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Best cheap gaming PC right now

Gaming PCs
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The best cheap gaming PC is a perfect middle-ground that doesn't sacrifice the kind of performance  you want for a low price. You want to find the sweet spot between affordability and power. There are plenty of options out there and we at PC Gamer have sifted through the deals and found today's best cheap gaming PC deals. Just bookmark this page and we'll do the work for you. 

The alternative to buying a prebuilt gaming PC is to build one yourself. But putting a decent rig together takes time and patience. A cheap gaming PC deal can bypass that entire step if you find yourself lacking in both. But if you have something to prove, why not check out our PC build guide (opens in new tab). And if you'd rather stay portable we've got the best cheap gaming laptop (opens in new tab) deals to keep you covered too.

In this frequently updated hub, myself and the rest of the team, along with our deal bots, will keep an eye on the best gaming PC deals online for each budget. The deals we find on budget gaming PCs between $500 and $1,000 should be able to play most modern games at 1080p and at decent graphical settings. The higher-end systems above $1,000 come with more powerful CPUs and graphics cards.

We also don't judge purely on price, though; the components in these PCs matter, and we consider how the parts compare to what you'd buy in a DIY rig. In most cases, these machines won't be the ones from our best gaming PCs (opens in new tab) guide, but whatever you’re getting will be worth the price.

Where should I look for the best gaming PC deals?

Cheap gaming PC deals

$500-1,000

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HP Pavilion | RTX 3060 | Core i5 10400F | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD | $848 $749 at Walmart (opens in new tab)
This is an incredible price for an RTX 3060 gaming PC. It really is that simple. The CPU is a bit old now, but still fine for 1080p gaming, and although the 8GB RAM and 256GB storage could do with a boost, that's easy to do after the fact. You'll still end up with a great value, budget gaming PC.

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Skytech Blaze II Gaming PC | Nvidia RTX 3050 | Intel Core i5 10400F | 8GB RAM | 500B SSD | $899.99 at Newegg (opens in new tab)
This isn't a massive saving but it's still a decent price for a capable gaming machine. The RTX 3050 can handle most games at 1080p with some tweaking and that 6-core, 12-thread Intel CPU is no slouch either. The RAM's a little lacking, but otherwise, this is a great little system.

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Skytech Shadow Gaming PC | Nvidia RTX 3050 | Intel i5 10400F | 16GB RAM | 1TB NVMe SSD | $999.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
This isn't a bad price to pay for an Intel Core i5 10400F with an RTX 3050. It's not going to handle 4K gaming but 1080p is well within its capabilities. You get a healthy amount of RAM and storage, which is often overlooked at under $1,000. This is a good deal for a PC that'll last you well.

$1000+

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Skytech Gaming | AMD Radeon RX 6600XT | Intel Core i5 10400F | 16GB RAM | 500GB SSD | $1,049.99 at Best Buy (opens in new tab)
Combining the RX 6600XT with a decent, budget CPU means you get a great deal on a gaming PC. 16GB of RAM will see you through, and although the SSD may be a little small, you can check out our best SSD for gaming (opens in new tab) if you want to boost it (it's a simple switch).

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Skytech Archangel | Nvidia RTX 3060 | Intel Core i5 10400F | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD | $1,299.99 $1,129.99 at Newegg (save $170) (opens in new tab)
The RTX 3060 is a quality graphics card, and managing to find one in a well-spec'd machine for under a grand is pretty rare. For that money, you also get a decent CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a capacious 1TB SSD. Great for 1080p gaming, and possibly some 1440p action too if you're happy to play with the settings.

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iBuyPower Gaming RDY | Intel Core i5 12400F | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 12GB | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD | $1,499 $1,269 at iBuyPower (save $230) (opens in new tab)
This iBuyPower machine is ready (RDY) to ship immediately—great if you've been waiting a while for a decent saving on your next gaming PC. It's a great system for this price, too, with a new 12th Gen Intel CPU that we absolutely love, and an RTX 3060 12GB. Besides the key specs, it also comes with 16GB of 3,200MHz DDR4 RAM and a 1TB SSD, so you won't come up short with either of those.

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iBuyPower TracerMR 262i | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | Intel Core i5 12400F | 16GB RAM | 480GB SSD + 1TB HDD | $1,549.99 $1,099.99 at Newegg (save $450) (opens in new tab)
This is a decent spec for the money, packing the latest Intel Alder Lake Core i5 and Nvidia's RTX 3060 for sweet 1080p gaming and possibly some 1440p action too. It only comes with the stock Intel air cooler, but the four case fans help with overall airflow. I'd have preferred a single 1TB SSD over this classic combo of SSD and HDD, but otherwise, there's plenty to like here. It's an attractive build too.

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Alienware Aurora R10 | AMD Ryzen 7 5800 | Nvidia RTX 3060 | 16GB RAM | 512GB | $1,879.99 $1,199.99 at Dell (Save $680) (opens in new tab)
This is a solid saving on a decent core pairing of AMD's excellent Ryzen 7 5800 and the RTX 3060. This will handle 1440p at mostly top settings, although ray tracing is going to struggle a little. As a starting point, this is a solid offering.

Should I build my own gaming PC or buy a prebuilt?

One of the biggest advantages to putting together your own budget gaming PC build (opens in new tab) is the ability to essentially choose every single component in the system. This allows you to take your time shopping around for deals and finding the perfect combination of parts to fit your budget and performance needs. The downside for most inexperienced builders is that this whole process can take some time and has the potential to cause quite a headache if something goes wrong. This is where prebuilt gaming PCs really shine.

When you pay the premium to configure or purchase a prebuilt PC you are paying for more than just the parts. You are paying for warranty service, support and the peace of mind that your system was put together by professionals. These are some of the things we value highly when considering the best budget gaming PCs. We also look at other unique selling points like design, upgradability and anything you wouldn't be able to do when building it yourself.

The other benefit in 2022 is that prebuilt PCs are a better, or at least more reliable, way of finding a graphics card at a reasonable price. The ongoing silicon shortage and high demand makes finding discrete GPUs tough to find at anything close to their original prices, so prebuilts are somewhat invaluable today.

For most users that don't have the luxury to spend over $1000 on a prebuilt gaming PC, upgradability and performance per dollar are paramount. When we set out to choose our top choices for budget prebuilt gaming PCs, we took a look at almost every major manufacturer and system integrator to find the best combination of value, reliability, customer feedback, design and performance under $500 and under $1,000. 

We still highly recommend the experience of building it yourself, but if you can't do that then one of the systems above will have you gaming in short order.

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.