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The days when you need to spend a fortune to be able to enjoy AAA games with decent framerates are long gone. You now would be surprised at the capability of some low-cost prebuilt gaming pcs. If you are on the budget and want to avoid the hassle of building custom rigs, in this article I will introduce to you the three best prebuilt gaming pcs under $500 to choose from.
Whenever someone mentions they want to buy a gaming pc, there is almost always one response. “Build one yourself. It’s better that way, you can get better specs at a cheaper price”, so they say. But here’s the thing: you have to spend time and energy to research and build a complete custom pc.
On the other hand, you don’t have to spend as much time and effort when buying a prebuilt gaming pc. It’s plug and play, you get what you pay for and also get additional supports from the sellers.
Here are our picks for the best prebuilt gaming pc under $500:
3rd gen AMD processor
Wired keyboard and mouse included
512 GB SSD
Lacking a dedicated GPU
The perfect entry-level rig for starters. Although lacking a discrete graphic card, the integrated vega 8 graphics equipped on the Ryzen 3 3200G is more than enough for low-end titles. E-sport games such as Lol or CS:GO could be enjoyed with an average fps of 60 on this machine. 512 GB SSD should be able to store all of your files and help this machine run at a lightning fast speed.
The one upgrade I would advise is installing a GPU such as this RX 570. Just for about $150 more and you could enjoy playing most games at high or even ultra settings at 1080p with 60 fps.
16GB DDR3 RAM
Large hybrid storage
A machine which is on the more affordable side but with not without equally impressive specs. If you don’t mind buying a renewed product, this pc is the right choice for you.
Paired with a GT 1030, despite its age, the 4th generation i5 is still a fairly good processor even in 2020. Given its massive storage, you don’t have to worry about running out of disk space anymore. Another outstanding feature is the amount of RAM, granted that it’s DDR3, but you don’t need to upgrade further in the long run.
Very affordable price
4 RGB Fans included
SSD not included
Older generation processor and GPU
The most affordable computer in this list. It falls a little short in comparison to other pcs on this list in terms of specifications, so it is more suitable for older games and emulations. This pc also comes with 4 RGB fans which give you an aesthetic look if that is up to your alley.
The noticeable downside of this prebuilt pc is the lacking of an SSD. I recommend you slap one such as this 120GB Kingston SSD ($20) on this machine. Trust me, it will make a big difference.
1. What to look for in a premade gaming pc?
One thing to keep in mind is that for even the best prebuilt gaming pc under $500, you won’t be able to run AAA games in 4k. But with some sacrifices in graphics quality, you still get to enjoy the latest releases at 60 fps.
If you are new to the gaming screen, choosing the most suitable prebuilt gaming pcs is no easy task. So, what are some criteria you need to pay attention to when purchasing one? Here are some things to look out for:
Processor: the heart of the machine
The processor is always among the first major specifications to look at. Why is that? Because this part plays a major role in determining how well your pc performs. A four-core chip is a good starting point. You should get at least an i5 or a ryzen 3 to ensure your gaming sessions stay satisfying and stable.
GPU (graphic card): leverage your gaming experience
Some newer processors could handle AAA games just fine by themselves (noticeably the ryzen lineups). However, a discrete graphic card could take your gaming experience to another level. Therefore, for more demanding games it is advisable to get at least a GT 1030 for a more pleasant gaming experience.
RAM: choose the right amount of memory and you’re good to go
8 GB has now become the baseline in the modern gaming world and is enough for your gaming needs. It is not necessary to upgrade RAM at the moment but you can stick an additional 8GB (or more) stick later. Because it is one of the easiest things to upgrade at a reasonable price.
Storage Space: SSDs are faster while HDDs can store more
It’s strongly recommended to always have at least one SSD, and for a good reason. Although you can easily buy HDDs at a cheaper price for a larger disk space, SSDs can increase boot up speed and reduce your loading time in games. The ideal setup is using a hybrid option, one where you utilize both of these – SSD for operating system files and a secondary HDD for personal files.
Upgradability: Future-proofing your prebuilt gaming pc
One thing to always look out for when buying a prebuilt gaming pc is how easy you can upgrade it. RAM and SSD are easy to install and very cost-effective when buying new. Choose a pc that enables you to access the interior parts such as motherboard, fans, GPU, etc. easily.
2 How to maintain my pc?
3 Which part and how often should I upgrade my gaming pc?
4 Which OS is the best for gaming?
Generally, for 1080p gaming at 60fps, you could find many decent prebuilt gaming pcs for just under $500. Though there are some compromises that need to be made, these products provide the perfect foundation for starting your pc gaming journey and you could upgrade them down the line.
All in all, the best prebuilt gaming pc under $500 would be HP Desktop Computer, AMD Ryzen 3 3200G. Choosing this computer, you get to experience the latest AMD Ryzen 3 technology. It could rock a solid 60fps even with newer games. Plus, you could install a decent GPU later for even smoother framerates.
How about playing more demanding title games on a tighter budget? You can’t go wrong with HP Z230 Workstation Gaming Computer Desktop. Having pre-install huge hybrid disk space and RAM, this one could also double as a very excellent pc for productivity work.
For older games and emulations, Gaming pc Desktop Computer White by Alarco is the right choice. It comes with a tempered Glass Side panel and RGB fans which are pleasing to the eyes.