The Best 500 Dollar Gaming PC for 2020 – Good and Cheap Build

The term ‘gaming PC’ has never been for the faint-hearted because it’s regarded as too costly to get into. Granted, high-end gaming PCs, cost an arm and a leg, but allow you to do more than you can ever imagine with a console. Well, the good news is, you don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars. You’re probably scratching your head in confusion, wondering what I’m talking about.

What if I told you that you could get a console-killing under 500 dollar gaming PC? Yes, that’s right! The reality is you can get one that’s superior to a PS4 or Xbox One. However, with the barrage of options that have littered the market and each claiming to better than the next, making a decision can be an uphill battle.

Luckily, we’ve rounded up a few of the best products you can buy that fill the gap between functionality and cost-effectiveness. So, buckle up because you’re in for one hell of a ride!

1. HP Pavilion 590-p0020: Speedy Performance and Affordability Rolled into One

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What sets this little guy apart from the pack is its practicality and great-smelling price. The build is everything you could ask for and then some, given the cheap price when it comes to a prebuilt PC. Speed, compactness, and power, you name it! The 590-p0020 is armed with an AMD Ryzen 3 2200GG processor with a maximum clock speed of 3.50GHz.

It also has an AMD Vegas 8 integrated graphic coprocessor that is more than enough for daily usage. This includes racking up those tabs when surfing the internet with no lagging, working with different software simultaneously, and more, while proving topnotch experience.

When it comes to gaming, this minivan has the uncanny ability to handle most modern titles. So, when it comes to GSCO or League of Legends or even GSCO, the HP 590-p0020 is your go-to.

2. The iBUYPOWER Enthusiast: Swallows up High-Grade Games like A Piece of Cake

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When it comes to aesthetics, the smooth, elegant design with tempered glass on the side, remarkable lighting effects, and eye-catching keyboard, the iBUYPOWER has it all. But there’s more to this gaming PC that just its extraordinary looks. It’s powered by AMD’s Ryzen 3 3200G CPU and is stacked with GT 710 NVIDIA GeForce 1GB coupled with 8GB of RAM that’s the cherry on top.

Collectively, these aspects make the iBUYPOWER superior in gaming with the uncanny ability to seamlessly handle modern and demanding titles. They include Dark Souls, Fortnite, Far Cry 3 and 4, and Assassin’s Creed. Compared to the Pavilion 590-p0020, this device delivers superior overall performance without having to invest more than the power it may consume.

3. CUK Stratos Micro: A Top Choice for Present and Future Investments

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While the Stratos Micro exceeds our destined price ($500) by $60, it has nearly all users grinning from ear-to-ear, which makes it worth the investment. Integrating the Ryzen 3 3200G with the Vega 8 graphic coprocessor and 16 GB of DDR4, this beast is in for some sports. The 16 GB RAM means users can work and play concurrently irrespective of how resource-consuming their tasks can be.

The Stratos Micro packs a large Power Source Unit (PSU), which means it’s receptive to any upgrade no matter how big or small. With metal blade vent front panels, tempered glass side door, solid steel design, and interior case lighting, this gaming PC looks as good as it functions. It also has USB 3.0 and audio ports.

Optimum cooling and airflow can be attributed to six pre-installed, remote controllable RGB fans (600-1800 rpm) that have a unique triple metal fin design. So, overheating is the least of your worries when you push this rig to the limit.

4. Apevia Desktop: Built For the Sole Purpose of High-end Gaming

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With more focus on graphic processing power, the Apevia has 1GB of dedicated video RAM and preinstalled GeForce NVIDIA GTX 650. Its unmatched performance at an affordable price makes this PC a top pick for a multitude of users worldwide. Coupled with 8GB of RAM, the Apevia still catches up in 2020 and can handle anything you send its way.

The i5-2400 processor with an excellent clock speed of 3.10 GHz is sufficient for the power the PC possesses. It does precisely what it was designed for; to deliver a sky-high PC gaming experience. The Apevia comes with three ports; Ethernet, WiFi, three USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0.

5. Alarco: The Go-To Gaming PC for Aesthetics and Seamless Functionality

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Just like the Apevia, Alarco has an i5 2400 3.10GHz processor with a GTX 650 1GB coupled with 8GB RAM, which is more than you’ll bargain for at a friendly price. This makes it a beast in handling most modern games such as CSGCO and Fortnite.

The Alarco has sleek outlines, well-mixed and vibrant LED lighting, and a grass cover on the side that makes it the most beautiful under 500 dollar gaming PC. In low and medium settings, the handy device runs on a Fortnite average of 100 FPS and 60 FPS, respectively. Furthermore, it has VGA, HDMI, and DVI outputs.

6. Dell Power Edge T30 Premium: Delivers All-round Performance at a Fair Price

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While it looks like a server, the Dell T30 Premium is the most powerful under 500 dollar gaming PC when it comes to data processing and multitasking. Nonetheless, installing the graphics card is highly recommended for users that want to enjoy high-end gaming. Besides that, the compact design of the tower would occupy minimal space for your setup.

Unlike other brands that have littered the market, the T30 Premium is powered by the Quad-core Xeon E3-1225 v5 processor that provides more than 3.3 GHz of power. Furthermore, the gaming device is armed with 16 GB DDR4 RAM, which means no lagging as you delight in a barrage of games.

With 2 TB of storage, you can comfortably fit tons of games without worrying about running out of space. The T30 Premium has more than ten ports on the rear and front panels. They include HDMI, audio, Display, PS2 connectivity, and microphone outputs.

7. CUK AsRock Mini: A Powerful Compact Gaming Rig

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It runs on Windows 10 and comes with a Vega 8 AMD Radeon RX graphics card that has the power to provide superior frame rates on some high-end game titles like GTA V and PUBG. Nonetheless, the AsRock Mini can handle low-end games and has an AMD Ryzen 3 2200G pre-installed inside the rig. This gives it a high 3.5GHz processing power. Aside from the 4MB cache memory, the PC is armed with 8GB RAM that’s ideal for seamlessly handling a myriad of programs, concurrently.

While the 256GB NVMe storage comes in handy at first, it may prove insufficient over time. Therefore, investing in an additional hard drive would be a brilliant idea. The AsRock Mini is packed with an array of ports that allow the rig to connect to nearly any device.

8. HYSTOU Intel Core i5-4200U: Provides the Ability to Multitask and Game at the Highest Level

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If you’re on the quest for a compact PC that has the uncanny ability to deliver ultimate gaming, then your search ends here with the Intel Core i5-4200U. However, you’ll need to install an appropriate graphics card (HD 520). With a processing speed that ranges from 2.5GHz to 10GHz, the PC is a perfect choice for high-end games like Fortnite, PUBG, and GTA V. And, the 1TB storage gives you free rein to store as many games as you wish without frequently running out of space.

You can link the HYSTOU Intel Core to two monitors simultaneously via the VGA and HDMI ports. Doing so translates to reduced wait times, increased efficiency, and double the gaming fun. With an intelligent fanless cooling system that’s stable, delivers optimum functionality, and is as quiet as a mouse, thermal issues are the least of your worries. The system also uses a brushed metal case for unrivaled heat dissipation.

The PC is powered by the DC12V 5A (15Watts-20Watts). That’s the epitome of energy-efficiency, which means no spike in your power bill. Furthermore, it’s environmentally-friendly.

Buying Guide: Tips for Choosing the Best 500 Dollar Gaming PC

We’ve rounded up some of the essential factors to consider before buying a gaming PC that costs $500 or less.

1. Upgradability

Consider how easy you can upgrade your PC years down the road. With the advent of technology, games are quickly increasing in size and computational demand. Therefore, you want a PC that’s designed to accommodate upgrades like additional RAM, increased storage drives, more powerful CPU’s and GPUs, right off the bat.

2. Games

Before hastily purchasing the first affordable PC that catches your eye, it’s important to ponder on the games that tickle your fancy. Some require a fast processor, high-end graphics, and a lot of RAM, whereas other games have fewer demands. While you may not be into hardcore 3D games, you may be in the future. Therefore, consider a PC that can handle all future gaming needs.

3. Graphics Card

For crisp, clear visuals coupled with fluid movements, it only makes sense to purchase a high-end graphics card, right? Well, not quite. The graphics card is only as functional as its supporting components. This means if you’re using an older CPU model, the graphics card can only do so much. Moreover, some players make the mistake of buying a topnotch graphics card without adjusting their game settings. Therefore, it’s advisable to buy a mid-range card and alter your game settings accordingly.

4. Memory

Most motherboards in today’s digital era are dual-channel and provide large memory for gameplay. Given the affordability of memory, it’s worth going for at least 8GB, as seen in some of the above-reviewed products.

5. Storage

When it comes to storage, you have two options; solid-state and hard drive. Solid-state storage (SSD) is perfect for those that use their PCs solely for gaming. SSD prices are plummeting and deliver increased boot times, power efficiency, fast loading of games, and low noise. A hard drive could be a better option if you plan to store a barrage of photos and footage on your computer.

6. Communications

Today’s games rely on audio to deliver a more realistic gaming experience. And, luckily, nearly all modern gaming computers have multichannel audio codecs. If you plan on delighting in online multiuser games, then a quality headset with a microphone is par for the course.

7. Processor Core Count

A PC’s processor is the make-or-break when it comes to performance. And, when it comes to core count, you have free rein to choose between 2 and 16 cores in the mainstream space. Unless you’re on a tight budget, a quad-core processor should be the lowest you go, lest performance issues crop up with some games and software.

When choosing between AMD and Intel processors, the former delivers superior value throughout the pricing spectrum. It offers more cores and improved multithread performance courtesy of every chip that delivers support for concurrent multithreading.

8. Don’t Waste Money on RAM

While there are computers that have as much as 64 GB of RAM and are more expensive, it’s completely redundant for gaming. 16GB is a great baseline for modern gaming computers, given the plummeting of prices over the last few months. Nonetheless, you can get away with 8GB if you play older games or don’t mind compromising on detail to save a few extra bucks.

Closing Remarks

A 500 dollar gaming PC delivers more than you think. Each of the products we reviewed in this guide can play any game on high-resolution monitors like 1080p. Moreover, with a few different upgrades, it can transform from a simple entry-level computer into a high-end beast.