The Best Gaming PC Build for $800 in 2018

Updated: December 8th, 2018Author: BrantonCategory: Mid-range Builds1947 Comments

best 800 dollar gaming pc build
best gaming pc build 800

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 Intel i5 8400, a 6GB GTX 1060, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 1.12TB of storage, just to make sure you don't fall short anytime soon!

Not feeling the i5 8400? Looking for an $800 AMD Ryzen gaming PC instead?

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 2018.

Have a question? Ask me in the comment section!

The Best $800 Gaming PC Build

Updated: November 20th, 2018
  • corsair carbide spec 02

    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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  • gigabyte b360m ds3h

    Gigabyte B360M DS3H

    LGA 1151 socket mATX motherboard, B360 chipset. Equipped with 6x USB and 6x SATA + 1x M.2, built in audio and integrated ethernet.
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  • intel i5 8400

    Intel i5 8400

    6-core/6-thread 8th generation Intel CPU. Comes with a CPU cooler.
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  • rx 580 8gb

    Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB

    8GB GDDR5, 5 display outputs, great 1080p & 1440p performance in all games.
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  • evga 500 bq

    EVGA 600 BQ

    600W 80+ Bronze power supply, up to 85% efficiency, 3-year warranty.
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  • 8gb ddr4 ram

    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

    WD Blue 1TB HDD

    3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, quiet!
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  • Kingston A400 120GB SSD

    A 120GB SSD works great as a primary boot drive – AKA where your OS and important programs are installed.
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Estimated
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*Hardware prices change daily, sometimes multiple times in a single day. Therefore, the price listed above should only be considered a rough estimate.

The tools you need:

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.

Recommended Add-ons

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.

  • windows 10

    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

    Cryorig H7 CPU cooler

    Although the stock CPU cooler that comes with the i5 8400 is decent, the Cryorig H7 is definitely better.
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  • external odd

    LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 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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  • tp-link wifi adapter

    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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Build Breakdown

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.

best 800 gaming pc buildCase: 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.

Motherboard: The Gigabyte B360M DS3H is a great mATX motherboard for the price and it's giving you all of the features that you'll need for an LGA 1151 socket build; like integrated audio, a built-in ethernet controller, 6x USB ports, 6x SATA headers, support for up to 4 sticks of DDR4 RAM and lots of room for future expansion. The B360 chipset does not support overclocking, but that's not a problem since the i5 8400 cannot be overclocked.

best 800 gaming pc buildProcessor (CPU): Intel's powerful 6-core/6-thread i5 8400 is an awesome processor that won’t have any issues with gaming, light content creation, or anything else. The i5 8400 has a base core clock of 2.8GHz that can extend all the way to 4.0GHz under load; that's a lot of processing power slapped across 6 high-performance cores! Since the i5 8400 does not support overclocking, the need for an aftermarket CPU cooler isn't tremendous. But, I could completely understand if you wanted to upgrade from the stock Intel cooler. If that's you, check out the 5 best CPU coolers!

Graphics Card (GPU): An 8GB RX 580 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. Sapphire's Pulse RX 580 8GB runs great, overclocks well, and doesn't get too hot when being pushed hard. It offers 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 5 display outputs, and a compact profile that'll fit inside practically any case out there.  Long story short, an 8GB GTX 1060 is 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.

System Memory (RAM): When it comes to RAM, 8GB is all you need for gaming this far into 2018, really. There will come a time (definitely sooner than later) when most games will demand 12GB or more, but that time hasn't come quite 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.

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 600W supply will do the trick just fine. I've picked EVGA's 600 BQ which is an awesome semi-modular supply offering more than enough connections for everything you need, it also comes with a decent 3-year warranty just in-case the worst were to happen.

Storage: For storage, I opted to include both a 1TB HDD and a 120GB SSD in this build. The SSD would, in theory, would be used as your primary boot drive, AKA where your OS and important programs are installed. This will ensure you have a seemless desktop experience that's quick and doesn't keep you waiting around. Not only that, but your PC will boot up in less than 10 seconds!

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...

800 gaming pc buildThe 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.

Peripherals

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 24 inch monitor

    Acer GN246HL

    24″, 1080p 144Hz, 1ms response time – Great for gaming!
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  • corsair k55 keyboard

    Corsair K55 RGB

    An awesome RGB keyboard using rubber dome keys. Lots of tactile feedback.
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  • logitech g502 proteus spectrum

    Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum

    RGB lighting, awesome sensor accuracy, very comfortable to use.
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  • corsair hs50 headset

    Corsair HS50

    Easily one of the best gaming headsets for under $50!
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  • logitech z623 speakers

    Logitech Z623 sound system

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

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. 

  • tp-link n150 wifi adapter

    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 t4u wifi adapter

    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 wifi adapter

    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 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! 

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About the Author
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Branton

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Hey there! I'm Branton, the founder and lead editor here at PC Game Haven. Since our launch in 2015, we've helped thousands upon thousands of gamers build their dream desktops, find the perfect peripherals, and more. Thanks for stopping by!

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Batman
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Batman

Do You know any other case for the same price you that would work on this one?

Darrell S
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Darrell S

Hey Branton, I mimicked one of your $800 builds from last year. Love my pc! But am now interested in streaming my games. I use OBS on x264 at 720p with 60 fps. I have a 144hz monitor and would like to continue gaming at 144 fps. However, I only get about 90-100 fps in game (low settings) while I stream. If I don’t stream, I can hit 300 fps easily. I have a Ryzen 5 1600, 8gb ram (1 stick) and 1060 6gb GPU. Of those 3, which should my first upgrade be? New CPU + mobo, new gpu + psu or add ram. My goal is to still game at 144 fps while streaming. Thanks!

Anonymous
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Anonymous

So I’m doing this as my first-time build was wondering if it was highly recommended and/or necessary to have both the SSD and the 1 TB hard drive? could I not just run it off the SSD and save $45?
Cheers,
Jacob

P.S. love the Website, so helpful to a PC building noob such as me!

I'm an Anon, Woo!
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I'm an Anon, Woo!

Would the case from your $800 AMD build be fine with this setup?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

i like this but I don’t really want to build my own. do you know of any that come already put together and cost the same?

Xander
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Xander

What is the difference between using a Nvidia gtx 1060 ti than this video card?

Kotaro
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Kotaro

Hi, I’m currently looking into making one of your builds withing the $900 and $1,200 price range if could. However, I’m really torn on going Intel or Ryzen. I haven’t done much gaming on the PC that I currently own mostly just MMOs like Tera, WoW GW2 but I’ve been getting into Fortnite and would like to try something like BF1 at some point. I’ve been looking around different places and there always seems to be a battle of which company is the best and it has got me really confused. Which would you recommend as more “future proof” since I only upgrade every 4 or so years. Hope you can help me with a decision.