Whether you need a dependable PC for work or school, or a gaming machine that will be able to play the best PC games, there’s surely something for you among all of the desktop computer deals that are available right now. The sheer number of options may prove to be overwhelming for most people though, so to help you decide what to buy, we’ve rounded up our top picks right here. If you’re not fond of laptop deals but you want to skip the hassle of building a PC from scratch, check out the discounts on these pre-built desktop computers, but you should hurry because their prices may return to normal at any moment.
Today’s best desktop computer deals
HP Desktop M01 — $380, was $480
The HP Desktop M01 is an affordable desktop computer that still provides decent performance for basic functions with its AMD Ryzen 3 5300G processor, AMD Radeon Graphics, and 8GB of RAM. You’ll also get ample storage space with its 256GB SSD, which comes with Windows 11 Home pre-installed. It also comes with a wired keyboard and mouse, so you just need a monitor to complete your setup.
Apple Mac Mini M2 — $499, was $599
The Apple Mac Mini M2, which is powered by Apple’s M2 processor and 8GB of RAM, features an eight-core CPU for fast performance, a 10-core GPU to handle graphics-intensive apps, and a 16-core Neural Engine for advanced machine learning — all within a tiny package. The computer is equipped with a 256GB SSD, and ships with macOS Ventura.
HP Pavilion Desktop PC — $600, was $860
For a computer that won’t have trouble with even the most demanding tasks for work or school, go for the HP Pavilion Desktop PC with the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G processor, AMD Radeon Graphics, and 16GB of RAM that our guide on how much RAM do you need says is a good figure to target. It also comes with Windows 11 Home pre-installed in its 1TB SSD, which should provide enough space for your projects.
HP Omen 25L — $730, was $1,430
The HP Omen 25L is a relatively affordable gaming PC with the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, and 8GB of RAM. With these specifications, it will be able to play the best PC games, but you’ll have to select low to medium graphic settings for the more demanding titles. There’s enough space for multiple games on its 512GB SSD, which has Windows 11 Home pre-installed.
Lenovo Legion Tower 5i Gen 8 — $800, was $1,250
The eighth-generation Lenovo Legion Tower 5i is another budget option that provides dependable performance, as it’s equipped with the 13th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM. The gaming PC ships with a 512GB SSD with Windows 11 Home, and you’ll also get three months of access to Xbox Game Pass.
Alienware Aurora R15 — $3,400, was $3,900
Gamers who want a machine that’s ready for the best upcoming PC games for the next few years should set their sights on the Alienware Aurora R15. The gaming desktop is powered by some of the most powerful components currently available — the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card, and 32GB of RAM. It’s also equipped with a 2TB SSD, which comes with Windows 11 Home out of the box.
How to choose a cheap desktop computer
After setting your budget, it’s time to decide what exactly you’re looking for in a good cheap desktop computer. First, is this PC going to be primarily for work and general daily use, primarily for gaming, or a fairly even split between these? This will naturally determine what sort of specs you’re looking at — such as, for instance, whether you need a discrete graphics card or not — but the good news is that in the sub-$1,000 category, you can find many good desktop PCs packing solid up-to-date hardware that won’t be outdated within two years.
Another important consideration is peripherals. What monitor (or monitors) is your desktop computer going to be connected to? Do you already have a mouse and keyboard; if not, do you want a desktop PC that comes with these included, or do you plan to buy nicer ones separately? Bear in mind that while many desktop towers come with accessories, you’ll still need to decide how much you’re budgeting for things like a mouse, a keyboard, a monitor, mouse pad, speakers, and other peripherals you might need.
The bottom line is this: Don’t merely look at the price and basic hardware specs when shopping for a cheap desktop computer. Set your budget, know exactly what features you want (write this down if you need to) and then work from there.
What makes a good cheap desktop computer?
When shopping for any sort of cheap computer, be it a laptop or desktop PC, the biggest risk you’ll face is ending up with something that is running on outdated hardware (or hardware that will be outdated very soon). This is what happens when you consider only the price and don’t familiarize yourself with the current state of computer hardware. Thankfully, there’s not too much to remember.
First, when looking at CPUs, it’s best to stick with 11th- and 12th-generation Intel Core processors and AMD Ryzen (also known as “Zen”) processors, as these are more recent and will keep your system – even a relatively basic one – reasonably “future-proof.” We also suggest a minimum of 8GB of RAM unless you’re sailing into sub-$300 waters and 16GB is even more strongly recommended for something like a gaming desktop. Finally, solid-state drives (now common even on cheap computers) are generally preferable to traditional hard drives. These SSDs are generally more reliable and considerably faster than old-school HDDs, although they offer less storage space per dollar.
Are cheap desktop computers good for gaming?
Any PC packing an up-to-date CPU, GPU, and SSD (or at least a 7,200rpm HDD) should be good to go for gaming, and there are plenty of good cheap desktop computers that fit this bill nicely. Along with the processors we mentioned, modern graphics card generations include Nvidia’s 16- and 30-series cards, although you’ll most likely be sticking with the GTX 16-series GPUs in the sub-$800 price bracket. These replaced Nvidia’s 10-series cards as entry- and mid-level GPUs, and while there are still PCs with those older cards floating around, we don’t recommend them.
AMD’s Radeon family of budget-tier graphics card includes the RX 5000 series, with GPUs like the RX 5500 offering good performance capabilities for 1080p gaming. The RX 6000 series GPUs are better for higher-end gaming. You’re not likely to achieve 4K or even 1440p gaming with most cheap desktop computers, but that is a sacrifice you make for keeping costs down. Also, remember that an SSD will load games (and everything else) noticeably faster than an HDD.
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