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Best cheap prebuilt gaming PC under $500 in 2023

Updated: Jun 9, 2023 11:41 am
Best cheap prebuilt gaming PC under $500 in 2023

Gaming desktops can cost a lot of money but did you know you can get an entry-level experience with one of the best cheap prebuilt gaming PCs under $500? That’s right, gaming isn’t just reserved for those with bags of cash but you should certainly reign in your expectations, a cheap gaming PC under $500 will struggle with high resolutions or maxed-out graphics settings.

In any case, today, we are going to be finding you the best prebuilt gaming PC under $500, while also talking through a few key areas for your consideration, before finally reviewing each selected model. You can also check out our budget gaming PC page for prebuilt gaming PCs of various budgets.

But here under a $500 budget, you can find still a few towers with varying configuration to go for. Although the specs aren’t great for much more than 1080p gaming, you can still get some good value out of the best cheap gaming PCs. You can even light it up with some good RGB lighting if that’s what you’re after.

Best cheap prebuilt gaming PCs at a glance

HP M01-f0033W Ryzen

HP M01 f0033W Ryzen

CPU

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G

GPU

Radeon Vega 8

RAM

8GB RAM

Storage

1TB HDD

STGAubron Gaming Desktop PC (RX 580)

STGAubron Gaming Desktop PC

CPU

Intel Quad Core i7-4770

GPU

Radeon RX 580

RAM

16 GB

Storage

512GB SSD

ViprTech Prime Gaming PC (Nvidia GTX 750)

ViprTech Prime Gaming PC

CPU

Intel Core i5-3570K

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750

RAM

16GB RAM

Storage

1TB 7200RPM HDD

Alarco Gaming PC (Intel i7)

iBUYPOWER Gaming PC Computer Desktop Trace 4 9310

CPU

Intel i7-2600

RAM

16GB DDR4

GPU

GeForce GTX 750 4GB

Storage

1TB Hard Drive

STGAubron Gaming PC (RTX 2060)

STGAubron Gaming PC RTX 2060

CPU

Intel Quad Core i5-4590

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060

RAM

16GB RAM

Storage

512GB SSD

Best cheap prebuilt gaming PC under $500 reviews

Best prebuilt gaming PC under $500

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Best prebuilt gaming PC under $500

HP M01-f0033W Ryzen

HP M01 f0033W Ryzen

CPU

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G

GPU

Radeon Vega 8

RAM

8GB RAM

Storage

1TB HDD

Pros
  • Solid budget performance
  • Compact form factor
Cons
  • Entry level graphics
  • No SSD

The HP Desktop is an entry-level gaming PC that is a reasonable place to start your new PC career. This build doesn’t feature a dedicated GPU, as it relies on the integrated graphics from the 3200G, a reliable chip.

Powering the build is AMD’s Ryzen 3 3200G, a budget APU that packs a decent punch for the price. The processor runs at a base clock speed of 3.6GHz and can be boosted to a maximum speed of 4GHz. With 4 cores and 4 threads, you aren’t getting any multithreading performance but this beats Intel’s integrated graphics by a mile. The 3200G makes use of Vega 8 graphics, giving you some entry-level performance across a multitude of games.

The HP Desktop features 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB HDD. While this storage solution isn’t particularly fast, it is enough to get you playing out of the box, with plenty of room for your OS and favorite games.

This would make an excellent PC for beginners, with strong gaming features at the heart of this build. Aside from the components, you get a compact system with a free keyboard and mouse for out-of-the-box gameplay.

Next best cheap prebuilt gaming PC under $500

STGAubron Gaming Desktop PC (RX 580)

STGAubron Gaming Desktop PC

CPU

Intel Quad Core i7-4770

GPU

Radeon RX 580

RAM

16 GB

Storage

512GB SSD

Pros
  • Includes peripherals
  • 16GB of memory
  • Includes SSD at the price
  • Still a relatively strong GPU
Cons
  • Very old and outdated CPU

There are some prebuilt PCs that will feature discrete graphics cards inside of them. However, you may find some old hardware scattered around, and that includes the STGAubron Gaming Desktop PC with the AMD Radeon RX 580 in it. As in it you also find the Intel Quad Core i7-4770, these are from 2017 and 2013 respectively at end-of-life. So these might not be the strongest or newest options but the GPU should still give you a good alternative over onboard graphics.

The PC also comes with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD. This means that it is capable of fast storage and loading a lot of information especially when it comes to the graphics and information of a game in which the 16GB of memory becomes standard. The SSD also makes it seem like a much faster experience, although it is on the smaller side of capacity, it is easy to expand with big storage options.

You do also get the inclusion of peripherals to try and make up the value of the older hardware included. But you also get a variety of connectivity with the inclusion of WiFi and Bluetooth onboard. Along with plenty of RGB to light up your whole setup across the board.

Value for money prebuilt gaming PC under $500

ViprTech Prime Gaming PC (Nvidia GTX 750)

ViprTech Prime Gaming PC

CPU

Intel Core i5-3570K

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750

RAM

16GB RAM

Storage

1TB 7200RPM HDD

Pros
  • Dedicated graphics card but on the older side
  • 16GB of RAM
Cons
  • Very old and outdated CPU will hold back performance
  • Uses a spinning disk hard drive

Another option that has a full old set is the ViprTech Prime. A Gen 3 i5, is a rather old CPU and will be a harder one to upgrade as well with the much older platform. Although the GPU is a GTX 750 it still is a strong performer from a few generations ago, and will still get support from the Radeon software that can push what it can do. Although the CPU then might be the limitation.

It also features 16GB of RAM, which is a good capacity these days for larger running games. Although it has a terabyte of storage, it is on an HDD instead, which with a spinning disk it means it is slower. As such your experience will be worse off and it would be beneficial to have a boot SSD so at least loading that would feel a lot more responsive.

Best budget prebuilt gaming PC under $500

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Best budget prebuilt gaming PC under $500

Alarco Gaming PC (Intel i7)

iBUYPOWER Gaming PC Computer Desktop Trace 4 9310

CPU

Intel i7-2600

RAM

16GB DDR4

GPU

GeForce GTX 750 4GB

Storage

1TB Hard Drive

Pros
  • 1TB Hard Drive
Cons
  • Doesn’t handle demanding games that well

If you want to experience the Intel series, this prebuilt gaming PC is one of the best for the price. This may not be as fast as Intel’s Core i5-8400 but the Intel i5-2400 still delivers some serious processing speeds.

The GTX 650 graphics make it possible to get playable FPS counts in most games you could find today at 1080p resolution. Gaming with this rig is an investment worthy of the price. It has 8GB RAM that boosts the already fast processing speeds meaning video and graphics editing software can also be run beautifully with this setup. The GPU is probably the standout feature of this build, offering good performance in a number of different gaming titles. It’ll also allow you to do some light rendering as well.

Overall, for the price, this thing offers good aesthetics and should output a decent level of performance for the price.

Best mini prebuilt gaming PC under $500

STGAubron Gaming PC (RTX 2060)

STGAubron Gaming PC RTX 2060

CPU

Intel Quad Core i5-4590

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060

RAM

16GB RAM

Storage

512GB SSD

Pros
  • Features an SSD for fast performance
  • Strong GPU with the RTX 2060
Cons
  • Old CPU may hold back the performance

In the market for a smaller-sized PC, then STGAubron has you covered with a smaller case. It does also feature older hardware though, with the Quad Core i5-4590 and an RTX 2060. This is a comparatively newer and stronger option that will allow you a great choice of GPU, although the CPU option might hold you back when it comes to performance instead.

For its memory and storage, you also get a good speed and capacity. As for the RAM, you have 16GB which will improve the option for playing modern games with higher texture counts. Along with an SSD that gives you fast and responsive performance in general, although it is a more limited capacity these days.

How we test and choose

When it comes to evaluating the prebuilt gaming PCs we put them through an extensive checklist. Starting from opening the packaging, and checking how well it packaged and survived the trip. Then seeing how well it’s set up from BIOS to drivers. So we see how well it performs and has everything it should.

For a detailed look at how we test, check out our ‘how we test‘ page.

Things to consider

What can you expect from a prebuilt gaming PC under $500?

When buying PCs towards the lower end of the scale it is very important to check out the specifications first. Whether you’re spending thousands or a few hundred, the last thing we want is to waste our cash, and while setting a budget is a great way to do this, the PC still needs to be able to run your chosen games.

Prebuilt gaming PC under $500 Vs Custom

We always recommend that you build your own computer here at WePC and that is for one simple reason – value.  It is no secret that you can squeeze in better hardware for your cash when building your own system, with the markup on prebuilt computers usually costing the same amount as an entire component ($100-$300).

Build A Gaming PC By Price

Check out some of our price-focused custom PC build guides below.

Other Related Custom PC Guides:

Build A Gaming PC For Specific Games

Check out some of our game-focused custom PC build guides below.

Related Prebuilt Gaming PC Guides

Check out some of our related prebuilt PC guides below.

Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Brands

Every recommended prebuilt gaming PC in this article is from a reputable manufacturer. You are probably wondering how we know what the best gaming PC brands are? Well, we have done our research and purchased PCs from these brands.

Most notable brands:

Alienware
Corsair
CyberPowerPC
SkyTech
iBUYPOWER
Thermaltake
MSI
Scan 3XS
Overclockers UK

Final word

Finding the best prebuilt gaming PC under $500 is quite challenging but every option we have included offers great value. If you can afford more, then we would recommend you go for an $800 prebuilt gaming PC, with these offering excellent graphics and performance in 1080p, allowing you to play games in high detail with decent FPS results.

Regardless, you are getting a gaming PC here that will be able to play your favorite esports titles with ease. You may have to tweak settings to get your desired frame rate on the more demanding titles, it certainly won’t be the best graphics but it will be super for low end options. When deciding on one be sure to check the power supply, storage, and motherboard so it is the right fit overall for you.

Cheap gaming PC alternatives

We would advise you to aim for a prebuilt gaming PC no lower than $800 for a reasonable experience. Everything below will need upgrading sooner rather than later and nobody enjoys lowering settings or resolution when playing.

For those on the fence, with limited funds for the foreseeable future, there are a few alternatives to buying a cheap gaming PC. Firstly, Valves Steam Deck is a seriously good option for the under $500 price point. This tiny machine can run all your favorite games and if you love the odd FPS title, you can hook the Steam Deck up to a PC and use a mouse and keyboard with it.

Not convinced? Well, you could always look into the PS5 and Xbox Series X. These gaming systems are priced at under $500 and can play games in 4K.

FAQs

How long do prebuilt PCs last?

How long a prebuilt PC lasts depends on several factors – not least of which is who built it, and why. You’re probably going to pay more for prebuilds that are as future-proof as self-builds, because high-quality long-life components will naturally be more expensive than lower-quality, shorter-life components.

There is also the question of what you use your prebuild for. Keep running high-res graphics and hardcore RAM-draining games, and you’ll probably notice your machine running slower, giving you less when you play, after anything as little as 2 years, 3 at the most. If your gaming is less demanding, it’s harder to see the drop-off in performance, so you might get away with 5 years.

There is only so much future-proofing manufacturers can do to the components they put into prebuilds because a) the industry moves forward fast, b) their main interest is in remaining profitable, and c) gaming demands new capabilities faster than they can often adjust production lines.

Are prebuilt PCs upgradable?

Technically, yes. Mostly no. Certainly not to the extent you can upgrade self-builds, and certainly not with as many effective results.

Really speaking, once a prebuild is built and sold, you can tinker round the edges, or boost some performance metrics. You can add more RAM, sure. You can add a faster SSD. You can upgrade things like your GPU.

But there comes a point of diminishing returns. If you’re going to try and upgrade your prebuild, you have to know exactly which parts you want to swap out, and you have to know both how and why.

At this point, you have to ask yourself why you’ve gone for a prebuild in the first place. You’re dealing with someone else’s design concept, and whatever quality level their components are. You can boost various elements of that design concept by carefully replacing some elements. But be sure you understand what it is about the prebuild that you’re spending money on, and what you want to keep, compared to a scratch-build.

7 thoughts on “Best cheap prebuilt gaming PC under $500 in 2023”

  1. daelyn

    can this run rust?

    Reply
  2. jeff

    You mentioned testing on games. can you compare the FPS for these machines.

    If I wanted to get a better graphics card later, can I do that with the CPUs that have an integrated graphics card?

    thanks,

    jeff

    Reply
    • yes Jeff, you can most certainly run an APU and a GPU simultaneously. You’ll just plug your display into the GPU rather than the motherboard.

      Reply
  3. Darryl

    why did you say under $500 if everything on the list is around $700

    Reply
    • amazon prices are fluctuating like crazy at the minute – mainly thanks to the limited stock levels. Normally, this build would be under $500. Apologies for any confusion.

      Reply
  4. Amanda M

    Thank you for the information Juzel, I havent purchased a new computer in quite some time and your easy to understand and knowledgeable reviews gave me the tools to understand what I needed for my setup. Probably one of the most concise reviews I have read and I liked that you included your references. thanks for all your hard work!
    Amanda

    Reply

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