Buying a new computer can be stressful. With all that tech jargon, codes, and complicated names, how are you supposed to find a good computer that doesn’t also cost a fortune? That’s why we bring you the most lucrative deals on the market so that you can find the best desktop computer for under $500!
How to Choose a Desktop Computer? Buying Guide
In this buying guide, we’re going to go through all kinds of computers so you can suit your specific needs. Are you into gaming? We have a computer for that! Do you need something that makes your work life easier? We’ve got a computer for that, too! Here you can find the best computer deals on the market. We’re also going to dive into their features and, of course, a list of pros and cons. So, below you can weigh all your options and decide which one is best for you!
Desktop or Laptop
When selecting a new computer, you need to determine whether you need a computer or a laptop. Desktops usually have a lower price and work as a fixed workstations. When it comes to a laptop, is lighter, smaller, and portable, however, it comes with a bit higher cost. Desktops are likewise easier to upgrade and repair while laptop components are fixed into place and cannot easily be replaced or repaired if something goes work.
You also need to know which operating system you want the computer to have. It includes Apple’s OS X or Windows OS. The standard choice is the windows operation system while Apple computers are perfect especially for companies dealing more with graphics.
What Specs Should You Look For?
You need to consider the Screen Size, Resolution measures, CPU Type, Random Access Memory, Hard Drive capacity, and other important features of the computer. Remember, Pcs that have high features are more costly.
Best Desktop Computer Under $500 of 2021
Without further ado, we bring you the best computers of the year for under $500! In this varied list of great hardware, you’re sure to find the device that best suits your particular needs and stays within your budget!
Acer Aspire TC-895: Best Overall
This is the cream of the crop, the absolute best desktop computer for less than 500 bucks. Combining both speed and storage capabilities, the Acer Aspire is your go-to when you need a good computer that works but won’t cost more than your mortgage.
According to Vicadia, the Acer Aspire has excellent features for an affordable PC, including “the latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-10100 processor which features four cores and eight processing threads, as well as with 8GB of high-speed DDR4 memory, and an ultra-fast 512GB NVMe solid-state drive.” So, if you’re looking for a lightning-fast computer that doesn’t cost a small fortune, this is your best bet.
- Great storage
- It comes with a Wifi-module, so you don’t have to stumble over wires to connect to the internet.
- It comes with the latest Bluetooth module so you can connect your air pods to your PC in the blink of an eye!
- Fantastic for gaming! This particular computer can run both the latest Counterstrike and League of Legends at 720p resolution. So, you’ll have the ultimate gaming experience!
- It runs out of stock very fast, so grab it while you still can!
Overall, the Acer Aspire offers you the best hardware at a low price, making it perfect for office work, gaming, entertainment, whatever you need! It does run out fast, so grab it while you can!
HP 24 All-In-One PC: Best AIO PC
This PC lives up to its name by having all the hardware you need in one compact unit. According to Vicadia, the All-In-One offers a variety of fantastic features, including: “a snappy AMD Ryzen 3 3250U processor with Radeon Vega 3 integrated graphics, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a beautiful 23.8-inch IPS anti-glare WLED-backlit display screen.”
- Outstanding system performance
- The 24-inch IPS Display screen is so prominent in real life that when you watch Netflix in bed, you’ll feel like you’re in a movie theater!
- Massive storage space. You can fit all the pictures of your dog and the ones your friend posts of her baby on Facebook!
- Sleek Design
- Popping colors
- A great sound system which makes it perfect for entertainment
- Not very suitable for gaming since it has a smaller processor
- Parts are hard to replace, which may make repairing difficult
To sum up, this is an excellent option for screenwriters out there who need to watch lots of content with a good screen and download several heavy files at once.
Dell Optiplex 790: Best for Gaming
This PC is fantastic for gamers everywhere! Whether you’re spending eight hours a day grinding on Minecraft, playing League of Legends, or just having friendly games of Among Us with your friends, this PC is going to be the best Player 2 you’ve ever had.
This PC has everything, from “a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 graphics card” to “a whopping 16GB of DDR3 memory.” This particular PC also features 1080p resolution, so you can see your enemies and pay like a boss!
- Great gaming performance
- 16GB of memory, so you don’t have to choose between keeping your favorite games or downloading new ones!
- Includes both an SSD and an HDD
- It comes with a 4-in-1 gaming peripheral set!
- Features an older processor
In conclusion, if you’re looking for the best and most affordable gaming hardware, this is your best bet.
Lenovo 510A Desktop: Best Budget HTPC
HTPC’s can be expensive, and find a good one at an affordable price is next to impossible. However, we’ve been able to find a great deal in this Lenovo 510A Desktop. Please keep reading to find out more about its broad range of features and masterful design that will turn your home into a movie theater!
This HTPC features “a snappy and efficient AMD Ryzen 3 3200G processor” as well as a “powerful Radeon Vega 8 integrated graphics solution.” These are the key elements that make this computer great for in-home movie watching since the screen captures all the subtle movements of the camera. The sound system lets you hear all around you, making it feel like you’re in an actual theater!
- Lightning-fast CPU
- Masterfully integrated graphics solution
- SD card reader for all those online purchases!
- It comes with a mouse, keyboard, and mouse pad, so you’re all good to go! No additional purchases are required!
- It lacks a discreet graphics card.
Overall, if you’re a big movie fan, this is the computer for you, with a decent budget and great features that are sure to enhance your movie-watching experience.
HP 2440 Business Workstation: Best for Business
As its name suggests, this computer is a must-have for anyone who works from home. With a fast processor and a remarkable ability to download heavy files all at once, this computer is perfect for teachers giving online lessons, small business owners, traders, etc.
This HP features “a quad-core server-grade Intel Xeon E5-1603 CPU” and the ability to create your own private NAS server. Hence, it’s perfect for people in IT or who have a small business and want to link all their employees!
- Powerful processor
- Discreet graphics card
- THERE ARE several USB ports so you can put in all the pen drives you have for each school if you’re a teacher while still connecting your phone!
- Extremely affordable!
- Outdated CPU
With how hard it is to grow a business, this computer can make the job easier. And with all of its premium features, sleek design, and fast processor, the price makes it a steal!
CHUWI Core Box Pro: Best Mini PC
Alright, we’ve officially reached the end of our very long list of the best computers for under $500. Still, just because this one is in the last place, that does not make it any less valuable. The CHUWI is highly portable and yet still carries all the power of a full-sized PC.
This mini-PC features “a dual-core, 4-thread Intel Core i3-1005G1 desktop processor, a whopping 12GB of LPDDR4 memory, and an ultra-fast 256GB NVMe solid-state drive.” These elements make this tiny PC not so little by giving it lots of power and efficiency.
- Super small and portable, so you can take it on business trips and put it anywhere! Or find a place for it in your studio apartment!
- Modern chassis design, so it works well on the inside and looks good on the outside!
- Thunderbolt 3 connectivity
- 4K video encoding so you can see anything you want in the highest resolution on the market!
- Relatively weak graphics card
- Not a lot of documentation or driver support
And that concludes our list of the best desktop computer under 2021! We hope you could find a computer that suits your needs and also doesn’t exceed your budget.
SkyTech Blaze: Best for Performance
As its name suggests, the SkyTech Blaze is the most forward-thinking, with its modern design and great hardware that is sure to make your computing life easier and more efficient! The SkyTech Blaze offers various great features, including a 16M RAM and a powerful processor that can handle an almost infinite number of tasks at once!
- Extremely high performance (especially considering the low price)
- Modern design
- Gorgeous graphics
- Beautiful display screen
- Unbelievably Fast
- Powerful processor
- It goes out of stock very quickly, so units are hard to get
If you want a no-fuss, modern computer that will get the job done as effectively as possible, then this is the computer for you!
iBUYPOWER Pro: Best for Gaming
Now you’re talking gaming desktop computers. This particular model is legendary for its insane graphics, its high resolution, and its speed. If you’re serious about gaming, this is the computer to get!
The iBUYPOWER contains many features that attract gamers like moths to a flame, including 16GB of RAM, a 500GB SSD drive, an Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti graphics card, and an Intel Core i7-7800X processor.
- Powerful processor
- Lots of memory, so you don’t run out of space
- A fantastic graphics card that delivers excellent visuals
- Outstanding performance
- Parts are a tad rare and may be hard to replace.
For under $500 bucks, this is the most powerful computer you can get. And if you’re a gamer, this desktop is sure to fulfill all of your needs!
How We Test Them?
Talking about computers by discussing their features and weighing the pros and cons is all well and good, but how do we know which computers are the best? Why should you take our word for it? Well, you can find out here as we take an in-depth look into how we test the computers that we review.
First of all, we do tons of research both online and offline to find worthy candidates. After that, we employ our experts to test out the computers for several hours and even take them apart to study each component and make sure they all work well within the system. Our experts test computers by having them perform different tasks that consumers need to get done daily, calculating the quality of the computer’s performance and speed.
It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Still, we pride ourselves on practicing what we preach, so you can trust that when we say good or bad things about each of the products that we discuss, we can back ourselves up with first-hand experience from our experts.
When Is The Best Time To Buy A Desktop Computer?
This is quite a tricky question since it ultimately depends on the consumer’s time and experience. According to US News, the best time to buy a desktop computer or any heavy electronic is national sales holidays. Their experts write that “the best times to buy a computer are Black Friday, Cyber Monday, three-day weekends (think: Presidents Day weekend), Amazon Prime Day and back-to-school season.”
So, in general, it’s a good idea to wait around those times to purchase since desktop computers can be quite an investment, and it’s always better to make good use of sales.
But what if Black Friday has already passed? Well, in that case, the best time to buy a desktop computer is usually when you see your old one begins to deteriorate and malfunction. While desktops can last a very long time, they are prone to becoming obsolete, as all technological objects do.
Finally, another great time to buy a desktop computer is during vacation, whether from school or work. Having vacation days allows you to browse for products at your leisure without the stress, and being on vacation means that you have more free time to test out your computer and see if it is a good fit without having the pressure of deadlines weighing on your mind.
To sum up, the best times to buy a desktop computer are making national holiday sales such as Black Friday, when you can start to see that you need a replacement or during vacation or large portions of free time. If you have any more questions, you can always get in contact with a technician and ask about your specific problem; they’d be happy to help you out!
Related Topic: How to Build a Desktop Computer
The Bottom Line
All in all, buying a new desktop computer can be an exciting endeavor. Still, it can also be very challenging and stressful since it is a substantial investment. This is why the key is to research as much as you can, read reviews from people, read buying guides written by those who have tested them, and weigh your options before making a purchase.
In the world of tech, guarantees and return policies can be a real mess. Suppose you end up buying the wrong thing. In that case, you could end up having to ship the parts back, which would cost a lot more, or have to take the desktop in for repair, which can also be a risky thing since you’re giving a stranger access to your passwords and therefore all your information (not to mention expenses.)
This is why research is so important. Scour the net and find out everything you can, know precisely what you need, and you’ll be able to find the perfect PC for you in no time! Happy shopping!
If you’d like to start your research right now, here are some FAQs (or Frequently Asked Questions) that people who are on the market for a good desktop have all the time! Read through these and see if any of them are questions that you have as well!
1. What’s The Best Desktop Computer?
Well, if you ask us, the Acer Aspire is a fantastic choice! But the proper way to find the best desktop computer is to think about what you need from it. Some good questions to ask yourself are: what am I going to use this computer for? Do I often get frustrated when my machine doesn’t process things as quickly as I want it to? Is image resolution that important to me? Do I constantly find myself running out of storage? How much of my budget am I willing to spend, and for which features? These are all essential questions that will send you on the right path.
2. What Is The Best Processor for my desktop computer?
Firstly, that depends on what you’re using your desktop for. If you’re using your desktop for gaming, then you’re going to need a powerful processor. According to JustGage’s Tracy Honor, “Because blockbuster gaming can require large amounts of processing power, gaming PCs are required to process data extremely fast, which means you should expect to find a high-end processor in any gaming desktop. Some familiar names from Intel and AMD are excellent processors for a powerful PC.”
There are several good ones out there, but the ones that come most highly recommended for the best desktop computer under $500 are “Intel i3 8100, 9100, 10100 or Ryzen 2200G, 3200G, 3400G.”
But what if you’re not much of a gamer and you need a good desktop for work or school? Well, AMD and Intel are still great choices, but you’re also going to want something that is at least 3200G.
3. Should my desktop have an SSD or a GPU?
This also depends on what you’re going to use the computer for. According to Intel, “SSDs got their name—solid state—because they use solid-state devices under the hood. In an SSD, all data is stored in integrated circuits.” This essentially means that SSDs are better at storing lots of information in smaller compartments and easier to access by users since you can get to them quite quickly.
GPUs, on the other hand, are very different. A GPU (or a graphics card) is used to process images, videos, etc. Intel confirms this, saying that “the GPU is used in a wide range of applications, including graphics and video rendering.”
Essentially, SSDs and GPUs are used for entirely different things. SSDs store information while GPUs process information, precisely that which is in image and video format. You don’t have to choose between one or the other since computers can carry both! However, suppose you are in a position to choose. In that case, you have to evaluate what your needs are related to your computer.
Do you constantly binge Netflix shows to de-stress after work? Then a GPU is for you! A good graphics card will give you a better image. You can watch all your favorite movies and TV shows at a higher resolution.
Are you a lawyer and constantly find yourself needing to store heavy case files full of information? If the answer is ‘yes,’ then go for the SSD! This is the best option for when you’re looking for fast and capable storage that also has easy access.
4. How much processing power is enough for my desktop?
This also depends on the use of the computer. If you’re looking for something fast, anything over 10100G will be more than enough. However, if you’re not hyper concerned about speed and only need to do some light work, 3200G will do just fine and will probably be a lot cheaper, too!
Generally, desktops that students and management use don’t require much processing power since files tend to be relatively light and don’t take much power to process. On the other hand, games are very challenging for computers to run since .exe files are heavy with graphics, statistics, game mechanics, and other things. So, if you’re looking to save money and you don’t think you need a master PC, a 3200G process is your safest choice.
5. Do I need a powerful graphics card?
To begin with, it all boils down to the use of the desktop computer. Since graphics cards handle things like images and rendering videos, these are extremely important for gamers and content developers, especially video editors, since they have to work with heavy files that carry a lot of data and need to be seen clearly.
Graphics cards are essential for gamers since video games are extremely heavy and take a lot of power to run, especially when using emulators. Gamers also need to see the game at a high resolution, especially in competitive games like League of Legends, and Fortnite which require great precision and skill. For these users, a good graphics card is essential.
To sum up, spending some extra money on a perfect graphics card is worth it if your job and hobbies depend on it.