The 5 Best Desktop Computers Under $500 in 2023

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The 5 Best Desktop Computers Under $500 in 2023

Whether you’re setting up a home office or need a PC for the whole family to share, a ready-made budget computer is the most straightforward option. However, picking an affordable home system can be challenging.

Inexpensive PCs are often slow or built with low-quality components. While there are some reliable options, you must know what to look for.

To help you trim down options and find a system that’s worth your while, check out our top picks for the best desktop computers under $500 you can buy this year. Take a look at our roundup of the The 5 Best Desktop Computers Under $500 in 2023 below.

#1 Best Overall: HP Slim Desktop TPC-F125-SF

#1 Best Overall Desktop
HP Slim Desktop TPC-F125-SF
  • Intel Core i3-10105
  • 12GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD
  • HDMI
  • RJ-45
  • Wireless keyboard and mouse included
  • Wi-Fi
  • Windows 11 Home
  • Black
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09/08/2023 12:22 am GMT

The HP Slim Desktop TPC-F125-SF is the best desktop computer under $500 for casual use and home offices.

It comes with Windows 11 Home preinstalled and is powered by an Intel Core i3-10105 processor that might not be the newest generation, but it is fast enough for most tasks. You can use this computer for school and office purposes, including web browsing, document processing, and audio and video playback.

The four-core processor has a base frequency of 3.70 GHz that can be boosted up to 4.40 GHz. That’s enough to run undemanding games and photo and video editing apps.

In its most affordable configuration, this HP computer offers 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. If that’s not enough, you can choose from configurations up to 32GB of RAM and 2TB of internal storage — in this case, however, the price will go up.

The only real downside is the absence of an SD card reader as well as USB-C and Thunderbolt ports. You do get four USB-A 3.1 and two USB-A 2.0 ports, one HDMI, one Serial 9-pin port, and one VGA 15-pin port. There is also a headphone/microphone combo output.

This PC features Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5 connectivity, and it comes with a wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse.

Check out the HP Slim Desktop TPC-F125-SF and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.

Various configurations allow you to choose the RAM and internal storage sizeThis computer has no USB-C or Thunderbolt ports.
It comes with Windows 11 Home Edition preinstalled, and it is ideal for casual home and office use. No SD card reader
The bundle includes a wireless keyboard and mouse combo. 

Best Mini Desktop PC: ASUS ExpertCenter Mini Desktop PC

Best Mini Desktop PC
Asus ExpertCenter Mini Desktop PC
  • AMD Ryzen 7 5700U (8C/16T, up to 4.3 GHz)
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth
  • HDMI
  • DisplayPort
  • 2x USB 3.2 Type-C
  • Windows 11 Pro
  • Black
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09/08/2023 12:22 am GMT

Small and portable, the ASUS ExpertCenter is the best mini desktop PC on a budget.

Like HP, ASUS uses slightly outdated components to keep prices low. This mini PC is powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U, which is one of the fastest processors of 2021. It is better than the Intel Core i3-10105, offering about six times faster CPU speed. In fact, it is more comparable to an Intel Core i7 10th generation processor.

This actually means that you can use the ASUS ExpertCenter to run loads of apps, including a variety of games, photo and video editing software, and other power-hungry applications.

The system boasts 16GB of RAM and a 2TB PCIe SSD hard drive. You also get Windows 11 Home preinstalled and plenty of ports for your USB-A drives. In addition, this mini PC includes an HDMI 1.4 output, one display port, and a 3.5mm headphone and microphone output, but there is no SD card reader or a USB-C port.

Another downside is the lack of peripherals, but the PC is compatible with wireless mice and keyboards. As far as connectivity goes, the ExpertCenter features Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.

Check out the ASUS ExpertCenter Mini Desktop PC and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.

The Ryzen 7 5700U processor provides sufficient power for more demanding apps.This mini PC doesn’t include any peripherals, and if you need them, the final cost could exceed $500.
The most affordable configuration includes 16GB of RAM and 2TB of internal storage. 
It is compatible with wireless peripherals and is compact enough to fit in a carry-on bag or backpack. 

Best All-in-One: HP 22-dd0110 21.5″ All-in-One Desktop PC

Best All-in-One
HP 21.5" All-in-One Desktop
  • AMD Silver 3050U processor
  • AMD Radeon graphics
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Snow White
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09/08/2023 12:22 am GMT

The HP 22-dd0110 is an all-in-one computer ideal for students, home offices, and casual family use.

It comes with everything needed to get it started straight out of the box, including a monitor (in which the PC is built), a wireless keyboard, and a wireless mouse. The Athlon Silver 3050U processor is not the fastest out there but it is capable enough for smooth web browsing, running web apps, working on MS Office-type documents, and similar.

You can also use this PC to stream audio and video, including watching YouTube and Netflix or listening to your favorite playlist on Spotify.

A true highlight is the 21.5-inch monitor, which is large enough for most purposes. The downsides are the limited memory and internal storage — the PC comes with 4GB of RAM and only 128GB of internal storage capacity.

That said, if you mostly use the PC to browse the internet, write and edit documents, and answer emails, it’s well worth the investment.

Check out the HP 22-dd0110 21.5″ and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.

This all-in-one PC comes with everything needed to set it up right out of the box.Very limited RAM and internal storage
The preinstalled Windows 10 Home Edition can be upgraded to Windows 11 Home. 
It is ideal for web browsing and school or office tasks. 

Best for Businesses: Lenovo V50t Gen 2

Best for Businesses
Lenovo V50t Gen 2 Business Desktop Computer
  • Intel 4-core processor (up to 4.3 GHz)
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • 4K 3-monitor support
  • DisplayPort
  • HDMI
  • VGA
  • DVD-RW
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Windows 11 Pro
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09/08/2023 12:22 am GMT

Businesses on a budget looking for a desktop computer under $500 might find what they need in the Lenovo V50t Gen 2 PC.

As you’d expect from a business computer, it comes with Windows 11 Pro preinstalled. The system is powered by an Intel Core i3-10100 processor and has 16GB of RAM. It also includes a 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD drive.

One of the greatest highlights is the presence of a slim optical drive. You can use the computer to read and write CDs and DVDs, which is something most modern PCs don’t have. The tower PC also includes plenty of ports, such as four USB-A 3.2 ports, a 3.5mm microphone and headphone combo jack, a separate 3.5mm microphone output, and an RJ-45 Ethernet port.

The system comes with Lenovo’s Calliope keyboard and mouse, which are wired (USB). However, it is compatible with Bluetooth devices, so you can pair it with wireless peripherals. This computer is available in various configurations with RAM options between 8GB and 32GB and hard drives up to 2TB.

Check out the Lenovo V50t Gen 2 and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.

The Intel Core i3-10100 processor provides enough power for business use.The computer is not Wi-Fi enabled and comes with USB peripherals.
It comes with the Windows 11 Pro Edition preinstalled. 
One of the few modern computers with an optical drive 

Most Budget-Friendly: Acer Aspire Tower D17W6

Most Budget-Friendly
Acer Aspire Tower Desktop (D17W6)
  • Intel Celeron J4125 processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB PCIe SSD
  • DVD
  • HDMI
  • VGA
  • Wi-Fi
  • Wired keyboard and mouse included
  • Windows 11 Home
  • Black
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09/08/2023 12:22 am GMT

If you want to replace a really old computer on a very limited budget, the Acer Aspire Tower D17W6 could be your best choice.

This system is cheap, but it brings the performance you need from a modern PC. It comes with Windows 11 Home preinstalled, while the Intel Celeron J4125 CPU is perfect for casual tasks. You can use this desktop PC for web browsing, emailing, using the Microsoft Office Suite, and more.

Sure, it’s not a system to buy for gaming or other power-hungry apps, but it’s a good option for students and families.

Like other desktop computers on a budget, it comes in various configurations. The most affordable — which costs under $400 — boasts 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD hard drive. If you need more, options go up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of internal storage.

The system incorporates an optical drive and various ports, including four USB-A 2.0 and an RJ-45 Ethernet port. The computer comes complete with wired peripherals, but it is Bluetooth-enabled.

Check out the Acer Aspire Tower D17W6 and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.

This desktop computer is one of the most affordable PCs on the market.The Intel Celeron processor is too weak to run demanding apps.
You can choose from several configurations. 
The system comes with wired peripherals, but it is compatible with Bluetooth-enabled options. 
Apps to download
All-in-one desktop computers are the best choice for under $500 if you don’t want to spend on a monitor.

©Studio Romantic/Shutterstock.com

How to Pick the Best Desktop Computer Under $500: Step-by-Step

When choosing a cheap computer, there are six essential considerations for most buyers.

  • Type
  • Processor
  • RAM
  • Storage
  • Ports
  • Accessories

Let’s see how each of these factors can impact your decision-making.


There are three main types of desktop computers: all-in-one, tower, and mini.

All-in-one computers are ideal if you need a ready-to-use solution. In these computers, the hardware is placed inside the monitor, so they take up little space on your desk. Most options also include peripherals, so you won’t have to buy the keyboard and mouse separately.

Tower and mini PCs consist of a case that houses all computer components. These systems may include the keyboard and mouse, but you’ll usually have to buy the monitor separately.


The central processing unit (CPU) is the brain of your computer. It tells all other components what to do and when to do it, so if you want to avoid lags and stutters, getting a PC with a powerful processor is essential. However, you don’t need the most powerful processor out there for web browsing, running browser apps, or working on MS Office-type documents. CPUs released in the past three years can suit these needs just fine.


The random access memory (RAM) allows your computer to open applications and multitask. As a rule of thumb, the more RAM you have, the faster your PC will load and run the applications. More RAM also allows you to switch between tasks with little to no lags. For most purposes, 8GB of RAM is enough. If you mostly use the PC to browse the internet and answer emails, 4GB of RAM might do. For demanding apps, you should aim to have at least 16GB of RAM.


Another thing to consider is the type of internal drive the computer uses. There are two main types: hard drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs).

Hard drives are cheaper, but they have more mechanical parts, so they are more likely to break. Solid-state drives are faster and more resistant. They have no mechanical components (they are more similar to flash drives than HDDs) and are shock-resistant, so they are less likely to break. However, these drives are more expensive.

Beyond the type, you must also consider how many GB of storage the computer has, especially if you have to save large files. Options go from 128GB to 2TB.


Computer ports allow you to connect the PC to peripherals, including wired keyboards and mice, monitors, external storage drives, and more. The type of ports you need depends on the type of peripherals you want to use. Most desktop computers under $500 have four to eight USB-A ports, HDMI and DisplayPort outlets for monitors, and audio in and out jacks for headphones and microphones. If you need other port types, such as USB-C or an SD card slot, check the computer’s specs before buying.


The most important computer accessories are the keyboard and mouse. These peripherals are inexpensive, but buying a computer that comes with them can help you save some cash.

Before deciding, though, you should consider what type of peripherals the model you want comes with. Wireless keyboards and mice increase mobility and flexibility, but they operate on batteries that you need to replace or charge. Wired peripherals draw power from your computer, but they limit your mobility range.

What to Know Before Buying a Desktop Computer Under $500

Cheap desktop computers are ideal for casual web browsing and running simple apps, but you won’t be able to do serious gaming or photo and video editing on these systems. These computers might also struggle to run power-hungry business apps, so that’s something to consider if you want to buy an affordable desktop PC for your company.

However, if you need a computer for basic tasks, such as browsing the web, emailing, streaming Netflix, or simple school and office work, you won’t need more than an affordable desktop PC can provide. The only thing to consider before buying is the type of ports and peripherals that you need.

Also, keep in mind that the vast majority of desktop computers under $500 don’t come with a monitor (with the exception of all-in-one PCs or refurbished models). When deciding your budget, make sure to include all the peripherals that you need and that don’t come with the PC.

Using a Desktop Computer Under $500: What It’s Like

Using a desktop computer under $500 for simple tasks is like using a high-end computer. Most of these systems can handle web browsing and simple office or school tasks without lagging or stuttering. However, multitasking could be a problem if the applications you run are resource-avid.

These computers are typically unsuitable for gaming, even though some models may handle web gaming and older PC games. They aren’t great for photo and video editing either, so they are not the best choice for creative professionals. If you need a computer for general use, though, they are well worth the investment.

The 5 Best Desktop Computers Under $500 in 2023 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much does a decent desktop computer cost?

You can find decent desktop computers under $500, but it depends on your needs. Basic computer models cost less than $400 and are ideal for web browsing, emailing, and other simple tasks. If you also want to run some games or more demanding apps, you should get a system with a Ryzen 7 or Intel Core i3 processor.

How much RAM do I really need?

We recommend a minimum of 4GB of RAM for simple tasks (web browsing and using MS Office). For general purposes, such as using some web apps, playing web games, and streaming services, your computer should have at least 8GB of RAM. Gamers and content creators should aim for at least 16GB to 32GB of RAM.

Which computer is best for students?

An all-in-one desktop computer is best for students. These desktop models are compact and come with everything needed to set them up straight out of the box.

Is it cheaper to build a desktop PC?

Building your own desktop PC may be cheaper than buying pre-builts, but it’s not a guarantee. It depends on the components you want to use.

Can I use a laptop like a desktop?

You might be able to use your laptop as a desktop computer if it has an HDMI port for the monitor. Bluetooth-enabled laptops are easy to pair with wireless peripherals, or you could use a USB keyboard and mouse.

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