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The 7 Best Desktop Computers Under $500 for 2023

Getting an affordable yet powerful desktop computer can seem tricky with the many options out there. But whether you need a family PC, basic work computer, budget gaming rig, or all-in-one unit, there are solid choices to fit under $500.

In this detailed guide, we highlight the top desktops across different categories, along with tips for finding one that matches your needs and budget.

Best Cheap Desktops Under $500

For General Home Use: HP Slim Desktop TP01-2055m

Price: $359 | intel Pentium Gold 7505 | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD

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The HP Slim TP01-2055m strikes the right balance of price and performance for everyday home use. It comes equipped with a recent 11th-gen Pentium Chip, 8GB RAM and a fast 256GB solid state drive. The compact design even fits neatly into tight spaces.

While not a powerhouse, this refurbished HP handles web browsing, office work, streaming video calls smoothly. And it ships with a genuine Windows 10 license. For general home and student use, it‘s a steal under $400.

Key specs:

  • Intel Pentium Gold 7505 processor
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Intel UHD Graphics
  • Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.2
  • 4 x USB-A, 1 x USB-C, HDMI, Ethernet
  • Windows 10 Home


  • Great value for money
  • Compact and convenient form factor
  • Capable of handling everyday tasks
  • Reliable refurbished model


  • Limited upgrade potential
  • No optical drive
  • Refurbished unit has shorter warranty

For Office Work: Lenovo ThinkCentre M75s Gen 2

Price: $429 | Core i3-10100T | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD

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The compact yet capable Lenovo ThinkCentre M75s Gen 2 offers excellent value for money. For about $429, you get a 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor that delivers solid performance for common office tasks.

It also packs 8GB of RAM for smooth multi-tasking and comes equipped with a fast PCIe SSD for quick boot-ups. The connectivity options including Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 check all the right boxes.

With space-saving mounting options, business-friendly software tools and reliability of the Lenovo brand, it‘s an easy recommendation for budget office use.

Key Specs:

  • Intel Core i3-10100T Processor
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
  • 4 x USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort
  • Windows 10 Pro


  • Great value for entry-level office workstation
  • Compact and flexible mounting
  • Fast SSD and ample RAM aid productivity
  • Business-ready software and support


  • Upgrade potential is low
  • Wired mouse and keyboard

For Budget PC Gaming: Skytech Chronos Mini Gaming Desktop

Price: $479 | Ryzen 3 3100 | GTX 1650 4GB | 8GB RAM | 500GB SSD

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The Skytech Chronos Mini offers a compelling mix of gaming prowess and future-proofing at just under $500. It‘s centered around AMD‘s capable Ryzen 3 3100 quad-core CPU and NVIDIA‘s GTX 1650 graphics card that plays popular esports titles easily at 1080p.

With 8 gigs of RAM and 500GB SSD onboard too, this mini desktop handles both gaming and general usage well. The compact case with transparent side panel looks great on any desk. For those seeking good 1080p gaming performance on a tight budget, it’s a superb value pick.

Key Specs:

  • AMD Ryzen 3 3100 Quad-Core Processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GPU
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 500GB SSD
  • Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.2
  • 4 x USB-A, 1 x USB-C, HDMI, DisplayPort
  • Windows 10 Home


  • Great 1080p gaming performance for the price
  • Fun aesthetics with RGB lighting
  • Quad-core CPU and GTX 1650 graphics
  • 500GB of fast SSD storage


  • Upgrade potential is low
  • No optical drive

Best All-In-One Desktops

For Families: Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24ADA7

Price: $449 | Ryzen 3 4300U | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD

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The Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 is a feature-packed all-in-one desktop well-suited for family use. For its affordable $449 price tag, you‘re getting a beautiful 24-inch FHD touchscreen display paired with AMD‘s Ryzen quad-core processor, 8 gigs of RAM and plentiful storage.

This 2021 model handles everyday home usage, web browsing, video calls seamlessly thanks to its ample memory and storage. The front firing speakers are loud and clear too. If you want an all-in-one PC for the entire household without breaking the bank, this Lenovo AIO is easy to recommend.

Key Specs:

  • 24-inch 1920 x 1080 Touch Display
  • AMD Ryzen 4300U Quad-Core
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD Storage
  • Radeon Graphics
  • Stereo Speakers
  • USB Wired Keyboard and Mouse
  • WiFi 5, Bluetooth 4.1
  • 3 x USB-A Ports


  • Excellent value for money
  • Crisp 24-inch touchscreen display
  • Great speakers and mic for video calls
  • Humble yet capable performance


  • Upgrades are challenging
  • Stand only offers tilt adjustment

Best Budget All-in-One: HP 22-dd0010 All-in-One PC

Price: $379 | AMD 3020e | 4GB RAM | 128GB SSD

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If you‘re seeking an affordable all-in-one for very basic needs, this sub-$400 HP 22" AIO is worth considering. It features an AMD dual-core chip paired with 4 gigs of RAM, 128GB storage and HDMI input.

Given the low-end specs, this refurbished system only handles light office work, web access, media playback smoothly. But the crisp 1080p screen and built-in speakers make it great for streaming video. And for light users seeking a compact, fuss-free all-in-one PC, it gets the job done on the cheap.

Key Specs:

  • 21.5-inch 1920 x 1080 Display
  • AMD 3020e Dual-Core
  • 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • 128GB SATA3 SSD
  • AMD Radeon Graphics
  • HDMI input
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • USB Wired Keyboard and Mouse
  • Windows 10 Home


  • Highly affordable price
  • Slim, space saving all-in-one form factor
  • Good display and speakers for the cost


  • Very basic specs limit multitasking
  • Small 128GB storage
  • Refurbished unit with shorter warranty

Tips for Buying the Right Cheap Desktop

Focus on the performance requirements – Light browsing and Office needs? Or more demanding work? This determines how powerful a desktop you need.

Prioritize a SSD over large storage for better responsiveness – For sub $500 desktops, get at least 256GB SSD over a large HDD. Add external storage if needed later.

Favor upgradeability for future-proofing – Having accessible RAM slots and storage bays allows cost-effective upgrades down the line.

Carefully evaluate refurbished deals – While cheaper, refurbished desktops have shorter warranty periods. Inspect the condition and policy closely before purchase.

Peripherals matter – Many cheap desktops skimp on mouse, keyboard and Wi-Fi connectivity. Double check they meet your needs.

All-in-one tradeoffs – Convenience of built-in display but limited upgradability. Assess your needs wisely here.

What Can You Expect from a Sub $500 Desktop PC?


$500 desktops work smoothly for light office programs, web browsing, media playback. But temper expectations for heavy duty software, gaming or creative work.

Build Quality

Don‘t expect aluminum unibodies or state-of-the-art cooling at this budget. But with reliable brands, you can get decent quality components in a functional plastic case.


Entry-level motherboards and PSUs greatly limit future upgrades. Focus on sufficient RAM and storage out of the box instead of later upgrades.


Wired mouse and keyboard combos are common to cut costs. All-in-one desktops include these built-in but their displays may lack adjustability.

Warranty & Support

Typically, 1 year limited warranties cover defects and replacements. But they won‘t cover accidental damage. And support response times tend to be slower.

Bottom line – $500 affordable desktops bridge the gap between Chromebooks and premium PCs, offering humble yet smooth performance for everyday needs. Refrain from demanding workloads and they prove to be reliable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does processor generation matter for an affordable desktop?

For light usage, even previous generation chips like Intel‘s 10th Gen or AMD‘s 3000 series fare admirably well when paired with sufficient RAM and SSD storage.

Q: How much storage should I look for in a $500 desktop computer?

Aim for at least a 256GB solid state drive (SSD) for better responsiveness. Favor SSD over old school hard disk drives even if they offer more storage. Add external drive later if needed.

Q: Can you play games on a $500 desktop PC?

Maybe some casual browser-based games or competitive online titles when graphics settings are dialed down. A budget GPU like NVIDIA 1650 or AMD RX Vega 11 integrated graphics are minimum requirements here.

Q: Does a cheap desktop computer come with accessories?

Sometimes yes. Refurbished business desktops often include keyboard and mouse at least. All-in-ones have these built-in. Pre-assembled tower bundles tend to cut costs by not including them though.