We sourced a bundle of desktop PCs for under £500, put them through their paces in the PC Advisor Test Centre, and come up with our Top 5 budget systems of September 2008. And we've also got a simple to understand, expert buying guide, for all PC bargain hunters.

There's never been a better time to buy an inexpensive PC. The popularity of such innovative technologies as quad-core processors and 24in flat-panels on more expensive systems means that you can pick up a dual-core bargain with a decent screen for well under £500.

This month we've sourced a bundle of desktop PCs for under £500, put them through their paces in the PC Advisor Test Centre, and come up with our Top 5 budget systems, including PCs from the likes of Dell and Mesh.

Each of these PCs scores well for value, performance and features, but some are better at specific tasks. So be sure to read each review, and our expert, up to date buying advice, before you make your purchase.

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