilt Gaming Desktops Under $500

The best cheap gaming PCs

Welcome to our regularly updated list of the best prebuilt budget gaming desktops perfect for casual gamers and new gamers alike based on consumer feedback, real world performance and expert reviews.

We spend hours researching all the best cheap gaming desktops into this condensed list of our top recommendations on the market. Coming under the $500 mark, these desktops offer acceptable performance but may struggle a little with newer more power hungry games. That said, with a simple upgrade of the graphics card, and possibly a bit more RAM, you should be able to attain significant performance boosts for most cheap gaming PCs if you don’t mind performing a few do it yourself upgrades down the line. Buying a premade desktop vs a self-assembled desktop means you can skip the hassle of searching for individual parts and there are numerous options on the market from leading manufacturers. Most budget desktops are capable of achieving playable framerates for most modern video game titles though be sure to follow the links for more detailed benchmarks for all available GPU’s.

Under $600 >> Under $500 >>


line-break

Best Prebuilt Gaming Desktop PCs Under $500

Alienware Alpha ASM100-1580Alienware Alpha ASM100-1580

The Alienware Alpha ASM100-1580 bears a small footprint similar to that of set-top boxes. Some distinct features like the glowing Alienware logo, a sharp triangular cut lined with LED lights on the bottom left corner of the casing and the included Xbox 360 controller, set it apart as a gaming device. The top surface is made of matte plastic, with the rest of the surface wrapped in glossy black plastic. The chassis has ventilation in three of its sides allowing for adequate airflow. The front of the box contains two USB 2.0 ports, while the rest of the connections including two USB 3.0 ports, dual HDMI ports and an Ethernet port are located at the rear. The overall build quality is comparable to that of the current generation consoles like the Xbox One or the PS4. Under the hood, the ASM100-1580 features an Intel Core i3-4130T processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB of Hard Drive. With a keyboard and mouse, the Alpha can be used as a Windows PC for performing a wide range of tasks including web browsing, video streaming and document editing. Powered by a Custom NVIDIA Maxwell GTX CPU with 2GB of dedicated video memory, it delivers playable frame rates even when playing the latest games as long as the settings are kept at medium. For enhanced performance, it’s possible to pop open the upper lid to access the memory slot and hard drive bay. Unfortunately, the graphics chip is soldered to the motherboard so it cannot be upgraded. Overall, any budget buyers looking for a gaming capable PC that looks nice in a living room, should consider the Alpha ASM100-1580.

  • Intel Core i3-4130T 2.90GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • Nvidia Geforce Maxwell (Equivalent to the GTX 750Ti) 2GB GDDR5 [View Framerates]
  • 4GB DDR3L RAM
  • 500GB 5400 RPM HDD
  • Windows 8.1 64-bit

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Large selection of PC games
  • Console and Desktop mode
  • Xbox 360 controller

Cons

  • No optical drive
  • UI can be slow at times
  • Not future proof
  • Steam Big Picture platform

Summary

The Alienware Alpha ASM100-1580 is a console desktop hybrid that is designed around the Steam Big Picture platform. While it is smaller and more powerful than the PS4 and the Xbox One it is less future proof than these consoles with their dedicated games.

Alienware Alpha ASM100-1580
See Price at Retailer
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 12-04-2017 12:30 UTC) Details

CybertronPC Rhodium 240CybertronPC Rhodium 240

This model is not being described as the ‘gamer’s choice’ for nothing. For its impressive price in such a competitive market it is difficult to think of another model that caters so directly to the needs of desktop gamers. With its generous and lightning quick 8GB DDR3 RAM, coupled with its cutting-edge 4-Core AMD FX4300 processor, the very idea of sluggishness and performance lag simply sounds impossible with this model. Added to this, the AMD Radeon R7 240 2GB GDDR3 graphics card is guaranteed to whet the appetite of gamers. Gaming perks aside, these specifications also ensure smooth and easy use of state-of-the-art design and editing software such as Photoshop and Illustrator. The Cybertron PC Rhodium’s Windows 10 operating system also allows users to utilize DirectX 12, further enhancing gaming performance. What this all adds up to is a desktop that caters to the needs of anyone from gamers to graphic designers as well as to those just wanting something for multimedia use. As a result, the Cybertron PC Rhodium 240 seems like a no-brainer for those in need of an efficient, sleek, and high-performance machine at a quality price.

  • , Display not included pixels
  • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
  • 26.9 lbs

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Quad Core AMD FX processor
  • Radeon R7 240 graphics
  • Space for extra storage drives
  • Elegant design

Cons

  • No WiFi
  • Only one PCIe x16 slot
  • Only 3 USB 3.0 slots

Summary

For its price, and considering the high-performance hardware it contains, the Cybertron PC Rhodium 240 is an absolute steal of a model that is sure to satisfy gaming as well as other multimedia needs.

CybertronPC Rhodium 240
from $499.99$460.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 29-04-2017 19:59 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire AXC-705-UR55Acer Aspire AXC-705-UR55

The Acer Aspire AXC-705-UR55 is being described by Acer as a “compact multitasker”, and the model does indeed deliver in the two significant ways that affordable desktops should: it is both aesthetically sleek as well as streamlined for high-performance practical and entertainment use. Unlike some other small desktop models, the Acer Aspire AXC-705-UR55 has an internal power supply, and its weight (at just over 11 pounds) also makes it more compact and easier to move within a household space than some of its competitors. Its small chassis has front-panel controls for the most commonly used ports, which means there is no scrambling to find important connections. Its VGA and HDMI ports allows for two TV’s or monitors to be connected for work or multimedia purposes. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 GPU will cope with casual gaming on low settings, but is not suited for more intensive and modern games. The 220 Watt power supply unit limits what graphics cards can be used in the Acer Aspire AXC-705-UR55. We recommend upgrading the power supply unit in order to use more powerful graphics cards. With a 1TB Hard Drive, this model makes it easy to store a large number of games and multimedia, which is especially encouraging for those who might not feel like investing in an external hard drive. Its fourth generation Intel core i3-4160 processor, 6GB DDR RAM, and InstantGo feature that lets the user boot up and resume with ease, all combine to ensure a sleek user interface. And for those wishing to capitalize on multimedia and gaming experience, it boasts High-Definition 5.1 Channel Audio support that will be sure to maximize the immersive nature of the experience. The model also comes with an impressive Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC) app, enabling the user to manage the storage capacity of their cloud. Ultimately, the Acer Aspire AXC-705-UR55 is a very reasonable choice for those not wanting to splash out too much financially, but who still want to be able to do some mainstream gaming as well as ensure they have a model that suits their everyday multimedia needs.

  • NA, Display not included pixels
  • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit

Pros

  • Value for money
  • 1TB mechanical hard drive
  • Compact size
  • AC WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Decent performance

Cons

  • Some bloatware
  • Integrated graphics
  • Not be suitable for high-end gaming
  • 220 Watt power supply

Summary

Considering its price, the Acer Aspire AXC-705-UR55 has very impressive specifications. These specifications, combined with its small profile, make it a solid ‘all-rounder’ of a model that can cater to both gaming and everyday multimedia needs.

Acer Aspire AXC-705-UR55
from $449.99$379.78
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 29-04-2017 19:59 UTC) Details

HP Pavilion 550-110HP Pavilion 550-110

The HP Pavilion 550-110 is what you would come to expect from a budget desktop PC, while also packing a few surprises. Firstly, the model looks very attractive, with its sleek design and practical front-panel control for most of the ports the user will need. Secondly, it boasts some high performance equipment, as well as coming with a generous 1TB Hard Drive. The Intel HD Graphics 4400 will run games such as Counter Strike: GO and Diablo III with decent frame rates. But the 180 Watt power supply unit will need to be upgraded in order to run more powerful graphics. The processing power of the Intel Core i3, as well as the generous amount of RAM (8GB DDR3 SDRAM), ensures the easy running of popular gaming software like Steam, as well as the easy running of other everyday work and multimedia tasks. The HP Pavilion also boasts an HDMI port allowing the user to connect to the big screen and play their games or watch their media in laid-back comfort. The HP Pavilion also has unique HP features that fans of the brand have grown accustomed to. HP with Audio by B&O Play provides an immersive and top-of-the-range sound experience, and the model also comes with HP Support Assistant, a self-help support service to help the user navigate through any difficulties they may experience. At the end of the day, the HP Pavilion 550-110 is going to satisfy individuals working within a specific price range who want quality performance and value for money.

  • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
  • 17.4 lbs

Pros

  • Elegant design
  • 8GB RAM
  • Intel Core processor

Cons

  • 180 Watt power supply
  • Not be suitable for all high-end gaming
  • Integrated graphics

Summary

The HP Pavilion 550-110 has some unusually high-performance features for its price range, and will be a wise purchase for customers who want a fast-working, hassle-free model that can satisfy mainstream gaming needs as well as everyday work and multimedia needs.

HP Pavilion 550-110
from $499.99$474.5
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 29-04-2017 19:51 UTC) Details

CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA880CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA880

CyberpowerPC is an American computer manufacturer that offers amazing customer support and lifetime tech support on their products. The CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA880 is another great offering for the gamer on a budget. The GUA880 comes with a Cooler Master Elite case that will allow you to easily upgrade your hardware. The case also allows for larger mainboards and larger graphics cards to be installed. The Quad Core AMD FX-4300 processor and 8GB of RAM will easily run everyday tasks and will allow for lag free gaming. But the installed NVIDIA GeForce GT720 graphics card is an entry level card and will need to be replaced for newer games to be run on higher settings. We recommend the EVGA GeForce GTX 950, which offers far superior graphics processing power. While the 500-Watt power supply will handle more powerful graphics cards, some users have mentioned that the quality of the power supply is sub-par. To prevent disappointment we recommend looking at the EVGA 600 BRONZE 600W power supply, which will offer enough power and won’t break the bank. To ensure that you have plenty of space to install your favorite games, CyberpowerPC has installed a 1TB 7200rpm mechanical hard drive. The tool-less design allows you to easily install extra hard drives to increase your storage space. Overall the CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA880 will offer a good gaming experience for its budget friendly price.

  • Display not included, pixels
  • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit

Pros

  • Cooler Master Case
  • Quad Core processor
  • Toolless case design
  • 1TB 7200rpm drive
  • Lifetime Tech Support

Cons

  • No WiFi
  • Power supply issues
  • Entry level graphics card
  • No USB 3.0

Summary

The CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA880 offers good hardware, an attractive price and a great gaming case. But the power supply has been known to fail and the GeForce GT720 will struggle with higher settings.

CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA880
from $476.78
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 29-04-2017 19:58 UTC) Details


line-break

Best Prebuilt Gaming Desktop PCs Under $600

SkyTech ArchAngel ST-ARCH-GTX1050-2GSkyTech ArchAngel ST-ARCH-GTX1050-2G

While the SkyTech Shadow ST-4300-8G1TB-GTX750TI still features the older, but much loved NVIDIA GTX 750 Ti graphics card, the SkyTech ArchAngel ST-ARCH-GTX1050-2G now comes standard with the GTX 1050 GPU. The GTX 1050 delivers significantly better speed and power efficiency than the older GTX 750 Ti and will easily play any of the current AAA gaming titles on the market. While you will be able to enjoy 4K videos with this PC via a 4K monitor or a 4K TV, it will struggle to play games when the resolution is set to 4K. We recommend keeping the in-game resolution to 1920 x 1080 pixels. You will be able to upgrade the SkyTech ArchAngel ST-ARCH-GTX1050-2G with a more powerful card, however you might need to upgrade the power supply too as it only ships with a Thermaltake 430 Watt PSU. While it is a gaming PSU that can run fairly well at its maximum wattage, it still does not provide enough wattage that some beefier cards require. Powered by a 6-Core AMD FX-6300 processor and 8GB of DDR3 1866MHz gaming RAM, the SkyTech ArchAngel ST-ARCH-GTX1050-2G will easily cope with titles such as Battlefield 1 and GTA V. The AMD FX-6300 can be overclocked due to its unlocked multiplier, however you will have to ensure that the processor is adequately cooled to prevent any damage to the physical processor or motherboard. While you do get ample storage space thanks to a 1TB 7200rpm mechanical drive, it does not come standard with a solid state drive. You can easily install a good SATA SSD to give you that edge and to decrease those annoying game loading screen times.

  • Display not included, pixels
  • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
  • 28 lbs

Pros

  • Dedicated GTX 1050 GPU
  • 6-Core AMD processor
  • Ample storage space
  • Sleek look case
  • No bloatware
  • Lifetime Free Technical Support

Cons

  • 430 Watt PSU
  • Not suited for 4K gaming
  • DDR3 RAM
  • Genius keyboard and mouse

Summary

The SkyTech ArchAngel ST-ARCH-GTX1050-2G is a great stepping stone into the world of gaming and will allow you to enjoy the best AAA gaming titles on the market.

SkyTech ArchAngel ST-ARCH-GTX1050-2G
from $629.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 29-04-2017 19:51 UTC) Details

SkyTech Shadow ST-4300-8G1TB-GTX750TISkyTech Shadow ST-4300-8G1TB-GTX750TI

SkyTech is a name that most of us are not familiar with, however their Shadow ST-4300-8G1TB-GTX750TI is well worth considering when looking for a new affordable gaming PC. With a stylish case, the Shadow looks every bit the part of a gaming PC. The case also offers enough space to expand your storage if you want to add more 3.5-inch hard drives or faster solid state drives. Powering the Shadow is an AMD FX-4300 Quad Core processor and 8GB of DDR3 gaming RAM, which will easily cope with day-to-day tasks. However the processor will struggle with intensive apps and you might want to double the RAM for those RAM hungry processes. Sadly the Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 motherboard that SkyTech has used will only support a maximum frequency of 1600MHz, ruling out some of the even more powerful gaming RAM modules. To ensure that you can enjoy your favorite games, SkyTech has fitted the Shadow with a Zotac GTX 750 Ti graphics card with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory. While this might be an older graphics card, it will still be able run the latest AAA gaming titles. However you will need to lower your settings for titles such as Battlefield 1 when running at 1920 x 1080. The Shadow also features a Thermaltake 500-Watt power supply, meaning you can easily upgrade to a more powerful graphics card. The installed 1TB 7200rpm mechanical hard drive offers ample space for your games and multimedia needs, however you might want to look at a solid state drive to decrease the loading time of your favorite games.

  • Display not included, pixels
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
  • 21 lbs

Pros

  • Quad Core processor
  • 500-Watt power supply
  • Zotac GTX 750 Ti graphics card
  • No bloatware

Cons

  • Older graphics card
  • Not suited for hardcore gamers
  • Max 1600MHz RAM support

Summary

The SkyTech Shadow ST-4300-8G1TB-GTX750TI offers a stylish case and decent performance for its affordable price. However you might want to look at upgrading the graphics card at a later stage.

SkyTech Shadow ST-4300-8G1TB-GTX750TI
from $579.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 29-04-2017 19:59 UTC) Details

CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3100ACyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3100A

If you are on a tight budget and are after a desktop that will run most games with decent frame rates, then the CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3100A will be worth looking at. Its sleek game inspired case can easily accommodate more hard drives and a larger graphics card. But the case only comes with red LED lights which might not suit everyone’s taste. Powered by a Quad Core AMD FX-4300 processor and 8GB of RAM, the CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3100A will easily cope with everyday tasks and will ensure that games run relatively smoothly. The AMD Radeon R7 240 features 2GB of video memory and will run titles such as Overwatch, Skyrim and Battlefield 4 on medium settings depending on the resolution. But despite the Gamer Ultra name, the R7 240 is an entry level card and you will have upgrade the power supply unit in order to install a more powerful graphics card. We recommend the EVGA 500 Watt power supply and the EVGA GeForce GTX 950 which offers 5x the performance over the installed Radeon R7 240. The 1TB 7200rpm mechanical hard drive offers enough space to install larger games and store multimedia files. You can also add additional hard drives to increase the storage space on your CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3100A. While it does have Gigabit Ethernet, it does not feature wireless and users will have to look a USB WiFi adaptor separately.

  • , Display not included pixels
  • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
  • 25.1 lbs

Pros

  • Gaming keyboard and mouse
  • Sleek design
  • 8GB of RAM
  • Quad Core processor

Cons

  • Entry level graphics
  • Older processor
  • Small power supply
  • Red LED case lights

Summary

The CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3100A offers good performance for its under $500 price, but the entry level Radeon R7 240 graphics card will need to be replaced for true 1080p gaming.

CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3100A
from $509
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 29-04-2017 19:59 UTC) Details

CybertronPC Patriot GM1293B Desktop

CybertronPC Patriot GM1293B DesktopWith so many choices in the cheap gaming desktop range its hard to find a desktop that stands out and unfortunately for the CybertronPC Patriot GM1293B Desktop, its hard to find any distinguishing features. It has pretty standard specs for the price including an AMD A4-5300 3.40GHz Dual-Core Processor, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a 1TB hard drive for storage. As in most cases with these cheap machines the manufacturers use cheaper graphics cards and power supplies to keep costs low. All that being said this is still a perfectly capable budget gaming machine and should definitely not be overlooked. CybertronPC have done a great job with the assembly and made sure all wiring was neat and hidden where possible. They have also included a generous 1 year warranty as well as free lifetime technical support for added peace of mind.  Much like the CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA880, the CybertronPC Patriot GM1293B Desktop would perform much better with an upgraded power supply and graphics card.

  • Windows 8

Pros

  • Good cooling
  • 8 Channel Audio
  • WiFi
  • Name brand hardware
  • Upgradable

Cons

  • Integrated graphics
  • 400 Watt PSU
  • Dual-Core processor

Summary

The CybertronPC Patriot GM1293B offers decent hardware for its low price, it will be able to run games on low to medium settings. A more powerful GPU and PSU will be needed for better gaming performance.

CybertronPC Patriot GM1293B Desktop
See Price at Retailer
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 07-04-2017 07:07 UTC) Details

About the author