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Monday, May 20, 2024

Best cheap gaming PC deals today

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Gaming PC deals

$500 – $1,000: Entry-level machines
$1,000 – $2,000: The sweet spot
$2,000+: The luxury end
UK Deals: PC penny savers
GPU hierarchy: How the graphics cards match up

The best cheap gaming PC is all about finding the PC deal that suits your wallet and gaming needs. Whether you’re after an entry-level rig that can deal with a 1080p load or a high-spec machine capable of 4K gaming and beyond, you want to get as much tech for your cash as possible.

And that’s where we come in, trawling through the systems on offer this week to give you the best idea of where you should spend your money. It’s not easy because PC gaming has become a costly hobby in recent years. Unless you know where to look…

We’re splitting our rigs into three categories: Entry-level, Sweet spot, and Luxury. In the middle, the $1,000 – $2,000 mark is where you’ll find the broadest range of possible systems and arguably is where today’s best gaming PC deals are likely to exist. But at both ends of the price spectrum, knowing you’re getting the best gaming hardware for your money is important.

We use all our combined decades of technological PC gaming expertise to determine whether something is a good deal, and you can rest assured that we’ll only recommend the best gaming PC deals right here. If something’s super cheap doesn’t automatically make it worth the money, and likewise, just because a system is $2,500 doesn’t mean it can’t be a great value.

Where are the best gaming PC deals?

$500–$1,000

Ipason gaming desktop | AMD Ryzen 5 5600G | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 500GB NVMe SSD | $849.99

Ipason gaming desktop | AMD Ryzen 5 5600G | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 500GB NVMe SSD | $849.99 $499 at Newegg (save $350.99) plus a $25 gift card
You can game on this machine to a certain extent—the integrated Vega GPU on the Ryzen chip will certainly support 720p gaming at lower settings. But we’re listing it here as a good base from which to add your own graphics card for a quick, powerful new gaming PC. The AMD CPU is a good six-core, 12-thread job, and the 16GB RAM will run everything you need. The 500GB SSD could be bigger, but that’s an easy, cheap upgrade.

View DealHP Pavilion | Ryzen 3 5300G | AMD RX 5500 | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $607 at Amazon

HP Pavilion | Ryzen 3 5300G | AMD RX 5500 | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $607 at Amazon
Affordable gaming PCs are tough to find, and sometimes it is necessary to go back to older generations of hardware to hit a tight budget. But the eight-thread Ryzen chip still has something to offer, and the RX 5500 OEM GPU will deliver 1080p gaming performance around the same level as the current RX 6500 XT. For the money, it will be a decent baseline to start from.

View DealCLX SET gaming desktop | AMD Ryzen 7 5700G | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD | $769.99

CLX SET gaming desktop | AMD Ryzen 7 5700G | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD | $769.99 $689.99 at Best Buy (save $80)
Okay, hear me out here. While this doesn;t come with a GPU, if you were to pick up this machine with it’s eight-core CPU, plenty of RAM, and lots of storage, you could buy a graphics card separately and fit it into this machine yourself. My vote would be the AMD Radeon RX 6700 10GB, which you can pick up on Best Buy for $289.99. Combine that with this machine and you’ve got a really great mid-range gaming PC for $1,020.

View DealLenovo IdeaCentre Gaming 5i | Intel Core i5 12400| RTX 3050 | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $949.99

Lenovo IdeaCentre Gaming 5i | Intel Core i5 12400| RTX 3050 | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $949.99 $749.99 at Amazon (save $200)
If you’re looking for a budget system for around $700, you could do worse than this IdeaCentre desktop. It’s not super powerful, but with the RTX 3050 inside and Nvidia’s DLSS tech, you could eke out some decent framerates at 1080p on medium settings. 

View DealYeyian Katana X10 | Core i5 11400F | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | 16GB RAM | 500GB SSD | $1,399

Yeyian Katana X10 | Core i5 11400F | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | 16GB RAM | 500GB SSD | $1,399 $939 at Newegg (save $460)
This is a good deal for a mid-tier gaming PC, especially when many rigs around this price are delivering you an RTX 3060. The Core i5 is still a really solid CPU today, and RTX 3060 Ti is probably the best mainstream GPU of Nvidia’s last generation of cards. You also get a full 16GB RAM and a 500GB NVMe SSD… which you’ll probably want to give a little more storage down the line.

View DealSkytech Shiva II | Core i5 12400F | Nvidia RTX 3060 12GB | 16GB RAM | 500GB PCIe SSD | $999.99 at Amazon

Skytech Shiva II | Core i5 12400F | Nvidia RTX 3060 12GB | 16GB RAM | 500GB PCIe SSD | $999.99 at Amazon
The 12-thread Intel Core i5 is still one of the best gaming CPUs around, and with the back up of a 500GB NVMe SSD and 16GB RAM the Skytech rig is a decent rig when specced out with the RTX 3060 card. The $1,000 price tag is probably the limit of what you’d want to pay for this config, though, and Nvidia is the more expensive of the three GPU makers at this sort of performance level.

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$1,000–$2,000

Skytech Shadow | Ryzen 5 5600X | RTX 4060 Ti | 16GB DDR4 RAM | 1TB NVMe SSD | $1,167.99 at Newegg

Skytech Shadow | Ryzen 5 5600X | RTX 4060 Ti | 16GB DDR4 RAM | 1TB NVMe SSD | $1,167.99 at Newegg
Another banger for Skytech, with this smashing low-end combo that’s technically not on sale. The company is keeping the cost down with an affordable, yet still great-for-gaming, Ryzen 5 5600X processor. Paired with the RTX 4060 Ti you shouldn’t have trouble at 1080p or 1440p. And for that price I’ve no complaints, even on the side of supporting components. 

View DealABS Stratos Aqua | Intel Core i5 13400F | Nvidia RTX 4070 | 16GB DDR5-5600 | 1TB PCIe SSD | $1,499.99 at Newegg

ABS Stratos Aqua | Intel Core i5 13400F | Nvidia RTX 4070 | 16GB DDR5-5600 | 1TB PCIe SSD | $1,499.99 at Newegg
Considering we’re still seeing $1,500 machines packing RTX 3080 and 12th Gen Intel CPU combos, this 13th Gen machine is a steal right now. With access to DLSS 3.0 and Frame Generation, that 40-series card will have today’s ray-traced games running at 4K. Paired with a 1TB wad o NVMe storage and 16GB of dual-channel DDR5 RAM, there’s not much to complain about. Plus, you can always add more later.

View DealAlienware Aurora R13 | Core i7 12700F | AMD RX 6700 XT | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $1,949.99

Alienware Aurora R13 | Core i7 12700F | AMD RX 6700 XT | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $1,949.99 $1,199.99 at Dell (save $750)
It’s a little more than we’d hope to pay now, but it’s not bad for Alienware. Pair that Core i7 12700F with the , and you’ve got yourself a decent last-gen machine that RX 6700 XT and it shouldn’t have trouble gaming or rendering at 1080p. You might want to nab a larger NVMe drive, however. 

View DealSkytech Chronos Gaming PC | Intel Core i7 12700F | Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti | 1TB SSD | 16GB RAM | $1,999.99

Skytech Chronos Gaming PC | Intel Core i7 12700F | Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti | 1TB SSD | 16GB RAM | $1,999.99 $1,799.99 at Newegg (save $200)
Here’s a deal on an actual RTX 40-series-powered PC. And they said it couldn’t be done. This PC comes with Nvidia’s RTX 4070 Ti, which is a mighty 4K beast powered by the Ada Lovelace architecture. It’s ultimately a pricey card, deal or no deal, and that’s reflected in the price tag before you today, but for the performance, we can just about make peace with $1,800.

View DealSkytech Gaming Siege 4 | AMD Ryzen 7 5700X | Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 1TB PCIe SSD | $1,899.99

Skytech Gaming Siege 4 | AMD Ryzen 7 5700X | Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 1TB PCIe SSD | $1,899.99 $1,799.99 at Best Buy (save $100)
While the RAM is a little lacking, this isn’t a terrible core spec for the price. The CPU is a little old, but still a capable one, especially when there’s Nvidia’s smashing RTX 4070 Ti backing it up. A terabyte of storage won’t go amiss, either.

View DealSkytech Siege Gaming PC | AMD Ryzen 7 5800X  | Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti | 1TB SSD | 16GB RAM | $3,299.99

Skytech Siege Gaming PC | AMD Ryzen 7 5800X  | Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti | 1TB SSD | 16GB RAM | $3,299.99 $1,799.99 at Newegg (save $200)
That’s right; we tracked down another RTX 40-series-powered PC on sale. This Skytech Siege has a Ryzen 7 5800X CPU with an RTX 4070 Ti GPU backing it up. You’re giving yourself some really good performance for less than two grand. And you could dip your toes into some 4K gaming. 

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$2,000+

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i | Intel i7 13700KF | RTX 4070 Ti 12GB | 16GB DDR5 RAM | 1TB SSD | $2,429.99

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i | Intel i7 13700KF | RTX 4070 Ti 12GB | 16GB DDR5 RAM | 1TB SSD | $2,429.99 $2,079.99 at Lenovo (save $350)
This Legion Tower is a powerful configuration for just a little over $2,000. The RTX 4070 Ti is a solid GPU that’s perfect for 1440p gaming. I would love to have seen an NVMe SSD, but that’s always an upgrade you can do further down the road. 

View DealCyberpowerPC Gamer Master | AMD Ryzen 7 7700X | RX 7900 XT | 16GB DDR5 RAM | 1TB PCIe SSD | $2,089.99 at Amazon

CyberpowerPC Gamer Master | AMD Ryzen 7 7700X | RX 7900 XT | 16GB DDR5 RAM | 1TB PCIe SSD | $2,089.99 at Amazon
Not technically a deal, and not necessarily as great a pricing as you could get a PC with Nvidia’s competing RTX 4070 Ti for. But as an all-AMD gaming PC, it’s worth a look, particularly with that nice, large PCIe drive and DDR5 RAM.

View DealSkytech Chronos | Intel Core i7 12700F | AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX | 1TB NVMe SSD | 16GB RAM | $2,199.99 at Newegg

Skytech Chronos | Intel Core i7 12700F | AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX | 1TB NVMe SSD | 16GB RAM | $2,199.99 at Newegg
While you’re going last-gen on the Intel CPU here, that’s a rather beastly AMD GPU. It may not be a consistent RTX 4080 competitor, but it’ll get the job done at 4K. Pair that with a nice chunk of storage, and you’ve got yourself a pretty decent gaming PC for the price.

View DealLenovo Legion Tower 7i | Intel i7 13700KF | RTX 4080 16GB | 32GB DDR5 RAM | 1TB SSD | $2,989.99

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i | Intel i7 13700KF | RTX 4080 16GB | 32GB DDR5 RAM | 1TB SSD | $2,989.99 $2,539.99 at Lenovo (save $450
Another powerful Legion Tower gaming desktop is on sale; this time around, it’s got an RTX 4080 and 32GB of DDR5 RAM doing the heavy lifting. Aside from the mediocre storage, you can’t go wrong with this desktop, especially if you want to do some serious 4K gaming. 

View DealABS Stratos Ruby | Ryzen 7 7700X | Nvidia RTX 4080 | 36GB DDR5 RAM | 2TB PCIe SSD | $2,699.99

ABS Stratos Ruby | Ryzen 7 7700X | Nvidia RTX 4080 | 36GB DDR5 RAM | 2TB PCIe SSD | $2,699.99 $2,599.99 at Newegg (save $150)
A pretty immense spec here for the price. That AMD CPU can hit 5.15GHz under full all-core loads and paired with the RTX 4080, and you’ll experience some real GeForce. There is not much room for overclocking with that 750W PSU, but a 2TB NVMe drive and 36GB of DDR5 RAM means you won’t need to upgrade for a while.

View DealCyberpower PC Gamer Supreme | Core i7 13700KF | Nvidia RTX 4080 | 16GB DDR5 RAM | 2TB HDD + 1TB PCIe SSD | $2,770.13 at Newegg

Cyberpower PC Gamer Supreme | Core i7 13700KF | Nvidia RTX 4080 | 16GB DDR5 RAM | 2TB HDD + 1TB PCIe SSD | $2,770.13 at Newegg
A 13th Gen champ here with Nvidia’s latest GPU offering, too. It’s pricey, but considering it comes with not only a sweet GPU but it also has DDR5 RAM and heaps of storage. Shame there’s an HDD, but I suppose you can’t have everything.

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UK gaming PC deals

Ultra 55 | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | AMD Ryzen 5 5500 | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD | £1,249

Ultra 55 | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | AMD Ryzen 5 5500 | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD | £1,249 £829 at Cyberpower PC (save £420)
Combine MSI’s RTX 3060 Ti with the Ryzen 5 5500, and while you may struggle at 4K, you can bet this is a great config for gaming at 1440p. It comes with a 1TB Solidigm P41 Plus NVMe SSD, too, so there is lots of storage to play around with, though it’s not the speediest. 16GB of DDR4 RAM never goes amiss, either. 

View DealHorizon Lightning | Intel Core i5 12400F | Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 1TB SSD | £1,399.99 at CCL (£1,299.99 without Windows 11)

Horizon Lightning | Intel Core i5 12400F | Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 1TB SSD | £1,399.99 at CCL (£1,299.99 without Windows 11)
This is a great price for a new machine with an RTX 4070 Ti built into it. That’s down to the last-gen and lower spec Core i5 Intel processor and DDR4 memory that the Horizon supports. Still, that chip will deliver great gaming performance, and there’s a decent supporting spec to go along with it.

View Deal3XS SP4070TIR5 | RTX 4070 Ti | Ryzen 5 5600 | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD | £1,599.98 at Scan

3XS SP4070TIR5 | RTX 4070 Ti | Ryzen 5 5600 | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD | £1,599.98 at Scan
Stretching your budget a little can get you a PC with a current-gen graphics card, and while you’ll have to compromise a little with an older CPU and DDR4 RAM, this is still a great high-end machine for the price. That’s a 1TB Samsung 980 in there, too, which is still one of our favourite SSDs for gaming. 

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Graphics card hierarchy

The most important component for any gaming PC build will always be the graphics card. That will give you the best idea about how one machine matches up with another just in terms of raw gaming performance.

Below, we’ve listed the slew of GPUs we’ve had over the past couple of years listed in terms of their Time Spy Extreme index score as a way to put them in some consistent hierarchy.

Click the button in the top right to enhance!

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

One of the biggest advantages of putting together your own budget gaming PC build is the ability to choose every single component in the system. This allows you to spend 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 couldn’t do when building it yourself.

Now that graphics cards are regularly available, and the silicon shortage is starting to clear up, building your own PC is much easier than it was before. That said, a prebuilt rig is still a reliable way to get your desired graphics card.

For most users that don’t have the luxury of spending over $1000 on a prebuilt gaming PC, upgradability and performance per dollar are paramount. When we decided to choose our top choices for budget prebuilt gaming PCs, we looked 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, one of the systems above will have you gaming in short order.

What is a decent price for a gaming PC

The $1,000 – $1,500 mark is probably around the sweet spot for a new gaming PC. That will get you a graphics card that can nail 1440p at solid frame rates and a really good supporting spec. That should mean a relatively sizeable NVMe SSD, around 500GB, as well as 16GB of speedy memory and a modern CPU.

Is PC gaming better than console?

Unquestionably. In real terms, it’s more expensive in terms of hardware, but there is a games library stretching back decades that no other gaming platform can possibly match. Games are also regularly cheaper or free on PC, too.

The PC is also more capable of doing more things than a games console, too. Try browsing the web on your PlayStation, and you’ll know what we mean. It can also be portable, in either laptop or Steam Deck style.

What PC is equivalent to a PS5?

We suggest that the AMD RX 6700 GPU will deliver around the same level of raw graphics performance as Sony’s PS5. That’s an OEM part, so you’ll only find it in a prebuilt gaming PC, but it’s an 11.3 TFLOP GPU versus the 10.3 TFLOP of the PS5.

Those numbers aren’t wholly comparative, but you would also need an 8-core CPU, 16GB of memory (though the PS5’s is spread between GPU and system), and a 500GB+ SSD.

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