If you are ready to make the switch from games console to gaming PC or if your current desktop no longer meets your needs, what can you pick up on a tight budget? The answer may surprise you. The price of gaming PCs has dropped significantly in recent years, and you can now get your hands on some great gaming tech with a relatively small investment. We have selected the best gaming desktops under $600, based on user reviews and experts’ opinions. Find yourself a top piece of tech that is affordable, efficient and reliable.
Choosing a PC that suits your gaming style
The gaming systems we have picked out run Windows 10 as standard, although you can replace the operating system if preferred. Windows 10 is fast becoming the standard system for gaming following Microsoft’s promise of greater cross-platform integration and open gameplay. Many Microsoft titles are being released for Steam, Xbox One titles can be played on many Windows devices and PlayStation is getting in on the act with its own collaborations. Whether you prefer to play Linux games, run console emulators, enter MMORPG browser-based worlds or stick with traditional hard copy disks, these superior gaming machines can handle all your needs comfortably.
You need a games PC with plenty of space, one that can handle top end HD graphics and something with plenty of kick in the engine. Don’t settle for less than 1 TB of space: you will need it to run today’s bigger titles without experiencing slowness and faults. Of course, you could always upgrade if you need more space: a good gaming PC can be altered and modded until it suits your play style perfectly. However, the machines below are a good starting point with no need for modification.
Top picks for affordable gaming desktops
CybertronPC Patriot A10-7 Gaming Desktop
- Size: 18.71 x 7.09 x 17.33 inches; 24.8 pounds
- Power: Liquid-cooled AMD 4.1GHz Quad-Core processor; 8 GB RAM; 1000 GB drive
Thanks to a liquid-cooled core processor, this Cybertron model can cope with high speeds and heavy use without overheating, and you don’t get stuck with noisy, distracting fans while you play. The system has been designed to offer maximum speed on loading and refreshing, so your games should run comfortably and quickly. Expect stable connections to avoid the frustration of getting booted from the game server – as long as your Wi-fi signal is strong, this computer won’t let you down at a crucial moment. The graphics card included is sufficient for most purposes, but if you prefer to upgrade this is simple to do. It is affordable and reliable, and a great choice for those new to PC gaming.
Lenovo X315 Gaming Desktop
- Size: 18.02 x 6.97 x 15.1 inches; 16.5 pounds
- Power: 3.1 GHz A-Series Quad-Core A8 processor; 8 GB RAM; 1 TB drive
Lenovo’s gaming PC effort is a good budget choice, providing adequate functionality and a decent amount of power, along with ample storage space and a neat, understated design. The dedicated AMD ATI Radeon R9 360 graphics make for smooth, consistent game displays the AMD processor is quick and powerful. The in-built Dolby Advanced Audio technology will give your games and movies the sound quality they need, and the system works well year after year thanks to a well-built internal engine. Users report some slowness in performance compared with other models on the market, but it is more than satisfactory overall and a fantastic choice at this price point.
SkyTech Archangel ST-FX6300-8GB1TB-GTX750TI Gaming Computer
- Size: 20.2 x 8.5 x 18.2 inches; 21 pounds
- Power: 3.5 GHz FX-Series Six-Core FX-6120 processor; 8 GB RAM; 1 TB drive
If style is your thing, this SkyTech design may well catch your eye. The space age case with futuristic LED lights and crisp white plastic make this gaming machine look like it came from another world. This gaming computer usually sits just above the $600 mark, making it very affordable anyway, but you can often find it for $600 or less if you keep checking back often. This is one of the best budget models if you want a special and unique look, because it is much more than just a pretty face. Inside this great tower, the six-core processor and 1 TB drive deliver impressive power, pace and storage – perfect for heavy gamers who want a potent entertainment machine.
Dell Inspiron i3650-3132RED Desktop
- Size: 10.79 x 6.06 x 13.86 inches; 17.8 pounds
- Power: 2.7 GHz Core i5 6400 processor; 8 GB RAM; 1 TB drive
While not specifically designated for gaming, the Dell Inspiron range is picking up fans from the gaming community thanks to its great capabilities and performance. This neat, understated tower works well with any monitor or TV for watching films, playing games, web browsing and working. If you can’t afford to splash out on a separate gaming machine and need a PC that can do many different functions well, this is a good choice to go with. The Quad Core i5-6400 processor will run even the latest titles smoothly, with little worry about lag and long loading times. Install gaming platforms, use Windows 10 gaming apps or play your game disks with this superb Dell machine.
CyberpowerPC X-Savvy XSA560A Desktop
- Size: 19.9 x 8.2 x 18.5 inches; 32.9 pounds
- Power: 3.5 GHz FX-Series Eigth-Core FX-8320 processor; 8 GB RAM; 1024 GB drive
Another stylish and exciting case, the Cyberpower PC is kitted out in space age red and black and offers a quirky open side so you can see what is happening inside. As well as providing a great base for modders and developers looking to upgrade, this works well right out of the box as a top gaming computer. Keyboard and mouse are included so all you need is a monitor to plug and play. The impressive eight-core central processor delivers all the power you could possibly need, supported by over 1 TB of internal space and topped off by the dedicated 2048 GB graphics card built in to the drive.
Lead image credit: Flavio Ensiki via Flickr
Product details correct at the time of writing, taken from Amazon.com