This post recommends the best gaming PC you can build for under $800. If you’re looking to buy a pre-made PC to save on all the hassle that comes with building your own, we recommend the iBUYPOWER Elite Gaming PC. At the center of this build, you find a powerful processor in the shape of AMDs new-gen Ryzen 5 3600, which when paired with the GTX 1660 gives you all the power you need to create a brilliant, immersive gaming experience.
Our best gaming PC for under $800 is considered to be in the sweet spot between price and performance. At this price, you are going to be able to enjoy your games in high settings with relatively good performance. For a mid-range gaming PC, you can’t get any closer to high-end performance than this. A console can’t compete with either the AMD or Intel builds listed, in terms of performance or value.
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 the mid-range of budgets, you can still guarantee an excellent gaming experience. These components are sure to cope with any AAA game titles you throw at them, especially in 1080p.
Budget – Certain compromises have to be made when trying to stay within our $800 budget. 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 moderately priced GTX 1660 Ti GPU. To put the power of this CPU and GPU together, you are likely to get between 55-65 FPS in the Witcher 3, while in Ultra settings. Our AMD build will handle VR gaming easily and with a few tweaks, 1440p resolutions too. It is worth noting that although the AMD build will come out slightly more expensive than an Intel alternative, it also features higher clock speeds of 3.6GHz and twice as many threads, making it ideal for more than just gaming.
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. The RAM is 3600MHz, which is considered fast, and when paired with the AMD CPU, it gives you better results in-game.
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 the PC Components
Our team has years of experience behind them building PCs for a range of needs and budgets. 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 your budget can buy.
We build all these PC’s 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 the PC Components
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 PC’s 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 CPU’s performed better across the board, and for a lower price. This is why we only recommend an AMD version.
The Best $800 Gaming PC Update:
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
The latest-gen AMD CPU in this build will provide excellent gaming performance and shouldn’t bottleneck any potential GPU upgrades you have in mind further down the road.
MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Super
1080p killer, 1440p/VR powerhouse. That’s really all there is to say here.
Corsair 16GB DDR4 3200Mhz RAM
With a full 16GB of RAM, multitasking and gaming shouldn’t be any problem whatsoever for this powerful PC build.
Corsair CX Series 550W 80+ Bronze-Certified Semi-Modular Power Supply
A strong semi-modular power supply from Corsair.
MSI ProSeries B450-A Pro Max
The B450 Gaming plus Max motherboard has great overclocking potential and handles fast RAM too.
The Phanteks P400 is a fantastic, budget PC case with plenty of room for expansion and cooling.
Below is a more detailed explanation on why we've chosen each component and some noteworthy tips on what they can and can't do.
The new Ryzen 5 3600X is one of the best price-to-performance chips going, and its value is the main reason we needed to include this third-generation CPU in this build. The Ryzen 5 3600X offers between a 10 and 20% boost to performance with minimal extra cost.
The 3600X comes unlocked with six cores and 12 threads running at a speed of 3.6GHz with a max boost potential of up to 4.2GHz. As you would expect from an AMD chip, you get unrivaled multitasking ability for the price; however, these newer gen CPUs are superb for gaming too. We have paired this CPU with the newer ‘MAX’ line of motherboards from MSI, meaning you can use this CPU straight out of the box.
The GTX 1660 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. We’ve managed to squeeze this card into the $800 build by prioritizing it over other areas, which we touched upon earlier. It beats out its close rival, the RTX 580, by 15-20% in the benchmark tests while remaining competitively priced. You can easily churn out 4k games at 40fps if you tweak the graphics just right; however, the 1660 Super is more at home on lower resolutions where you can cruise past 100FPS, respectively. Overall, we consider the 1660 Super to be superb value for money, and it earns its place in our $800 rig.
While there could be a case made for the RAM in a PC of this price to feature a smaller capacity, the value in Corsair RAM kits is too good to pass up. For that reason, we have included a 16GB kit of Corsair Vengence LPX with a speed of 3600MHz. RAM of this speed has been shown to boost the gaming performance when paired with a Ryzen 3rd-gen CPU.
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. The Crucial BX500 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.
Another compromise we had to make while making this gaming PC was with the PSU modularity. We couldn’t go all out for a modular PSU in the $800 build, but this semi-modular option is still brilliant for the price. That being said, there is little difference between fully and semi-modular PSUs anyway as the cables that are hardwired all have to be plugged in any way (no birds nest). This PSU also comes with bronze certified efficiency and features more than enough wattage to power your system.
As mentioned above, this line of motherboards has removed the BIOS issues some of the older boards were having. Aside from making your life much easier, this motherboard comes with everything you would expect from a gaming motherboard. 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.
The Phanteks P400 is a mid-level PC case that looks and feels premium. This case is made from a manufacturer you can trust, and it offers excellent value for money. While this case features great aesthetics largely thanks to its tempered glass panel, it also provides you with decent airflow performance too. Overall this case is of solid construction and will protect your system inside with style.
Things To Consider
So you have made your decision on whether to go with AMD or Intel and have a new gaming PC ready to go, but what’s next? Is there anything you need to consider before you go ahead and complete that purchase? Below we have gone over a few areas for your consideration to ensure you have made the best choice and get the most from your gaming PC.
An $800 gaming PC sits in the middle of our budget spectrum and comes with some compromises for the price. While this still offers excellent gaming results, we need to ensure it meets your gaming expectations. 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 budget, 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 your budget can accommodate this, go for it.
Overclocking is a great way to squeeze extra power from your components, and the further down the budget 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 a budget CPU cooler that does a superb job of handling overclocking at this level. 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 take away the stresses that a budget case can bring. 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.
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.
Usually, when it comes to lower budget 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 little extra cost, you could pimp out your PC with some new fans or even an RGB lighting strip.
What games can this PC run?
In this section, we’re going to tell you how this game should be able to run your favorite games.
- Fortnite - At 1080p, you should be able to easily max out this game at 60 FPS or higher. 1440p should still be playable at 60 FPS, but you may need to turn down a few settings.
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds - 1080p60 at high-to-max settings should be achievable, but 1440p may require some tuning down to medium or low settings.
- Monster Hunter: World - MHW is quite intensive, but 1080p60 shouldn’t be a problem for this build at high settings. 1440p60 will be much harder to achieve, though, and may require some settings turned down.
- League of Legends - League of Legends is a fairly lightweight eSports title, so 1440p60 and 1080p144 should both be achievable at high settings.
- Dota 2 - Same as above.
- Overwatch - At 1440p and Ultra settings, Overwatch should be playable at 60 FPS. This makes 1080p an easy sweep as well.
- Rainbow Six: Siege - At 1440p and high settings, Siege should be playable at 60-70 FPS.
- Warframe - Warframe should be playable at 1440p60 on high settings and 1080p144 on high settings- it’s quite well-optimized.
- Grand Theft Auto V - GTA V should be playable at 1440p60 with medium-high settings and high-max settings at 1080p.
- Team Fortress 2 - TF2 is primarily CPU-dependent, so you shouldn’t encounter any issues at 1440p here. If you want to push your frames higher, though, you’ll want to go down to 1080p and turn down some settings.
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 3 best-prebuilt gaming PCs for around $800:
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.
While the stock coolers that come with both CPUs are more than capable of handling the heat, you may want to push your CPU further and protect it with an aftermarket cooler instead. For this reason, we recommend the Cryorig H7. This well-priced cooler may not be considered one of the best, but its value is hard to beat. This should definitely be considered if you plan on overclocking your current or upgraded CPU.
The 3700X was a highly anticipated chip thanks to its power and excellent value, and for that reason, it is our recommended AMD upgrade. The Ryzen 7 3700X won’t break the bank and gives you an impressive eight cores and 16 threads. This significant increase provides you with an even better gaming experience than the 3600 but boosts the streaming and video editing potential exponentially. This CPU is a multitasking beast, with a base clock of 3.6GHz that can be boosted to 4.4GHz.
HD is somewhat of a dying breed now that SSD has become more affordable, however, it still has a huge role to play in modern-day rigs whilst bigger capacity SSD’s are still massively expensive. The good thing about HD’s is as long as you’re buying from a trusted brand such as Seagate or Hitachi and are getting good price-per-gigabyte, you really don’t need to spend too much time contemplating your options. Seagate is a great brand that provides fantastic efficient storage at very affordable prices. We’ve gone for the 1TB option for this $800 build which is more than enough to store a whole list of games and other media you may have on your system. Our advice is to use this additional storage space to store your single-player games, movies, media, and everything you aren’t playing on a super-regular basis whilst utilizing the SSD for your primary eSports titles and windows.
The RTX 20 series is part of the most powerful family of GPU’s available at present.The 2060 was released to have an excellent price to performance whilst still remaining affordable. The 2060 comes equipped with Nvidia’s new Turing architecture which makes use of DLSS and real-time ray tracing, effectively future-proofing this card for years to come. Pair these new technologies with AI-enhanced graphics and the worlds fastest GDDR6 memory and you have the makings of a very impressive GPU.
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!
Your new gaming PC is going to be of little use if you don’t include an operating system. For those that haven’t already purchased a copy of Windows 10, check out our USB ready version below.
Previous licenses for Windows can be transferred to new machines, but you may need actually get in contact with Microsoft complete the transfer process. However, if you still need to obtain a USB copy of Windows 10, you can do so from Amazon. Alternatively, you can still get Windows 10 on DVD if you prefer.
Mouse and Keyboard
Razer DeathAdder Elite Gaming Mouse
To get you started on the right path we recommend the Razer Deathadder Elite mouse. This mouse is insanely good value and for that price, you will be getting one of the best shapes on offer for gaming. This ergonomic serpent has more than enough DPI for anyone and boasts a seriously good optical sensor from PixArt with switches to boot. If you would prefer to cut the cord and go wireless then take a look at some of our wireless recommendations here. MORE: Best Gaming Mice
CORSAIR K68 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
For the keyboard, we recommend the Corsair K68 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. This keyboard offers fully-customisable RGB like higher-end keyboards, and as you would expect form corsair this board offers value and build quality for its price. this mechanical board boast really fast Red Cherry MX switches giving you quicker response times in-game! If you’d like some alternative picks, check out these.
SteelSeries QcK Gaming Surface
The Steelseries Qck gaming surface is what’s known as a ‘desktop pad’ thanks to its XL size and is largely considered to be one of the best and most comfortable pad’s available in today’s market. The QcK has been specifically designed with gamer’s in mind and the tightly woven fabric has been optimised for control and speed. A sleek design which will suit any desk makes it the perfect mouse pad for gamers. MORE: Best mousepads of 2019
Razer Gaming Bungee V2
The Razer Gaming Bungee V2 is a solid bungee from Razer, It eliminates drag from your mouse cable which enhances your gaming experience. If you’re looking to create that wireless feeling from your wired mouse then consider this excellent quality bungee, it’s worth the investment. MORE: Best Gaming Bungee’s
A gaming monitor is crucial to show off your games and get the full experience. You are going to want a monitor that will match your PC’s potential and our recommendations have this in mind.
ASUS VG278Q 27"
This reasonably priced monitor pick is known as the ASUS VG278Q Gaming Monitor and is perfect for gamers looking to better their current 60Hz monitor or anyone looking for a fresh monitor to accompany their new build. This pick is our top gaming monitor for under $300 and it has everything you would want from a high-end gaming monitor. Overall superb value for a monitor of this quality. MORE: For a more premium recommendation see here.
Sound has a huge role to play in gaming and of course entertainment in general. Ensure you get the best sound quality you can for your budget with our top sound picks below.
Mackie CR Series 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors
Sennheiser Gaming One Headset
The Sennheiser One Gaming Headset due to its magnificent build quality and great sound output is one of the best gaming headsets around. The stellar build quality that comes from Sennheiser in addition with the noise-canceling microphone ensures peak performance that will never let you down in those crucial moments. MORE: Best Gaming Headsets
We’ve opted for the Audio-Technica M30x headphones as they have great sound output and build quality to match. They don’t look too bad either, great pick!
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Record and stream with the excellent sound quality from the Blue Yeti, the ultimate USB Microphone. The Yeti USB mic is ideal for podcasting, streaming on Twitch, content creation and music. This driverless microphone is good to go straight out of the box! For a more budget option consider the Antlion Audio attachable boom microphone. MORE: Best Gaming Microphone
For any gamers looking to play online who don’t already own an ethernet cable or Wi-Fi adapter, this section is rather important!
High-bandwidth and low-latency applications need ethernet cables to perform at their best, so go ahead and buy an ethernet cable. Wi-Fi can cause your performance, both in-game and on your network, to suffer.
ASUS PCE-AC56 PCI Wireless Express Adapter
If you insist on using Wi-Fi, you should, at least, go with the Asus AC56 PCI Adapter. It supports all the latest Wi-Fi standards, has good reviews, and comes at a great price.
Install OS Via USB
We highly recommend that you install your OS via USB. To do this with Windows, download and run the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.
In either of these cases, make sure you have at least a 4GB USB stick at your disposal for the creation of installation media.
Invest In Antistatic Equipment
Buy an anti-static wristband and/or anti-static mat. This will protect your components from static discharge, which is an extraordinarily unfortunate and unlucky way to lose your brand-new hardware, albeit statistically unlikely. If you want to be sure, though, you should be using an anti-static wristband, and you can click here to read a guide.
Watch Our PC Building Guide
Building a PC might seem intimidating at first, but in truth, it’s not all that difficult. You can check out our very own budget PC build guide which talks you through all the steps of building a PC for the very first time.
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 this budget, 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.