If you aren’t a big fan of building your own PC, a pre-built PC can be a great alternative, especially something like the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop. Not only does it come from a brand name so you know it’s a quality build but it already has all the basic gear inside of it, leaving you with some small decisions you can make for upgrades here or there. Let’s take a look at the HP Pavilion, what’s inside of it, and what type of games and gamer it’s good for.
At the base cost of $700, the HP Pavilion is a surprisingly good entry-level gaming desktop. For starters, the AMD Radeon RX 5500 graphics card is probably in the top 10 or so of graphics cards, and if you’re more familiar with Nvidia, it is somewhat equivalent to a GTX 1660. That means that while you aren’t going to be running Crysis on the highest graphical settings, you can still get quite a bit out of it in terms of A or AA games. As such, if you’re into things like narrative-heavy indie games or top-down pixelated games that aren’t resource hungry, this PC should do fine, and you should be able to pair it with a monitor from our gaming monitor deals.
Beyond that, the AMD Ryzen 3 5300G is not too bad for a budget CPU. Again, if you’re more familiar with Intel, that’s roughly equivalent to an i5-9600K, a mid-level budget CPU, and at least a magnitude better than the i3 CPUs, so you’re getting quite a lot out of it. As such, if you’re also planning to use this for general productivity tasks, then it will do absolutely fine, and, in fact, might even be able to do some simple audio production work.
What’s great about budget PCs like the HP Pavilion is that they’re built around popular free-to-play multiplayer games such as Fortnite and League of Legends. Even if you’re not a big gamer, you’re probably familiar with those titles, especially given how Fortnite is one of the most popular multiplayer games out there right now. It’s a battle royale where several players are pitted against each other, with the last survivor winning the round. What sets Fortnite apart is that you can build structures as you play, which adds an interesting dimension to the whole mix.
As for League of Legends, it’s a MOBA, which stands for multiplayer online battle arenas. Essentially these are five-on-five games where you control special heroes to battle each other. In fact, you may know League of Legends from the popular Netflix show Arcane, which is based on that universe.
Beyond that, you can play a lot of other great games that are popular, from multiplayer games like Minecraft to single-player games like Undertale, Cuphead, and Stardew Valley, all of which are very popular, lots of fun, and are old enough to have steep discounts. That means you can jump right into gaming without worrying about having to spend $70 on one game right off the bat.
One of the things we appreciate about this HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop is the customization options available for those who want something a little bit better and might want to splurge. For example, if you need a lot more processing power for audio production or heavy simulation games, you can upgrade to the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G for $270, which is a bit steep but you do get a pretty excellent CPU out of it — one that is in the top five or six AMD CPUs. Similarly, you can upgrade your GPU slightly and get the Nvidia GTX 1660 Super that comes with 6GB of VRAM instead of 4GB, and since it only costs an extra $40, we absolutely recommend you grab that upgrade if you can.
Beyond that, you can increase your storage, which we also generally recommend, and in this circumstance, it might be a good idea to upgrade your primary storage to 512GB for an extra $40, and it might be worth grabbing a 1TB HDD for secondary storage at $40 as well. As for RAM, while the base 8GB are pretty good, we’d argue that going for the 16GB option at $100 is a good idea, both because it gives you a lot of RAM to play with over the next few years and potentially makes it easier for you to upgrade down the line. Of course, if all this seems a bit too much for you, we have some other gaming PC deals that are similarly great right of the box but have higher base specs.
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