best-cheap-prebuilt-gaming-pcs-under-$500-–-5-budget-desktops-in-2020-&-2021

Best Cheap Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $500 – 5 Budget Desktops in 2020 & 2021

Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under 500 Budget Builds

After spending nearly 100 hours testing 8 popular prebuilt gaming desktops, we’ve concluded that the Levovo 510A Desktop PC is the best budget prebuilt gaming computer currently on the market for around $500. This PC packs a punch with it’s AMD Ryzen 3200G CPU, 8GB of RAM, and sleek aesthetic. This prebuilt machine will allow you to run most of today’s AAA titles in low-medium settings with very little compromise. If you want to learn more about what makes the best-prebuilt gaming PC for $500 then continue reading below.

If you are feeling a little more adventurous and you are up to the task of building your own gaming computer, then why not check out our guide right here: how to build your own custom PC with less than $500.

Be aware, the builds do fluctuate in price depending on stock levels. We check the builds regularly to make sure the builds are within the budget. However, if a build showcases excellent value for money and isn’t too over budget, we might leave it in.

Anyway, all being said, here at the best prebuilt gaming PCs under $500:

Editor’s Pick

iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming PC (Element Mini 9300)

iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming PC (Element Mini 9300)

The Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $500

iBUYPOWER brings another excellent prebuilt option to the table. This one comes equipped with one of AMD’s powerful Ryzen 3 3100 entry-level CPUs. It has also been paired with the RX 550 GPU, 240GB of SSD Storage space, and 8GB of DDR4 RAM for extra in-game performance.

iBUYPOWER are no strangers when it comes to building excellent PCs for gamers. This build is another great example of their ability to offer up affordable, high-performing, builds.

If you’d prefer to go direct through iBUYPOWER, click here.

Runner Up

Lenovo 510A Desktop PC

Lenovo 510A Desktop PC

The Next Best Pre Built gaming PC For Under $500

This pre-built AMD gaming PC boasts a powerful Ryzen 3 3200G processor and 8GB of Rapid RAM. This is the perfect starter PC for someone looking to get into low-intensive PC gaming. 

Lenovo has been offering excellent prebuilt recommendations for over 10 years now. This, their 510A desktop gaming PC not only comes with a great aesthetic but also comes to us at an excellent price point.

Performance Pick

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC (GTX 1660)

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC (GTX 1660)

A powerful prebuilt gaming PC

This excellent starter PC comes to the table equipped with Intel’s i5 9400F CPU, 16GB of rapid RAM, a GTX 1660 GPU, and a 512GB of rapid SSD storage. It’s great for lower intensive gaming and competitive esports.

Elegant and compact – this is what the CYBERPOWERPC series is all about.

Housing the ever-popular Intel I5 9400F, the Xtreme VR gaming PC is the perfect choice for gamers looking to spend a little bit extra on their next prebuilt PC. This machine is capable of running most AAA titles at medium-low settings thanks to the powerful GTX 1660 it comes equipped with.

A great prebuilt thanks to a powerful mix of processing power and graphical processing.

AMD 1st Gen Pick

SkyTech Gaming Shadow II

SkyTech Gaming Shadow II

1st-gen PC with gaming potential

This windowed build features a Ryzen 1200 and a GTX 1050Ti, for a good gaming experience at a low price. 

You may not be familiar with SkyTech, but rest assured, they know a thing or two about great pre-built PC’s. This one comes to you with everything you’re going to need to tackle some of the latest AAA game titles at 60FPS.

Not only does it have great off-the-shelf performance, but it also allows for future upgradability when you deem necessary.

Mini Form Factor

CUK AsRock DeskMini

CUK AsRock DeskMini

A powerful mini gaming rig

Many will be surprised with the power this small gaming rig has within. Thanks to technological advancements over the past 10 years, developers have been able to squeeze more power into much smaller form factors. Thus we have the Deskmini.

To touch on hardware briefly, the deskmini comes equipped with the Ryzen 3 2200G processor, widely considered the greatest value for money CPU available. Paired with this, the build has been armed with 8GB 2,666Mhz RAM which helps boost performance exponentially.

There is no real downside to this build, however if you are thinking about expansion down the line you are severley limited due to the size of the case.

If you want to upgrade the GPU then you would have to buy a mini GPU as well, no surprises there. However they are usually a bit cheaper so it’s win win.

See the full range of iBUYPOWER options by clicking here.

How We Choose What to Test

When choosing which prebuilt desktops to test, we first checked the most recent releases by Acer, iBuyPower, CyberPowerPC, Dell, HP, CUKUSA, Lenovo, and other big manufacturers of gaming PCs.

From there, we scoured the internet to see which prebuilt gaming computers gamers have actually been using. We didn’t just read the top results from Google; instead, we went to forums to get real information from real consumers.

We checked hundreds of actual customer reviews from Amazon, NewEgg, eBay, and other well-known eCommerce websites to gather real-world experiences. We also checked in-depth video reviews and comparisons.

After spending several hours gathering and comparing customer reviews, we finally came up with our 8 initial candidates that showcased different features as to best meet a variety of gaming needs. From that 8 we decided upon 5 top picks which meet our criteria of solid gaming performance at around $500.

Things to Consider

For $500, you aren’t aiming to get the best computer on the market, you are trying to get an entry-level gaming computer that requires the least amount of upgrades to experience the newest releases with a 1080p resolution at 60FPS. Still, it’s surprising just how far the best gaming computer under $500 can take you nowadays.

In the process, there are several factors that need to be considered.

Processor

First and foremost, you want a powerful processor. Why? Because a processor is the key to future-proofing or ensuring that you don’t have to upgrade your computer anytime soon.

Here’s why…

A graphics card can be plugged into just about any motherboard as long as the right amount of voltage is supplied from the power supply.

The processor, however, has to be compatible with the motherboard. So if you want to upgrade your CPU, it’s likely that you will also have to upgrade your motherboard, which is more costly.

That’s why our list favors rigs that come with powerful processors rather than graphics cards.

Graphics Card

Based on our above logic, the graphics card is likely the first thing you’ll want to upgrade on one of these rigs to get it from being merely good to being great.

As stated, the processors on the list are capable of handling average AAA games. However, a GPU upgrade should make a tremendous difference. A 3GB GTX 1060 should be enough to experience 1080p gaming with a 60 FPS average.

RAM

Having 8GB of RAM is the common threshold for modern gaming. In fact, that’s why all of the desktops on our list boasts at least that much.

This means a RAM upgrade isn’t really necessary with any of these builds.

Storage Space

When it comes to storage space you have two options: SSD or HDD. For the purpose of this review, you don’t need to know much more than this: SSD is fast but expensive while HDD is slow but cheap.

Ultimately, it is less about which type of storage you’ll use and more about how much you’ll make use of each since it’s advisable to go with a hybrid storage system — 120GB SSD for system files and 1TB HDD for games and personal files.

I’d recommend checking out our SSD vs HDD page to find out more.

Chassis/Case

Never forget, airflow is one of the most vital factors in keeping your computer’s temperatures down. Whenever possible, you want to choose a computer whose case has enough room for future upgrades. Broadly speaking, the bigger the better.

LED lights and other aesthetics may benefit your eyes but if this doesn’t provide enough airflow to keep the system cool, you’re better off shopping for another one that does.

How (and What) We Tested

Testing the prebuilt gaming PCs is pretty much straightforward. We installed the following games and recorded benchmark results:

  • PUBG
  • Fortnite
  • Overwatch
  • GTA V
  • Rocket League
  • Battlefield 1
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • The Witcher III

Note: Some of the recent games such as Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Devil May Cry 5, Anthem, and Resident Evil 2 may need more power that what’s inside the most powerful one on the list. But can still be played with huge sacrifices in the graphics department.

We spent hours playing games just so we could test and see what each rig is really capable of. (Obviously, we have very hard lives.)

After playing hours of games and benchmarking the results, we confirmed that the Syber Domono can handle games in 1080p with a few adjustments to the game’s graphics settings.

The syber is currently the only build in this list that makes use of an Intel chip, but make no mistake,the Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400g which the IBuyPower Enthusiast Gaming PC, the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop Computer, and the CLX Set Gaming PC use are powerful processors. They don’t necessarily need a standalone GPU to be efficient thanks to AMD’s VEGA graphics which is miles ahead of anything Intel have to offer.

Instead of stopping there, we decided to do some further testing… we hooked a GTX 1060 graphics card up to some of the picks in the list to see what kind of performance improvement we would achieve. To our surprise, the performance increase that was achieved turned out to be much greater than our initial forecast. Great news for those wanting to upgrade down the road.

Further to this, we decided to upgrade the RAM to 3,000Mhz in all the builds, the performance boost we saw from the Ryzen chips was massive. We can’t recommend upgrading the RAM enough, the Ryzen chips are built to enjoy quicker memory and once you upgrade, you’ll understand why.

Disclaimer: The prebuilt gaming desktops we tested were purchased and were not sent or sponsored to make biased opinions or feedback.

NOTE:  Due to the ongoing effects of the global coronavirus pandemic, some retailers are experiencing stock issues. WePC constantly updates our pages to reflect current availability, so if the PC or part you want shows as out of stock, check back later or check out these alternatives.

5 Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $500

Product Details
iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming PC (Element Mini 9300)

iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming PC (Element Mini 9300)

  • cpu: AMD Ryzen 3 3100
  • gpu: AMD Radeon RX 550 2GB
  • ram: 8GB
  • storage: 240GB SSD
Check Current Price
Lenovo 510A Desktop PC

Lenovo 510A Desktop PC

  • cpu: AMD Ryzen 3 3200g
  • gpu: Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
  • ram: 8GB DDR4
  • storage: 256GB SSD
Check Current Price
CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC (GTX 1660)

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC (GTX 1660)

  • cpu: i5-9400F
  • gpu: GTX 1660 6GB
  • ram: 8GB DDR4
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SkyTech Gaming Shadow II

SkyTech Gaming Shadow II

  • cpu: Ryzen 3 1200
  • gpu: Nvidia GTX 1050 TI
  • ram: 8GB DDR4
Check Current Price
CUK AsRock DeskMini

CUK AsRock DeskMini

  • cpu: Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5Ghz
  • gpu: Vega 8 Integrated Graphics
  • ram: 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM
  • storage: 256GB NVME SSD
Check Current Price

Lenovo’s 510A desktop PC gets our number pick for best prebuilt for under $500 and for good reason.

It comes to shelves boasting AMD’s latest entry-level APU – a processor we have been extremely impressed with since its release back in July 2019. The APU comes with VEGA 8 graphics which outperforms any similarly priced alternative from Intel. It has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz and a boost of 4GHz, perfect for gamers wanting to play lower-intensive AAA game titles.

Lenovo has decided to equip the 510A with 8GB of DDR4 2666MHz. That’s great for a number of different reasons. Being 2666MHz is going to impact the APU a lot as the integrated graphics it comes equipped with will be more effective under faster RAM. Furthermore, 8GB is going to allow users to carry out much more intensive workflow scenarios as well.

The SSD is on the small side, but the speed benefits you’re going to get from the SSD is going to outshine the additional space you get with a hard disk drive.

Overall, a fantastic little prebuilt for entry-level gaming.

#1

iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming PC (Element Mini 9300)

The iBUYPOWER Element Mini 9300 is a budget gaming PC that paks a decent amount of performance into a compact chassis. There are few prebuilt computers that offer a CPU/ GPU combination of this quality, with this offering a great entry-level experience.

Powering the build is AMD’s Ryzen 3 3100, a budget CPU 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 3.9GHz in the BIOS. With 4 cores and 8 threads, you are getting budget multithreading performance and this will feel speedier than most budget gaming PCs on the market. To go along with the CPU, we see a Radeon RX 550 GPU. While this graphics card is about as entry-level as you can get, it still offers a decent gaming experience for the price.

The Element Mini 9300 features 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 240GB SSD. While this storage solution isn’t particularly big, it is enough to get you playing out of the box, with room for your OS and a few favorite games.

This would make an excellent PC for beginners and hardcore gamers alike, with strong gaming features at the heart of this build. Aside from the components, you get a PC case with pre-installed RGB fans, a PSU shroud, and a window to see inside. Lastly, you also receive an iBUYPOWER keyboard and mouse so you can jump straight into those games when it arrives.

#2

Lenovo 510A Desktop PC

#3

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC (GTX 1660)

The CYBERPOWERPC gaming Extreme VR PC might be slightly more expensive than our budget pick, but key specifications do make up for the additional cost. This build offers excellent gaming performance for those looking to start a career in competitive esports (or any low intensive gaming format). It not only comes with great aesthetics and decent performance, but also offers up a keyboard and mouse right-out-the-box.

At the heart of this build lies the ever-popular Intel 9400F – Intel’s low-end gaming processor. The CPU brings a 2.9Ghz base clock/ 4.1Ghz boost clock speed which is more than enough to run lower-end games. Paired alongside this very capable process sits 16GB of DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, 512GB of rapid SSD storage, and a 500W PSU to keep everything ticking over. Furthermore, users are treated to a very effective standalone GPU in the GTX 1660. This makes the CYBERPOWERPC, by far, the most powerful in this guide.

Overall, whilst this PC won’t be winning any prizes for outstanding performance, it’s still a fine choice for first-time gamers looking to get into PC gaming.

#4

SkyTech Gaming Shadow II

If you want to experience the AMD’s Ryzen series, this prebuilt gaming PC os one of the best for the price. This may not be as fast as Intel’s Core i5-8400 but Ryzen 3 1200 still delivers some serious processing speeds.

Pairing it with Nvidia’s GTX 1050 TI makes it possible to get high 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 is pretty damn good. It offers good aesthetics and should outperform some of the alternative builds in this guide. 

#5

CUK AsRock DeskMini

We come to something a little different, literally. The CUK AsRock Deskmini is pretty much what it says on the tin, a mini desktop gaming rig. Don’t be fooled however with it’s small form factor, this thing packs a serious punch.

It comes to the table with the classic Ryzen 3 2200G chips, which is currently in 3 of our best of $500 pre-build list. You really can’t go wrong with the 2200G when you’re working with a budget, its simply the most powerful, efficient APU in it’s price range. It will handle AAA game titles wonderfully, granted at lower settings.  This machine doesn’t come with a standalone GPU so it has to make use of AMD’s VEGA 8 graphics which, in all honesty, is a very good graphics substitute. It handles Fornite, CS:GO and LOL very well if you tweak the settings just right. The 8GB of 2,666Mhz RAM are a perfect pairing for the 2200G and provide a healthy performance boost whilst still remaining within budget.

Further to this, the Deskmini comes with 256GB of SSD making it the largest SSD solution out of all the builds on this list. We all know the benefits of SSD, Super fast boot and load times, so being able to put as many games on here as possible is hugely advantageous to the consumer. However with the Mini’s small form factor you’re probably going to have to use an external HDD when it inevitably comes to it.

Overall, the CUK AsRock Deskmini is an acquired taste and you really need to be in the market solely for mini form factor if you go for this one. It does have it’s pro’s but it certainly has it’s con’s as well. As far as mini form builds go though, this is a fantastic option.

Related Pages

If you are still unsure, then check out some of our related prebuilt guides below.

Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $400

So that’s our list of best pre built gaming PC’s for $500, but what if $500 is just out of reach?

Luckily, a number of manufacturers now provide decent gaming builds for around the $400 mark. However, for this price, you’re theoretically scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of performance levels and won’t be able to play the latest games.

This being said, if you’re looking for a build that’s going to handle older games, simulators and general usage, maybe these $400 builds will be right up your street.

Best AMD $400 pre build

Gaming Desktop Custom System Ryzen 3 2200G

Gaming Desktop Custom System Ryzen 3 2200G

As far as gaming rigs for $400 are concerned, you can’t go wrong with this little build. At it’s centre is the superb Ryzen 2200G clocked at 3.5Ghz which is considered pound for pound one of the best Price/performance value APU’s available.

It has Vega 8 integrated graphics and a rapid 240GB SSD which make this much faster than it’s cheaper competition above.

A nice little build but again, do not be expecting to smash out PUB:G on ultra anytime soon.

Conclusion

Honestly, spending only $500 for a killer gaming computer means your final product is going to inevitably fall a little short — but it is enough to give you a solid foundation for future upgrades.

  1. If all you want is the best prebuilt gaming PC under $500 to play AAA title games, you can’t go wrong with the iBUYPOWER Pro Element Mini 9300 Gaming PC. The Levnovo 510A Desktop PC is a close second to the iBUYPOWER. 
  2. Get the IBUYPOWER Enthusiast Gaming PC or the Skytech Blaze VR Ready Gaming Computer if you wish to invest in a prebuilt gaming desktop that you can use right away at the expense of sacrificing graphics for performance.
  3. For something a little smaller, the CUK AsRock Deskmini is the only option in this list which has been built with Mini form in mind. This being said it still packs a mighty punch and is arguably one of the most powerful rigs in this list. Size doesn’t always translate to power.

So that’s the rundown of our best $500 Pre-builds, which one are you going for?

Comment below letting us know how you got on and whether or not they lived up to their reviews.

The post Best Cheap Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $500 – 5 Budget Desktops in 2020 & 2021 appeared first on WePC | Let’s build your dream gaming PC.

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