Trying to build yourself the best $800 gaming PC possible? With that kind of budget, we can build ourselves an EPIC gaming PC that won’t need upgrades for a long time! Fully loaded with a brand new “Kaby Lake” i5 7500, a 6GB Gigabyte GTX 1060 G1, 8GB of RAM and over a TB of storage.
All of this gives you a seriously badass PC that will help you destroy the competition without doing the same to your wallet! It’ll be able to easily handle AAA games in 1080p, and it’ll even deliver very solid 1440p performance thanks to the 6GB GTX 1060!
A budget of $800 is going to get us all the parts we need to build a really solid mid-level gaming PC with a lot of upgrade potential – but it won’t need any kind of upgrades for quite a while. This beast will be relevant for well over a year, which is saying something when you’re talking about technology.
Have a question? Ask me in the comment section!
-Anti-static wristband (optional but suggested)
That’s about all you’re going to need, seriously. Building a PC is a pretty simple process that requires your time more than anything else. But, watching a video walkthrough or reading a guide always helps, so I’ve added both of those in the next tab! There’s also this checklist which you can download and use to make sure that you have everything you need 🙂
Here are the basic steps that I follow when building:
-Install the Power Supply into the Case
-Install the processor (make sure the arrows line up)
-Install RAM (make sure they are in the right way before you try to seat them!)
-Mount the CPU cooler
-Place the rear I/O plate
-Mount the motherboard to the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
-Plug your GPU in
-Install any storage
-Plug everything into the appropriate spots
-Turn it on / Install OS & drivers!
Instead of me typing out a ton of words to explain this process, why not watch this video put together by EasyPCbuilder.com? He does a great job of explaining everything in detail, and is going to get you running in 30 minutes.
Or, if you did want a ton of words, I’ve put together somewhat of a crash course to building your gaming PC that you might want to check out.
Keep in mind that it’s not the exact same build, but the process is really similar. There’s really only 1 way to do things, and it’s pretty hard to mess anything up if you’re being careful.
The Best $800 Gaming PC Build
Updated: March 28th, 2017
Corsair Carbide Spec 02
Mid tower ATX case, great layout and cable management. Comes with 2 120mm fans.
LGA 1151 socket motherboard, mATX size, B250 chipset. Integrated audio, built-in ethernet, and 6x USB ports.
Intel i5 7500
3.4GHz base clock/3.8GHz boost clock, 6MB smart cache. Comes with a CPU cooler.
Gigabyte GTX 1060 Windforce
6GB GDDR5, 5 display outputs, amazing 1080p performance! View
EVGA 600 BQ
600W power supply, 85% efficiency (bronze), semi-modular, 3-year warranty.
8GB Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 RAM
8GB CL16 2400MHz RAM, dual-channel pair.
Seagate BarraCuda 1TB HDD
3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, quiet!
Toshiba OCZ TL100 120GB SSD
550MB/s read, 530MB/s write, 85000 random read IOPS.
Although not entirely necessary, some add ons like optical drives can sometimes improve your experience. Some, like an operating system, are significantly more crucial. If you’re installing your operating system from a disc opposed to a USB flash drive, then you’ll definitely need an optical drive.
Windows 10 (USB Installer)
Windows 10 is your best bet when it comes to picking an operating system. This version is a USB installer. View
Samsung Internal 24x CD DVD±R/RW kit
Comes with mounting hardware & cables. An optical drive isn’t necessary, but if you’re installing your OS from a disc you’ll need it. View
Samsung Ultra-Slim External CD DVD±R/RW
A lot of people are moving away from internally mounted optical drives, and it’s easy to see why! This one is definitely one of the cheaper & better options to consider. View
When you’re picking parts to build yourself a gaming PC there are lots of things to consider. For instance, do you plan on upgrading it in the future? Do you just want what you can get now, or do you want to eventually overclock your processor? Each path gives you a lot of new things to consider to effectively balance price with performance. But, why do all that when you could have me do it for you?!
Keep in mind that the price listed above is for the core components only, you will still need an operating system, and any other peripherals you don’t currently have.
The brand new 3.4GHz quad-core Intel i5 7500 gives us a fair amount of processing power perfectly fit for gaming! It’ll perform well in every game out there and won’t bottleneck your GPU when under stress. That said, a powerful CPU only gets a gaming PC so far, and having a strong graphics card is even more important!
The Gigabyte B250M-DS3H motherboard is a great unit for the price and it’s giving you all of the features that you’ll need, like integrated audio, a built-in ethernet controller, 6x USB ports, support for up to 4 sticks of 2400MHz DDR4 RAM and lots of room for future expansion. Due to this board only having a single sys_fan header (for your case fans) I’ve included a 2-way fan splitter in the “Get This Build” links found on this page.
The GTX 1060 is great graphics card in both price and performance. It’s easily one of the best options at this level without going too crazy on cost. Gigabyte’s GTX 1060 Windforce is a great option that proves stronger than Nvidia’s Founders Edition release. It offers 6GB of 192-bit GDDR5 VRAM, a clock of 1556MHz base / 1771MHz boost, 5 display outputs, RGB lighting, and it also comes with a backplate. The GTX 1060 is also capable of supporting VR headsets like the Vive or Rift.
If you want to save a bit of money and feel like switching over to team Red (AMD) you can get an 8GB RX 480 graphics card for a bit less than the GTX 1060 without sacrificing any performance. I would suggest the MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8G.
When it comes to RAM, 8GB is all you need for gaming this far into 2016, really. There will come a time when most games will demand 16GB or more, but that time hasn’t come just yet. Even some of the very few games that currently “require” 16GB tend to run perfectly fine with an 8GB setup. With that in mind, if you’re like me and you end up running Chrome with 100 different tabs open while gaming at the same time, you might want to consider adding more RAM.
For storage, you have 2 drives in this build, 1 HDD and 1 SSD. There’s a purpose for this, and it’s actually really useful. Your 120GB SSD is meant to be used as the primary “boot drive” or where Windows and any essential startup programs are installed – your PC will boot much quicker because of this. The HDD is then used as a mass storage drive for everything else, games, music, memes, whatever you want to put on it.
Corsair’s Carbide Spec-02 case is an awesome choice at this level as it gives you everything you’ll need and a bit more. If you’re not a fan of this case, there are lots of other options available like the NZXT S340 or the Phanteks P400 just to name a couple. If you need a hand picking out a case, feel free to ask me in the comment section!
There’s a lot of relatively high-performance parts in this build, so it would be safe to assume it would require massive amounts of power, right? Wrong! We really only need a bit more than a few hundred watts of power to run this build full-out, so we’re going with a 600W semi-modular power supply from EVGA that’s packing more than enough juice to power all your components and then some. Although it’s not a top-tier power supply, it’s nowhere near a bad unit either, it’s mid-level, very reliable, and the fact that it’s semi-modular is awesome.
I didn’t pull any punches when it came to squeezing every ounce of power from your $800 budget, and you will not be disappointed! This build is easily capable of running pretty much whatever you throw at it on at least high settings in 60fps 1080p! That being said, I did run over the budget a bit due to how things are priced right now, but that is almost unavoidable without losing way more in terms of performance.
When it comes to picking an operating system, you have quite a few options laid out before you. But, the best / easiest two are either Windows or something Linux-based.
If you’re really strapped for cash, or you really just don’t like Windows, Ubuntu is a great option because it’s entirely free, and it’s really solid/secure. It’s a Linux-based OS and can play any game that supports Linux. More and more games are adding Linux support, but it definitely sucks when a game you’ve been waiting forever for ends up being Windows only…
The more expensive option is buying a copy of Windows. With DirectX 12 becoming more common and the Skylake-based processors basically demanding Windows 10, you might want to consider jumping on that right away, but it’s ultimately your call.
Installing your operating system can be done in a couple of different ways, either by DVD or a USB flash drive that you either create yourself or buy. Either will get the job done, but going for Windows & using the retail DVD (or USB flash drive) is going to be the easiest – any cheap DVD drive will work.
If you want to create your own USB flash drive to install something like Ubuntu from, you can find some decent instructions here.
If this is the absolute first gaming PC you’ve ever owned, then chances are high that you don’t have a very good keyboard + mouse combo, or that your monitor is sub-par to really enjoy your experience.
If this is the scenario that you’re in, then we have some really awesome suggestions for you to consider. Each peripheral was hand-picked for this build and they’re all guaranteed high quality.
23″, 1080p 60Hz, 2ms response time – Great for gaming View
An awesome mechanical keyboard using Kailh blue switches. Lots of tactile feedback.
EVGA TORQ X10 Carbon
Wired, adjustable weight & height system, ambidextrous (use either hand). View
Creative Sound BlasterX H5
Easily the best gaming headset for under $100 and it’s not going to let you down!
Reflex Lab Mouse Pad
Super smooth, very accurate, and extremely comfortable to use! Reflex Lab mouse pads are available in 4 sizes from your basic 9″ x 8″ right up to a whopping 36″ x 18″! View
Since the motherboard in this build does not have built-in WiFi (most don’t) you will need a WiFi adapter if you plan on using a wireless internet connection. That said, if you have the option to run a wired connection, do that instead because it will be faster & more reliable.
You have a couple options, you could get a decent USB-based WiFi adapter for about $20 that would work alright. Or you can get an internally mounted WiFi adapter that costs roughly $35, and will be more reliable than the USB option.
If you came here looking to build yourself a badass $800 gaming PC, I hope you found what you were looking for! This build puts out a lot of power for the price and, in my opinion, it’s probably the best value when it comes to 1080p gaming, or even 1440p!
Like I said at the beginning of this build guide, it’s going to take more than a year for this build to need any kind of serious upgrades; and even then, you might only need to throw another 8GB of RAM in there to maintain relevance.
All-in-all, you will be hard pressed to build a better gaming PC for under 800 dollars, unless you’re building it with a specific game or purpose in mind! Don’t forget to leave a comment below, and share this with your friends!