Although laptops dominate the PC market in today’s fast-paced mobile world, it’s clear that desktop computers still fill an important role. As convenient as the portability of your Windows laptop or MacBook may be, when you’re sitting at your desk for hours on end, nothing about a laptop can compare to the comfort and productivity of a full-sized desktop display (or multiple displays if you’re into that) and a traditional keyboard.
That’s to say nothing of the sheer value that desktop PCs represent in contrast to laptops. It’s just easier to find a good cheap desktop computer as it’s much simpler to fit all that beefy hardware into a roomy desktop tower — that’s even truer when you enter the wide world of gaming PCs with their bulky dedicated graphics cards — ultimately giving you much more bang for your buck.
Once you start adding in necessary peripherals like monitors and accessories, though, the cost can add up quickly, so it’s worth it to take the time to find a good deal when you’re shopping for a new desktop PC. If that’s what you’re after, then you’ve come to the right place. Below, we gathered up a half dozen of the best cheap desktop computer deals out there right now, covering a nice spectrum of features and price points.
Today’s best cheap desktop computer deals
- — $299
- — $390
- — $470 ($65 off)
- — $588 ($182 off)
- — $650 ($250 off)
- — $949 ($50 off)
Desktop computers aren’t exactly known for their small footprints (relative to laptops, anyway), but this pint-sized PC from HP can free up some desk space a bit. An AMD A4 CPU and 4GB of RAM are decent enough specs for basic work and web browsing, and you also get a nice large 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive for plenty of storage — not quite as fast as a solid-state drive, but faster than the 5,400rpm HDDs of yesteryear.
What really sells the HP Slim desktop computer is its small size and its price, which offers even more value when you consider that this bundle includes a mouse and keyboard right out of the box: Amazon has it on sale for a super-cheap $299 right now. Just add a display and you’re ready to roll.
Moving up in power a bit (but not too much in price), the Acer Aspire is another great cheap desktop computer that won’t break the bank. It packs a ninth-generation Intel Core i3 CPU and 8GB of RAM — the minimum specs we typically recommend if you’re spending more than $300 — along with a 1TB 7,200rpm HDD and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.
Like the HP Slim desktop, this Acer Aspire PC also includes a wired keyboard and mouse to get you started, which only adds to its excellent value. You can grab this cheap desktop for a very affordable $390 on Amazon.
— $470 ($65 off)
Along with a PC tower, you typically need a minimum of three peripherals to actually complete your desktop computer setup: a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse. These are additional costs, but if you want everything in a single package – and one that won’t take up much space on your desk – then an all-in-one system like this Dell Inspiron is a great option for a super-sleek workstation fit for the 2020s.
The Dell Insprion 24 3000 all-in-one comes equipped with an AMD A9 CPU with Radeon R5 graphics, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, all of which sit right inside the 24-inch 1080p monitor housing (that means there’s no PC tower to fuss with). That design, plus the included mouse and keyboard, gives you everything you need right out of the box, and for a great price of just $470 right now after a $65 discount.
— $588 ($182 off)
You no longer have to pay out the nose for a gaming PC, and if you’re looking for a cheap one, a desktop like this HP Pavilion is your best bet. Its AMD Ryzen 4 2400G CPU and RX 580 4GB GPU will handily tackle modern games at 1080p with good settings (although you may want to consider adding more RAM to its 8GB in the future), and the 1TB 7,200rpm HDD offers a nice amount of storage at a reasonable speed. A wired mouse and keyboard are included, as well.
A $182 savings means you can score the HP Pavilion gaming desktop for $588 from Amazon at the moment. If you’re willing to pay a little more for boosted specs, however, then you canwith an Intel i5-9400F CPU, Nvidia GTX 1660Ti GPU, and 256GB SSD for $650 instead — or just check out our next pick.
— $650 ($250 off)
While gaming laptops have narrowed the gap in recent years, desktop PCs like the CyberPowerPC Gamer Master are still the best way to enjoy some impressive gaming capabilities on a budget. This desktop tower packs an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X CPU, 16GB of RAM, an AMD Radeon RX 580 graphics card, and a 500GB SSD, which is impressive power at this price point.
The hardware alone is pretty great, but to sweeten this cheap desktop deal even further, the Gamer Master even comes with a wired keyboard and optical mouse (all you need is a monitor and audio source and you’re ready to rock). It even has a handle on top for carrying it to your next LAN party if you’re so inclined. Best Buy has this great gaming PC on sale right now for $650, giving you a very nice $250 discount.
— $949 ($50 off)
Tip-toeing up to our $1,000 limit brings us to the striking Skytech Shiva, which has pretty much everything we’d want in a gaming desktop at this price. It boasts an AMD Ryzen 5 2600 six-core processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM, and 16GB of DDR4 RAM, which work together to deliver excellent gaming performance at 1080p and even 1440p with a suitable monitor.
On top of that, you’ve got a nicely sized 500GB solid-state drive for plenty of high-speed storage. The great looks and RGB LED accents don’t hurt, either. A nice little $50 on-page coupon discount knocks this beefy gaming desktop down to $949 from Amazon.
How to choose a cheap desktop computer
After setting your budget, it’s time to decide what exactly you’re looking for in a good cheap desktop computer. First, is this PC going to be primarily for work and general daily use, primarily for gaming, or a fairly even split between these? This will naturally determine what sort of specs you’re looking at — such as, for instance, whether you need a discrete graphics card or not — but the good news is that in the sub-$1,000 category, you can find many good desktop PCs packing solid up-to-date hardware that won’t be totally outdated within two years.
Another important consideration is peripherals. What monitor (or monitors) is your desktop computer going to be connected to? Do you already have a mouse and keyboard; if not, do you want a desktop PC that comes with these included, or do you plan to buy nicer ones separately? Bear in mind that while many desktop towers come with accessories, you’ll still need to decide how much you’re budgeting for things like a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, mouse pad, speakers, and other peripherals you might need.
The bottom line is this: Don’t merely look at the price and basic hardware specs when shopping for a cheap desktop computer. Set your budget, know exactly what features you want (write this down if you need to) and then work from there.
What makes a good cheap desktop computer?
When shopping for any sort of cheap computer, be it a laptop or desktop PC, the biggest risk you’ll face is ending up with something that is running on outdated hardware (or hardware that will be outdated very soon). This is what happens when you consider only the price and don’t familiarize yourself with the current state of computer hardware. Thankfully, there’s not too much to remember.
More Laptop Deals
First, when looking at CPUs, it’s best to stick with ninth- and 10th-generation Intel Core processors and AMD Ryzen (also known as “Zen”) processors, as these are more recent and will keep your system – even a relatively basic one – reasonably “future-proof.” We also suggest a minimum of 8GB of RAM unless you’re sailing into sub-$300 waters and 16GB is even more strongly recommended for something like a gaming desktop. Finally, solid-state drives (now common even on cheap computers) are generally preferable to traditional hard drives. These SSDs are generally more reliable and considerably faster than old-school HDDs, although they offer less storage space per dollar.
Are cheap desktop computers good for gaming?
Any PC packing an up-to-date CPU, GPU, and SSD (or at least a 7,200rpm HDD) should be good to go for gaming, and there are plenty of good cheap desktop computers that fit this bill nicely. Along with the processors we mentioned, modern graphics card generations include Nvidia’s 16- and 20-series cards, although you’ll be sticking with the 16-series GPUs in the sub-$1,000 price bracket. These replaced Nvidia’s 10-series cards as entry- and mid-level GPUs last year, and while there are still PCs with those older cards floating around, we don’t recommend them in 2020.
AMD’s Radeon family of budget- and mid-tier graphics card includes the RX 500 series, with GPUs like the RX 570, 580, and 590 offering good performance capabilities for 1080p gaming. You’re not likely to achieve 4K or even 1440p gaming with most cheap desktop computers, but that is a sacrifice you make for keeping costs down. Also, remember that an SSD will load games (and everything else) noticeably faster than an HDD.
Looking for more great stuff? Find tech discounts and much more on our curated deals page.
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