Are you looking to get games on a budget? We are here to help with an overview of all this week’s best cheap gaming PC deals. We have scored all the top retailers in both the US and the UK to come up with an all-killer-no-filler list of all the most valuable slot machines on the market right now.
Cheap gaming PC deals: jump links
Whether you’re looking for a super easy machine to play some indy titles on or a machine capable of maximizing CyberPunk 2077, our best inexpensive gaming PC deals list includes options for both. We generally aim to spend as little as possible here, but you will find good value options across the board if you are looking for something with a little power.
Because buying a new gaming PC (opens in new tab) is a big commitment, we have also stacked this article full of useful, objective buying advice. First time buying a PC? Maybe you are a parent who wants to buy a gaming PC for your son or daughter. Regardless of your level of knowledge or expertise, you will find a detailed guide on how much to spend and what to look for at the bottom of the page. The market for cheap gaming PC deals tends to be littered with unsurpassed third-party choices on sites like Amazon, Newegg and eBay, so a little research can go a long way if you are not technically inclined.
While you are here, why not take a look at our main guide to the best budget gaming PC in 2022. This page is easy to offer, but contains many more buying tips plus an overview of all the best machines we have personally reviewed here on TechRadar.
Best Cheap Gaming PC Deals in USA: Under $ 1000
Best Cheap Betting Deals in USA: Over $ 1000
More cheap gaming PC deals in USA
Best Cheap Gaming PC Deals in the UK: Under £ 1000
Best Cheap Betting Deals in the UK: Over £ 1000
More cheap gaming PC deals in the UK
Cheap Games PC Deals: FAQ
Buying a pre-built gaming PC versus building your own
- Buyer completed
- Pros: cost, ease of use, system warranty
- Disadvantages: cut corners, generic parts
- Build your own
- Pros: easily customizable and upgraded
- Disadvantages: price, warranty on certain parts only
A few years ago, the best advice was always to build your own PC, if you could. Components were cheap and easily available, and almost all companies cut corners while charging you a premium for the associated labor costs of building. Over the last couple of years, however, pre-builds have come a long way when it comes to overall value.
While it is still common for companies to cut costs on things like CPU coolers, RAM and other smaller (but essential) components, in general, it is now cheaper to buy the machine from one of the larger companies instead of buying everything. separately.
Since major manufacturers such as Dell, HP and other well-known builders can buy components either in bulk or wholesale, they do not pay the same graphics card prices on the street as you. Although RAM and storage upgrades are cheap and plentiful, we all know how big a problem it has been to get an affordable GPU in the last two years. For those on a budget, it has often been cheaper and easier to buy a pre-built gaming PC.
However, all this does not mean that you should not build your own. If you’re sure you can (it’s pretty simple), then it’s well worth the time and money. It’s a satisfaction to build your own that is hard to get just buying a pre-built gaming PC, and it’s a satisfying hobby in itself. Just remember that if something goes wrong, it’s up to you to fix it.
How much should I spend on a cheap gaming PC?
|Level||Cost (US)||Cost (UK)||Games / settings|
|Basic 1080p||$ 650 to $ 900||£ 700 to £ 800||Indy, Minecraft, Fortnite|
|Standard 1080p||$ 900 to $ 1200||£ 800 to £ 1100||eSports, Strategy, FPS|
|Enthusiast 1440p||$ 1200 to $ 2000||£ 1200 to £ 2000||All (high to ultra settings)|
|Performance 4K||$ 2000 +||£ 2000 +||All (ultra)|
As a general rule of thumb, you can get a great barebones 1080p gaming system for around $ 800 (£ 800) from early 2022. While you can get cheaper (much cheaper) machines on Amazon and eBay, we think it’s generally worth it to spend a little more to get a machine that will last a little further down the line. Unfortunately, the market is flooded with awful cheap pre-built gaming PCs that have really old components and even lack dedicated graphics cards in some cases. You get what you pay for with gaming PCs – plus there’s a reason to spend a little more to get a decent upgrade platform, if you want to replace components in a year or two.
If you are aiming for ultra settings at 1440p, you must be willing to shell out the money – at least $ 1000 if you want a truly smooth experience. A larger resolution requires a much more powerful graphics card (the most expensive component), so budget players can often save a lot of money by settling for 1080p.
What specifications do I need in a cheap gaming PC?
- Minimum – Intel Core i3 (10th generation) / AMD Ryzen 3 (3rd generation)
- Minimum – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 / AMD RX 6500
- Minimum – 8 GB RAM
- Minimum – 256 GB SSD / 1 TB HDD
- Recommended – Intel Core i5 (11th generation) / AMD Ryzen 5 (5th generation)
- Recommended – Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 / AMD RX 6600 XT
- Recommended – 16 GB RAM
- Recommended – 512 GB SSD
Above are the specifications that we consider to be the minimum for a gaming PC in 2022, along with the specifications that we will recommend for a much smoother experience and better graphics in the game. However, these are just rough ball parks. Your mileage will vary enormously depending on the desired setup and what kind of game you plan to play.
For example, suppose you want to play games with lower requirements such as Minecraft, Fortnite or most strategy games. In that case, you will generally manage with a fairly basic graphics card such as a GTX 1650 or GTX 1660 and a relatively modest Core i3 CPU. If you’re planning on playing CyberPunk 2077, Elden Ring or another big movie triple-A title on ultra-settings, you’ll probably consider an RTX 3060 or RX 6600 XT and Core i5 / Ryzen 5 CPU as a minimum. In general, you can do with 8 GB of RAM, although 16 GB is fast becoming the new standard – plus it’s a pretty cheap upgrade to do.
Remember that you want to get a good mileage out of your machine, so it is a good idea to have some ceiling height for future releases. Getting a machine with a generous (500 to 600 watts) power supply and a decent case can help make potential upgrades much easier.