Buying a new gaming rig doesn't have to cost you a fortune, as our list of the best budget gaming PCs demonstrates.
While many people think that buying a gaming PC can cost the earth, there are some brilliant budget gaming PCs that through smart choices when it comes to components, can still deliver amazing gaming performance for low prices.
Also, with the current cryptocurrency mining craze hiking up prices for certain components, especially graphics cards, buying a pre-built budget gaming PC is now even more sensible if you're trying to keep costs low.
1. Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop
A great-looking budget gaming PC
CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 1200 | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB HDD
With Dell now owning the popular Alienware gaming PC brand, which is known for its high-end gaming rigs, it can focus on releasing more affordable gaming PCs using its Inspiron brand, such as the Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop. This comes with some decent components that will get you gaming on a 1080p monitor without much compromise when it comes to graphical effects, and sturdy build quality we've come to expect from Dell. The components aren't the most powerful, so while they'll do a fine job for many games, if you really want to push the boat out graphics and resolution-wise, then you'll probably need something a bit more powerful. As with most Dell machines, you can easily customise the Dell Inspiron 5675, and you can also upgrade it yourself later on.
2. Lenovo Legion Y520
VR ready for budget gamers
CPU: Intel Core i3-7100 - i5-7400 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti – 1060 | RAM: Up to 16GB | Storage: 2TB HDD; 256GB SSD
When buying a budget gaming PC you sometimes have to make sacrifices in order to keep the price down, but the best budget gaming PCs, like the Lenovo Legion Y520, do an excellent job of minimising any such sacrifices. This is a desktop gaming PC that has enough oomph to give it a 'VR-ready' sticker, so you can use an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive with it, and there's plenty of storage space with a 2TB hard drive and a 256GB solid state drive. There are a range of specifications you can choose from, so if your budget allows you can pack more powerful components for even better results.
3. HP Pavilion Power 580-052na
A great performer at the higher end of the budget spectrum
CPU: Intel Core™ i5-7400 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 2GB | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB HDD, 128GB SSD
If you don't mind spending a bit more on your budget gaming PC, then the HP Pavilion Power 580-052na is an excellent investment. Again, it combines strong build quality with some pretty decent components which ensure that your gaming experience at 1080p is a solid one. The chassis isn't the most exciting, but it's a good looking, and relatively compact, case which gives you enough space to upgrade components in the future. It is a bit pricey for a budget gaming PC though, but if you can afford it, this is definitely worth considering.
4. Acer Aspire GX-781
A good performer from a trusted brand
CPU: Intel Core i3-7100 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB HDD
Acer is a dab hand at creating great gaming PCs, and as well as its excellent Predator range of high-end gaming rigs, it's also produced some excellent budget gaming PCs, like the Acer Aspire GX-781. With a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card, alongside 8GB of RAM and a Core i3 processor, you're going to get enough power to play modern games at 1080p, and thanks to the decent sized chassis, you also have enough room to add newer components in the future.
5. CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXIVR8020A4
Another VR-ready budget PC
CPU: Intel Core i5-7400 | Graphics: AMD RX 580 4GB | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB HDD
The CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXIVR8020A4 is another great budget PC that provides very good gaming performance without costing too much. It comes with some pretty recent components to help it power the latest games, and it can even support virtual reality headsets like the HTC Vive. It's let down by the lack of a solid state drive, but you can always add one in later if you want a speed boost.
6. Dell XPS Tower Special Edition
It doesn’t look the part, but plays it well
CPU: Intel Core i5-8400 – Core i7-8700K | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB DDR4 (2,666MHz) | Storage: 256GB SSD; 1TB HDD – 256GB SSD; 2TB HDD
The Dell XPS Tower Special Edition is a lesson in subtlety. This on-the-DL gaming rig looks like something you’d find in your dad’s office, rather than something powering the latest PC games. But, rocking an Intel 8th generation Coffee Lake CPU and a Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti even at the lowest configuration option, you’re getting one of the best gaming PCs you can buy in 2018, but without any of the off-putting ‘gamer aesthetic’.
Read the full review: Dell XPS Tower Special Edition
- Fancy a more portable device? Check out our list of the best gaming laptops 2018