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 1600, a 6GB 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!
GPU Shortage 2018
Due to a recent and major GPU shortage, almost all graphics cards from the GTX 1050 Ti and up have become all but impossible to buy. This includes both AMD and Nvidia cards and there’s no way to say when the shortage will end.
That being said, building a gaming PC is going to be difficult right now if you can’t buy the graphics card you need. So, you have 2 (maybe 2.5) options.
Option 1 is waiting until the shortage ends, whenever that might be. It could be a couple of weeks or it could be a couple of months, there’s no way of knowing.
Option 1.5 is buying a GPU from a scalper who’s trying to sell it for 100% more than the actual value. This option sucks.
Option 2 is buying a prebuilt gaming PC. Now, I know you might have heard all sorts of bad things about buying a prebuilt desktop, but not all of them are bad! There are actually some great prebuilt options that offer really decent value. It won’t be of the exact same quality as if you built it yourself, but it’ll come with Windows installed and ready to fire up right out of the box. Sometimes, you have to take the good with the bad.
Below you’ll find some options that I’ve hand-picked for this level of build. They range from $600-$1000 in price and are ordered from cheapest to most expensive.
– 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)
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.
|Case||Corsair Spec 02 (Mid tower ATX)|
|MOBO||MSI B350M Pro-VDH|
|CPU||AMD R5 1600|
|GPU||Zotac GTX 1060 AMP Edition|
|PSU||EVGA 550 B3|
|RAM||8GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM|
|HDD||WD Blue 1TB 7200RPM|
- 1080p 60fps AAA gaming
- Can be overclocked
- 10x USB ports total
- Integrated 2.1 audio (Realtek ALC892)
- Easy to upgrade
- A small Phillips screwdriver – Size #2 works well as a general rule
- An 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 how to build a gaming PC that you might want to check out. There’s also a FAQ which contains some of the most commonly asked (and answered) questions.
Keep in mind that it’s not the exact same build, but the process is very similar. There’s really only 1 way to do things, and it’s pretty hard to mess anything up if you’re being careful.
When in doubt, refer to your motherboard’s manual. It contains a plethora of useful information like wiring diagrams, explanations of the features, how to install CPUs and coolers, and all sorts of good stuff that you should know.
The Best $800 Gaming PC Build
Updated: January 1st, 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.
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.
AMD R5 1600
3.6GHz processor, 6-cores 12-threads. Comes with a CPU cooler.
Zotac GTX 1060 AMP Edition
6GB GDDR5, 5 display outputs, amazing 1080p and even 1440p performance! View
EVGA 550 B3
550W power supply, up to 85% efficiency, 5-year warranty.
8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM
1x8GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, CL16.
WD Blue 1TB HDD
3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, quiet!
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. View
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. View
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. View
TP-Link Archer T4U V1
If you have to use WiFi, you will also need a WiFi adapter like this one. Read more about WiFi below. 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.
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.
AMD’s new 6 core/12 thread Ryzen 5 1600 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 1600 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 what I consider to be 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. Zotac’s GTX 1060 AMP Edition runs great, overclocks fairly well and doesn’t get too hot while doing it. It offers 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 5 display outputs, and a small profile that’ll fit inside any case. The 6GB GTX 1060 is easily capable of supporting VR headsets like the Vive or Rift as well as getting 60fps in most AAA games.
When it comes to RAM, 8GB is all you need for gaming this far into 2017, 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. That said, if you don’t mind spending a bit more, you should consider getting a dual channel pair.
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!
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.
24″, 1080p 144Hz, 1ms response time – Great for gaming! View
Corsair K55 RGB
An awesome RGB keyboard using rubber dome keys. Lots of tactile feedback.
Razer Mamba Tournament Edition
Chroma RGB lighting, awesome sensor accuracy, very comfortable to use. View
Creative Sound BlasterX H5 TE
Easily one of the best gaming headsets for under $100 and it’s not going to let you down!
Logitech Z623 2.1 sound system
2.1 channel, 200W RMS/400W peak. If you like bass, these are the speakers+sub you want. 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.
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.
A very affordable N150 USB WiFi adapter. Capable of 150Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. View
TP-Link Archer T4U V1
A reliable AC1300 USB WiFi adapter. Capable of operating on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. View
Rosewill AC1300 PCIe WiFi Adapter
A good internally mounted (PCIe) AC1300 WiFi adapter. View
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.
Planning on using this build for streaming? Check out my guide on how to stream on Twitch!
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!