The 7 Best Gaming PCs Under $500

Gaming on PC doesn’t have to be expensive. You can build a decent gaming PC from scratch with just a $500 budget, especially if you have no problem with used products. But building a gaming PC is not for everyone. There are a lot of aspects to consider, from the chassis and the power supply to the CPU and the graphics card. For beginners, building a gaming PC is a daunting task, especially for those who are not very familiar with PC terminologies.

If you want a budget gaming PC but don’t want to build one from scratch, check out pre-built gaming PCs under $500. There are several good options on the market, including ones that come with a dedicated graphics card. In this product guide, you’ll find the best gaming PCs under $500, most of which feature an AMD processor and an HDD for storage. While some of the products included here normally sell for over $500, their prices frequently drop to under $500.

Many of the products listed also include a keyboard and mouse, which is good news for those who are really on a tight budget. Unfortunately, none of the PCs included here come with a monitor, although the promotional images of some of the products might suggest otherwise. You’ll need to separately buy a monitor if you don’t have one. The good news is that there are also a lot of budget gaming monitors on the market, though most of them feature a TN panel, which generally has inferior picture quality.

CyberPowerPC GUA883CyberPowerPC GUA883

The CyberPowerPC GUA883 is a recommended product if you want a budget gaming PC that is also suitable for work and general use, especially if you want something that can support a multi-monitor setup for productivity. It comes with an AMD FX-6300 processor, an 8 GB DDR3 memory, a 1 TB HDD storage, and an AMD Radeon R7 240 GPU. The package also includes a gaming keyboard and mouse.

While it normally sells for around $480, you can get it for less than $450 during a sale, which makes it one of the most affordable pre-built gaming PCs on the market. It’s got a straightforward setup with not much cosmetics. The all-black case, which has a tempered glass side panel, is well built and includes easily accessible USB and audio ports at the top. The output ports at the back include VGA, DVI, and HDMI, with the latter allowing for easy connectivity with most modern monitors.

The GUA883 is a solid PC for casual or light gaming. You can play older and less graphically intensive games on it at low or medium graphics settings, with the resolution set at 1080p or lower. It’s an entry-level gaming PC with modest technical specifications, so it’s not suitable for recent triple-A games such as Far Cry 5 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Purchase

Acer Aspire TC-780-ACKI5Acer Aspire TC-780-ACKI5

If you don’t want an AMD-powered gaming PC, check out the Acer Aspire TC-780-ACKI5, which can be bought for about the same price as CyberPowerPC GUA883. You can get it for less than $500, with the Intel Core i3 variant selling for just around $400. This PC includes an Intel Core i5-7400 CPU, a 12 GB DDR4 RAM, and a 2 TB HDD storage. The RAM is especially notable since most gaming PCs under this price range only include an 8 GB RAM.

Unlike some of the products listed here, the TC-780-ACKI5 looks more like a PC for work and general use than gaming. It has a simple black chassis with USB ports, audio ports, and an SD card slot out front for convenience. It comes with a keyboard and mouse, but unlike with the ones included in the CyberPowerPC product above, they are not designed specifically for gaming.

While clearly not marketed for gaming use, this Acer pre-built PC is a decent machine for light gaming despite lacking a dedicated graphics card. It’s equipped with an Intel HD Graphics 630 integrated GPU, which is good enough for games such as Minecraft, World of Tanks, and The Sims 4. You can upgrade the GPU in the future if you want to play more recent titles, but keep in mind that there’s not much legroom in the chassis for a large graphics card.

Purchase

iBuyPower AM005AiBuyPower AM005A

The iBuyPower AM005A is a good pre-built PC for low-end gaming, featuring a modest processor and an old discreet GPU. You can get it for less than $500 during a sale, with the price dropping to just around $490. It’s equipped with an AMD FX-8320 CPU, an 8 GB DDR3 RAM, a 2 TB HDD storage, and an Nvidia GeForce GT 730 graphics card.

Encased in a slightly stylish black chassis with red LEDs, the AM005A looks the part of a gaming PC, but it’s not as head-turning as high-end gaming PCs with elaborate RGB lighting systems. There are USB and audio ports at the top for your other gaming peripherals. The unit has HDMI, DVI, and VGA ports, all of which are also commonly seen in budget monitors. It comes with a keyboard and mouse, both of which match the black-and-red color scheme of the PC.

Considering its components, this budget gaming PC is only good for older and less graphically intensive games. You can play games such as League of Legends, Minecraft, and older Fallout games on it, with the graphics settings set to low or medium for consistent performance. It’s not recommended for more recent triple-A games, though. On the bright side, the AM005A also makes for a good PC for office work and general use, which makes it a solid all-around unit.

Purchase

Lenovo IdeaCentre 720Lenovo IdeaCentre 720

The Lenovo IdeaCentre 720 is a good all-around pre-built PC selling for under $500. You can use it for both light gaming and work. The product listed here is the 90H10005US model, which includes an AMD Ryzen 5 1400 CPU, an 8 GB DDR4 RAM, and a 1 TB HDD storage, with the latter two specifications being common for PCs in this price range.

On the outside, this Lenovo PC is all business, with none of the eye-catching cosmetics typically seen in gaming PCs. The casing has a clean design that will not look out of place in a corporate environment, featuring a covered compartment for the front ports and an optical drive. While its casing is easy to open, upgrading this PC into a more powerful gaming machine can be a bit difficult – there is not much space for larger graphics cards, for one.

In its default setup, this budget PC is good enough for light gaming, with the capability to run 2D games and other less graphically intensive games. It’s a good entry-level PC for kids who are interested in games such as Minecraft. If you want to use this budget PC for more recent triple-A games or want extremely high frame rates in competitive games, you’ll need to make some upgrades, which, as mentioned above, can be a bit difficult due to the chassis interior.

Purchase

iBuyPower ARCB 071AiBuyPower ARCB 071A

If you are into competitive games but can’t afford to spend more than $500 on a gaming PC, check out the iBuyPower ARCB 071A. You can get it for just under $500, with the price regularly dropping to around $480, making it as affordable as the cheapest product on this list. Featuring an AMD FX-6300 CPU, an 8 GB DDR3 RAM, and a 240 GB SSD storage, this gaming PC includes a dedicated graphics card in the form of the Nvidia GeForce GT 1030.

Compared to the Lenovo PC above, this iBuyPower PC has a more “gamer” design, boasting an RGB lighting system in the chassis, which has a tempered glass side panel. While not as sophisticated as more high-end products, the included keyboard and mouse are also designed for gaming. Unlike some pre-built PCs, this unit is relatively easier to upgrade, allowing you to turn it into a more beastly gaming machine in the future.

The ARCB 071A is a good budget gaming PC for games such as Overwatch, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Fortnite, offering solid 1080p performance. You can also run older triple-A games on it and get decent frame rates at low or medium settings, which is nice if you are not particularly fond of esports titles. Overall, this budget gaming PC is an excellent option if you can’t spend more than $500 on a pre-built gaming PC, especially if you prefer an SSD storage over an HDD.

Purchase

HP Pavilion 690-0010HP Pavilion 690-0010

The HP Pavilion 690-0010 is another good option if you want a budget gaming PC with an AMD CPU and dedicated graphics card. This specific model includes an AMD Ryzen 3 2200G processor, an 8 GB DDR4 memory, a 1 TB HDD storage, and an AMD Radeon RX 550 dedicated GPU. The unit comes with a keyboard and mouse, but the monitor depicted in promotional images is not included.

This HP gaming PC has a well-built chassis with well-secured components and a quiet and effective cooling system. There are connection ports out front – including a USB-C port and an SD card reader – along with an optical drive. There are multiple output ports at the rear, allowing you to connect more than one monitor if you also want to use the PC for work and general use with multiple monitors.

You can use the Pavilion 690-0010 to play games such as Dota 2, Hearthstone, and Overwatch, among others. You can also run some recent triple-A games at low or medium settings, but the frame rate will usually just hover around 30 frames per second or less. Like all other budget gaming PCs, this HP product is only an entry-level gaming PC, so if you want to play games like Far Cry 5, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and Battlefield V at high settings, it’s better to look at other options.

Purchase

CUK DeskMini A300WCUK DeskMini A300W

The CUK DeskMini A300W is a recommended budget gaming PC if you don’t have enough space for a full-sized desktop PC or prefer an easily transportable PC. Like the HP product above, this budget PC includes an AMD Ryzen 3 2200G processor and an 8 GB DDR4 memory. The storage and GPU, on the other hand, are different; the unit includes a 128 GB SSD storage and an AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 GPU.

Measuring around 6.1 inches tall and 3.1 inches wide, this desktop PC is easy to fit on a small desk or move to a different location. It’s got a good cooling system and includes three outputs (DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA) for a multi-monitor setup, which is great for productivity. Unlike most of the products listed here, this unit doesn’t come with a keyboard and mouse.

The DeskMini A300W is far from a powerhouse gaming PC, so you shouldn’t expect too much in terms of overall performance. While it has no problem running games like League of Legends, Minecraft, and other less graphically intensive games, it struggles with games such as Far Cry New Dawn, Metro Exodus, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey even at low settings with the resolution set to 720p. It’s a good machine for light gaming, but for serious gaming, it’s underpowered.

Purchase

Limitations of Gaming PCs Under $500

Before you buy a budget gaming PC, you need to carefully consider whether their limitations are worth the trade-off for their wallet-friendly price tag. You need to consider what kinds of games you usually play and whether you are fine with gaming at low or medium graphics settings.

Pre-built gaming PCs selling for $500 or less are far from powerhouses. They are best suited for light or casual gaming. They are good for games such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Minecraft, The Sims 4, and other old or less graphically intensive games. They are also good for playing old console games using, uh, legally questionable methods.

While some budget pre-built gaming PCs can technically run more recent triple-A games such as Far Cry 5, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the performance is not pretty, even with the graphics settings set to low. If you want to play triple-A games at max or near-max graphics settings, then you are in the wrong product category.

You can upgrade some of the components in the future and turn your budget PC into a more powerful gaming machine capable of running recent titles at medium or high settings. But keep in mind that some pre-built PCs are not upgrade-friendly. Some have very limited space for a dedicated graphics card, for example. If you are perfectly fine with the limitations of budget gaming PCs, check out our top choices.