Mistakenly regarded as an expensive passion, PC gaming has moved further and further from the days when expansions could cost as much as a new system. Today it’s possible to buy a decent machine for less than 500$, complete with all the essential tools to enjoy all the latest titles. You won’t be able to run anything on 4k (or, in some cases, even in full HD), but if video games are just a casual hobby than you definitely need to consider one of these computers.
Let’s start from Alienware. Yes, you read it correctly, that Alienware that gained fame for its competitive and often pricey machines has a budget product that retains the famous reliability and solidity of its major cousins. Simply called the Alpha, this compact PC delivers exactly what you would expect from a 499$ device: both the integrated Intel Core i3 CPU and 4GB of RAM are freely expandable, while the Nvidia GXT 960 graphics card didn’t let us down with its 2GB of dedicated memory. An optimized little box, great for starters or as a secondary living room platform.
Speaking of starters-designed models, the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Ultra really doesn’t pass unnoticed, both for its name and its look. For just a dollar short of 500 $ you will even get a standard keyboard and mouse, but its true strength is well hidden under the hood: an AMD FX-4300 quad core seems impressive in such an inexpensive package, especially if paired with its natural sister, an AMD R7 240 with 2GB of dedicated VRAM. If that’s not enough, 8GB of volatile memory and 1TB of hard drive will ensure a smooth gaming experience, upgradable in a stylish, glass-tempered case.
Lastly, we have to mention the Erazer X315, formerly branded as Medion but recently promoted to Lenovo’s main line. A solid, sturdy case with lucid finish contains an incredible AMD A8-7600 octa-core processor, a remarkable feature for a 480$ PC. The AMD R9 255 graphics card is capable of some great Full-HD images when accompanied by the right monitor, while 8GB or RAM and 1TB of memory will support greatly a vast library of games.