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Best Gaming PC for Under $500 | Gaming Chairs Reviews

Best Gaming PC for Under $500

CyberpowerPC GUA880 Gaming PC

​Best Gaming PC for under $500

​With the pricing for components r​eady for top level gaming dropping there has never been a better time to buy a gaming PC on a budget.

Here I have reviewed the top PCs currently available for under $500.

However, to get the best bang for buck will always be to build your own PC.

CyberpowerPC GUA880 Gaming PC

​Best Gaming PCs under $500

​PC

​Form ​

​CPU

​RAM

​GPU

​CyberPower GUA880

​Mid Tower

​AMD FX-4300

3.8GHz

​8GB DDR3 SDRAM

​GeForce GT720

Asus M32CD

​Mid Tower

​Intel Core i5 6400 3.3GHz

​8GB DDR3 SDRAM

​​Intel H110

CyberTron PC Borg-Q

​Mid Tower

​AMD FX-4300

3.8GHz

​8GB DDR3 SDRAM

​GeForce GT710

Alienware ​ ASM100-1580

​Small FF

​Intel Core i3 2.9GHz

​​4GB DDR3 SDRAM

​Nvidia Maxwell GTX 2GB

CyberTron PC Electrum

​Mid Tower

​AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz

​8GB DDR3 SDRAM

​GeForce GT730 2GB

1. CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA880 Gaming Desktop ​

​​A real gaming rig look with its black case and blue LED lighting this PC will work well also as general multitasking requirements.

This system is built for heavy gamers and a better option than buying a PC from the other top general PC manufacturers and swapping out the graphics cards.


CyberpowerPC GUA880 Gaming PC
CyberPowerPC GUA880 PC Case

​Case

​Mid Tower

​Dimensions

​19.6" x 7.6" x 16.8"

​Motherboard

​AMD 760G Chipset

​CPU

​AMD FX-4300 3.8Ghz

​HDD

​1TB SATA

​RAM

​8GB DDR3 SDRAM

​Optical Drive

​24x DVD+RW DL

​GPU

​NVidia GeForce GT720 1GB

​Software

​Windows 10 64 Bit

​Features

It comes with an AMD FX-4300 3.8Ghz Quad Core CPU with 8Gb DDR3 SDRAM and a GeForce GT720 1GB video card which performs well in comparison to similar priced competitors such as the CybertronPC Patriot and just behind much higher priced PCs such as the Lenovo X315.

A huge 1TB 7200rpm SATA HDD comes as standard which is more than 50% higher than regular HDD speeds. Windows 10 64-bit is installed but if you wish to you can roll back to Window 7 or 8 and is capable of running on two monitors for additional screen space.

An excellent choice of a gaming PC under $500 packed with power and proven performance in test scores this is a gaming PC that will please many. With the additional room for upgrades available a budget mid tower gaming PC doesn’t come much better than this.

CyberPowerPC GUA880 PC

​PORTS

​6 x USB 2.0

1 x HDMI

1 x DVI


​1 x VGA

1 x RJ-45


PROS

​CONS

  • ​Excellent specifications for the price
  • Comes with nice keyboard and mouse
  • Li​fetime tech support 
  • ​Well designed to look 'cool'
  • ​Plenty of USB ports
  • ​Need USB dongle for Wi-Fi connectivity
  • ​PSU not great, replace with a 700/800W model
  • ​Cooling fan is a little loud

2. Asus M32CD Desktop

A mid tower chassis that is slightly raised on the front that makes it a little bit easier to access the I/O ports and the DVD Drive on the front.

There are empty slots at the back giving room for upgrades with a color of silver mimicking a brushed aluminium look.


ASUS M32CD Desktop
ASUS M32CD Desktop PC

​Case

​Mid Tower

​Dimensions

​1​6.0" x 6.9" x 15"

​Motherboard


​CPU

​​Intel Core i5 6400 3.3GHz

​HDD

​1TB SATA

​RAM

​8GB DDR3 SDRAM

​Optical Drive

​SuperMulti DVD-RW

​GPU

​​Intel H110

​Software

​Windows 10 64 Bit

​Features

A nice touch to have USB 3.0 ports which provide an additional 10gbps transfer speeds along with traditional VGA and  HDMI ports and card reader.

You can also take advantage of dual monitor capability if you want two displays along with 4 x USB 3.0 slots and 2 x USB 2.0 and 8 channel audio featuring ASUS SonicMaster audio technology.

A very good performing desktop that will perform well for many multimedia tasks and day to day requirements. As for gaming, well there are better options if you are simply looking for less overall features and just pure gaming experience. If you are looking for a PC with a more all round performance then this a great choice.

ASUS M32CD Desktop Gaming PC

​PORTS

​​​4 x USB ​3.0

2 x USB 2.0

1 x HDMI

1 x DVI


​1 x VGA

1 x RJ-45

1 x 5-in-1 card reader


PROS

​CONS

  • ​Excellent specifications for the price
  • ​Built in wireless card
  • Lots of connectivity options
  • ​​USB 3.0 ports on the front
  • ​​Installing Windows 7 could be easier
  • ​No dedicated graphics card
  • ​​New PSU needed if you install a new graphics card

​​3. CyberTron PC Borg-Q Gaming Desktop

Similar in specification to the Cybertron GUA 880 desktop the CyberTron PC Borg is an entry level gaming desktop that is well equipped and provides additional room for future growth.

Aimed primarily at casual gamers or players who stick to the older games it will provide a good experience for most medium range games and provides high quality images with vibrant colors.


CyberTron Borg-Q Gaming DesktopPC
CyberTron PC Borg-Q Gaming Desktop

​Case

​Mid Tower

​Dimensions

​1​9.5" x 7.7" x 17.5"

​Motherboard

​AMD 760G

​CPU

​​AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz

​HDD

​1TB SATA

​RAM

​8GB DDR3 SDRAM

​Optical Drive

​​24x DVD +RW DL

​GPU

​Nvidia GeForce GT710 1GB

​Software

​Windows 10 64 Bit

​Features

Packing a quad-core AMD FX-4130 processor with clocking speeds of 3.80ghz on board a AMD 760G chipset this can handle most advanced games backed up by 8GB DDR3 RAM.

Available is a 1TB SATA HDD, 450 watt power supply and a recently upgraded Nvidia GeForce GT710 graphics card providing a good gaming experience for most light to medium range games. All of this packed into a solid gaming case with some great looking LED lights.

No on board wireless is available so you would need to purchase an adapter separately for Wi-Fi connectivity and likewise for Bluetooth.

​Packed with features and specs higher than you would expect from a ready made PC at this price there is enough memory and power for many gamers. For those wanting a little more the case is easy to open and plenty of room for upgrades means this is a good choice for a variety of gamers.

CyberTron Borg-Q Gaming Desktop PC

​PORTS

​​​4 x USB ​3.0

2 x USB 2.0

1 x HDMI



​1 x VGA

1 x RJ-45

​1 x DVI


PROS

​CONS

  • Good expansion slots for future upgrades
  • Nice case design
  • ​Keyboard and mouse bundled in
  • ​​USB 3.0 ports on the front
  • ​​No built in Wi-Fi connectivity
  • ​Some may want more from the GPU (easily upgraded)
  • ​PSU a little under powered

​​​4. Alienware Alpha ASM100-1580 Console PC

By far the smallest PC here but still provides good performance for many gaming needs.

Is it a console or is it a PC? That’s right it’s a console like PC of course.

The idea is that you can have a gaming PC with access to a much larger collection of games with better hardware but the same size as a standard console.


Alienware Alpha ASM100-1580 ConsolePC
Alienware Alpha ASM100-1580 Console PC

​Case

​​Small Form Factor

​Dimensions

​​7.8" x 7.8" x 2.1"

​Motherboard


​CPU

​Intel Core i3 2.9GHz

​HDD

​500GB​​​​ SATA

​RAM

​4GB DDR3 SDRAM

​Optical Drive

​None

​GPU

​Nvidia​ Maxwell GTX 2GB

​Software

​Window​s 8.1 (free upgrade to 10)

​Features

You get an Intel i3 dual-core 2.9GHz dual-core processor, 500GB SATA HDD, 801.ac wi-fi connectivity and Bluetooth 4.0. Alienware have also thrown in an Xbox 360 wireless controller, I believe they see this as a gaming machine perhaps!

You are able to run it in two modes, either as a console using Steam OS or as a standard PC using windows. In console mode you only need to use the gamepad but with the odd crash and popups you might experience a mouse is required. You can activate mouse mode by pressing all four gamepad buttons and moving the mouse pointer with the left analog stick should you so wish.

Graphics wise they are using a modified Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M which is very much comparable to the respected GTX 750Ti desktop graphics card. You cannot however upgrade this which is a shame however it does perform well running plenty of games in 1080 in perfectly acceptable fps.

If you are looking for a small form factor PC and a gaming PC for living under the TV in the living room then this could be the machine for you. A little upgrade to a SSD however would be advised if you can afford it as you will see a vastly improved performance. As with all console styled gaming PCs there will be compromises but with those considered this is a great purchase.

Alienware Alpha ASM100-1580 Gaming Console PC

​PORTS

​​​​2 x USB ​3.0

2 x USB 2.0

1 x HDMI






PROS

​CONS

  • G​reat performance from a PC so small
  • ​Very quiet machine
  • ​​Excellent price for the components
  • ​​​Dedicated Alienware UI
  • ​​Hard drive a little slow, upgrade to SSD can fix this
  • ​S​ome gamers may want to upgrade RAM
  • ​​No audio jack
  • ​Cannot upgrade GPU

​​​5.CyberTron PC Electrum QS-GT7 Gaming Desktop

Another CyberTronPC in my list and for good reason. Coming in a nice case with a transparent side panel and blue LED lighting giving a real nice gaming look.

A real benefit of this PC is the amount of expansion slots available such as 2 x internal 3.5” SATA for extra HDD or SSD, 2 x DIMM slots for  additional RAM and 1 x PCI X16 port for additional graphics card.

They also throw in a keyboard and mouse and free lifetime tech support.


CybertronPC Electrum A6 Gaming Desktop PC
CybertronPC Electrum A6 Gaming Desktop

​Case

​​​Mid Tower

​Dimensions

​16.5" x 8.2" x 14.7"

​Motherboard


​CPU

​AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz

​HDD

​​1TB SATA 7200RPM

​RAM

​​8GB DDR3 SDRAM

​Optical Drive

​None

​GPU

​Nvidia​ ​GeForce GT730 2GB

​Software

​Window​s ​10 64-bit

​Features

Coming with AMD FX-4300 3.8 GHX CPU it is overclockable to around 4.0/4.2 with the addition of a decent air cooler. Make no mistake this it will need a decent cooler as it runs up a nice temperature as standard. Generally speaking this is the best CPU you can find currently when purchasing a PC pre built for under 500 dollars.

Alongside the decent performing CPU is 8GB RAM already mentioned this is upgradable but already this will be able to perform a decent amount of multitasking and gaming. It comes with a 1TB HDD SATA 7200rpm and Windows 10 is preloaded.

The Nvidia GeForce GT 730 graphics card is not the newest card but still performs well enough with most games and certainly suitable for any of the older popular games such as CS:GO, Assassins Creed 4 and GTA 4. Generally you will be able to run games at 768p with medium settings and 1080p at low settings.

For 500 dollars you really do get bang for buck here with some good performing components with plenty of room for expansion at a later date for additional hard drives and RAM. With the ability to overclock the CPU as well if you are shopping on budget for a gaming PC that can handle most titles then this is a worthy choice.

CybertronPC Electrum A6 Gaming PC

​PORTS

​​​​2 x USB ​3.0

​4 x USB 2.0

1 x HDMI



​1 x RJ-45

1 x VGA

1 x DVI



PROS

CONS

  • ​Lots of room for expansion and upgrades
  • ​Good looking tower case
  • ​​​Nice performing CPU with overclocking possible
  • ​No unnecessary bloatware
  • ​​No optical drives
  • A little heavy
  • Runs a little hot

Gaming PC Buying Guide

If you haven’t purchased a PC before or at least not specifically for gaming this guide will help you understand what to look out for when making your  decision which ultimately will shape your gaming experience for the foreseeable future.

What is the difference in a regular PC and a gaming PC?

A gaming PC is built with the same components as a regular PC with the selection of the components made to provide the ability to deal with the specific workload that playing games provides.

The most expensive PC is not always the best option for you no matter what your needs are, however here I will be running you through what to look for when buying a PC specifically for playing games.

What games will you be playing?

Whether you are playing first person shooters, strategy based games, adventure type games or some form of open world third person RPGs gaming desktops are designed to deal with them all. However, some will require a more powerful graphics card whereas some will be more CPU heavy.

What you should be aware of from the start is that you will never be able to get top performance from a budget purchase. Whilst you can get excellent performing machines for the price these days if you are shopping on a budget you should be aware of the limitations that this price range will bring.

In many cases though these limitations will not apply to you now and you may well get additional expansion possibilities with the PC which enable your PC to grow with you as your gaming needs may change in the future.

Taking the right factors into consideration at the start will save any future problems further down the line.

Custom made PC vs Pre-built PC

Fact is no matter how good a pre-built PC is you will always be able to source similar or slightly better components for a better price when bought separately. However, most people will not have the experience or inclination to build their own PC and so pre-built PCs are still hugely popular.

If you are a fairly advanced PC user or would like to build their own PC, check out our guide here.

The big benefits of purchasing pre-built PC is that everything is usually assembled and even the software is already installed and ready to go. You simply plug it in, install your favorite games and you are ready to go!

Finally consider that if anything goes wrong with a pre-built PC you will have a unified warranty for all that comes with the PC. When assembling your own you will only have warranty for the individual parts and not for the entire PC if you have assembled yourself.

​Important Buying Factors

​Case Guide

Case size choice ultimately comes down to two things, the size of the room you the PC will be placed and the number of components you want to purchase.

Generally, the larger the case the increased ability for you to upgrade additional components at a later date. Over the course of a few years this could prove to be far cheaper to do than to have to purchase a whole new PC again.

computer case sizes

​Below is a rundown of each option:

  • Full tower
  • Mid tower
  • Mini tower
  • Small form factor
Full Tower

Average height :24”

The big daddy of PC cases you will have room to throw in all the components you could possibly wish for leaving additional room for upgrades should you wish in the future.

Mid Tower

Average height: 18”

​Whilst not as large as a full tower there is enough room for most gamers with space for a whole lot of components, in a more economic form.

Mini Tower

Average height: 12”

Due to their smaller size you will not have the additional space required that some may require for future upgrades thus you really should review your current and potential future requirements before purchasing.

Small form factor

Much smaller as you would expect and laid horizontally much like a console small form factors allow for top level gaming even if available space is at a premium. You sacrifice the space for additional future upgrading though and for some this will not be suitable.

CPU (Computer Processing Unit)

The brains of the computer and as a general rule the higher the clock speeds the faster the CPU. Look out for the number of ‘cores’, some processors will have as little as two (dual) whereas some may have as many as 8 or even 10 cores.

A lot of gaming desktops will use quad-core processors which can be found in the Intel i5 and i7 range of CPU. The i7 processors with 6, 8, and 10 cores are found in the high end gaming PCs and required for other CPU heavy tasks such as 3D modelling and 4K editing which the average gamer will not require.

CPU

The other popular range of processors are from AMD and are recognised as being very well performing at a reasonable price and generally popular with people who wish to build their own gaming PC. If you are looking at an AMD CPU their latest chipset is Ryzen 1700/1700x/1800/1800x and provide more cores for less price and very power efficient compared to earlier AMD CPU models.

If you can afford it I would recommend you purchase a gaming PC with AMD Ryzen CPU if you can afford it. However, many gamers on a budget are happily utilizing the FX series chip still.

​​GPU (Graphical Processing Unit)

The graphical processing unit (GPU) or video card as it is referred to is just as important in a gaming PC as the CPU. The faster and better graphic cards will deal with and provide better looking graphics to offer a better gaming experience.

Sometimes simply by upgrading your graphics card can greatly enhance your gaming experience. The leading manufactures currently are Nvidia and AMD with perhaps Nvidia being slightly ahead.

NVIDIA_GeForce_GTX_780_PCB-Front

For games such as 3rd person open world type from last year onwards you really should be looking at Nvidia Pascal series or AMD Radeon RX 400 / 500 series. For CS:GO, Overwatch and DOTA type games the RX 560 (or GTX 1050)  would be a good option, if on a budget then look at the RX 570 (or GTX 1050ti).

​If you are looking to run any game at 1080p with 60fps on high settings for the next couple of years then you should be looking at Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB or AMD RX 580 8GB. You will want at least 3 or 4GB of memory from a card released no later than last year.

RAM (Random Access Memory)

Recently memory has dropped in price but you should be aware that most video games today will run very smoothly on just 8GB of RAM. Most excellently performing gaming PCs can operate on just 16GB and even hardcore gamers will not need more. Some casual gamers will only need as little as 6GB.

RAM_module_SDRAM_1GiB(1)

DDR4 is the latest standard choice these days although many budget gaming platforms will still be running DDR3 and this will be fine for many. I would certainly advise that you check the number of memory slots you have available prior to purchase to see if you will be able to increase the RAM later.

​​HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

1TB of storage space should be recommended to ensure you can keep all your games, music and movies in one place. Some PCs will come with additional spare slots so that you can add more hard drives should you need to in the future.

Many budget PCs will come with SATA HDD but if it is possible I would recommend adding a SSD solid state drive(128GB/256Gb is fine) as your boot drive and game storage. This will give you a much improved performance and you can use your SATA drive for mass storage of everything else.

Samsung_HD400LD_Hard_Disk_Drive

By storing all your frequently used files on the SSD you will see the real benefit in speed and yet the benefit of additional storage from the SATA by putting all your other files such as movies and songs there.

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