While $500 might get you into the world of PC gaming, pickings are slim and you are likely not able to find the most recent components. Those PC’s will still provide an experience that rivals or beats most consoles (or at least last-gen consoles), but won’t get you the performance you read about online. But with a bit more funds to spend, we quickly get into the entry-level lineup and start finding some compelling choices. Today, we will be looking at the best pre-built gaming PC’s under $800.
$800 is a nice amount of money, and most of us want to make sure we’re getting something worthwhile for the cost! Luckily, competition is much fiercer at this price point than at the sub-$500 so consumers are able to find true gaming PC’s. And that’s not even considering the possibility of big sales like upcoming Black Friday that often knock even more options into this area.
Given that state of the market, there are some great options out there so let’s take a look at the best pre-built PC’s under $800:
Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs under $800 – Our Recommendations
|Best Overall Prebuilt Gaming PC under $800||CyberpowerPC Gaming Xtreme PC||Intel i5-10400F||GTX 1660 Super||8GB DDR4|
|Best AMD Prebuilt Gaming PC under $800||iBUYPOWER TRACE 4 9310||Ryzen 5 3600||RX 5500 XT||8GB DDR4|
|Best mATX Prebuilt Gaming PC under $800||Skytech Gaming Chronos Mini||Ryzen 3 3100||GTX 1660||16GB DDR4|
|Best Prebuilt Gaming Laptop under $500||Dell G3 Gaming Laptop||Intel i5-9300H||GTX 1660 Ti||8GB DDR4|
Best Overall Prebuilt Gaming PC under $800
Much like with any price point, the chief components for a gaming PC for $800 are the CPU and GPU, and as always, that’s where we want the majority of the cost of a gaming PC to be spent. Typically, the GPU is even more important, but finding balance is the key to a great gaming PC, but balance with the CPU is important to avoid one component far outpacing the other. So for the pre-built gaming PC that perfectly finds that balance without overly skimping on other components and is our recommendation for best value gaming PC under $800, we choose the CyberpowerPC Gaming Xtreme PC.
In terms of maximizing CPU/GPU power, this PC is about as strong as anyone could ask at the $800 price point. The CPU is the 10400F, a latest-generation value king from Intel that has great single-core clock speed as well as robust multi-core performance (6c/12t) to ensure you are able to run modern applications and futureproof for next-gen development. And to accompany this price-performance marvel of a processor, the GPU is the Nvidia GTX 1660 Super, which is a similarly awesome GPU at the price point. Equivalent to the 1660 Ti in performance, the 1660 Super is the peak of value performance. Together, these two will push 1080p 144hz in nearly all games (with modified settings for newer AAA titles). The 8 GB DDR4 RAM is a bit light, and a 500GB SSD may hold some back, but those are easily expandable later and still serviceable until or if you decide to add-on an upgrade. The RGB fans and nice-looking case are a nice plus and should be more than enough cooling for this non-power-hungry rig. All of those little points aren’t bad, but the GPU/CPU combo are the star of the show and the main reason we recommend the Gaming Xtreme PC from CyberpowerPC as our best overall pre-built gaming PC under $800.
Best Budget AMD Prebuilt Gaming PC under $800
While we try not to take sides and look purely at best performance for price, some people have a distinct preference for AMD products. There’s nothing wrong with Team Red, and their Zen2 release remains one of the best launches for consumers as it forced Intel to respond and lowered prices across the board. But we didn’t want to just recommend something because it’s AMD, so we found the best AMD-based alternative that can also be seen as a best ‘budget’ alternative for someone that really wants to spend a bit less than the pure $800 limit. For someone looking for that kind of pre-built PC, we recommend the iBUYPOWER TRACE 4 9310.
Despite being our ‘budget’ option, this PC packs a serious punch. The beloved Ryzen 5 3600 is the centerpiece, offering one of the absolute best AMD gaming CPU’s available, competing well with the Intel 10400F despite being from one generation earlier. The GPU is not quite as strong as the Nvidia 1660 Super, but the AMD Radeon 5500XT is still a great graphics card that will performance stunningly at 1080p, offering between 60fps and 144fps depending on the game and how much you push the graphics. The case is well-designed and includes a few RGB fans to keep cool, and the same 8GB RAM as above along with a reduced 256GB SSD will get you started and won’t hold you back for most gaming, but can always be expanded later at a relatively low cost. In fact, because this is our ‘budget’ Team Red option, you could add a 500GB SSD and another 8GB of RAM and still stay under the limit. That’s because this 1080p-machine is listed at $700, a great buy for the price and supporting the classic AMD underdog. For all of those reasons, we easily recommend the TRACE 4 9310 as our best AMD budget pre-built gaming PC under $800.
Best mATX Prebuilt Gaming PC under $800
Finding a true ‘mini’ build at this price is difficult, but some are still looking for a slightly reduced footprint on their desktop. For them, we recommend finding a ‘mATX’ pre-built, or micro-ATX. ATX is the standard desktop size for motherboards/cases, and the truly tiny sizes are referred to as ITX, but mATX is the happy medium for space-conscious users. And even by choosing to reduce the dimensions of the PC, that doesn’t necessarily entail cutting performance beyond the additional cost of the slightly rarer parts; most GPUs and almost all CPUs are just as capable of running within an mATX rig as a full-size tower. To find that balance of great performance and size, we recommend the Skytech Gaming Chronos Mini.
Like the two recommendations above, this PC comes from a known and respected custom builder, Skytech (the other two are iBUYPOWER and CyberpowerPC), and balances well the CPU/GPU and other components. Both are one half-step down from the best overall recommendation, with the CPU being the 4c/8t Ryzen 3100 and the GPU the Nvidia GTX 1660. You can expect around 10-15% less performance in-game. On the other hand, this build comes with the modern standard 16GB RAM and 500GB SSD, which are nice upgrades to our overall and budget recommendations, respectively. But in exchange for the slight performance hit, you get the mATX package in a beautiful windowed case with multiple RGB fans. And on top of that, the price is slightly less than our overall recommendation at $750. For anyone looking for a smaller build, the Chronos Mini from Skytech is a very strong choice.
Best Prebuilt Gaming Laptop under $800
Alright, we’re slightly cheating (again) to give you a recommendation that really makes sense if you’re trying to get an entry-level gaming machine! We know that there is still a large market for portable gamers so we are including that age-old alternative to the desktop: a laptop. As we’ve mentioned before, a desktop will always offer better price-to-performance and our first recommendation above is going to give the absolute best experience possible at this price point. But with a desktop comes a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, a desk…etc., so if we say that all that costs around $100 (which is probably a little low!), and put that into a laptop budget which comes with all of those things, we can find a great 1080p portable gaming machine. Following that logic, we recommend for best pre-built gaming laptop PC under $900 the 2019 version Dell G3 Gaming Laptop.
This laptop is a really great buy. Dell is known for building great laptops and the G3 has a great legacy to back it up. This particular laptop sports a graphics card just as powerful as our first recommendation (Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti) and a great low-power Intel laptop processor, the 9300U; these two core components balance well and neither are power-hungry space heaters, which can cause thermal problems in laptops. The same 8 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD that are common at this budget round out the main specs. On the other hand, the display is an FHD (1080p) 15-inch screen that goes up to 144hz (!) that may not be the brightest, but will serve well for indoor gaming and sports a very fast refresh rate that is rare in laptops at this price. While the laptop won’t perform quite as well as our first-choice recommendation from CyberpowerPC due to thermal constraints and the weaker CPU, it will more than power the 1080p 144hz display and offer a great gaming experience. If you are starting from absolute zero and would need to buy all the peripherals that go with a gaming PC anyway, this laptop is absolutely worth considering for your next prebuilt gaming PC under $900.
The sub-$800 gaming PC realm has many more choices and variety than the $500 budget ballpark. The major manufacturers of custom PC’s like Skytech, CyberpowerPC and iBUYPOWER usually start their entry-level builds at this point, and manage to include a lot of power for a very reasonable price. All of our recommendations will easily play 60FPS at 1080p in nearly all games, and most will be playable at 144 FPS with some modified settings. All three desktops include windowed cases and plenty of RGB, and the laptop is perfect for the gamer on the go. But only you know which qualities you most want in your next pre-built PC, so make sure to consider your needs before considering one of our recommendations for best pre-built gaming PC under $800.