12 Best Budget Prebuilt Gaming PCs in 2022 – Under $1500, $1200, $1000 & $800

Best Budget Prebuilt Gaming PCs

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A pre-built gaming PC can be an excellent and quick way to get a top-of-the-line machine, while still leaving yourself open to potential future customizations. With both CPUs and GPUs in high demand, pre-built towers (or laptops) are also the easiest way to get a current-gen processor at anything resembling MSRP.

Pre-built desktop computers are also often more powerful and more affordable than laptops, though this can depend on what display devices and peripherals you use to round out your computer station.

Today, we’re looking at the 12 best budget prebuilt gaming PCs in 2022. We have options for every budget, with offerings under $1500, $1200, $1000, and $800, meaning you’ll be able to find the perfect gaming PC to fit both your needs and your budget.


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Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $1500

Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $1200

Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $1000

Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $800



Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $1500

Gaming PCs in this price range are typically going to include mid-level components from the current generation, giving you a high degree of forward compatibility. They’ll be able to play latest releases, though for really demanding games you might have to choose between the highest settings and 60 FPS.

Additionally, these rigs will be perfect options for budget-conscious competitive gamers. If you plan on buying a 144hz or even 240hz monitor, gaming PCs in this price range will deliver 100+ FPS in games like Call of Duty: Warzone, and 240 FPS in lesser demanding games like Fortnite, Overwatch, Counter-Strike, or Apex Legends for example.

These PCs will have the fewest compromises, and will also generally have enough interior space to make customizations, like upgrades to the cooling system, or swapping out components for more powerful ones either immediately after purchase, or when better parts are available or in your price range.

The table below will give you a quick look at our selections for the 3 best prebuilt gaming PCs under $1500 currently available on the market. To read a full review, simply click on ‘review>>’ in the respective row.

Product

Image

Rating

1. SkyTech Chronos Gaming PC

''Best prebuilt gaming PC under $1500 overall''

9.8

2. Thermaltake Graphite 360

''Best prebuilt gaming PC under $1500 runner-up''

9.6

3. SkyTech Archangel 3.0

''Honorable mention''

9.3



1. SkyTech Chronos Gaming PC

Chassis: SkyTech Chronos Mini | CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X | Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | Motherboard: AMD B550M | RAM: 16 GB DDR4 @ 3200 MHz | Storage: 1 TB SSD | Power Supply: 600W 80 Plus Gold | Fans: 4x SkyTech 120mm RGB Fans | Operating System: Windows 10 Home

SkyTech Chronos Gaming PCREASONS TO BUY

  • Fantastic performance for the money
  • Perfect for 1080p and 1440p gaming
  • Plenty of performance for content creators
  • Current-gen components
  • Comes with an excellent cooling system
  • High-quality chassis
  • Comes in a bundle with a mouse and keyboard
  • 1TB of fast SSD storage

REASONS TO AVOID

  • The power supply may not support major upgrades

Our Rating:   9.8/10

The SkyTech Chronos Gaming PC combines a high level of performance with excellent cooling function, making it our top choice for sustained gaming use.

Skytech makes two versions of the Chronos. The ‘mini’ version, which is still an outstanding PC for the money, however, slightly lags behind the standard version of the Chronos. And that’s the one we’ll be taking a closer look at today. This version, compared to its smaller brother, offers a bit better performance, cooling, and more room for future upgrades.

Similar to the Graphite 360 (#2 on the list), this gaming PC offers an excellent cooling capacity despite being a cheaper option in the grand scheme of things. It comes with four 120mm RGB fans preinstalled, plus a designated water cooling for the CPU in the form of a 120mm AIO cooler. That’s a level of cooling you don’t typically see in a gaming PC in this price range. 

Furthermore, the Skytech Chronos is a great example of how a quality prebuilt PC should look. The case is very sturdy and roomy, making it easy to upgrade and swap out components. Plus, it uses a ton of mesh paneling to augment the work the four fans will do to keep everything cool.

When it comes to performance, this particular model uses an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X processor, an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU, and 16 GB of DDR4 RAM operating at 3200Mhz. Combined, these are going to deliver an excellent gaming performance.

For competitive games, you’ll be able to connect to it the fastest gaming monitors and enjoy smooth 100+, or even 200+ FPS with the current popular competitive titles.

In terms of the latest and greatest AAA titles, you’ll be mostly fine at 1080p on high settings with ray tracing enabled, be prepared to dial the settings back on 1440p monitors. That being said, if you don’t mind playing on lower settings you’ll be able to run AAA titles without an issue.

In addition, thanks to the RAM and mainly the amazing Hexa-core Ryzen 5 5600X processor, you’ll also be able to stream your games online or even do some demanding professional work, such as video editing or heavy rendering.

Most importantly, the fact that all of these components are current-gen means that this desktop will remain a viable competitive PC for several years. That alone adds a good value to an already good deal and puts it above similarly priced prebuilt rigs. 

Speaking of value, the Chronos also ships with a free keyboard and mouse, which rounds of the bundle nicely, and makes this feel like a better value than if it was just the PC. As you’d probably expect, they’re not the best in terms of quality, but if you’re short on peripherals or switching from console to PC for example, they will be sufficient before you make an upgrade.

All in all, the SkyTech Chronos is hands down the best budget prebuilt PC you can currently get your hands on. Compared to other PCs in the same price range, it offers excellent performance that will provide you with enough juice for all levels of gaming as well as some serious professional work.

And on top of that, it comes with four RGB fans and designated water-cooling for your CPU, plus a keyboard and mouse to round everything up. Ultimately, for around $1500, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything better.

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2. Thermaltake Graphite 360 Gaming PC

Chassis: Thermaltake S100 | CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X | Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | Motherboard: AMD B550, mATX | RAM: 16 GB DDR4 @ 3200 MHz | Storage: 1 TB SSD | Power Supply: 700W 80 Plus Gold | Fans: 3x 120mm aRGB Fans | Operating System: Windows 10 Home

Thermaltake Graphite 360 Gaming PCREASONS TO BUY

  • Fantastic performance for the price
  • Perfect for 1080p and 1440p gaming
  • Plenty of performance for content creators
  • Excellent cooling capacity
  • High-quality build overall
  • Uses mostly current-gen components
  • Good implementation of RGB
  • Plenty of customization available

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Some users report out-of-the-box issues, which could mean low-quality control
  • No peripherals included

Our Rating:   9.6/10

One thing you’ll notice throughout this article, whether it’s in laptops or pre-built PCs, is that it’s not that difficult to put a lot of power into a computer. There are a finite number of components on the market, and it’s child’s play to select the strongest ones in a set price range and plug them into a compatible motherboard.

The issue then becomes getting everything to run smoothly, and a big part of that has to do with cooling. Putting these powerful components into a too-small, poorly ventilated chassis will severely bottleneck them, and in extreme cases can damage them to the point of non-functionality.

This is why we’re such big fans of Thermaltake. Their cases and cooling components are top of the line, and in the Graphite 360, they’ve managed to assemble a powerful gaming PC with a ton of cooling potential and a fair price tag.

Starting with the cooling, the PC is pre-equipped with three 120mm fans with two in the front and one at the back of the case, providing you with a great airflow across all of your components. The fans, as well as the RAM sticks, are equipped with programmable RGB elements, allowing for more customization and premium gaming aesthetics.

On top of that, the core components are excellent for the price range as well. The base model comes equipped with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, a six-core Ryzen 5 5600X processor, 16GB of RAM (RGB capable as mentioned above), and a fast, 1TB SSD.

With this level of performance, there’s virtually nothing this PC cannot run. Unlike most gaming desktops around the $1500 price range, it will handle virtually any game at both 1080p and 1440p, be it competitive titles like Call of Duty: Warzone, Apex Legends, or Fortnite, or the latest releases with higher demands on your graphics card.

Similar to the Chronos (#1 on the list), this machine has enough power to be used as a workstation as well, making it perfect if you’re into some content creation like video/photo editing or 3D graphics modeling for example.

The combination of the RAM and the Hexa-core processor allows for heavy rendering and multitasking, while the RTX 3060 graphics card (one of the best value GPU there is) provides amazing performance for more demanding graphics operations like editing 4k videos or creating 3D models.

One tiny gripe we have with the Thermaltake 360 is that there’s not anything in the way of peripherals. A lot of pre-built PCs come as part of a bundle, usually including a mouse and keyboard, or sometimes even a monitor.

Bundles like that are often a huge boost in value, and the fact that Thermaltake opted not to include any peripherals here means that they’re confident that the PC will stand on its own. We’re inclined to agree.

All things considered, the Thermaltake Graphite 360 is a fantastic prebuilt gaming PC for the money you spend on it. The reason we recommend it is mainly the all-around implementation of high-performing components, and the attractive, functional, and most of all well-cooled case.

However, the Chronos from above represents a slightly better value, thanks to the addition of a water-cooled CPU cooler, and keyboard and mouse bundle.

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3. SkyTech Archangel 3.0

Chassis: Thermaltake H200 | CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 | Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | Motherboard: AMD B550 | RAM: 16 GB DDR4 @ 3000 MHz | Storage: 1 TB SSD | Power Supply: 600W 80 Plus Gold | Fans: 3x SkyTech 120mm RGB Fans | Operating System: Windows 10 Home

SkyTech Archangel 3.0REASONS TO BUY

  • Excellent streaming and gaming performance
  • Powerful modern graphics card
  • Great for 1080p and 1440p gaming
  • Quality chassis
  • Decent performance for professionals
  • Room for customization and upgrades
  • Plenty of RGB on and inside the case
  • Attractive aesthetics

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Weak PSU for the size
  • Cooling could be a lot stronger
  • Occasional quality control/assembly issues

Our Rating:   9.3/10

There’s more to a good PC than the name, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t give the tie to something with a flashy name, like the SkyTech Archangel 3.0. With a name like that, what could go wrong?

Aside from the flashy name, the Archangel 3.0 has a lot more going for it. It ships with a ton of current-gen components packed into an RGB-equipped Thermaltake case. There’s a lot to love, right out of the box.

Like the other options in this price range, this is going to give you peak performance in a ton of games. Any of your favorites from recent years should be able to run at 60 FPS on high settings on 1080p, and even on 1440p displays in some cases.

With an Nvidia 3060, that will apply to most of this year’s games as well. A few of the big showcases like Control, AC: Valhalla, or Cyberpunk 2077 could drop below 60 FPS, especially on larger displays, but there’s no solution for that under 2 grand.

The rest of the specs are what we’d expect from a premium gaming PC like this. It has a six-core processor for high-end gaming and even streaming, and a 1TB SSD for an extensive game library. The RAM is also great at 16 GB with a 3000Mhz frequency. That’s a slight downgrade from the PCs above, but nothing you’re going to notice in real-life scenarios.

When it comes to content creation or some difficult rendering tasks, this desktop definitely has enough power second as a workstation. But, compared to our other picks from above, it doesn’t do as well and can slow down your productivity.

Now, whether you get the Archangel in black or glacier white, the included RGB fans and LED strip along the front of the case are really going to pop. It’s a stylish case, and the fans are going to do an adequate job cooling for the most part.

They might have to work a bit harder than they would if there were more of them, and the single intake vent along the front makes this one of Thermaltake’s weaker cases when it comes to ventilation, but it still holds its own.

Now, the Skytech Archangel bundle we found on Amazon includes a ‘free’ keyboard and mouse, which brings this into a slightly closer third. If you’re really serious about gaming, you may still want to upgrade them, or you probably have your own peripherals already. However, they do work pretty well if you don’t have those components already.

On paper, there’s not a lot of difference between the Archangel and our first choice, the Chronos. However, in execution, we’d opt for the Chronos every time, mainly because of the processor and cooling, which can make a huge difference.

With that in mind, if you find this PC on sale for a lower price and you’re really squeezed for the money you’ll still be getting a good computer.

In a vacuum, this is a good gaming PC, and most of the hesitation we have about it can be fixed with some cheap add-ons or upgrades. However, out of the box, this is a distant third for the price range, and the only time it would get a strong recommendation from us is if it went on a big year-end sale.

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Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $1200

There’s a lot of flexibility in this tier, making $1000-1200 one of the most difficult price ranges to shop in. You can find anything from absolutely miraculous machines that somehow cost less than the sum of their parts, to extremely mediocre builds that are coasting on unfeasibly large amounts of RAM to justify charging hundreds more than they’re actually worth.

The options we’ve picked out in this tier are going to offer a level of performance suitable for competitive online gaming as well as most new games, though in some extreme cases you’ll have to take a pretty big hit on either quality or framerate (or both). They might pass muster for streaming, but usually only for older games.

The table below will give you a quick look at our selections for the 3 best prebuilt gaming PCs under $1200 currently available on the market. To read a full review, simply click on ‘review>>’ in the respective row.

Product

Image

Rating

1. CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC

''Best prebuilt gaming PC under $1200 overall''

9.7

2. MSI Aegis SE

''Best prebuilt gaming PC under $1200 runner-up''

9.5

3. SkyTech Shadow Gaming PC

''Honorable mention''

9.4



1. CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC

Chassis: CyberpowerPC Onyxia | CPU: Intel Core i5-11600KF | Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | Motherboard: Intel B560 | RAM: 16 GB DDR4 @ 3000 MHz | Storage: 500 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD | Power Supply: 600W 80 Plus Gold | Fans: 3x 120mm RGB Fans | Operating System: Windows 11 Home

CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PCREASONS TO BUY

  • Extremely good performance for the money
  • Current-generation components
  • Perfect starter PC for gamers and professionals
  • Great case for showcasing your build
  • Comes with a mouse and keyboard
  • Quality overall construction
  • Massive storage

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Slightly underpowered PSU
  • Poor internal cooling

Our Rating:   9.7/10

The pre-built Cyberpower PC has come a long way from previous years, which haven’t even been worth mentioning, except derisively. This year’s model actually manages to combine some really decent specs with a surprisingly good price.

For starters, the Gamer Extreme Cyberpower PC is one of the cheapest ways to get the included components, which include an 11th gen Intel i5-11600KF processor and an Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics card. The rest of the specs are also surprisingly good, with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 500GB SSD, and a 1 TB HDD.

Combined, these components are going to enable you to run basically any game at 60 FPS on high settings, and a lot of competitive online games at 100+ FPS. On top of that, the PC has enough power for streaming and content creation, making it a perfect all-around starter PC for a large variety of users.

Now, there is one area where the savings catch up to you and that’s with cooling. Running under any sort of load, the internal temperature shoots up incredibly fast, and the CPU hits max temperature almost immediately.

If you’re buying pre-built because the idea of doing anything inside your computer scares you, this might not be a great choice. On the other hand, if you’ve got even a small amount of expertise and 100 bucks or so to spare on upgrading the CPU cooler and case fans, you’ll be all set.

When it comes to design, the case on its own isn’t the prettiest, however, allows for an unobstructed view of your rig. It will mostly be up to you to take advantage of the combination of the multiple tempered glass panels and RGB components and make this a stylish rig.

Lastly, this prebuilt PC is another option on our list to ship with peripherals, making it an even better deal than it would initially appear. The tower comes with a wired mouse and a backlit gaming keyboard. This addition can cut down on how much you spend on your initial setup if you’re starting completely from scratch, or if nothing else, can make a decent backup.

The point of a pre-built computer is, in theory, to go from opening to box to launching into a game in less than an hour. While the Gamer Xtreme from Cyberpower can technically do that, it’s going to perform like a much cheaper machine if you try.

The tweaks it needs are as easy as they are inexpensive, but they are unfortunately necessary to get anything resembling your money’s worth out of the excellent components used to build it.

The potential is there, so this remains our top choice in this price range, but only for people willing to put a bit of work in. If not, a slightly cheaper PC that isn’t being throttled by poor cooling is going to perform better and feel like a much more worthwhile purchase.

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2. MSI Aegis SE

Chassis: MSI MPG Gungnir M100M | CPU: Intel Core i5-10400F | Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti | Motherboard: Intel H410, mATX | RAM: 16 GB DDR4 @ 3000 MHz | Storage: 240 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD | Power Supply: 550W 80 Plus Bronze | Operating System: Windows 10 Home

MSI Aegis SEREASONS TO BUY

  • Well-ventilated case with enough cooling
  • One of the best performing PC at this price
  • Great gaming performance at 1080p
  • Excellent starter gaming PC
  • Stylish design with RBG
  • Fairly good quality overall

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Weaker PSU
  • No mice or keyboard included
  • Only a 240 GB of fast storage

Our Rating:   9.5/10

We’ll grant you that it’s extremely unlikely that two computers released the same year could have learned from each other’s mistakes, but bear with us for the sake of comparison.

The MSI Aegis SE seems to have learned from the overpowered components, underpowered cooling found in the previous entry. Overall, it’s a fantastic budget gaming PC and offers a solid upper-middle level of performance with decent cooling potential.

MSI makes a lot of gaming tech, from basic components all the way to laptops and pre-built PCs. The Aegis SE is clearly drawing from that tradition with a remarkable angled design and striking RGB accents on the front of the case. It’s likely that this all-inclusive approach to PC design is what’s responsible for the more balanced product on display here.

For as solid as the case is, it’s surprisingly well ventilated. In fact, the absence of the typical tempered glass panel actually helps somewhat with the thermals since glass is an insulator. The fans are functional and keep the core temperature low, which is always a concern with pre-built PCs, though they can get a bit loud when the PC is running at full load.

With a 10th gen Intel i5-10400F processor, an Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti, and 16GB of RAM operating at 3000 Mhz, this is going to be well above minimum settings for any game currently released and should give you optimal performance (100+ FPS and max settings) on the majority of competitive titles you want to play, especially if you pair it with a 1080p monitor.

It should also allow you to experience the majority of the newer, more demanding games, even if you might need to scale back the settings to get the optimal framerate. 

With the current lineup of pre-built towers, MSI seems to have skimped a bit on the motherboard and PSU, which puts MSI Aegis SE on a shaky foundation. Some users have reported crashes and even the dreaded blue screen of death, which can have a variety of causes and no clear solution.

This isn’t a universal problem, but at the same, we’d recommend buying this one from an outlet that has a solid return policy.

With MSI’s wide range of in-house peripherals, we hoped that this particular model would include some extra gear. While some of their pre-built PCs come with keyboards or mice, this particular one does not.

All things considered, the MSI Aegis SE is a strong gaming tower right out of the box. The reports of major errors are a little concerning but obviously won’t apply to every computer. As long as you buy it somewhere it can be returned if there are errors, this is an excellent prebuilt gaming PC at a very reasonable price.

It’s one of the few options in this price range that didn’t have us immediately eyeing tweaks and upgrades we could make.

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3. SkyTech Shadow Gaming PC

Chassis: Thermaltake H200 | CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 | Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super | Motherboard: AMD A520 | RAM: 16 GB DDR4 @ 3000 MHz | Storage: 1 TB SSD | Power Supply: 550W 80 Plus Bronze | Fans: 3x 120mm RGB Fans | Operating System: Windows 10 Home

SkyTech Shadow Gaming PCREASONS TO BUY

  • Great performance for the money
  • Tempered glass side panels with RGB
  • High-quality build
  • Perfect for 1080p gaming
  • 1 TB of fast storage
  • Easy access for upgrades
  • Comes with a keyboard and mouse

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Slightly older components, which means you’re paying above MSRP if taken piece by piece
  • Weaker PSU

Our Rating:   9.4/10

The Shadow 3.0 is another extremely strong budget prebuilt PC from SkyTech. It’s available in a range of options, including offering some of the better prices on the Nvidia 30 series GPUs but to be clear, we’re talking about one of the more budget-friendly options.

This particular model of the Shadow is a little stripped-down but still delivers great performance mainly for 1080p gaming, though on older titles, it’s still capable of delivering 60+ FPS at 1440p.

Where the Shadow really stands out, especially among mid-tier budget options, is how well the cooling is implemented. While the options we’ve seen at this tier so far have been either too weak, or strong but too loud, the case is well ventilated, allowing the fans to run low for the most part, and they remain beautifully quiet even when running at higher settings.

It uses the same Thermaltake case as several of the other SkyTech options, but the more budget-friendly components mean that the fans (which also seem to have been upgraded) are not working nearly as hard.

Further, gaming performance is pretty much exactly what we expected from the price and specs here. It’s going to give you peak performance on most games at 1080p, though like most computers under $2000, it’s going to struggle with the big sandbox games and higher resolutions.

The GTX 1660 Super is a cheaper GPU, and you’re not getting the same deal by getting it at MSRP as with some of the newer cards, but it’s still great on performance. In addition, the six-core Ryzen 5 3600 processor is more than adequate for gaming, and can even support the background processes involved in things like streaming.

Now, for the other components in play, 16GB of RAM is going to be more than enough. Currently, it is the standard amount for gaming and general productivity, meaning you won’t have to worry about upgrading your memory for the foreseeable future.

Like the rest of the SkyTech offerings, this model of the Shadow ships with an included mouse and keyboard, which makes it easier to set up and play right out of the box. There’s not a lot to say about them, even if they weren’t free. They work and respond fairly well though high-level competitive gamers might not get the most use out of them.

Overall, the SkyTech Shadow 3.0 is a great gaming computer no matter which version of it you get. The under $1200 version isn’t always in stock, which is can be a bit frustrating. If you do get the under $1200 version, it’s a wonderful plug-and-play option for casual gamers, while still having enough performance to not stifle any competitive streaks you might go on.

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Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $1000

In the sub $1000 category, most of the prebuilt PCs are still going to be able to run the vast majority of games, including some of the bigger titles from this year. They’re going to be perfect when it comes to less graphically demanding games, like Minecraft, Fortnite, and a lot of popular MMORPGs or MOBAs.

The only thing you’ll probably take a hit on is how pretty everything looks. In this price range, you’ll start to see limits on your framerate for newer games, and even cases where you won’t be able to run certain titles.

The table below will give you a quick look at our selections for the 3 best prebuilt gaming PCs under $1000 currently available on the market. To read a full review, simply click on ‘review>>’ in the respective row.

Product

Image

Rating

1. Thermaltake Glacier 150 Gaming PC

''Best prebuilt gaming PC under $1000 overall''

9.7

2. CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme 

''Best prebuilt gaming PC under $1000 runner-up''

9.6

3. ASUS ROG Strix GL10DH Gaming PC

''Honorable mention''

9.3



1. Thermaltake Glacier 150 Gaming PC

Chassis: Thermaltake S100 Snow Edition | CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 | Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 | Motherboard: AMD B450, mATX | RAM: 16 GB DDR4 @ 3200 MHz | Storage: 500 GB SSD | Power Supply: 500W 80 Plus White | Operating System: Windows 10 Home

Thermaltake Glacier 150REASONS TO BUY

  • Excellent cooling and ventilation
  • A fantastic budget prebuilt PC
  • Great gaming performance for 1080p
  • Good processing power overall
  • Clean aesthetics with tempered glass
  • High-quality build
  • Easy to upgrade

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Some launch issues reported
  • Lower capacity PSU
  • Weak GPU for newer games

Our Rating:   9.7/10

Speaking of reappearances, the Glacier 150 brings Thermaltake’s line of gaming PCs back to our list. The Glacier 150 has a lot in common with the Graphite 360 from the top of our list, including most of its design and construction components. That’s definitely good news.

In addition, this PC features a highly functional look, though it is missing most of the RGB elements that you’ll find in its more expensive cousin.

As you may remember, a huge part of our affection for Thermaltake is how well they implement cooling. The 150 has stripped that down somewhat by removing the top two fans from the case, but it remains a well-ventilated and well-constructed case, with two 120mm fans on the front and one on the back.

Besides that, Thermaltake’s cases are easy to access, so if you find yourself struggling with overheating during extended gaming sessions it should be pretty easy to install the two “missing” fans at the top.

Now, the Glacier 150 has made some cuts to get down to this price point and they’re pretty severe. this PC ships with a GTX 1650 which is one of the weaker entries from the previous generation of Nvidia cards.

What does that mean for you? Bad news. On high settings, you’ll struggle to reach 60 FPS on most AAA titles, and some of the more intensive older ones, including Witcher 3, Shadow of War, and even GTA 5. You’ll be able to run them on lower settings, but still, this is not a PC for high-end gaming.

For older, or less graphically demanding games (we’re not going to name them again) this is still a good PC and will provide you with a smooth gaming experience. Only at 1080p, though, we’d not recommend you to pair this PC with a 1440p monitor.

Moving along, the processor is an AMD Ryzen 5 3600, one of the most popular, if not the most popular CPU on the market. It’s known for its incredible price to performance ratio and combined with the 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, it makes one of the best PC for multitasking and productivity at this price range.

Just like with the Graphite 360, we’re a little disappointed with the lack of any bundled peripherals. They’re obviously not required, but it’s fairly common for manufacturers to include them if only to make it easier to launch and play right out of the box. This is still a great PC, but be aware that you will need input devices in addition to the PC and monitor.

Overall, the Thermaltake Glacier 150 is in a lot of ways exactly what we’re looking for in a budget prebuilt PC under $1000. It has a baseline of performance that’s not going to prevent you from playing the majority of the older, popular games, even if some of them are not as pretty as they could be.

On top of that, it’s ready to go, without tweaking, right out of the box. Plus, the construction makes it easy to swap out components when you’re ready to upgrade. The PSU is more than adequate to power the PC as it currently stands, but if you’re going to start making major upgrades, that’s going to be one of the first things you want to swap out.

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2. CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme

CPU: Intel Core i5-10400F | Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super | Motherboard: Intel B460 | RAM: 8 GB DDR4 @ 3000 MHz | Storage: 500 GB SSD | Power Supply: 600W 80 Plus Gold | Fans: 4x 120mm RGB Fans | Operating System: Windows 10 Home 

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer XtremeREASONS TO BUY

  • Great overall performance for the price
  • Best gaming performance in this price range
  • Easy to make adjustments and upgrades
  • High-quality construction
  • Comes with four RGB fans
  • Included mouse and keyboard

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Some issues with cooling
  • Lower quantities of RAM and storage
  • 1440p is mostly out of the question

Our Rating:   9.6/10

This is the second time CyberPowerPC’s new Gamer Xtreme has appeared on our list, this time as a more affordable option. This cheaper version of the CyberPowerPC keeps a lot of the same core construction features, which means that it’s overall well put together and easy to make changes to.

If you remember from the last entry of the CyberPowerPC, we noted that cooling was a huge issue, to the point of it needing immediate adjustments out of the box. This version still would be helped by those adjustments, which as a refresher involved dropping $100 or so on upgrading the CPU and adding or upgrading some case fans.

However, since it uses slightly less powerful components, they’re not going to heat up as quickly under a full load, and you might be able to put it off longer, especially if you’re using it more casually or for shorter stretches.

In terms of performance, this is actually a pretty solid build, especially when considering how much you pay for it. It’s a PC that wouldn’t be out of place in some of the higher tiers, with a 10th generation i5 processor and the ubiquitous GTX 1660 Super.

Typically, once you move into this price bracket, you start seeing pretty major drops in framerate, even for games that these PCs can technically run. But this model of the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme doesn’t see that lagging framerate in most cases. Obvious exceptions do still apply, but they’re not nearly as frequent as we expected for the price.

It all comes down to what games you intend to play. The sub $1000 category isn’t the best to pick from when you want to play the latest games, even at 1080p resolution. However, if you mainly have games like Minecraft, Fortnite, League of Legends, or Counter-Strike in your repertoire, you’ll find the gaming performance of this desktop more than sufficient for your needs. 

Now, both the RAM and the hard drive are on the lower side, though this is a feature you start seeing fairly often at lower price points. RAM is the easiest and cheapest component to upgrade, with the hard drive not far behind. So once you have a bit of money back in your budget, you can bump it up pretty easily and have a competitive PC with virtually no downsides.

Just like the previous model, this option also includes a keyboard and a gaming mouse. The mouse works well, and the keyboard is pretty decent, though the lower quality and lack of an RGB backlight might make a lot of people more likely to replace it at the earliest opportunity.

All in all, the more basic components in this version of the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme make it a little more feasible to pull out of the box and play, but once again we’d really only recommend it for people who are comfortable with making upgrades to the interior of their PC.

Apart from that, this PC is going to deliver a level of gaming performance out of proportion with the base price. Some of that is going to be mitigated by the need to upgrade the cooling, but that can wait for the most part, and even if you factored that into the base price it’s still a really good deal.

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3. ASUS ROG Strix GL10DH Gaming PC

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3400G | Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 | Motherboard: AMD B450 | RAM: 8 GB DDR4 @ 2666 MHz | Storage: 512 GB SSD | Power Supply: 500W 80 Plus Gold | Operating System: Windows 10 Home

ASUS ROG Strix GL10DHREASONS TO BUY

  • Decent performance for 1080p gaming
  • Established gaming brand
  • Excellent construction and customization
  • High-quality overall build
  • Attractive aesthetics
  • Great as a starter gaming rig
  • Comes with a mouse and keyboard

REASONS TO AVOID

  • So-so peripherals
  • Only 8GB of RAM
  • Weaker GPU and PSU 

Our Rating:   9.3/10

If you’re familiar with the ASUS ROG gaming series, you might be surprised to see an entry from them on this list, especially this far down. However, the ASUS ROG Strix GL10DH is able to bring the ASUS ROG series’s high-quality gaming performance to an extremely attainable price point.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the ROG Strix GL10DH looks like a gaming PC to a greater degree than a lot of the entries on this list. The angular front panel with the RGB strip down the front is both stylish and functional, with barely visible mesh panels providing greater ventilation.

In addition, the PC ships with two options for the side panel, either a tempered glass to show off the interior components, or a mesh metal panel for better ventilation. That’s a level of construction and customization that’s lacking from a lot of pre-built PCs, not just at this price point but on this list at all.

Since it is a budget PC, the performance is going to leave a little to be desired compared to what people would typically expect from the ROG series. For the GPU CPU combo, you get a Ryzen 5 3400G and, like the previous entry, an Nvidia GTX 1650.

That’s a graphics card comparable to what you’d typically find in mid-range gaming laptops, so it doesn’t use the power that’s theoretically available in a tower to full effect. Again, whether it’s adequate for you is going to come down to what type of gamer you are.

If you casually play old favorites it’s perfect. Competitive online gamers will also get good use out of it, though in this particular case might be held back by the RAM and processor. If you’re looking for something that will keep you on the cutting edge with all the newest games, it’s probably not going to be a surprise to learn that this particular PC will come up short.

The RAM and storage are both on the low side, with only 8 GB of RAM. For gaming ad some other demanding applications, it would probably be a good idea to upgrade that as soon as you have a bit of extra money to spare.

ROG is a premium gaming brand, so they spend almost as much time promoting peripherals as they do their core computer products. Sadly, that means that the included keyboard and mouse are, at best, what you could call default quality. They’ll work, but they’re definitely not as exciting as some of the other options from the ASUS ROG brand.

Overall, the ROG Strix GL10DH really shines as a first-time gaming PC. It’s fairly affordable and is going to be a massive upgrade over a school laptop or family computer. The ROG gaming brand is going to be exciting for gamers of all ages, and there’s plenty of capacity to upgrade as requirements advance or more powerful components become more affordable.

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Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $800

Pre-built gaming PCs in the sub $800 category are on the edge of what we’d recommend for gaming. They’re going to be using previous-gen components with less performance to keep the price down, and as a result, may struggle to play some newer games.

Besides that, they may not have as much RAM or hard drive space, which can make them a bit sluggish and require you to keep a smaller game library installed.

However, they’ll be fine for most online gaming, indie games, building sims, strategies, and RPGs. Though obviously, they’re going to fall short of competitive gaming and AAA titles.

The table below will give you a quick look at our selections for the 3 best prebuilt gaming PCs under $800 currently available on the market. To read a full review, simply click on ‘review>>’ in the respective row. 

Product

Image

Rating

1. AVGPC Q-Box 3 Gaming PC

''Best prebuilt gaming PC under $800 overall''

9.8

2. iBUYPOWER Trace 4 MR 225i

''Best prebuilt gaming PC under $800 runner-up''

9.3

3. iBUYPOWER Trace 4

''Honorable mention''

9.0



1. AVGPC Q-Box 3 Gaming PC

Chassis: Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L | CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 | Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 | RAM: 8 GB DDR4 @ 3000 MHz | Storage: 500 GB SSD | Power Supply: 550W 80 Plus Gold | Operating System: Windows 10 Home

AVGPC Q-Box 3 Gaming PCREASONS TO BUY

  • Best value under $800
  • Quality, well-ventilated case
  • Fantastic performance for the money
  • Comes with a liquid CPU cooler
  • Decent amount of RAM and storage
  • Tempered glass side panel
  • Compact and portable build
  • Comes with a mouse and keyboard

REASONS TO AVOID

  • The way the system is laid out can make the upgrade process more complicated

Our Rating:   9.8/10

The AVGPC Q-Box 3 Gaming PC is built using the CoolerMaster MasterBox 300L, which is one of the most popular mini-tower cases currently on the market. The geometric mesh that covers most of the case isn’t as good on airflow as it could be, but still allows for a high degree of ventilation, and is going to offer more than enough cooling for smaller budget builds like this one.

The AVGPC Q-Box holds a unique spot, not only on this list but among computers available in 2022. It’s one of the very few budget pre-built PCs to have a liquid-cooled CPU, meaning that you’ll be getting a lot more function out of the 6-Core AMD 5 3600 processor than you otherwise would from a computer this size.

If anything, the processing power is out of proportion with the specs from the rest of the PC. It’s weirdly perfect for games that can take a lot of processing power but aren’t very graphically intense.

Speaking of graphics, the graphics card that ships with this PC is the Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti. It might be a turn-off when you realize the card is 5 years old, but it’s actually a really good option at this price point. Despite being an older model, it can still provide solid performance for newer games. Plus, in the sub $800 category, it’s in fact one of the best you can get.

In addition to the great performance, the AVGPC Q-Box also ships with a gaming mouse and keyboard, making this the perfect bundle for first-time gaming PC buyers, gamers who’re switching from console, or competitive gamers looking for a travel backup.

The paradox of budget computers is that the less you pay for them, the more it can feel like you wasted your money. The AVGPC Q-Box is a massive outlier from that trend. The price feels like a total bargain and the specs are balanced perfectly to exceed your expectations of them. It combines a quality, well-ventilated case with liquid cooling and fantastic performance for the money.

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2. iBUYPOWER Trace 4 MR 225i

CPU: Intel Core i3-10105F | Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 | Motherboard: Intel B560 | RAM: 8 GB DDR4 | Storage: 480 GB SSD | Power Supply: 500W 80 Plus Bronze | Operating System: Windows 11 Home 

iBUYPOWER Trace 4MR 225iREASONS TO BUY

  • Plenty of room for upgrades
  • Decent performance for older games
  • Lots of fans pre-installed, with room for more
  • Decent processor and RAM for the price
  • Attractive aesthetics
  • Quality construction
  • Comes with a nice RGB mouse and keyboard

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Weak video card
  • Some ventilation issues might make future upgrades difficult
  • Smaller hard drive

Our Rating:   9.3/10

The iBUYPOWER Trace 4 MR 225i is built to show off, and while the budget model we’re looking at is adequate, we’re not really sure if it’s worth the stage offered by the case. If you need a PC right now and have a clear roadmap of the upgrades you want to make on it, the tempered glass panels, spacious interior, and numerous RGB fans could make this a winning possibility.

You do get a reasonable amount of power out of the gate, with a quad-core Intel i3 processor and 8GB of RAM. For the budget, it’s a pretty reasonable level of performance and is going to support just about any basic operation you’re looking to run on this machine.

One of the biggest advantages of getting a pre-built PC is that in this market it might be your only shot at getting your GPU for anything resembling retail. That makes the fact that this only uses an Nvidia GT 1030 a bit disappointing.

It’s not a new or very powerful processor. It can push you past 60 FPS on older games like League of Legends, Minecraft, or Counterstrike, but an anything newer you’ll be lucky to crack 40 FPS.

If you do manage to swap out the components, you’ll find yourself with another challenge: cooling. The numerous fans and top vent do a good enough job on less powerful builds like this one, but the tempered glass front panel is going to seriously restrict airflow and heat dissipation.

Further, the RAM is fine for the price point, at 8 GB, but memory-wise, there’s only 480 GB. A lot of that is going to be taken up by system files, even if it is mercifully light on bloatware, so you might struggle to get more than single digits in your game library.

As a major plus, the Trace 4 MR 225i comes bundled with a very attractive RGB keyboard and wired gaming mouse. They’re not of the highest quality, but they will get you through some light gaming. For kids, for example, they’ll be perfectly fine.

All things considered, this PC is going to be a good option for anyone who wants to work on putting together a PC, but needs a baseline product that can use out of the box. The quality and looks are great but a pretty major disadvantage of this PC is the performance. 

In comparison to the Q-Box 3, it lacks behind quite significantly. That being said, if you can’t find the Q-Box in stock, this is probably your next best bet.

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3. iBUYPOWER Trace 4 Gaming PC

Chassis: iBUYPOWER Trace 4 | CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 | Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GT 730 | RAM: 8 GB DDR4 | Storage: 240 GB SSD | Power Supply: 500W 80 Plus Bronze | Operating System: Windows 10 Home

iBUYPOWER Trace 4 93G730REASONS TO BUY

  • Lots of interior space for upgrades
  • Surprisingly good processor for the money
  • Plenty of RGB onboard
  • Decent cooling capacity
  • Tempered glass side panel
  • Comes with an RGB mouse and keyboard

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Very weak graphics card
  • Below-average gaming performance 
  • Only a 240 GB SSD

Our Rating:   9.0/10

The iBuyPower Trace isn’t the only pre-built PC to have multiple models show up on our list, even if it is the first to go back to back.

The Trace 4 93G730 is a bit bulkier than the previous Trace model and uses a metal front panel with RGB accents rather than the tempered glass we saw on the last one. It won’t be as showy for long-term upgrades but might be a little bit more feasible when it comes to thermals.

Our recommendation for what to do with it hasn’t changed. This is a computer you get so you have something that works now while you wait for the parts you’re going to swap into it to go on sale or come back into stock.

One big selling point is that you’ll be spending even less on the GPU. The GeForce GT 730 retails for a little over 50 bucks so you won’t feel like you wasted money on it when it ends up in a box in your closet for the rest of your life which is, again, our official recommendation on what to do with it.

Like with the last model of trace, the RAM and CPU hold their own. The 8GB DDR4 is functional for the short term, and with 6 cores and a 3.6 GHz clock rate, the Ryzen 5 3600 could easily stay in your new build for the rest of its life. In fact, there’s not a lot of builds that would leverage a more powerful CPU than that.

Apart from the GPU, the hard drive is probably the weakest link here and you will probably have to upgrade it in the very near future. If you plan on playing more than a couple of games while you wait for your new parts, the 240 GB will get frustrating quickly.

Similar to the model above, this budget PC also ships with an RGB mouse and a keyboard, making it a fairly good value across the board.

Both models of the Trace we’ve covered here are going to be good foundations for slowly building to a better PC. The differences will come down to cooling capacity, processor brand, and some style preference on metal vs tempered glass plating.

However, you have a slightly better starting point with the 225i. Plus, considering the overall performance of this PC, we can’t really recommend it–In comparison to both options above, this one offers by far the worst performance for your money.

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In Conclusion

There are a few budget pre-built gaming PCs that are going to be perfect right out of the box, and even then that will depend on what you intend to use them for.

More commonly, getting a budget pre-built PC is a way to get your hands on out-of-stock components (most notably the Nvidia 30 series) or get a machine that’s ready to go with only a few tweaks.

Whatever plans you have in mind for your PC, the options on our list will be an excellent starting point, no matter your budget.

About Joshua Hunsberger 5 Articles
Josh has been passionate about computers and PC games from a very young age. He has built and repaired his own PCs. Most of the time he's gaming, either solo strategy, building sims, or co-op games with friends.

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