It’s not hard to see why laptops are so common in a time of mobile technology and remote work, but it’s undeniable that desktop PCs will always have their place — particularly when it comes to gaming. Full-sized monitors, multiple displays, and purpose-build gaming accessories like keyboards, headsets, and mice are just a few things you can enjoy with a good desktop battle station, not to mention the customization and upgrade options that laptop can’t really offer.
If you need a desktop PC that will let you fully immerse yourself in your favorite games (which means that a laptop is probably not the best choice), don’t assume that your only option is to build a computer yourself. There are a ton of great cheap gaming PC deals and gaming laptop deals on pre-built systems that are ready to rock right out of the box — and we’ve got what you’re looking for right here:
Years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to find any sort of gaming-capable rig for less than $600 owing to the cost of discrete graphics cards. AMD crafted a unique solution to that problem in its APUs, or accelerated processing units, which are basically CPUs that pack built-in graphics processing capabilities. This Pavilion desktop PC from HP features an AMD Ryzen 3 CPU with Radeon Vega 8 graphics that allows for some light gaming. Don’t expect to run the latest AAA games at high settings, but it’ll get the job done for those with modest needs.
Along with the Ryzen APU, this desktop PC comes with a boosted 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a 128GB solid-state system drive, and a nice big 1TB hard drive — and like most of our other picks, it comes with a wired mouse and keyboard. This cheap gaming PC can be yours for just $450 after a $100 price cut.
AMD’s CPU-integrated Radeon Vega graphics are a fine entry point for basic gaming, but if your needs are modest and you still want a dedicated graphics card (perhaps for tasks like video editing along with light gaming), this iBuyPower gaming desktop is a cost-effective and very attractive option. This tower features an Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 graphics card, which, while a last-gen 10-series GPU, is one of the cheapest discrete GPUs on the market right now. That card works with a Ryzen 3 CPU and respectable 8GB of DDR4 RAM to deliver sufficient performance for work and for less resource-heavy games like Fornite and Minecraft.
For storage, you’ve got a big 1TB HDD, which is very nice to see at this price point and gives you more space than what you usually find on cheap gaming PCs, and its standard case design means you can easily upgrade components like RAM in the future. You can grab this high-value gaming PC for a super-cheap $499 right now.
Moving more than halfway towards the $1,000 budget limit brings us to the Nvidia GTX 16-series Super and Ti graphics cards, which is in the upper range of mid-level GPUs that you should be looking for if you’re paying more than $600. This SkytechChronos gaming desktop checks all the boxes: An AMD Ryzen 3 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a beefy GTX 1650 Super GPU (with 4GB of GDDR6 VRAM) are capable of handling 1080p gaming at 60 frames per second, so if 30 fps isn’t cutting it for you in 2020, this PC is a worthy upgrade over most other cheap gaming PCs.
A 500GB SSD gives you plenty of fast storage for installing games as well. It’s also got a nice-looking geometric case with RGB LED accents that add some style to your setup without being too loud or gaudy. This gaming PC rig comes in at $650 (including a wired mouse and keyboard), fitting well within our budget.
Dell may not be known as a gaming brand, but it makes some surprisingly solid PCs and you’ll see its name a lot when shopping around for gaming systems. This new Dell G5 gaming tower runs on an Intel Core i5-10400F six-core CPU paired with a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card which are very impressive for a cheap gaming PC at this price point. For memory, you’ve got 8GB of RAM (which can be upgraded if need be) along with a nice big 1TB 7,200rpm HDD for storage.
This desktop tower rings in at just $700 after a $200 discount with checkout code 50OFF699, and it’s one of the best pre-built gaming PC deals with a dedicated GPU that you’ll find for around this price at the moment. And, like most of our other picks, it also comes bundled with a mouse and keyboard. If you want the same GPU with a slightly different hardware configuration, though, then check out our next pick.
ABS builds many well-priced gaming computers for a brand that typically flies under the radar, and the Challenger gaming PC doesn’t disappoint if you want a RAM upgrade over our previous pick. It packs an Intel i5-9400 six-core CPU and an Nvidia GTX 1660 Super GPU with 6GB VRAM, which is easily one of the best processor/graphics card combos for 1080p gaming at 60fps in 2020. It comes with 512GB of high-speed solid-state storage as well.
The PC tower’s LED-accented case looks nice on any desk without appearing too garish, and it’s customizable and upgradeable like most desktop towers. At $800 after a $150 discount, this is a very solid enthusiast gaming PC with some nice future-proofing considering you won’t have to upgrade to 16GB of RAM in the coming years as you would with many of our other picks.
For a lesser-known brand, Skytech has some very nice gaming desktops for budget-conscious shoppers, and its Legacy Mini gaming PC tower offers a lot of bang for the buck: It’s got an eight-core Ryzen 7 CPU, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and most impressively, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU which is arguably the best “entry-level” high-end graphics card on the market right now (and that boosted 16GB of memory means you won’t have to upgrade the RAM too soon).
You’ve also got a nice beefy 500GB solid-state system drive. A basic wired gaming mouse and keyboard are included as well, although you might consider upgrading to a mechanical keyboard and gaming mouse to get the best experience out of a desktop at this price point. This gaming PC deal rings in at $950 after a $150 savings, hitting our budget limit right below the mark.