New Cheapism Research Identifies Best Budget Gaming PCs

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Velocity Micro, Maingear, and Dell’s Alienware make review site’s list of recommended models.

Alienware X51

The Alienware X51 has the lowest price tag

Cheapism researched cheap gaming laptops as well, identifying the Alienware M17x a solid system with a competitive price.

A new buying guide by, a review site dedicated to finding quality low-cost products, identifies the best cheap gaming computers. The top picks are the Velocity Micro Edge Z40 and Maingear Vybe, which outperform more expensive models. Dell’s compact Alienware X51 and eye-catching Alienware Aurora also make Cheapism’s list. With prices starting at around $1,000 (for the Alienware X51), these systems may not seem cheap compared with conventional PCs, but they house powerful hardware for keeping up with today’s games.

One of the key components of a cheap gaming PC is the central processing unit, or CPU. Gaming computer manufacturers tend to use Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 processors. The Maingear Vybe and Alienware Aurora employ powerful i7 processors. The Velocity Micro Edge Z40 and Alienware X51 come with slower i5 CPUs that balance performance and price. Consumers have the option to upgrade to a faster processor or downgrade to save money.

Gaming computer reviews indicate that experts favor systems with overclocked CPUs, such as the Maingear Vybe and Alienware Aurora, which have been rigged to run faster. The Velocity Micro Edge Z40 impresses reviewers in part because the CPU can be overclocked to 4 GHz from 3.3 GHz, which helps boost its performance to the level of a pricier gaming rig.

Video cards also play a crucial role. The Maingear Vybe and Alienware Aurora offer the option of two cards instead of just one. However, according to Cheapism’s research, a single, powerful card represents a good value for frugal gamers. Manufacturers provide myriad options for other components as well. Gamers should choose at least 8GB of RAM, or random-access memory. The 1TB hard drives included with most models should prove adequate.

Cheapism researched cheap gaming laptops as well, finding the Alienware M17x a solid system with a competitive price. The 17.3-inch package can’t hold the same hardware as a desktop tower but proves much more portable.

Called by The New York Times “a Consumer Reports for the cheap,” is a review site that serves consumers on a budget who want the best value for their money. Cheapism is the only review site that focuses exclusively on low-price products, a part of the market often overlooked by experts.

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