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Best Gaming PC under $800 in 2021

We take a look at the best gaming PC you can build or buy for under $800.
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700 dollar gaming pc

Our $800 AMD Custom Gaming PC Build

Our AMD build features more cores and threads than the Intel build, meaning you’re getting some truly impressive 1080p gaming performance. This build path is great value for money, and you’ll be getting a truly enjoyable gaming experience without having to sell your kidneys to do it.

An $800 gaming PC sits firmly in the center of the mid-range, but will still give you an excellent gaming experience for your money. As long as you’re planning on sticking to 1080p, almost any AAA you try to run should run as smooth as butter. 

If you’re looking for your first gaming PC, but you want to make sure it can play pretty much anything, then look no further.

What You Get For $800

When you’re spending $800 on a gaming PC, there are a few areas that you need to compromise on to get the best performance. Without spending considerably more money, you won’t be getting one of the latest GPU or CPU releases. Even without the latest hardware, you can high some high FPS counts at 1080p. 

Both the Intel and AMD paths for this build feature the same RX 5500 GPU, providing you with excellent performance with either CPU. The Intel build relies on the i5-10400 processor, part of Intel’s incredible 10th gen series of processors, while the AMD build runs a Ryzen 5 3600 with unbeatable single-core performance. 

Both builds include a decently-sized Samsung SSD to make sure your OS and games are booting as quickly as possible, and both come with a 16GB RAM kit running at 3600 MHz. With RAM this fast, you should be nice and prepared for the future too so no need to swap out your memory any time soon.

How We Made This Build

As with all of our builds, we used our team’s cumulative decades of experience to pick out the best components needed within our budget. We rigorously research, build, and test each of the builds on our site so that you can be sure you’re getting the absolute best PC you can for the price. 

We run the PCs we build in our offices every day to ensure that they’re capable of anything you could throw at them. From the cheeky lunch break gaming session to the rigors of day-to-day work, these builds are put through their paces in every situation imaginable. 

You can be sure that if this PC can do it, we’ve tested it. That includes the PC gamer’s gold standard of overclocking the hardware. Just make sure you know what you’re doing before attempting it yourself.

Our Recommended Custom Build Details

Looking for your best possible PC for only $800? Well, you’ve found it. Now let’s take a look at this gaming PC.

700 dollar gaming pc

Our $800 AMD Custom Gaming PC Build

Our AMD build features more cores and threads than the Intel build, meaning you’re getting some truly impressive 1080p gaming performance. This build path is great value for money, and you’ll be getting a truly enjoyable gaming experience without having to sell your kidneys to do it.

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CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

With the release of the 5000 series, AMD’s previous Ryzen 3000 series processors have seen a huge drop in price. Thanks to this drop in price, it’s possible to pick up a Ryzen 5 3600 for an incredibly low price these days. These 6 core, 12 thread processors have some of the best multi-core performance in this price range and can be boosted up to 4.2GHz.

Motherboard

MSI B450M Bazooka MAX WiFi

As well as a specific processor, the AMD build requires a specific motherboard to take it. The 

MSI B450M Bazooka MAX WiFi has some key quality-of-life features that make it a great inclusion in the AMD build path. Obviously, you’ve got the built-in WiFi if you can’t stretch an ethernet to your gaming rig, but you also have support for fast RAM and the latest Ryzen 9 processors if you decide to upgrade in the future.

RAM

TEAMGROUP T-Force Delta RGB DDR4 16GB (2x8GB) 3600MHz

High-speed RAM is a component that is seriously worth investing in, and this 16GB kit from TEAMGROUP is an example of excellent value. With this kit in your rig, you’ll be able to get the most out of your setup whether you’ve gone Intel or AMD. You also won’t have to worry about getting an upgrade anytime soon.

GPU

XFX RX 5500 XT Thicc II Pro 8GB

With any gaming build, a really beefy graphics card is a top priority, and this build is no exception to that rule. The XFX RX 5500 XT Thicc II Pro 8GB is one of the best GPUs you can get in this price range and it’s not hard to see why. While it remains competitively priced it beats other similar cards when it comes to benchmarking. You can also squeeze playable framerates out of this beauty at 4K, but things are a bit more stable if you stick to 1080p of course.

SSD

Samsung 860 EVO 500GB

A decent SSD is an absolute necessity in any gaming rig. Not only does it allow your OS to boot much faster than with an HDD, but it also allows you to install your favorite games and have the load times dramatically reduced. This Samsung 860 EVO 500GB only has half a TB, but that should be enough for your OS and a handful of games. If you have a large PC games collection you may want to consider adding some extra HDD space in the near future.

PSU

EVGA 600 BR

When you’re buying a PSU, it’s important to make sure it’s properly rated. These units need to supply a huge amount of power to your PC to get it working, so if something goes wrong you could fry your components, or possibly even yourself. This EVGA 600 BR delivers 600 watts of bronze-rated power to your rig. Not only is that enough for all your parts, but it’ll also give you wattage left over to upgrade some parts in the near future.

PC Case

Phanteks Eclipse P300

Phanteks make great mid-range PC cases without compromising on anything. You get great build quality, great airflow, and even great aesthetics on top of it all. Of course, it also features that big tempered glass side panel so you can see all of your internals. Just make sure that you do a clean job of putting the thing together or you’ll end up regretting being able to see inside.

Things to Consider

Budget & Upgradability

Before you lock yourself into a particular build, you should consider if it’s the right build for you. If you’re happy gaming at 1080p with ultra settings in most games, then you should be relatively happy with this build. If you’re happy for high-fidelity 4K gaming then you’re probably going to need to think about a more expensive build. 

In terms of upgrading, you have a lot of improvements you could make, both for the Intel and AMD paths. Both Intel and AMD have released their latest generation of processors that would certainly enhance your gaming experience. If you can find one, you could also get your hands on one of the latest updated GPUs as well. 

Overclocking Capabilities

If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s advisable not to mess around with overclocking too much. Having said that, both paths have been put together with the ability to overclock so if you must squeeze that extra power out of your machine then you can. Just make sure that you’ve installed a more advanced cooling solution before you start or you might end up melting your rig. 

Ease of Building

As with all of our builds that feature the Eclipse P300, you shouldn’t struggle too much when it comes to putting this baby together. Phanteks has done a great job of creating a case that makes it as easy as possible on the builder, even if it’s their first time putting a PC together. There’s plenty of space to fit everything in, and you should find cable management a complete breeze.

Just make sure you get your hands on a PC builder’s toolkit and some zip ties before you start and you should be golden. You may also want to consider an anti-static band, just to be safe. 

Non-Gaming Performance

Gaming might be your main focus, but it should be comforting to know that your build can handle some other, less fun, tasks as well. Both builds should handle most tasks just fine, but you really can’t beat AMD thanks to the multi-threaded power it’s putting out. If you’re going to be doing a lot of video editing or image rendering then you may want to consider going with AMD over Intel as you’ll find the experience much smoothers than the other way around.

Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $800

Building a PC can be tough, not to mention daunting. If you just don’t feel like the hassle or are scared that you’d get something wrong, we have the perfect solution for you. These pre-built PC options offer great value, and you don’t even have to put them together yourself. Just remember, by going for a pre-built machine you’re paying extra for the convenience of not building it on your own. You can either expect a slight increase in the budget or a slight drop in performance. 

  • CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC (GXiVR8060A10)

The number one choice for a pre-built PC in this price range is the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC (GXiVR8060A10). It comes with a GTX 1660 super, a 500GB SSD, and 8 Gbs of 3000MHz DDR4 RAM. You also get an i5-10400F so your level of performance is pretty comparable to the custom build. Of course, because it’s pre-built that does mean it comes in slightly over the budget. 

  • SkyTech Shadow Gaming Computer PC Desktop

Taking home the silver medal here is the Skytech Shadow Gaming Computer PC Desktop. Packing an Intel i5-9400F it does lose out to the CyberPowerPC model above in terms of raw processing power but matches the SSD and RAM at the very least. You also get the regular GTX 1660 rather than the 1660 super, but it should at least be a little cheaper if you buy it at the right time. 

  • SkyTech Blaze II (GTX 1660TI) Gaming Computer PC Desktop

SkyTech also takes third place with the GTX 1660 TI Blaze II model. It comes with a slightly weaker processor and the GYX 1660 TI but is also the only machine in this list that actually manages to come in under the $800 budget, assuming you buy it at the right time.

Upgrade Path for Custom Build

AMD Ryzen 7 3700x

Your CPU is like the beating heart of your PC, or more accurately its brain, so obviously it’s one of the first things you should think about upgrading. With the AMD path, it makes sense to move onto something a bit fancier in the Ryzen series, so we’ve chosen the Ryzen 7 3700x. You’ll get a nice increase in performance from the 2 extra cores and 4 extra threads, and it’s nothing that will break the bank either. 

Intel Core i5-10600K

The 10600K is one of Intel’s latest 10th generation processors and is a great next step to take when upgrading your system. Once again, you’ll see a decent jump in performance over the processor already in this build, but without seeing too steep of a price hike. Much like the two CPUs we originally included, you’ll find this Intel unit once again shines when it comes to single-core performance. 

CRYORIG H7

If you’re thinking about overclocking your machine then a more impressive cooler is certainly needed. While the Cryorig H7 isn’t a top-tier cooler by any means, it does offer superb value and will certainly keep your CPU much cooler than almost any stock cooler on the market. 

MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8GB

At this stage, if you haven’t heard of the new RTX cards then you must have been living under a rock for the past 6 months. These things are popular as hell and for good reasons. The RTX 2060 Super packs in 8GB of dedicated VRAM and on top of that is designed with advanced ray tracing in mind. It should also go without saying that this card can handle 4K gaming and VR, plus with the modern architecture in these puppies, you won’t be looking for an upgrade anytime soon. 

Seagate Barracuda (1TB)

While an SSD is a great basis to install an OS and a few games, you just can’t beat an HDD in terms of cost to size ratio. This Seagate Barracuda 1TB drive should be more than enough space for you to install a large chunk of your game collection at once, even if they will load slower than your SSD games. Seagate has been in the data storage business for a long time, so you can be sure you’re getting a quality product here. 

Operating System & Peripherals

While you probably have everything you need to get your new machine up and running, there are a few bells and whistles that you should seriously consider getting your hands-on if you don’t have them already.

Windows 10 Home USB

If you don’t already have an OS to use, we highly recommend Windows 10 purely for how much software is compatible with it. The USB installation option is easier than ever to get up and running, and you can save yourself a little extra cash by going for the OEM version over the retail edition. Just remember that if you do go OEM you only get the license to install on a single machine. 

Razer DeathAdder V2

When it comes to gaming mice, Razer is one of the most well-known brands in that particular sphere. They make a wide variety of mice for different budget levels, but this entry-level gaming mouse is a perfect fit for gamers on a budget. It has a very accurate sensor as well as a great ergonomic feeling, so you can be sure your hand won’t get tired after a long gaming session. 

Corsair K68 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

If you’re getting a keyboard with gaming in mind, then you’re best off going for a mechanical one, especially if it has lots of RGB. Corsair’s K68 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a great piece of kit for a decent price. You get some amazing Cherry MX switches, and the whole thing works with Corsair’s iCUE software to let you customize the lighting to your liking. 

SteelSeries QcK Gaming Surface

A good mouse mat is an important part of your gaming rig. It’s no good having a fancy setup if you can’t use your mouse properly because you don’t have a good surface. SteelSeries offers a huge variety of products in their QcK Gaming Surface line, ranging from single mouse mats to huge desk protectors. We highly recommend the XL if you want to protect everything on your desk from getting scratched up in the heat of the moment. 

ASUS VG278Q

Any good gaming rig needs a good gaming monitor, and at this price range, you can’t beat the ASUS VG278Q. For a decent price, you’re getting a 144MHz monitor with a tiny 1ms reaction time, so you can be sure you’re always getting a clear picture no matter what is happening in-game. While there are certainly more premium monitors out there, you won’t need to take out a loan to buy this one. 

Mackie CR3-X 3-Inch Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors

If the sound is almost as important to you as the visuals, then you shouldn’t settle for any old speakers. The Mackie CR3-X 3-Inch Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors are a great entry-level set of high-fidelity speakers that’ll make everything from games to music sound better than ever. 

Sennheiser GAME ONE Gaming Headset

For decades Sennheiser has been making high-quality headphones for use on film and TV sets. It should be no shock that when they turned their hands to gaming they ended up producing one of the best headsets currently available on the market. The Sennheiser GAME ONE headset offers superb build quality and, of course, the famous sound reproduction that made Sennheiser such a big name.

Closing Thoughts

700 dollar gaming pc

Our $800 AMD Custom Gaming PC Build

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