Best budget gaming PC 2022: top gaming desktops for less

Best budget gaming PC 2022: top gaming desktops for less

 Save money without compromising on quality with the best budget gaming PC. Thanks to powerful yet affordable releases in internals from Nvidia, Intel and AMD, it’s more possible than ever to get a cheap PC that can handle even the most graphically-demanding games. This means that while you’re welcome to splurge on the most kitted-out gaming PC if you have the funds, those who are on a budget will be just as happy with a lower-specced alternative. After all, not everyone needs to play in the highest possible settings. You don’t have to have the latest and greatest components to game properly. You can save a lot of money going with one of the best budget gaming PCs over more maxed-out options. Since these budget gaming PCs are packed with cheaper processors and budget graphics cards, you can fire up the best PC games and have an immersive gaming experience – albeit at lower settings – and still have enough money left over to spend on top-notch peripherals that can keep up with the most demanding titles. Plus, with the ongoing supply chain shortage, the best processors and best graphics cards are so hard to get right now anyway.

Getting a gaming PC for cheap, however, is only a smart decision if that PC is actually good enough to use. And, that is where we come in. We’re here to help you find the best budget gaming PC for your needs and budget so you don’t end up with a lemon.  Paired with an excellent gaming monitor, and you’ll be glad to have saved those bucks. And, the price comparison tool we included should help you find the best deals available.


Best Budget Gaming PCs of 2022

Acer Predator Orion 3000 against a white background
(Image credit: Acer)

1. Acer Predator Orion 3000

Affordable gaming at its best


  • CPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660
  • Graphics: 10th-gen Inte Core i5
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD


  • Cool gamer aesthetic
  • Great cooling solution


  • Higher configurations are pricey


Although the Acer Predator Orion 3000’s higher configurations are out of most budget gamers’ price range, its base configuration is very much accessible, sitting at under R16000. There’s still very much to love here, however, that GTX 1660 graphics card is still an excellent 1080p gaming contender even in the RTX 3000 world. Its RGB lighting and cooling solution only add to its value

HP Omen 25L against a white background
(Image credit: HP)

2. Omen 25L

For AMD fans


  • 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


  • Pretty cheap
  • Tool-less access
  • Great cooling


  • Unimaginative design


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 AMD configurations on hand, it’s perfect for AMD-leaning gamers. 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, this one’s got more memory and a lot more storage capacity.

MSI Trident 3 9th against a white background
(Image credit: MSI)

3. MSI Trident 3 9th

A great performer


  • CPU: up to 9th-generation Intel Core i7
  • Graphics: up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super
  • RAM: up to 16GB
  • Storage: up to 1TB


  • Lots of power
  • Compact


  • Come with bloated software


If looking good matters to you as much as power, then you might love the MSI Trident 3 9th, especially if you’re partial to a gaming-leaning aesthetic. It’s not all looks either. This small gaming PC touts plenty of power under the hood for less than its rivals, with 9th-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.

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop against a white background
(Image credit: HP)

4. HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop

Great for work and play


  • CPU: up to AMD Ryzen 7
  • Graphics: up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Super
  • RAM: up to 16GB
  • Storage: up to 1TB HDD + 512GB SSD


  • Excellent value
  • Productivity-friendly aesthetic


  • Specs aren’t future-proof


Trimming that gamer aesthetic look to the barest minimum, the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop fits just at home in any office as it does in someone’s game room. So, if you’re looking for a machine on which you can both play and work, this is just the ticket – giving you even more savings. It isn’t going to be a kitted-out machine, although if you shell out a little more for the higher configurations, you can score one with an RTX 3060. However, its lower configurations should be capable enough to see you through 1080p gaming.

Dell G5 Gaming Desktop against a white background
(Image credit: Dell)

5. Dell G5

Budget PC gaming at its best


  • CPU: 9th Gen Intel Core i3-9100 – i9 9900K
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 – RTX 2070
  • RAM: 8GB – 64GB
  • Storage: 1TBSSD – 1TB SSD + 2TB HDD


  • Very affordable
  • VR-ready configurations


  • Base models won’t get you through the most demanding games

A unique chassis coupled with a price to beat, Dell’s latest in its G series gaming PCs is a solid contender as among the best budget gaming PCs out there. The Dell G5 boasts 9th-generation Intel chips as well as Nvidia’s most powerful gaming GTX and RTX graphics cards, starting with an i3 processor and the GTX 1650 to handle many powerful games without burning a whole in your pocket. Of course, if you’ve got more case to spare, its VR ready configurations are also on hand, though even those are absolutely affordable.

Intel Ghost Canyon NUC against a white background
(Image credit: Intel)

6. Intel Ghost Canyon NUC

Small, but dangerous


  • CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i5 – i9
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • RAM: 8GB – 64B DDR4
  • Storage: 128GB SSD – 2TB + 2TB


  • Affordable at its low configurations
  • Highly upgradeable
  • Great performance


  • Can get pretty pricey at the highest configurations

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.


Is it cheaper to build or buy PC?

It is always going to be more expensive to build a budget gaming PC than it will be to buy one, since manufacturers will get OEM pricing on components, which will really make a difference on the lower end of the price scale.But pre-built PCs are often built with the careful mix of components to maximize performance at that price point. This often means that if you want to upgrade one component, you might need to upgrade other components along with it, which can make upgrading the PC a more expensive proposition down the road.

Is a R10000 gaming PC worth it?

It depends on what you mean by “worth it.” What you want to play and at what kind of performance and quality settings is going to make a major difference on whether a R10000 gaming PC is up to the task.If your primary goal is to play modern AAA titles at 1080p at reasonable settings at a reasonable frames per second (averaging 30 or more fps), then a $500 gaming PC can probably give you that and possibly a bit more, depending on the game.If you want to play something at 4K with 60 fps, then no, you’re probably better off buying a PS5 or Xbox Series X|S, assuming you can find one at MSRP.

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