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Best Gaming PC Build Under $800 in 2020 & 2021: The Octa-Ling

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The Team That Worked On This Build

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Build Overview

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Our $800 Mid-Range Gaming PC Build

Check out our build video below, one of our latest build guides for our $800 gaming PC.

Before we breakdown, the individual components of our AMD build path, let’s discuss what you can expect from an $800 gaming PC. While this is considered the mid-range of budgets, you can still guarantee an excellent gaming experience. These components are sure to cope with any AAA game titles you throw at them, especially in 1080p.

Budget

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

Performance

This gaming PC will play any game you throw at it, and this is thanks to the moderately priced GTX 1660 Ti GPU. To put the power of this CPU and GPU together, you are likely to get between 55-65 FPS in the Witcher 3, while in Ultra settings. Our AMD build will handle VR gaming easily and with a few tweaks, 1440p resolutions too. It is worth noting that although the AMD build will come out slightly more expensive than an Intel alternative, it also features higher clock speeds of 3.6GHz and twice as many threads, making it ideal for more than just gaming.

To ensure high levels of gaming performance, we had to compromise on the size of the SSD. That being said, the 480GB SSD is plenty to get you going and will provide you with space for your operating system and favorite games. This SSD solution will ensure you get quicker boot times from your system and will enhance your gaming performance too. Along with the storage solution, we see 16GB of fast RAM included. While you could argue this is slightly more than needed in this price range, it future-proofs your system, giving you less to upgrade at a later stage. The RAM is 3600MHz, which is considered fast, and when paired with the AMD CPU, it gives you better results in-game.

AMD Vs. Intel

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

How We Choose

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

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

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

How We Test

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

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

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

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

Our Recommended Custom Build Details

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

AMD
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Our $800 AMD Custom Gaming PC

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

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The 2nd-gen Ryzen 5 3600 is one of the best price-to-performance chips going, and its value is the main reason we needed to include this second-generation CPU in the build.

The 3600 comes with six cores and 12 threads running at a speed of 3.6GHz with a max boost potential of up to 4.2GHz. As you would expect from an AMD chip, you get unrivaled multitasking ability for the price.

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What better way to tie the $800 gaming PC build together than the ASUS Prime B550M-A Wi-Fi motherboard. Aside from making your life much easier, this board comes with everything you would expect from a gaming perspective. This board has some overclocking headroom for those that would like to squeeze a bit of extra power from their components and supports M.2 SSDs, plus we also see Wi-Fi, PCIe 4.0, support for Ryzen 5000, and fast RAM support.

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INTEL
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Our $800 Intel Custom Gaming PC

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Our Intel-based gaming PC for under $800 may not offer similar cores and threads for your money but it comes packed with that excellent single-core performance Intel is known for. Furthermore, this PC features multithreading just like the AMD path, and will give you everything you need to enjoy your gaming experience.

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The new Intel Core i5-10400 is one of the manufacturer’s latest 10th -gen budget CPUs. While we still consider the 3600X the better option, this chip provides great price to performance, making it ideal for a build in this budget category.

The i5-10400 comes with 6 cores and 12 threads, that’s right, Intel now features multithreading. The CPU runs at a base clock speed of 2.9GHz and can be boosted to an impressive 4.3GHz. This chip is great for gaming and your general multi-tasking and will serve any budget build well.

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When it comes to Intel’s 10th-gen CPUs, there is no better way to tie the $800 build together than the MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus motherboard. Aside from reliability, this motherboard comes with everything you are going to need to maximize the performance of your new gaming PC. This board comes with overclocking support, which includes core boost technology and support for memory overclocking up to 4800MHz (128GB).

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While there could be a case made for the RAM in a PC of this price to feature a smaller capacity, the value in TEAMGROUP RAM kits is too good to pass up. For that reason, we have included a 16GB kit of TEAMGROUP T-Force with a speed of 3600MHz. RAM of this speed has been shown to boost the gaming performance when paired with a Ryzen 3rd and 4th-gen CPUs.

The XFX RX 5500 XT THICC III PRO GPU is a card many will know and for good reason, it’s one of the best graphics cards available for its price range in today’s market. We’ve managed to squeeze this card into the $800 build by prioritizing it over other areas, which we touched upon earlier. It just beats out its close rivals, the RX 580 in the benchmark tests while remaining competitively priced. You can easily churn out 4k games at 40fps if you tweak the graphics just right; however, the RX 5500XT is more at home on lower resolutions where you can cruise past 100FPS, respectively. Overall, we consider the RX 5500XT to be superb value for money and it earns its place in our $800 rig.

At this price category, compromises have to be made, and that was the case in terms of SSD size here. While we would have liked to include a 1TB SSD solution, this 500GB SSD will still have plenty of room for your operating system and favorite games. The Samsung EVO 860 provides lightning-fast loading, which will also help with those heavy game loading times. If you feel you want to bolster the storage of this gaming rig, then check out our SSD upgrade down below.

The Phanteks P400 is a mid-level PC case that looks and feels premium. This case is made from a manufacturer you can trust, and it offers excellent value for money. While this case features great aesthetics largely thanks to its tempered glass panel, it also provides you with decent airflow performance too. Overall this case is of solid construction and will protect your system inside with style.

Unfortunately, for the $800 build, we weren’t able to squeeze a fully modular PSU into the budget. Having said that, we were able to get our hands on a 600W 80+ bronze certified PSU instead. The EVGA 600 BQ PSU is a fantastic addition to this build, providing excellent power efficiency for years to come. This PSU, as mentioned above, also comes with Bronze certified efficiency and features more than enough wattage to power your system and some upgrades when the time comes.

Things To Consider

So you have made your decision on whether to go with AMD or Intel and have a new gaming PC ready to go, but what’s next? Is there anything you need to consider before you go ahead and complete that purchase? Below we have gone over a few areas for your consideration to ensure you have made the best choice and get the most from your gaming PC.

Budget

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

Upgradability & Future-Proofing

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

Overclocking

Overclocking is a great way to squeeze extra power from your components, and the further down the budget ladder you go, the more beneficial this becomes. Both the AMD and Intel processors can be boosed to give you greater clock speeds, and they come with motherboards that can handle said overclocking. When overclocking, it is important to know that you are pushing the component further and will potentially need an aftermarket CPU cooler. We have included a budget CPU cooler that does a superb job of handling overclocking at this level. We have included fast RAM in this build to boost your gaming experience, which is especially true in the AMD build path. The motherboards can handle these high speeds with ease, but you are going to need to overclock the RAM in the BIOS to take full advantage of what they are capable of.

Ease Of Building

You may wonder – how are these components to build with? We have selected a case that comes from a manufacturer that has ease of building in mind. The case is affordable but really good quality and will take away the stresses that a budget case can bring. Cable management is simplified with this case and takes away the need to learn how to do it properly. That being said, there is also plenty of room out the back for those that take cable management seriously. It is worth noting that proper cable management will not only enhance the aesthetics of your build, but it will improve the airflow in the system too. Both of the featured processors come with stock coolers. These coolers also feature pre-applied thermal paste, giving you out of the box action straight away. That being said, you may want to consider purchasing yourself a decent tube of thermal paste and replacing what is already there, as it it has been shown to improve thermal performance.

Non-Gaming Performance

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

Aesthetics

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

Calculating The PSU Wattage

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

What Games Can This PC Run?

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Benchmark Assassins Creed Odyssey
71

1080p

52

1440p

27

2160p

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Benchmark Call of Duty
95

1080p

62

1440p

33

2160p

Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $800

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

Below we have included the 3 best-prebuilt gaming PCs for around $800:

1st

This post recommends the best gaming PC you can build for under $800. If you’re looking to buy a pre-built PC to save on all the hassle that comes with building your own, we recommend the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC. This build features a powerful processor in the shape of Intel’s Core i5 10400F, which when paired with the GTX 1660 Super, gives you all the gaming power you need.

2nd

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

3rd

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

Upgrade Path for Custom Build

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

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

AMD

The 3700X was a highly anticipated chip thanks to its power and excellent value, and for that reason, it is our recommended AMD upgrade. The Ryzen 7 3700X won’t break the bank and gives you an impressive eight cores and 16 threads. This significant increase provides you with an even better gaming experience than the 3600 but boosts the streaming and video editing potential exponentially. This CPU is a multitasking beast, with a base clock of 3.6GHz that can be boosted to 4.4GHz.

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INTEL

The new 10th-gen Intel Core i5-10600K is a powerful gaming chip and is nothing short of brilliant. This hugely anticipated CPU comes equipped with 6 cores and 12 threads, giving consumers two fewer cores than the 3700X upgrade. despite this, the single-core performance is superb for gaming and will give any PC a series edge. The i5-10600K runs at a base clock speed of 4.1GHz and can be boosted to 4.8GHz, meaning this CPU is easily one of the best out there for gaming.

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While the stock coolers that come with both CPUs are more than capable of handling the heat, you may want to push your CPU further and protect it with an aftermarket cooler instead. For this reason, we recommend the Cryorig H7. This well-priced cooler may not be considered one of the best, but its value is hard to beat. This should definitely be considered if you plan on overclocking your current or upgraded CPU.

The RTX 20 series is part of the most powerful family of GPU’s available at present. The 2060 was released to have an excellent price to performance whilst still remaining affordable. The 2060 comes equipped with Nvidia’s new Turing architecture which makes use of DLSS and real-time ray tracing, effectively future-proofing this card for years to come. Pair these new technologies with AI-enhanced graphics and the world’s fastest GDDR6 memory and you have the makings of a very impressive GPU.

HD is somewhat of a dying breed now that SSD has become more affordable, however, it still has a huge role to play in modern-day rigs whilst bigger capacity SSD’s are still massively expensive. The good thing about HD’s is as long as you’re buying from a trusted brand such as Seagate or Hitachi and are getting a good price-per-gigabyte, you really don’t need to spend too much time contemplating your options. Seagate is a great brand that provides fantastic efficient storage at very affordable prices. We’ve gone for the 1TB option for this $800 build which is more than enough to store a whole list of games and other media you may have on your system. Our advice is to use this additional storage space to store your single-player games, movies, media, and everything you aren’t playing on a super-regular basis whilst utilizing the SSD for your primary eSports titles and windows.

Operating System & Peripherals

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

NOTE: These will raise the price of the build!

Your new gaming PC is going to be of little use if you don’t include an operating system. For those that haven’t already purchased a copy of Windows 10, you can do so from Amazon. Alternatively, you can still get Windows 10 on DVD if you prefer.

Previous licenses for Windows can be transferred to new machines, but you may need to actually get in contact with Microsoft to complete the transfer process. However, if you still need to obtain a USB copy of Windows 10, you can do so from Amazon. Alternatively, you can still get Windows 10 on DVD if you prefer.