Get Your Game on for Less
You don't have to spend a fortune to play hot PC games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Gears 5 at respectable settings. While the best gaming PCs loaded with fancy RTX cards and Core i9 processors will run you thousands of dollars, there are plenty of great alternatives out there that will get you solid performance for less than $800.
We've tested five of the top sub-$800 gaming desktops and ranked them based on performance, value and features in order to help you make the right choice. From flashy, futuristic machines to simple-but-upgradeable workhorses, here are the best cheap gaming PCs to buy now.
Credit: Tom's Guide
How We Tested
We put each desktop through our usual slew of PC benchmarks, including Geekbench 4 for overall performance and 3DMark Fire Strike for graphics prowess. We also ran benchmarks for Hitman, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Grand Theft Auto V at 1080p and the highest settings, and used the SteamVR Performance Test to gauge which machines were VR-ready.
Of those we tested, the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme VR ($719), Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop ($749) and Asus VivoPC X ($799) exhibited the strongest overall performance. Other desktops, such as the iBuyPower BTS Mini Special ($699), stood out for their small size and ease of upgradability. We also factored in what accessories you get out of the box; many of these PCs come with stock keyboards and mice, while others throw in dedicated gaming peripherals.
Credit: Tom's Guide
Cyberpower Gamer Xtreme VR
Rating: 4.5 stars
The CyberPower Gamer Xtreme VR offers an excellent sweet spot between performance and value. With its Core i5 processor and Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card, this beefy tower can run most modern games at high settings, and it's got enough muscle to handle VR.
While you'll need a good amount of space for it, the Gamer Xtreme VR's chassis offers some slick red backlighting and can be opened up without a screwdriver should you need to upgrade. And while most desktops on this list come with generic keyboards and mice, CyberPower's model includes gaming-grade peripherals that make it easier to jump right into the action.
Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop
Rating: 4 stars
Thanks to its AMD Ryzen 3 processor, the Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop manages to deliver strong overall performance for an inviting price. It's one of the most premium-looking budget gaming PCs we've reviewed, with a backlit blue-and-silver design that's more stylish than the Dell XPS Tower but more subtle than the Alienware Aurora.
The Inspiron Gaming Desktop is upgrade-friendly (provided you don't mind removing a few screws), and it can handle VR without breaking much of a sweat. This desktop also turned in the highest frame rate in our Rise of the Tomb Raider test and SteamVR Performance Test out of all the budget machines. Credit: Dell
iBuyPower BTS Mini Special
Rating: 4 stars
iBuyPower's BTS Mini Special is the clear winner of the style award, capturing the attention of nearly everyone in our labs, thanks to its small, sexy and see-through In Win case. It's also one of the only budget desktops we tested that you can easily open up without the need for a screwdriver.
While it's not exactly ideal for VR, the BTS did outperform several other machines we tested at the sub-$700 price range in the Geekbench 4 benchmark and Rise of the Tomb Raider tests. However, we wouldn't recommend playing games on max settings at 1080p.
Rating: 3.5 stars
The SkyTech Archangel is worth considering if you're looking to spend as little as possible while still getting decent performance. The Archangel's futuristic design is attractive, fairly lightweight and easy to open up, and its Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics card can handle mainstream games at medium to high settings. However, the Archangel doesn't quite meet the requirements of the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, so don't expect to do any VR on this thing. Credit: SkyTech
Digital Storm Vanquish 6
Rating: 3.5 stars
The starting version of the Digital Storm Vanquish 6 is one of the cheapest gaming desktops we've tested, though it's not necessarily the best value. The Vanquish's biggest strength is its simplicity and upgradability; there's only a single handscrew keeping you from opening the machine up and swapping in new components.
The PC's AMD FX-6300 processor and GTX 1050 don't quite perform as well as what you'll find in some similarly priced competitors. In fact, its Rise of the Tomb Raider score was less than half those of the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme VR and Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop. But if you want to start small and add better parts later, the Vanquish 6 is a solid entry point. Credit: Digital Storm
Do these come with a monitor ? Please Reply.Reply
Do these come with a monitor ? Please Reply.
Nope. just the pc
For the XTream VR pc, should I upgrade anything when I receive it?Reply
can you do other things besides gaming on this desktop?Reply
like animation, game designing,etc?
please share the best monitors for these computersReply
pls reply soon
Misleading people into believing any of these will "...play games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey the way they were meant to be played." is just wrong. I'm pretty sure, 720p @ lowest settings and 30 fps (GTX 1050) is not how they're "meant to be played". Also, how do you leave out which GPUs are in some of these?Reply
How is the article published on Oct. 12th, 2018 with comments from 8 and 9 months ago? I guess that explains why prices are inaccurate.Reply