Trying to build yourself the best $800 gaming PC possible? With that kind of budget you can easily build a powerful gaming PC that won't need any upgrades for a long time! This $800 build is fully loaded with an AMD R5 3600, a 6GB GTX 1660 Ti, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 500GB of SSD storage, just to make sure you don't fall short anytime soon!
All of that hardware gives you a seriously awesome custom gaming PC that will help you destroy your competition without doing the same to your wallet! It'll easily be able to handle AAA games in 1080p at 60fps or better and it'll even give you solid 1440p performance as well!
A budget of $800 is going to get you the core parts you need to build a really solid mid-level gaming PC with a lot of gaming potential - one that won't need any kind of upgrades for quite a while. This beast won't go obsolete for at least a couple of years, which is saying something when you're talking about tech in 2020.
Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $800
Not feeling the DIY approach? Just want the best prebuilt gaming PC under $800 that'll work right out of the box? Have no fear, The CyberPowerPC Extreme is here. It comes fully assembled with Windows 10 already installed. The only thing left for you to do is plug it in and turn it on!
With that in mind, here's a good prebuilt alternative with similar (not the exact same) specs and pricing as the DIY build found on this page.
CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme
One of the best prebuilt gaming pcs you can get. With the CPU Intel Core i5, 8 GB ddr4 ram, and GTX 1660 6 GB graphics card this you can play games on high settings with ease. Included is a keyboard and mouse.
The Best $800 Gaming PC Build
One of the best parts of building a PC is being free to customize it as you see fit. Below, you’ll find some potential upgrades as well as items you could (or should) add to your build. Not all of these are necessary, but add-ons (like an SSD) are definitely suggested as they will improve your experience a lot.
The tools you need:
- A small Phillips screwdriver
Size #2 works well as a general rule.
- An anti-static wristband
Optional but recommended.
And lots of it.
That’s really all you need to assemble your new desktop. All of the mounting hardware and cables will come with the parts listed above. The only time you might need something extra is if you’re modifying the build on this page.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR PC...
Super Simplified Build Steps:
- Install the power supply into the case
- Install the processor (CPU)
- Seat RAM in the motherboard
- Mount the CPU cooler (don’t forget thermal paste if you're not using a stock cooler!)
- Insert the motherboard’s rear I/O plate into the case's rear I/O slot
- Mount the motherboard in the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
- Plug your graphics card into the motherboard
- Install storage drives
- Plug all power and data cables in where they're required (storage, case, motherboard, graphics card, etc)
- Turn your PC on
- Install your OS
- Install and update ALL drivers
If you’ve never built a computer before, then you probably want to take some time to learn the basics before getting ahead of yourself. To do that you have a couple of options you can choose from.
The first, and probably the easiest way for most people to learn is finding a walkthrough on YouTube from a reputable tech channel. Here’s one by BitWit as an example.
Alternatively, I’ve put together an in-depth guide on how to build a PC as well as a FAQ to address the most common questions and problems. I've also put together a short post covering 10 of the most common mistakes people make when building.
When you're picking parts to build yourself a gaming PC there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind. 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 potentially poses a lot of new considerations if your goal is effectively balancing price vs performance.
But, why do all that when you could have me do it for you?!
Keep in mind that the estimated price listed above only covers the core components; you will still need an operating system, and any other peripherals you don't currently have.
Case: Corsair iCue 220T is a solid mid-tower ATX case. It's giving you premium features like a full tempered glass side panel, and great cable management options without forcing you to spend on a premium price.
It comes with 3 fans so no need to get extra.
Alternatively, there a tons of other cases to choose from.
Motherboard: The MSI B450-A Pro Max is a great AM4 socket, B450 chipset motherboard. It's also one of the few that are guaranteed to work with 3rd generation Ryzen processors like the R5 3600 without first needing a BIOS update.
This board is giving you everything you need for a build like this one, and then some. Including but not limited to, 6x USB ports, 6x SATA ports, 1x NVMe M.2 port, and support for full 7.1ch audio systems.
As this board is running on the B450 chipset, it fully supports CPU overclocking.
Processor (CPU): AMD's 6-core/12-thread beast, the R5 3600, is a processor that won’t have any issues with gaming, light content creation, or anything else.
The R5 3600 has a base core clock of 3.6GHz that can extend all the way to 4.2GHz under load; that's a lot of processing power slapped across 6 high-performance cores! Being that it's an AMD processor, the R5 3600 is completely unlocked, meaning you're free to overclock to your heart's (and your cooling profile's) content... Within reason, of course.
Although the R5 3600 comes with a fairly good cooler, if you want to get crazy with overclocking you should definitely consider upgrading it to something more powerful.
Graphics Card (GPU): Nvidia's new GTX 1660 Ti is a great graphics card in terms of both price and performance - it's easily the best options at this level without going too crazy on cost. MSI's GTX 1660 Ti Ventus 6G OC runs great, overclocks well, and doesn't get too hot when it's being pushed hard. It offers 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM, 4 display outputs (1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort).
Long story short, a 6GB GTX 1660 Ti easily capable of supporting VR headsets like the Vive or Rift as well as playing most AAA games in 1080p or 1440p at 60fps+ without an issue. With that being said, it's definitely more at home in 1080p.
System Memory (RAM): When it comes to RAM, 16GB is the perfect amount for ANY gaming PC in 2019. This particular kit from Corsair's Vengeance LPX lineup work as a great dual-channel pair at 2666MHz. This kit does not contain any RGB lighting of any kind. If you want RGB lighting, plan on spending a fair bit more for your RAM.
Although this system can support way more than 16GB of RAM, you won't really need more than that unless you have a particular reason for it. Basically, if you need more than 16GB of RAM, you'll probably already know.
Something to note is the RAM's speed. The default kit in this build is only 2666MHz - this is due to current prices. With that said, it would be better to run a 3000-3200MHz kit, but it will increase the cost of your build by roughly $20-$30.
Power Supply (PSU): There are a lot of high performance parts in this build, so its fair if you're assuming its going to need a gigantic power supply, but luckily it won't! At most this build will only use a few hundred watts of power, so an 80% efficiency 500W supply will do the trick just fine.
I've picked out EVGA's 500 BQ which is an awesome semi-modular PSU offering more than enough connections for everything you'll need. It also comes with a 3-year warranty just in-case the worst were to happen.
With that being said, if you want to get serious into overclocking, alongside a better CPU cooler you're also going to need a bigger and better PSU. I would suggest, at least, a gold rated unit at 550W like the Seasonic Focus GX 550W to give yourself a lot of overhead, just keep in mind this will increase the cost of your build by a fair margin.
Storage: For this build, we're running a WD Blue 500GB SSD as the one and only drive. By starting with an SSD, you can use it for your operating system and any boot/important programs. This will ensure your PC boots fast and loads all integral programs almost instantaneously.
If you need more than 500GB, you can add any HDD or SSD to use as "mass storage" as needed. This build can support up to 5 additional drives without a problem.
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 1080p at 60fps or better!
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 your very first gaming PC, you probably need almost everything on this list. If that's you, set aside another few hundred for these additional peripherals.
If that's the situation you're in, then I have some really awesome suggestions for you to consider. Each peripheral was hand-picked for this build and they're all guaranteed high quality.
When it comes to picking a display, you really want it to be perfectly suited to your usage, that's why I've put together a guide on how to pick the best monitor.
Chairs are no different, to fully enjoy your gaming experience you really need to find the best gaming chair possible. Due to the insane amount of options, I've put together this in-depth gaming chair buyers guide, check it out!
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.
Since there are tons of options available when it comes to picking a WiFi adapter, it can be a little confusing at first; but don't worry because I'm going to help sort that out... Or, at the very least, I'm going to try to make it as simple as possible.
Basically, if you have a newer router/modem, chances are it's on the AC protocol and supports both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands - perfect. If it's older, it might be on the N protocol which is a little slower than AC, but your modem/router might still be new enough to be "dual band" and support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. This is the first thing you want to figure out - search the model number which will be stamped somewhere on it if you're unsure what you're running.
Next, it's basically just a matter of matching numbers with numbers and letters with letters. If you have a dual band (2.4GHz + 5GHz) modem on the AC protocol capable of 1300Mpbs, you want a dual band AC1300 adapter.
If you came here looking to build yourself an awesome $800 gaming PC, I KNOW 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 a 1080p 60fps gaming PC, or even 1440p 60fps!
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 in some more RAM or something else easy like that.
All-in-all, you will be hard pressed to build a better 1080p gaming PC for $800 in 2018; unless you're building it with a specific game or purpose in mind! The power this build is packing is more than enough to handle all of your favorite AAA games in 1080p at 60fps without a problem!
Have a question about this build? Wondering how you could customize it? Running into problems during the build process? Let me know in the comment section below and I'll do my best to assist!