Last Update: Mar 08, 2019

Best Budget Gaming PC: 2019 Prebuilt Champions

Getting a PC for gaming can be an intimidating experience. There are so many moving parts, and it can be so easy to make a costly mistake when shopping for your gaming rig.

However, shopping for a gaming PC doesn’t have to be unnerving or costly.

Whether you are looking to set up an entry-level gaming rig, or a VR-ready gaming setup, this guide ensures you don’t need to know the difference between a CL15 and CL17 RAM

These days, an above-average gaming setup is a must-have, especially as virtual reality goes mainstream. Even if you are on a tight budget, you can still get one of the best budget gaming PCs in the market if you know what to look out for when shopping.

Moreover, if you’re willing to shell out $700-$800, you can even get a VR-ready gaming PC that can utilize an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headset. This is one of the factors gamers look out for when selecting a gaming PC.

Take a look at the six best cheap gaming PC builds on the market. They aren’t the best overall, but at their price points, they can guarantee you an unbelievable performance while gaming.

1

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme

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Key Features:

  • 7th-generation Intel Core i5-i7
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti – GTX 1070 Graphics card
  • VR ready | Front Access VR Port
  • Nahimic Sound System
  • 8GB-16GB RAM
  • 1TB HDD; Optional 256GB SSD

Known for its reliable performance and features, the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme is a great budget PC that handles most of your gaming needs. It’s fully VR ready, enabling you to use virtual reality headsets like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

The 6th gen Intel i5-7400 that comes with the Gamer Xtreme is a powerful piece of work, and at clocking speeds of 3GHz and a turbo of 3.5GHz, you have more than enough power for most games you plan to run on your gaming rig.

The Gamer Xtreme comes with a decent 7200RPM 1TB HDD storage, which could be better, regarding the options in the market. It also lacks an SSD, which could mean slow loading times. You can always upgrade this though, but this ends up increasing the overall cost.

The cabinet is also well designed, sporting a nice dark mirror finish that lends an air of mysteriousness to the gaming PC. At $779, the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme is a bargain, considering its performance per dollar and high-quality features.

You would be hard-pressed to find a better price point for a similar gaming PC. Overall, it’s effortless to set up, and best of all, you can easily upgrade the components.

+Pros
  • 7th-generation Intel Core i5-i7
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti – GTX 1070 Graphics card
  • VR ready | Front Access VR Port
  • Nahimic Sound System
  • 8GB-16GB RAM
  • 1TB HDD; Optional 256GB SSD
-Cons
  • Last generation processor
2

MSI Trident 3

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Key Features:

  • 7th-generation Intel Core i5-i7
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti – GTX 1070 Graphics card
  • VR ready | Front Access VR Port
  • Nahimic Sound System
  • 8GB-16GB RAM
  • 1TB HDD; Optional 256GB SSD

MSI is well known for manufacturing small PCs, especially the wildly popular VR-ready VR ONE Backpack PC. The MSI Trident 3 is, however, the most innovative gaming PC MSI has ever produced.

Compact, powerful and affordable, the MSI Trident 3 is one of the best budget gaming PCs you can buy – even in 2019. Its Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce graphics card can give you more power than any gaming console.

This is a capable gaming machine that delivers a high-quality playable experience across numerous titles, including the ever-taxing Assassins Creed Origins and The Witcher.

The Trident 3 is a tastefully designed PC, with an RGB lighting system that tries not to go overboard, unlike some other gaming PC manufacturers. Its compact size means its roughly about the same size of the original Xbox One – which means you can place this comfortably within a TV stand, or on your small computer desk.

This is by far one of the best budget gaming PCs you can buy.

+Pros
  • Great aesthetics
  • Loads of power
-Cons
  • Old generation processor
3

HP Pavilion Gaming 790-0020

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Key Features:

  • AMD Ryzen 5 Series
  • AMD RX 580
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB HDD 7200RPM

At a glance, the HP Pavilion gaming desktop is an excellent deal for an entry to mid-level gaming PC. A stable Intel i5 CPU and Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card mean this PC is no slouch at performance either.

Built in a compact shape, it comes with an 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 1TB HDD. Although not necessary, you can always upgrade to an SSD to reduce game load times.

The quad-core 3.0GHz CPU means this PC excels at full HD gaming, without overheating – a concern some gamers raise when considering getting a budget gaming PC. It might, however, struggle with 4k gaming, but that’s a massive ask at this price point.

Overall, this is a solid buy. The addition of an SSD to increase game load times and operating speed would mean this computer should last you a couple of years without substantial upgrades.

+Pros
  • Extensive front panel connections
  • Great performance out of the box
-Cons
  • No included SSD
  • Cooling isn’t great
4

SkyTech Archangel

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Key Features:

  • AMD Ryzen 3 Series
  • Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Video card
  • Free Gaming Keyboard & Mouse
  • 1 x Dual-link DVI, 1 x DisplayPort (version 1.4) 1 x HDMI
  • 1TB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM

The futuristic-looking SkyTech Archangel is a well-designed performance focused PC – and reasonably priced too. It isn’t much of a looker like the CYBERPOWER Gamer Xtreme, or as compact as the MSI Trident 3, but it does turn heads with its white and blue panes.

This gaming PC gives you incredible power for much less, featuring a six-core AMD Ryzen 3.5GHz processor (turbo up to 4.1GHz), Nvidia’s GTX 1050 Ti (4GB DDR5) graphics card, and an 8GB DDR4 system memory.

It also tots along a 1TB 7200RPM HDD, which is quite typical for an entry-level gaming PC. It doesn’t measure up to more expensive gaming PCs, but it stands tall comfortably amongst its peers.

It is one of the best budget gaming desktops you can get and should get you started, thanks to a great combination of features.

+Pros
  • Great value
  • Easy to upgrade
-Cons
  • Can be a bit loud
  • No included SSD
5

Intel Hades Canyon NUC

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Key Features:

  • Intel Core i7-8705G – Core i7-8809G
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL – Vega M GH
  • 16GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Three-year warranty

The Intel Canyon NUC is a highly competent gaming PC, with a friendly form factor, generally quiet, and easily upgradeable. Backed by a three-year warranty, it’s hard not to look the way of this horsepower packed budget gaming PC.

In full flow, the Hades Canyon is a powerful mini-PC. Its Core i7-8705G processor and AMD’s Radeon RX Vega M GPU hold up superbly during 1080p gaming on high and ultra settings.

The casing features a replaceable top lid, enhanced with customizable RGB LED lights that illuminate the shape of a skull. The RGB lighting default to a red-and-blue color scheme but can be easily changed to other hues and with different flow patterns.

Sounds great, right? It is a great gaming PC; however, the downside is the cost of getting this beast into full flow. The barebones unit (this comes without a RAM, storage and OS) could set you back as much as $700 – purchasing those components ups the cost north of $1000 fast, and at that price, you can get a lot of other great and better options.

All the same, the fully-built Hades Canyon NUC is well suited to high-quality HD gaming, which makes it an excellent choice for many gamers.

+Pros
  • Affordable
  • Low profile
-Cons
  • No included RAM
  • No storage or OS
6

Lenovo Legion Y520

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Key Features:

  • Intel Core i3-7100 – i5-7400
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti – 1060 Graphics card
  • Wired Keyboard & Mouse
  • 8GB DDR4 2400MHz Memory
  • 3TB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive

The Lenovo Legion Y520 is a pocket-friendly gaming PC that offers reliable performance for its price and a sleek design. Although it’s not as powerful as our Best Choice CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme, it’s a great option for full HD gaming.

It comes with the Intel Core i5 processor, which is capable, but just not as fast as the Core i7. So, don’t expect mind-blowing speeds from this build.

However, the 8GB DDR4 2400MHz memory and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics card mean the Legion Y520 is no slouch when it comes to basic gaming. However, expect some freezing or shaky graphics if you have the graphics settings turned up high.

The design of the Legion Y520 is simple and straight to the point. The standard Lenovo black and red gaming motif are repeated here, and its compact build means you won’t have to worry about space when setting it up.

Reasonably priced, well-designed and upgradeable, the Legion is a great wallet-friendly HD gaming PC. If you don’t play games that will punish your graphics card, the Legion is a solid choice.

+Pros
  • Great value for the price
  • You can choose the GPU
-Cons
  • Included mouse and keyboard aren’t the best

Best Budget Prebuilt Gaming PC: Buying Guide

For most gamers looking to purchase a prebuilt budget gaming PC, performance per dollar and upgradeability are crucial make or break decision points.
It would be best if you also considered the warranty period and reputation (you don’t want a PC that has a history of breaking down way before its warranty period), design, and support.

Picking the right prebuilt PC means you need to understand the different components that go into a gaming PC. These include the CPU, RAM, graphics card, storage, and the power supply unit – these features can help you determine whether a particular PC is worth the investment:

best prebuilt budget gaming PC buying guide

CPU – Supports Performance of Your Gaming PC

The CPU (central processing unit) is the brain of your gaming PC and one of the most critical factors to consider. It’s essential that the CPU is fast and powerful.

Intel and AMD are the two primary CPU manufacturers, and both have different specifications that determine the speed and power of their CPUs. Intel processors are regarded as the faster and more powerful ones amongst them, while AMD provides value for money.

For gaming, the Key Features: you would be looking out for here is the clocking speed and cache size.

RAM – Affects Load Time

The RAM (random access memory) is the computer memory used to store data on a short-term basis. For gamers, the size of the RAM is a critical factor for speed and loading times of the gaming PC.

While picking a RAM for gaming isn’t as difficult as it used to be, getting an extra edge on the opposition can come down to the components you select.
However, once you have enough RAM to cover your needs, the law of diminishing returns sets in. Our guide on the best RAM for gaming gives you a comprehensive review of this topic.

Graphics Card – Critical to the Gaming Experience

The quality of your graphics plays a huge role in your gaming experience – next to the CPU, the graphics card is the second most important component you need to consider when buying a gaming PC.

That is if you want the best gaming experience possible…

Most graphics cards are manufactured by either AMD or Nvidia, although Nvidia is more commonly used. Most games have minimum system requirements, so ensure you know those of your favorite games before picking up a budget gaming PC.

STORAGE – Memory Space to Store Your Gaming Files

The gaming PC’s storage is likely to come in the form of an HDD (hard disk drive), SSD (solid state drive) or both.

SSDs are ideal for gaming because they are less noisy and have faster loading times. However, HDDs have a lengthier lifespan and are economical, so some desktops come with a combination of the two. When checking the storage of the gaming desktop you’re interested in, look for gaming PCs with an SSD and preferably a high-capacity HDD.

The PSU – Enhances Performance

The PSU (power supply unit) supplies your gaming PC with the needed power that allows the computer to function correctly. Gaming PCs need PSUs with lots of wattages and high efficiency to boost performance and manage the cooling down process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some essential questions you should consider when buying a budget gaming PC…

How much does a decent gaming PC cost?

Regardless of PC gaming’s superior hardware advantage, many gamers think switching to PC gaming is an expensive venture. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

PC gaming is not as costly as you think…

In fact, for $400-$500, you can run through games like World of Warcraft, League of Legends on the highest settings with no issues. For more graphics-intensive games, a $600 system should give you enough power to max out games like Battlefield 3 (or 4), Assassin’s Creed III, and Guild Wars 2.

best-budget-gaming-PC

Is it cheaper to build or buy a gaming PC?

While there is no perfect answer to this, if you are on a budget – buy a gaming PC. Building a PC can quickly tally up the price and go beyond your budget in a jiffy.

Can I build a gaming PC for $500?

It won’t give you top-notch performance, but it will serve well as an entry-level gaming PC.

A $500 gaming PC build can consist of an Intel Core i3 processor and an 8GB DDR4 RAM. This combination will play most games on a 1080P monitor.

Conclusion

Have you been wondering “what is the best budget gaming PC I can buy prebuilt? The models listed out in this guide should set you on your way.
You’ll need to compare specifications for storage capacity, CPU power, graphics quality, wattage, upgradability, and overall build and design while making a choice.

There is a PC out there for every gamer, and you need to be clear about what you need and find something that fits perfectly.

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