Last Updated on April 28, 2021
The Alarco gaming PC is due for a proper review as it seems to be one of the only super affordable choices when it comes to a budget pre-built gaming pc.
There are a few variations that are available and I’ll go over each one but they are all almost entirely similar. The major difference is in the case design of each version that you can pick from.
With that, let’s get to the review.
Product: Alarco Gaming PC
Recommended Price: Around $500
Cheapest Place To Buy: Amazon.com
Warranty: 1 Year
My Rating: See below!
Inexpensive Gaming Rigs From Alarco?
These gaming rigs from the brand “Alarco” have sort of been on a spotlight on Amazon for a little while now due to the craziness happening in the GPU market these days because there are hardly any affordable gaming rigs available on the market…
That’s where apparently Alarco PCs come in! Their official website is under construction as of the time of this writing for some updates to their website and I wasn’t able to find any other pages about the company.
I tried to use an internet archive to see if they’ve done anything in the past but I wasn’t able to access the pages that would elaborate on what the company is about.
Although we aren’t able to see how they brand themselves and what they’re about, they seem to be pretty transparent about what is going on inside of their PCs.
If things were normal (in regards to the current PC hardware market) then I honestly wouldn’t even bat an eye at these PCs…
But since times are rough for those of us searching for good hardware, we almost have no choice but to consider getting a very cheap PC to have a PC gaming foundation to start out on.
Is there room to upgrade these PCs?
Are they even worth the time and money to one day upgrade them to high performance gaming PCs?
Let’s look into the actual hardware going on with these rigs – let’s see what kind of performance we can expect right out of the gate.
The main differences when it comes to overall features with each Alarco desktop is with the case design and how many fans come with. Otherwise all of these different Alarco PCs have, essentially, all of the same main features.
There are a couple of desktops that they provide that don’t come with some of these specific features but it’s easy to tell which ones come with what.
The newest versions of the Alarco desktop PCs come with a RGB remote which lets you change the colors of the fans and/or accent lighting of the case.
There are multiple colors as well as different lighting settings to choose from.
There are 2x USB 2.0 slots on the top of the case along with a single USB 3.0 slot.
Then there are some other slots available at the back of the PC from the motherboard. That brings the total number of USB slots to 3x USB 3.0 and 4x USB 2.0.
I’ll touch up on why a specific variations of the Alarco desktop is recommended over the others here later on, but the version you should go with comes with 6 total RGB fans.
There are 3 intake fans in the front, 2 exhaust fans on the top and a single exhaust fan in the back.
The side panel is tempered glass and all together it’s a good looking aesthetic with the RGB fans and the case put together as a whole. Plenty of ventilation going on as well.
That about covers everything when it comes to the main features involved with these Alarco PCs – now, onto the important bits about overall gaming performance!
Gaming performance is the obvious main focus when it comes to any gaming PC that you might be looking at getting.
Most of the performance in-game will be from the graphics card (GPU). The power of the GPU will help to dictate how smooth (or not) a game will be able to run.
Then when we combine this expected power with the computer’s processor (CPU) we will have a general idea of how it’ll run some of the most popular games that are out there.
Let’s start with the GPU. Does it have enough power to justify having it come with this PC?
Below is a quick benchmark chart to compare the performance with other graphics cards similar to it – all of which released around 2012-2013.
For those of you that don’t understand what all of those video card comparisons really mean – I’ve elaborated on the performance in this next section.
All of the Alarco gaming desktops come with a GTX 650 1GB graphics card.
This card is several generations old but it makes sense why it’s included in these desktops. It’s near impossible to get any of the newer video cards today hence why so many folks are interested in the older cards just to have a PC at all.
Before you decide on this PC… you need to ask yourself what you’re planning on playing and what you’re expecting to be able to play with this PC.
If you’re trying to play some of the newer titles such as Call of Duty Warzone, Cyberpunk 2077 or Apex Legends… You are going to have a rough time playing them.
They are hardly playable at all with a GTX 650 graphics card.
There are plenty of videos on GTX 650 1GB performance that you can check for yourself to see what the card is capable of.
When it comes to all of the newer AAA titles that are out – this card isn’t going to be able to handle them.
Not without major downscaling of resolution and all the game’s graphics settings set to the lowest possible level.
Alarco says in their product page description that it’s able to run Fortnite at around 30 FPS average on lower settings as well as GTA V on lower settings… And this is true! You’ll be able to run some of those older or more optimized games at lower settings and 1080p resolution.
So in a nutshell – be certain of the exact games you plan on playing with this PC as it is.
The GTX 650 is a very old card. It first came out in 2012.
Think of the performance as basically right around the original Xbox One and PS4 for most games.
But also take optimization into account – it might run GTA V better than an original Xbox One but it’s not going to come remotely close to having a playable experience with a game such as Warzone.
When you’re thinking of the overall performance such as how well it’d be able to run graphics programs or generic rendering – you also need to factor in the performance level of the processor.
This PC uses an Intel i5-2400 processor. This processor is from the 2nd generation of processors from Intel.
To compare it to what is being used today as far as processing performance – at the time of this writing – Intel is currently at their 11th generation of processors.
So… This is a very old processor that Alarco is using in this desktop. These came out around 2011-2012.
To sum it up – it’s not going to be able to handle any intensive graphics programs or rendering. Streaming would be extremely rough with this PC, even with games that are very low demanding.
However – when it comes to running GTA V or other older, highly optimized games… This processor will get the job done.
There isn’t much more to say about the performance coming from the CPU…
Don’t expect to be able to run the latest versions of Photoshop optimally with a CPU like this and don’t expect it to be able to run the latest, high demanding AAA game titles.
The main concern with this CPU is the path of upgrading this PC as a whole – which is really the only reason for getting an Alarco PC anyway – but I’ll elaborate on that while we get into all of the other important pieces of hardware.
Other Important Hardware
Now that you know what you can expect when it comes to overall gaming performance – what about everything else going on with these PCs?
Is there a viable path for upgrading it?
Does it come with anything that will be practical in the future?
That’s what I’ll be looking at and explaining with the other hardware involved here. If you’re going to be buying this PC, you need to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
The most important part about this PC is whether or not there is anything to scavenge up when you’re able to effectively upgrade everything in the future.
So as you know, this PC uses a 2nd generation Intel processor.
That means that the processor needs to be compatible with a motherboard that was designed for those 2nd generation processors.
The Intel i5-2400 is compatible with motherboards that use the LGA 1155 socket.
So as far as upgrading the processor to something better in the future, using the same motherboard that came with the desktop, it’d also have to be compatible with a LGA 1155 socket.
Intel named the 2nd and 3rd generation processor Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge. That’s what the LGA 1155 socket motherboards are compatible with – Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors.
Again, at the time of this writing, Intel is on their 11th generation of desktop processors.
If you were planning on getting this PC and upgrading the hardware in the future – you will have to replace the processor, motherboard and RAM completely in order to have full compatibility with your upgrades.
That’s a lot of upgrading to have to do…
I’ll quickly go over the RAM and storage included with this and then I’ll explain my thoughts on whether or not it’s worth getting this desktop to do a full upgrade later on.
RAM (memory) is important for multi-tasking and when it comes to gaming, it helps with performance when you add in a bunch of different mods to games such as Skyrim or Minecraft.
This PC uses 8GB of DDR3 RAM. Two 4GB sticks are used and there are two RAM slots on the motherboard.
8GB of RAM is a good amount for the overall gaming performance from the CPU and the GPU. Although DDR3 is an old generation of RAM type – I’m happy to see that 8GB of total RAM is being used here.
In general, 8GB of RAM will be more than enough to handle a few things such as having Discord open while playing a game etc.
Now how much of that multi-tasking will come down to the performance of the CPU… So I wouldn’t expect to be able to run a stream, a YouTube video, have Discord open with multiple people in a channel while playing GTA V.
This PC comes with 1TB of HDD storage. HDDs are the traditional hard disk drives.
I was upset to see that this PC doesn’t come with a SSD (solid state drive) instead of a HDD… But the point of this PC seems to be to compromise some of the faster, newer hardware to have at least something.
Having the Windows 10 operating system installed on the 1TB HDD is going to make things run pretty slowly… especially when you compare it to the speed of today’s SSDs.
1TB of total storage will be more than enough to store everything you’ll need from the games and programs you use but eventually you’ll want to add in a SSD and reinstall Windows to it.
Is This Worth Getting To Upgrade It?
Look, the only reasons anyone is looking at a PC like this is so that they can have something while they wait out for the market to get better so that they can afford better parts.
If you’re absolutely desperate to have a desktop PC and you don’t feel like scouring around to build something on the cheap then I can see why you’d want to buy an Alarco gaming desktop…
But I want to encourage you to either wait for this chip market to get back into a reliable state or to look into building your own PC with used parts.
For $500, it wasn’t long ago where you could build a PC that could run Warzone or other newer titles just fine whereas this $500 pre-built can hardly handle those titles if at all.
For highly optimized games such as Valorant or CS:GO – this PC will be able to play them just fine.
So if you’re truly needing a desktop PC for lower demanding titles and want an entry-level to it then this PC will work.
But you need to fully understand that in order to get this PC to run newer titles, you will essentially need to replace everything.
The only piece you will be able to salvage after upgrading is the hard drive because if you’re going into the 3000 series video cards as an upgrade in the future then you’ll also need more than a 500W power supply which comes with this PC.
If you’re dead set on this PC and you completely understand the performance level of it then I’d suggest getting the six fan variation of this desktop.
The other versions don’t have as much cooling potential and for the future upgrades, it’ll be very nice to have six fans ready to go.
All in all, if you’re looking at some cheaper budget options for a pre-built desktop today then you’ll likely come across an Alarco gaming computer.
The only reason this PC is slightly justifiable is that the hardware market is completely messed up right now – finding adequate hardware is hard to find today.
There are other pre-built gaming PCs that you can look at, although much higher in price… they’d be more justifiable.
But if you’re looking for something that can run Valorant, Minecraft, CS:GO, GTA V or other older games then this will run them at a decent level with a tweaked low/medium setting.
When the hardware market gets back to normal – which it eventually will – it will NOT make sense to buy this PC.
Since you will basically have to completely rebuild this PC in the future for upgrades – it’ll make more sense someday to simply build your own PC and have quadruple the amount of performance for the same price.
Keep in mind that Alarco mentions having a 1 year warranty but there isn’t any official contact form or anything…
But Amazon will surely work with you as they make those statements on their product page and they must follow through with those statements.
Be sure to read through the Amazon reviews as well, those are reviews from folks that have used this PC for some time now.
But be aware that some of the reviews could be from people that don’t understand the different levels of graphics settings and performance levels…
So, are you going to be getting this PC?
What do you plan on playing with this rig?
Are you interested in a low budget build to slowly upgrade from in the future?
Let me know in the comments below! 😀
Alarco Gaming PCAround $500
720p Gaming Performance4.0/5
1080p Gaming Performance3.0/5
Power Per Dollar Spent2.0/5
- Highly affordable considering the current level of the hardware market
- Awesome looking cases with good airflow
- Has hardware that came out around 2011-2012
- Is not able to handle newer AAA game titles
- An upgrade path would involve replacing every single part