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best price for gaming pc

1. Acer Predator Orion 3000

The very best budget gaming PC

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660

Graphics: 11th-gen Intel Core i5

RAM: 16GB DDR4

Storage: 512GB SSD

The Acer Predator Orion 3000 comes in a wide range of configurations, the most powerful of which will be out of most budget gamers’ price range. However, the base configuration is much more accessible at below $1,000, coming with a GTX 1660 graphics card and Intel Core i5 processor, backed up by 16GB of RAM. This model is no longer available directly from Acer, but can still be picked up from retailers and should provide more than enough graphical oomph for gaming at 1080p, even in a post-RTX 3000 world, without needing to compromise too much in the graphical settings menu.

Despite being a powerful gaming PC with good potential for piecemeal upgrades further down the line, the Predator Orion 3000’s chassis isn’t oversized like some gaming rigs; it’s been thoughtfully designed to fit beside a monitor or beneath a desk, and the vented front and side panels mean that thermal performance is excellent. It’s got that much-desired ‘gamer aesthetic’ too, thanks to RGB lighting and a big, triangular power button that is very satisfying to press.

2. HP Omen 25L

The best budget gaming PC for AMD fans

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500, 7 3700X or 9 3900

Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5500 – NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super

RAM: 16GB – 32B DDR4

Storage: 256GB SSD – 1TB + 2TB + 2TB

The Omen 25L’s rectangular black metal design isn’t going to turn heads anytime soon. That’s at least offset by its glass panel, but only barely. However, if you’re not too concerned about looks, this is among the best budget gaming PCs to hit the shelves in 2022 that won’t make a sizable dent in your bank account.

With a number of AMD configurations on hand, it’s perfect for gamers who prefer Team Red. But those that are loyal to Nvidia’s RTX line can partake as well, as you can configure it to have up to an RTX 2070 Super GPU. Still, it’s the price we can’t get over here – kitted out, the Omen 25L costs as much as many of the premium gaming PCs in their mid-range configuration, only HP’s offering has more memory and a lot more storage capacity thanks to a multi-drive setup.

3. MSI Trident 3 10th

The best compact gaming PC

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: up to 10th-generation Intel Core i7

Graphics: up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super

RAM: up to 16GB

Storage: up to 1TB

If looking good matters to you as much as power, then you might love the MSI Trident 3 10th, especially if you’re partial to a gaming-leaning aesthetic. The angular tower is roughly the same size as a home console, meaning that it won’t take up too much room on your desk and could even slot into a TV stand if you’d prefer to use a controller for some couch gaming instead. It comes with an included removable base if you’d rather mount it upright, too.

It’s not all looks either. This small gaming PC touts plenty of power under the hood for less than its rivals, with 10th-generation Intel Core processors and the best Nvidia RTX and GTX graphics. It’s even cheaper than many of the gaming PCs on this list, with its Intel Core i7 + RTX 2060 Super +16GB RAM configuration setting you back much less than an HP Omen 25L with equivalent specs. If you’re trying to maximize your limited space and budget, this is the best budget gaming PC for you.

4. HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop

The best for both work and play

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: up to AMD Ryzen 7

Graphics: up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060

RAM: up to 16GB

Storage: up to 1TB HDD + 512GB SSD

Trimming that gamer aesthetic look to the barest minimum, the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop fits just at home in any office environment as it does in someone’s game room thanks to its compact chassis and refined LED lighting along the base. So, if you’re looking for a machine on which you can both play and work, this is just the ticket – taking out two birds with one stone and giving you even more savings.

It isn’t going to be an ultra-kitted-out machine, obviously, although if you shell out a little more for the higher configurations, you can score one with an RTX 3060 that will offer some more graphical oomph for playing the latest games. However, its lower configurations should be capable enough to see you through 1080p gaming, provided you’re willing to drop your graphical settings a bit.

5. Intel Ghost Canyon NUC

Small, but dangerous

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i5 – i9

Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630

RAM: 8GB – 64B DDR4

Storage: 128GB SSD – 2TB + 2TB

Intel’s NUC has come a long way from its humble beginnings. For example, while the previous Hades Canyon didn’t come with a RAM or storage, the newer Ghost Canyon has both. In fact, not only does it have more offerings now in terms of specs, but it’s also highly configurable so you can personalize it to your liking before hitting that buy button.

With 9th-generation Intel Core chips, up to 64GB of memory and up to 4TB dual storage, we’re all for it. The only catch is that it’s pricier now as well. The lower configurations are still quite affordable, however, and among the best budget gaming PCs for the budget-conscious. Bear in mind, though, that many NUCs run on integrated graphics running off the CPU, which won’t offer the same level of performance as a dedicated graphics card. Still, iGPUs have come a long way in recent years, and are now a viable way to game at lower settings.

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