7 Best Cheap Gaming Desktops Under $500 Available Now

Finding a great, cheap gaming desktop under $500 is, admittedly, a chore. If you were to take $500, and buy your own parts and build your own PC, it used to be the case that you’d get more bang for your buck than you would if you were to buy a gaming desktop.

However, that’s no longer the case, and because of inflated GPU prices caused by bitcoin mining, you can actually fare better by buying a pre-built gaming rig. Plus, not everyone knows how to build their own gaming PC, and not everyone wants to take the time to learn how to do so.

But there are quite a few good cheap gaming computers under $500 that can run most of the newest games without any problem. Sure, at a $500 price point, you shouldn’t expect to run all of the new games on ultra settings. However, these cheap gaming computers below will at least run the games on their lowest settings, and some of them can power through games with some of the highest settings turned on.

So whether you’re looking to hop into the new Hearthstone expansion, finally get around to playing The Witcher 3, or you want to work your way up to becoming a Fortnite pro, check out our list of the best cheap gaming desktops under $500 (note: with prices fluctuating rapidly, keep in mind that some may be slightly over $500):

What Are the Best Cheap Gaming Desktops Available Right Now?

HP Z230 Workstation Gaming Computer Desktop Amazon Customer Reviews
  • SSD for faster performance
  • Good grapchics card
  • Price
Price: $540.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
HP 8300 4K Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 4K Certified
  • Supports Two monitors
  • 3 Year Warranty on HDD
Price: $499.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Dell Optiplex 9020 Gaming Desktop Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Intel Core i5
  • NVIDIA GeFore GT 730 graphics
  • SSD means quicker load times
Price: $626.37 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Gaming PC Desktop Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Intel Core i5-2400
  • Geforce GTX 650
  • Runs most games on low to mid
Price: $479.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Acer Aspire TC-885-UA91 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great price
  • Enough power for most work tasks
  • Great for surfing, listening to music, or watching videos
Price: $476.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
HP Elite 6300 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Solid about of RAM
  • i7 processor means this thing is fast
  • Great price
Price: $259.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hp pavilion gaming desktop Amazon Customer Reviews
  • AMD Ryzen 3 3.50GHz
  • 8GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM
  • All the USB ports you could ever want
Price: $529.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. HP Z230 Workstation / Gaming Computer Desktop (Renewed)

    Pros:
    • SSD for faster performance
    • Good grapchics card
    • Price
    Cons:
    • SSD capacity is good, but not great
    • Does anyone need that many USB ports?
    • Basic build

    Specs

    Processor: Intel Core i5-4560
    RAM: 8GB DDR3
    Hard Drive: 240GB SSD / 2TB HDD
    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 2GB
    Ports: 4 USB 3.0, 6 USB 2.0, 1 Ethernet, 1 HDMI, 1 DVI, HDMI, line-in, line-out.
    OS: Windows 10 Professional

    The HP Z230 is a solid all-rounder. Not only will it be decent for gaming, it’s perfect for work as well. 

    In terms of speed, this Renewed option has a lot going for it. The 240GB SSD is sure to help with load times when paired with the 8GB of RAM. It’s a shame the processor isn’t the i7, but this is a cheap gaming desktop under $500, so this is the sacrifice needed to keep the cost down. That said, the RAM and SSD size will definitely help to offset that minor gripe.

    What’s crazy here is the number of USB ports. For external storage options, should you end up going down that route, you’ve got four USB 3.0 slots, and for accessories, there are six USB 2.0 ports. I’m trying my hardest to think of 10 USB devices I’d have all hooked up at once and I’m drawing a blank. It’s safe to say, then, 10 is more than enough. 

    Finally, despite this being a Renewed gaming desktop, it comes with Windows 10 Professional. Marry that to the 2TB HDD and, as I say, this PC is perfect for work-related tasks.

  2. 2. HP 8300 4K Gaming Center i5, 8GB RAM, GT710 (Renewed)

    Pros:
    • 4K Certified
    • Intel Quad Core i5 3.6GHz
    • 3 Year Warranty on HDD
    Cons:
    • Ugly/Plain-looking
    • Basic keyboard
    • Basic Mouse
    • No SSD (the HP Z230 does have one, though)

    Specs

    Processor: Intel i5 3.2GHz
    RAM: 8GB DDR3
    Hard Drive: 1TB HDD Sata 3
    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 710
    Ports: 4 USB 3.0, 4 USB 2.0, 1 Ethernet, Audio, 1 HDMI, 1 DVI, 1 VGA
    OS: Windows 10

    While it definitely doesn’t look much, with a boring, old-school all-black tower design, the HP 8300 is actually a great budget gaming rig. It comes with an Intel Quad Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HD 7200 RPM drive, and an NVIDIA GT710 2GB, which is certified 4K.

    Sure it’s refurbished, but it’s a great deal that shouldn’t be passed up while supplies last. And even though it’s refurbished, it comes with a brand new USB keyboard and mouse.

    Its cpu is better than the some rigs, too, so you’re getting a little bit more power here. Unfortunately, it’s as ugly as a desktop can be, which works in the HP Pavillions’ favor, for sure. And, the power supply is ridiculously inadequate at just 240W, so we recommend getting something at least 400W or higher to replace it with.

    If you care more about power and less about the look, the HP 8300 is a great option.

  3. 3. Dell Optiplex 9020 Gaming Desktop

    Pros:
    • Intel Core i5
    • NVIDIA GeFore GT 730
    • SSD means quicker load times
    Cons:
    • Ugly as sin
    • Better options on this list
    • Lousy SSD size

    Specs

    Processor: Intel Core i5
    RAM: 16GB
    Hard Drive: 120GB SSD / 2TB HDD
    Graphics: NVIDIA GeFore GT 730 4GB
    Ports: Wifi Adapter, 10 USB 3.0, headphone and mic jack, RJ-45, 2 x PCIe x16 Slots,
    OS: Windows 10

    The Dell Optiplex 9020 Gaming Desktop is a solid go-to option when you’re looking for cheap gaming desktops thanks to how much power Dell manages to pack in at a low cost. 

    In terms of raw power, we’ve got a hefty 16GB of RAM alongside the i5 processor and a 120GB SSD. Put your favorite video game on the SSD and that is sure to help load times. 

    I do, however, have concerns about the SSD size. For the fastest machine you’ll want the Windows OS installed to the SSD first, then whatever space you’re left with is sure to be allocated to games. Given modern games like Call of Duty clock in at around 100GB, the capacity in this day and age isn’t enough (though you could install it to the HDD). 

    The other issue, for me at least, is the GT 730 graphics card. It’ll do the job at the price bracket, sure, but given the HP Z230 boasts the theoretically more powerful GT1030 (along with a larger SSD), the Dell Optiplex becomes harder to recommend over the competition. 

    Sure, the Dell Optiplex has double the RAM of the HP HPZ230, but that isn’t enough to sway me personally. 

  4. 4. Gaming PC Desktop

    Pros:
    • Intel Core i5 4570
    • Geforce GTX 1050
    • Runs most games on low to mid
    • Super stylish case
    Cons:
    • No name brand (should be safe, but I'd stick with the well-known brands personally)
    • No SSD (Yes, you can expand, of course)
    • Still Only 8GB RAM

    Specs

    Processor: Intel Core i5-2400 (3.6GHz)
    RAM: 8GB DDR3
    Hard Drive: 1TB HDD
    Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 650 1GB
    Ports: 3 USB 3.0, 4 USB 2.0 1 Ethernet, 1 HDMI, Wi-fi
    OS: Windows 10 Professional

    Although there isn’t a huge name attached to this budget Gaming PC Desktop, that isn’t always a bad thing. 

    On the power front, this gaming desktop does just about enough. 8GB and the i5 processor means this thing will run relatively fast. Not super fast, of course, but fast enough. 

    “Enough” is the key word with this rig. Nothing soars here there’s enough here to run games like Fortnite at 100 frames on low or 60 on medium. The seller also notes it’ll run GTAV at around 30 frames. 

    Again, very little beats the HP Pavillion Gaming Desktop in terms of power and speed. But, if you’re after something with a ton a style, this one’s worth considering.

  5. 5. Acer Aspire TC-885-UA91

    Pros:
    • Great price
    • Enough power for most work tasks
    • Great for surfing, listening to music, or watching videos
    • Lots of ports
    • Faster RAM models
    Cons:
    • Not ideal for artwork
    • i3 processor is fine so long as you know what you want from the PC
    • Isn't suitable for gaming

    Specs

    Processor: Intel i3 4.2GHz
    RAM: 8GB DDR4
    Hard Drive: 512GB SSD
    Graphics: Integrated
    Ports: 3 USB 3.0, 4 USB 2.0, 1 Ethernet, 2 Audio, 2 HDMI, 1 VGA
    OS: Windows 10

    The Acer Aspire TC-885-UA91 is a brilliant starter PC. It’s got plenty of power that’s perfect for surfing the Internet or watching videos. 

    If it’s for writing-related work, again, you shouldn’t run into any problems. If it’s for art, however, that’s the only real drawback.

    Although there’s enough power here for most tasks, running Photoshop on an integrated graphics card backed by an i3 processor is going to be rough. Free programs like GIMP or Paint.net should work, but anything more demanding is sure to struggle. 

    In a similar vein, gaming on this rig isn’t going to be anything too amazing. Smaller indie games will be fine, but recent games won’t be able to run here. 

    This PC all comes down to what you want it for. If it’s for work or school work, you’re onto a winner. If it’s for anything technical or power-heavy, I’d give this a pass. 

     

  6. 6. HP Elite 6300

    Pros:
    • Solid about of RAM
    • i7 processor means this thing is fast
    • Great price
    Cons:
    • Renewed
    • Not the best graphics card
    • SSD could be larger

    Specs

    Processor: Intel i7 3770 3.2GHz
    RAM: 16GB DDR3 SDRAM
    Hard Drive: 256GB SSD
    Graphics: Integrated
    Ports: 10 USB, 1 Ethernet, Audio in/out, mic jack, 1 HDMI, 1 VGA
    OS: Windows 10 Pro

    HP Elite 6300 is another solid choice for a starter PC. 

    This may be a Renewed desktop, but if you’re looking to get an i7 processor (you should be, they’re fast) for a lot less, this is one solid deal. 

    The i7 is a fast processor that’s sure to help out when you’re doing multiple actions at once. Think browsing online while listening to music while you’ve also got MS Word open. This desktop will be able to handle having several programs open at once with minimal slowdown. 

    The only real drawback is the lack of a decent video card, meaning gaming isn’t ideal on this one, though that can be solved by picking up a compatible card separately at a later date and upgrading. 

    It’s also worth noting this thing boasts a whopping 16GB of RAM which, again, is going to speed everything up.

  7. 7. HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop

    Pros:
    • AMD Ryzen 3 3.50GHz
    • AMD Radeon RX 550 4GB GDDR5
    • All the USB ports you could ever want
    • Alien-esque design
    Cons:
    • VGA cord not included
    • Only 1 HDMI port
    • HDD rather than SSD

    Specs

    Processor: AMD Radeon RX 550 3.50GHz
    RAM: 8GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM
    Hard Drive: 1TB HDD 7200RPM Sata
    Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 550 (4GB GDDR5 Dedicated)
    Ports: 4 USB 3.1, 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 Ethernet, Audio, 1 DisplayPort, 1 HDMI port, HP 3-in-1 Media Card Reader (that you’ll never use)
    OS: Windows 10

    We all know that HP is great at creating middle-of-the-line gaming rigs for a middle-of-the-line price tag, and that’s exactly what they’ve done here with the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop. You’re getting an absolutely great deal that will run the most games with good results.

    This is one of the highest-rated gaming desktops in its price range, with most players praising its ability to play high-quality games. In fact, it gets 120-144 fps in Fortnite right out of the box.

    While it comes with a standard 8GB of DDR4 RAM, it is easily upgradeable to 32GB down the line if you feel you need more (note: the biggest upgrade to performance would actually be an SSD drive to improve load times).

    It also helps that it looks cool, too, with a metal black look with highlights of green lighting.

See Also

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