Below are the six top prebuilt gaming PC’s that are priced under $500:
While Lenovo may not be particularly famous for developing anything other than boring workstation computers and office machines (well, their laptops are really good), the H30 is an attempt by Lenovo to deliver a low-budget, entry level gaming desktop that is capable of running most modern titles on low-medium settings, even the latest AAA titles such as Witcher III, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty, etc. Even though it costs less than 500 bucks, this gaming PC tower features a solid metal chassis with a premium brushed metal finish on the front that will add a bit of spice to your otherwise humble looking gaming setup. It comes with a couple of 3.5 mm jacks on the front panel, as well as a couple of USB 3.0 ports, and a few USB 2.0 ports. The processor is nothing spectacular, just an Intel Core i3-4170 which runs at 3.7 GHz. But this 4th generation i3 from Intel is more than adequately equipped to handle the latest AAA titles at 40-60 fps, which is an arguably smooth fps rate for an entry level gamer.
However, the biggest reason for the inclusion of this Lenovo desktop in this list is of course the graphics processor. Sporting a 2 GB dedicated NVIDIA GTX 745 graphics card, this desktop will easily power through current and last generation titles at 1080p, and watching HD movies should be an extremely pleasant experience. If you hook this system (via an HDMI or DVI link) to your widescreen monitor or 4K TV, you can enjoy all your photos, videos, and movies in lifelike detail, thanks to the ample graphics power provided by this entry level GTX GPU from NVIDIA. Playing MOBA’s such as DOTA and LOL at 1080p with medium-high settings should be a really smooth and enjoyable experience, and they should run on 60+ fps with all details set to medium-high. In terms of storage, you are getting a 7200 rpm HDD, with 12 GB of solid state storage built into it. The RAM is OKAY at just 4 GB, but you can always add in a second stick later, shouldn’t cost more than 10-15 bucks.
Unlike the H30, the X315 is labeled as a true “gaming desktop” by Lenovo and looks much more aggressive and stylish compared to the simplistic H30. But it is not just all show and no go, since the interiors of its dark metal chassis packs an AMD A8 APU, alongside a dedicated Radeon R9 360 graphics card, which happens to be one of the beefiest entry level gaming graphics cards on the market. The AMD quad core A8 chip runs at a clock speed of 3.1 GHz, and is great for both gaming as well as multitasking thanks to the 4 physical cores and intelligent architecture. Paired with 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, this system will easily breeze through movies, Photoshop, Premier Pro, and pretty much any video or photo editing software that you throw at it. You can view 4K movies with no issues at all thanks to the ample amount of RAM and the quad core CPU, and gaming at 1080p resolution will be an absolute pleasure.
The latest AAA titles such as GTA V, DOOM, Assassins Creed, etc. should be very playable at 1080p with the graphics settings on low-medium. The Radeon R9 360 is a beast of an entry level graphics card and packs 2 gigs of high speed GDDR5 VRAM. The 1 TB 7200 rpm HDD comes with genuine Windows 10 preinstalled on it, and is paired with an integrated 8 GB solid storage unit. The entire tower is quite compact, and measure only 18” x 6.97” x 15.1”. The cutting edge exterior design has sharp angles and features a triangular blue LED light that shines brightly and give your rig a very “gamer-ish” feel. This design also features a one-touch easy access panel that allows you to open the case and upgrade or maintain the inner parts very conveniently.
Designed with budget gamers in mind, this pre-assembled custom desktop from CybertronPC is housed inside a cool looking case that has colored mesh plastered all over the front panel. The side window is transparent, so your buddies can admire the LED lighting inside the tower case, and the high-airflow design keeps all your components running cool and at maximum efficiency all the time. Okay, let’s move on the actual hardware inside this little desktop- it features an Intel Core i3-6100 6th generation CPU running at a base clock of 3.2 GHz, capable of boosting up to 3.7 GHz. This CPU has been proven to one of the best budget CPU’s of 2016 for entry level gaming.
Just look up any famous tech review site or Youtube, and they will have a PC build featuring the Intel Core i3-6100. The reason for that is the fact that this CPU can run even the latest AAA titles at 60+ fps if you pair it with a beefy mid-range gaming graphics card. On top of that, it is highly efficient and draws very little power, runs cool, and features hyper threading for effortless multitasking and productivity-based applications. The 2 GB AMD Radeon R7 240 GPU is not the best of all the cheap GPU’s out there, and it is a little weak for heavy AAA titles, but as long as you are interested in playing stuff like StarCraft, DOTA, LOL, or HOTS, it should work fine. For connectivity, you have 3 USB 3.0’s, and 6 USB 2.0’s, along with an RJ-45 Ethernet port. For hooking up to your external display, you can use the VGA, HDMI, or DisplayPort. You get 8 GB of DDR4 RAM (sufficient for gaming and everyday use), as well as a 7200 rpm 1 TB HDD.
This budget gaming desktop from CybertronPC features an AMD FX-4300 CPU running at 3.8 GHz, and an AMD 760G chipset based main board. The trusty old FX architecture from AMD might not be as efficient as the 6th gen CPU’s from Intel, but you won’t notice that much of a difference while gaming anyways, since the frame rates and overall performance of most games is still determined by your GPU. But hey, 4 cores and 8 GB of DDR3 RAM is not all bad, right? In fact the FX-4300 performs neck-to-neck with the i3 6100 in over 70% of modern titles, and may lag behind in some games, but only around 5-10 fps, a difference that the human eye cannot notice.
Well, the graphics card in this budget computer is a Radeon R7 240 which is again, one of the lower end budget graphics cards out there, and will fall behind the newer RX 460, or even a second hand GTX 750 from NVIDIA. But this card is intended for playing light games that run on older engines, such as Counter Strike and DOTA, as well as LOL and StarCraft. Keep in mind that you will easily get over 60+ fps in all the games that we mentioned, on 1080p. The main board has a built in Gigabit LAN chip as well as 7.1 audio, and you get plenty of connectivity with the three USB 3.0 ports, and six USB 2.0 ports. The case comes with a 500 W PSU inside, and the motherboard has ample room for future expansion/ upgrades.
The Dell Inspiron i3650 is a simple looking desktop with a glossy black front panel and boring looks all around. At first glance, you may think it’s one of those cheap desktops that can be used only in schools or offices. Yes, it is cheap. No, it is not your average office PC. With an i5-6400 CPU, many would even argue that it is actually an entry-level gaming PC in disguise. The 4 cores and 2.6 GHz of clock speed (boosts to 3.1 GHz) is plenty for modern games and should easily deliver very playable frame rates when paired with any decent GPU.
Talking of GPU’s, we have the renowned GT730 entry-level gaming graphics card from NVIDIA inside this Dell PC. It is a fairly decent chip, and packs 2 GB of DDR3 VRAM, and can run most modern titles on low-medium settings with no lag or stuttering on 1080p/ 720p resolutions. This system also packs 8 GB of DDR3SL RAM, and a 1 TB hard drive, along with a DVD drive. Genuine Windows 10 Home 64-it comes preinstalled on this machine.
Did you expect to find an Alienware for less than 500 bucks? Us neither. But we were surprised to find out that this little pint sized box packs more computing power than any other gaming PC on this list. Should you buy it? Well, that is up to you. We can list the good things about this gaming PC for you, so it is easier to make the choice- it packs an Intel Core i3-4170T 3.2 GHz processor along with a custom built (yes, custom) NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX GPU. Now, we suspected initially that this “custom built” GTX GPU is how Dell managed to keep the costs under control. Normally, GTX graphics cards are the top of the line GPU’s that NVIDIA delivers, and are built for hardcore gaming. We thought that the 2 GB GTX chip on this machine is just a watered down version of one of their existing models.
But we were wrong. It is actually more powerful than a GTX 860M, which happens to be a GPU capable of playing Witcher III, Assassins Creed Unity, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, Battlefield 4, etc. on high settings at 30-40 fps, on 1080p FHD resolution. So, the custom GTX chip on this machine is actually faster than the GTX 860M, which means you’ll get 40+ fps in with medium-high graphics settings on any current AAA title, at 1080p. Not too shabby for a sub-500 dollar gaming PC right? It is a mini-PC, which means that it is basically a super compact design that is about as big as a console, smaller than a console even. There are no optical drives, and the hard drive is a mere 500 GB. But if you want something that performs better than a console and costs less than 500 bucks- this is the best prebuilt PC for you. The RAM is decent at 4 GB, but you can upgrade it (just like the HDD) to 16 GB.
Were you looking for gaming laptops? Click here to know about 6 best gaming laptops under 500 dollars.