Extreme gaming PC build 2021
This extreme gaming PC build puts all other gaming rigs to shame. Its carefully selected components will devour AAA games, at 4k or even 8k, with settings maxed out. This is a future-proof build that'll last you a good while, but it wont to be cheap. It harbours the best CPU for gaming, along with the best graphics card, and components performance out of both.
This $4000 extreme gaming PC build will give you freakishly high performance. If you're simply looking for an above-average build that gives the best frames per dollar value, check out our high-end PC build guide instead. And you can always consider a smaller SSD or slower RAM.
The final price here doesn't include accessories or peripherals, so take into account how much you're going to spend there. In particular, consider nabbing a good gaming monitor as you'll need one to make the most of this build. No point picking a fancy new graphics card if your monitor can't support the frame rate or the high resolution that's being cranked out.
After rigorous testing across the board, this list brings together all the best PC gaming components we could get our hands on, with zero regards to expense. Here's our shamelessly powerful gaming PC design.
Best gaming monitor | Best gaming mouse | Best gaming keyboard
Best gaming headset | Best gaming router | Best gaming chair
Extreme gaming PC build
Intel Core i9 10900K
Nearly the world's fastest gaming processor
Base Clock: 3.7GHz
Turbo Clock: 5.3GHz
L3 Cache: 20MB
PCIe 3.0 lanes: 16
Reasons to buy
+Fastest gaming CPU around+Great overclocking potential
Reasons to avoid
-Top performance requires power
The Intel Core i9 10900K is no longer the world's fastest gaming processor, but the newer Core i9 11900K is not one we would recommend to anyone looking to build an extreme gaming PC. You could argue that the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is more deserving of a place in an extreme PC build thanks to its 16 cores and 32 threads of processing power, but it can still be tricky to find in the wild so Intel's top CPU is still your best option.
Intel's historic gaming performance lead is still intact, if only just, and the 10900K, with its 5.3GHz all-core overclocking chops, is still the king when it comes to pure frame rates. You'll need a decent motherboard, some serious cooling, and a powerful PSU to get the most from it, but that's what this build is all about.
Here are the best CPUs for gaming right now.
Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme
An extreme motherboard for an extreme build
Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR4-4800
Expansion slots: 2x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8), 1x PCIe 3.0 x4
Video ports: 2x mini DisplayPort
USB ports: 12x rear IO, 6x internal
Storage: 4x M.2, 8x SATA
Network: 10Gbps Ethernet, Intel Wi-Fi 6
Lighting: 2x Aura RGB, 2x Aura addressable Gen 2
Reasons to buy
+Great CPU and memory overclocking +Not too expensive for a top-tier board
Reasons to avoid
-Odd shape limits case options
If the CPU is your new PC's brain, the motherboard is the nervous system and other vital organs that keep things running smoothly. Skimp on a motherboard at your peril.
The Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme employs the Z490 chipset, which means it's primed to handle Intel's 10th gen processors. There are no less than four M.2 slots for you to play around with, two on its ingenious DIMM.2 riser board, and it also offers up support for Thunderbolt 3 on another add-in card with two mini DisplayPort connectors.
On top of that, you get access to cutting-edge networking goodness, too, including 10Gbps and 2.5Gbps Ethernet as well as Wi-Fi 6 (aka 802.11ax) wireless connectivity. There are tons of USB ports, and, of course, its RGB lighting works with a bunch of Aura Sync compatible peripherals.
If you want more options, then check out our list of the best gaming motherboards.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
The fastest graphics card for gaming on the cutting edge
GPU Cores: 10,240
Boost Clock: 1,665 MHz
Memory: 12GB GDDR6X
Memory speed: 19 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth: 912 GB/s
Reasons to buy
+More or less an RTX 3090 in games+Breezy 4K performance+Minimises ray tracing impact
Reasons to avoid
-Slimmer VRAM than RTX 3090-Significantly pricier than an RTX 3080-Thirsty for power
The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti essentially offers the same gaming performance as the RTX 3090 but costs $300 less. Even here, with our extreme build, we can't help but keep a vague eye on value for money, and with the release of the 3080 Ti, Nvidia has basically retired the RTX 3090 when it comes to gaming. The RTX 3080 Ti is still a $1,200 graphics card, and that's if you net the Founder's Edition and not a pricier third-party job. It's hardly a budget option.
The only reason you might want to track down an RTX 3090 still is if you want to pair up your graphics cards, as at least for Nvidia Ampere, the RTX 3090 is your only option for dual-GPU action. Even with that installed, you'll still have to worry about whether the games you play will use both GPUs. Hint: most don't, and support is only dwindling further as time marches on.
Comparisons to the RTX 3090 aside, the key consideration for the RTX 3080 Ti is that it is a supremely capable card for 4K gaming. Even ray tracing is on the table, especially if you're happy to turn on the modern magic that is DLSS 2.0—framerates are smooth, and the final image quality stands up to scrutiny without issue.
Here are the best graphics cards you can buy right now.
G.Skill 32GB TridentZ DDR4-3200 RGB (4x8GB)
Gobs of RAM for video editing, gaming, and more
Capacity: 4x 8GB
Speed: 3200 MT/s
Voltage: 1.35 V
Reasons to buy
+Never worry if you have enough RAM+Double down and make a RAM drive
Reasons to avoid
-RGB lighting isn't for everyone
You could put more memory into this build (up to 64GB), but 4x 8GB DDR4-3200 is more than sufficient for gaming. There are many memory options, and speed is more about bragging rights than actual performance, but we love the look of G.Skill's TridentZ RGB sticks. RAM prices have been dropping lately, which means a 32GB kit can be had for well under $200.
Besides G.Skill, we recommend Corsair, Kingston, HyperX, Crucial, Adata, and Team as safe picks. RAM has reached the point where most modules work well, so it's often a question of price—and color, if that's your thing—rather than minuscule performance differences. Higher clocked DDR4 might add a percentage to the overall performance, but the money is usually better spent on a faster CPU or GPU or a larger SSD. Unless you're going for record overclocks, in which case, go nuts on the fastest DDR4 you can find.
Need other options? Here's the best RAM for gaming in 2021.
Sabrent Rocket Q 4TB
A tiny SSD with a whole lot of speedy storage space
Capacity: 4,096 GB
Interface: M.2 PCIe 3.0
Sequential read/write speed: 3,200 MB/s / 3,000 MB/s
Random IOPS: 550K read / 680K write
Reasons to buy
+Huge capacity+Genuine speed+Almost affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Last-gen PCIe 3.0 throughput
We've been pretty scathing about QLC SSDs in the past, even recently with Samsung's 870 QVO, but it seems that if you match the cheapest, slowest form of SSD memory with a high capacity and an M.2 interface, some magic happens. The Sabrent Rocket Q 4TB drive packs a huge amount of storage into an SSD the size of a stick of gum and still maintains performance on par with MLC drives.
The Sabrent is not quite as bandwidth-friendly as some other PCIe 4.0 drives, but without platform-wide PCIe 4.0 support on our chosen combination of CPU and motherboard, that speed would only go to waste.
The Sabrent's speed and capacity mean you can have a fast, capacious SSD boot drive without having to pick a slower option for data storage. If you're capturing a lot of footage or want to have all your games installed at any one point, the Sabrent Rocket Q is a genuinely impressive drive.
And if you want to go all out, there's the similarly spectacular Sabrent Rocket Q 8TB drive too. Though that is around $1,400 for the privilege...
These are the best SSD for gaming options right now.
EVGA SuperNova 1000 G5
Enough power for overclocking and then some
Efficiency: 80 Plus Gold
Connectors: 1x 24-Pin ATX, 2x 8-Pin (4+4) EPS12V, 8x 8-Pin (6+2) PCIe, 12x SATA, 4x Molex, 1x Floppy
Reasons to buy
+Gold efficiency+Connectors to spare+10 year warranty
Reasons to avoid
-Noisy-Increased Vampire Power-Poor transient response
A wise man once told us never to underestimate the power of the dark supply. Or something like that. The point is, you don't want a crappy PSU taking down the rest of your rig, and when you're putting together the best PC possible, that means getting an equally bodacious power supply.
The EVGA SuperNova 1000 G5 is a great option to build an extreme rig around when it comes to power supplies. If the name hasn't given it away already, this sucker offers up 1000W of power for your extreme build to turn into super-smooth gaming experiences. And you'll need most of that, as the i9 10900K and Z490 motherboard can draw a hell of a lot of power under load, and the RTX 3080 Ti is no wallflower either—and power draw only goes up if you run the CPU and GPU overclocked, which is the point of an extreme build.
If you only plan to run a more modest GPU, or a lower-tier CPU (like the i7 10700K), EVGA's SuperNOVA 850 T2 is a great alternative that will save some money. If you want to save even more, the SuperNOVA 850 P2 costs about $50 (£50) less and is every bit as good. But saving money isn't the objective here.
Need more? Here are our best power supply units for PC.
Corsair Obsidian 1000D
The best high-end PC case
Form Factor: Super-tower
Motherboard Support: ATX, Extended ATX, Mini-ITX, SSI EEB, microATX
Dimensions: 27.4 x 12.1 x 27.3 inches (697 x 307 x 693 mm)
Weight: 65 lb (29.5 kg)
Radiator Support: 120 mm; 140 mm; 240 mm; 280 mm; 360 mm; 420 mm; 480 mm
I/O Ports: 1x Audio/Mic, 4x USB 3.0, 2x USB 3.1 Type-C
Drive Bays: 6x 2.5-inch, 5x 3.5-inch
Reasons to buy
+Supports just about any crazy build+Can house an E-ATX and Mini-ITX build at the same time+Supports dual 480mm front radiators
Reasons to avoid
-No Fans-No power supply
The Corsair Obsidian Series 1000D is a behemoth of a PC case ready to house the biggest and baddest systems. Standing tall at a staggering 27.3-inches, this "super-tower" boasts enough space to house 18 fans and up to four massive radiators installed simultaneously.
The 1000D features a unique triple-chamber design with convenient French-door-styled storage compartments and telescoping radiator trays for easy installation in addition to the stellar cooling support. Because it is 2021, of course, there is also an RGB lit front panel I/O with built-in smart lighting and fan control courtesy of Corsair's integrated Commander Pro controller.
The Obsidian 900D has long been a top choice for massive, over-the-top builds, and it only fits that the 1000D was designed to knock it off its throne.
NZXT Kraken X62
Substantial cooling for your Core i9 processor
Size: 280 mm
Fan speed: 1,200rpm
Airflow: 55.4 CFM
Noise level: 20.4 dB(A)
Dimensions: 315 x 143 x 29 mm
Socket support: LGA115x, LGA2011, LGA2066, AM2, AM3, AM4
Reasons to buy
+Good cooling and software+Quieter than previous revision
Reasons to avoid
- Not much more powerful than the Kraken X52
This rig has a beastly CPU, and yes, it needs overclocking. Liquid cooling is highly recommended when you're trying to get the most out of Intel's unlocked enthusiast chips, and the 10th Gen Core i9 processors require it.
Don't want to build?
If PC building isn't part of your skillset, look at our guides for the best gaming PCs and best gaming laptops that can give you the most bang for your buck and save you a headache.
The NZXT Kraken X62 is an impressive piece of kit and works with all major platforms. It's reasonably easy to install and features a large 280mm radiator with a pair of 140mm fans. Once everything is installed, having a small water block on your CPU instead of a massive air cooler makes things look much cleaner. You'll need a large case capable of housing the radiator, naturally, which we already took care of above.
But even with the X62, you may run into thermal limitations. If you're serious about pushing the i9 10900K to its limits, you'll want to consider going with a fully custom liquid cooling loop. That's beyond this buying guide's scope, but know that even a good AIO cooler likely won't allow maximum overclock with the i9 10900K.
Extreme Gaming PC - the full build
Extreme gaming PC build FAQ
Should I build my own extreme gaming PC?
One thing to consider: With the component supply chain in shambles at the moment, CPU and graphics card stocks are sparse. You might want to consider picking up a pre-built system if you're after the best gear. Otherwise, if you're determined to build it yourself, and manage to spot some available stock of a like-for-like product, go for it.
Handling the high-end components of an extreme gaming PC can be daunting, especially if this is your first PC build. Have a look at our guide on how to build a gaming PC before you jump in to ease your worries.
Is it cheaper/better to build my own gaming PC?
Generally, manufacturers of pre-built gaming PCs will add an extra service charge on top of the cost of the components, but it's possible to find a good deal every now and then. Just make sure you double check, don't take their word that it's a good deal.
We recommend building your own, though, for that feeling of ultimate satisfaction when the fans whirr to life and the splash screen seems to whisper "Good job, mate. You didn't mess it up."
Of course, if you rush or botch the job, building your own PC could result in some expensive mishaps. Handle your components carefully, and it's sure to be a much more rewarding, intimate experience than just buying one someone else has put together. And you'll probably save some dollar, too.
Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.
The above are upgrades to the best 2021 $800 gaming pc build. That is if you have more to spend than an $800 budget to spend on your hardware. These are some options for you to increase your overall gaming performance now or in the future.
There are some significant upgrades above including the CPU, graphics card, memory speed, or cooling capabilities.
The CPU upgrade suggested is a Ryzen 5 5600X CPU, this could be a significant CPU upgrade in computing power and it overclocks quite nicely and performs very similar to its AMD counterpart, the Ryzen 5 5600X.
If you have a bit of extra cash to splurge and are looking for the best and immediate boost to performance, then you could simply upgrade your choice in the graphics card to a Radeon RX 6700XT, that is if you can get your hands on one.
If you are looking for a better case and have a bit more to spend, then you could consider the Cooler Master Silencio S600 - with a sleek design with so much in terms of function and aesthetics. Check out CoolerMaster.com for more info and specifications.
Since the $800 pc build only comes with a 500GB GB NMVe SSD, why not bump it up to a faster version, with a 1TB Crucial P2 NVMe SSD.
Best of luck building your best possible $800 gaming pc build this 2021. If you have any questions be sure to leave a comment or simply join our Facebook Group to help grow a great gaming pc build community: Gaming PC Builders Facebook Group.
Looking for a Different Build Budget?
Then check out the best gaming pc builds for 2021:
The Best 2021 Gaming PC BuildsSours: https://newbcomputerbuild.com/the-best-800-gaming-pc-build-2021/
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The best gaming PC 2021: UK builds at the cheapest prices
Finding the best gaming PC can be a little daunting, but ultimately, the experience is more than worth the effort and the expense. Sure, you could always look at building your own gaming PC from scratch, meticulously researching components and soldering techniques, the truth is there are plenty of great pre-made and optimized builds on the market right now.
To make your life a little easier, GamesRadar has put together a list of what we believe are the finest gaming PCs to help you get a sense of what's available and what you should be on the lookout for when you go bargain-hunting.
Of course, it would be wise to have a rough idea of what you're looking for first. Quality and power tend to scale with price, and a great gaming PC can certainly break the bank if you aren't careful. That's why you should consider what you need your new PC to do, what you hope it will do in the future. There are the lower-end machines that will give you a great way of catching up with some of the best PC games of the last generation, and then there are the more-expensive, power-hungry rigs that will require the best gaming monitors to get the most out of. Whatever you decide, keep reading on to see our recommendations for the best gaming PC, no matter your budget.
Regardless of what you choose, the advantages of getting one of the best gaming PCs pre-built are clear. For one thing, it saves you the headaches (potentially) and labor (definitely) of the build. Secondly, you'll pick up a retailer or manufacturer warranty by default. And you might even get some benefits of their design solutions that the DIY route might not provide, like unique cooling arrangements, cable management, or parts that aren't available anywhere else.
If you do go down the pre-built route - you're on this page after all - don't forget to check out the best antivirus software going to make sure your brand new gaming powerhouse is well protected.
Looking for something a bit more portable, on the other hand? We've compared the finest models over on our guide to the best gaming laptops.
Retailer gaming PC pages:
Dell | Amazon | Overclockers UK | Laptopsdirect | ebuyer | HP | Lenovo | Microsoft
The Best gaming PCs
1. Alienware Aurora R12
The best gaming PC money can buy
CPU: Up to Intel Core i9 (11th gens)
GPU: Up to RTX 3090
RAM: Up to 128GB
Storage: Up to 2TB SSD + 2TB HDD
Reasons to buy
+Eye-catching design+Liquid-cooled GPUs available+10th-gen Intel CPUs
Reasons to avoid
-Can get expensive
Alienware's Aurora R12 is leading Alienware into the next generation of gaming; as well as 10th-gen Intel processors and the possibility of liquid-cooled graphics cards, it offers a variety of builds to suit most budgets. If you want to get into PC gaming for the first time or would like to upgrade your existing setup - perhaps in preparation for ray tracing games - this is the most cost-effective way to do it.
Ranging from affordable starter rigs to pimped-out super PCs, the Aurora R12 strikes a good balance of choice. Better still, these desktops can be easily opened and upgraded with different parts as and when you see fit. Want more RAM or a larger SSD? No problem. Because the power supply unit swings out on a metal arm, you get more room to fiddle with the PC's insides.
The R12's design is of a similar form for the last few years and is attractive enough - and unique if nothing else. Although it sticks with the distinctive case and scooped-out front of its predecessor, this update enriches that formula with new lighting around the central strip in some cases. It's an addition that turns heads and makes the design feel even more futuristic than it did before.
2. Alienware Aurora Ryzen R10
A quality and premium Ryzen-build
CPU: up to AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
Graphics: up to Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti
RAM: up to 64GB DDR4
Storage: up to 2TB M.2 SSD & 2TB HDD
Reasons to buy
+Will run any game at 60fps++Easy to take off the side panels+Alienware Command Centre is useful+Lots of component customisation before you buy
Reasons to avoid
-Curved, radiator-esque front is questionable-Need to remove PSU cage to access motherboard-Can get loud during intensive games
The Aurora Ryzen R10 series is a Ryzen-build entry into the Aurora series, all sporting third-gen AMD Ryzen processors rather than the usual Intel processors. The former have massively closed the gap on the latter in recent years and months, so it's no real surprise to see an Alienware PC range specifically offering that kind of CPU.
Focused around that Ryzen CPU, though, you can fully customize your Aurora R10 however you want, which means that whether you're a console gamer looking to break into PC gaming or a die-hard veteran who wants the ultimate build, you'll find it here. The Alienware brand name comes with the usual price premium that most Alienware products have, but if you can overcome that, and want the respective premium quality that also comes with the name, then the spaceship-inspired R10 design is for you, especially since the Alienware Command Center is a useful bit of kit packed in. The main downsides are that it can get somewhat loud, almost as if it is a spaceship engine trying to take off, and accessing the components within isn't an easy task thanks to the placement of the PSU cage. You can definitely do much worse when buying a pre-built PC though, and that Ryzen-Nvidia blend is a brilliant one that offers exquisite performance.
3. ASUS ROG GA15
A stylish, great-value powerhouse from a top-notch manufacturer
CPU: Ryzen 5 3600X / 7 3700X / 3800X
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 to RTX 2080
RAM: 8GB to 32GB DDR4-2666
Storage: Up to 512GB SSD + 2TB HDD
Reasons to buy
+Excellent value for money and bang-to-buck performance+Great design+Superb use of Ryzen and Nvidia components
Reasons to avoid
-Few, if any, Intel CPU options
This is a tremendous machine and one that really harnesses a great power to performance to price balance. It's a great new design from ASUS and is a welcome addition to the pre-built gaming PC market. I use this PC every day so I am a bit biased perhaps, I'd argue, it's well-placed bias! It's a joy to use as a work PC that seamlessly changes to a monster. The components of my build, particularly, demonstrate the GA15's successful inhabiting of a place of balance between performance and value. Inside is a 3700X processor, a 2060 Super graphics card (itself probably the best bang for buck GPU in the ray-tracing category), 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD combo. It's got a sweet design, plenty of ports, runs quiet, and has some RGB fun too on the front - with ASUS making so many of the best gaming laptops right now, it's no wonder they've come out with an excellent new desktop range.
Just for clarity and to reassure you if you're following links, you might see this machine listed as a G15DH or G15 - do not worry, it's the same one as the GA15. Your options of specs might also slightly differ depending on you're location: the above list is taken straight from ASUS itself in terms of what the machine can house, but I have seen some slightly different builds - including the odd Intel CPU build - crop up at some retailers. Regardless, this is still a PC build that is extremely easy to recommend and each variant will have that ASUS stamp of quality and pedigree within that you can have confidence in.
4. Dell G5 Gaming Desktop
Budget PC gaming at its best
CPU: 9th Gen Intel Core i3 10-series – i7 10-series
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 – RTX 2070 Super
RAM: 8GB – 64GB
Storage: 128GB SSD - 1TB SSD and/or 1TB HDD
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly affordable+Compact form+Great entry-to-mid level builds+Reliable manufacturer
Reasons to avoid
-Base models are a bit light touch
Away for Dell's Alienware gaming nutters, the PC-maker's own brand G-series desktop PCs are underrated machines. They often provide a great budget or entry-level route into gaming PCs and are not an afterthought: they get updates as much as any of the other desktops or laptops available at Dell. The really entry-level ones won't do gangbusting numbers or levels of graphical fidelity but they'll be great PCs to have at home for work and play.
Now that the baseline is the 10th-generation of Intel chips this is another factor to work in their favor. Particularly as the baseline is the 16-series of Nvidia cards which will handle anything just fine, and you can choose one well into the ray-tracing range including the 2070 Super. Their compact form is also a plus side, while Dell's aftercare - should you need it - is pretty good too. A value-busting quality entry in this list.
5. CyberpowerPC Wyvern
A carefully balanced and considered, but very capable, build
CPU: Intel i5-9400H / AMD Ryzen 5
Graphics: AMD RX 570 or 580 - Nvidia GTX 1650 - RTX 2060
RAM: 8-16GB DDR4
Storage: up to 240GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Reasons to buy
+Excellently balanced build+Great combination of components+Very good value
Reasons to avoid
-Limited configuration choices
CybperpowerPC's machines often demonstrate how you can squeeze excellent performance and value if you apply some consideration and deliberation to a build; and the Wyvern is no exception.
Sticking to its guns of offering a solid mid-range graphics cards (either an RX 570/580 or 1650/1660/2060 Nvidia card) machine with a mid-range CPU - a Ryzen 5 or an I5-9400F are your options - these machines are great options for those needing to keep it comfortably below the four-figure mark but want something that'll crunch through any games thrown at a home machine - though perhaps not at the most extreme levels or settings. Sticking to a certain couple of CPU and storage options might seem like an overt limitation on configuration options, but it's actually a very smart way to ensure the cost stays down but the value remains incredibly solid. And given the nature of the CPU, we'd almost certainly recommend going for the extra RAM to get to the 16GB as you might as well make up for the compromises where possible.
If you're looking for a very competent and capable machine that offers a great value entry point to ray-tracing, then this is it. Plus, you'll be able to tinker with it in time, if the CPU, for example, raises a slight eyebrow now. Plus, 'Wyvern' is a very cool name isn't it.
Best gaming keyboard | Best gaming mouse | Best gaming chair | Best graphics card | Best gaming monitor
6. Acer Predator Orion 3000
A solid all-rounder with a solid price tag
CPU:: Intel Core i7-10700
GPU: : Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
Memory:: 16GB DDR4 HyperX Fury @ 2,666MHz
Storage: : 512GB SSD (Boot) + 1TB HDD
Weight:: 9kg / 19.8lbs
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic 1440p performance, 4K capable+Price is very reasonable+Easy to upgrade
Reasons to avoid
-Some elements are on the cheap side
At around the $1,500 / £1,500 mark, the Predator Orion 3000 might be one of the best-value gaming PCs on the market right now. The advent of the RTX 3000 series of GPUs means that kind of money gets you performance-for-value that wouldn’t have been possible even just a few years ago.
With a compact 18-litre case and customisable RGB lighting, the Orion 3000 certainly looks pretty slick. Although the CPU is only equipped with a stock air cooler, this PC can handle graphically intensive games without overheating. 1440p gaming is the sweet spot here, but you’ll find that it can run many games at 4K without much compromise in quality or framerate.
Plenty of storage and great connectivity back up the solid performance of the core components, and the tidy internals mean that upgrading most parts of this build shouldn’t be hard. While some parts of the case feel less than durable, it’s hard to deny that this is a quality gaming desktop for the asking price.
Note: Stock of this PC seems to be very unreliable as of now (July) - but keep checking back as our deal-finding tech will always scout out the best prices wherever you are for this machine.
7. CyberpowerPC Luxe
A great gaming PC for power gamers
CPU: Intel Core i7-9700KF / i9-9900KF
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2070 Super / 2080 Super / 2080Ti
RAM: 32GB DDR4-2400
Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD
Reasons to buy
+Brilliant performance+Sheer power in a PC+Slick, understated case design
Reasons to avoid
-Bit expensive-Not the most recent CPUs
CyberPower's Luxe gaming PC finds the upper-middle ground and nails it for power to pound ratio. This is a PC built just for power and sheer gaming chops - and all its iterations offer exactly that. Even though it doesn't have the latest 10th gen Intel processors, it's hardly a weak point and it's nitpicking at best. The two processors it offers are basically just 'underneath' those latest variants and the graphics cards to choose from are three of the very best. Getting a machine like this built by seasoned pros and with a warranty is a mighty tempting proposition.
There are only a handful of choices to make - two processors to choose from, and three graphics cards - but that's nice as it doesn't complicate things and you'll still be picking a slight difference in power anyway. Whichever one you go for will have you munching through the latest games as easy as pie. Even the 'lowest' power of the builds - the i7-9700KF teamed with the RTX 2070 Super - is a powerhouse. This is a great price point for this build too and offers a terrific value gaming PC.
8. Fierce PC Crusader
The best gaming PC for budget AMD enthusiasts
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600
Graphics: RX 580 8GB
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Storage: 1TB HDD
Reasons to buy
+Excellent price point+Solid AMD components+Solid FHD performance
Reasons to avoid
-Limited frills and extra-Workmanlike aesthetic
While Intel is the biggest and best name in CPUs, AMD - its main rival - has several comparable chipsets which perform equally well, and come much cheaper. So, we've included an AMD build here, to help you save a bit of cash on a great spec gaming machine. If you're looking to use your PC primarily for gaming, with maybe a little work and other media usage, you'll be more than fine with an AMD processor powering everything.
Elsewhere inside this Fierce PC build you get some very solid components for your money. Whereas the RX 580 graphics card isn't the most powerful, it does offer great performance for games, while keeping the overall price of the unit down. It's complimented here by 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a standard 1TB HDD. For the price, that seems about right to us.
While this isn't a 4K machine by any stretch of the imagination, it's well specced for the current generation. The Crusader will easily handle the best games at 1080p, and bring decent frame-rates to most (60fps+ in most cases). Well recommended for pure gaming (and particularly if you've got a hankering to go deep in the back catalog and play some Crusader: No Remorse).
9. CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme
A top budget gaming PC right now
CPU: Intel Core i5 9400F
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1660 6GB
RAM: 8GB DDR4-2400
Storage: 1TB HDD 7200RPM + 128GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic performance per dollar+Runs very cool out of the box
Reasons to avoid
-Limited SSD storage
This offers great bang for buck value. The Cyberpower Gamer Xtreme - housing an Intel Core i5 9400F and Nvidia's GTX 1660 - is a great PC to rock the current generation of games and do it all for well under the four-figure mark.
Even beyond that and branching into the increasingly large world of VR, this machine will get you there on a shoestring: it's VR-ready right out of the box (just) and will be easy to upgrade when newer, more fancy headsets become more available.
The Xtreme is also great for anyone looking for a PC to match the capabilities of current-gen consoles, something that will bridge the gap between the PS4 and Xbox One era of games and the next console generation. And the Gamer Xtreme is also modular and upgradeable enough to allow you to quickly adapt when specs for the next generation are finally, properly announced. On that note, we'd probably aim to get another 8GB of RAM into this upgrade-friendly rig as soon as you can, though.
The best of the rest
Gaming pc 850
Best $800 Gaming PC for 2021: High-End 1080P/1440P PC Build
Looking for a high-end gaming computer for 1080P or 1440P gaming? This $800 gaming PC build can run pretty much any modern game at max settings on a 1080P monitor.
Whether you’re looking to buy a pre-built gaming PC, or you’re willing to build your own computer, $800 can land you a really powerful system. Of course, we recommend that you build your own computer because you’ll get more performance for your budget.
And, in this guide, we’ll give you an $800 part list that will allow you to build a really well-rounded and high-performing gaming computer that will max out anything on a 1080P monitor, will allow you to game on a 1440P monitor, and will even serve well as an entry-point into 4K gaming.
If you don’t want to build your own computer, that’s okay, too. We’ve also linked to a similarly-priced system that will offer excellent performance as well. You can check out both options below.
For more affordable gaming PC builds at various price points, check out our Cheap Gaming PC Build guide.
*URGENT:Due to extreme hardware shortages caused by the pandemic, it is currently very difficult to find new graphics cards (and other hardware) at reasonable prices. As of right now, if you want to buil a new gaming PC, your best bet is to check the used market for a video card, or you can look at a pre-built gaming PC (see our recommendation below) instead of building your own system.
I. $800 Gaming PC Build Overview
If you’ve read our guide on building a $700 gaming computer, then it might surprise you that this $800 gaming PC build isn’t that much different. For our $800 build, we’ve upgraded to an Intel Core i5-11400 processor, though, and that will give you a solid jump in CPU performance.
This $800 system will give you near ideal performance on a budget-friendly 1080P monitor and it will work well on a 1080P 144Hz monitor as well.
You can even use this system as a decent 1440P gaming computer as it will be able to handle most games on at least medium settings on a 1440P monitor—if not higher. And, it does meet the requirements for both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. So, if you want to give VR-gaming a go, this system will allow you to do so.
Ultimately, for just under $800, this gaming PC is going to be an excellent option for people who don’t have thousands of dollars to spend, but who want to do some serious gaming—whether that’s competitive gaming on a higher refresh rate monitor, or achieving better visuals on a 1440P display.
*NOTE: If you’re not up for building your own computer, click the “Shop Pre-Builts” button to see a similarly priced pre-built gaming computer.
Part List for $800 PC Build
Grand Total: $770-$830
PRICE ON AMAZON »
SHOP PRE-BUILTS »
*Component prices fluctuate daily. Click here to check current pricing.
**Price includes the components that make up the tower only. You’ll need an operating system and Windows 10 costs ~$100 for an activation key. However, you can still install Windows 10 for free and it will work indefinitely without activating it with no problems—there will just be a watermark at the bottom left of your desktop asking you to activate it.
Watch Me Build This PC
*Note: Due to changing prices and components going out of stock, we update the part list in this guide on a regular basis to reflect the current trends. However, it is much easier to update the components to match current trends than it is to rebuild the system every time a component goes out of stock. So, since the video below is a bit older, the current list of parts posted above is quite different than the $800 gaming PC build that we posted a video on a few months ago. The video will still give you a good idea on what the building process looks like as well as how the $800 list of components will perform.
II. $800 Gaming PC Build FAQ
While we try to put the best list of parts together as possible, the reality is that with prices always changing and different people having different needs, there are always other alternatives and different components you can go with. So, in the performance below we’ll highlight some of those different options you have, as well as go over some potential upgrades you might want to make down the road. We’ll also cover what kind of gaming performance you can expect out of this system at various resolutions and across different levels of games.
1. What Kind of Gaming Performance Can I Get Out of this $800 Gaming Computer?
This $800 gaming PC comes with an RX 5600 XT graphics card, an Intel Core i5-10400 processor, and 16GB of memory, all of which will help it run any game on a 1080P monitor on max settings with no problems. In terms of the types of games you can play at different resolutions, the following will give you a good idea of what you can expect out of this system:
- Non-demanding games like Fortnite, Rocket League, Apex Legends, and League of Legends, should run at ~100+ FPS on ultra settings on a 1080P monitor
- Demanding games like PUBG, The Division 2, Rainbox Six Siege, The Witcher 3, etc. should run at ~70+ FPS on ultra settings on a 1080P monitor
- Non-demanding games (see above for examples) should run at ~80+ FPS on higher settings on a 1440P monitor
- Demanding games (see above for examples) should run at ~60FPS on medium-to-higher settings on a 1440P monitor
- This system also meets the requirements for running both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift—so it is VR-ready
These are rough estimates and will vary from game-to-game and scenario-to-scenario.
2. Why Not Upgrade to an RTX 2060 or RX 5700?
At the time of writing this post, the system currently comes in pretty close to $800 and, unfortunately, the RTX 2060, the RTX 2060 SUPER, the RX 5700, and the RX 5700 XT are currently either incredibly over-priced or are impossible to find. However, if you can find one of these graphics cards in the low ~$300s they would be worth bumping up to from the RX 5600 Xt
3. What About an Operating System? Don’t I Have to Pay for That?
We leave the price of Windows 10 out of our builds because there are different ways to get an operating system for less than the $100 that Windows 10 costs. Not all of these methods are ideal, but we figured we’d let you decide which operating system and/or method for getting a copy of Windows is the best option for you. Here are three alternatives to paying ~$100 for a copy of Windows 10:
First, you could install a free Linux-based operating system. You won’t be able to play certain games that aren’t compatible with Linux, but you will save $100.
Second, you could buy a Windows 10 key from a third party marketplace for ~$30. I’ve had good success purchasing Windows keys from Kinguin.net and G2A.com in the past, but there is definitely some risk involved in purchasing a Windows license from a third party source, as it is not technically a method of purchasing Windows that is approved by Microsoft.
Finally, you could just install Windows 10 for free and not activate it. In my opinion, this is probably the best route to go if you’re working with a tight budget. The $100 that Windows 10 costs could be the difference between running your games at max settings and running them at medium-or-lower settings. Essentially, though, Microsoft allows anyone to install Windows onto their computer without forcing them to activate it. And, for the most part, you can still use Windows normally even when it’s not activated. The only thing you will lose out on is some customization options like setting a custom background for your desktop and you also won’t be able to access Microsoft for support (although this isn’t that big of a deal—I’ve used Windows-based systems for nearly 20 years and I’ve never once called Microsoft to ask them for help with Windows). But, I think in order to save $100, that is not a bad trade-off cost. And, at the very least, you could run the non-activated version of Windows for the time being until you can afford to purchase an activation key for it.
4. The Upgrade Paths for This $800 Gaming PC
The reality is that, if you’re just looking for a computer that can easily max games out on a 1080P monitor, or even play games on a budget 144Hz monitor or a 1440P monitor, then this system will hold up just fine without needing to be upgraded. However, there are always upgrades that can be made. The first upgrades I would make would be to…
This build comes with a 480GB SSD and, while that is a decent amount of storage capacity to start out with, it can run out quickly if you have a lot of games/files. So, the first thing I would add to this build would be additional SSD storage devices, whether that’s another SATA SSD, or an NVME SSD.
The second upgrade I’d make to this build would be to upgrade the Intel Core i5-10400 to a newer CPU. As of the time of writing this, that would probably be something like an Intel Core i7-10700.
And, while the RX 5600 XT graphics card should be perfectly fine for 1080P and 1440P gaming (and even some 4K gaming), if you want to jump up to serious 4K gaming, you’re going to need to upgrade your graphics card to a more extreme option.
Ultimately, though, this build is really solid as is and, if you’re just gaming on a 1080P monitor, it shouldn’t require an upgrade for a long time.
III. Peripherals & Accessories to Go With Your New $800 Gaming Computer
If you need a monitor, keyboard, and/or mouse, we’ve provided some potential options that you can pair with this $800 gaming computer:
Gaming Monitor Pick
Gaming Keyboard Pick
|Redragon K552 KUMARA||8.5/10|
|Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS||8.1/10|
Gaming Mouse Choices
Conclusion: For Just $800, You Get A Well-Rounded 1080P/1440P VR-Ready Gaming PC
In my opinion, if you’re looking for a solid all-around gaming computer that can handle anything on a 1080P monitor, run virtual reality headsets, and serve as a nice entry-level 1440P system, this $800 build is an option worth considering. It should hold up just fine for 1080P gaming for at least the next 4-5 years. And, the included SSD and extra RAM will help this system work pretty well for content creation, too.
Filed Under: Gaming PCs, PC BuildsSours: https://techguided.com/best-gaming-pc-under-800-dollars/
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 AMD R5 3600, a 6GB GTX 1660 Ti, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 500GB of SSD storage, just to make sure you don't fall short anytime soon!
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 2020.
Have a question? Check out our FAQ or Ask me in the comment section!
Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $800
Not feeling the DIY approach? Just want the best prebuilt gaming PC under $800 that'll work right out of the box? Have no fear, The CyberPowerPC Extreme is here. It comes fully assembled with Windows 10 already installed. The only thing left for you to do is plug it in and turn it on!
With that in mind, here's a good prebuilt alternative with similar (not the exact same) specs and pricing as the DIY build found on this page.
CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme
One of the best prebuilt gaming pcs you can get. With the CPU Intel Core i5, 8 GB ddr4 ram, and GTX 1660 6 GB graphics card this you can play games on high settings with ease. Included is a keyboard and mouse.
The Best $800 Gaming PC Build
Read More Info
Corsair iCue 220T
A great mid-tower ATX case with a clean layout, and good cable management options! Comes with 3 Corsair SP120 RGB Pro fans and LED lighting
ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming Motherboard
AM4 socket ATX motherboard, AMD B450 chipset. Equipped with 5x USB, 4x SATA, and 1x M.2 slot. Comes with built in 8ch audio support and integrated ethernet.
AMD R5 3600
An awesome 6-core/12-thread CPU. Comes with a good CPU cooler.
GeForce GTX 1660
6GB GDDR6, 4 display outputs (3x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort). Great 1080p performance across all games with Boost Clock: 1830 MHz; Core Clocks: 1770 MHzd).
EVGA 500 BQ
A great semi-modular 500W 80+ Bronze power supply. Comes with a 3-year warranty.
16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM
2x8GB 2666MHz dual channel C16 DDR4 RAM.
WD Blue 500GB SSD
A lightning quick 500GB SATA SSD. 500GB is a good start, but if you need more storage it’s very easy to add more.
Check Latest Price
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 (USB Installer)
Windows 10 is your best bet when it comes to picking an operating system. This version is a USB installer.
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 effectively become the standard.
TP-Link Archer T3U
If you have to use WiFi, you will also need a WiFi adapter like this one. Read more about WiFi below.
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.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR PC...
Super Simplified Build Steps:
- Install the power supply into the case
- Install the processor (CPU)
- Seat RAM in the motherboard
- Mount the CPU cooler (don’t forget thermal paste if you're not using a stock cooler!)
- Insert the motherboard’s rear I/O plate into the case's rear I/O slot
- Mount the motherboard in the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
- Plug your graphics card into the motherboard
- Install storage drives
- Plug all power and data cables in where they're required (storage, case, motherboard, graphics card, etc)
- Turn your PC on
- Install your OS
- Install and update ALL drivers
If you’ve never built a computer before, then you probably want to take some time to learn the basics before getting ahead of yourself. To do that you have a couple of options you can choose from.
The first, and probably the easiest way for most people to learn is finding a walkthrough on YouTube from a reputable tech channel. Here’s one by BitWit as an example.
Alternatively, I’ve put together an in-depth guide on how to build a PC as well as a FAQ to address the most common questions and problems. I've also put together a short post covering 10 of the most common mistakes people make when building.
When you're picking parts to build yourself a gaming PC there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind. 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 potentially poses a lot of new considerations if your goal is effectively balancing price vs performance.
But, why do all that when you could have me do it for you?!
Keep in mind that the estimated price listed above only covers the core components; you will still need an operating system, and any other peripherals you don't currently have.
Case: Corsair iCue 220T is a solid mid-tower ATX case. It's giving you premium features like a full tempered glass side panel, and great cable management options without forcing you to spend on a premium price.
It comes with 3 fans so no need to get extra.
Alternatively, there a tons of other cases to choose from.
Motherboard: The MSI B450-A Pro Max is a great AM4 socket, B450 chipset motherboard. It's also one of the few that are guaranteed to work with 3rd generation Ryzen processors like the R5 3600 without first needing a BIOS update.
This board is giving you everything you need for a build like this one, and then some. Including but not limited to, 6x USB ports, 6x SATA ports, 1x NVMe M.2 port, and support for full 7.1ch audio systems.
As this board is running on the B450 chipset, it fully supports CPU overclocking.
Processor (CPU): AMD's 6-core/12-thread beast, the R5 3600, is a processor that won’t have any issues with gaming, light content creation, or anything else.
The R5 3600 has a base core clock of 3.6GHz that can extend all the way to 4.2GHz under load; that's a lot of processing power slapped across 6 high-performance cores! Being that it's an AMD processor, the R5 3600 is completely unlocked, meaning you're free to overclock to your heart's (and your cooling profile's) content... Within reason, of course.
Although the R5 3600 comes with a fairly good cooler, if you want to get crazy with overclocking you should definitely consider upgrading it to something more powerful.
Graphics Card (GPU): Nvidia's new GTX 1660 Ti 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. MSI's GTX 1660 Ti Ventus 6G OC runs great, overclocks well, and doesn't get too hot when it's being pushed hard. It offers 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM, 4 display outputs (1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort).
Long story short, a 6GB GTX 1660 Ti 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. With that being said, it's definitely more at home in 1080p.
System Memory (RAM): When it comes to RAM, 16GB is the perfect amount for ANY gaming PC in 2019. This particular kit from Corsair's Vengeance LPX lineup work as a great dual-channel pair at 2666MHz. This kit does not contain any RGB lighting of any kind. If you want RGB lighting, plan on spending a fair bit more for your RAM.
Although this system can support way more than 16GB of RAM, you won't really need more than that unless you have a particular reason for it. Basically, if you need more than 16GB of RAM, you'll probably already know.
Something to note is the RAM's speed. The default kit in this build is only 2666MHz - this is due to current prices. With that said, it would be better to run a 3000-3200MHz kit, but it will increase the cost of your build by roughly $20-$30.
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 500W supply will do the trick just fine.
I've picked out EVGA's 500 BQ which is an awesome semi-modular PSU offering more than enough connections for everything you'll need. It also comes with a 3-year warranty just in-case the worst were to happen.
With that being said, if you want to get serious into overclocking, alongside a better CPU cooler you're also going to need a bigger and better PSU. I would suggest, at least, a gold rated unit at 550W like the Seasonic Focus GX 550W to give yourself a lot of overhead, just keep in mind this will increase the cost of your build by a fair margin.
Storage: For this build, we're running a WD Blue 500GB SSD as the one and only drive. By starting with an SSD, you can use it for your operating system and any boot/important programs. This will ensure your PC boots fast and loads all integral programs almost instantaneously.
If you need more than 500GB, you can add any HDD or SSD to use as "mass storage" as needed. This build can support up to 5 additional drives without a problem.
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!
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...
The 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.
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!
A good 27″ 1080p 144Hz monitor with G-Sync support and a curved VA panel.
Corsair K55 RGB
An awesome RGB keyboard using rubber dome keys. Lots of tactile feedback.
Logitech G502 HERO
RGB lighting, awesome sensor accuracy, very comfortable to use.
Easily one of the best gaming headsets for under $50!
Logitech Z623 sound system
2.1 channel, 200W RMS/400W peak. If you like bass, these are the speakers+sub you want.
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 Archer T6E
A good internally mounted (PCIe) AC1300 WiFi adapter. Make sure your build has enough room!
TP-LINK Archer T3U
A reliable AC1300 USB WiFi adapter. Capable of operating on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
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!
Get This Build
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The Best $800 PC Build for Gaming, Streaming and Productivity
When you’re planning a PC build, budget is the most important factor. But just how much do you need to spend to get a decent gaming experience and streaming experience? While it’s possible to build a very basic system that can do a little gaming for less than $500 or one that uses pre-owned / old parts for even less, $800 is the current sweet spot for building something that provides a solid mix of work and play, along with just enough oomph to stream PC titles to Twitch or YouTube.
To show just what kind of $800 PC build you can do these days, we gathered a list of parts, ordered them, put together the computer and tested it. Our goal was to build a desktop that’s not just good for playing games at 1080p, but one that’s great for multitasking and heavy productivity while providing enough room for all your games and data. This is a PC you can use all day for work and then employ for gaming and streaming in the evening.
At this price, you may not be able to get the very top performers from our lists of best gaming CPUs and best graphics cards, but you can get good performance and copious SSD storage, but you will have to make some compromises, particularly when it comes to lighting and cooling.
Components List: Sub-$800 PC Build for Gaming and Streaming
Here’s our part list and what each component cost at the time we bought them (in August 2020). Note that prices and stock for PC components changes rapidly so, at the time you read this, the total cost could be a little more than $800 or a little less and some of the parts could be at least temporarily unavailable. <strong>
|Component Type||Model||Cost at Build Time|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 5 3600||$185|
|Graphics Card||Gigabyte GTX 1660 Super Gaming OC||$239|
|RAM||Patriot Viper Steel DDR4 3200 16GB (2x8GB)||$58|
|SSD||WD Blue SN550 1TB NVMe SSD||$105|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte B550M DS3H||$94|
|Case||Antec Dapper Dark Phantom DP310||$59|
|PSU||Thermaltake TR2 600||$54|
We didn’t include the cost of the operating system in our total, because there are many ways to get Windows 10 for Free or Cheap. Many builders may already own a key or may use an unactivated copy of Windows for an indefinite time.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
The Ryzen 5 3600 offers 6 cores with 12 threads, which gives it an advantage for multitasking and highly-threaded productivity apps. It also boosts up all the way to 4.2 GHz while sporting a modest 65W TDP. This CPU doesn’t quite make the cut for our list of the Best CPUs for Gaming (the more-expensive Ryzen 5 3600X does), but it’s the best for this budget.
Like most other AMD chips, the Ryzen 5 3600 comes with a serviceable stock cooler in the box, in this case a Wraith Stealth. That saves us a good chunk of money over buying an aftermarket cooler. With this class of processor and this budget, we didn’t expect to try overclocking, so having a fantastic cooling system isn’t necessary.
The closest comparable Intel chip is the Core i5-10400, which has six cores, but no multi-threading and lesser-quality cooler and fan in the box. By choosing to go with AMD over Intel, we not only got a cooler and more threads for our money, but also support for PCIe 4.0 SSDs, which gives some level of future proofing should we want to upgrade later.
Graphics Card: Gigabyte GTX 1660 Super OC 6G
One of the best graphics cards on the market, the Nvidia GTX 1660 Super card gives us the best performance for our tight budget. If its price came down or we could spend another $40, we would have opted for the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT, which is about 11 percent faster according to our GPU benchmarks hierarchy. But overall the GTX 1660 Super is more than adequate for 1080p gaming at mid-range settings or getting 30 to 60 fps at high settings. It can also play games smoothly while streaming to Twitch.
At the time we bought it, Gigabyte’s GTX 1660 Super OC 6G was the least expensive GTX 1660 Super we could find that had outputs for four monitors. It also boasts a slightly-higher-than-stock clock speed of 1,830 MHz. Its dual fans were a little on the loud side during game benchmarks, but it is otherwise a solid card. At the time of writing, the price had shot up to $285, so we would definitely consider a different 1660 Super card if you find one for cheaper. We also ran into fan noise problems, which we’ll go into in more detail below. And we wish the card had some kind of lighting, but that’s a corner you need to cut at this price point.
Motherboard: Gigabyte B550M DS3H
We went with a motherboard with AMD’s B550 chipset because it is relatively inexpensive and offers support for PCIe 4.0 SSDs. Granted, our SSD for this build is not PCIe 4.0, but it’s always good to have options. There’s even a second M.2 slot on the motherboard so you can add a second SSD without getting a 2.5-inch SATA drive.
At the time we purchased it, we could have saved $15 or so by getting an ASRock B550M-HDV board with only two DIMM slots, but we also wanted to provide flexibility for future upgrades. The DS3H has four slots, which means that we could add more RAM at a future date without discarding the 2x8GB modules we started with.
Overall, the Gigabyte B550M DS3H seems solid, but you can certainly save money by getting an older AMD B450-powered board (we’ve seen them as low as $67) and forgoing the PCIe 4.0 support or RAM upgradeability. If you really want to skimp on features, a board with the older, cheaper A320 chipset can be had for as little as $55; these don’t support overclocking and it’s always possible that they will require a BIOS update to work with Ryzen 3000 series CPUs.
RAM: Patriot Viper Steel DDR4-3200 16GB (2x8GB)
Deciding between 16 and 32GB of RAM was a tough choice. Ideally, we would have spent another $30 or $40 to get 32GB, because if you have a ton of tabs open while you are streaming and doing other tasks, you might actually need that much memory.
However, we went with 16GB and chose the Patriot Viper Steel, because it is a fantastic value. We’ve tested the 32GB version of this kit, which sits on our list of best RAM, and found its performance really excellent for the money. The main drawback to this RAM is that it doesn’t have RGB, so it’s not exciting to look at.
SSD: Western Digital SN550 1TB
This PCIe NVMe storage drive is of the cheaper, DRAMless variety and it’s often available for less than $100, though we paid $105. However, despite its budget nature, the Western Digital SN550 offers really strong performance where it counts, loading games such as Final Fantasy XIV in times that were only 0.4 to 0.6 seconds below some of the fastest drives. Read and write transfer rates are middle of the pack, just below higher-end drives like the Adata XPG SX 8200 Pro. However, for its price, the SN550 is great, with the 250GB capacity making our list of the best SSDs.
Case: Antec Dapper Dark Phantom DP301M
We’re not loading this build full of extra drives and ridiculous cooling, so a simple micro ATX case makes sense. You can find a decent case for less than $50, but we were attracted to the Dapper Dark Phantom DP301M, because it comes with a tempered glass side panel, and some neat RGB lights on the front.
This micro ATX case was really easy to build in and provided plenty of cutouts for cable management / hiding unsightly wires behind the back panel. It comes standard with a single 120mm rear-exhaust fan, but also has room for either two 140mm or three 120mm fans beneath the front panel and two 120 or 140mm up top. There’s an easy-to-remove dust filter on the bottom and an even-easier-to-remove magnetic one on the top. The front panel has two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, along with headphone and mic jacks.
In this price range, Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L is another great choice, costing $10 less. We’ve built in the Q300L before and liked it, but it uses acrylic rather than tempered glass for its side panel and it has a blah-looking hexagon pattern on the front, rather than sleek RGB lights on the DP310. Either one is a strong choice in this price range.
Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 600
The cost of power supplies is getting higher and higher and, when you’re on a budget, a PSU is the least exciting component to spend money on. The Thermaltake TR2 600 isn’t fancy enough to make our list of the best power supplies, but it outputs up to 600 watts for less than $60 and it’s from a reputable brand.
The biggest drawback is the TR2 600’s lack of modularity. This was a very simple build, with no SATA drives, no optical drives and few fans. But with all the power connectors permanently attached, we were left with a slew of extra wiring that we had to hide.
Wi-Fi Adapter: Techkey 1750 Mbps Dual Band (Extra)
Our Gigabyte B550M DS3H motherboard comes with Ethernet built-in but I conducted our testing and building in a room in my home that was far from the router. Therefore, we spent an extra $37 on the Techkey 1750 Mbps Wi-Fi dongle.
We’re not including this device in the overall price of the build, as many readers plan to connect their PCs to the Internet via Ethernet. However, the inexpensive adapter delivered really strong performance, connecting to our 5-GHz band at -54 dbm which is far better than the -74 dbm we detected on a ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop with integrated Intel Wireless AC 8265 Wi-Fi that was located about 6 feet away from it. If you need Wi-Fi for your desktop, we’d definitely recommend it -- particularly if your board doesn’t have a Key E M.2 slot for installing an internal wireless module.
Buy vs Build? What’s Cheaper?
Any time you build a PC, it’s tempting to consider just what it would cost to skip the work and buy a prebuilt desktop. If money is no object and you prefer to save the time and stress, you can choose one of the best gaming PCs. However, for our $800 budget, you won’t find a system with as much storage, RAM or performance as we were able to put together.
At publication time, we looked through the product listings at several U.S. retailers, including Best Buy, Amazon and Dell.com. For $800 or less, most systems had an Intel Core i5-10400F CPU with GTX 1650 graphics, just 8GB of RAM and either a hard drive or an SSD that had less than 500GB of capacity. The best deal we saw was on the Dell G5 desktop, which was on sale for $779, and came with a GTX 1660 Super Card and a Core i5-10400 CPU, but with just 8GB of RAM and a 7,200 rpm hard drive.
Building the Sub-$800 Gaming and Streaming PC
As it’s not overloaded with parts or addressable RGB components,putting together this sub-$800 gaming and streaming PC was really easy, with few complications. We started by populating the motherboard with the CPU, CPU Fan, RAM and NVMe SSD.
Inserting the Ryzen CPU into the AM4 slot is extremely simple as it is on any modern AMD motherboard; you simply lift the tension bar, match the arrow on the corner of the CPU with the one on the socket, gently put the CPU in and slide the bar down, locking the CPU in place.
AMD’s stock Wraith Stealth cooler is a breeze to install and is great for beginners or anyone who doesn’t want to spend time fiddling with tubes of thermal paste or complex attachment mechanisms. Where some air coolers use retention clips that you have to carefully snap onto brackets that come preinstalled on the motherboard, the Wraith Stealth uses simple spring screws. So all I had to do was unscrew the plastic retention brackets, place the cooler on top of the processor and rotate it until its metal arms lined up with the screw holes connecting to the plate. Then I just had to screw in the arms and plug the fan’s power cable into a clearly-marked pin header on the motherboard.Thermal paste is pre-applied to the bottom of the cooler so there’s no need to worry about putting on too much or too little. An after-market cooler would undoubtedly provide more thermal headroom, but most are harder to install.
The Gigabyte B550M DS3H has four DIMM slots and supports dual channel memory. To take advantage of both channels, it’s important to put the two DIMMS into the A1 and B1 slots, which are both light gray colored and not adjacent to each other.
The NVMe SSD pops easily into an M.2 slot just above the first PCIe x16 slot; you’ll have to remove and replace a screw on the motherboard that holds it in place. There’s a second NVMe slot adjacent to the PCIe x1 slot. If you have a two-slot graphics card, as we did, this second drive will live behind your GPU cooler.
The next step was popping the IO shield that came with the motherboard into the case and then mounting the motherboard. The Antec Dapper Dark Phantom DP301M provides plenty of room for the motherboard, and its gunmetal-gray SPCC steel plate has smooth rounded edges that make it easy to avoid cutting yourself. The plate comes with some standoffs already installed for the motherboard, but I had to use two additional ones, which were located in a cardboard box in the drive cage under the PSU shroud.
Installing the power supply posed one small problem. The drive cage, which also sits under the PSU shroud, blocked the giant spaghetti mass of cables coming out the power supply. With a modular power supply, this might have been ok, but I had to remove the cage (which is screwed on to the bottom of the case) altogether in order to stow the extra wiring within the shroud. After that, I was able to route wires through a variety of helpfully-placed holes in the back of the motherboard plate, making sure that only necessary cables were visible on the motherboard side of the case.
After that, I inserted the graphics card and connected the power cables to it, but I noticed another small problem: There wasn’t enough room to fit my hand into the space between the top of the PSU shroud and the bottom of the card, the space where the motherboard’s pin headers are located. So I had to remove the graphics card, pop in cables for the front-panel USB 3.0 ports, the mic in / headphone out jacks and the power / hard drive lights and then put the graphics card back in again.
Unfortunately, the tight space between the PSU shroud and the graphics card led to a different problem, with the cables bumping up against the GPU fans. Using some zip ties to pull the header cables really taught solved the problem. But another graphics card issue remained.
Gigabyte’s Fan Noise Annoys
Though the system ran flawlessly, I noticed one very annoying problem right away once booting it up. The dual fans on the Gigabyte GTX 1660 Super Gaming OC card occasionally made a sound that reminded me of a mechanical hard drive reading data. At first, I thought that the header cables were bumping into the fans, but I checked repeatedly and that wasn’t the case. And, even when I turned the fans up to 100 percent manually, I couldn’t reliably reproduce the problem on demand.
Finally, after doing some research, I found out that many users report Gigabyte cards giving them these hard drive noises. The issue is apparently the way the fan vibrates, but only at certain speeds. In my case, I found that any fan speed between 75 and 85 percent produced the noise, but commenters reported other percentages.
I fixed the problem by using Gigabyte’s software to set the fan curves so that the device goes straight up to 90 percent when it passes a certain temperature. This is not an ideal solution, obviously. On our forums, users have suggested manually pushing the plastic that holds the fans further away from the card, something which I was loath to do during testing for fear of damaging something. Overall, this reflects poorly on the quality of Gigabyte’s dual-fan cards. Hopefully the company will fix this in its upcoming RTX 3000 models.
Lights, or Lack Thereof
One real drawback to our build is its complete lack of interior lighting. We have a tempered glass side panel, but none of our internal components lights up. Since the glass is tinted, it’s really difficult to see inside. However, this build definitely leaves open a lot of upgrade possibilities that could bring light to the dark world of the chassis.
The Gigabyte B550M DS3H motherboard has onboard support for RGB light strips that plug into its pin headers. And you could also add RGB case fans to improve cooling. Just make sure that whatever you get is compatible with Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion software.
The front of the Antec DP301M case has a pair of attractive RGB lights on it that change pattern when you hit a mode button on the top of the chassis. We really like the boomerang shape of the lights and mesh air intake. However, it appears that there’s no way to control the colors via software, so if you don’t like the dozen or so solid colors or multi-color animations, you’re out of luck.
Our sub-$800 PC build was powerful enough to play games at medium to high settings at 1080p resolution, but usually not with frame rates over 60 fps. When we ran Shadow of the Tomb Raider at the highest settings, we got an average of 56 fps. The less-demanding Grand Theft Auto V, at Very High Settings, ran at a strong 65.1 fps.
Red Dead Redemption 2 , a more modern and demanding title, only managed 39.3 fps while running at mostly Medium settings. Borderlands 3, when set to “Badass” settings, managed a playable 47.3 fps ,while Metro Exodus at Ultra settings hit 44.4 fps.
|Game||FPS||FPS Streaming (NVENC)||FPS Streaming (x264)|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||39.3||35.5||36.5|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||56||50||52|
Because we intended this build for streaming, we also tested the games streaming to Twitch.tv with a target 6,000 Kbps bitrate, a 1080p resolution and a max framerate of 60 fps. The same exact benchmarks run while streaming were anywhere from 7 to 11 percent lower, which makes sense, given that the computer has to compress and broadcast every frame in addition to just showing it to the user.
We tested with both Nvidia’s NVENC compression, which uses the GPU to compress the frames for broadcast, and with x264 compression, which sends that task to the CPU. Somewhat surprisingly, the x264 compression consistently yielded frame rates that were 1 to 2 fps higher. This suggests that NVENC is not that helpful, at least not on a GPU as modest as the GTX 1660 Super.
Even with a stock cooler on the CPU and a single case fan, our sub-$800 PC build managed to maintain consistent performance over time. When we ran the Metro Exodus benchmark 20 times in a row, a process that took about 40 minutes, the frame rates were remarkably consistent, ranging from 44.9 fps on the high end to 44.2 fps on the low end. The average CPU clock speed was 4,103 MHz, with a peak of 4,193 MHz, while the average GPU clock speed was 1,707 MHz with a peak of 1,920 MHz. The average CPU temperature was 64.5 degrees Celsius with a peak of 81 degrees, well below the 95-degree throttle-point for Ryzen chips.
What about overclocking? Unlike Intel, AMD leaves all of its chips unlocked for overclocking and the B550 chipset on our motherboard supports it. However, AMD chips don’t have a lot of overclocking headroom and we’re using a stock cooler so we didn’t really expect major benefits. However, to find out what was possible here, we used two different automated methods for overclocking, Precision Boost Overdrive, which attempts to maintain higher clock speeds for longer, and AutoOC, which tries to boost the CPU above its rated boost clock of 4.2 GHz.
|Speed||Geekbench 5 Multicore||Geekbench 5 Single Core|
On both modes, scores in Geekbench 5, a synthetic benchmark that measures overall performance, went up slightly. At stock settings, the system got a multicore score of 6,717. That number rose to 6,777 with PBO enabled but just 6,728 with AutoOC on. Interestingly, with AutoOC on, the system did achieve a boost clock of 4,292 for a short time. A better CPU cooler probably would have allowed us to get higher scores.
For less than $800, you can build a solid mainstream gaming PC that has plenty of storage for your games and applications. Pairing a Ryzen 5 3600 CPU with an Nvidia GTX 1660 Super graphics card gave us a system that’s good enough for game streaming and the budget headroom to go with a 1TB NVMe SSD and 16GB of RAM.
There’s no doubt that, to hit an $800 price point these days, you have to make sacrifices. In our case, we sacrificed RGB lighting and went with the bare minimum for cooling. If we had a slightly higher budget, however, we would have put it into improving performance first and foremost, which would have meant splurging on an AMD Radeon 5600 XT graphics card, which costs about $40 more than the GTX 1660 Super but offers 11 percent more performance, according to our GPU hierarchy.
We’d also consider getting a 32GB RAM kit instead of the 16GB we had. While most games won’t benefit from having more than 16GB, if you have dozens of browser tabs open while you work, you’ll likely notice a difference. On other hand, the Gigabyte B550M DS3H motherboard has two more RAM slots available, so you can always buy another 16GB kit later on.
No matter what specific parts you choose, it’s clear that you can build a really good PC for work and play, without breaking the bank. Just be prepared to make some tradeoffs, particularly when it comes to aesthetics and overclockability.