Best Gaming PC Under $500: Pre-built Models and Unmistakable Deals

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Similar to many electronic devices, gaming PCs have gotten affordable over the years. Prices of important computing components, including multi-core CPUs/GPUs and NVMe SSDs, have gotten low as the demand for snappy computing performance is on consistent growth. 

But how affordable are we exactly talking about? Has the PC market evolved to the point that it’s possible to buy one of the best gaming PCs under $500? There is no single answer to this as your gaming PC budget completely depends on the type of PC you want to go for and the level of gaming performance you want. 

Reviews of best pre-built gaming pc under 500

Pre-built gaming PC vs Custom build gaming PC

One of the major pros of planning to get a gaming PC is having the option to choose between a pre-built gaming PC and custom build gaming PC. On the flip side, having this flexibility isn’t really that helpful if you are on a tight budget. Let us break it down for you:

Pre-built gaming PCs are much more accessible under the $500 price point than custom build gaming PCs. One of the main reasons for this is the price of individual internal components. Brands that offer pre-built gaming PCs are able to buy internal components at low wholesale rates from OEM manufacturers. Some brands even use in-house manufactured internal PC components to lower the costs. 

But things are totally different with custom build PCs. You have to buy individual internal components at retail prices which increase the overall cost of the rig to a significant extent. 

Image credit: Wepc

If you research deep enough, you may be able to put together a custom build PC tower for under $500. However, you may not achieve the same level of gaming performance as you would possibly get from a pre-built gaming PC with a $500 price tag. 

For demonstration purposes, we used an online gaming PC builder tool and selected the most affordable and low-end internal PC tower components. The result? The overall cost totaled $571.90 with adding extras such as cables and an operating system package. And extra setup charges are added to this total cost if you don’t want to go through the hassle of assembling the internal components. 

Source: Microcenter

Buying a best pre-built gaming PC under $500: important factors to know

While it’s possible to get your hands on a pre-built gaming PC under the $500 price point, it’s important to be practical and not expect top-tier hardware configuration and professional-level gaming performance. While this may seem a disadvantage, you do get several benefits with pre-built gaming PCs that do not exist in the custom build PC realm. Here is a brief representation of the key benefits: 

Image credit: Wepc

Another important factor to know is $500 is kind of a limited budget for a high-performance gaming PC. You may have to make several compromises when exploring cheap pre-built gaming PCs under $500. 

However, PC towers are more customizable than gaming laptops. As such, you can make several upgrades to your $500 gaming PC tower in order to achieve the level of performance you want. For example, if an affordable pre-built gaming PC tower doesn’t come with a dedicated graphics card, you can easily add a new card in order to improve its GPU performance. 

5 best pre-built gaming PC under $500:

Finding a good-performing gaming PC tower under the $500 price tag is kind of challenging. However, we have done the digging for you. Below, we have researched and compiled 5 best and affordable gaming PC towers: 

1. Alarco gaming PC tower (overall best pre-built gaming PC under 500)

Alarco offers plenty of gaming PC tower models under the $500 price point which have considerably good performing internal components. This particular PC tower comes as one of the best cheap gaming PC under $500 as it has quite an impressive internal setup. It uses a mid-range Intel 4 core i5 processor that runs at 3.10 GHz and can clock up to 3.40 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0.

This gaming PC tower is also quite powerful in the graphics performance department as it comes equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 1GB video card. Its 8GB DDR3 RAM is not bad for a mid-tier performance as well as a $500 price point. Other important additional features include Windows 10 pro package, 1TB hard drive, and four RGB cooling fans.  


  • 4 core Intel i5 CPU used
  • Dedicated Nvidia GeForce video card used
  • Windows 10 Pro included


  • SSD not included
  • Not suitable for the latest games on max settings

2. Acer tower PC with keyboard and mouse – check it out here

High-performance gaming PCs from Acer are usually available at high-end pricing ranges. However, under the $500 price point, this PC tower is comparatively a good deal. Although not a discrete and dedicated gaming PC tower, this model packs a solid configuration that is capable of taking mid-tier games. 

In the computing department, this PC tower uses a 9th generation Intel core i3 CPU that can crank up to 4.2 GHz. It’s a bit weak on the graphics processing front as it doesn’t come included with a discrete graphics card. However, the lack of a dedicated GPU is justified by an ultra-fast 512GB NVMe SSD that’s backed by an 8GB DDR4 Ram. Also, the availability of a USB 3.1 Type C port, Windows 10 home, and 802.11 AC Wi-Fi makes this tower a good deal. 


  • 512GB NVMe SSD improves speed
  • USB3.1 Type C port available
  • Windows 10 home included


  • Intel core i3 CPU isn’t the best for gaming
  • No discrete graphics card included

3. Shinobee gaming PC tower with Windows 10 Pro – check it out here

Shinobee gaming PC tower gives tough competition to other cheap pre-built gaming PC towers at the $500 price point as it packs a beefy internal hardware configuration and helps you achieve a stutter-free gaming experience.

This PC tower comes included with AMD FX 8350 8 core CPU that is capable of clocking 4.2 GHz of computing speed. Together with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 745 2GB graphics card and 16 GB DDR3 RAM, this PC can take on modern titles. The inclusion of 512 GB SSD also helps ensure optimum boot and read/write speed. A DVD burner is an extra feature of this model. 


  • Dedicated Nvidia graphics card used
  • 16 GB Ram improves multitasking performance
  • SSD improves overall speed


  • The CPU isn’t the most powerful for gaming
  • Only one cooling fan included

4. Alarco gaming PC tower with RGB lighting – check it out here

This is another gaming PC tower from Alarco in this list that features a power-packed performance. As one of the best pre-built gaming PCs under $500, this model houses a beefy Intel core i5 2400 CPU that can clock up to 3.10 GHz of overclocking power. Adding mid-tier performance in the graphics department is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 6501GB graphics card. 

This model includes an 8GB DDR3 Ram and a 1TB HDD for multitasking and storage. Other features that make this PC tower worth the purchase include Windows 10 pro inclusion, availability of USB3.0 ports, and three cooling fans with RGB lighting. 


  • Intel core i5 CPU used
  • Dedicated Nvidia graphics card available
  • USB 3.0 ports included
  • Windows 10 Pro comes pre-installed


  • NVMe SSD not included
  • Not well-suited for running games on max settings

5. iBUYPOWER gaming PC tower with gaming keyboard and mouse – check it out here

iBUYPOWER tower is undoubtedly the best affordable gaming PC on this list as it packs a powerful hardware configuration. It is impressive to see how the brand has been able to use an AMD Ryzen 3 3100 CPU that is capable of cranking up to 3.6 GHz. Backing up this CPU is Nvidia GeForce GT 710 1GB graphics card and 8GB DDR4 Ram. 

This PC tower also comes included with pre-installed Windows 10 Home 64-bit. The best part is, it includes a high-performance gaming keyboard and gaming mouse that has gaming-themed RGB lighting. Tempered glass side panel, RGB lighting, 802.11 AC Wi-Fi, and Display connection ports are the additional features of this model. 


  • Comparatively well-performing CPU included
  • Dedicated Nvidia graphics card included
  • Gaming keyboard and gaming mouse included


  • NVMe or M.2 SSD isn’t used
  • Only two cooling fans used
  • Price is a little over $500

5 best gaming PC under $500: renewed PC towers

If strictly buying a completely new unit isn’t the topmost priority for you, it’s worth exploring your options for renewed or refurbished gaming PC towers. Renewed PC towers have less value in terms of price and therefore it’s possible to get your hands on solid hardware configuration under the $500 budget. 

Here are 5 cheap pre-built gaming PCs in the refurbished category: 

1. Dell Optiplex 3020 (best gaming pc under 500 – renewed)

Dell Optiplex 3020 comes as a valuable deal if you are someone who prefers to play games that are CPU intensive. This is because this PC tower uses a beefy Intel core i7 4770 CPU that can clock up to 3.4 GHz. 

It’s equally powerful in the graphics territory with its Nvidia GeForce GT 730 4GB GPU. Other features that make this model an unmistakable deal is 256 GB SSD, 8GB DDR3 RAM, and preinstalled Windows 10 home


  • Intel core i7 4 core CPU used
  • Dedicated Nvidia graphics card included
  • Superfast SSD included


  • DDR3 RAM used

2. HP Pro 6300 – check it out here

HP Pro 6300 is one deal that you cannot bag if it wasn’t a refurbished model. It gives tough competition to most new and cheap pre-built gaming PCs under $500 with its top-tier hardware configuration. It comes with a high-end combination of an Intel core i7 3770 CPU and Nvidia GeForce GT 710 2GB GPU.

This PC tower also offers great value in the multitasking and storage department with 16GB DDR4 Ram and 512GB SSD. Pre-installed Wi-Fi and Bluetooth drivers, pre-installed Windows 10, and display connectivity ports are the other important features of this model. 


  • Well-performing CPU and GPU used
  • Windows 10 pre-installed
  • 512GB SSD improves overall operational speed


  • Non-gaming themed design
  • Not the best cooling system

3. Odyssey Essentials – check it out here

Odyssey Essentials looks simple, however, it packs a punch with its mid-tier gaming performance. With a comparatively powerful CPU and GPU combo of Intel core i5 4750 CPU and Nvidia GeForce GT1030 GPU, this PC tower can help you build a high-performance rig. 

The inclusion of 512 GB SSD, 8GB DDR4 Ram, and pre-installed Windows 10 pro further adds more value to this model and makes it a great refurbished gaming PC under $500. 


  • Mid-tier CPU and GPU combo
  • 512GB SSD included
  • Windows 10 Pro comes pre-installed


  • Standard tower design with no gaming theme

4. Periphio Portal – check it out here

Periphio Portal offers the best of aesthetics as well as performance for under $500. This PC tower stands out from other budget towers with its unique gaming-themed look. This PC can handle modern titles at medium settings with its Intel core i5 CPU and Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 2GB GPU.

This tower also packs a powerful trio of 16GB DDR3 Ram, 500GB HDD, and 120GB SSD. Other noteworthy features include installed Windows 10, HDMI port availability, and four USB 3.0 ports. 


  • Powerful hardware configuration
  • Unique gaming-themed aesthetics


  • DDR3 Ram isn’t as efficient as DDR4

5. Odyssey Phantom – check it out here 

Odyssey Phantom is another refurbished deal you cannot go wrong with. The gaming-ready hardware configuration of this model makes it one of the best affordable gaming PCs. In the computing department, this model sports an Intel core i5 4570 CPU that can crank up to 3.2 GHz of overclocking performance.

A solid trio of Nvidia GeForce GT 730 GPU, 512GB SSD, and 8GB DDR3 Ram helps this PC tower take on modern titles at medium settings. Similar to other PC towers under the $500 price range, this model comes pre-installed with Windows 10 Pro, Wi-Fi driver, and DvD±RW. 


  • Mid-level CPU and GPU
  • Windows 10 Pro comes pre-installed


  • No DDR4 RAM
  • Non-gaming theme design

Learn game-specific hardware configuration details 

One of the best ways to choose the right hardware configuration in a gaming PC tower is to learn about the hardware specifics of the games you play or are planning on playing. Here’s a list of 100 hardware-intensive PC games and the specific hardware configuration they require: 

View the entire list here

Image credit: Game Debate


If the cheap gaming PCs under $500 that we have listed above don’t meet your gaming requirements, and you feel that you can build a high-performance rig under $500 by sourcing affordable parts, there is nothing wrong with that. 

Here are a couple of sources that can come in handy to you on your journey to building a high-performance gaming rig: 

A detailed guide on how to build a gaming PC – 

Image credit: WePC

Gaming PC building community on Reddit –