Computer parts, and graphics cards in particular, are slowly but surely dropping in price and becoming increasingly available. Nonetheless, they’re still a bit more expensive than they were a year or two ago thanks to lingering shortages and pent-up demand, so building a PC might be a little out of budget at the moment given that there stull aren’t a ton of great GPU deals on tap. There’s also the time cost to consider (and time is money, after all) — but if you’ve got your sights on a new gaming desktop, you have some options. This hand-picked selection of the best gaming PC deals is your chance to find a great battle station at an even better price:
- Asus ROG Strix GL10 GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming PC —
- Skytech Blaze II GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming PC —
- HP Victus 15L Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming PC —
- Alienware Aurora GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming PC —
Asus ROG Strix GL10 GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming PC — $599, was $899
- Great value
- Stylish case
- Includes keyboard and mouse
- Ideal starter gaming system
Keeping things simple, but ideal for a gamer on a budget who still wants to embrace PC gaming, is the Asus ROG Strix gaming desktop. While it won’t be quite up to scratch for the likes of Elden Ring or Cyberpunk 2077 played at max settings, it’s more than good enough for less demanding games and titles like Fortnite or Final Fantasy XIV. Tucked away inside its stylish casing, which offers a distinct white aesthetic with some sweet LED accents, are suitably effective hardware specs.
These include an AMD Ryzen 5 3600X processor along with 8GB of DDR4 RAM. In an ideal world, you’d want 16GB of memory from a gaming PC, but 8GB will do just fine if you don’t mind tempering your expectations (and you can always upgrade RAM cheaply and easily). Alongside that is the core element of any gaming system — the graphics card. This system has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU with 6GB of VRAM. It’s on the more basic side, but it’s far better than integrated graphics and is capable of running games at decent detail levels depending on what you’re playing. You also get 256GB of solid-state storage, giving you enough room to install some of your favorite games.
To further make this desktop system a more beginner-friendly option, the PC includes a wired keyboard and mouse to get you started. While you’re likely to upgrade these at some point, at least you have what you need available to you right out of the box. Other features include the ability to connect more than one monitor, both Wi-Fi and wired network connectivity, and those aforementioned good looks. If you’re just starting out with PC gaming, this is a great way to dip your feet in without spending a fortune.
Skytech Blaze II GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming PC — $850, was $1,150
- Great look
- Good hardware for a sub-$1,000 PC
- Allows for future upgrades
- Plenty of storage
Skytech builds some surprisingly great gaming computers for a lesser-known brand, and this enhanced Blaze II gaming desktop doesn’t disappoint if you want a solid GPU upgrade over our first selections. It packs a six-core i5-10400F CPU along with a GeForce RTX 3050 GPU.
This GPU has 8GB of VRAM, giving it more than enough muscle to play modern games with good settings. Paired with that CPU, this is a high-value graphics card/processor combo for 1080p gaming. That’s all backed up with 8GB of 3,200MHz RAM for smooth multitasking. It comes with 500GB of high-speed solid-state storage as well, which is a good amount of space for installing your favorite games (and you can easily expand the internal storage further if needed).
The tower’s case has a nice aesthetic complemented with LED lighting to keep things looking nice on your desk. This is a great gaming PC with some nice future-proofing — meaning you can easily upgrade it if/when the need arises — and comes with a keyboard and mouse as well. At this price, though, you may want to consider upgrading to a mechanical keyboard and gaming mouse to get the most out of this hardware.
HP Victus 15L Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming PC — $998 with code 5GAMER2022, was $1,350
- Powerful hardware for blasting through the latest games
- Sleek aesthetic
- Upgrade-friendly case for future-proofing
- Boosted 16GB of RAM
HP may not be as well-known for gaming as brands like Alienware, but the fact is that it makes some surprisingly solid gaming machines and you’ll see its name frequently when shopping around for gaming PC deals (and more than once in this very roundup). This Victus 15L gaming desktop tower runs on a Ryzen 7 CPU paired with a Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card, which is one of AMD’s newer GPUs and is certainly one of the best you’re going to find for around this price at the moment.
This GPU boasts 8GB of VRAM, making it one of the top choices for 1440p and even 4K gaming if you have a monitor for it and drop the in-game settings a bit. For memory, you’ve got a full 16GB of speedy DDR43200 RAM. These are very capable specs for a gaming PC deal in this price bracket, and pre-installed cooling fans keep everything running smoothly while a glass side panel makes the desktop tower’s wleek white design look great on your desk.
You also get a 512GB SSD with a 1TB HDD for overflow, giving you plenty of storage space for your game library with room to spare. This high-value desktop tower is one of the best pre-built gaming PC deals with a dedicated GPU that you’ll find right now. And, like most of our other picks, it even comes bundled with a mouse and keyboard.
Alienware Aurora GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming PC — $1,176, was $1,750
- Premium Alienware design
- Unique and stylish aesthetic
- Advanced cooling for enhanced thermal performance
- Great CPU/GPU combo for 4K gaming
Moving further past the $1,000 mark brings us to brands such as Alienware, which are the names that you should have your eye on if you’re paying this much — for that kind of scratch, you naturally want something high-end. It doesn’t get much more premium than Alienware where desktop gaming PCs are concerned, and this Aurora system checks all the boxes.
The Aurora case design looks gorgeous as well with its unique curved lines and LED-accented front panel, but that elongated jet engine-like chassis isn’t just for show. Under the hood, this gaming PC takes advantage of the latest in Alienware’s cutting-edge thermal technology which includes four 10mm copper heat pipes with integrated vapor chambers along with a dual-axial fan design with positive pressure relief to remove heat from the case and allow for superior airflow.
A Ryzen 7 5800 octa-core CPU, 16GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU with 12GB of GDDR6 VRAM are more than capable of handling modern games at up to 4K Ultra HD. This PC is a worthy update over older cheap gaming PCs that struggle to run Minecraft (yes, you can rock Elden Ring on this thing) and should last for years. The Alienware Aurora desktop tower pretty much has it all, and with this gaming PC deal, you’re getting it at a solid price.
As with any big purchase, make sure you know exactly what you want when buying a gaming computer. It’s not a bad idea to write down a checklist. It’s also important when looking specifically at cheap gaming PCs (i.e. those coming in at less than $1,000) to have realistic expectations — you’re not going to get multi-monitor 4K gaming at this price point. That said, it’s easy to achieve great results with 1080p/60 frames per second gaming at high settings even for modern releases, and even for 1440p gaming when you move toward the upper end of our $1,000 price limit.
If playing at 1080p/60 fps on one or two monitors is good enough, then you won’t have a hard time finding a good cheap gaming PC to meet your needs. If your demands are a bit higher, though, then expect to have to shop around a bit for the right deal. Also, be sure to bring yourself up to speed with the latest hardware — don’t just jump on the first attractive deal you find that meets your budget only to end up with a last-gen GPU that will feel long in the tooth. Know what you want and what to expect from a cheap gaming PC that’s within your set budget and you won’t be disappointed, and for a more detailed breakdown of the sort of hardware you should look for, read on.
What makes a good cheap gaming PC?
The short answer is that a good price-to-performance ratio is what makes a cheap gaming PC “good,” and the good news here is that desktop computers already provide this sort of value by their very nature — it’s simply easier to fit all that beefy hardware into a desktop tower, whereas the scaled-down components of laptops (not to mention their built-in displays and keyboards) make those mobile PCs more expensive. That said, it’s still important to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck if you’re buying a pre-assembled desktop computer, as some are built better than others.
The three main hardware components that drive performance are the CPU, GPU (or graphics card), and RAM. Our recommendations: For your CPU, stick with an 11th or 12th-gen Intel Core or one of the newer AMD Ryzen (sometimes called “Zen”) processors. For RAM, a minimum of 8GB is recommended for all but the cheapest gaming PCs, and 16GB is even better — but remember you can almost always add more RAM and this is one of the easiest (if not the easiest) components to swap out. GPUs are arguably the heart of a gaming computer; modern models include AMD’s Radeon 6000 series as well as Nvidia’s RTX 30-series GPUs.
Nvidia replaced their older 10-series GPUs in recent years, but there are still cheap gaming PCs floating around with these cards. Our advice: Avoid them. Even the entry-level GTX 16-series Nvidia cards are faster and are ideal for 1080p gaming. For 1440p gaming, you’ll be better served with one of the RTX series cards such as the RTX 3060. If anything bottlenecks your gaming PC’s performance, it will be an underpowered GPU, so this is the one component you don’t want to skimp on. One final thing to consider is upgradeability: If you plan to keep your chosen PC tower for a while, look at what sort of case and motherboard it’s using to determine if you can easily add and swap parts in the future. Some desktop PCs from brands like HP use proprietary components which will limit what parts you can add and can be costly to replace.
Are gaming PCs good for work?
It’s safe to say that running modern video games at good settings is generally a much more demanding job than most work tasks you’d normally need a computer for, so any gaming computer — even a cheap gaming PC — will be as well-suited for work and study as it is for play. The faster processors and high-speed RAM will make short work of simple tasks like web browsing, word processing, making spreadsheets, and so on, and the discrete GPU is also nice to have for graphical tasks such as video rendering. Another advantage of a desktop PC, particularly one with a graphics card, is the option to create a multi-monitor setup that can increase your productivity (and even a single monitor will still give you more screen real estate than a laptop display).
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