Desktops forum

Resolved Question

Can you give me a budget gaming desktop suggestion?

I am hoping that I could get a recommendation for a budget desktop that could be used for moderate gaming. I really appreciate any help that you all could provide.

Here is what I am looking for:

Price range: I am aiming for something around the $500 range. I could maybe go as high as $700 if it would result in a better overall return on the investment, but I couldn't spend any more than that.

OS: I would want either a Windows 7 or 8 system. I have a slight preference for 8, simply because it is newer and would be supported for a longer period, but that is not a deal breaker for me either way, since I prefer the 7 user interface with a mouse and keyboard. (No, I am not interested in a Mac, thank you.)

Hard drive: 1 TB would be nice, but I could realistically get by with as little as 500 GB, if it meant I could get more processing power. Anything larger than a terabyte or two would probably go to waste on me.

Usage: I would use the computer for a work, general home use, and gaming. I am the type to keep my computer on 24/7 (so that I can access the desktop remotely when I need to), so good cooling is useful. I play a lot of browser based games, as well as Blizzard games (Diablo 3, and Starcraft 2), I got Skyrim last year, but my old setup (from 2009) was not able to run it. I do not need something top of the line, just a computer that could run Skyrim or similar game at an OK framerate. I am not an early adopter, so I have no problem waiting a few years to play a game. However, it would be nice if I could find a system that could last me another 4-5 years of such use with minimal upgrades.

Chassis: I really couldn't care less about the style of the chassis, beyond preferring an upright tower to a more horizontal shape. But even that is not really a big deal. 6+ USP ports would be good, as well as HDMI output, Ethernet, and any other standard ports. But lights and sleek design would do nothing for me, as the computer would just sit under a desk all the time. A DVD drive would be preferred though, or at least the space to install one later. I'm also not terribly concerned with noise. I am used to the fans whirring away, and I use headphones when I play games.

Manufacturer: I am looking for a prebuilt system. I have no experience building a computer from scratch, and I am not really interested in doing so this time. I could upgrade a component if I needed to, but I would rather have a company to call for customer service with some sort of limited warranty than to save a few bucks doing it myself. That being said, I really don't care very much who the manufacturer is, as long as it has good components for a great price.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Jnkees has chosen the best answer to their question. View answer
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Can you give me a budget gaming desktop suggestion?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Can you give me a budget gaming desktop suggestion?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Best Answer chosen by Jnkees

Collapse -
Have to write it's an Unicorn.

In reply to: Can you give me a budget gaming desktop suggestion?

Collapse -
CNET writes

In reply to: Have to write it's an Unicorn.

Collapse -

In reply to: CNET writes

That ASUS A10 desktop looks to be closer to what I was looking for. I am fairly ignorant concerning the interchange between cooling, power supply and processing. Would I be able to eventually add a GPU to something like that ASUS AMD A10, or is that the sort of thing that has to be bought up front?

Thanks, this is helpful.

Collapse -
I think that was asked/told in the user reviews.

In reply to: Hmmm

Boxed, ready to use PCs tend to not have big power supplies so it's a fair bet you'll change the PSU to power up a better video card. And no, I've never bought them up front unless I'm building my own.

Collapse -
I want to buy a plow horse

In reply to: Can you give me a budget gaming desktop suggestion?

that can also win the triple crown.

Collapse -
Some suggestions

In reply to: Can you give me a budget gaming desktop suggestion?

I found four possible candidates within my price range. Can anyone please give me some feedback on these? Are there any red flags? Are any of these a good deal? Which of these would be the best long term purchase?

1) $669 Option One
2) $569.99 Option Two
3) $479.99 Option Three
4) $589.99 Option Four


Collapse -
All are too glitzy in the cases.

In reply to: Some suggestions

It's downright gaudy for the cases. A sure sign that they are marketing for looks over substance.

1. "AMD Radeon R7 250 2GB GDDR3" = too bad it's not a GDDR5 version. Gamers will not like this one.
2. Looks to be the same GPU. Pass.
3. AMD A4-Series = worst CPU in the lot. This CPU was so bad in a laptop that we gave the laptop to a needy college student. Better than nothing I guess.
4. GeForce GT610 is often onboard and gamers rarely last long.

All these seem to sell to folk that want the PC to look good.

Collapse -

In reply to: All are too glitzy in the cases.

That is helpful.

I really don't care much about the tacky cases. I would prefer a more modest look, all things being equal. But a "glitzy" case doesn't really matter to me, since it would just sit under my desk. Is there something you could recommend that offers reasonable (middle of the line) processing, power, and cooling that is less gaudy?

With option 1, if I upgraded the GDDR3 to a GDDR5, would that be serviceable? That machine is on the top end of my budget already, but I would rather go a little over and have a computer that I am happy with, than save a few bucks and regret it. I could upgrade the graphics to "AMD Radeon R7 260X 2GB GDDR5 PCIe 3.0 x16 Video Card" for $61. Would that be a wiser decision?

I am willing to make compromises for the budget, but I don't know enough about the components to know what would bottleneck the system. I really just want to play some Blizzard games (that my current 2009 budget desktop can handle well enough), and a game from 2011. Being able to run other similar games in the future would also be a plus. Would any of these systems be able to handle that?

Collapse -
Another thing

In reply to: Thanks

Since I am already considering going over budget (by a little) --

I could get an Erazer for $749 here. Would that Erazer on Amazon be a better, worse, or equal system to the CyberPower PC with the GDDR5 upgrade?

Collapse -

In reply to: All are too glitzy in the cases.

I have not written off the Asus you suggested here. I just couldn't find any information about its power supply or cooling to make a determination either way about whether I could upgrade it in the future. (I would feel comfortable changing a card or drive, but not soldering or changing a power supply.)

Collapse -
Let's clear up the future upgade angle.

In reply to: Also

I'm going to take out a broad paintbrush here. With rare exception all pre-builts will have PSUs we will replace if we pop in a leading edge GPU card. If you do find a desktop with say the usual required 700+ Watt single rail PSU you find the price likely doubled.

The Lenovo you posted appears to have a newer A10, more RAM and double the HDD space. So maybe it's worth that.

Reviews on both tell me that gamers are OK with the performance.

Collapse -
Maybe we found it!

In reply to: Let's clear up the future upgade angle.

So of all the systems mentioned, the Lenovo was the best? If it is the standout system, then we may have found our answer.

Before I go over budget and get it, I want to clarify: by upgrade I mean "replace a completely outdated component with a marginally acceptable one" I don't think I will ever buy a leading edge GPU card, other than if it was leading edge at one point, and then I buy it three years later.

If replacing a PSU is something that I will have to do to use my computer, then I could bite the bullet and learn how to do it. But I am wondering if I would be getting more than I would actually use it for. I just want to play Skyrim and Diablo 3 and do basic Microsoft Office type productivity. If the Lenovo is the system that would let me do that, then that is what I will get. If I could do that for one of the $500ish systems, then that is probably what I really need.

Collapse -
At the office.

In reply to: Maybe we found it!

We fit all the new machines with 16GB ram. The reasons are that we pay folk by the hour so it's cheap to fit that much and even a few minutes a day means we won.

Sorry but I can't pick out finalists for folk. I will try to help folk avoid models that miss the mark.

Collapse -

In reply to: At the office.

That is what I was looking for with this question. I wanted to avoid missing the mark. If that Lenovo would be acceptable for what I am looking for, then that's what I will get.

Thanks so much for your time. It has been really helpful for me.

Collapse -
An option

In reply to: Can you give me a budget gaming desktop suggestion?

Visit your local pc shop.
Have them build you a machine on paper.

Case.....mid tower nothing fancy about 40 bucks.
Psu.....500w single rail.
The rest of the stuff you can chat about.

Collapse -

In reply to: An option

Thanks for the suggestion, but I had already ordered the new computer before seeing this.

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.