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What is the best Pre-built Gaming PC for under $500

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January 14, 2013 5:16:40 AM

I'm wondering what the best pre-built gaming PC for under $500 is.
(I'll probably be buying with tax return - have a baby boy and my girl will kill me if i spend any more than that)

As far as I can tell these days, the bang-for-your-buck gap between pre-built and self-built PCs isn't too substantial, at least not as bad as it was a few years ago.

I'm primarily looking to play League of Legends (preferably while streaming) and possibly games along the lines of Guild Wars 2/Skyrim - though primary focus will be on less intensive games like LoL.



If anyone has any advice or recommendations for pre-builts - websites, actual PCs, etc - it would be greatly appreciated.

Also wondering how well a computer that cheap actually performs.


Thank you very much for any and all input.

More about : pre built gaming 500

a c 357 4 Gaming
January 14, 2013 5:18:39 AM

Honestly, nothing.

For $500 you would HAVE to build it yourself to get the performance you want.

Any prebuilt for $500 probably won't run skyrim on lowest settings.

For $500 if you build it yourself, you could get medium/high settings.
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January 14, 2013 5:23:19 AM

Really? I thought the price gap had sort of closed by now.

Well thats good to know i s'pose - i've gotten a lot better at working with PC components over the last few weeks but i still just get the sinking feeling that i'll blow my new order to smithereens when i try to set it up for the first time.
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a c 357 4 Gaming
January 14, 2013 5:24:53 AM

Its very easy to build a PC. There are many helpful tutorials on the internet. Newegg's is very good in particular.
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January 31, 2013 12:00:06 PM

tiny voices said:
Honestly, nothing.

For $500 you would HAVE to build it yourself to get the performance you want.

Any prebuilt for $500 probably won't run skyrim on lowest settings.

For $500 if you build it yourself, you could get medium/high settings.


You can't be serious. I have a 13" Macbook Pro (edit: which has the gaming power of a hamster wheel) that runs Skyrim on medium. I'm stopping by because I'm starting to look for something similar to the OP, budget of ~$600 including monitor, to play games like Path of Exile and a few other MMOs from time to time. I don't need *ultra* high (I have an Xbox for graphic-intensive games!) but I would like to have medium-high graphics for most of the time.
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April 28, 2013 2:22:10 AM

AMD system - You could try to see if you can get an AM3 socket cpu from ebay or see if any friend or someone who knows somone that has such cpu and you will be at 500$

What operational system will you have? if windows won't be then delete it and you can add an ssd (Plextor M5 128GB) or add that to the gpu and you will have Tahiti LE system. For instance if you have windows XP (doesn't matter if's OEM version) then you can take to the next system. XP has it's limitation of course when it comes to gpu drivers.

You will be able to upgrade to steamroller cpu later this year which will give you and a performance boost.

What parts can you take, if it's a desktop, from the current system? Tell us and we will exclude them to see how we can improve the system.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 28, 2013 2:42:42 AM

assuming you are in the USA, and already have a 1920x1080 monitor, a keyboard, speakers, and a mouse:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock 970DE3/U3S3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.98 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($30.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($66.61 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($154.70 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill REDBONE U3 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHOS104-06 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Drive
Total: $517.24
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-28 05:45 EDT-0400)

you have 4-core AMD processor, 8 GB of ram, a 1 TB HDD, an HD 7850 + 3 games, good quality psu, and a decent case.

Edit: first post the Hard drive had no price.
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April 30, 2013 9:36:30 AM

ScrewySqrl said:
assuming you are in the USA, and already have a 1920x1080 monitor, a keyboard, speakers, and a mouse:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock 970DE3/U3S3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.98 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($30.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($66.61 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($154.70 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill REDBONE U3 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHOS104-06 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Drive
Total: $517.24
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-28 05:45 EDT-0400)

you have 4-core AMD processor, 8 GB of ram, a 1 TB HDD, an HD 7850 + 3 games, good quality psu, and a decent case.

Edit: first post the Hard drive had no price.


This is a better build in some ways than was on my question which is similar to the OPs -- and it includes a case. :) 

I'm still in the market trying to decide what to do. But to address the OPs question, I am finding systems out there that are suitable for your (described) and my level of gaming for $500.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/CyberpowerPC-Black-Gamer-Ultr...

I'm not buying until the 8th and this one went out-of-stock in less than 2 days.

I've found others that are intel-based that would work if you wanted to replace the PSU-- not only because they are risky but they won't even support a mid-level gaming GPU. :-/
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a b 4 Gaming
April 30, 2013 3:24:30 PM

raubon said:
ScrewySqrl said:
assuming you are in the USA, and already have a 1920x1080 monitor, a keyboard, speakers, and a mouse:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock 970DE3/U3S3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.98 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($30.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($66.61 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($154.70 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill REDBONE U3 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHOS104-06 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Drive
Total: $517.24
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-28 05:45 EDT-0400)

you have 4-core AMD processor, 8 GB of ram, a 1 TB HDD, an HD 7850 + 3 games, good quality psu, and a decent case.

Edit: first post the Hard drive had no price.


This is a better build in some ways than was on my question which is similar to the OPs -- and it includes a case. :) 

I'm still in the market trying to decide what to do. But to address the OPs question, I am finding systems out there that are suitable for your (described) and my level of gaming for $500.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/CyberpowerPC-Black-Gamer-Ultr...

I'm not buying until the 8th and this one went out-of-stock in less than 2 days.

I've found others that are intel-based that would work if you wanted to replace the PSU-- not only because they are risky but they won't even support a mid-level gaming GPU. :-/


the wal-mart system you listed uses a bulldozer 4100 cpu. My system uses a 4300. clocked higher and better per-cycle integer performance makes the 4300 much, much better than a 4100. Also, a GT 610 GPU is a very basic gpu -- it'll do video ok, but will struggle even with flash games, where I list an Hd 7850, a genuine gaming card. Lets not even talk about the psu quality difference
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May 4, 2013 7:44:55 AM


the wal-mart system you listed uses a bulldozer 4100 cpu. My system uses a 4300. clocked higher and better per-cycle integer performance makes the 4300 much, much better than a 4100. Also, a GT 610 GPU is a very basic gpu -- it'll do video ok, but will struggle even with flash games, where I list an Hd 7850, a genuine gaming card. Lets not even talk about the psu quality difference said:

the wal-mart system you listed uses a bulldozer 4100 cpu. My system uses a 4300. clocked higher and better per-cycle integer performance makes the 4300 much, much better than a 4100. Also, a GT 610 GPU is a very basic gpu -- it'll do video ok, but will struggle even with flash games, where I list an Hd 7850, a genuine gaming card. Lets not even talk about the psu quality difference


I think you misunderstood. I was praising your system compared to other builds I've seen but this is not pre-built, such the OP asked about.

I've come up with what I think is a nice combo with an FX-6300 that I'll be posting about.

I was simply addressing the OPs question. I didn't say it was an optimal build. I've found some other builds as well for $500 that are variably better or worse. For some people it will be worth it to use older parts and upgrade later.

And I have yet to find a PSU I wouldn't replace on a pre-built in this price range ...if it isn't the quality, the power is simply too low.
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