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 i5-10400
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 3600. 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 10400.
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 i5-10500, with a chunk of extra power and a cost at just over $200.
2) MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus
This is the best way to bring your PC to its full potential, merging with the i5- 10400 CPU. The MSI MPG has everything we need for our price range with memory overclocking supports of up to 4800MHz. It offers a whole lot of stability when it comes to involving other PC components as well as core boost features.
3) XFX RX 5500 XT Thicc II Pro 8GB
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 might still be in flux, and will be a bit until the market calms down. 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 or better performing, though don’t expect too much. With that in mind, let’s cover the XFX RX 5500 XT and find out what makes it so special.
For its price range the XFX has shown to be one of the most powerful and commended Graphics cards in it group. It performance is backed by and 8GB DDR6, with a boost clock of up to 1845MHz. It can attempt to run 4k games, but preferably, to run at higher frame rates you should consider using slightly lower resolutions.
4) Samsung 860 EVO 500GB
At $800, we’re finally going to be able to get some serious speed in our gaming pc build. The addition of an SSD (Or Solid-State-Drive) is going to dramatically decrease our boot-up times and loading times for certain applications and games. The only drawback of SSD’s is their low capacity and high price. Don’t worry though, we’ve found the right balance between the two. However, we’re going to quickly talk about some more traditional storage first.
Because of the limited size of more affordable SSD’s, we’re going to need an auxiliary hard drive. (Also known as an HDD or “Spinning Disk” Hard Drive.) These “spinning disk” drives have the advantage of being a tried-and-true technology, and their age means savings for us. Hard drive prices continue to fall, and I can’t think of a better example for this phenomenon than the Samsung 860 EVO.
This deal just keeps getting better and better. With a 2.5” form factor, it’s a compact hard drive for a compact price.
Now onto the fun part, the SSD. Due to their high price-per-gig, high-capacity SSDs some might believe not to be a good idea for any gaming pc build at this range. But with current change in times and availability of more quality branded ones in the market, I am going to use a smaller, more affordable, 500GB SATA III SSD from Samsung.
The Samsung 860 EVO 500 is an affordable package at around 50 bucks, but don’t let its affordability fool you. This SSD is packing sequential read and write times of 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively, which places it firmly in the competition among rival manufacturers like Corsair. The 2.5” size means we’re going to have plenty of space to share with our secondary drive.
Adding this SSD is going to take our OS boot times from minutes to seconds, just remember if possible to set up your documents, pictures, movies, and music folders, so they are routed to your secondary drive.
5) Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
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 choose this two-pack, kit cheaper than buying two sticks separate.
For the power supply here, I’ve chosen EVGA 600 BQ. They’re a company I’ve tested multiple times, I can’t find anything wrong with this PSU. For starters, it gives us a little flex room with 600 watts, at the same price of many other 650w 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 600 EVO comes with semi modular cables, which are a handy feature for those less-experienced in cable management, or with smaller builds. Also attached it a 3 year Warranty to go with its efficient power and reliability.
7) Planteks Eclipse P400 Steel
Planteks is a brand I’ve come to rely on a number of times in my build history, I’ve never had a part of theirs let me down. The Eclipse is a really solid deal, especially for the price point. Plus, it has a surprising wealth of optional little features for something in the eighty-dollar-or-under range, such as a fully equipped magnetic dust filters, free cable management loops, adequate space for drive bays and storage are just a few of those features. In fact, it even comes stock with two built-in 120mm fans (at the front and rear), 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 might not matter, it’s a very attractive case, with available tempered glass to showcase those LED lights and neat set-up. On the plus side–and more importantly–it feels and is 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.