The best budget gaming PCs of 2024

The best cheap gaming PCs with all the GHz and RAM a newcomer could want

Best budget gaming PC

by William Austin-Lobley |
Updated on

Getting your hands on one of the best PCs for gaming is an incredibly exciting ordeal. Sure, consoles are an accessible method of playing the latest and greatest titles - but a great budget gaming PC offers users the chance to fine-tune and enhance games they've played time and time again.

PC players have a whole new level of personalised control over practically everything - visuals, gameplay, performance - you name it. Games with unwavering popularity over the years such as Skyrim, Fallout, Dark Souls, The Witcher 3, and many more - with a bit of elbow grease and determination, these titles can be transformed in ways impossible on consoles.

The best budget gaming PCs at a glance:

Best budget gaming PC under £500: Veno Scorp Gaming PC - View at Amazon
Best budget gaming PC under £650: ADMI | Gaming PC, Ryzen 5500 - View at Amazon
Best budget gaming PC for RAM: PCSPECIALIST Icon 260 Gaming PC - View at Currys

As a PC gamer, you'll have access to the world's largest and most competitive gamer base - so you'll be competing against the best in whatever e-Sport you fancy. From FPSs such as CS: GO, PUBG, and Call of Duty to MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota 2 - you'll have your pick of great teammates and even tougher opponents.

Many people build their own PC, often heralded as a more cost-effective way of getting into high-spec PC gaming. With the right skills and time on your hands, this is certainly true - but in a world already heavy with jargon, abbreviations and acronyms, a custom build can feel like an exhausting and frankly terrifying experience. Thankfully, however - there are more than enough options for gamers who are less technologically inclined - there are hundreds of fantastic options for PCs at incredibly low prices.

For gamers on a bit of a tight budget, we’ve rounded up the best gaming PCs for under £750 (and some PCs under £500). Each and every one of our favourite picks is incredibly capable of handling their own, even with modern AAA games being as demanding as they are.

Please note: All prices correct at time of writing. Prices, stock and deals subject to change without notice.

Best budget gaming PCs:

Best budget gaming PC under £500

Made for gamers in dire need of a punchy setup, but without a heap of cash to spend - the Veno Scorp Gaming PC is simply a steal that'll cover any player's need for a quality setup.

Capable of handling its fair share of AAA games in its sleep, this Veno Scorp Gaming PC build is an absolutely baffling deal that budget gamers need to get their hands on this year. From its sensational 1TB of HDD storage and 256GB of SSD storage to its 16GB of RAM - you've got plenty of memory for any and all gaming endeavours, but what about the graphics card?

Needless to say, the Veno Scorp certainly impresses, with plenty of performance power to handle any massive multiplayer title you can think of.

Yes, the GTX 1660's 6GB of VRAM might not have you playing with a 4K gaming monitor and flawless frames, but you'll still be able to enjoy some great gaming at a truly minimal cost.

Pros

  • Hardy, reliable build quality
  • Exceptional performance for its price
  • Great case with plenty of RGB lighting

Cons

  • CPU has low number of cores

Best budget gaming PC under £650

Budget PCs have certainly got more powerful this year and with affordable hardware available at lower prices, you can finally acquire a truly ferocious PC build for a significantly cheaper price than ever before.

Out of the gate, this ADMI PC build has an NVIDIA RTX 3050 8GB graphics card - giving you plenty of potency for some serious gaming performance.

Joining the magnificent graphics card is the ADMI's plethora of reliable hardware; an AMD Ryzen 5500 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD - so you'll never find yourself bottlenecked or without storage space for your next gaming adventure.

Concerning design and construction, ADMI's Gaming PC's vivid white mesh case certainly stands out from the crowd, and once activated, RGB fans will have more than their fair share of colour to choose from.

For its sheer value - there's nothing you can truly fault with ADMI's seriously good 3050 build, its brilliance is simply obvious, and we cannot recommend it enough.

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Great GPU
  • Solid PC case

Cons

  • Weaker CPU thanks to weaker clock speed
  • Low storage capacity

Best budget gaming PC overall

ADMI's broad range of budget PCs has dominated the rig market this year, and there's no question as to why. This ADMI gaming PC build is practically bursting with remarkable hardware that'll outshine most PCs over even £1,000.

Assembled beautifully with a bright white case (that might not be to everyone's taste, but it's certainly to ours), inside this staggering rig lies a bestial NVIDIA RTX 4060 GPU in all its glory.

This cutting-edge 40-series GPU knocks performance out of the park, giving players rock-solid frame rates even at 4K whilst playing the most demanding games - Elden Ring, The Last of Us, and Diablo IV, you'll have no trouble there.

Also joining the ranks are the ADMI's 16GB of RAM, a respectable AMD Ryzen 7500F CPU and a full 1TB of SSD storage space, so you can ease your mind about cramming the latest AAA games inside.

There's no roundabout way of saying it, this ADMI gaming PC build is one of the best on the market right now, so don't deny yourself such an upgrade, you won't regret it.

Pros

  • Incredibly powerful hardware
  • Excellent value
  • Excellent 4K gaming performance

Cons

  • Case might not be for everyone

Best budget gaming PC for RAM

PCSpecialist is a mainstay of top gaming PC lists across the internet, but what makes them so good?

Firstly, it's the incredible value of the gaming PCs themselves - they're a great price for a complete build that doesn't just look the part. Speaking of build, this PC has an effective fan setup that keeps it running smooth and cool while also not becoming too loud. In fact, we'd say it runs fairly quiet overall.

We also need to praise it for its RAM. Coming in at 16GB initially, which is already great, you have the potential to upgrade it to 128GB in total, making it a complete powerhouse in that department.

Pros

  • Fantastic RAM and SSD storage
  • Great value
  • Runs fairly quiet

Cons

  • Initial setup can be a bit tricky

Best budget gaming PC for simple gaming

MEDION Erazer Recon E20 Gaming PCMedion
Price: £679 (was £699)

www.currys.co.uk

Easily one of the best rigs we've come across this year for simple, non-AAA gaming, this MEDION Erazer gaming PC with an Intel Core i5 processor, 512GB SSD and 16GB of RAM is a true bargain.

But it's not the stellar memory, nor the CPU that excites us, it's the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4 GB graphics card. This card holds its own against the competition for serious performance power.

Needless to say, the performance on theMEDION Erazer gaming PC is excellent for the price, there are very few games that you'll struggle to run, which is an achievement considering its affordable price.

Pros

  • Balanced set of specs
  • Sleek and subtle design doesn't demand too much attention
  • Respectable GPU for the price

Cons

  • CPU has a slower clock speed than some competitors

Best midrange budget gaming PC

Midrange budget gaming PC shoppers, you'll be hard-pressed to find a deal quite as excellent as this. CYBERPOWERPC's Wyvern is the perfect midrange budget gaming PC for breaking into the PC gaming world.

Handling an impressive array of next-generation AAA games with ease, all thanks to its elite NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU with a breathtaking 12GB of VRAM, alongside a sturdy Ryzen 5 CPU and 16GB of RAM to sweeten the deal, this is one monster of a midrange PC.

Players can quite easily expect upwards of 100+ FPS on a full-HD monitor setup, and even pretty solid performance at 4K, all without the expense of a typical 4K gaming PC.

Pros

  • Amazing graphics card
  • Gorgeous case with plenty of connectivity
  • Well-assembled and reliable

Cons

  • Not the most impressive storage

Best budget gaming PC bundle under £1,000

Why spend hours upon hours scouring the web for a monitor that fits your price range when you can get everything you need in a single bundle?

The Vibox III-28 is a remarkable deal at its price, combining a budget gaming PC as well as a PC monitor, a mouse (and mouse mat), a keyboard and a gaming headset all for less than £1,000, it's just that brilliant.

Visually, the Vibox III is a stunning build, incorporating some Cyberpunk-esque neon RGB lighting on its front, and a colour spectacle on the inside - giving you that eye-popping setup you've sought after.

Not lacking in RAM, nor VRAM thanks to the NVIDIA RTX 3050 GPU, as well as 1TB of speedy SSD storage that'll knock the socks off of most equally priced PCs in its range - the Vibox III bundle is more than worth picking up at its price.

Pros

  • Astonishing value budget gaming PC bundle - perfect for a first time gamer PC or those on a budget
  • Great hardware for high FPS gaming - NVidia card is last gen but still up to scratch for many games
  • Excellent array of peripherals included

Cons

  • The included wireless WiFi network adapter will probably warrant an upgrade to a proper internal wifi card
  • Extra peripherals aren't the best

Best PC gaming bundle under £750

We know what you're thinking - this PC is slightly over our £750 budget range, and you're absolutely right. However, we think that with the included monitor, mouse, keyboard, and headset, the Vibox V-24 is all-in-all a fantastic budget deal, and more than makes up for its price tag with value.

This gaming PC will happily carry you through most modern FPS shooters such as Fortnite, Valorant, Call of Duty: Vanguard and more without a hitch, we're talking 60fps at 1080p very easily.

With larger titles, however, you may run into some choppiness due to the GPU's low VRAM, at 4GB, you'll find some stuttering with those larger open-world games, guaranteed. All-in-all though, we think it's a great deal for beginners looking to break into the gaming PC world, and would absolutely recommend this setup to anyone.

Pros

  • Great value bundle
  • Solid rig overall
  • Great for a beginner PC

Cons

  • Limited gaming power
  • Budget peripherals feel cheap

Best budget gaming PC for ease of use

Stormforce Onyx Gaming PCStormforce/Very

One of the best reasons to choose a pre-built PC is that you don't have the stress of building it, and this Stormforce Onyx goes the extra bit by being so easy to set up and get going. Even in use, it continues to prioritise convenience, with plenty of USB ports that won't leave you juggling cables around for your accessories.

Another point in the Onyx's favour is its RAM. While 16 GB is great on its own, it can be further expanded up to 32 GB. As such, this is definitely the right pick for anyone needing to push their total RAM up a bit higher.

Pros

  • Plenty of ports and connections
  • RAM can be expanded up to 32GB
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Better options exist for out-the-box storage

Best budget gaming PC for beginners

AWD IT Volt AMD Ryzen 5 5600G 16GB RAM 1TB SSD Gaming PC
Price: £449.97 (was £549.97)

www.laptopsdirect.co.uk

If you're still unsure of where to start, then we recommend this AWD IT Volt Gaming PC. It's very budget-friendly, even as far as budget gaming PCs go, and yet it doesn't slack in terms of power. With a respectable processor and six cores, this computer will have no issue running multiple programs simultaneously.

The most office downside, especially when compared to the prior entry, is the small number of USB ports. That might result in you needing to use a USB splitter if you need to use multiple accessories at a time. However, it does make up for this by having the ports easily accessible even when sitting down at a desk, so it balances out.

Pros

  • Fantastic value
  • Six cores make it great for multitasking
  • Button and port placement is easy to reach

Cons

  • Not as many USB ports as other options

It’s not all about the rig…

Well, that’s not entirely true. The system is hugely important – but there are a few other things to consider that can also really help to level up the PC gaming experience.

First and foremost, a gaming monitor is going to help you maximise the visual enjoyment of a title – so we’ve rounded up the best for those on a budget.

Specifications as reported by PC Game Benchmark

Diablo 4

CPU:

Minimum: Intel Core i5-2500K or FX-8100 / Recommended: Intel Core i5-4670K or Ryzen 3 1300X

RAM:

Minimum: 4GB RAM / Recommended: 8GB RAM

Storage:

Required: 90 GB

GPU:

Minimum:  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or Radeon RX 470

OS:

Required: Windows 10 64-bit

Fortnite

CPU:

Minimum: Core i3 2.4GHz / Recommended: Core i5 2.8GHz

RAM:

Minimum: 4GB RAM / Recommended: 8GB RAM

HDD:

Required: 16GB free space

GPU:

Minimum: Intel HD 4000 (integrated graphics) / Recommended: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660, AMD Radeon HD 7870, or equivalent with 2GB memory or higher VRAM.

OS:

Required: Windows 7, 8.1, or 64-bit Windows 10

Minecraft

CPU:

Minimum: Intel Core i3 3210, AMD A8 7600 APU, or equivalent / Recommended: Intel Core i5 4690, AMD A10 7800, or equivalent

RAM:

Minimum: 4GB RAM / Recommended: 8GB RAM

Storage:

Minimum: 1GB free space / Recommended: 4GB RAM free space

GPU:

Minimum: Intel HD Graphics 4000 or AMD Radeon R5 series, NVIDIA GeForce 400 Series, AMD Radeon HD 7000 series / Recommend: NVIDIA GeForce 700 Series or AMD Radeon Rx 200 Series

OS:

Minimum: 64-bit Windows 7 or later / Recommended: 64-bit Windows 10

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

CPU

Minimum:  Intel Core i3-6100 / Recommended: Intel Core i5-6600K

RAM:

Minimum: 8GB RAM / Recommended: 16GB RAM

Storage:

Required: 10-20 GB of storage space

GPU:

Minimum: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 470/ Recommended: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, AMD Radeon RX 580

OS:

Required: Windows 10 64-Bit

Terminology 101

CPU

A Central Processing Unit, or CPU, processes and executes instructions. Processors often consist of multiple cores, and the higher the number of cores the more processes it can carry out, improving performance. CPU is clock speed is also important, and is measured in GHz. Typically, an average gamer will want between 3.5Ghz and 4GHz.

RAM

Random Access Memory, or RAM, is a component that temporarily holds bytes of information for quick and random access by the CPU. The information will be related to programs and services that are in use. The more RAM available, the more quick-access information there is available to the CPU, thereby improving computer performance.

Gamers will want no less than 8GB of RAM.

DDR3 RAM versus DDR4 RAM

DDR3 and DDR4 are generations of RAM. DDR3 was introduced in 2007, and DDR4 in 2014. The main differences between the two relate to the voltage used, latency times, clock speeds, and overall performance. For most entry-level users, the variations between the two will not matter, as both perform very well. The difference becomes more important when upgrading motherboards, CPUs, and RAM, as the two types cannot be interchanged or exchanged. Newer machines tend to use DDR4, though DDR3 is still readily available and can be more affordable.

In recent years, many high-end PCs have switched over to DDR5 RAM, which has a 50 per cent bandwidth increase from DDR4 RAM, but is significantly more expensive - but you can never have too much memory bandwidth.

Graphics Cards

A graphics card’s job is to convert CPU data into visual output. There are many types, specifications, and sizes of graphics cards. Typically, these cards have dedicated RAM, processor(s), fans and heat-syncing solutions. Sometimes graphics cards are referred to as GPUs, which is just an abbreviation of the card's processor name, a Graphics Processing Unit.

Dedicated graphics cards improve the visual experience and improve a PC’s overall performance – they are seen as essential components for gamers.

Some CPUs and motherboards have in-built graphics cards. While acceptable for standard computer usage, these in-built options are insufficient for high-performance gaming, especially when compared with dedicated graphics cards.

When hunting down your gaming PC's components, most of the expense is almost certainly going to be on your beloved graphics card, here are The best graphics cards of the year.

What is the difference between HDD and SSD memory?

Hard drive disks (HDD) are mechanical, writing, and reading information on spinning disks (or platters) via an actuator arm, which moves across the platter. The platters are broken down into a series of tracks and sectors. It's within these that data is stored and addressed with a location.

Solid State Drives (SSD) write and read using flash memory, much like USB flash drives. Data is stored in grids and blocks, and though the process is more complicated than in HDD, the available space is utilised more efficiently thanks to a series of processes that go on behind the scenes.

HDD is reliable, though they are large and rely on mechanical procedures to store, write and read memory. SSD is a newer technology and uses no moving parts: it's far quicker at data retrieval, is smaller in size, and runs more efficiently. SSDs are popular within the gaming community due to their rapid load times. HDDs are cheaper and are available with much larger storage capacities.

It is common practice within the gaming community to have both an SSD and HDD in a build.

FAQ's:

What key features should I look for in a gaming PC?

If you’re a newcomer to the PC gaming world, here are a few things to look out for to ensure that you’re getting a good system, even if it’s cheap.

CPU: The brain of your PC needs to be able to think quickly. Aim for no less than 3.5 GHz, unless you prefer older or more basic titles. 4GHz is a strong place to start if you can get it.

RAM: This helps your CPU perform, improves load times and helps multitasking. Gamers will want a minimum of 8GB, but 16GB is more comfortable and a little more futureproof.

Graphics Card: Not entirely necessary on an entry-level system or for those with basic gaming needs, but nice if you can get it – it’ll help speed up the system and smooth out the display. Remember, once you’ve bought your system you can always add in a graphics card to improve performance – it’s a simple and highly satisfying upgrade.

Storage: An SSD is the dream ticket - they seriously reduce load times and can improve game performance. However, the ones included in budget rigs tend to have a small capacity. An HDD with 500GB or 1TB capacity coupled with these smaller SSDs is ideal, or you can upgrade to one of the best SSDs yourself for a surprisingly modest price.

Is a gaming PC better than a normal PC?

Whether a gaming PC is better than a normal PC is hard to say – it depends on the PCs in question. If you look at the essential components (Motherboard, CPU, RAM, HDD, SSD, etc.), you’ll see that they are both just computers. It’s the quality and performance of the components that make the difference.

A PC that has been built for gaming will typically have a faster CPU, more RAM and additional components, like a graphics card, which optimises the system’s performance making it more capable of handling large amounts of data efficiently and quickly. It’s these qualities that lend themselves to gaming. There’s nothing inherently ‘different’ about the systems.

Technicalities and the infinite variables aside, an optimised gaming PC is better for gaming than a standard, normal PC.

What's the best amount of RAM?

If you can afford it, 16GB. However (you’ll sense a running theme here), the answer to this question can change a little depending on your need. A gamer who spends all their time with Minecraft is going to have vastly different needs to the dedicated Microsoft Flight Simulator pilot.

As a general rule of thumb, a gamer is going to want no less than 8GB of RAM – DDR4 if possible, but DDR3 is more than acceptable for a newcomer's budget rig. This is going to see you running a swathe of games with a decent performance. Those who know that they are aiming to play resource-heavy games, or looking to futureproof their system, are going to want to aim for around 12GB to 16GB.

We’d recommend checking the recommended specs on the games you want to play and go from there.

Remember that a solid RAM GB count is going to offer you benefits outside of gaming. With 8GB to 16GB of RAM, a system will have enough grunt to run image, music and film editing software and general multitasking.

Can RAM affect FPS?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is yes, but…

RAM is only one element to consider when you’re looking to maximise your FPS (frames per second). The RAM that you find on your motherboard helps your CPU. As the brain of your system, the more space and speed your RAM can give the CPU, the better as it increases load times and improves general performance. Having said this, RAM shouldn’t be the first place you look when you’re worried about FPS.

The RAM on your GPU is more important. This RAM is dedicated solely to holding visual information (hopefully freeing up your motherboard's RAM and CPU reserves, too). If the RAM on your graphics card is low (sub-4GB), then HD gaming will be tricky and this is where you’ll want to make some changes.

Here's a quick video from Techquickie for more information on RAM:

William Lobleyis the Deputy Tech & Fitness Editor for What's The Best. Here, he oversees, curates and researches listicles and reviews as many products as his home office can handle.

He has spent nearly five years writing about tech, audio, outdoors and fitness and has reviewed everything from smartphones to ice baths. In addition, he's well-versed in sniffing out the best deals and savings the internet offers.

When not at his desk writing, reviewing or deal-hunting, he'll be relaxing with Japanese crime novels, bingeing some classic anime, strolling the countryside or at the gym listening to the heaviest metal Spotify has to offer.

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