We've done the in-depth research to compile a killer sample 800 US dollar custom PC to dominate 1080p gaming for 4+ years
Last Updated: Apr 24, 2019
If you're planning a custom gaming computer for a flawlessly smooth 1080p experience (ie, getting a consistent 60FPS+ on maxed/ultra settings) in any demanding AAA title, this is the PC build for you. In this detailed yet beginner-friendly guide, we'll walk you through our carefully thought-out, objectively researched current best attempt at publishing the fastest, well-balanced, future-proofed AND aesthetically-pleasing parts-list that $800 can buy right now in mid 2019, which will deliver the ultimate 1080p 60Hz gaming experience for years to come.
Thanks to the newly-released, top bang for your buck GTX 1660 Ti graphics card which brings GTX 1070 levels of performance at a sub 300 dollar price, this $800 gaming PC build is faster than our previously recommended $800 rigs (relatively speaking), as before the best GPU we could strategically squeeze into a build budget of this amount was either an RX 580, RX 590, or GTX 1060 6GB. Whereas now that the new GTX 1660 Ti is within this build's reach, we can completely guarantee a flawless 1080p 60FPS gaming PC build on ultra settings - in pretty much any game out there.
But our below recommended $800 custom PC for Q2 2019 isn't just a 1080p killer, as it'll make a nice entry-level 1440p gaming system as well as a respectable budget 1080p 144Hz/144FPS system. If you're a newbie just getting into PC gaming, don't worry if all those specs sound confusing; just know that this is perhaps one of the most overall bang for your buck list of parts of all our current sample gaming PC builds, and a nice "sweet spot" balance of cash outlay vs performance not just thanks to a sweet value for money GPU release (1660 Ti for those who haven't had their coffee this morning) but a top value CPU, affordable yet reliable supporting components, and last but not least a slick, classy black and white theme.
The star of the show, the GTX 1660 Ti is one of the best value for money new NVidia GPU releases for a while
Let's step aside from our own hype though and get down with objective practicality, including all the details of the current $800 gaming PC build featuring our typical in-depth breakdown of exactly why each component made the cut which also includes a look at solid alternative selections to consider for this price tier, specific performance estimates for 1080p on ultra settings, and everything else we think you might want to know about when planning the best gaming PC build for 800 dollars right now. Enjoy and hope this guide helps you in your research.
See Also: The Best $600 Mid-Range 1080p PC Build
(another top bang for buck parts-list for 1080p)
Best Gaming PC Build for $800 (Q2 2019)
|Graphics Card||MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Armor OC (Dual Fan)
Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Gaming (Dual Fan)
|CPU||Ryzen 5 2600 (2nd Gen, 6 Cores, 12 Threads, Unlocked)|
|CPU Cooler||Stock (comes with CPU)|
|Motherboard||Asus Prime B450 Plus (ATX, USB 3.1, 4 x DDR4 Slots)|
|RAM||Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB (DDR4, 2 x 4GB, 2666 MHz)|
|HDD||Western Digital Blue 1TB (7200 RPM, 64MB Cache)|
|SSD||Kingston A400 240GB|
|Power Supply||EVGA 500 BQ (80+ Bronze, 500W, Semi-Modular)|
|Case||Phanteks Eclipse P400 Tempered Glass White Mid Tower
Cooler Master MasterBox 5 White Mid Tower
$820 - $840 (US Dollars)
(Adds All Top Picks to Your Amazon Cart in One Go)
Notable Build Features (for our top picks above)
|Wattage (Power Draw)||Up to 220W|
|RAM Slots||4 (2 slots free)|
|Max RAM Support||64GB|
|Built-in WiFi?||No (buy adapter; see the best wireless adapters for gaming desktops)|
|Hard Drives Supported||6 x SATA 6Gb/s Drives, 1 x m.2 SSD|
|Front Panel USB Ports||2 x USB 3.0 (+ tons more on rear of case)|
|Optical Drive Support?||No|
|Case Fans||Included: 1 x 120mm (Front) + 1 x 120mm (Rear)
Max Fans Supported: 3 x 120mm OR 2 x 140mm (front), 2 x 120mm OR 2 x 140mm (top), 1 x 120mm (rear)
|Max GPU/PCI-E Card Length||395mm|
|Max CPU Cooler Height||160mm|
|AMD CrossFire Support||Yes|
|NVidia SLI Support||No|
|Full Motherboard & Case Specs||Asus Prime B450-PLUS | Phanteks Eclipse P400 Tempered Glass|
Let's get into aggregated benchmarks based on extensive analysis of multiple benchmark sources to estimate what frame rate you can roughly expect from our current best $800 gaming PC build in specific AAA games in 1080p resolution with the settings cranked up all the way to maxed/ultra/extreme/lit/super-saiyan settings:
** NOTE: 1080p Ultra FPS Estimates Coming Soon **
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X (marginally faster + better cooler)
Once again the Ryzen 5 2600 remains from the few previous editions of our recommended $800 gaming PC, and for good reason as for this particular price tier it's hard to beat in terms of overall value.
If you have more to spend we'd suggest the Intel Core i5-9400F, i5-8400 or i5-9600K for slightly faster gaming performance, as you'll see in our higher tier builds, but for a CPU a little over 150 dollars - which is a good allocation of funds if you have an $800 budget as it allows you to put a solid 300 dollars into your all-important GPU - the 2600 is the best CPU you can get.
The Ryzen 5 2600/2600X are some of the most bang for your buck CPUs on the market right now
Upsides to the Ryzen 5 2600 besides it's value for money price tag are the flexible AM4 platform it's part of, excellent multitasking performance with an impressive 6 cores and 12 threads, easy overclocking, and the inclusion of a fairly decent stock cooler (better than Intel's stock cooler) that may also be adequate for those doing mild overclocking of this chip (though medium or higher overclocks should be done with a better aftermarket cooler such as the ones we list below).
Overall though, it really is a tough call in the mid-range segment of the gaming CPU market, as either a Ryzen 5 2600 (or 2600X) or one of Intel's i5 processors is going to serve you well and provide around the same performance level with only minimal differences here or there between each depending on the specific application at hand. But all that said, the Ryzen 5 2600 is an overall excellent choice no matter what the purpose and one of the top value for money CPUs across all price tiers right now.
Only case where we can clearly encourage going for Intel instead is if you're 100% focused on maximizing 144Hz/144FPS performance for competitive gaming as the superior single threaded performance of an i5 is going to net you a higher frame rate. But for 60Hz gaming, which this particular $800 gaming PC build is mostly aimed for (though it'll fair decently for 144Hz), the ancient Intel vs AMD debate honestly doesn't matter too much, but I'd give AMD the slight nudge due to the 2600 being more affordable than an i5, and it's all the processing power you need to crush 1080p 60FPS with ease (plus makes for a good future-proof, overclockable, versatile CPU).
As just mentioned, the heatsink and fan that comes included with the 2600 (called the Wrath Stealth) is all you need if you won't be overclocking, and is also enough for light overclocking (though it depends on your particular setup, overclock, and tolerance for noise/heat). The 2600X comes with a slightly better cooler, dubbed the Wraith Spire.
For more significant overclocking though, you'll want to bring your own cooler to the party, and the immensely popular Cooler Master 212 series is hard to ignore as a great value for money option here if you have the room for it (all clear if you choose the Phanteks P400). The black edition is the best looking IMO. The Arctic Freezer 34 eSports Duo is another excellent value cooler as discussed more in our recommended $1200 gaming PC build (we included it as our top pick for that build), and would also blend nicely with the white theme of this gaming PC.
Yes, both of these aftermarket options are compatible with the Phanteks Eclipse P400 should you end up going with that case; if you switch up your case choice then always check that particular case's maximum supported CPU cooler height as some coolers like the 212 series are BEASTS in every sense of the word (Arctic Freezer is more forgiving of your case size though and is compatible with most mid tower cases). But yeah, most people will do just fine with the stock AMD cooler for either the 2600 or 2600X, even if doing a little overclocking. The Cooler Master 212 or Arctic Freezer 34 will do better, but aren't necessary, though they do look cooler if aesthetics are important to you.
Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Gaming (Dual Fan) (good value 1660 Ti but doesn't look as good)
Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 6GB Gaming (Dual Fan) (if you want to save money and 100% sticking to 1080p 60Hz)
Things have changed in the $200-$300 GPU market in recent times. It used to be a toss up between getting an RX 580 or a GTX 1060, but now with NVidia's launch of the GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti a little earlier in 2019, these 2 cards have taken the mid-range GPU market by storm and are now the clear choices in this price bracket for gamers.
Although "mid range" they certainly are not when it comes to 1080p gaming - expect a flawless 60FPS on ultra settings in most AAA games, and replace "most" with "all" if you're getting the Ti version which packs a little extra punch and is also a respectable entry-level 1440p card too (though for a better 1440p experience, and for longer, you're best off assembling a $1000 gaming PC or higher IMO).
The 1660 Ti is easily the best gaming GPU under $300
We've gone for an MSI for the Q2 2019 $800 gaming computer, specifically the Armor OC model which is a well-cooled, good-looking card and better than MSI's similar Ventus model for those wondering (the Armor OC has better cooling and looks better too for pretty much the same price). Zotac also have a great value 1660 Ti or cheaper 1660 we'd consider for this machine too. Also feel free to opt for one of the EVGA single fan models, especially if you're going to be rocking a more compact case, but if I had the choice I'd get a dual fan model for better overall cooling.
Buying the GTX 1660 vs GTX 1660 Ti for 1080p Gaming
Obviously the 1660 Ti is the faster card, but while it will give you slightly better performance than the standard 1660, and also uses faster GDDR6 video memory compared to the GDDR5 used in the 1660 (both have 6GB though), they're both good value choices right now for 1080p gaming. At the time of writing, including the 1660 ti in this build brings us a little over our $800 budget mark, whereas including a 1660 takes us under.
For 1080p 60Hz (which for beginners means playing full HD resolution on a monitor with a refresh rate of 60Hz), either card will get you to that magical 60FPS level on ultra settings in 2019. But the Ti will do for longer - as in, since it's the stronger card it'll be more future proof and will keep running the latest demanding AAA games at that flawless 60FPS ultra performance level for longer. The 1660 Ti is also well worth paying more for if you're using a 144Hz monitor, as in that case you'd see practical real-world benefits to your frame rate allowing you to get closer to the 144FPS mark. The Ti is also a much better choice for 1440p, as the standard 1660 is going to struggle at that resolution in AAA games over the next few years.
Let's move onto the mother ship of your new battlestation of gaming glory, which is always one of the trickier PC components to properly choose for a new computer as it's easy to get lost and confused in a sea of specs and endless options, especially if you're a first-time builder. The resident BGC canine agrees over in our guide to choosing the best motherboard for gaming - have a skim over that if you want detail on what specs to look out for.
Asus produce some of the overall best, most reliable and trusted boards out there, and we've gone with their all-new B450 board which is the very latest AMD chipset which is guaranteed to support the latest Ryzen 2 CPUs out of the box.
If you weren't aware, when buying a B350 board and pairing that with the latest Ryzen 2 processors, there's a chance that you would need to do a BIOS update for the new CPU to work, as some of these older motherboards come shipped with the updated BIOS already whilst some do not (it's essentially luck of the draw sometimes which is frustrating).
But getting the latest chip such as our recommended B450 motherboard in this $800 PC build ensures no such issue when buying the latest Ryzens.
The latest B450 from Asus for Ryzen 2nd gen chips
But overall, the difference between the now older B350 and the brand new just-released B450 is unnoticeable, so either will work just fine, but for the reason above and for the fact that it's the very latest standard is why we've gone for a B450. Specifically, we've included the Prime Plus edition, which is well-priced and has all the features you likely need for the $800 gaming build. Looks cool, too, and goes well with your other parts.
Keep in mind, like most motherboards there's no built-in WiFi, so if you want wireless you'll need to get a separate adaptor as usual (either a PCI-E card or a USB dongle; either will work fine). See our builds FAQ for more, but also keep in mind that we highly recommend using wired Ethernet for the best online gaming speed and stability.
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 3000MHz White (if your budget is $850-900)
For 800 bucks you can't realistically fit in 16GB without sacrificing elsewhere on your parts-list, so the best balanced option in this build tier as a gamer is still 8GB, which despite what anyone tells you is all you need for flawless 60FPS 1080p gaming now and into the near future. You'd only absolutely need a large 16GB of memory if you're a pro creator/editor/designer/insert-fancy-job-here, as workstation applications actually do make use of extra RAM unlike the majority of games today.
8GB is enough for flawless 1080p gaming
Yes, discerning readers will know that some games do indeed tap into 16GB of RAM, but that doesn't mean it's necessary for you to get 60FPS, which is all most people are aiming for when building a $800 gaming PC. Plus, you've got the 4 memory slots on your motherboard (if a modern board doesn't; run) meaning there's always room to upgrade to 16GB (ie adding another 2 x 4GB modules) later down the track to give your system a nice little boost in a few years time or so.
As for RAM speed, as mentioned in more detail in our recommended $600 mid-range PC build, higher memory speeds are simply not necessary for a mid-range gaming setup and in most cases not worth the extra money. 2133, 2400 and 2666MHz is all the memory speed you need for gaming. To summarize what we said in that build, you'd only get a noticeably improved frame-rate from higher RAM speeds when and only when you're sporting a top of the range GPU like the RTX 2080 or 2080 Ti. Yes, this has been proven.
With a mid-range GPU such as the GTX 1660 or 1660 Ti, it's not going to make a difference, despite what some random dude or dudette may say on a forum. Although keep in mind that we're talking purely gaming here, and for other demanding applications the extra RAM speed may make more of a difference (just like size mattering, too, though that's what she said).
So long story short, for the best 1080p 60FPS ultra gaming PC build right now, we've included good value for money modules from ever-reliable Kingston which run at a healthy 2666Mhz. They also look simple yet slick and fit nicely with the overall look and feel of this killer rig.
Hard drives will come down to your personal preference and what you're using your PC for, as requirements can obviously vary wildly from user to user, but a safe bet is a large HDD as well as a medium sized SSD to fit your operating system and a handful of other programs and games on for extra-fast loading. The Kingston A400 is one of the best value SSDs out there, and while there's many faster SSDs out there it's still significantly faster than a HDD. Also, can't go wrong with Western Digital HDDs as they're the most reliable along with Seagate.
The Phanteks Eclipse P400 truly is a beautiful, spacious, high-quality and overall excellent bang for your buck Mid-Tower, with good cable management, airflow (comes with 2 fans), and plenty of space to support long-length GPUs or larger aftermarket CPU coolers.
It comes in various styles but the white edition we've listed here for the Q2 2019 edition of the $800 build is fairly universally attractive and will look awesome with pretty much any component theme, though it'll look extra slick with the matching black and white parts we've listed.
The tempered glass side-panel shows off internal system in style too, and if you want to spruce things up further feel free to add in some LED or RGB case fans (any color would look good with this setup IMO so take your pick) though getting additional fans isn't necessary as the two included 120mm Phanteks fans (one in the front and one in the back) provides adequate airflow for this particular parts-list as is.
Overall, Phanteks is a stellar manufacturer who provide some seriously epic yet still affordable computer cases for enthusiasts and beginners alike, and the Eclipse P400 series is absolutely no exception and some of the best overall in terms of bang for your buck. Highly recommended. Kinda sounding like a cheesy informercial here friends, but my excuse is this is genuinely one of my personal favorite cases of all time.
For the good-old power supply we've got a good-quality, well-priced 500 watt 80+ Bronze EVGA PSU which is actually all the power you need for a build of this nature, including plenty of wiggle room to accommodate future upgrades.
A common newbie mistake is overestimating how much power you need for your parts, and whilst it won't hurt your PC to have a lot more power than you need, it'll hurt your wallet unnecessarily and as with all our recommended builds getting the most bang for buck is what we're all about to help you avoid overspending for no reason.
But as you can see from the build features cheatsheet above, these parts (without overclocking) won't draw much more than 200 watts, partly thanks to the excellent efficiency of the GTX 1660 Ti. This EVGA power supply is also semi-modular which is a nice feature and helps to avoid excessive extra cabling within your case once your build is done.
500 watts is plenty of power, even if overclocking and even if adding parts
As with all our recommended gaming desktop builds, Windows 10 is what we recommend for the $800 parts-list unless you have a seriously good reason to get another operating system like Linux and you know what you're doing. You have a few options with buying and installing Windows for your new setup:
As for other software programs to install on your new gaming computer, see our guide on what to install on a fresh gaming PC build.
As for your mouse, keyboard, monitor, and headset/speakers, reusing your old PC accessories is the first place to start to save money, but if you're buying these new then below are some of our top recommendations to go along with this particular $800 computer if you're unsure of what to buy. These purchases are completely personal preference and how serious of a gamer you are, as well as obviously how much more you're willing to invest on top of your core 800 dollar parts-list. For example, casual gamers will do fine getting a budget keyboard and mouse, whereas a pro or aspiring future eSports star will want to be more strategic in their peripheral selections (as every little extra edge counts in competitive play).
As explained earlier, in terms of choosing a monitor this particular $800 gaming PC build can be suited for either 1080p at 60Hz, or 1080p at 144Hz, so feel free to get either type of monitor depending on your budget (144Hz can get real expensive, especially for higher quality displays). But just keep in mind that in the most demanding AAA games on high/ultra settings, you're not going to get 144FPS with the above parts (though on less demanding games you can and/or if you tone down the settings) and you'd need to up your CPU and GPU to make the most of a 144Hz display.
Gaming Monitors: (see all our top gaming monitor picks here)
ASUS VS248H-P 24" Full HD 1920x1080 LED Monitor (60Hz, 2ms response time)
Acer XFA240 24" Full HD 1920x1080 1ms LCD Monitor (144Hz Value Pick)
BenQ Zowie XL2411P 24" Full HD 1920x1080 1ms LCD Monitor (Another Good Value 144Hz)
Gaming Mice: (see all our top gaming mouse picks here)
Logitech G300s Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse (Wired, Optical, Left or Right Handed)
Corsair M65 Elite RGB White Gaming Mouse (Wired, Optical, Right Handed Only)
Gaming Keyboards: (see all our top gaming keyboard picks here)
Logitech G413 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Red LED)
HyperX Alloy FPS Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Red LED)
Corsair K65 LUX Compact Mechanical Keyboard (RGB)
Gaming Headsets: (see all our top gaming headset picks here)
HyperX Cloud Stinger Gaming Headset
Corsair Void Pro RGB White Gaming Headset
If you're assembling your very first custom gaming PC, fear not as it really is a straightforward process and the saying that building a computer is like Lego for Adults really does ring true if you can simply follow instructions and take your time with each step. See our written How to Build a PC guide for the full steps with included photos from our most recent real-life build.
We built a budget rig for that guide but the steps and principles taught there apply no matter what type of PC you're building, but if you get stuck on a particular part for whatever reason then just search around for an install guide or tips on that particular part (though you really shouldn't need that with a good step by step tutorial along with the manuals).
That wraps our current thoughts on building the best $800 gaming computer in mid 2019 based on a combination of extensive, objective, borderline-obsessive research as well as our own subjective opinion based on a lifelong interest in the latest advancements in gaming tech. We hope this guide helps you in your research to make the wisest purchase decisions based on your specific situation. Good luck with your new system. Lastly, please note the links in this guide may be affiliate links; clicking them earns us a small commission if you make a purchase and helps to support the site and the time-consuming work that goes into these guides and continual updates. Thank guys.
MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti ARMOR OC Unboxing, Review and Performance (FunkyKit)
MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6 Armor OC Official Specs
Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6 Official Specs
Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 6GB GDDR5 Official Specs
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mega Benchmark
Phanteks Eclipse P400 Tempered Glass Official Specs
Phanteks P400 Tempered Glass. The Best Glass Case for $89
Phanteks Eclipse P400 Chassis Review (KitGuru)
Carbide Series 275R Tempered Glass Mid-Tower Gaming Case White Official Specs
Cooler Master Masterbox 5 White with DarkMirror Front Panel Official Specs
NZXT H500 Matte White ATX Mid Tower Official Specs
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