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Best Budget Gaming PC (2023): Top Picks from HP, Lenovo & Acer

When it comes to gaming, a specced-out rig can make a huge difference. However, not everyone has the cash to invest in high-end gaming PCs. Luckily, there’s the HP Omen 25L, Lenovo Legion 5i Tower Gen 7 and Acer Predator Orion 3000. These machines offer a great balance of price and performance. In other words, they can handle most modern games without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a casual or hard-core gamer, you don’t have to spend a fortune for a reliable PC. And these three are proof of that.

Best Budget Gaming PC Comparison Chart

ModelHP Omen 25LLenovo Legion Tower 5i Gen 7Acer Predator Orion 3000
 Best Budget Gaming PCBest Budget Gaming PCBest Budget Gaming PC
PriceCheck Price at HP.comCheck Price at Lenovo.comCheck Price at Acer.com
ProcessorStarts with Intel Core i5-12400 or AMD Ryzen 5 5600GStarts with Intel Core i7-12700Starts with Intel Core i5-11400F
GPUStarts with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Starts with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060Starts with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660
RAMStarts with 8GB RAMStarts with 16GB RAMStarts with 8GB
StorageStarts with 256GB SSDStarts with 1TB SSDStarts with 512GB SSD

HP Omen 25L

Simple and powerful, the HP Omen 25L delivers where it counts.

Best Budget Gaming PC HP Omen 25L
A closer look at the internals of the HP Omen 25L.

Describing the HP Omen 25L as impressive is an understatement. For one thing, the entry-level model is already powerful enough for most demanding games. Under the hood, there’s a 12th-generation Intel Core i5-12400 or AMD Ryzen 5 5600G processor. It’s then paired with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, allowing it to provide a smooth gaming experience and render stunning visuals.

Sure, it’s not the most visually-pleasing rig out there. In fact, it’s simple to a fault with its plain rectangular form factor and side glass panel. But in its defense, it has plenty of space inside, making it easy to upgrade down the line. 

If there’s anything to complain about, it would be its RAM and storage versions. Case in point, it only ships with DDR4 RAM and PCIe 3.0 SSD, but it does top out at 64GB and 1TB, respectively.

Lenovo Legion 5i Tower Gen 7

The Lenovo Legion 5i Tower Gen 7 may be cheap, but there’s nothing cheap about its specs and features.

Best Budget Gaming PC Lenovo Legion Tower 5i Gen 7
A top view of the Lenovo Legion 5i Tower Gen 7.

Though it’s a bit over $1,000, the Lenovo Legion 5i Tower Gen 7 is generally considered as a budget gaming PC. That’s thanks to its powerful performance and relatively low price point compared to counterparts with similar specs.

At the time of writing, its base configuration that’s available on Lenovo’s website comes with an Intel Core i7-12700 chip. Also, it features an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD. Long story short, it provides a lot of bang for the buck.

In addition, it’s designed to keep its insides cool even during extended gaming sessions. First off, it has two fans on the front for taking in air and another behind for blowing it out. (Take note that the number of fans may vary depending on the configuration.) On top of that, there’s a pretty huge heatsink on its CPU right off the bat.

Meanwhile, its case has a sleek design with customizable RGB lighting. It goes without saying that it’s got that gamer aesthetic down pat and offers plenty of room for personalization.

Acer Predator Orion 3000

The Acer Predator Orion 3000 proves you don’t have to spend a pretty penny for a decent gaming rig.

Best Budget Gaming PC Acer Predator Orion 3000
A visual representation of the Acer Predator Orion 3000’s airflow system.

For those who are really conscious of their budget, then the Acer Predator Orion 3000 is likely their best bet. While it may be working with slightly older components, it can still get the job done.

The base model is powered by an Intel Core i5-11400F CPU coupled with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 GPU. As for memory, it comes with 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB SSD. All in all, it may be lacking for most folks, but for casual gamers, it can certainly deliver. For the record, it can be configured with a Core i7-12700F, GeForce RTX 3070, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. However, it goes well beyond the budget range with those specs. 

That said, it’s still worth considering since its design is one of its strong points. Compared to most gaming rigs, it’s more compact, allowing it to easily fit beside a monitor even on medium-sized desks. Moreover, it stays cool because of its ventilation system that separates the CPU and GPU from the power supply and hard disks. That way, the airflow inside is more efficient, ensuring that heat won’t compromise its performance.

Verdict

When looking for the best budget gaming PC, the HP Omen 25L, Lenovo Legion 5i Tower Gen 7 and Acer Predator Orion 3000 won’t disappoint.

All in all, the HP Omen 25L stands out because of its decent performance and easy upgradability. That makes it one of the best options for those planning on keeping it for the long haul. On the other hand, the Lenovo Legion 5i Tower Gen 7 is the budget powerhouse that will definitely suit the needs of most gamers. After all, it boasts modern specs while being relatively cheaper. Last but not least, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 lives up to its name as a budget gaming PC—the entry-level variant, that is. And even though it’s on the smaller side, it features a clever design that makes sure thermal performance is optimal.

FAQs

📌 Which is the cheapest and best gaming PC?

In our opinion, we believe that the HP Omen 25L, Lenovo Legion Tower 5i Gen 7 and Acer Predator Orion 3000 are among the best budget gaming PCs. That’s because these three manage to keep a pretty low price tag despite their souped-up specs.

📌 Is a $500 gaming PC worth it?

In some cases, a $500 gaming PC can go a long way, but it may be limited in some ways. For instance, it may not be capable of running certain titles at max graphics.

📌 How much RAM do I need?

At least 16GB of RAM is recommended, as 8GB is too small and the difference in performance is noticeable.

📌 Is it cheaper to build a gaming PC?

Prebuilt gaming PCs are usually cheaper because brands can often get parts and such at lower prices for buying in bulk. However, if you plan to upgrade your rig, then building a PC on your own is more practical since you can get more future-proof components from the get-go.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.