The Best Gaming PC Build For $800 in 2018

In Custom Builds, Mid-range Builds by Branton1826 Comments

best gaming pc build 800 gtx 1060

Trying to build yourself the best $800 gaming PC possible? With that kind of budget, you can build an EPIC gaming PC that won’t need any upgrades for a long time! This build is fully loaded with an AMD R5 2600, a 3GB GTX 1060, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of storage to make sure you don’t fall short anytime soon.

All of this gives you a seriously badass custom gaming 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 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 upgrade potential – one that won’t need any kind of upgrades for quite a while. This beast will be relevant for at least 1-2 years, which is saying something when you’re talking about technology in 2017.

Have a question? Ask me in the comment section!

Summary

This mid-level gaming PC build is perfectly suited for 1080p 60fps gaming on the best settings possible in most AAA titles. In competitive shooters where high frame rates are crucial, like CS:GO, you can expect this build to put out well above 200fps on average. 

The Hardware
CaseCorsair Spec 02 (Mid tower ATX)
MOBOMSI B350M Pro-VDH
CPUAMD R5 2600
GPUEVGA GTX 1060 3GB Gaming
PSUEVGA 500 BQ
RAM2x 4GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM
HDDWD Blue 1TB 7200RPM
SSDOptional
Features
  • 1080p 60fps AAA gaming
  • Can be overclocked
  • 10x USB ports total
  • Integrated 2.1 audio (Realtek ALC892)
  • VR-ready
  • Easy to upgrade
best gaming pc build 800

The Best $800 Gaming PC Build

Updated: April 21st, 2018

  • Corsair Carbide Spec 02

    Mid tower ATX case, good layout and good cable management. Comes with 1x 120mm red LED fan in the front and 1x 120mm fan in the rear.
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  • MSI B350M PRO-VDH

    AM4 socket mATX motherboard, B350 chipset. Comes with 4x USB 2.0 and 4x USB 3.0, built in audio and integrated ethernet.
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  • AMD R5 2600

    3.9GHz processor, 6-cores 12-threads. Comes with a good CPU cooler.
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  • EVGA GTX 1060 3GB Gaming

    3GB GDDR5, 5 display outputs, great for 1080p gaming in any game.
    See below for notes on GPU shortage
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  • EVGA 500 BQ

    500W power supply, up to 85% efficiency, 3-year warranty.
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  • 8GB Kingston HyperX FURY DDR4 RAM

    2x4GB 2666MHz dual channel DDR4 RAM. More RAM can be added if needed.
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  • WD Blue 1TB HDD

    3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, quiet!
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Estimated
$799+
At Amazon
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Add-ons/Upgrades

Below you’ll find some suggested add-ons for this build, some I’ll mention more in-depth further down this page, but some are pretty self-explanatory like optical (DVD/CD) drives. Although not entirely necessary, optical drives can sometimes come in handy and I strongly recommended having one; if you have an old PC kicking around, it’s optical drive will more than likely work for you and you won’t need to buy a new one.

  • Windows 10 (USB Installer)

    Windows 10 is your best bet when it comes to picking an operating system. This version is a USB installer.
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  • Cryorig H7 CPU cooler

    Although the stock CPU cooler that comes with the R5 1600 is pretty good, the Cryorig H7 is arguably better.
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  • LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Multi Ultra Slim Portable DVD Writer

    With a lot of modern PC cases moving away from internal 5.25″ bays, external optical drives like this one have become much more popular.
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  • Sandisk SSD Plus 120GB SSD

    For snappier boot times and shorter load times, an SSD is the way to go. Ideally, you want to use your SSD as your primary boot drive – where your OS is installed.
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  • TP-Link Archer T4U V2

    If you have to use WiFi, you will also need a WiFi adapter like this one. Read more about WiFi below.
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Warning: GPU Shortage

Finally, the 2018 GPU shortage seems to be coming to an end! However, most cards are still overpriced by quite a bit at the time of writing this. But, at least they’re available! 

That being said, building a gaming PC is going to be a little more expensive than it would be otherwise due to high GPU and RAM prices. 

As an alternative, I’ve hand-picked a few prebuilt gaming desktops based on their specs and price. They range from $600-$1000 and are ordered from cheapest to most expensive. 

Be careful if you’re picking your own prebuilt gaming desktop as there are A LOT of potatoes that offer no value at all. I’ve put together a post on why you should buy a prebuilt gaming PC right now, and in it you’ll find a list of the specs to look for at various price points.

Alternative Options:

– HP Pavillion (i5 7400 + 3GB GTX 1060 + 8GB RAM)
– CYBERPOWERPC GXIVR8020A4 (i5 7400 + 4GB RX 580 + 8GB RAM)
– CYBERPOWERPC GXiVR8060A5 (i5 8400 + 3GB GTX 1060 + 8GB RAM)
HP Pavillion 580-068 (i7 7700 + 3GB GTX 1060 + 16GB RAM)


Build Details

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.

Corsair’s Carbide Spec 02 is an great mid tower ATX case for an equally awesome price. It comes with 1x 120mm red LED fan mounted in the front and 1x 120mm fan in the rear. It’ll easily support a 240mm radiator if you want to run a liquid cooling setup and will easily support the largest graphics cards. The Spec 02 will also support a 160mm CPU cooler meaning that big aftermarket coolers like the Hyper 212 EVO will fit without an issue. That all said, pretty much any mid tower ATX case will work perfectly for this build.

The MSI B350 PRO-VDH is a great mATX motherboard for the price and it’s giving you all of the features that you’ll need, like integrated audio, a built-in ethernet controller, 4x USB 3.0 ports, 4x USB 2.0, 4x SATA ports, support for up to 4 sticks of DDR4 RAM and lots of room for future expansion. The B350 chipset does support overclocking on AMD’s Ryzen processors, which means you don’t need to upgrade to a more expensive board if overclocking was your plan.

400-series chipset: Since this build is running the newer R5 2600, you could opt to pair it with a 400-series chipset motherboard if you wanted to. However, the options for those boards are limited outside of the most high-end boards in the $150-$200+ range as of 4/21/18. There will be more options available in the coming weeks and I will update the build once that happens. 

AMD’s new 6 core/12 thread Ryzen 5 2600 is an awesome processor that won’t have any issues with gaming or with content creation. It supports overclocking, but you really don’t need to overclock this processor to get great performance out of it anyways. The R5 2600 comes with a CPU cooler that will be more than sufficient for gaming and light overclocking, so you won’t need an aftermarket one unless you’re planning to really push the limit. If that’s you, or if you just want a better CPU cooler, check out the 5 best CPU coolers!  

The GTX 1060 is great graphics card in both price and performance, it’s easily the best options at this level without going too crazy on cost.  EVGA’s GTX 1060 3GB Gaming runs great, overclocks fairly well and doesn’t get too hot while doing it. It offers 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 5 display outputs, and a small profile that’ll fit inside any case.  Long story short, a 3GB GTX 1060 is capable of supporting VR headsets like the Vive or Rift as well as playing most AAA games in 1080p at 60fps without an issue.

When it comes to RAM, 8GB is all you need for gaming this far into 2018, really. There will come a time (sooner than later) when most games will demand maybe 12GB or more, but that time hasn’t come just yet. Even some of the very few games that currently “require” 16GB 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 upgrading to 16GB.

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 550W supply will do the trick just fine. I’ve picked EVGA’s 550 B3 which is an awesome  fully modular supply offering more than enough connections for everything you need, it also comes with a nice 5-year warranty. 

Due to how crazy prices have been lately, I could really only include a 1TB HDD in this build without sacrificing actual performance elsewhere. That being said, if you have another $50-$60 kicking around, upgrading yourself to a 120GB SSD would be a great idea. 

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!

Operating System

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.

Extras

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! 

  • Acer GN246HL

    24″, 1080p 144Hz, 1ms response time – Great for gaming!
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  • Corsair K55 RGB

    An awesome RGB keyboard using rubber dome keys. Lots of tactile feedback.
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  • Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum

    RGB lighting, awesome sensor accuracy, very comfortable to use.
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  • Corsair HS50

    Easily one of the best gaming headsets for under $50!
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  • Logitech Z623 2.1 sound system

    2.1 channel, 200W RMS/400W peak. If you like bass, these are the speakers+sub you want.
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About WiFi

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.

There are tons of options when it comes to picking a WiFi adapter and it can be a little confusing at first, but don’t worry because I’m going to help sort that out.

Picking the right adapter is a matter of first determining what kind of router/modem you’re working with. Does it support 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands? Or just the 2.4GHz band? This will dictate what kind of WiFi adapter you should be looking at.

The easiest way to determine which “bands” your modem/router supports is to determine its operating standard. There are really only 2 as of right now, AC and N. AC is the better/newer of the two and supports both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, where N only supports 2.4GHz.

Ideally, you have an AC router as the 5GHz band is significantly better for gaming than its slower 2.4GHz counterpart, but if you don’t you’re not completely out of luck. An N router/adapter will get the job done for the time being, but you should definitely consider upgrading sooner than later if you’re going to be using WiFi for a while.

  • TP-Link TL-WN722N

    A very affordable N150 USB WiFi adapter. Capable of 150Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
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  • TP-Link Archer T4U V2

    A reliable AC1300 USB WiFi adapter. Capable of operating on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
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  • Rosewill AC1300 PCIe WiFi Adapter

    A good internally mounted (PCIe) AC1300 WiFi adapter.
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Conclusion

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!

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Author
Branton

Branton

Hi! I'm the founder and lead editor here at PC Game Haven. The first game I ever played on PC was Ultima Online way back in 1999, since then I've been hooked on every facet of PC gaming! Thanks for stopping by!

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Comments

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Anonymous
Guest

What are the new Ryzen motherboards called? Are they even released yet?

Kit
Guest

You should really do more random builds, even if you don’t update them as often. I’d like to see one around this price range with an i7 and more RAM if you could do that.

Thanks,
Kit

Geoff
Guest

should i upgrade my r5 1600 to a r5 2600? is it worth it?

Duncan
Guest

Hey random question, what gpus would work with the MSI A55M-E33(MS-7721) ? Asking for a friend, to play warframe with.

James
Guest

Does the amount of vram in the build matter to play games on a 144hz monitor? Possibly reducing quality to medium or even low since the GPU has 3bg of vram to reach maximum possible framerate in game?

Duncan
Guest

hey so my pc is shutting off randomly and I appears to be a problem with the power cord, i have to plug it back in harder inorder to get it to turn back on, im pretty frusturated (not at you) because I had saved up alot for this PC.

Smith
Guest

Thanks for the build. If I wanted to do a slightly different build with a i5 8400 and a 370 Mobo to work with it, will everything else work like the ram and psu? Also what cheap but good CPU cooler, air or water, would you recommend? I know the build is for a budget but there’s no section in “extras” for a better performing cooler in case i we’re to stumble on $50 in the next week or two, ya know. Thanks for all the builds, greatly appreciated!

dudasboi
Guest

can i upgrade the motherboard to the Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3? is it recommended , any issues if i do?

Harrison
Guest
Hey this build sounds nice. I’ve read several places though that AMD cpus overheat a lot, so I was wondering if that’s true, or if the included cooler in the CPU mentioned in this build takes care of it. Also, I would love an SSD. What kind of SSD would be compatible with this build? Is there a big difference in processing speed between 3.16 GHz (my laptop on SSD) and the 3.4 GHz mentioned here? Do the power supply or motherboard have to change to accommodate the SSD? The graphics specs are where I want them to be, which… Read more »
Anonymous
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Anonymous
Guest

Will the i5 8400 work instead?

Robbed
Guest

Do you know when new graphics cards will come out?

Majic
Guest

I can’t believe you actually answer all of these comments. If you had a patreon i would support it. Keep up the good work.