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The best cheap gaming PCs you can buy
The perfect gaming battle station is constantly growing and changing, but a solid PC is what lies at its heart. Of course, it’s also one of the easiest ways to blow stacks of cash if you’re not careful. If you’ve been waiting to upgrade your rig but you can’t afford to break the bank, it might be time to turn to some more affordable alternatives. With that in mind, here are the best cheap gaming PCs you can buy right now.
See also: The best gaming PC desktops
We’ve done our best to cover all of the big names in this list, but our price limitations are key. We’re sticking to machines that cost less than $1,000. After all, you can always upgrade key components later on as your budget allows. Now, let’s get to it!
The best cheap gaming PCs:
Editor’s note: All of these gaming PCs were in stock for less than $1,000 at the time of writing, but we’ll be sure to update our list as new options launch.
Dell G5 desktop
The Dell G5 gaming desktop is as high-end as you can go without making the leap to Alienware’s incredible Aurora line. This version of the G5 is a little light on the RAM with just 8GB, but it’s DDR4 RAM. It should therefore at least keep up with your needs. Dell packed 1TB of HHD space into the tower, so you shouldn’t hurt for storage space while you download your favorite titles.
Under the hood, you’ll also find a 10th-generation Intel Core i5-10400F CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super GPU serving as the powerhouse of your machine. Even though Dell’s G5 may not be the most RGB-packed gaming PC on our list, the bundle does include a keyboard and mouse just in case you’re a true gaming novice.
HP Pavilion Gaming desktop
Fans of HP will likely recognize the Pavilion line. It is one of the most popular series you can get from the company. However, this version is built with gaming in mind, right down to the emerald green elements that adorn the case. The Pavilion Gaming desktop is one of the most affordable ways to sample HP’s Omen power without springing for the more expensive machines.
As for the spec sheet, this rig is running on an AMD Ryzen 5 3500 processor that’s backed by NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics. On the storage side, you’re looking at a 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD with 8GB of DDR4 RAM that you can boost up to 32GB. HP’s Pavilion Gaming desktop meets the requirements for most of today’s top titles, and it packs enough ports for all of your favorite peripherals.
Omen 25L gaming PC
Sticking with HP, the Omen 25L is the most affordable way to dive into high-end gaming with an HP core. Right now, the rig starts at just $999 at Amazon. Even though the 25L is the smaller of two Omen towers, it’s still ready to compete thanks to powerful components and solid upgradability.
See also: The best gaming chairs: Treat your tush to comfort
You can also fine-tune your setup with different GPU options; HP adds the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super GPU by default, but you can always give that a boost too, though any upgrade from the base configuration will bust the budget. The Omen 25L is also completely transparent on the side, so make sure your layout is in tip-top shape.
ASUS ROG Strix GL10DH
You might notice that AMD’s Ryzen 5 is a top processor for these sub-$1,000 gaming PCs, and the ROG Strix is another perfect example. It pairs the Ryzen 5 with NVIDIA’s GTX 1650 graphics to keep you at the heart of the action. ASUS went for 8GB of RAM at the base configuration, along with a 512GB SSD.
While some of the other cheap gaming PCs have been a little light on the RGB, ASUS is all-in with the ROG Strix. You can play around with Aura Sync and it will change both the front of your case and the lighting that runs throughout. The ROG Strix is even cool under pressure thanks to plenty of cooling channels on the front of the rig as well as built into the top.
Acer Aspire TC-895 cheap gaming PC
Acer is a solid name among cheap PC desktop manufacturers, but the Aspire TC-895 is a bit of a darkhorse. It’s not designed as a gaming rig, yet it packs a powerful mix of internals that you can easily adapt to fit the bill. The Aspire skips a gaming-quality GPU, so you’ll have to come up with one for yourself, but the Intel Core i5 CPU, 512GB NVMe M.2 SSD, and 12GB of DDR4 RAM are a great start.
Acer’s desktop also skips RGB lighting, so it’s more of a stealthy option. If you want to keep a clean case, the Aspire is for you. It sports a smooth, brushed metal front complete with a gold chevron and power button at the top. You’ll also get a disk drive, though you probably won’t use it all that often.
CyberPowerPC with Intel Iris Xe
This Cyberpower computer features Intel’s most recent dedicated graphics option, the DG1. It isn’t the most powerful thing ever, but it is certainly serviceable if you’re willing to turn a few settings down. Intel’s new GPU is paired with an 11th gen Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, granting a solid upgrade path down the road.
You can see benchmarks and learn more about Intel’s latest step into the dedicated GPU market from Gamer’s Nexus on Youtube.
iBuyPower Slate MR 149i
Budget-friendly gaming rigs tend to come with trade-offs, and the Slate MR from iBuyPower is no exception. It’s loaded Intel’s Core i5-11400F — but the 240GB SSD is one of the smallest you’ll find. However, it’s backed by 1TB of HHD storage, so you have plenty of room to store your favorite games.
See also: The best gaming headsets for taking your game to the next level
iBuyPower went for a tempered glass case on the Slate MR, which is great for showing off your build, even if it’s not the most exciting design. 8GB of DDR4 RAM is a perfect complement to the Core i5 processor, and iBuyPower includes a keyboard and mouse with each desktop. This means you can jump right into your games as soon as you plug the tower in.
SkyTech Blaze Archangel 3
We’re back to SkyTech for another cheap gaming PC, and this time we’re looking at the Archangel 3. It’s slightly more affordable than the Shiva, yet it doesn’t have to cut too many corners to save a few bucks. AMD and NVIDIA are back in action with the Ryzen 5 3600 and GeForce GTX 1660 at the core of the Archangel 3. You’re also looking at 500GB of SSD storage, 8GB of RAM, and three large RGB fans.
The Archangel 3 is physically one of the smallest rigs on this list. Like the Shiva, the Archangel 3 is an entry-level setup, but it’s meant for those who enjoy the look of white + RGB.