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Best budget gaming PC 2020: top gaming desktops for less

Best budget gaming PC
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

Thanks to the best budget gaming PCs, it doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor to play your favorite AAA games on higher settings. While it’s very easy to drop a paycheck or three on a gaming battle station, serious gaming doesn’t have to cost that much. Especially with all the great components on the market like Intel’s Coffee Lake Refresh or AMD’s and Ryzen 3nd Generation, not to mention the AMD Navi GPUs, you can get some great performance without emptying your wallet.

While the performance of the best gaming PCs might be out of reach for budget gamers, the best budget gaming PCs still come through where it counts most. To hold onto as much performance as possible, they avoid all those extra bells and whistles to deliver just core performance. You’ll be more than capable of tackling the newest games from your Steam collection with one of these.

If you want to get some serious gaming done while saving some money, go with one of the best budget gaming PCs available right now. You’ll forget all about your PS5 and Xbox Series X while you get lost in all those PC games you’ve been wanting to play. And your pocketbook will thank you, too.

Best budget gaming PCs on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Much like last year, many of the best budget gaming PCs of 2020 are getting deep discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You should be able to find a budget gaming PC on this list for much less, saving you more money to use for something else.

Whether you’re buying one of the best budget gaming PCs for you or as a gift for someone, it would be wise to wait until these major deal events of the year. Luckily,
Black Friday and Cyber Monday rolls around at the end of November, so you won’t have to wait for long.

HP Omen 25L

(Image credit: HP)

1. HP 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
Toolless access
Great cooling
Unimaginative design

The HP 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 2020 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 HP 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

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 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

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.

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

Lots of power
Appealing, tool-less design
Highly upgradable
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

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.