Best budget gaming PC 2021: top gaming desktops for less Best budget gaming PC

Contrary to popular belief, the best budget gaming PCs are just as capable of tackling the best PC games as more expensive rigs. It’s not just the budget gamers who will appreciate the massive savings these gaming PCs offer. Even mid-range and casual gamers will find a lot of value in them as well.

After all, not all of us need to play on ‘ultra’ settings or 4K resolution. 1080p and 1440p are just as entertaining and, to most of us, medium to high settings is more than good enough so therefore the best budget gaming PCs should suffice. You might have to skip a lot of the extra features that come with more expensive rigs. However, these budget machines are still very capable of delivering captivating gaming sessions thanks to affordable yet able internals like AMD Navi GPUs and their Ryzen 3nd Generation CPUs, as well as Intel’s Coffee Lake Refresh, that power many of these computers.

The best budget gaming PCs are certainly up to the challenge of giving you a quality gaming experience. It doesn’t matter if you’re short on cash or just don’t need or care about maxing out all the settings in the latest AAA game. Either way, you’ll save some money.

Save even more money with the best free PC games. To round out your gaming rig, invest in the best gaming mouse and the best gaming keyboard you can afford.

HP Omen 25L

(Image credit: HP)

1. 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

Reasons to buy

+Pretty cheap+Toolless access+Great cooling

Reasons to avoid

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 2021 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

(Image credit: MSI)

2. 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

Reasons to buy

+Lots of power+Compact

Reasons to avoid

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 a 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.

Dell G5 Gaming Desktop

(Image credit: Dell)

3. 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

Reasons to buy

+Very affordable+VR-ready configurations

Reasons to avoid

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.

HP Omen Obelisk

(Image credit: Future)

4. HP Omen Obelisk

Tricked out stunner for the hardcore gamer


CPU: Intel Core i5-8400 – i9-9900

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti – RTX 2080

RAM: Up to 32GB

Storage: 1TB HDD – 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Lots of power+Appealing, tool-less design+Highly upgradable

Reasons to avoid

Software offer minimal personalization

The HP Omen line’s more affordable PC, the HP Omen Obelisk, is definitely well-deserving of the best budget gaming PC title, thanks to its low price of admission well under $1,000 and its decent specs at that configuration. And, if you customize before you buy, upgrading the base specs for more power, it won’t set you back a whole lot either. The best part? If you’re not into that over-the-top gaming aesthetic, this one has a classier-looking chassis so you can haul it to your office desk, and no one will be the wiser.

Read the full review: HP Omen Obelisk

Intel Ghost Canyon NUC

(Image credit: Intel)

5. 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

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

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. 

Source: TechRadar

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