We die-hard gamers know the thrill of owning the best laptop that can keep up with all the high-tech demands from today’s popular games. However finding and purchasing a cheap but powerful pc without breaking our bank account can be a real task. We decided to take on the task of trying to find some powerful computers for $500 dollars or less. We spent a significant amount of time doing the homework and research to find the best pc’s on a budget. The units in our summary may fall a little short when maxing out the settings for some of today’s most popular games. But that doesn’t mean we cannot still enjoy a fantastic session every time. We also have to remember that the list of fully playable games is much longer than the list of games that cannot be played with our settings maxed out. Also remember that most of these laptops we researched are able to play nearly all modern games, just not with graphics as well as some higher priced computers. After all, having a brand new, unit that can play all of the games of years ago and most of today’s contemporary games is not a bad deal for under $500.
We have tried to keep all our choices under $500 however there are some of the best deals available that may take a bit more money but will provide a sizable boost in performance. We added one or two pc’s that are just under $600 for those who want to expand their options a bit.
1. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4
This one might run slightly above $500 in some areas, however this laptop has what it takes to be at the top of the list for budget pc’s. It boasts an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX 2GB that has a performance higher than that of competing units with integrated graphics. This unit can run many of today’s popular games without maxing out the settings. In fact, due to the NVIDIA GeForce graphics card, it can run many of them with settings on low. The Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-57D4 has an Intel i5-7200U 2.5GHZ processor that can handle the heavy demands placed by some of the more hardware tasking games.
This pc also has a sizable and speedy solid state drive, while not the largest, with enough space (256GB) for storing some of your favorite games.
This notebook pc has 8GB DDR4 RAM at 2133MHz. The display is a full high definition that provides quality viewing resolution and great color for games.
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX 2GB dedicated Video Card
Full HD display 1920×1080
I5-7200U Intel 2.5 GHZ processor
Solid State hard drive
8GB DDR4 RAM (2133MHz)
USB 3.1 type C
12 hour battery (under normal operation)
Weighs only 5.27 lbs
Small HD storage size (256GB)
Difficult to upgrade
The Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-57D4 can provide 12 hours of uninterrupted battery life when full charged although this was not during extended sessions.
2. HP 15-ay011nr FHD
2017 Newest HP Pavilion x360 2-in-1 Convertible 15.6″ FHD Touchscreen Flagship High Performance Laptop PC, Intel Core i5-7200U Dual-Core, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Webcam, 802.11ac, Windows 10, Silver
Another great laptop that stands out as a bargain is the HP 15-ay011 FHD Laptop. It boasts the Intel i5 processor. The Intel i5 Processor is a 6th generation, the Ram is DDR3L-1600 SDRAM and the 15.6 inch display is a full HD SVA antiglare WLED-backlit with a resolution capability of 1920×1080.
The HP 15-ay011nr is a premium pc under $500 with a 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor with Turbo Boost capability and Intel graphics. In addition it has 1TB storage and 8GB RAM.
Intel i5 Processor running at 2.3GHz (with turbo boost capability up to 2.8GHz)
1TB 5400RPM Hard Drive
8 Gigs DDR3L-1600 SDRAM
15.6 inch Full HD 1920×1080 Display
7.15 Hour Battery Life
Windows 10 Full Edition
Only 1 USB 3.0 Port
5400 RPM Hard Drive
Despite the cons, this unit is still a great asset to us diehard gamers looking for a powerful pc on a budget.
3. ASUS P Series P2540UA-AB51
ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 business standard Laptop, 7th Gen Intel Core i5, 2.5GHz (3M Cache, up to 3.1GHz), FHD Display, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, Fingerprint, TPM, 9hrs battery life
We found the ASUS P Series P2540UA-AB51 to be another cheap but decent pc at just under $500. We like that it had the Intel i5 7200U dual-core processor, 8 GB of RAM and a nice size 1 TB hard drive.
There is also a 9 hour battery life under normal conditions. Obviously this will be shortened somewhat by intense gaming. This ASUS P Series also runs Windows 10.
Intel i5 7200 7th Generation dual-core processor
8 GB of RAM
1 TB hard drive
15.6 inch anti-glare FHD Display
3 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports
Slower 5400 RPM hard drive
Difficult to upgrade
The ASUS P Series P2540UA-AB51 may not be as powerful as some costing over $500 out there in the market but it is plenty of muscle for us dedicated gamers who want a device that will run nearly all games efficiently without any problems.
4. Dell Inspiron Flagship i5559-7081SLV
Dell Inspiron 15 5000 15.6″ FHD Touchscreen Laptop ( Intel Core i5-6200U, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD, Windows 10-MaxxAudio Pro), Silver
Well known for quality and performance Dell has designed the Inspiron Flagship with a full HD display including touch screen capabilities available for under $500. It also comes with an Intel i5-6200U processor, 8 GB of RAM, a 1 TB hard drive and Windows 10. This is a pc that may not be the most attractive on the outside, but we found that detail to be insignificant after seeing its performance. This unit can run nearly all those in demand games with no problems.
Intel i5-6200U processor
Full HD display
8 GB DDR3L SDRAM (Expandable to 16GB)
1 TB hard drive 5400RPM
Slower hard drive
Only 1 USB 3.0 port
We did find a few games required us to turn down the graphics settings for a better frame rate. However at under $500 the Dell Inspiron Flagship i5559-7081SLV is definitely a good option for die-hard gamers.
5. Lenovo IdeaPad 310
Lenovo Ideapad 310 15.6″ Laptop, Black (AMD A12-9700P, 12GB, 1TB HDD, AMD Radeon R5 Graphics, Windows 10) 80ST001NUS
We discovered the Lenova IdeaPad 310 is a bit smaller and considered in the industry to be more of a “Lightweight” gaming computer. However we found this smaller unit still packed quite a punch when it comes to gaming. It ran nearly all the high-tech games with no real problems or disability.
It has an Intel i7-7500 processor and Intel HD graphics. It also boasts a huge 12GB of RAM and a 1 TB hard drive. It runs Windows 10.
Intel i7-7500 processor
Full HD Display
12 GB of RAM
1TB hard drive
Only 1 USB 3.0 port
The Lenova IdeaPad 310 is a great unit for the addicted gamer that can be found for well below the $500 mark. For us serious gamers it is definitely worth trying for the price.
For those of us seeking a cheap but good unit, for around $500 these choices are worth checking out. Any one of these units can deliver thousands of hours of intense fun without breaking our bank account.