Best Cheap Gaming Setup under $1,000 for 2023 – Smooth Gaming on a Budget

Gaming on a budget may seem very unlikely in today’s times. Fortunately, it’s something that a lot of people have been wondering about for the past two years.

For this article, we’re going to shed some light on whether it is possible to get the best cheap gaming setup for under 1,000 bucks!

Let’s get something straight. We’re not going to discuss the specifics of building a gaming rig because it’s not something everyone can do, contrary to what tech vloggers and YouTubers will tell you.

What they forget to mention is the risk of voiding your warranty should you decide to tinker with your PC.

Anyway, with that out of the way, let’s talk about what we consider a reputable cheap gaming PC. 

Our Criteria for the Best Cheap Gaming Setup

Achieving the best cheap gaming setup requires sacrifices if you want to keep it relatively budget-friendly.

With that being said, we created our own disclaimer before we talk about our featured products. This is to ensure that you’re getting what you pay for:

  • Anything over $1,000 won’t be included. 
  • For this article, we’re talking about the System Unit (tower). Peripherals (such as mice, keyboards, headsets, etc.) aren’t included for most of the products we listed.
  • We’re not going to include used parts without a warranty to protect your investment.

The Best Cheap Gaming Setup Recommendations

Now let’s talk about computer builds. We have given some great options to help you decide which one is the best cheap gaming setup.

Do you want to stick with AMD, or do you prefer Intel? Perhaps you want a mix of both?

It honestly doesn’t matter. What matters is you’ll be able to play decently!

So regardless of your choice, we’re confident enough to say that you won’t be complaining about gaming performance once you choose any of these rigs.

Best Cheap Gaming Setup 1 – HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop (Red)

Our first entry is a 750-Dollar gaming desktop from HP. For the price, you would get the latest Ryzen 5 processor, along with Radeon RX5500 GPU, 8GB of RAM, with 250 GB of NVME SSD for storage.

Sure, the specs may not blow you away, but it’s better than what you could build with today’s prices.

Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
ProcessorRyzen 5 5600G
RAM (Memory)8GB RAM DDR4
Graphics (GPU)RX5500
Storage256GB NVME SSD

Because of the ridiculous prices, getting something with a graphics card is already a win. Besides, the RX5500 may not be the best, but it’s capable enough.

Best Cheap Gaming Setup 2 – HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop (Green)

If you want a little more performance, then at $807.99, you can get this offering from HP instead.

It comes with Intel’s 10th-generation processor, GTX 1650 GPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 256GB SSD. This package also comes with a mouse and a keyboard!

Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
ProcessorIntel Core i5 10400F
RAM (Memory)8GB RAM DDR4
Graphics (GPU)GTX 1650
Storage256GB NVME SSD

While you won’t get jaw-dropping performance with this rig, it’s still one of the best cheap gaming setup units.

Just remember to upgrade to a larger storage, additional RAM, and a more capable GPU.

Best Cheap Gaming Setup 3 – Skytech Shadow Gaming PC Desktop

Don’t let the specs fool you. For $1,000 bucks, this is one of the best cheap gaming setup units on Amazon.

Sure, it may have a 10th-generation i5 processor, but it still comes with an RTX 3050 GPU.

At such price point, you would either have a newer processor or a newer GPU. We chose the latter.

Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
ProcessorIntel Core i5 10400F
RAM (Memory)8 GB DDR4 3200mhz
Graphics (GPU)Nvidia RTX 3050
MotherboardNot Specified
PSU600W Gold PSU

While we’re not 100% sure what kind of PSU it is using at the moment, the mere fact that it is rated Gold means it’s not something that would die out within the next 2 years.

Another thing to note is the RAM. We suggest upgrading to at least 16 GB DDR4 3200mhz just to stay relevant in today’s games.

Other than that, you’re all good to go!

Best Cheap Gaming Setup for Laptops 

Looking for a different alternative? If you’re considering bringing your gaming wherever you go, then getting a laptop is one of the best investments you can give yourself.

Of course, with gaming laptops, we can’t recommend something that we don’t believe in. So if you have less than 700 bucks, it’s better to stick to a system unit instead.

Gigabyte G5 KC

The Gigabyte G5 KC is probably one of the best gaming laptops you can get for 1,000 bucks.

Powered by a 10th-gen Intel Core i5, this laptop has 16GB of DDR4 RAM, PCI-E SSD, and most importantly, it’s powered by Nvidia’s RTX 3060 GPU.

For specs like these, you would be spending at least twice more on a desktop! 

Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
ProcessorIntel Core i5 10500H
RAM (Memory)16GB DDR4
Graphics (GPU)RTX 3060
Storage512GB PCI-E SSD
Display15.6” 1920×1080 IPS 144hz

While you’re sacrificing some processing power performance in exchange for an even more capable GPU, it’s safe to say that the trade-off is worth it, especially if you can play games with better FPS.

At this price point, the only thing you would like to spend on would probably be gaming peripherals such as your mouse, keyboard, and game controllers.

If you want more performance, add in a second display via HDMI and turn your best cheap gaming setup into a portable desktop!

Acer Nitro 5 AN515

If your budget is under 800 bucks, then you might want to buy an Acer Nitro 5.

For only $791.22, you will get the latest Nvidia GPU (RTX 3050), powered by a 10th-generation Core i5 Processor, and an 8 GB DDR4 RAM.

It is also equipped with a fluid 144hz 15.6” display for a really smooth gaming experience.

Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
ProcessorIntel Core i5 10300H
RAM (Memory)8 GB DDR4
Graphics (GPU)RTX 3050
Storage256 GB NVME SSD
Display15.6” 1920×1080 IPS 144hz

While they had to cut corners with the RAM and storage, it’s still worth buying since you can just upgrade them when you have the budget.

Upgrading both of those will probably cost you a total of 100 bucks, more or less, depending on the storage size and RAM.

Regardless, you can still expect a decent gaming experience right out of the box…as long as you set your expectations right.


It’s really hard to recommend a gaming laptop under 700 bucks, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

For $699.99, the MSI GF63 sounds like a good entry-level laptop thanks to its 9th-gen i5 processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and powered by a GTX 1650 GPU.

It also comes with 256GB NVME SSD. Does it fit the category of the best cheap gaming setup? We’d say yes!

Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
ProcessorIntel Core i5 9300H
RAM (Memory)8 GB DDR4
Graphics (GPU)GTX 1650
Storage256 GB NVME SSD
Display15.6” 1920×1080 IPS 60hz

You won’t get the buttery-smooth 144hz display you would usually get in gaming laptops. The bright side though is your rig won’t be able to fully maximize it anyways given this laptop’s specs.

Don’t get me wrong, you can still do 60+ fps in E-sport titles such as Overwatch, CS:GO and Valorant. Just don’t expect the same performance in other AAA games.


Aren’t you glad you now have options to consider when choosing the best cheap gaming setup?

Remember that there’s no shame in choosing gaming laptops on a budget, especially if you’re willing to shave off some performance in exchange for convenience and portability. 

At the end of the day, you’re going to get an amazing gaming experience regardless of your choice.

We have a saying here at GameGrinds, “it doesn’t matter what specs you play on, as long as you don’t have complaints with how you’re gaming on it.

Are you looking for more content related to gaming hardware, tips, and tricks? Be sure to keep us bookmarked as we will discuss streaming for beginners and much more.

Last update on 2024-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Derek

Derek is a passionate and knowledgeable gamer who has dedicated himself to the world of first-person shooters. With extensive experience playing popular games such as PUBG, Battlefield 3, 4 and 5, and various Call of Duty titles, he has become an expert in the field. As a writer for GameGrinds, Derek shares his expertise by providing readers with valuable product recommendations and guide articles, helping them stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the world of gaming.

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