Looking for a high-end gaming computer for 1080P or 1440P gaming? This $800 gaming PC build can run pretty much any modern game at max settings on a 1080P monitor.
Whether you’re looking to buy a pre-built gaming PC, or you’re willing to build your own computer, $800 can land you a really powerful system. Of course, we recommend that you build your own computer because you’ll get more performance for your budget.
And, in this guide, we’ll give you an $800 part list that will allow you to build a really well-rounded and high-performing gaming computer that will max out anything on a 1080P monitor, will allow you to game on a 1440P monitor, and will even serve well as an entry-point into 4K gaming.
If you don’t want to build your own computer, that’s okay, too. We’ve also linked to a similarly-priced system that will offer excellent performance as well. You can check out both options below.
For more affordable gaming PC builds at various price points, check out our Cheap Gaming PC Build guide.
If you’ve read our guide on building a $700 gaming computer, then it might surprise you that this $800 gaming PC build isn’t that much different. For our $800 build, we’ve upgraded to an RTX 3050 graphics card, though, and that will give you a solid jump in GPU performance.
This $800 system will give you near ideal performance on a budget-friendly 1080P monitor and it will work well on a 1080P 144Hz monitor as well.
You can even use this system as a decent 1440P gaming computer as it will be able to handle most games on at least medium settings on a 1440P monitor—if not higher. And, it does meet the requirements for both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. So, if you want to give VR-gaming a go, this system will allow you to do so.
Ultimately, for just under $800, this gaming PC is going to be an excellent option for people who don’t have thousands of dollars to spend, but who want to do some serious gaming—whether that’s competitive gaming on a higher refresh rate monitor, or achieving better visuals on a 1440P display.
*NOTE: If you’re not up for building your own computer, click the “Shop Pre-Builts” button to see a similarly priced pre-built gaming computer.
Part List for $800 PC Build
|CPU||Intel Core i5-11400F|
|GPU||ASUS RTX 3050|
|ODD||Install O.S. from USB|
Grand Total: $770-$830
*Component prices fluctuate daily. Click here to check current pricing.
**Price includes the components that make up the tower only. You’ll need an operating system and Windows costs ~$100 for an activation key. However, you can still install Windows for free and it will work indefinitely without activating it with no problems—there will just be a watermark at the bottom left of your desktop asking you to activate it.
Watch Me Build This PC
*Note: Due to changing prices and components going out of stock, we update the part list in this guide on a regular basis to reflect the current trends. However, it is much easier to update the components to match current trends than it is to rebuild the system every time a component goes out of stock. So, since the video below is a bit older, the current list of parts posted above is quite different than the $800 gaming PC build that we posted a video on a few months ago. The video will still give you a good idea on what the building process looks like as well as how the $800 list of components will perform.
While we try to put the best list of parts together as possible, the reality is that with prices always changing and different people having different needs, there are always other alternatives and different components you can go with. So, in the performance below we’ll highlight some of those different options you have, as well as go over some potential upgrades you might want to make down the road. We’ll also cover what kind of gaming performance you can expect out of this system at various resolutions and across different levels of games.
This $800 gaming PC comes with an RTX 3050 graphics card, an Intel Core i5-11400F processor, and 16GB of memory, all of which will help it run any game on a 1080P monitor on max settings with no problems. In terms of the types of games you can play at different resolutions, the following will give you a good idea of what you can expect out of this system:
- Non-demanding games like Fortnite, Rocket League, Apex Legends, and League of Legends, should run at ~100+ FPS on ultra settings on a 1080P monitor
- Demanding games like Elden Ring, Halo Infinite, Call of Duty, The Witcher 3, etc. should run at ~70+ FPS on ultra settings on a 1080P monitor
- Non-demanding games (see above for examples) should run at ~80+ FPS on higher settings on a 1440P monitor
- Demanding games (see above for examples) should run at ~60FPS on medium-to-higher settings on a 1440P monitor
- This system also meets the requirements for running both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift—so it is VR-ready
These are rough estimates and will vary from game-to-game and scenario-to-scenario.
At the time of writing this post, the system currently comes in pretty close to $800 and, unfortunately, the RTX 3060, the RTX 3060 Ti, and the RX 6700 XT are currently either incredibly over-priced or are impossible to find. However, if you can find one of these graphics cards in the low ~$300s they would be worth bumping up to from the RTX 3050.
We leave the price of Windows 11 out of our builds because there are different ways to get an operating system for less than the $100 that Windows 11 costs. Not all of these methods are ideal, but we figured we’d let you decide which operating system and/or method for getting a copy of Windows is the best option for you. Here are three alternatives to paying ~$100 for a copy of Windows 11:
First, you could install a free Linux-based operating system. You won’t be able to play certain games that aren’t compatible with Linux, but you will save $100.
Second, you could buy a Windows 11 key from a third party marketplace for ~$30. I’ve had good success purchasing Windows keys from Kinguin.net and G2A.com in the past, but there is definitely some risk involved in purchasing a Windows license from a third party source, as it is not technically a method of purchasing Windows that is approved by Microsoft.
Finally, you could just install Windows 11 for free and not activate it. In my opinion, this is probably the best route to go if you’re working with a tight budget. The $100 that Windows 11 costs could be the difference between running your games at max settings and running them at medium-or-lower settings. Essentially, though, Microsoft allows anyone to install Windows onto their computer without forcing them to activate it. And, for the most part, you can still use Windows normally even when it’s not activated. The only thing you will lose out on is some customization options like setting a custom background for your desktop and you also won’t be able to access Microsoft for support (although this isn’t that big of a deal—I’ve used Windows-based systems for nearly 20 years and I’ve never once called Microsoft to ask them for help with Windows). But, I think in order to save $100, that is not a bad trade-off cost. And, at the very least, you could run the non-activated version of Windows for the time being until you can afford to purchase an activation key for it.
The reality is that, if you’re just looking for a computer that can easily max games out on a 1080P monitor, or even play games on a budget 144Hz monitor or a 1440P monitor, then this system will hold up just fine without needing to be upgraded. However, there are always upgrades that can be made. The first upgrades I would make would be to…
- Add more storage
- Upgrade the processor
- Upgrade to the latest best graphics card
This build comes with a 480GB SSD and, while that is a decent amount of storage capacity to start out with, it can run out quickly if you have a lot of games/files. So, the first thing I would add to this build would be additional SSD storage devices, whether that’s another SATA SSD, or an NVME SSD.
The second upgrade I’d make to this build would be to upgrade the Intel Core i5-11400F to a better CPU. As of the time of writing this, that would probably be something like an Intel Core i7-11700.
And, while the RTX 3050 graphics card should be perfectly fine for 1080P and 1440P gaming (and even some 4K gaming), if you want to jump up to serious 4K gaming, you’re going to need to upgrade your graphics card to a more extreme option.
Ultimately, though, this build is really solid as is and, if you’re just gaming on a 1080P monitor, it shouldn’t require an upgrade for a long time.
If you need a monitor, keyboard, and/or mouse, we’ve provided some potential options that you can pair with this $800 gaming computer:
|Sceptre C248B|| ||/10|
|BenQ GL2460HM|| ||/10|
|Logitech G213|| ||/10|
|Redragon K552 KUMARA|| ||/10|
|Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS|| ||/10|
|Logitech G402|| ||/10|
|Logitech G203|| ||/10|
|Redragon M711|| ||/10|
In my opinion, if you’re looking for a solid all-around gaming computer that can handle anything on a 1080P monitor, run virtual reality headsets, and serve as a nice entry-level 1440P system, this $800 build is an option worth considering. It should hold up just fine for 1080P gaming for at least the next 4-5 years. And, the included SSD and extra RAM will help this system work pretty well for content creation, too.