There are two main ways to obtain a cheap gaming PC. One is to build it yourself, and if you have the time, experience, and desire, that's obviously the preferred route. For those who don't, the other way is to buy a pre-built system. As a variant on that latter option, we found a marked down Kaby Lake desktop on Newegg that can easily be turned into a budget gaming PC.
It's an Acer Aspire desktop (ATC-780A-UR12) that normally sells for $550, but is on sale today for $400. Here is what it comes with:
- Intel Core i5-7400
- 8GB DDR4 memory
- 1TB hard drive
- DVD burner
- 300W power supply
- Windows 10 Home 64-bit
- Mouse, keyboard, and case
At $400, the sale price is less than the cost of the individual parts. We performed a quirk and dirty virtual shopping spree and came to a cost of around $460, which did not include a motherboard, case, mouse, or keyboard. Figure at least $100 for those remaining pieces and you're looking at $560 or more to build a comparable system.
You can cut that down by price shopping and factoring in sales and mail-in-rebates, but unless deviating from the build as configured, the sale price is still going to win out, and probably by a decent clip.
The one thing missing here is a graphics card. However, you can add a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (opens in new tab) for around $140 (or even less on sale) and have a respectable 1080p gaming PC for a total cost of $540, which is still cheaper than this desktop's retail price. Anything higher than a GTX 1050 Ti and you're looking at needing to swap out the power supply, though if you want to go that route, you can pick up an EVGA 550W PSU (opens in new tab) for around $40. It's not as convenient as simply adding a graphics card, but it's an option nonetheless.
You can find the Acer desktop here (opens in new tab).
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