The 10 Best Cheap Gaming PCs Available
If you’re looking to get into the world of PC gaming but don’t know where to start, today’s your lucky day – we’ve got a list of some of the best cheap PC gaming rigs available.
PC gaming tends to be much more flexible than console gaming, both in hardware (swap out or add in components to your computer, rather than being forced to buy a new console to play new games every few years) and software (free games, indie games, free software, mods – while consoles are starting to catch up, they still have a long way to go!).
But one of the main barriers to starting out in the PC gaming world is the price of the equipment – many people think you’re out of luck without a few thousand dollars to spend on a serious gaming PC. As our examples show, that’s certainly not the case. Here, in no particular order, are some instances of excellent gaming PCs at reasonable prices.
This is a great place to start your search and get an idea of the specs you’re looking for. With a whopping 8 gigs of RAM, AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core processor and the mighty AMD R7 240 2GB graphics card, you’ll be up and running with this desktop in no time – and what’s more, you’ll likely find yourself able to enjoy it for a longer time than a console, with its simple build and quality engineering. The main point of contention for reviewers is the power supply, a part which is very easy to swap out either yourself or at a computer repair center.
The Hellion is a step up in terms of price, but its stunning 8GB DDR4 RAM, AMD Radeon R7 360 graphics card and six-core processor (now only 4 Core) leave power to spare for many of this generation’s games. That extra price can be considered a worthwhile investment when you think of a similar price for two consoles – and with a PC’s extended lifespan and usefulness in terms of available games, you’re essentially buying two consoles’ worth of experience with this PC. Its modern, attractive case is also an excellent point to recommend it; while you shouldn’t base your purchase entirely on looks, it doesn’t hurt to have a high-quality aesthetic design along the way.
It’s a step down from the more expensive Hellion, but that may be well worth it for many customers – and its 8 GB of RAM and quad-core processor will be more than enough for many gamers. With its built-in NVidia GeForce GT610 graphics card, it won’t be running Fallout 4 at 4K and 60 FPS, but if that’s a sacrifice you’re willing to make, then Borg-Q’s sub-$500 price point (not to mention its truly excellent exterior design) make it well worth a look or two.
This is a contender for one of the top cheap gaming PCs available; with its Radeon 8370D graphics card and 4 GB of RAM, it’s a powerful machine for a low $400. It may not be the perfect choice for professional gamers, but most of us live in a world where the level of response where milliseconds matter doesn’t exist. Instead, the Assault-A46 offers an excellent gaming device with a long lifespan and very approachable price, similar to that of the major consoles – all while offering the backwards compatibility, modding community, and indie titles that the big console players cannot.
CybertronPC is appearing a lot on this list, and with good reason – its PCs tend to be more reasonably priced and accessible than most in the gaming field, offering excellent speed and graphics cards in their desktop PCs. The Patriot sticks to this trend easily, with its dual-core processor, 8 gigs of RAM, and Radeon HD 8370D graphics card. Reviewers on Amazon were pleasantly surprised at the level of quality from this computer – while it comes in at a competitive price, its specs are more than enough to run many of today’s most popular games. Additionally, users loved the level of support that CybertronPC provided – another excellent reason to recommend the company for those looking into a budget gaming PC.
It may look like the Eye of Sauron, but it’s actually a powerful and cost-effective desktop PC from Asus. A Core i3 processor and heavyweight GTX745 graphics card help the G20AJ stand out from the competition, and although it’s a bit more expensive than some of the other entries on the list, it still qualifies as a budget gaming PC by virtue of the value it offers for its money. It’s also a top contender for the most visually distinct PC on the list, with its two black towers surrounding a bright red center.
Another CybertronPC makes the grade as one of the best budget gaming PCs, and with its stunningly low price, Radeon HD 8370D graphics card, 4 gigs of RAM, and 3.7 GHz dual-core processor, it’s a powerhouse of a PC for a steal of a price. This package also comes with a keyboard and a mouse, a welcome surprise for many buyers used to just getting the tower and a few cables in the box. Though it’s certainly not a deal maker or a deal breaker, that extra bit of consideration can go a long way toward showing you the level of commitment you can expect from a company, and CybertronPC makes high marks here.
Just like its budget-conscious CybertronPC cousins, the SkyTech Shadow packs a punch in its small frame and low price. 8 gigs of RAM and a quad-core CPU alongside a GT 730 2GB GDDR3 Graphics card make this a powerful budget gaming PC; specs like these help ensure that games from the previous generation will run smoothly and newer games will be able to flex their muscles on slightly lower settings. For most budget PC gamers, that’s more than enough – the ability to play modern PC games is well worth the slight trade-off in detail level you’ll get with a desktop PC like the SkyTech Shadow. Make sure you check the minimum specs for the games you’re interested in, as well as the recommended specs, to get an idea of what you can expect from the Jurassic, and you’ll likely find yourself pleasantly surprised.
This Blue Guardian PC first catches the eye based on its looks – it’s one of the prettiest PCs on this list, and it’s got the power under the hood to back up the looks. 4 gigs of RAM and a 3.8 GHz Athlon 64 FX processor make this machine a powerful one for entry level gamers – the quad core processing unit makes for a mighty machine for just under $500.
We said earlier that this list was in no particular order, but this might just be the best budget gaming PC we’ve mentioned so far, striking the perfect balance between price and performance. At just about $550, the X315 is a little pricier than some of the other machines here; it does, however, pack into its frame a remarkable AMD A8 processor, AMD R9 360 graphics card, 8 GB of RAM, 1 TB HDD and additional 128 GB SSD for the added boost of SSD memory, and more. All of these extra features take the X315 well beyond competitors in a similar price bracket, making it one of the most remarkable budget gaming PCs we’ve seen. If you’re considering a PC around this price point, we highly recommend taking a look at the Lenovo X315; even if your budget is a bit lower, you’ll find that the features of the X315 may make it the perfect choice for you.
Bonus Suggestion: Build Your Own!
Building your own PC gives you even more control over graphics, speed, and power – and it can actually help decrease your costs significantly. While many newcomers to PC gaming balk at the idea of building their own PC, it’s actually a very simple process, with several tutorials available online. A PC’s modular design helps parts plug in and disconnect from each other with ease, and if you’re ever interested in making upgrades or repairs later on down the road without paying the extra cost of taking it into a computer shop, building your own PC is a great way to learn your way around a machine. There are several PC components available from Amazon, and it’s not too difficult to look into purchasing a few different ones and piecing them together on your own. Before you buy a budget gaming PC, make sure to scope out building your own, saving you money and increasing your familiarity with the machine.
Budget PC Gaming: Well Within Reach
Whether you’re buying a prebuilt machine or building your own from scratch, PC gaming’s components are rapidly dropping in price and becoming more affordable for the average consumer. If you’ve set aside a bit of money and are willing to do your research into the various options available, there’s a lot to learn and a lot to do in the PC gaming world.
Make sure you balance your needs against the price you’re willing to pay – for example, will you be playing older or newer games on your PC? Will your needs tend toward a stronger graphics card, like a high-level Radeon or R-series from Radeon or the GTX series from NVidia? If so, check out the computers that come with those graphics cards built in – you’ll be able to plug in your machine and play this way.
Additionally, make sure your monitor can handle the output from your computer. Most video outs these days are HDMI, although several graphics cards do still come with VGA outputs; you’ll want to take a look at the monitor you already have (gaming PCs tend not to come with their own monitor, assuming you’ll have one already that you want to use) and see what it can handle.
Above all else, make sure you understand the parts involved in your computer and how you’ll be using them. You’ll find you get a lot more out of your gaming experience this way. This may not mean knowing all of the ins and outs of computer design and engineering, but it certainly helps to know what a motherboard, CPU, and graphics card (or GPU) are, as well as the difference between an HDD and an SSD (hint: young SSD technology is a lightning fast way to store data on your computer!). Whatever your level of expertise and level of interest in the more technical details of it all, you’re in for a treat with the newest budget gaming PCs available – welcome to the exciting and rapidly growing world of PC gaming!