Not everyone has the time or know-how to build their own PC, and that's OK. Manufacturers are happy to provide PCs ready to power on as soon as they arrive, and while gaming rigs can get expensive, there's also a budget market that's home to some legit PCs. Here are the best options we could find that cost less than $500.

12 GB of RAM included

Acer Aspire TC-885

Acer's TC-885 comes stocked with an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8400 processor (CPU), 12GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 2TB hard disk drive (HDD), which combined is more than enough power to cut through a day's productivity tasks. Built in is a DVD-RW optical drive and plenty of ports, including USB-C, three USB-A 3.1, four USB-A 2.0, two HDMI, and VGA.

$485 at Amazon

8th Gen Core i3 CPU

Dell Inspiron 3670

If all you need is a light-duty PC for everyday tasks like web browsing and checking email, Dell's Inspiron 3670 should fit well. Get inside an 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8100 CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB HDD, plus take advantage of a DVD-RW optical drive. All models come with a keyboard and mouse, and you get a wide variety of ports.

$450 at Dell

Compact form

HP Slimline 290

HP's Slimline 290 is great for tucking away under a desk or kitchen counter thanks to its diminutive size. Still, HP manages to pack in an 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8100 CPU, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB HDD, and an optical drive. Ports include four USB-A 3.1, four USB-A 2.0, HDMI, and VGA.

$400 at HP

Focus on Enterprise

Lenovo ThinkCentre M720

Lenovo's ThinkCentre is easy to set up and manage in an Enterprise scenario, plus it has extra security features to keep your data safe. There are tons of ports on the front and back for connecting myriad accessories, and hardware includes an Intel Pentium Gold G5400 CPU, 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 500GB HDD.

$323 at Lenovo

Light gaming performance


It's not easy finding a pre-built gaming PC that costs less than $500, but iBUYPOWER gives it a shot with the ARC. Inside you get an AMD FX-6300 CPU with six cores, a 120GB solid-state drive (SSD), 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and a NVIDIA GT 710 graphics card (GPU) with 1GB of GDDR5 VRAM. This is all contained in a snazzy case and includes a keyboard and mouse.

$475 at Best Buy

If we're making some suggestions

If what you're looking for is a pre-built desktop PC for general use — word processing, web browsing, email, video watching — Acer's Aspire TC-885 no doubt offers the best hardware for the price. However, if you'd also like to enjoy a game or two in your downtime, the iBUYPOWER ARC gives a small boost to performance thanks to a dedicated NVIDIA GPU and a six-core AMD FX-6300 CPU.

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