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Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $500 of April 2021

You are looking for the Best Prebuilt Gaming PC but your budget is only $500. Don't worry, follow our lead, we are going to guide you on how to choose. We also give you a top list 18 products of Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs under $500.

Showing  1 - 10  in  18 results
TOP Choice
1
  • SCORE
    9.6
    AI Score

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  • Brand
    HP
2
  • SCORE
    9.4
    AI Score

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  • Brand
    Dell
3
  • SCORE
    9.4
    AI Score

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  • Brand
    Lenovo
4
  • SCORE
    9.4
    AI Score

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  • Brand
    PC Server and Parts Certified Refurbished
5
  • SCORE
    9.2
    AI Score

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  • Brand
    HP
6
  • SCORE
    9.2
    AI Score

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  • Brand
    Lenovo
7
  • SCORE
    9.4
    AI Score

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  • Brand
    Dell
8
  • SCORE
    9.4
    AI Score

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  • Brand
    HP
9
  • SCORE
    9.2
    AI Score

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  • Brand
    Acer
10
  • SCORE
    9.2
    AI Score

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  • Brand
    Acer

Last update on 2021-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

5
6 ratings

Overview

The term "gaming PC" used to be way different from normal use PCs, more expensive and more powerful. It has been sometimes known to cost more than any other personal technologies when it comes to entertaining desktops, or even work (such as designing software, movie editors, etc…). Or sometimes there’s just a boundary between you and all the techies' stuff and numbers that makes you scratch your heads in confusion, leaving you there without solutions, or even a question to look for answers to, and that’s why I’m here for you today. To question, and to answer.

Yes, you can trust me when I say I also started off like you, into pc gaming, love the classics, but also want to take a peek into the new world of coded magics, but never intended to chase after the evolution of pc technologies (which basically costs a fortune). Meanwhile still have enough resources to learn what we might come across that peaks our interests, without investing more than what we might have actually asked for.

But there’s a small gap where we can fit in, that’s the line between cost-effective, and work-efficiency, now that is exactly the destination I’m taking you for a ride to. Without further ado, let’s buckle up, buckaroo, for this ride might get a bit bumpy.


Buying Guide

1. What is a “Prebuilt PC”:

For you to understand it the quickest, imagine a motorbike, which was composed of various components, but let’s keep it simple such as the chassis, the frame, the engine, the fuel tank, the wheels, the chains, and the battery. The same goes with a pc, it is a composition of the same things: the chassis is the case, the frame is the mainboard, the engine and chains are the essentials same as the CPU (main chip) and the GPU (video cards), fuel tank works as the PSU (power source), wheels are the mouses and keyboards, and the battery is the RAM (data housing cards)

Now let’s dig deeper into this:

The chassis

You don't need to spend too much money on the case for a prebuilt gaming PC, especially when you are on a tight budget. When you choose a high-end prebuilt PC that costs thousands of dollars for gaming or work, you may need the cool looking and some extra interfaces, specified accessories. However, when you choose a budget PC, as long as the case can contain all the parts, have good airflow, you are fine. You can even choose a second-hand case with good fans, it still works fine and you save some bucks for other parts.

The mainboard

The mainboard (or the motherboard) is the skeleton of a computer. A higher-tier mainboard doesn't make your computer more powerful, but it can keep your system runs stably at full potential for a long time. The motherboard allocates power, connects all the computer components, provides the interfaces for them to work together.

Each type of mainboard is designed to work with specific types of memory and processors, they don't work with every processor and type of memory. You need to notice the socket of the mainboard and the CPU, it has to be the same. Depend on the motherboard, you choose the right memory for the system. Usually, they make a CPU generation works with the 2 closest RAM types. It is best to choose the up-to-date technologies, but if you are too tight on a budget, the closer generation you choose, the better performance you get.

CPU (central processing unit)

A CPU is known as the brain of a gaming PC, or any computer system. It is not the most expensive component in a PC, but it sure keeps an important part. The CPU receives the inputs, performs operations specified by the instructions in the program (games, software...) then gives output to display on the monitor or written to files.

In a gaming PC, the CPU not only keeps the system running but also takes part in run the game smoothly. AMD or Intel CPU is your call to make. But in the processor race, AMD Ryzen CPUs are a little faster with better IPC (instructions per clock), use 70% less power, and put out far less heat. 
For a prebuilt gaming PC, we need at least a 4 threads CPU, 4 cores are better, but 2 cores are not too bad.

RAM (Random Access Memory)

Since DDR3L RAM, we have got quite good performance. The DDR4 is even better, and so is the upcoming DDR5 memory type. 

The more ram the system has, the better performance we get. On a budget PC, 8GB of RAM is enough for most tasks, but when we have extra money, 16GB is better, especially on entry-level video editing tasks.

GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) 

A GPU is a programmable processor specialized for taking data from the CPU and rendering output images on the computer's screen. A GPU provides the fastest graphics processing for all tasks and software. In gaming, GPU plays a big part in giving the best gaming experience. In the old days, a GPU can be part of the motherboard chipset, now it can also be on the CPU chip itself. That's why we call then GPU-inside-CPU is an integrated-GPU but people still call it onboard-GPU sometimes. For most users, the GPU is a stand-alone card plugged into the PCI Express (PCIe) slot.

With hundreds of computing units, a GPU can perform parallel operations. Although it is used for zooming and panning the screen (2D), a GPU is crucial for the smooth rendering and decoding of 3D animations and video. The more high-end the GPU is, the better the resolution and the faster and smoother the motion is. GPUs on stand-alone cards use their own memory, while GPUs built into the chipset or CPU chip use memory shared with the CPU.

For a budget gaming PC, pick the cheapest newest gaming graphics card if possible. But don't worry if can't find one or can not afford one, the new integrated GPUs are quite powerful, you can work and play most games with acceptable settings.

So basically a prebuilt gaming pc is a desktop case that has all the required components installed and ready to use. A computer component must be compatible with each other to make the system works properly. Buying a prebuilt gaming PC saves your time nerding around working and struggling with all the numbers and differences in a sea of choices, keeping it simple, and effective, just how we want it. But remember one thing, that these are still technical hardware, which means the compatibility of each is different and different combinations will put out different functional efficiency.

2. What is a “budget gaming pc”, and why?

Hearing the words “gaming pc” already tires you down, is it not? For as far as you know it must be composed of high-end, dedicated, advanced technologies that cost almost as much as your furniture for each component there is. I have to say, it is true, a gaming pc should be considered as “capable of handling the most complex and heavy-dutied games and software that normal workplace PC's just simply cannot, in a way as if it’s carrying a baby”, but for sure that’s not what we’re here for.

Let me remind you that I’m here to blur the line between cost and efficiency for you, as well as showing you just how simple gaming can be when we don’t ask for that state-of-the-art machine for 120 frames per second gaming or more zeroes on your electricity bill. What we’re all here for, is to “game”, not “gaming”, when entertainment is all you’re looking for, or just a sight upgrade to work and lay off steam on one device conveniently, as I said, keeping it “simple”, and “effective”.

3. What makes a good “budget prebuilt gaming pc”?

Let’s be honest, when we came here we already know we can’t keep up with the constant stream of new products with their flashy price tags, nope. For sure looking for gaming but the price to pay for a whisper-quiet, good-looking, flashing-lights rig is just simply over-the-top for our needs. Same as we love noodles but Japanese Black Ramen with Squid Soup? Let’s pass that. Keeping in at ground level is more like it for users like us, and I’m not here to judge, I’m here to lead.

A saving build should consist of a few elements:

Meet your requirements of working and personal entertaining, not too much, not too little, on point. One that is able to work faster, more effective than your old one, while also can be used as a gaming device that can run most of the modern games with such ease (on lower settings, of course)

Does not cost more than it should for future upgrades when the time is right, as I said above, nothing is more expensive than compatibilities, such as changing your CPU might require a new mainboard with a suitable socket, and changing mainboards sometimes would result in changing your RAM also, all linked together makes upgrading your rig difficult most of the time, here we look to minimize the cost of upgrading, while also going for hardware that will keep up to the modernization of PC hardware.


Reviews

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop

Specs:

  • CPU: Intel Core i3-10100
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4 (upgradeable)
  • Storage: 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • Case: Compact Tower Design

Pros:

  • Great performance with the newest hardware
  • Mouse and keyboard include
  • Wireless connectivity ready: WiFi and Bluetooth 
  • Compact case for space-saving

Cons:

  • A little over our $500 budget

You can play games on your own terms with the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop. This gaming tower has all the space you need to expand or upgrade easily, letting you keep up with the games of tomorrow. This prebuilt gaming PC features Intel’s powerful 10th Generation i3 10100 processor with a Max Turbo Frequency of 4.30 GHz delivers smooth and outstanding 4k visuals. Your gaming and streaming will never be the same because your new HP desktop boasts an NVIDIAⓇ GeForceⓇ GTX 1650 SUPER™ graphics card and 4 GB newest GDDR6 dedicated memory. PCIe® NVMe™ SSD Storage makes your gaming pc desktop 10x faster than a traditional hard drive while 8 GB DDR4 (upgradeable) memory gives a boost to your browsing and multitasking. Your setup has never been more modern with the Windows 10 Home operating system, USB wired mouse and keyboard combo, and smoother wireless experience with both Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth® 4.2. You can pair multi wireless peripherals to your gaming PC easily, and maybe with an MU-MIMO router for a smoother online experience in multi-device homes. It comes with 30 days refund and a 1-year limited hardware warranty.

CUK AsRock DeskMini X300W Tiny Desktop

Specs
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3200G 4 Cores 4 Threads (4MB Cache, 3.6GHz-4.0GHz) 65W.
  • Memory: 16GB (2x8GB) 3000MHz with 14GB available after 2GB reserved for Vega graphics vRAM.
  • Hard drive: 256GB SSD.
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 8 Coprocessor.
  • Addons: AC Wifi Adapter + Wired LED Backlit USB Gaming Keyboard and Mouse | 6 High Airflow and Pressure Addressable through Controller RGB Fans.
Pros
  • Cool-looking exterior and interior design.
  • Sturdy and professionally-constructed protection layers.
  • Various purchasing options for your considerations.
  • Great potential for future upgrades that may save up more than other prebuilds.
  • Comes with 16GB of DDR4 (no you didn't misread).
  • Well-performing integrated graphic processor.
  • Superb cooling system.
Cons
  • A bit more expensive than other prebuilt gaming PCs on the list.
  • Low capacity preinstalled drive.
  • No DVD drives.
  • Does not come with a mouse or keyboard.
The one prebuilt PC that has all the users leave reviews with smiles on their faces, simply because what you can get for just a 60$ more than our destined price is just worth the investment.
As we went through the Ryzen 3 3200G above, this state-of-the-art chipset has amazing power when it comes to gaming, especially coped with the integrated Vega 8 coprocessor which enhances the gaming experience to its fullest, but this time we have 16GB of DDR4, SIXTEEN !!!
That's not anywhere close to little, as far as we know, more RAM means more complex tasks can be done at once, meaning you can work AND play at the same time, regardless of how resource-consuming your tasks might be, with that amount of RAM, you can even play games WHILE playing more games! 
Into the techies’ stuff, this machine here packs a gigantic PSU (Power Supply Unit) which means it can give it a go at any and every upgrade you can get into your rig, big or small, it simply says yes?.
Furthermore, with solid steel construction, 3 metal blade vent front panels, a tempered glass side door (3-5 times stronger than ordinary glass) that swings open, convenient top panel USB 3.0 and audio ports, interior case lighting by 6 RGB fans, the CUK AsRock DeskMini looks as good as it performs.
Superior airflow and cooling are provided by 6 pre-installed high airflow and pressure 600-1800rpm, remote controllable RGB fans with unique triple metal fin design for maximizing airflow, 3 front-mounted intake fans along 2 top and 1 rear-mounted exhaust fans allowing for an extreme cooling system.
With that in mind, don't even think about heat when you push this rig to the limit, it doesn't mind some warm breezes.
But there's one thing that should be concerned about, is the 256GB SSD. That much of space can only get you some games installed, not to mention installing the Operating System alone can already take up to 40GB, so now you're left with 200GB of the drive. What can you even do with 200GB??!!
Lucky you, the distributor already has a plan for you. With a vast space inside the case, you can either chose to purchase an extra HDD for superior drive space, or you can order directly for an extra NVME for some extra speed for your SDD (to compensate for the little space, of course)
The CUK AsRock DeskMini is the best choice out there when it comes to present and future investments. With the Ryzen 3 3200G integrated with Vega 8 graphic coprocessor, adding 16GB of DDR4, this giant beast is in for some sports. The build has great potential to save up when the time is right to upgrade, you'd have no problem like not enough source power, the chip is not powerful enough that might bottleneck your new video card, or RAM is too little for both of them. This machine will help you save up in the present and the future while still giving you the best experience for your every moment.

Lenovo M93P Small Form Factor High-Performance Gaming Desktop Computer PC

Specs

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4770 4 Cores 8 Threads 3.40 GHz.
  • Memory: 16GB DDR3.
  • Hard drive: 256GB SSD.
  • Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GT 730 2GB | DVI, VGA, and HDMI Ports.
  • Ports : Ethernet port + WiFi | 3x USB3.0 | 4x USB2.0.
Pros
  • Great performance system at a low price.
  • Fast SSD
  • Package includes a NEW Keyboard, Mouse, Power cord & USB WiFi Adapter
  • Small form factor, you can put it anywhere
Cons
  • Old generation CPU and GPU, plus small form factor case, you better run your case in a cool environment
  • No DVD drives.
This is one of the best-prebuilt PC we have out there for a surprisingly good price, greater performance, greater gaming potential, less paid, I mean…why not?
The Lenovo M93P PC is more focused on performance. As you can see it comes with a preinstalled NVIDIA Geforce GT 730 with 2GB of dedicated video RAM, which is, I have to say not half bad. The GT 730 has been widely known by PC users all around the world for its amazing performance and its low price. Nowadays many people still prefer the GT 730 over many modern products when it comes to budget, combined with 16GB of RAM, this humble guy is quite a handful.
That said, the processor of this build is not anything to brag about. The i7-4770 with 3.40GHz clock speed is just enough for the power it possesses, not too much, not too little, just on point.
This prebuilt gaming PC is not powerful enough to play all high settings at games, but you can play most games at playable settings, even do some video editings. If you want a compact PC with great performance under $500, the Lenovo M93P is a good choice for you.
 

FAQ


Final Thought

So there it is, the list for a few hand-picked, manually filtered, practically tested Prebuilt PC that is under $500 for you to keep in your bookmarks. The list included all the best possible pc builds that range around $500, fit for most starters' budgets and personal requirements.

To sum up, we have a few choices:

The best-prebuilt gaming PC a little over our $500 budgetHP Pavilion Gaming Desktop, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super, Intel Core i3-10100

The most upgrade - potential gaming PCHP Pavilion TP01-0040 Desktop PC AMD Ryzen 5 3400G 12GB RAM, but it will be out of stock soon.

The best AMD prebuilt gaming PC under $500 with 16GB RAMCUK AsRock DeskMini X300W AMD Ryzen 3 3200G + 16GB 3200MHz DDR4 RAM

The best Intel prebuilt gaming PC under $500 with 16GB RAM: 2021 Newest Dell XPS 8940 Desktop PC 10th Intel Core i3-10100 - 16GB DDR4 RAM

The best renewed prebuilt gaming PC under $500: Lenovo M93P Gaming PC - Intel Core I7-4770 3.4Ghz - 16GB DDR3 RAM - 256GB SSD - NVIDIA GT 730

The best renewed prebuilt workstation under $500HIPAA Compliant - PCSP Z440 Workstation 3.50GHz E5-1650 V3 6-Core 32GB RAM 512GB SSD + 4TB HDD Nvidia Quadro NVS 310

I do wish you enjoyed your journey here on the land of the nerds and found out for yourself some important information that you've been wondering.

I hope that I've managed to give you a general idea of what you can expect to get for the money these days and that you'll soon find yourself enjoying your favorite video games on one of the PCs from this list.

If you like this article or find it useful, don't mind spreading the love and share around with the people that asked the same question you did today. Or contact us for further questions.

TechUnder1000 Team
TechUnder1000 Team
We are the Technology and Computer hardware specialists with 10 years of experience about researching and developing the technology products such as the prebuilt gaming PC.