Update: We will be looking to update this article shortly. It was not relevant to update during the past few months due to such a global shortage in hardware.
Original: We've already built the Ultimate PC at the $1200 sweet spot, but what about something for the more frugal PC gamer? For $800 you can get a 1080p PC gaming build which absolutely blows away console performance at the same resolution. Proof that you don't need to break the bank to have a top-tier gaming experience.
Build a fast gaming PC for less than $800
For 800 bucks you can build yourself a fantastic gaming rig including all the necessary hardware components such as graphics card, CPU, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and even a headset. All of this for under $800 and you're not going to have any troubles reaching that all-important 1080p/60 frames per second.
To top it off, this build isn't going to be useful for gaming. You can use it for everything. It's great value and its versatile, both for work and gaming use.
So how do you go about building a gaming rig on a tighter budget? It's all about identifying where the priorities are in a build, putting your money into the components which are going to be most beneficial to your gaming performance.
Ultimate 1080p PC Gaming Build for Under $800
So we’ve set ourselves the target of $800 for everything you'll need for a PC build from scratch. This includes a decent gaming graphics, a CPU which won't bottleneck performance, plenty of RAM, both HDD & SSD storage, a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and headset. This is everything you need to console-beating performance in a PC package which well set you back less than $800.
Compared to our $1200 build, our budget is quite a bit tighter. We're building a system for 66% of the price and so we need to identify what's important and what isn't. The cheaper you go with a build, the more compromises you will have to make, but at $800 you can still treat yourself to a fantastic and capable PC build.
So during this PC build guide for early 2020 we will be aiming at a more entry level rig. You won't have to hand over the eye-watering amounts of cash which enthusiast builds can cost you but you'll still be able to pick any game you want on Steam and know you can run it just fine.
|Component||Current Price||Why this component?|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen R5 1600 AF||$99.99||While the Ryzen 5 2600 is still undoubtedly great value, AMD quietly launched the Ryzen 5 1600 AF using the next-gen Zen+ technology for a bargain bin prince. The 1600 AF is available at $99 right now but, if you keep your eyes peeled, it can drop as low as $85 for 6C/12T performance at a ridiculously low price.|
|Graphics Card||AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT PowerColor Red Dragon 6GB||$289.99||Say hello to the new generation. AMD's Radeon RX 5600 XT series offers great bang-for-buck provided you don't choose one of the sellers providing it well over the odds. The PowerColor Red Dragon Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB is the cheapest of the bunch right now, offering fantastic 1080p gaming performance to suit the monitor.|
|Memory||G.Skill 16GB (2 x 8GB) Aegis DDR4 3000MHz||$62.99||Within our budget, quantity is a higher priority than speed for RAM. 16GB is a must for a PC build in 2019/2020 and provided it's DDR4 it'll be plenty fast enough. RAM is a lot cheaper these days and a pair of G.Skill 8GB 3000MHz can be had for close to $50.|
|Motherboard||ASRock B450M Pro4-F||$71.00||Here we have a Micro-ATX motherboard design from ASRock wihch isn't flashy but it'll do the trick. It comes with the AMD4 socket for Ryzen and has room for future storage upgrades with its M.2 support.|
|Case||Cougar MX330||$41.00||$42 is cheap for a gaming case but that doesn't mean it can't look good. Cougar's MX330 is elegant and functional with decent air flow. You're not going to want to put SLI RTX 2080 Ti's here but based on the rest of our components this will fit the bill.|
|PSU||EVGA 500 BQ||$54.99||With your power supply you should always one eye on future upgrades but, with a 500W unit, you should be prepared for pretty much all mid-range solutions.|
|SSD||PNY CS900 240GB||$34.99||SSD storage can quickly become expensive but a small 240GB driver should be enough to get you up and running. Install your OS on this SSD for much faster boot times, and prioritise your most used game installs to this drive.|
|HDD||Seagate BarraCuda 2TB||$49.99||While far slower, traditional hard drivers are still much cheaper than SSDs for mass storage. A 2TB drive can be picked up for just $55 and it has room for around 40 or so 50GB games.|
|CPU Cooler||Wraith Stealth Cooler||$0.00||AMD's Ryzen 5 2600 comes with a Wraith Stealth Cooler bundled in. If you're just running at stock clocks this will do the job.|
|Display||Sceptre E248W-19203R 24"||$92.68||A tight budget means a slight hit to the quality of the monitor. At 24-inches the Sceptre E248 is decent but not luxurious. For your money you do get 75Hz 1080p display though, with built-in speakers and a reasonable 5ms response time.|
|Keyboard||Rii RK100+||$14.99||The Rii RK100+ is a full-sized keyboard that comes with mechanical feeling keys. It's not a mechanical keyboard, but it should still do the job while not feeling completely terrible.|
|Mouse||Redragon M711 Cobra||$17.99||The Redragon M711 Cobra is an entry-level gaming mouse with 10,000 DPI, 7 reprogrammable buttons and heavily customisable RGB lighting for those who want to pimp out their setup a bit.|
|Headset||Sades SA920||$19.99||A gaming headset is important for communicating in online games with your buddies or for more immersive audio. The Sades SA920 is a plug and play solution with decent sound quality and the all-important gaming mic.|
** Special Offers - Any items we mark with the ** in our build will be on special offer. These are usually timed special offers, so it might be that we have to switch them out when their prices return to "normal".
So that's what we've got so far but nothing's ever perfect. This is an ongoing project and this build will adapt and change based on newly released hardware and you. Yes, you.
We'll be running regular polls in which you can have your say and help identify the components which you believe are the weakest link. Got an opinion on what would be a better CPU? Let us know, and we'll switch them out for something even better. Week by week, we'll be building the ultimate gaming PC to be found at this price point.
So this is everything you need for a gaming PC setup for less than $800. This build can play every game in the world today and includes a tower itself along with all the key components such as gaming monitor, mouse, keyboard, and headset.
But this is just the start. It's time for you all to get your heads together in order to identify the weakest point of Ultimate PC Gaming Build for Under $800.
UPDATE: 17-Jan-2020 - 17-We're in the process of putting together the ultimate 1080p PC build. That's $800 for every component, including case, monitor, mouse and just about every bit you could possibly need. During our last poll you decided that an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super was a little pricey for a build like this, choosing instead to install a Radeon RX 590.
The GD community voted heavily for an AMD Radeon RX 590 8GB. It's a lower-end GPU compared to the GTX 1660S but it's also much cheaper, freeing up some crucial cash to upgrade some other components. Don't worry though as the Radeon RX 590 is a fantastic 1080p video card and ideally suited to our current monitor choice.
Putting a Radeon Rx 590 into our $800 1080p PC build has freed up almost $120 for us to spend on upgrading other components. Now though, the choice is yours. Could we blow it all on a massive 32GB RAM, or is that just a waste of money? Do you think the build would be better served by a bigger monitor, a higher quality headset, or perhaps a faster CPU? The choice is all yours.
UPDATE: 20-Dec-2019 - For our first poll, you identified the graphics card as the weak point of our $800 1080p PC gaming build.
With just $800 to play around with it, it doesn't leave us much wiggle room in terms of switching out the graphics hardware. Our current graphics card, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super Asus Dual Evo 6GB, currently retails for $229.99. With our total PC build cost coming to $799.78, this means we've either stick with this GPU or opt for a cheaper graphics card and use the extra funds to upgrade another component.
Based on this, we've provided a sample of three different graphics cards which we could use for our Ultimate 1080p PC Gaming Build for Under $800. This includes the original Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super Asus Dual Evo 6GB variant, a lower-end non-Super Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Asus Phoenix 6GB, or AMD's current budget GPU of choice, the AMD Radeon RX 590 Gigabyte Gaming 8GB.
Which of these components would you like to switch out for something else? Get discussing and we'll run a poll in the future to help us decide what we're going to replace it with.
We want your recommended hardware suggestions for this $800 build, so pop them in the comments section below and the hardware suggestions with the most up-votes will be considered for inclusion in this PC build!