So, you’ve decided to build a PC and you have a not bad budget to spend it on this cool thing. Let us take a look onto some hardware elements which are compatible with each other and, at the same time, able to run modern games from now till 2-3 years later. There is a remark: $800 budget is not enough for assembling a system for funny overclocking plays. If you wish to go OC, get ready to spend up to $600 on a SABERTOOTH or RAMPAGE series motherboard only. Other parts will cost you even more money. $800 is a budget allowing to get a good PC for an average gamer. More than enough, huh?
CPU & Fan
It is a bad idea to overpay for a top Core i7 processor while saving funds on another hardware at the same time. Such decision will lead you to a situation when your system to be unbalanced. You just will not have anything to get your powerful CPU busy with, and your funds will be wasted in vain due to that.
Buying an Intel Core i5-6500 based on a Skylake architecture is more than enough to become a solid fundament for your $800 gaming PC build. It is better to choose this CPU, as it will play 100% well with the graphics card described below.
Next. When building a serious system, one should not count on a BOX–fan. You better spend some extra money on something like Deepcool Gammax 200T and not to be afraid of instability and overheat for your PC. Separate cooling fan is a need nowadays, not a luxury.
It is an easy deal to choose the main parameters of a motherboard. Getting deeper might be a bit trickier. So, you need a board based on LGA 1151 processor socket. There will probably be 2 pieces of RAM (Dual Channel mode is cool) and GPU with a standard PCI-E x16 connection interface.
Here goes the most serious thing: choosing a chipset. You won’t build a RAID (one HDD is enough here). The processor is not for overclocking, so Z170 chipset is not needed. Budget H110 chipset is Ok. Why to pay for something you will not use?
MSI H110M PRO-VD motherboard will satisfy all your needs for a moderate price.
Choosing memory seems to be easy. Still, you better be attentive here. Lots of modules have practically identical specs, so it is fine to choose the best. The motherboard above works with 2133 MHz memory speed, and there are no other variants.
That is why something like a pair of Kingston HX421C14FB/8 modules will fit here perfectly. One memory module consumes 1,2W of power, and has a great outer look.
Here comes the heart of our $800 gaming PC. This is an element which was the reason why we maintained economy on other parts all the time. So, let’s see it!
And that is MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X graphics card with 6 GB of physical memory on board. This GPU can give you great gaming experience. Working together with the described Core i5 processor, it is able to run all the modern games in 1920×1080 Full HD resolution on maximum or high graphics preset with a comfortable 50-60 FPS rate.
Perfect result for the cool price.
HDD + SSD duet is not for us with the $800 budget. So, it is better to forget about this idea. Still, you could buy SSD a few months later and enjoy the performance. To build our budget PC we shall take something like Western Digital WD10EZEX HDD. 1 TB capacity is enough for OS, music, films, photos and games so far.
It is a video card what usually consumes the most part of energy. In our case it “eats” 120 Watts. Recommended power supply is 400W here. We’ll take a bit higher rate – 500 Watts of Zalman zm-500-LE unit. It gives out the described wattage. It is quiet, too: you will rather hear a pair of your GPU cooling fans than this power supply noise.
This point depends on you only. Choose what you like the most. We stopped on a Zalman Z1 Black case to fit the budget. It offers:
- Normal quality of materials;
- 1.8’’ drive space;
- 3 fans with two frequency presets included;
- Comfortable USB panel
- Enough space for tower CPU cooler;
- Good air circulation.
And it has a pleasant outlook. Still, if you don’t like it, choose any other case you want: this is not critical, and will not change the overall picture at all.
That is a look of the properly balanced $800 gaming PC:
- CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 ($190);
- CPU Cooler: Deepcool Gammax 200T ($15);
- Motherboard: MSI H110M PRO-VD ($60);
- RAM: 2×8 Gb Kingston HX421C14FB/8 modules ($140);
- Video: MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6 Gb ($260);
- Storage: Western Digital WD10EZEX HDD ($50);
- Power: Zalman zm-500-LE ($40);
- Case: Zalman Z1 Black ($30).
All total: $785.
Perfect $800 gaming PC is ready, and we have got 15 dollars left to spend them on sweets. Nicely done!