So you’re ready to really stretch deep into that wallet and build a serious gaming machine, and you don’t know where to start. Well, I can help with that. In this ever-changing world of prices and models and rapidly-changing PC environments, it can be tough to keep up with the newest, much less the best. But, research can be a tricky proposition, digging past the hype and every salesman tactic in the book and sometimes even a brand-name bias to find the best components you can get for your personal gaming machine. Have no fears; we’re here to help.
Today I’ll be going over the best gaming pc build under $800, a substantial advance on a premium modern console, for a system that will naturally blow through any recent game and give you a solid footing in extremely beautiful games, with smooth gameplay and high graphical fidelity.
As in my other guides, I’ll detail the component parts required for each computer. There’s seven of them, and each of them is a vital part of the overall matrix that, when bound together, will become your machine. I’ll list all of the parts below of course, with my choices for each item and a description of why I chose each one. But, in the meantime, here’s a summary of each core part; if you’re already familiar with these, keep moving.
Processor – This is the most critical part of any good gaming pc and powers everything in the build. It makes sure everything works in order and is the central component.
Graphics Card – This is probably the most accessible component to understand since the clue is in the name. The graphics card's job is to power the graphics on your screen which as you can imagine is also an essential component which also means it is rather expensive.
Memory – This task set by the memory is to hold temporarily store your Data. They don't store everything saved in your computer but instead keep smaller amounts of data to ease the pressure on your CPU.
The Motherboard – You can think of the motherboard as a mothership, when building your pc you will house all your components to the motherboard.
Storage Suite – Not to be confused with RAM, the storage suit is for your hard drive. There are different types at varying prices, and if you want to splash out the cash for an SSD, then this will increase the overall speed of your gaming pc.
Power Supply – I know I said the CPU was, but the Power Supply is also right up there. The Power Supply Unite or PSU diverts all the power around your PC, and without it, your build is going to suffer.
The Case – No doubt you will know what this is, it's the part everybody sees 's and makes your Gaming PC stand out. It protects your hardware, and a good one can keep it cold inside and quiet.
Best Gaming PC Under 800
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1) Intel Core i5-8400
There has been for many years now something of an epic battle between AMD Ryzen and Intel Core in the field of solid, reliable CPU production. These competing titans have, in many ways, struggled to maintain their own market share while carving out distinct niches within the PC building community. And, in the past couple of years, the rise of AMD Ryzen (no pun intended) has brought a healthy dose of competition and a shot of new tech to the market. Which is good for everybody. In fact, it means I’ll be suggesting an additional CPU for those interested in AMD: the Ryzen 5 2600. It’s a little more expensive, and you trade a small bit of pure gaming strength for more workplace versatility, and multithreading. But I digress, and I’ll now cover the 8400.
For under $200, this is a great mid-range CPU for the build. It’s a relatively new model, a higher-end multi intel core processor that maintains the general gaming pc's strength of Intel’s chips. It’s fast, efficient, potent, and keeps cool, all while running on only 65 watts, and most importantly, it won’t bottleneck our GPU at all. All in all, a thoroughly impressive processor, and a solid way to break into Coffee Lake. An optional add-on at a little more cost would be its burly younger brother, the i5-8500, with a chunk of extra power and a cost at just over $200.
2) ASRock B360M Intel b360 Motherboard
Here it is, the absolute unit that will be running all of our games. Sadly, as a foreword I have to say that Graphics Card prices are still in flux, and will be a bit until the market calms down or until nVidia releases some new hardware. But with that in mind, while you may check and find 1060s graphics cards costing a bit more, it’s just as likely you’ll find one even cheaper than this, though don’t expect too much. With that in mind, let’s cover the card itself and find out what makes it so special.
While 1060s have always been a pretty solid GPU on their own, hovering at nVidia’s potent idea of a minimum for high-end gaming pc's, the 6G upgrade literally doubles the video RAM onboard, and was a sizeable upgrade to an already worthwhile line of graphics cards, putting them in range of competing with stock-standard 1070s–or even above that line, impressively enough. The ASUS model was chosen for its twin fans, which keep the unit cool and quiet, while also fitting into a generally smaller GPU setup to provide a broader range of motherboards. However, any of the notable graphics card brands should have a similar 1060 if the price dips and you want to pull the trigger. Just make sure you get the 6GB version, and you won’t regret it.
3) Western Digital 2TB 7200RPM HDD
The Caviar Blue setup is something of an icon in storage, despite the storing of data generally being less attractive and noteworthy than something big and expensive like the GPU. However, for years now Western Digital’s gotten the job done with an extremely reliable, high-performance series of hard drives, including this option here. It clocks in at the expected level of storage, bringing us one full terabyte of possible data and not much more, but it spins at 7200RPM and has fast SATA connections for all of your saving and moving purposes.
As of this writing, there is a solid sale on a 2TB Seagate drive, and as a fan I was considering putting it in the build, but it typically runs a bit more than the current price. However, if you’re like me and 1TB just isn’t enough to store all of the games you want to play, it won’t run you too much more, and I’d recommend looking into it.
4) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 8GB 2,400 MHz
You may recognize this guy from, well, probably all of my other builds. It’s true, I’m a fan; I’ve rarely used much else in my computers, and occasionally I’ll see a different brand’s standard memory sticks with better timings or a bit less on the price tag, but I always come back to Corsair. The Vengeance is especially a solid unit with a long and storied past of use by consumers across the market, with solid performance and a typically low rate of busted RAM. You can do worse, though I’ll say, as you may be interested in something similar from G.Skill or Crucial who usually make good stuff, be prepared to do a little research and make sure you get something at the best speed and performance mark for the price you pay.
As before, the LPX DDR4 Ram is a low-profile stick compatible with most motherboards and setups in general, with little to no effort needed to make them work with any system. It also comes in a few different colors, and like any other RAM stick, can easily be upgraded by buying a second one at any time down the road and slotting in place next to the first. If you want to start off with better RAM built in, look for a two-pack now that’ll be cheaper than buying two sticks separate.
5) Seasonic 620GM2 EVO Bronze EVO Edition
For the power supply here, I’ve chosen a Seasonic model. While they’re a company I’ve personally tested less, I can’t find anything wrong with this PSU, which is actually pretty potent and also built surprisingly well for such a cheap offering. For starters, it gives us a little flex room with 620 watts, at the same price of many other 550w systems, and of course, because this is my build guide, it’s 80+ Bronze certified, to make sure it runs and performs the best it can without putting your system at any kind of risk.
As an extra, the 620 EVO comes with fully modular cables, which are a handy feature for those less-experienced in cable management, or with smaller builds. The cables are sturdy and black, and I made sure they were long enough to fit pretty much any mid-size tower case, so it should be extensively compatible with this build and any adjustments made to it.
6) Rosewill Stryker M Case
Rosewill is a brand I’ve only come to rely on a few times in my build history, but I’ve never had a part of theirs let me down. So, to me, this Stryker seems like a really solid deal, especially for the price point. Plus, it has a surprising wealth of optional little features for something in the sixty-dollar-or-under range, such as a dust filter for your power supply, tool-free management of your drive bays and storage, and plenty of space inside are just a few of those features. In fact, it even comes stock with three built-in 120mm fans, perfect for the starter who doesn’t want to have to worry about upgrading them, and a cheaper starting point for fan enthusiasts who want to add a couple more.
And though it doesn’t particularly matter, I think it’s a very attractive case, a little squat but very smooth and streamlined, with a cool window on the side to look in through. And on the plus side–and more importantly–it feels like it’s built well; none of the parts feel cheap, and it’s overall a pretty sturdy case. I’d recommend it. Obviously, as this is a recommendation.