Best gaming PCs under 800: In this article, we show you 5 options for the best gaming PCs under 800.
In order to do that we show you 4 gaming PCs that are available via Amazon and are almost ready to go as they arrive at your home. The last option is to build your own PC with independently ordered computer parts. This most probably gives you the best price-to-performance ratio.
However, you need to acquire some expertise for that. We will show you which parts you need but you will have to google additional information that you need in order to make the best PC with your medium budget.
Take this as a chance to learn as much about hardware and software with your new PC as it’s a great hobby and potential career choice. Not to mention it’s fun and you’ll feel like a car man with a standard that you know how to use and manipulate to your will. Have Fun with the best gaming PCs under 800!
1. CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8060A7
Cyberpower uses various parts in their builds, so they cannot provide you with a consistent parts list for the manufacturer of their parts.
Highly recommended to anyone who just wants to game now and not get into the nitty-gritty of computer building.
- Fancy esthetics
- CPU: i5-9400F
- GPU: GTX 1660 6GB
- The keyboard and mouse included are good, but nothing exceptional
- Only 8 GB RAM (you can upgrade that)
- You are provided a CD with drivers on it, but since this PC has no optical drive its pointless
2. SkyTech Omega Mini Gaming Computer Desktop
The SkyTech Omega Mini Gaming Computer Desktop also very compact computer build. It is not fancy and bling as other PCs. This is a very personal choice. It has no significant downside.
- Compact build (huge plus point!)
- CPU: RYZEN 5 1400
- GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti 4G
- RAM: 16GB
- Free Keyboard & Mouse
- No bloatware
- You need to load some drivers on your own to get things to work
3. CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A6
The CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A6 is an extremely popular choice. It has over 1000 customer reviews and answered questions on Amazon.
- CPU: i5-9400f
- GPU: AMD Radeon RX 580 4GB Video Card
- Gaming Keyboard and Mouse included
- Incredibly powerful processor given the price point
- Graphics card is quite comparable to the GTX 1060
- The storage size could be larger, but 1Tb is great to start
- Nearly silent fans
- Only 8GB DDR4 RAM
- No built in wifi card (however comes with a usb wifi adapter)
- No optical drive (not that big of an issue as you can easily get a $15 one on Amazon)
4. Centaurus Computers Sentinel Gaming
The Centaurus Computers Sentinel Gaming is another go-to option for any gamer. If you like purple, this is your computer. The specifications are very good.
- CPU: Ryzen 5 2600 3.8GHz Overclocked
- RAM: 16GB DDR4 2667MHz
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB GDDR5
- Excellent price-to-performance-ratio
- No significant downside
5. Build your own personal computer!
Best gaming PCs under 800: Want to put together your own PC? In the past this was common practice, today it is becoming rarer and rarer. Using the example of a high-end PC for players, we explain what needs to be considered before and during assembly and where help is available in the event of a problem. There is no patent recipe, every PC is different.
Best gaming PCs under 800: Purpose, budget and hardware selection
The first step on the way to your own PC is planning. But before the »How do I assemble?« there is the »What do I assemble?«.
In view of the most diverse application scenarios and an unmanageable range of up-to-date or older, new or used hardware in x price categories, this is already the first hurdle for many users. But only those who don’t ask will fail. And computers built in-house have many advantages over off-the-shelf OEM PCs.
Office, multimedia or gaming PC?
Should the PC serve as a typewriter in the office, as a multimedia computer for playing Ultra-HD-Blu-ray in the home cinema or as a gaming PC? Are current AAA titles planned and in what resolution will they be played? Can the PC be louder, or must it be quieter, should the optics be classically simple, or rather unusual? If you’re planning a new computer, you certainly already have an idea and are looking for the components that make up the big picture.
CPU conditional Socket conditional RAM conditional…
When it comes specifically to the hardware, the first question is about the CPU, which, depending on the manufacturer and model, defines a narrower selection for the motherboard via the socket.
When deciding on the motherboard, you should also consider how large the PC should be and how many expansion cards are planned. The Gigabyte board has a standard ATX layout and is, therefore, suitable for common midi towers. With E-ATX the selection quickly becomes smaller.
A further definition by the motherboard concerns the main memory: As with all current platforms, DDR4 modules are required here. In the end, a proud 32 GB are used, distributed over four modules with 8 GB each. However, Corsair’s RAM not only offers a high clock rate of 3,000 MHz, but is also equipped with RGB LEDs to put itself in the right light in housings with viewing windows. Mainboard and RAM can be operated synchronously.
Mass storage, graphics card and power supply
A modern and powerful PC naturally needs an SSD as a mass storage device. Here buyers have the choice between the cheaper SSDs with SATA connection and fast PCIe SSDs, which are mostly kept in the small M.2 format.
With this SSD, the manufacturer leads the SSD ranking unchallenged. In order for such an SSD to develop its performance potential, attention must be paid to a connection with four third-generation PCIe lanes.
Housing and modding
When purchasing the case, it is important to ensure that the planned hardware has sufficient space. Especially the length of the graphics card and the height of the CPU cooler are important. The problem is that not all manufacturers provide the necessary information, here case tests, price comparisons or experiences of other buyers in the forum case and modding help.
Further attributes such as the number of possible hard disks and SSDs, dust filters and last but not least the optics should be considered when making a purchase decision. After all, the case is the part of the computer that the user has most in mind.
Assembly: step by step
When assembling a PC you can save a lot of time if you go to the hardware in the right order. If you don’t, having to repeat the work steps is quickly the result.
Before B comes A otherwise frustration quickly prevails
It makes no sense, for example, to install an overflowing CPU cooler before RAM and power supply are connected because otherwise both often do not work anymore. And whoever notices at the end that the I/O panel is still in the box of the motherboard has to start all over again, or cope with this flaw for life. The graphics card, on the other hand, should only land in the computer after the processor cooler, as it can impair accessibility to screws and the fan mounting.
The mainboard is the basic structure to which all components are connected. Since almost all current cases in the mainboard tray have a recess for mounting the backplate of processor coolers, there is nothing to prevent the mainboard from being the first to be accommodated in the case. But be careful: there are also cases that don’t have this opening. If you install the mainboard here without having already installed the bracket for a cooler with rear mounting, you’ll be in for a nasty surprise later on.
Creating stability, avoiding short circuits
Important when using the mainboard is: At all mounting points of the mainboard there must be spacers in the mainboard tray to be able to screw the board securely. At places where the mainboard has no openings, however, no spacers may be located in the case, otherwise short circuits can be the result.
Before the mainboard is screwed in, the enclosed I/O panel must also be inserted into the case – if this is forgotten, the mainboard must be loosened again.
The hardware installation follows a simple principle: With virtually every component there is a recess, a retaining lug or at least a marking which specifies the correct installation. Starting with the processor, this is a triangular marking that can be found both on the CPU and in the socket. If the markings are on top of each other, the processor falls into its socket virtually by itself and without using any force. If this doesn’t work, something is wrong and violence is not the solution.
PINs of CPUs and CPU sockets are sensitive
For AMD processors with PGA design, it is important to note that the contact pins on the bottom side must not be bent – otherwise, the CPU will no longer fit into the socket. On LGA platforms, however, the sensitive pins are in the processor socket and bend immediately when touched. Regardless of the platform, the processor should only be touched from the side for security reasons. Nothing will break if handled correctly.
For the main memory, on the other hand, a little more power must be used, which makes it all the more important to pay attention to the correct orientation beforehand: The memory modules have a recess, which is not in the middle, but laterally offset on the contact strip. This must be aligned with the slots before the module is pressed into the memory bank. The side brackets click audibly into place as soon as the RAM has been firmly inserted. If this doesn’t work, violence is the wrong approach, because something is obviously wrong.
If you don’t plan to fully equip memory modules, you should first take a look at the mainboard manual to clarify which memory arrangement offers dual-channel operation and thus the highest possible performance.
The same orientation principle is used for M.2 SSDs. The small plug-in card has a recess that specifies the correct installation orientation. An M.2 module is fixed with a small screw, which prevents it from slipping out of the slot. This screw should either be pre-installed on the mainboard or included in the scope of delivery. If the small plug-in card does not fit, this is because there are two different variants of M.2: The one with only one cutout uses up to four PCIe lanes, the one with two uses up to two. Both potentially offer SATA.
Good light helps with cabling
After the mainboard has been stowed in the case and the first components have been installed, the necessary cable connections can be made: Power supply for mainboard and CPU, the front panel of the case as well as fans, if they can be controlled by the mainboard. Again, most plugs will only fit into the appropriate socket in one orientation, which is why any use of force is out of place. Experience shows, however, that some force is needed to lock the 24-pin power supply into place.
Especially the connection of the housing front panel can be annoying. USB and audio connectors are the simple part; power, reset and LEDs are very small bipolar connectors that have to be plugged into adjacent pins on the mainboard. Sometimes the pin assignment is marked directly on the mainboard, otherwise a look at the manual helps to store the plugs correctly. A uniform standard does not exist until today. This work should definitely be done before expansion cards take up both space and light for working.
High-end cases usually offer a separate compartment for the power supply and more or less a lot of space behind the mainboard tray to store cables. This doesn’t just look neat – it also helps with installation because there are no cables in the way and fans can’t get into the fan. The Phanteks Evolv ATX is no exception. The power supply is pushed into the case from the left side and fixed with four screws. Although modular cables are not a must, they also help to assemble the unit: There is no need to stow more power cables than necessary in the housing.
Testing functionality at an early stage
Although the system is to be operated with liquid cooling, a short functional test before the installation of the custom water cooling is already possible with air cooling. Even before the last cable has been laid in absolute perfection. Because if something doesn’t work, this time-consuming cosmetic work was in vain. And that something doesn’t work is less absurd than you might think.
The components go through quality controls, but a Monday model could still arrive at the end customer. In addition, an unintentional contact between the motherboard and the case, for example, can ensure that nothing runs anymore. Or the motherboard and memory don’t want to work together.
And since the installation of a water cooling system takes several hours and the removal also takes time, it is easy on the nerves to start the new PC under air cooling in order to test whether all components are working correctly and are detected correctly.
Heat conducting paste yes, but how much?
Best gaming PCs under 800: Whether provisional or final, heat conduction paste must be applied to mount the CPU cooler. The air-filled, microscopically small unevenness between the heat spreader of the processor and the contact surface of the cooler is to be levelled out so that the heat can be transferred as efficiently as possible. However, thermal pastes conduct the heat less efficiently than the metal itself, which is why the heat transfer is affected by a too thick layer of the paste as well as by too little thermal conductivity. The disadvantage of too much paste, however, is negligibly small if the work is done halfway properly.
Opaque sealing of the heatspreader
A simple method of applying the heat transfer agent is to completely cover the heat spreader with a thin layer of the paste. There are also many alternatives such as the blob method, where a blob of heat-conducting paste is applied to the centre of the heat spreader and then distributed by the contact pressure of the processor cooler. However, the actual distribution is difficult to estimate unless the cooler is removed again. At the end of the day, the topic of thermal paste is also a philosophical question.
After removing the cooler, the paste should be applied again to avoid air inclusions. Therefore, it is safest to apply as thin a layer as possible that covers the heatspreader opaquely.
Silicone-based paste vs. liquid metal
For safety reasons, anyone who is not exactly on the hunt for OC records should choose a silicone-based heat-conducting paste that is not electrically conductive. Although liquid metal is more efficient, it must under no circumstances wet surrounding components, because these heat conducting pastes conduct electricity. Non-conductive thermal pastes are much more user-friendly – spots on the mainboard look unattractive but are completely harmless. Processor coolers are therefore supplied with non-electrically conductive heat-conducting pastes.
Irrespective of the choice of thermal compound, the CPU and cooler should be cleaned before mounting and applying the thermal compound in order to ensure the best possible contact. Isopropyl alcohol (2-propanol) (e.g. via Amazon) is well suited for this purpose, with which a lint-free cloth is moistened in order to then carefully clean the heatspreader of the CPU as well as the base plate of the heat sink.
Installing the Processor Cooler and Graphics Card
After the heat conducting paste has been applied, the processor cooler can be installed. A be quiet! Pure Rock. This solution without back screwing sounds simpler than it is. Because the tower cooler with its cooling tower towers above the memory banks and does not allow an installation offset by 90 degrees, the RAM module next to the processor must be removed in order to make room for the CPU cooler. (Best gaming PCs under 800)
After the processor cooler, the last component is stowed away: The graphics card is inserted into the PCIe slot and screwed to the housing via the slot bezel. After it has received its power supply from the power supply unit, the system can be started for the first time. The work is rewarded with the lighting up of several LEDs, because of not only the mainboard but also the main memory and the graphics card radiate towards the user.
A look into the UEFI shows that the motherboard recognizes all components: The correct designation of the CPU as well as the three memory modules still installed are listed as well as the built-in SSD. Since without the graphics card no image would be output, it can also be checked off.
The computer does not start, what to do?
But what to do if the BIOS cannot be reached? Possible error images range from a completely dead system to glowing LEDs for the power supply but no start-up of the computer to an obviously running PC without display signal.
The first step, in this case, is: Check all connections again for the correct fit (quite trivial: power supply plug-in power supply unit and socket? Power supply unit on? Display connected, correct input selected?), also inserting memory modules into different slots or starting with fewer modules can help. And to exclude the case, the PINs for connecting the on/off switch on the motherboard can be bridged with a conductive metal object.