Build Your Own Gaming PC for Under $800

A recommended list of parts for building a low cost gaming PC

There's a huge variety of video games available for the PC that are not found in console systems, but there are specific hardware requirements to play 3D games on a PC. Usually, media outlets only review the top of the line gear, making it hard to find a good low-cost gaming rig. This guide is designed to help you build a dedicated gaming system that won't break the bank. It may not be the flashiest system around, but it plays games very well. It also only covers the core computer system without a monitor.

Many of the parts on this list are sold as OEM products. They are the same items that come in a retail package, but they have less material because they're typically sold in bulk to builders. They carry the same warranties and protections as retail box products. Remember, this is just a guide of recommended products. There are many alternative components available that can perform just as well.

List of Budget Gaming PC Components

Here is a list of good, budget-priced PC components you should consider when putting together your rig.

Case: Rosewill R536

A black Rosewill R536-BK ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
 Rosewill

A low-cost steel mid-tower desktop computer case that comes equipped with a 500W rated power supply. It also includes three 5.25-inch external, one 3.5-inch external, and five 3.5-inch internal drive bays and a 120 mm fan for ventilation and system cooling.

Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 UD

Product shot of the Gigabyte Z390 UD motherboard and box
 Gigabyte

While the Gigabyte Z390 UD omits some bells and whistles, such as built-in Wi-Fi, it has all the essentials at a budget price. It supports 9th and 8th generation Intel core processors and has 4 DIMMs for memory upgrades. It only has a single x16 PCIe slot, but this matters only if you want to run multiple graphics cards. One GPU is fine for a budget rig.

Processor: Intel Core i5-9400F

Intel Core i5-9400F Product Box
 Intel

The Intel Core i5-9400F is a solid midrange processor. It doesn't have integrated graphics, but that's not really a problem since you'll be installing a separate, beefier graphics card for your gaming needs. It also can't be overclocked, which may be a dealbreaker, but at least it comes with its own cooling.

Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 2400 MHz DDR4 DRAM

Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 2400 MHz DDR4 DRAM slotted into a motherboard
Crucial Ballistix 

DDR4 is the current standard for computer RAM. It offers faster overall performance, with lower power consumption, than its predecessor. Lifewire recommends a minimum of 16 GB to ensure smooth gaming performance.

Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB

AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB graphics card
 AMD

While it's not a powerhouse, the AMD Radeon RX 570 offers good performance on a budget. It will let you play many games at 60 fps at 1080p. If you're looking to get into 4K gaming or VR in the future, however, you'll want to upgrade to a higher spec card.

Hard Drive: Seagate 3TB SATA

Seagate 3TB SATA hard drive
 Seagate

Seagate has been making hard drives for a long time, and their latest drives offer some solid performance and good capacity without being extremely expensive.

SSD: Samsung 750 250GB SSD (Optional)

Samsung 750 250GB SSD
Samsung

This is entirely optional, as it will add another $70 to $100 to the cost of the system, but solid-state drives offer a dramatic improvement in performance. 250 GB is a bit small for the root partition, especially if you plan on putting a lot of games on the main drive for the performance boost, but the drive can also be used as a Smart Response Technology cache for the primary hard drive, which also can boost performance without the space constraints.

DVD Drive: LG GH24NSC0B (Optional)

LG GH24NSC0B DVD drive
 LG

This low-cost DVD burner supports all of the current DVD media standards, including DVD+R, RW DVD-R and RW DVD-RAM, and it has 24x speeds for DVD+/-R media. It's no longer required, though, as Microsoft offers Windows installers on USB drives.

Other Components Needed For a DIY Gaming PC

This list of components make up the heart of the computer system, but it still needs a few parts. Namely, a keyboard/mouse, a monitor, and speakers. Some monitors have speakers built-in, but if you plan on also communicating while playing video games, a nice headset is a good option. A good monitor that mixes screen size and resolution while being affordable is key. Check out this selection of the Best 24-Inch LCD Monitors for a good balance of size and price.

Putting Your DIY Gaming PC Together

Of course, once you have all the parts, the computer system will have to be assembled and installed. Tutorials on the various steps required to install the parts can be found online.