It's effectively Cyber Monday and you can still get this RTX 3060-powered gaming PC for the same price some second-hand RTX 3060 graphics cards are going for on Ebay. That simple fact pretty much tells you all you need to know about the GPU market. It's screwed. It's the perfect illustration as to why we've been recommending buying a prebuilt gaming PC if you're in the market for a PC upgrade—you're just not going to be able to buy the graphics card you want for anything like a reasonable price.
Just look at how much the only Black Friday graphics card 'deal' (opens in new tab) was. Only the very high-end GPUs are available for anything close to MSRP, price-gouged though those currently are, but who can afford them?
Which is why this HP Pavilion gaming PC starting at $550 (opens in new tab) is such a breath of fresh air. It's a simple desktop designed for people who just want to play some games. It's not covered in RGB LEDs, aggressively styled, just a nice, restrained PC tower with a decent discount and an inoffensive pricetag.
Sadly you've missed your chance to get your matte black new machine this side of Santa's birthday (that's what Christmas is, right?), as HP states on the page that if you want your shiny new PC ahead before then the 'ships on' date needs to be December 16 or earlier. Right now, that date is December 24, and there's no chance it'll be hitched onto a sleigh for overnight delivery, I'm afraid.
HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop | AMD Ryzen 3 5300G | AMD RX 5500 4GB| 8GB RAM (dual-channel) | 256GB SSD |
$649.99 $549.99 at HP (save $100) (opens in new tab)
This really is a budget PC, but with it comes the capability for 1080p gaming and the option to upgrade down the line. It's an all-AMD machine, too, and the 5300G and RX 5500 combo should prove decent if you're planning to get really into CS:GO or League of Legends.
That base configuration is a great price in itself, offering a genuine gaming PC, with 1080p chops, for just $550. With that you get an AMD Ryzen quad-core, eight-thread APU, a 256GB SSD, and 8GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM. The GPU for this base is the RX 5500, a last-gen RDNA card that has a surprising amount of oomph for a low-level GPU.
But there are upgrades to be had, and we would instantly recommend bumping up that graphics card to the RTX 3060 (opens in new tab). That's a genuine RTX 30-series GPU with 12GB GDDR6 memory, and some actual gaming credentials.
HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop | Ryzen 3 5300G | RTX 3060 | 8GB RAM (dual-channel) | 256GB SSD |
$969.99 $869.99 at HP (save $100) (opens in new tab)
Set the graphics card to an RTX 3060 in the configuration screen, and you can get a 30-series gaming PC for a mere $870—saving $100 on the normal price. You'd ideally want to up the CPU to a Ryzen 5 5600G, RAM to 16GB, and SSD to a 512GB model too, but you'll soon find yourself way over $1,000 if you do.
That takes the price to the level second-hand versions of that card are going for on Ebay, thank the resellers, but there are further options to beef up the APU choice, RAM, or SSD. A 512GB drive would be a worthy addition, but will take you just a shade over the $900 mark.