Sep 10 2010 - For gamers looking to purchase a pre-built desktop PC, the desire for powerful components typically comes at a high price. However, as manufacturers compete for market share, the trend toward budget gaming desktops continues to climb. Below is a list of the best gaming desktops depending on budget. Many of these models are fully customizable, so you can choose only the options you want to stay within a set price range.
The budget-friendly Gateway DX4320-09 is priced at $749.99 (MSRP). Featuring an AMD Athlon II X4 quad-core processor and 4GB of DDR3 dual channel memory, this system is well designed for casual gamers. Positive features include the Blu-ray drive, 1TB hard drive, and the ability to upgrade the memory to 8GB. The included power supply is only 300 watts, but the system's green hard drive and ATI Radeon HD 5570 1GB graphics card are designed to use less power.
The HP Pavilion Elite HPE-350t series desktop PC tops our list of best gaming desktops under $1,000. The standard configuration includes an Intel Core i7-860 quad-core processor with Turbo Boost, 6GB of 1333MHz DDR3 memory, and a 750GB 7200RPM hard drive, but upgrades are often included for free when you shop directly at HP. It is definitely worth upgrading the graphics card to the ATI Radeon HD 5570 or NVIDIA GTX 260 if you are a heavy gamer. This system also allows the expansion of storage space with a second hard drive and the ability to add up to 16GB of DDR3 memory.
The Dell Studio XPS 7100 model includes a 21.5-inch Dell full HD monitor for a complete package that rings in at just under $1,150. The AMD Phenom II X6 1035T processor paired with an ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card is more than adequate for running the lastest games. This desktop also includes 8GB of DDR3 memory and a 1TB 7200 RPM hard drive for ample storage. After gaming, enjoy watching movies in HD on the Blu-ray combo drive. For users on a limited budget, the Dell Studio XPS 7100 bundle offers the necessary features for mainstream gaming.
The Systemax SYX SG-1650 desktop computer is built for PC gamers. Priced at $1,450, this system provides a lot of bang for your buck. The Intel i7-860 processor and dual NVIDIA GTS 250 PCI-Express video cards provide the maximum gaming experience on a budget. There is more than enough power with the included 850 watt power supply, ensuring games will run smoothly with no power hiccups. A 1TB 7200 RPM hard drive is standard, as well as a Lightscribe DVD-RW and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. The SYX SG-1650 also includes a Microsoft keyboard and optical mouse. As with most systems on this list, a monitor is not included.
If you are into heavy gaming, this desktop is made for you. The standard Rampage III Extreme motherboard features an Intel Core i7 930 processor with free overclocking for gamers who don't want to be bothered with doing it themselves (and just want to start gaming). Enjoy liquid cooling and a 750 watt power supply for maximum performance. Along with a stylish brushed aluminum case, this system utilizes 6GB of DDR3 memory and an NVIDIA GTX 460 768MB video card. The 500GB 7200 RPM hard drive may be worth upgrading if you tend to play a variety of games and store lots of files. This system is powerful, but at the steep price point, you may be better off building a gaming rig yourself.