Best Refurbished Gaming Desktop Computers

This is our guide to help you choose a good quality pre-build refurbished desktop computer for gaming. It is for those of you who want to buy a cheap gaming computer but lack the knowledge to build their own PC using stand-alone components.

Our refurbished gaming PC list will give you the answer to what is the best tower for you. Which internal components are important and what should you pay attention to when buying a refurbished gaming configuration?

Let’s kick-off with a comparison table of our top models:

dell inspiron 3670

Best for Casual Gaming
Dell Inspiron 3670

Availability and price

Targeted price: $500 – $600
CPU: Intel Core i5-8400 @ 2.80 GHz Turbo: 4.0 GHz
Cores: 6 (6 Threads)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
Memory: 8GB 2666MHz DDR4
Storage: 1TB SSD
Motherboard: B360
Storage slots: One M.2 NVMe
Ports: 2x USB3.0, 4x USB2.0
PSU: 290 W Bronze
OS: Windows 10 Pro

dell inspiron 5680

For 60 FPS @ 1080p
Dell Inspiron 5680

Availability and price

Targeted price:$800
CPU: Intel Core i7-8700 @ 3.20 GHz Turbo: 4.60 GHz
Cores: 6 (12 Threads)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
Memory: 8GB 2400MHz DDR4
Storage: 128GB M.2 SSD, 1 TB HDD
Motherboard: Z370
Storage slots: One M.2 NVMe
Ports: 6x USB3.0, 4x USB2.0
PSU: 460 W
OS: Windows 10 Home

alienware aurora r9 thumb open

For 100 FPS Gaming @ 1080p 
Alienware Aurora R9

Availability and price

Targeted price:$850
CPU: Intel Core i5-9400 @ 2.90 GHz Turbo: 4.10 GHz
Cores: 6 (6 Threads)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660
Memory: 16GB 2666MHz DDR4
Storage: 256GB PCIe M.2 NVMe
Motherboard: Z370
Storage slots: One M.2 NVMe
Ports: 6x USB3.0, 5x USB2.0, USB3.0 (Type-C), USB3.1, USB3.1 (Type-C)
PSU: 460 W
OS: Windows 10 Pro

acer nitro n50

For 100 FPS Gaming @ 1080p
Acer Nitro N50

Availability and price

Targeted price: $900
CPU: Intel Core i5-9400F @ 2.90 GHz Turbo: 4.10 GHz
Cores: 6 (6 Threads)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
Memory: 8GB 2666MHz DDR4
Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
Motherboard: Z370
Storage slots: One M.2 NVMe
Ports: USB3.1 (Type-C), USB3.1,  2x USB3.0, 4x USB2.0
PSU: 500 W
OS: Windows 10 Home

For 144 Hz @ 1440p
HP Omen Obelisk

Availability and price

Targeted price: $1800
CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K @ 3.00 GHz Turbo: 4.70 GHz
Cores: 8 (8 Threads)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super
Memory: 16GB 2666MHz DDR4
Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD, 1TB HDD
Motherboard: Z390
Storage slots: 2 x M.2 NVMe
Ports: 6x USB3.0, USB3.1, USB3.1 (Type-C),
PSU: 500 W Bronze
OS: Windows 10 Home

alienware aurora r10

For 144 Hz @ 1440p and VR
Alienware Aurora R10

Availability and price

Targeted price: $1800
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X @ 3.60 GHz Turbo: 4.60 GHz
Cores: 8 (16 Threads)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super
Memory: 32GB 2666MHz DDR4 HyperX FURY
Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
Motherboard: B550A
Storage slots: 2 x M.2 NVMe
Ports: 6x USB3.0, 2x USB3.1, USB3.0 (Type-C)
PSU: 850 W
OS: Windows 10 Home

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Why refurbished gaming computer?

The gaming PC is a desktop computer with hardware optimized specifically for playing games. Its most important part is probably the graphics card also called GPU. Fast processor (CPU) and large amounts of RAM are also important but are second in priority. Because running such high spec components generates lots of heat, the gaming PC needs to have extra cooling.

If you don’t want to assemble the gaming PC yourself, and you want a brand new pre-built configuration, using the latest gen components, expect to pay somewhere between $900 and $2500. Therefore, if your budget is running around $700 you will not be able to get a machine with a decent performance.

In this case your next best option is to try renewed. A refurbished desktop computer is the sweet spot between a DIY and retail configuration. It is the cheapest and fastest way to get into PC gaming.

With refurbished you are getting a higher performance per dollar ratio. This is especially true for high-end VR ready builds, where cost-per-fps is significantly reduced.

Where the refurbished PC shines the most is the casual gamer segment. A two to four year old renewed desktop computer  is perfectly capable of running hordes of slightly older games with 60+ FPS at 1080p.

When we say older, we mean games that stood the test of time, ones that have acquired a cult status among gamers. Titles like:

  • Minecraft
  • CS:GO
  • Rocket League
  • Portal 1 and 2
  • World of Warcraft
  • Team Fortress
  • Doom
  • Dark Souls

These are some of the most played video games for the last couple of years, and actually, none of them is a AAA title with monstrous requirements. Playing them with a decent FPS will not cost you a lot.

Whether you consider a high-end PC or an all-rounder, it all boils down to use case, requirements, and budget.

The best refurbished gaming PCs in 2020

1. Best Casual Gaming: Dell Inspiron 3670 Tower

dell inspiron 3670 gtx 1050 refurbished gaming tower

Source: Dell. Not the actual product, only for illustrative presuppose.

Where to buy?

Seller More info
Amazon Availability and price
Newegg Availability and price
Wallmart Availability and price

Despite the low price, this refurbished Dell Inspiron 3670 performs surprisingly well. It has everything you need to enjoy classic games like Minecraft, League of Legends, CS:GO, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Dota2 with smooth FPS for a good price.

Inspiron 3670 comes with Core i5-8400 (6 cores/6 threads) at 2.8 GHz base and 4.0 GHz turbo boost clock. The RAM is 8 GB DDR4, installed on a single slot. If you decide you need more memory later, you can go up to 32 GB on dual channel.

Computers in this segment are often paired with a GTX 1050 or Rx 560 graphics cards. In this case, Dell went for a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050. The 1050 is enough to give you 60 FPS on older non-demanding titles. Newer, AAA games, will be somewhat playable, but do not expect numbers higher than 20 or 30 FPS.

Available ports are – 2x USB 3.1 Type-A, 4x USB 2.0 Type-A, analog audio, VGA, HDMI and RJ45. Dell does not offer a USB-C options. Additionally, the GTX 1050 comes with DP, HDMI and DVI ports.

Games this computer will run with 60 FPS or more (High settings)

Year Game Frames Per Second
2009 League of Legends
212.0 FPS
2012 CS: Global Offensive
125.6 FPS
2015 Rocket League (U)
172.0 FPS
2016 Overwatch
76.0 FPS
2016 Battlefield 1
70.0 FPS

Similar model: HP 8300 Tower Desktop

hp 8300 refurbished gaming gtx 1050

CPU: i5-3570 Upto 3.8GHz | Memory: 8GB Ram | Storage: 250GB SSD + 1TB HDD | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050 2GB Video Card | OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit | Refurb source: Certified Refurbished

Availability and price

2. For 60 FPS at 1080p (Ultra): Dell Inspiron 5680

dell inspiron 5680 gtx 1060 refurbished gaming tower

Where to buy?

Seller More info
Dell Outlet Availability and price
Amazon Availability and price

This model delivers a better VR experience. It is not the best by all means but games are playable on their default settings.

As for regular gaming experience the model has the necessary power to run many games on highest possible settings. However, GTX 1060 doesn’t have the power to run Ultra setting at more than 1080p. Thus, our recommendation for this setup is to be used for 60 FPS at 1080p gaming.

That is not to say that this configuration will never run above 100 FPS. Titles like Rocket League, Fortnite, CS:GO, and League of legends will go above 100 FPS on 1080p Ultra, and will be in the range of 60 to 100 FPS when played on 1440p monitor.

The Core i7-8700 is an impressive processor. Runs on six cores (12 threads), and with this configurations scores around 20,000 points in Geekbench.

In addition to gaming, this configuration will also handle with ease all the concurrently running game related tasks like: streaming, multiple Chrome tabs, Spotify and others.

Games this computer will run with 60 FPS or more (Ultra settings)

Year Game Frames Per Second
2009 Civilization VI
63.8 FPS
2018 Fortnite
90.8 FPS
2018 Battle field V
78.4.0 FPS
2019 Fifa 20
76.0 FPS
2019 Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order
68.6 FPS
Similar model: Dell XPS 8930 Tower

dell xps 8930 gtx 1060 refurbished gaming tower

CPU: i7-8700 up to 4.6GHz | Memory: 8GB Ram | Storage: 16GB Intel Optane + 1TB HDD | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 | OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 

Availability and price

3. For 60 to 100 FPS at 1080p: Acer Nitro 50

acer nitro n50 gtx 1660ti refurbished

Where to buy?

Seller More info
Amazon Availability and price
Newegg Availability and price

The Nitro gaming desktop combines a clean design with enough processing and graphics power to run many games on Ultra settings between 60 and 100 FPS.

It is very compact and can be easily moved around without too much hassle. This though, might be a limiting factor in terms of future upgrades because there is not enough space for bigger GPUs and fans.

The device runs Intel’s 9th generation Core i7 processor 9400F with 6 cores (6 threads) running between 2.90 and 4.10GHz. The graphics card is decent – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with 6GB GDDR6 video memory.

Available are 8 Gigs of RAM in a single module, but there are three additional slots (4 in total) for up to 64 GB of RAM.

The system comes with a 512 GB SSD drive for faster loading times. For games and media files, you have available drive bay for a 3.5 inch HDD. Installing it can be a bit tricky as the space is tight and you have to navigate around the case.

Although, mouse and keyboard are included, most likely you will not like them. Our advice is to get something better and if possible mechanical – Redragon K552, Logitec G610, or G413 are all decent options.

The Nitro N50 is VR ready and works well with first and second generation headsets.

Thanks to the good selection of components, the Acer desktop offers good gaming experience even with newer more demanding games.

Games that this computer will run between 60 to 100 FPS:

Year Game Frames Per Second
2015 The Witcher 3
89.2 FPS
2015 Rise of the Tomb Raider
106.4FPS
2018 Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
66.4 FPS
2018 Far Cry 5
96.1 FPS
2020 Doom Eternal
132.6 FPS
Similar model: SkyTech Blaze

skytech blaze gtx 1660 refurbished

CPU: i5-9400F 2.9GHz | Memory: 8GB Ram DDR4 | Storage: 500GB SSD | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 | OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Availability and price

4. For 144 Hz at 1440p: HP Omen Obelisk

hp omen obelisk gtx 2080 super refurbished

Seller More info
Amazon Availability and price
Newegg (Core i9-9900K) Availability and price
Walmart Availability and price

To play games with a 144Hz, 1440p, WQHD monitor with over 100 FPS, you have to pick something similar to this HP OMEN Obelisk model. It is equipped with RTX 2080 Super GPU with 8 GB DDR4 VRAM, Intel Core i7-9700K, and 16 GB HyperX RAM. This setup will land you at 100 FPS or more with some of the most demanding AAA games.

Intel’s K processor gives you the option to overclock the system and squeeze every bit of processing power. The Obelisk comes with a liquid cooling so there is no need to spend your money on aftermarket solutions. This is nice, as some mid-tier OMENs equipped with the stock fan have problems keeping normal temperatures inside the case. This causes FPS dips and degrades you overall gaming experience.

The motherboard is Edoras Micro ATX, based on H370 chipset. It has two M.2 sockets – one for WLAN and the other for SSD.

Playing on this setup is extremely enjoyable. Many games will run on Ultra at over 100 FPS on your 1440p monitor. Expect most demanding AAA titles to run at over 70 FPS. Moreover, if you are a gamer who doesn’t mind playing on High settings, most if not all games will run at your monitor’s max refresh rate.

Unfortunately, finding a refurbished deal is a bit tricky. These machines are less popular than the mid-tier models with a GTX 1060 and 1070, so the supply is low.

We will try to update the article as soon as we see some nice refurbished deals. However, this is not always possible. In that case, we will use models that are new but on sale..

Games that this computer will run with 60 FPS at 1440p Ultra settings:

Year Game Frames Per Second
2015 The Witcher 3
145.2 FPS
2015 Rise of the Tomb Raider
115.4FPS
2017 Ghost Recon Wildlands
64.4 FPS
2018 Metro Exodus
114.2 FPS
2018 Red Dead Redemption 2
95.6 FPS
2019 Borderlands 3
96.6 FPS
Similar model: Skytech Chronos Gaming PC

skytech chronos rtx 2070 super refurbished

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X | Memory: 16GB Ram DDR4 | Storage: 1TB SSD | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super | OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Availability and price

Similar model: Alienware Aurora R10

alienware aurora gtx 2080 super refurbished

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 4.4 GHz | Memory: 32GB RAM 2666MHZ DDR4 | Storage: 512GB  M.2 NVMe SSD | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super | OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Availability and price

5. For Retro Gaming: Dell Optiplex 990

refurbished gaming dell optiplex 990

Seller More info
Amazon Availability and price
Newegg Availability and price

If you want to spin some 90s or 00s games like Quake 1, Quake 2, Diablo, Call of Duty, Halo, KotOR, or enjoy an Arcade session with one of the many available emulators, than you need a very simple and cheap gaming desktop.

For our retro rig, we chose Dell Optiplex 990 with 3.1GHz Core i5-2400 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 500 GB HDD.

It is the perfect machine to run emulators for arcade games, virtual machine or PCem for those sweet Windows 98, XP nostalgia games.

This small form factor enterprise class device is just right for the job.

What to look for in refurbished gaming desktop computer?

If you need new gaming PC, but you don’t have the time to assemble by yourself, you can choose a prebuild refurbished system. Before you do so, you should at least be somewhat familiar what components goes inside and the criteria to choose one.

The warranty

The most important thing when buying a refurbished model is the warranty.

Best is to favor manufacturer recertified models – they have fair return policy and longer warranty period. The return policy should be at least 90 days and the warranty period no less than 1 year.

Graphics card

The graphics card is the essential component in a gaming PC. Depending on your requirements, the selection can range from GTX 1050 – for low tier gaming, to GTX 2080 Ti – for 4K gaming and VR experience.

But the main question is – how reliable are the graphics cards inside a refurbished gaming configuration. Who knows! If they were not overheated they should be pretty reliable. An issue you should be ready to face is a noisy fan operation. This will usually happen after a few years of usage.

In order to avoid misfortune, your best bet is to pick up a vendor with good warranty and return policy.

Try to avoid GPUs used for mining cryptocurrencies!

The CPU

For the CPU you have the option to use a Core i5, Core i7 or a comparable processor from AMD. For most gaming tasks the Core i5 or Ryzen 5 are sufficient. We suggest you look for a system with either one of these two processors and invest the rest of your money in a better GPU.

Should you worry for the CPU inside a refurbished gaming system? Probably not, CPUs are very reliable. The fan can become noisier with time, but this is something natural.

The memory

8GB of RAM should be enough for gaming. Go for 16 GB, if while gaming, you intend to do streaming and having many Chrome tabs opened. It’s good practice to observe your RAM consumption. If you start hitting close to 100% utilization it might be time to add more.

If you buy a refurb model with a Ryzen CPU, don’t forget to set higher RAM speed through the BIOS. This is because Ryzen family is very dependent on it – Infinity Fabric scales with RAM and makes your computer faster. Speeds between 2400MHz and 3000MHz will be beneficial to your system.

The RAM fails very rarely. If there are any problems with it, it is always replaced and not fixed.

The storage

You should be careful with the storage, especially if it is an old HDD. One of the fail scenarios for an HDD is a sudden death, where you lose all your information with recovery being very difficult and expensive. On the other hand, SSDs are more reliable and tend to fail gracefully (i.e. bad sectors)

We recommend, whenever possible, to use an SSD for your main drive – it makes the system much more responsive when loading Windows/Linux and your games. However, we must note that the SSD will not improve the frame rate while gaming.

For storage of your large media libraries (movies, music, etc.) you can use an HDD.

Ports

When you buy a refurbished computer that is couple of years old it is a good idea to check all the available ports. We have had cases where some of the USB ports were not working properly.

Sometimes older models may lack last gen ports like Thunderbolt 3. Be careful and consult the manual to be sure.

We have written a short guide on most essential computer ports. You can read it here.

Which brands to look for when buying refurbished gaming PC

All major brands offer some kind of outlet/refurbished option. Computers sourced directly from the manufacturer are marked as certified refurbished. Most of the time, these are the PCs you want to look for.

Can you overclock refurbished desktop computer?

Yes, refurbished desktops obey the same rules as a brand new desktop machine. Before doing it, make sure you have the needed cooling capacity in order to have an effective and stable system. Once this is taken care of, you are free to overclock the GPU, CPU and the RAM.

Note however, that overclocking will not bring you any significant gain in performance. You will most probably spend a lot of time and money on additional cooling, only to see marginal improvements.

Not to mention, that most of the time these pre-build computers are assembled with components which do not have overclocking capabilities.

However, if you are about to do it…

Things to do when overclock a refurbished gaming desktop computer

  • CPU – you need a CPU made for overclocking. Most of the AMD’s Ryzen and Intel’s K series processors are OK.
  • PSU – overclocking demands more power. Low quality power supplies are not an option for overclocking. Search the net and look for a PSU that is already tested in similar scenarios. Overclocking with a low quality supply can kill your system.
  • Motherboard – You will need a proper motherboard model with chipset designed for overclocking.
  • Memory – Check your motherboard, it must support the RAM for proper memory overclock.
  • Cooling – Overclocking needs proper cooling. That’s why you need a better air flow inside the case, better CPU and GPU coolers. These components will also add to the final price.

Can you upgrade refurbished gaming PC

If the games you play are not performing the way you want, you can always consider upgrading some of the hardware components. Most often this is the video controller, but you can update any part of a refurbished PC.

  • If you buy a more powerful graphics card make sure there is enough space inside the chassis to accommodate the new model.
  • Check the power supply – it has to have enough power to support the new GPU.
  • Make sure all the parts are compatible with each other – your CPU, the motherboard, and the RAM.
  • The RAM must work in dual channel mode. Check your motherboard’s manual for what’s compatible and what’s not.
  • If the parts are refurbished, run some test to check they work properly.
  • Bigger CPU fans may block the DIMM slot, be careful.