Best Gaming PC Build Under $800 in 2021: The Octa-Ling

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Our $800 AMD Custom Gaming PC
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Best Gaming PC Under $800

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Before we breakdown, the individual components of our AMD build path, let’s discuss what you can expect from an $800 gaming PC. While this is considered to be in the mid-range, it has become harder due to current stock issues and price hikes. These components are sure to cope with any AAA game titles you throw at them when gaming in 1080p.

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What You Get For Your $800

Certain compromises have to be made when trying to stay within our $800 target. While you may not be able to get more than six cores from your CPU or an RTX GPU, you can still achieve high FPS in high settings with this PC. AMD’s processors bring brilliant value to the table, meaning you are always able to get great all-round performance for your money. Regardless of which build path you choose, you are going to get a PC that not only performs well but looks good too.

Performance

This gaming PC will play any game you throw at it, and this is thanks to the combination of components. While you get a lot less for your money these days, this is still going to provide you with a solid 1080p gaming experience.

To ensure high levels of gaming performance, we had to compromise on the size of the SSD. That being said, the 480GB SSD is plenty to get you going and will provide you with space for your operating system and favorite games. This SSD solution will ensure you get quicker boot times from your system and will enhance your gaming performance too. Along with the storage solution, we see 16GB of fast RAM included. While you could argue this is slightly more than needed in this price range, it future-proofs your system, giving you less to upgrade at a later stage.

AMD Vs. Intel

At this price range, there isn’t much difference in terms of gaming, but they certainly are in terms of value. We recommend choosing the AMD build path for under $800, simply because the CPU is far superior. While this may not change things drastically for gaming, all your over tasks on the PC will be handled more efficiently by the AMD CPU. We feel the AMD build not only makes this a strong gaming PC overall, but its multithreaded nature gives you greater flexibility too.

How We Choose

Our team has years of experience behind them building PCs for a range of needs and budgetary requirements. All this knowledge, combined with hours of research, user feedback, and onsite benchmarking, is what goes into choosing the best components for our builds.

We look for value for money, how the components perform together, and focus on gamer’s needs to make sure our builds are the best bang for your buck.

We build all these PCs ourselves, in-house, so trust us when we say we want to make them as good as possible. We actually use all these builds ourselves day-to-day in the WePC offices.

How We Test

We build each of our selected PC’s from scratch to make sure all the parts we recommend work well together, fit into the selected case, and provide the best performance possible for the price range.

Once built, the PCs are used in the office for everyday work as well as a range of games from light to heavy-duty. While we test, we also run benchmarking tests to see how well our builds perform, all while keeping an eye on the temperature of the components themselves.

We tested our AMD builds against their Intel counterparts and found that these CPUs performed better across the board, and for a lower price. This is why we only recommend an AMD version.

NOTE: Due to the ongoing effects of the global coronavirus pandemic, some retailers are experiencing stock issues. WePC constantly updates our pages to reflect current availability, so if the PC or part you want shows as out of stock, check back later or check out these alternatives.

 

Our $800 Mid-Range Gaming PC Build

Our Recommended Custom Build Details

Below is a more detailed explanation of why we’ve chosen each component and some noteworthy tips on what they can and can’t do.

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Our $800 AMD Custom Gaming PC

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Our best AMD-based custom gaming PC for under $800 sits perfectly in the price to performance sweet spot. This is an example of great gaming capability at an affordable amount. With the AMD path, you are getting more cores and threads for your money, without compromising on performance, and can enjoy all games in 1080p max settings.

Ryzen 5 2600X processor
AMD

AMD Ryzen 5 2600

Speed

3.4Ghz - 3.9Ghz

Core (threads)

6/12

Socket

AM4

TDP

65W

The Ryzen 5 2600 still offers great price-to-performance and its value is the main reason we needed to include this CPU in the build. The 6 core, 12 thread processor is renowned for excellent value multi-core performance. Thanks to the arrival of the recent Ryzen 5000 series, we’ve seen the price of 2nd and 3rd-gen CPUs plummet, however, we are still unable to fit a 3600 into this build due to the ongoing stock issues.

The 2600 runs at a speed of 3.4GHz with a max boost potential of up to 3.9GHz. As you would expect from an AMD chip, you get unrivaled multitasking ability for the price.

What better way to tie the $800 gaming PC build together than the Gigabyte B450M motherboard. Aside from making your life much easier, this board comes with everything you would expect from a gaming perspective. This board has some overclocking headroom for those that would like to squeeze a bit of extra power from their components and supports M.2 SSDs and fast RAM support.

While there could be a case made for the RAM in a PC of this price to feature a smaller capacity, the value in the TEAMGROUP’s T-Force Vulcan Z RAM kit is too good to pass up. For that reason, we have included a 16GB kit of fast RAM with a speed of 3000MHz. RAM of this speed has been shown to boost the gaming performance when paired with a Ryzen CPU.

The GTX 1650 Super GPU is a card many will know and for good reason, it’s one of the best graphics cards available for its price range in today’s market. We’ve managed to squeeze this card into the $800 build by prioritizing it over other areas, which we touched upon earlier. In the past we would have been able to squeeze in a 1660 Super, however, with the current market, we must settle for this budget champion. Still, you are going to be able to play any game you like in 1080p, with only the occasional tweak in settings for those newer titles. Esports will run like a dream with this system too!

Crucial BX500
Crucial Logo

Crucial BX500 480 GB

Read/Write

540/500MB/s

Capacity

480. GB

Interface

SATA 6.0 Gb/s

At this price category, compromises have to be made, and that was the case in terms of SSD size here. While we would have liked to include a 1TB SSD solution, this 480GB SSD will still have plenty of room for your operating system and favorite games. This SSD provides lightning-fast loading, which will also help with those heavy game loading times. If you feel you want to bolster the storage of this gaming rig, then check out our SSD upgrade down below.

The Zalman S4 PC case is a budget-friendly PC case that performs quite well. While this case features great aesthetics largely thanks to its acrylic window, it also provides you with decent airflow performance thanks to the included 120mm fans. Overall, this case is of solid construction and will protect your system inside with style.

EVGA 500 BQ, 80+ BRONZE 500W

EVGA BQ 80+ Bronze 500W Semi Modular PSU

Wattage

500W

Certification

80+ Bronze

Modular?

Semi modular

Unfortunately, for the $800 build, we weren’t able to squeeze a fully modular PSU in. Having said that, we were able to get our hands on a 500W 80+ bronze certified PSU instead. The EVGA 500 BQ PSU is a fantastic addition to this build, providing excellent power efficiency for years to come. This PSU, as mentioned above, also comes with Bronze certified efficiency and features more than enough wattage to power your system and some upgrades when the time comes.

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Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $800

We may have come up with the best $800 gaming PC, but not everyone has the time, skills, or even patience to build their own. While the team here at WePC always recommends you to build your own, don’t worry, we have you covered with some prebuilt recommendations too. Our best-prebuilt PCs for under $800 are from reputable manufacturers that feature a high level of build quality.

Below we have included the best-prebuilt gaming PCs for around $800:

This post recommends the best gaming PC you can build for under $800. If you’re looking to buy a pre-built PC to save on all the hassle that comes with building your own, we recommend the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop. This build features Intel’s Core i3-10100, which when paired with the GTX 1650 Super, gives you solid performance in 1080p.

The next best prebuilt we recommend is the SkyTech Shadow Gaming PC. At the center of this build, you find a powerful processor in the shape of Intel’s Core i5 9400F, which when paired with the GTX 1660, gives you all the power you need to create a brilliant, immersive gaming experience.

This prebuilt from SkyTech features an AMD Ryzen 5 2600 CPU that gets paired with the GTX 1660 Ti GPU. This combo will handle gaming in 1080p with ease and comes in under the $800 target.

Things To Consider

$800 Budget

An $800 gaming PC sits in the middle of our price spectrum and comes with some compromises for the price. While this use to offer excellent gaming results at an affordable price, market stock issues and price increases have brought about more compromises than before. This PC is considered to be on the edge of budget, with enough in the tank to satisfy both hardcore and casual gamers alike. For those out there that want to future-proof their PC or play in 4K, you may want to upgrade this or even go for one of our higher-tier gaming PCs. It is worth noting that while we try and keep these gaming PC builds within the target price, Amazon prices can fluctuate. The fluctuation in price can sometimes drop or increase the price, but we always do our best to ensure it is as close as possible.

Upgradability & Future-Proofing

An important area to think about with a gaming PC is how easily upgradeable it is going to be down the line. While you get great performance from this custom build, you may want to enhance your experience at a later stage with a hardware change. It is for this reason we have left some room for future upgrades, ensuring the current components are chosen with this in mind. Don’t forget that with upgrades, you will incur extra costs but if you can accommodate this, go for it.

Overclocking

Overclocking is a great way to squeeze extra power from your components, and the further down the price ladder you go, the more beneficial this becomes. Both the AMD and Intel processors can be boosed to give you greater clock speeds, and they come with motherboards that can handle said overclocking.

When overclocking, it is important to know that you are pushing the component further and will potentially need an aftermarket CPU cooler. We have included fast RAM in this build to boost your gaming experience, which is especially true in the AMD build path. The motherboards can handle these high speeds with ease, but you are going to need to overclock the RAM in the BIOS to take full advantage of what they are capable of.

Ease Of Building

You may wonder – how are these components to build with? We have selected a case that comes from a manufacturer that has ease of building in mind. The case is affordable but really good quality and will go a long way when trying to save money. Cable management is simplified with this case and takes away the need to learn how to do it properly. That being said, there is also plenty of room out the back for those that take cable management seriously.

It is worth noting that proper cable management will not only enhance the aesthetics of your build, but it will improve the airflow in the system too. Both of the featured processors come with stock coolers. These coolers also feature pre-applied thermal paste, giving you out-of-the-box action straight away. That being said, you may want to consider purchasing yourself a decent tube of thermal paste and replacing what is already there, as it it has been shown to improve thermal performance.

Non-Gaming Performance

As previously mentioned, both the AMD and Intel builds provide you with solid gaming performance, but what about in other areas? While you could make arguments for the Intel CPUs ability, it doesn’t come close to what the AMD build path is capable of. The AMD CPU is multithreaded, and it is those extra virtual cores that make this a much better option for multitasking, live streaming, and video editing. If you are only going to be gaming on this system, then either choice can be considered. However, for a better system, in general, you really need to go for the AMD build we have recommended.

Aesthetics

Usually, when it comes to lower-end gaming PCs, the aesthetics are first to suffer. Thanks to our affordable case option, you don’t have to sacrifice how your system looks one bit. The case in this build features a tempered glass panel, so at a little extra cost, you could pimp out your PC with some new fans or even an RGB lighting strip.

Build A Gaming PC By Price

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Related Prebuilt Gaming PC Guides

Check out some of our related prebuilt PC guides below.

Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Brands

Every recommended prebuilt gaming PC in this article is from a reputable manufacturer. You are probably wondering how we know what the best gaming PC brands are? Well, we have done our research and purchased PCs from these brands.

Most notable brands:

Alienware
Corsair
CyberPowerPC
SkyTech
iBUYPOWER
Thermaltake
MSI
Scan 3XS
Overclockers UK

Calculating The PSU Wattage

Making sure your PSU provides the correct amount of wattage to your custom build PC is an essential part of the build process. For that reason, we’ve created a handy PSU calculator which will work out exactly what PSU wattage your components require – no matter how many changes you make.

Upgrade Options

Regardless if you have gone for the AMD or Intel build, you are going to be enjoying your games in no time. While these options boast great price to performance, there is plenty of room for improvement in the upgrade department. Upgrades will always bring you better performance and future-proof your system, but they will also come at an extra cost.

Note: Of course, these upgrades will increase the price.

Seagate Barracuda (1TB)

Seagate Barracuda (1TB)

Storage

1TB

Cache

64MB

Speed

7200RPM

CRYORIG H7

CRYORIG H7

Compatibility

Modern Intel and AMD (Contact For AM4)

Size

145mm

Cooling Type

Air Cooling

MSI 2060s GPU

MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8GB

Clock Speed

1680 MHz

VRAM

GDDR6 8GB

Memory Bus Width

256-Bit

ryzen 7 3700x
AMD

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Speed

3.6GHz/ 4.4GHz

Core (Threads)

8/16

Socket

AM4

TDP

95W

Operating System & Peripherals

Most peripherals should be taken care of, especially if you’re dropping $800 on a PC. Still, we wanted to give a few recommendations to accompany this system.

NOTE: These will raise the price of the build!

Building Tips

Building a PC isn’t particularly mentally or physically-taxing, you just need to have the prior knowledge to pull it off. We have guides on common PC building questions and what NOT to do as a new builder, but if that isn’t enough, please keep reading for more assistance.

How To Build A PC

Never built a PC before? Let us guide you through everything you need to build your first PC, even if you’re a complete beginner!

Closing Thoughts

Finally, we are at the end of our in-depth guide to the best custom PC for under $800. This PC brings gaming into 1080 and 1440p while also being powerful enough for VR gaming too. Consoles don’t come close to this build, and you can expect a high FPS count in your favorite AAA game titles. At $800, compromises had to be made, but gaming performance has been the main priority, making this the best gaming PC for the price.

We recommend going with the AMD build option to ensure you not only get an enjoyable gaming experience but enjoy your PC regardless of the task.

How did you find our $800 gaming PC to build? The team at WePC would love to know how it went, so come and share your experiences with us over on the community.

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The Team That Worked On This Build

Team Shaun
Custom Build Specialist
at
WePC

Shaun is a gaming enthusiast and computer science graduate who has been working with computers for the last 15 years. He took a shine to competitive FPS back in the mid-2000s and hasn’t looked back since.

Independent, transparent, rigorous and authentic, our reviews are the most thorough and honest in PC gaming. Learn about our review process.

Team Charlie
Custom Build Specialist
at
WePC

For as long as Charlie can remember, he has always been interested in computers and gaming. It all started with the Sega Mega Drive and then evolved into PC gaming in his early teens. CS 1.6 was his first go at competitive gaming which soon evolved into CS:Source and now CS:GO. Throughout that period he has been a keen PC builder and enthusiast and is currently running an ASUS Rog RTX 2070 with AMD’s Ryzen 2700X.

Independent, transparent, rigorous and authentic, our reviews are the most thorough and honest in PC gaming. Learn about our review process.