The 9 best budget desktops for programming In 2023

Here’s the guide to help you pick the best budget desktop for programming and effecient for entry-level gaming.

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The funny thing is that programming is a sort of career that if you don’t do it right or don’t go in there with the right skills and mindset, it’s going to mess you up pretty badly.

Our top picks under budget deskptops for coding

  1. Acer Aspire TC-885 (Check price on Amazon)
  2. Dell Inspiron 3880 (Check price on Amazon)
  3. Lenovo IdeaCentre 3 (Check price on Amazon)
  4. Alarco Gaming PC Desktop (Check price on Amazon)
  5. CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 (Check price on Amazon)

It’s a long-term game that is not just about having a few skills and techniques here and there but also the right direction, and that’s possible with a desktop computer. Here are our list of budget monitors for programming.

Sure, you can code on a cheap laptop, but getting a budget desktop for programming is definitely necessary for those who want to be professionals and archive utmost success. See our list of budget laptops for programming.

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To help you out in this regard, I’ve compiled the list of the best all-in-one pc for programming that money can buy in 2022.

Each of them is researched based on their quality and hardware compatibility so that you won’t be disappointed at the end of the day. So, let’s take a look at them!

1)  Acer Aspire TC-885


  • It comes equipped with Intel Core i5 9th gen processor for the superb feedback
  • Up to 12GB DDR4 RAM & 512GB SSD storage capacity
  • Bluetooth 5. 0 connectivity paired with 11AC Wi-Fi network
  • 4X USB Type 2, along with 1X USB Type C & HDMI/VGA port
  • High Def 5.1 Channel Audio support

If you want the best of both worlds in terms of performance and price, then the Acer Aspire TC-885 is something that shouldn’t be missed out on.

It’s easily the best all-in-one pc for programming that can get the job done in even the most hectic conditions.

There is nothing to be worried about in the long run, featuring a robust metallic case in a compact form factor. You can upgrade the casing if you feel like it and get the most out of your buck.

The hardware side of things provides a 9th gen i5 processor (@8GHz) that is reliable and productive. It won’t bottleneck for basic programming-related projects, and there is no need to worry about lagging issues.

Other than that, it’s supported by 12GB system memory in DDR4 architecture.

Getting a decent amount of RAM is essential these days, and the Acer Aspire TC-885 excel in this regard as well. You will also receive around 512GB SSD that is completely upgradeable.

On the front, you will notice that it has quite a number of connectivity ports.

This includes a couple of USB Type-Cs, USB 3.1, SD card reader, and a microphone and a headphone jack. Other add-ons which are worth mentioning are a keyboard and a basic Acer mouse.

As computer specs for programming, these aspects won’t be a game-changer, but they sure can provide you with peace of mind.

Overall, it’s an adequately built desktop computer for programming that I wholeheartedly recommend for beginners.

                  PROS                     CONS
Respectable hardware and specsNot recommended for side gaming
Compact casing with decent upgradabilityAesthetically, the casing is a bit basic
Free-addons upon purchase 

2)  Dell Inspiron 3880


  • One of the best desktop computers for programming with i5 10th gen processor
  • ‎512 GB M.2 disk space that can be relatively upgraded
  • Running on 12GB RAM for quick program access
  • Added visuals thanks to onboard Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • Provided with USB Type-A ports as well as a card reader space

Finding the best desktop computer for programming is hard, especially in a laptop-dominated market.

However, there are plenty of systems that still deliver exceptional performance without costing a fortune and, the Dell Inspiron 3880 is definitely one of them.

Being an inexpensive model, it can handle most of the day-to-day tasks while providing a decent programming experience. The great thing about this device is its small form factor.

It measures around ‎13 x 6 x 11.5 inches, which means you won’t have to dedicate a lot of space or get restrained on the desk area.

In terms of hardware, there is the option of i5 and i3 processors, so depending on your requirements, you will always have some options.

Although both are quite capable processors, neither of them is great for beginner-level coding.

There is also the addition of Intel UHD integrated graphics, which will provide you with a further boost in performance, but don’t expect much from it.

Storage space is also another key factor for any modern-day desktop computer for programming, and the Dell Inspiron 3880 rightfully covers that as well.

Each unit is equipped with 1TB hard disk space along with 512GB M.2 PCIe for responsive boost times. Speaking of hardware, another addition to the Dell Inspiron series is the 12GB RAM slot.

Now you can run multiple applications and tools and get the most out of your coding skills.

On the connectivity side of things, you will get 2X USB 2.0 & 3.2 as well as an audio jack and a card reader at the front.

                  PROS                     CONS
Sleek and compact setupNot ideal for high-demand CAD projects
Multiple processing optionsSingle HDMI output
A wide plethora of connectivity ports 

3)  Lenovo IdeaCentre 3


  • A multitasking Desktop series by Lenovo that is equipped with an AMD Athlon processor
  • Windows 10 activation that 4GB DDR4 RAM accompanies
  • Convenient location of connectivity ports (2-USB 2.0 & 1-USB 3.2) at front
  • 256GB solid-state drive to store tons of programs, apps, and other utilities
  • Compatible with standard ‎0.01 display size

If you are a fan of AMD hardware and need the utmost support without spending a fortune, then the upcoming Lenovo IdeaCentre 3 is something you should definitely watch out for.

Coming at just under $400, it offers a perfect blend of build and performance that is quite hard to find these days. Whether you are serious about programming or just starting out, this best all-in-one pc won’t disappoint.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre 3 comes in an appealing semi-plastic casing with sliver finishing right off the bat. Its aesthetically pleasing for the most part and will probably fit the needs of most programmers.

On top of that, its streamlined shape and compact tower body make it so that it can be easily stored within your Desktop.

The thing which I like the most about this PC is its self-centered ports backed by a magnetic door. All the connectivity ports and conveniently placed, and there is no uncertainty when using them.

In addition to the standard USB ports, you will receive an HDMI, VGA & Ether slot at the back. There is also the addition of a microphone and 2-speaker ports for media-centric users.

It rocks a mobile AMD Athlon CPU, which is ideal for your basic compiling tasks. Also, with SSD storage, you can expect top-tier speeds.

The only drawback is its system memory which is capped at 4GB. Although if you can personally upgrade it, it’s good to go.

                  PROS                     CONS
Modern looking designInadequate system RAM
Fast and responsive storageFaulty headphone port in many units
Decent computer specs for programming 2022 

4)  Alarco Gaming PC Desktop


  • Fully featured gaming PC by Alarco with Intel i5 processor running at 3.10GHz
  • 1 TB mechanical hard drive to give you ample space to run programs
  • About 8 GB DDR4 onboard memory and 6 Fan RGB setup
  • Incorporated with GTX 650 1GB GPU to provide smooth visuals
  • Both VGA & HDMI connection support

Gaming and programming can go hand in hand as long as you have the right setup, and the Alarco PC Desktop is just that and much more.

It’s a 2 in 1 machine that can handle both base-level gaming as well as a number of coding applications.

Whether you’re a Python developer or someone who is just into entry-level games, it will have you covered.

Now what I personally like about this Desktop is its premium build and design.

With a metallic chassis, six fan setups, and a see-through body, you won’t be disappointed with your purchase. It will provide your room with an ambient aesthetic to help you cool your nerves, especially in those long hours of coding. Other than that, the extra fans will stabilize high temperatures and prevent throttling.

Moving on to the peripheral side of things, there are 4-USB 2.0 & 3 USB Type 3.0 ports. Sadly, there are no Type C ports, but you can’t complain much at this point.

In terms of processing performance, it’s paired with Intel’s i5-240 CPU with a max clock speed of 3.10GHz.

This will be more than enough to run programming apps and games at lower settings. As far as the RAM goes, it’s supported at 8GB with DDR4 architecture.

For day-to-day tasks, this system memory will probably compensate. However, you can definitely upgrade it in the near future.

While talking about Alarco PC Desktop, it is worth mentioning that it isn’t a complete gaming unit because the GPU space is limited.

Sure, the built-in GTX 650 can give you plenty of on-screen visuals, but it won’t be able to keep up with the demanding apps, particularly newer games. All in all, for just $500, the Alarco Gaming PC Desktop is a superb system that you should not miss out on.

                  PROS                     CONS
Intuitive chassis and port selectionMost programmers won’t like the gamer aesthetic
Ideal computer specs for programmingLimited in terms of graphical performance
Best Desktop for programming and gaming 

5)  CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4


  • Each Raspberry Pi 4 model comes equipped with a 64-bit Quadcore processor
  • Preloaded with 32GB EVO+ Micro SD as well as a separate card reader
  • CanaKit 3.5A power supply accompanied with USB -Type C
  • High-Gloss Case with Fan Mount and noiseless fan setup
  • An HDMI-to-HDMI output cable measuring 6 feet

The art of programming, like everything else, has greatly developed in recent years. Now you don’t need any bulky setups to compile long lines of code and just get started with simplistic machines, and the CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 is definitely one of them.

It’s a full-fledged computer with a base CPU, RAM, and storage with a full network stack so that you can use multiple programming languages to code for your projects.

It’s compatible with PHP, Node.js, and any other coding language that you would use for a normal PC or a server; you can use Raspberry Pi. The greatest selling point about this system is its miniature body.

It’s trivial enough to be fit on your palm, and you can bring it with you anywhere you desire.

For programming, this thing couldn’t get better than that. In regards to the actual CPU, it provided a 64-bit quadcore processor running at 1.5GHz.

So, if you are going to be interacting with CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4, I recommend that you use Python.

In addition to that, there is a 2GB RAM stick, which is enough to run basic commands, just don’t expect much from it. The same cannot be said for the Samsung EVO+ 32GB SD with decent read and write speeds.

Overall, if you want a cheap and efficient computer to code on, the CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 is your only option.

                  PROS                     CONS
Best budget PC for codingUnfortunately, the Interface can be a bit odd for most users
The starter kit has everything you needIts based-on Linux OS
Supports USB-C PiSwitch 

Buying Guide- What to look for?

Free photo Computer Cpu Desktop Technology Pc Monitor Screen - Max Pixel

Now before you buy the best desktop computer for programming in 2022, there are a couple of things that you might want to look out for. They can help you improve your decision and make your PC setup stand out from the rest. So, let’s talk about a couple of them;

1)   Processor

Top 7 Best Intel Processor for Programming 2021 - Features, Specifications  and Reviews - iTechN

Because programming is mostly focused on processing speed, if your CPU is sluggish, your total performance may suffer.

It’s an important component in a desktop that you definitely need to watch out for if you need the utmost results.

Look for new-gen i5 CPUs with moderate cores and clock speeds as a general rule of thumb.

If you want to go on the AMD route, then Anthlon or Ryzen series will suffice.

Just done spend hefty bucks on a system processor, and your good to go.

2)   RAM

Another key computer spec for programming that can limit your real-time performance is the system memory or RAM. Tasks such as programming may require you to juggle between different tabs and applications, so a decent amount of ram is necessary.

Try to purchase a rig that has at least 8GB of DDR4 RAM. However, you could go for 12GB or more depending on your specification. But for Python programmers, 8GB RAM will do just fine.

3)   Storage

HDD Vs SSD - TechModena

Lastly, every best budget desktop for programming should have sufficient storage space to preserve files or other kinds of data. It should also be fast enough to make a solid impact on performance. Typically speaking, a combination of both HDD and SSD is something I personally recommend in modern rigs. If you go for the typical hard disk path, your boot speeds will be slow, but the damage is permanent. Systems such as the Dell Inspiron 3880 series are provided with 512 GB M.2 along with a 1TB HDD, so buying it is a reliable option.


All in all, that’s my two cents on some of the best budget desktops for programming that can be bought in 2022. In general, computer desktops come in a range of specs and features, so no two can provide the same results. Choosing the best out of the bunch ultimately boils down to your needs and how much you are willing to spend. The computer specs for programming for a Python developer might be different from a software coder, so first, decide your end goals before purchasing either one of these machines.


Q1, Do I need a powerful desktop in order to learn to program?

Programming can be done on a simple Raspberry Pi, so there is no need to spend extra on a powerful machine.

Q2, Are Desktop faster than laptops for programming?

Yes, most of the time, desktops are faster than laptops in terms of their performance. However, the norm is constantly changing in the upcoming time.

About Haris Khan

Haris is an undergrad student who is enthusiastic about writing, especially writing about tech-related stuff. His main goal is to provide friendly as well as easily digestible content for his viewers.