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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 iBUYPOWER Pro Element Mini 9300 Gaming PC is the best budget prebuilt gaming computer for under $500. This PC packs a punch with it’s AMD Ryzen 3 3100 CPU, 8GB of RAM, AMD’s RX 550 GPU, 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.

Our Top Picks

Editor's Pick

WePC Editors Choice Badge

The Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $500

Runner Up

The Next Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $500

Our 5 Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $500

Editor's Pick

The Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $500

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Editor's Rating
4.4/5
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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.

Runner Up

The Next Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $500

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Editor's Rating
3.8/5
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This pre-built AMD gaming PC boasts an entry-level AMD Athlon 3000G 4-core, 4-thread processor, with onboard vega graphics, and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. This is the perfect entry-level PC for someone looking to get into low-intensive PC gaming.

The Allied Gaming Javelin mini PC not only comes with a great aesthetic but also comes to us at an excellent price point. While the CPU is entry-level, it is going to allow for some gameplay in low settings.

Performance Pick

A More Powerful Option

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Editor's Rating
4.6/5
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This excellent starter PC comes to the table equipped with AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600 CPU, 8GB of rapid RAM, a Radeon RX 5500 XT GPU, and a 240GB of rapid SSD storage. It’s great for lower intensive gaming and competitive esports.

Elegant and compact – this is what the iBUYPOWER Gaming PC Computer Desktop Trace 4 9310 is all about.

Housing the ever-popular AMD Ryzen 5 3600, the Trace 4 9310 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 Radeon RX 5500 XT it comes equipped with.

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

Budget Pick

Best Budget prebuilt Gaming PC Under $500

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3.8/5
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This budget build features a 3rd-generation Ryzen 3 3200G APU,  that produces  surprising results at a low cost. This prebuilt is great for an entry-level gamine experience.

You may not be familiar with Mega Gaming, but rest assured, they know a thing or two about entry-level pre-built PC’s. This one comes to you with everything you’re going to need to tackle some of the latest games in 1080p.

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

Mini Form Factor Pick

Best Mini Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $500

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3.8/5
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Many will be surprised by 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 severely 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 a win-win.

How We Choose

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.

How We Test

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.

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.

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.

The 5 Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $500

Editor's Pick

Runner Up

Performance Pick

Budget Pick

Mini Form Factor Pick

Editor's Pick

The Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $500

Pros

Solid budget performance

Compact form factor

Great aesthetics, with RGB fans

Cons

Entry level graphics

Small SSD

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.

Runner Up

The Next Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $500

Pros

Way under budget

Features multithreading, Wi-Fi, and a big enough PSU for future upgrades

Cons

only 2 cores and 4 threads on the CPU

Will need upgrading sooner than other options

The Allied Gaming Javelin Gaming PC comes with everything you are going to need to start your entry-level gaming career off with a bang. This budget prebuilt for under $500 features a sleek PC case, RGB fans, AMD Athlon CPU, and speedy SSD storage device.

Inside we see AMD’s Athlon 3000G. This dual-core processor features a 3.5GHz clock speed and comes with onboard Vega graphics. Yes, this processor is multithreaded but it is entry-level and can only take you so far. A great future upgrade for this PC would be a new GPU, with the PSU already supplying enough power for that down the line.

Backing up the CPU we see 8GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, and a 240GB SSD storage device, which is going to be enough for your operating system and a few of your favorite games.

This is an excellent entry-level PC for the price and is perfect for anyone looking to break into PC gaming.

Performance Pick

A More Powerful Option

Pros

Great gaming performance

Very efficient hybrid storage solution

Great aesthetics

Comes with keyboard and mouse

Cons

SSD not the largest

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.

Budget Pick

Budget Pick

Pros

Good entry-level performance

1TB of HDD space

Cons

No SSD

Not multi-threaded

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 offers good aesthetics and should output a decent level of performance for the price.

Mini Form Factor Pick

Best Mini Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $500

Tech Specs

CPU

Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5Ghz

GPU

Vega 8 Integrated Graphics

RAM

8GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM

Storage

256GB NVME SSD

Pros

Minimal Footprint

Solid APU Tailored Towards Gaming

Features an SSD

Cons

Limited room for expansion

Small SSD

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 its 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 its 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 is a perfect pairing for the 2200G and provides 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, Superfast 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 cons as well. As far as mini form builds go though, this is a fantastic option.

Final Word

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.