If you’re looking for a gaming rig, things can get expensive fast. But gaming doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. While you might be worried that you can only get an affordable rig if you build it yourself, that’s not always the case, as we’ll show you in this article.
That being said, it can be hard to find an affordable gaming PC with all the options on the market today, especially one that’s actually a good value. So, if you’re looking for a decent gaming PC, the cheapest gaming PC, or perhaps an entry-level gaming PC, it’s going to be hard.
That is why we’ve gathered the best cheap gaming computers for 2019 and mention some of the best gaming PC deals you would find on the market.
How We Picked
For choosing the best budget pre-built gaming PCs, we obviously had to consider the price versus performance. All the selections below vary in price a little, with the most expensive being the most powerful, but they all offer a slight difference in their need. For example, there are some CUK models that make the list and are extremely compact, perfect for those who have very limited space.
Enough explaining our reasoning, let’s get into the best budget gaming PCs.
Best Cheap Gaming PC: Top 5 Budget Gaming Desktops in 2020 & 2021
Powerful graphics card
Comes with keyboard and mouse
Higher end of budget
If you’re a hardcore gamer, you should be excited about the Cyberpower Gamer Xtreme. This may be the most expensive among the bunch (coming in above $800) but it’s also easily the best on the list.
Aesthetically speaking, this has 4 included RGB case fans that don’t just make the system look cool but also keeps it cool. Plus, it also comes with a keyboard and mouse, so that’s something. Just remember that prebuilt gaming PCs are notorious for having low-quality PSUs so we personally recommend upgrading to a more reliable one down the path.
Under the hood, you’ll also find a very popular gaming processor: the Intel Core i5-9400F that’s also paired with a powerful GTX 1660 graphics card. Needless to say, this can easily take down 2018’s– and some of 2019’s– recent games such as Monster Hunter: World, Forza Horizon 4, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Anthem, Apex Legends, Far Cry New Dawn, and many more at 1080p resolution/high-ultra without going under 60FPS.
While it does come with an SSD that you could use to install your OS and favorite games on the SSD it’s only 120GB, which means you will quickly need to rely on your 1TB HDD. Still, the SSD should give you faster load times and responsive gameplay and have the rest of your files in the 1TB hard drive.
Just remember that this only has 8GB of DDR4 RAM. And while this should be fine for gaming, you’re going to need more if you’re going to stream.
Overall, this is a really good prebuilt gaming PC that’s loaded with plenty ports (6x USB 3.1, 2x USB 2.0) and definitely worth it– if you can spare a few more hundred dollars more for an upgrade along the way.
Better priced than the Cyberpower
Solid graphics card
If you think the Cyberpower Gamer Xtreme above is a little over your budget, then the SkyTech Archangel Computer Desktop might strike a better price point for you.
Looking at the aesthetics department, this features a blue and white color and design that strongly resembles a character from the Alien vs Predator movie (or at least that’s what I see).
The GTX 1060 graphics card and the Ryzen 3 1200 processor may fall under the beginner’s bracket but they still manage to do a really good job in gaming, nonetheless. In fact, this can handle 2018 and 2019 games fairly well– although you’ll need to tone the graphics settings down a bit to experience the buttery 60FPS smoothness on some titles like Anthem and Monster Hunter: World.
To give you a better overview, here are games and their recorded FPS value on their respective graphics preset:
- Shadow of Mordor: Average 40-60 FPS Ultra Settings
- Battlefield 1: 50-90 FPS Ultra Setting
- Star Wars BattleFront: 50-75 FPS Ultra Settings
- Far Cry Primal: 50-60 FPS High Settings
- GTA V: 50-75 FPS Very High Settings
- OverWatch: 64-90 FPS
This has 8GB of DDR4 RAM like the CyberPowerPC above but this doesn’t have an SSD storage. Nevertheless, you still have 1TB of HDD storage that should easily fit all your games and files. Plus, you also have all the ports you need because it has 4x USB 2.0 and 5x USB 3.0 ports.
One thing that puts this ahead among the rest of the contenders on the list is the 80 Plus Certified 500 Watt Power Supply that it comes with. We personally admire SkyTech for taking this seriously.
This lets you easily focus on upgrading other components first. But since this doesn’t come with a keyboard and mouse, it’s likely going to be your first. So head over to our best mechanical keyboards or our best gaming mouse roundup unless you already have one.
Overall, it’s reasonably priced, performs really well, and can last for years with some upgrades along the way.
Tiny form factor
No room for a dedicated GPU
We highly recommend the CUK AsRock DeskMini (with AMD Ryzen 5 3400G) if you’re looking for a compact budget gaming PC (prebuilt); however, it’s also worth noting that its size isn’t just its greatest asset, it’s also its greatest downfall.
This is perfect for users living in an apartment or small spaces who also play casual games. However, you’re going to need a bigger case if you want to upgrade your GPU along the way. The integrated Vega 11 graphics card in this cheap gaming desktop may be able to handle light games fairly well but you’ll need more power if you want to run AAA and more graphically demanding games at 1080p.
To be fair, this has a fairly decent integrated GPU (Vega 11) known to perform similarly to some of the pricier external GPUs out there
This does have 16GB of DDR4 RAM, which is more than most of the other PCs on this list, but that’s because the Ryzen 5 3400G is an APU (a processor that has both CPU and GPU in a single chip), which shares memory resources with the RAM. As such, it’s a really good thing that this has that extra RAM.
Just remember that this does have only 512GB of SSD storage which is respectable but you’ll definitely need a separate hard drive if you’re certain you’re going to need more. But you shouldn’t need more USB ports on this one since you have a total of 3x USB ports coupled with a handy USB-C port for your future-proof peripherals.
Tiny form factor
APU is a little lackluster
No room for a dedicated GPU
We can easily say that the CUK AsRock DeskMini (with AMD Ryzen 3 3200G) is the best you can get if you can only spend under $500.
This is a really good cheap gaming PC that’s similar with it’s more powerful brother above: it also runs an APU chip. However, the Vega 8 (integrated graphics card) isn’t very powerful; it’s not even close to a GT 1030.
This means it won’t be able to run most of the modern games like PUBG, Far Cry New Dawn, Apex Legends, AC Odyssey but should be able to run MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota 2 smoothly.
The case is as small as the one above so you’ll still need a bigger case if you want to use a dedicated graphics card in the future. Moreover, you’ll also need more storage if you want to install more games or plan to save large files in the machine since it only comes with a 256GB SSD storage. But, there is a 512GB variant that’s just $20 more if you want that little extra storage.
In the connectivity department, you’re looking at 3x USB ports as well as the more up to date USB-C port. In all honesty, this machine is a really great pick if you’re just looking for a computer that can play MOBAs– though you’ll definitely need some upgrades along the way if you want to make the best out of this computer.
Room to upgrade
Comes bundled with peripherals
APU is a little lackluster
Not as attractive as the rest
The Lenovo IdeaCentre 510A 15L is certainly one of the best budget gaming PCs in this price range.
To start, this has an AMD Ryzen 3 3200G similar to that of the previous CUK, coupled with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. These all come together to produce some solid gaming performance that’ll surprise you considering the cost.
The one we’ve gone for here is also pretty much a full kit including a mouse, keyboard, and mouse pad meaning you don’t have to go out and buy any peripherals to get yourself up and running
Just remember that this only uses an APU so that means you’ll be limited to older games or less demanding indie titles. However, because this case isn’t as small as the two CUKs above, you’ll be able to get a dedicated graphics card down the line and not worry about getting a new case.
Things To Consider
Know Your Budget
How much are you willing to spend? Our list is composed of prebuilt computers from a wide budget range so you should have a solid pick based on this alone.
If you’re strictly on a budget, the Lenovo IdeaCentre 510A 15L is easily the best you can get your hands on. But if you can spend more, up to $800, then there’s no reason to pass on the Cyberpower Gamer Xtreme (GXiVR8060A5).
Know Your Needs
Do you intend to just play MOBAs? Or are you interested in modern, AAA titles? If it’s the latter, you’ll definitely want one of the more expensive prebuilt computers. However, if you’re into indie games and other light games, the cheaper ones should do just as fine.
What Are Your Future Plans?
Planning is also important if you want to invest only in the best cheap gaming PC. As you can see, the Lenovo already has a decent processor but it doesn’t have a decent graphics card. So, if you’re going to get a graphics card soon this should be a smart choice.
Having a good idea which parts you’ll get next is a good way for you to get the most from your initial investment. If you’re not sure what parts you might be interested in upgrading to, then you should check out some of our other guides, in particular: CPU, motherboard, RAM, and the GPU guide.
So, for the absolute best budget gaming PC the only choice for us is to opt for the Cyberpower Gamer Xtreme. Yes, it’s on the higher end of ‘budget’ but you want something that is going to be able to run the more graphically intense games without having to compromise too much on FPS, you’re going to have to pay that little bit more. It’s also, in our eyes, the best looking budget gaming PC on this list with it’s vibrant RGB lighting and see-through side panels.