Top Picks for the Tinkerer

Top Picks for the Tinkerer

So, "voiding warranties" is something you do with pride? The following systems allow you to make your own maintenance and some upgrades as needed. After all, it's much more cost-effective to add memory or storage down the road if needed.

Your options 9 top results, ranging in price from ∼ US$520 to US$1270, with accessories.

Let's start with a broad search. The following offer the best value for the lowest price regardless of format preference. As a result, you will most likely see stationary computers down here and maybe a few portable options. You have the option to look for a specific kind of device at the bottom of the page.

  • HP 8200 Elite

    HP 8200 Elite from US$180;
    ~$520 with accessories

    An older computer, it's been refurbished with the latest version of windows and still has a lot to offer if you do not need the latest, greatest thing. It's a w... Read More about the 211204MB

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage1/5
    Portability3.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price4.5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage3/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Compact Towers standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage1.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    0/5
    Does not meet software's minimum requirements
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-2400S
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 2000
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 512.00 GB
    Dimensions: 10.03 x 33.78 x 37.85 cm
    Weight: 8.50 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer's site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Dell Dell Inspiron i5675 Gaming Desktop

    Dell Dell Inspiron i5675 Gaming Desktop from US$740;
    ~$1270 with accessories

    Shopping for Gaming PC on a budget? This tower is definitely worth a look.

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage2.5/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power4/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability0/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Tower Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage2/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    4/5
    This should run nicely

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 1400
    Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 570
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Dimensions: 21.60 x 43.75 x 45.89 cm
    Weight: 13.74 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer's site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • MSI Nightblade MI3 8RA-022CA Guillaume's pick; 3 times!

    MSI Nightblade MI3 8RA-022CA from US$6908%, Best price yet!
    ~$1206 with accessories

    A compact Gaming PC for the living room or anywhere space is limited. With carrying handles, it's also an attractive option for LAN parties or if you have to re... Read More about the MI3 8RA-022CA

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage2.5/5
    Portability4/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power4/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Compact Towers standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage3.5/5
    Portability3.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    4/5
    This should run nicely

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-8400
    Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Dimensions: 12.80 x 34.20 x 26.80 cm
    Weight: 8.40 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • ME PC VT2000I Home PC Guillaume's pick; 6 times!

    ME PC VT2000I Home PC from US$680;
    ~$1230 with accessories

    A practical Home PC capable of handling more than the basics so you can experiment and create without committing to a substantial budget... Read More about the VT2000I

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price2.5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage2.5/5
    Portability4/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price3/5
    Power4/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Compact Towers standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3/5
    Power2/5
    Storage3.5/5
    Portability2.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-8400
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 630
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Dimensions: 9.60 x 37.00 x 33.40 cm
    Weight: 10.00 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Memory Express site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Asus M32BF Tower Computer Guillaume's pick; 7 times!

    Asus M32BF Tower Computer from US$27048% cheaper than usual
    ~$642 with accessories

    A great computer for productivity and even more creative tasks.

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price4.5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage2.5/5
    Portability2.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4.5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Tower Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck2/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power1/5
    Storage2/5
    Portability3.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: AMD A10-7800
    Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 Graphics
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Dimensions: 17.53 x 40.89 x 38.10 cm
    Weight: 8.30 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Newegg site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • HP Pavilion Desktop PC Guillaume's pick; 7 times!

    HP Pavilion Desktop PC from US$40012% cheaper than usual
    ~$820 with accessories

    A cost-efficient computer for homework and even quite a bit of creativity.

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4.5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage2.5/5
    Portability3.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4.5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Tower Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck1.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4.5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage2/5
    Portability5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: AMD A10-9700
    Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 Graphics
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Dimensions: 17.00 x 27.70 x 33.80 cm
    Weight: 5.15 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Staples site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Asus M32BF Tower Computer Guillaume's pick; 13 times!

    Asus M32BF Tower Computer from US$380;
    ~$790 with accessories

    A great computer for productivity and a little more. Not a bad product if you don't have any great plans for your computer but don't want to be too restricted.

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck2/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power2/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Tower Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck1/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability4/5
    AutonomyN/A

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: AMD A10-7800
    Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 Graphics
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 2 TB
    Dimensions: 17.52 x 37.99 x 40.84 cm
    Weight: 8.26 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Newegg site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • HP Pavilion 590 Desktop PC

    HP Pavilion 590 Desktop PC from US$45014% cheaper than usual
    ~$890 with accessories

    With a large hard drive, this computer is a good fit for the collector of photos, music, videos and any file you'd prefer not to store in the cloud.

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck1.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability3.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Tower Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck0.5/5
    Versatility for the Price0.5/5
    Power0.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: AMD A12-9700
    Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 Graphics
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 2 TB
    Dimensions: 17.00 x 27.70 x 33.80 cm
    Weight: 5.15 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Best Buy site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Dell Inspiron 15

    Dell Inspiron 15" 3000 Series Touch from US$420;
    ~$640 with accessories

    A cost-efficient laptop built to handle "the usual." An option worth considering, especially if waiting for stuff to load is an acceptable compromise for you, a... Read More about the i3567-3408BLK-PCA

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power0.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i3-7130U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 37.85 x 25.91 x 2.36 cm
    Weight: 2.20 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Best Buy site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×

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Looking for a laptop, tablet, smartphone or desktop computer specifically? Here are the product families in which we found options matching your needs: