Everybody loves video games. Don’t you?
If you are looking for a machine dedicated for gaming, you can go for a gaming console. But most people prefer to own a budget best gaming PC that can handle games and their works simultaneously.
Building a gaming PC from scratch is not easy. Many facts are to be considered including budget!
It’s always better to purchase pre-assembled gaming PCs from reputed manufacturers, as they are well tested; and loaded with capable hardware and a pre-installed genuine operating system.
Read on and find why I have chosen these PC’s as the best gaming PC under $300. But first of all, consider the following point.
Games You Can Play:Gaming PC Under 300
Before picking the right machine, you have to decide what type of games you intend to play with the machine. All the machines I have chosen here cannot play high-endgames. Some are great to play latest games like GTA V, Battlefield 2, Forza Horizon 3, Need for Speed Payback, etc., while some are good for mid-level gaming and business-friendly.
These PCs can handle most games in medium to ultra graphics based on the game requirement. Some PCs in this list comes with a dedicated graphics adapter for flawless gaming. Though it cannot match the performance of a hardcore gaming PC, you can play the games with satisfactory graphics and FPS (Frames Per Second).
All these PCs are equipped with minimum “i3” processors. The “i” series processors are known for low power consumption and better multithreading without overheating. Also, these processors are good for gaming when coupled with a good quality graphics card. Of course, you cannot play high definition games with onboard graphics.
Best Gaming PC Under 300 I Picked in 2018
The best top 6 PCs I have chosen for gaming under $300 are as follows. Here I have selected the HP 8300 in two configurations.
- HP 8300 4K Gaming Computer
- Acer TC-780-ACKi3
- HP Elite 8300 – Lite
- Dell Inspiron i3625-A643WHT-PUS
- Dell i3668-3106BLK-PUS Inspiron
How we Picked & Tested
First, I have set a budget of $300 and made a list of qualifying PCs including refurbished PCs. Then, the list is carefully evaluated for its compatibility and performance to run heavy games.
Some items I have chosen here are pretty costly when it’s bought as brand new. For people looking for “Value For Money”, refurbished products certified by the manufacturer is an excellent choice. Most of them are hardly used. Or they are just opened for troubleshooting and hardware upgrades.
The Key Players:
The key players of this battle include PCs are from the reputed brands like HP, Acer, and Dell. If you are looking for a pre-assembled PC within your budget, it’s better to go with machines made by reputed manufacturers.
The main advantage is, these PCs are made using good quality materials and assembled by highly trained professionals. Also, these PCs are well tested for performance, reliability, and durability in different test parameters.
Part #1 6 Best Gaming PC Under 0 2018
Here, I have listed all the top 6 gaming PCs under $300. Although some of these machines are not equipped with latest hardware and software, they are capable of running games at decent graphics, and even remain as an excellent choice for professionals like graphic designers and SMEs.
Quick Tips For This Top Pick
Evolution of desktop PCs is huge. Today’s desktop PCs are small in size, and I always prefer small factor PCs for the convenience it offers. HP 8300 elite 4K gaming PC literally packs almost everything a gamer needs. Apart from hardware ability for gaming, this PC packs all necessary goodies like WiFi and HDMI connectivity.
The prime reason to choose this PC is its price. You can now get hands on all these features at just $380!
HP 8300 4K Gaming Computer (9)
HP 8300 is a successful desktop PC in the elite series. HP is good at rolling out new hardware upgrades time to time. But if you loved any of the older machines, the only way is going for a refurbished product that is certified by the manufacturer. The HP 8300 elite 4K gaming PC is equipped with everything you need for gaming.
It packs a 3rd generation i5 processor, 8 GB RAM and 1 TB hard disk. It also comes with Nvidia Geforce GT 710 dedicated graphics adapter with 2 GB VRAM, with which playing PC games becomes a cakewalk. It also comes pre-loaded with genuine Windows 10 operating system.
- Small form factor ensures easy placement
- Highly capable hardware for gamers and graphic designers
- Comes with pre-installed original Windows 10 OS
- Dedicated graphics with 2 GB memory (No sharing with RAM)
- Capable of producing a 4K resolution with high-speed HDMI port
- Can support two displays at the same time (VGA and HDMI)
- 1 TB hard drive storage
- Comes with in-built speakers for basic functionalities
- USB 3.0 ports for rapid file transfer
- You will get a mouse and a keyboard along with the package
- The keyboard and mouse are not of good quality
- Operating temperature is limited to 95 Fahrenheit (Gamers may need extra cooling arrangements)
- No SSD for fast booting
The HP 8300 elite 4K gaming PC is a fantastic gaming PC that packs amazing hardware and software. For the price of just $380, you are getting everything a mid-high level gaming PC. HP is pretty good for periodic software and hardware upgrades, and you will get almost brand new PC just opened for a hardware update. If your budget is less, but you are looking for a capable gaming machine, this one will never disappoint you
Acer C-780-ACKi3 (9)
Acer is a well-known brand for making quality PCs. The Acer C-780-ACKi3 is a brand new PC that costs around $380. This machine can tolerate mid-level games and not made for high-end gaming. The only thing it lacks for hardcore gaming is a dedicated graphics adapter and runs with the onboard Intel HD graphics 630. But the good news is, you can upgrade to a dedicated graphics card in the empty PCI slot. If you are looking for faster boot-up times, you can even install an SSD, and this machine supports it.
- It’s brand new
- 6th Generation energy efficient i3 processor with max clock speed of 3.9 GHz
- Full HD display with HDMI connectivity
- Supports two monitors at a time with dedicated VGA and HDMI ports
- 1 TB 7200 rpm hard drive for faster file reading and writing
- You can always upgrade to a dedicated graphics card
- USB 3.0, Bluetooth and WiFi are standard
- Big cabinet
- Onboard graphics cannot handle demanding games
- No SSD for fast boot-up
Overall, the Acer C-780-ACKi3 is an amazing PC that can handle multitasking without any lag. The only thing it lacks for gaming is a dedicated graphics card.
But apart from graphics, the machine is pretty powerful for design professionals. It packs 6th generation i3 processor and 8 GB DDR4 RAM with a high frequency of 2400 MHz against the 1600 MHz of the DDR3.
This PC allows a great platform for future hardware upgrades. Yes, you can put in a compatible graphics card to make it game-ready, and upgrade your RAM, CPU, and storage as desired
Hp 8300 Elite (Low-end)
HP 8300 Elite is a perfect PC for business purposes. This PC is same as our most rated PC (HP 8300 Elite 4K Gaming PC) in terms of motherboard, processor, and RAM. This is a refurbished product and it costs $190, which is half the price of the 4K version.
For this price difference, this PC loses some features,
- No dedicated graphics (Comes with Intel HD 2500)
- The hard drive is 500 GB against 1 TB
- No in-built wireless adapter
These differences cannot conclude that this machine is not gamer friendly. It can play some mid-end at normal graphics.
- The small form factor enables easy placement
- Comes with pre-loaded original Windows 10 OS
- Comes with in-built speakers for basic functionalities
- USB 3.0 ports for rapid file transfer
- Fast processor and lots of RAM
- Not for hardcore gamers
- NO inbuilt Wi-Fi
- High profile graphic cards cannot be used
It packs a powerful processor and lots of RAM to keep up with your speed if you are working or multi-tasking while rendering HD images. This PC packs a fantastic value for money factor with just $190 price tag for the powerful CPU inside. If you are worried about the graphics, I recommend you to install a low-profile Geforce 1050 Ti. Now, you can play the latest games like GTA 5, Skyrim, etc. in full HD (1080p).
Dell Inspiron 3265 AIO Desktop
Dell 3265 AIO is a display integrated PC. All the PC components and display are integrated under a single shell. This PC is pretty easy to install and needs less space. The machine is powered by an AMD A-6 7310 CPU and integrated Raedon R4 graphics. This PC has 6 GB of RAM bifurcated into to two slots as 2 GB and 4 GB. Comes with a storage of 1TB, you don’t have to worry about hard drive addition. If you still use CDs and DVDs, it has DVD writer to serve your purpose.
This is a decent machine for everyday use like checking emails, editing spreadsheets, internet browsing, and other low intensity jobs. The 21.5 full HD display offers great viewing experience and those HD videos are well played.
- Compact and stylish design
- Large and brilliant display with full HD (1920*1080)
- Built-in Wi-Fi receiver
- USB 3.0 ports
- Comes with Dell support assist
- Comes with Windows 10 Home
- Not a hardcore gaming desktop
- Lags a bit when multiple applications opened
- A bit pricey for the features
Dell 3265 AIO is a perfect everyday desktop PC for those who use it for using lightweight applications and everyday office suits, and internet browsing. If you are a gamer, looking for a serious gaming machine, this PC will not fit the requirement. It’s a good everyday machine built with high-quality components with always available Dell support assist.
Dell Inspiron i3668-3106BLK
Dell Inspiron – 3106 BLK is a small factor desktop PC made for professional use. For the price of $373, it packs a decent hardware profile like 7th generation i3 processor, 8 GB RAM, 1TB HDD and an onboard GPU. Surprisingly, this PC is equipped with true 5.1 channel audio output for the immersive movie experience.
The processor offered is efficient and generates less heat. It can also be overclocked to 3.90 GHz. This is a great desktop for professionals and graphic designers for the speed it offers. But for hardcore gaming and graphics-intense applications, the onboard Intel HD-630 is not sufficed.
- Good build quality
- Brand new
- Small factor for compact nature
- Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Comes with wireless keyboard and mouse
- Poor Wi-Fi reception
- Heating issue when confined
- Lags during intense multitasking
Dell Inspiron – 3106 BLK is a good everyday PC, comes with a wireless mouse and a keyboard specially made for the PC. For everyday office suits, and internet browsing; this is a great machine that can last long and reliable for the price of $520. If you are a gamer looking for some serious gaming PC, this game can handle mid-range games and not suitable for high definition games of today.
Dell Optiplex 990
If you are looking for a hi-tech business class PC, Dell Optiplex 990 is the one for you. I was just amazed at the specs it offers for the price as low as $269. Remember it is a refurbished product, but the spec is worth considering the price. It comes with an i5 processor clocking 3.4 GHz as the top. You are provided with 8 GB RAM and a whopping 2 TB hard drive.
This PC comes with pre-loaded with Windows 7 professional OS, making it great for professionals. Multitasking and storing huge rendered files is hassle-free with 8 GB RAM and the 2TB HDD. This PC can handle mid-end games effortlessly. But for high-end gaming, you can buy a compatible graphics adapter from Nvidia or AMD.
- i5 processor clocking 3.4 GHz, coupled with 8 GB 2400 MHz RAM for lag-free multitasking
- Huge 2TB storage with SATA hard drive
- Fast front USB ports for convenience
- Compact body factor
- Genuine Windows 7
- Does not support multi-channel audio
- No HDMI output
- USB 3.0 not available
- Onboard graphics
If you are looking for a powerful professional PC, and you are okay with buying refurbished products, Dell Optiplex 990 is a steal for $269. Hardware is pretty satisfactory for professional use. It is not intended for high-end gaming. But adding a capable graphic card will turn this machine a monster! If you can cope with some disadvantages like lack of USB 3.0, HDMI, and multi-channel output and looking for fantastic hardware configuration, go for it.
Accessories list for your gaming PC
Only a great hardware configuration under the hood cannot give you a complete gaming experience. I am suggesting the following accessories to enjoy your gaming in full.
- Gaming chair – A gaming chair is designed to avoid exhaustion from prolonged sitting
- Gaming Monitor -Depending on your budget, choose a gaming monitor. They are rich in contrast ratio and refresh rates
- Gaming Controller – You can use keyboard and mouse to play games. But a gamepad will give more comfort and control
- Gaming Mouse & Keyboard – Regular mice and keyboard are just okay, and are not fit for precise control and prolonged gaming
- Gaming Headset – Gaming headset provide multi-channel audio support, and you can better judge the direction and distance of your enemy
This is not the end. There are plenty of other accessories available from $10 to $500. Motion sensors, Steering wheels, VR headset and many other accessories are available. I just listed a few essential accessories to feel the game in deep.
Ready for Our Gaming PC Under 300 Recommendations?
Out of the top 6 gaming laptops I chose, HP 8300 Elite 4K gaming PC scored the most according to my opinion. Gaming benchmark offered by this PC is excellent and for the price of $379, and it’s definitely a great buy.
HP is one of the renowned brands and you can trust the after sales service and warranty. For a serious gamer with constrained budget, I strongly recommend this PC. You will never regret it.
Building Gaming PC Under 300: Ultimate Lists
If you are a programmer or you have a basic knowledge to read the DIY manuals, you can try building your own gaming PC. All you need to do is choosing the compatible hardware and precise fitting.
- Choose the motherboard that has huge potential to upgrade hardware
- Choose at least a 400W power supply if you plan to buy a heavy graphics card
- Get a good DVD ROM (Most games comes in DVDs)
These are the three prime things you should consider before choosing the other devices.
Further Reading Time: Build Gaming PC Under 300 Ultimate Guide
Building a gaming PC is not easy. I recommend you to do a complete research if you are a rookie in building a gaming PC. One mismatch can possibly blow the entire machine. So keep calm, and club only the compatible parts. There are plenty of online DIY sites and review sites available to know more about it.
Even if you are not a serious gamer, you should pay proper attention before buying a gaming PC. There are several factors to be considered, and everything is available on the internet.
Doing proper research before buying is better than regretting your choice later. Be wise, and think about your exact need. Research, compare and decide your gaming PC wisely!