So, you’re in the market for a new gaming PC? It’s been a while since you last got one, or maybe you’ve never bought a prebuilt system before and you don’t know what to expect?
We don’t blame you.
Technology keeps advancing at a surreal pace, and it can be difficult to navigate the sea of available options if you haven’t been keeping up with the latest releases.
But fear not, that’s why you have us!
We’ll prove to you that, no matter what anyone says, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a liquid-cooled beast of a machine that will run new games in 4K for the next decade.
If you’re looking for a future-proof PC that will run all the latest games with decent graphics, there’s no reason to spend more than $800.
So if you’re interested in the best of what $800 can currently get you then keep reading!
In this article, we’ve reviewed 5 prebuilt PCs for around $800 and explained in detail what makes them great. So let’s take a close look at each one of these computers, and find out what they’re capable of.
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- Fantastic processor
- 8GB of RAM
- Insufficient storage
The first system on our list is the HP Pavilion TP01-066.
For starters, this PC houses the AMD Ryzen 5 3700X, which is a monster processor. It has a whopping 8 cores, 16 threads, a base clock speed of 3.6GHz, and a max boost clock speed of 4.4GHz. To top it off, it comes with AMD’s best stock cooler, the Wraith Prism.
When it comes to the graphics card, the Pavilion TP01-066 is equipped with the AMD Radeon RX 550, making this an AMD system through and through. In terms of performance, this graphics card is comparable to the NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030, which means that it can handle most games in 1080p at low to medium settings. It could even give you a perfectly tolerable experience in Cyberpunk 2077… if you had 16GB of RAM.
Unfortunately, retailers tend to skimp on RAM these days, which is why finding a prebuilt system with 16GBs is pretty difficult, and why all of the PCs on this list have only 8GB of RAM. This will undoubtedly hamper your gaming, but with as little as $30 more you can get yourself another 8GB stick and solve this problem easily.
But RAM isn’t this PC’s only problem; the storage also leaves a lot to be desired. With only 256GB it won’t take too long before you find yourself in a pinch.
Other than the basic components, the HP Pavilion TP01-066 also comes with Windows 10 Home and a wired keyboard and mouse.
There are some amazing, and some not-so-amazing aspects to this PC.
As we said above, the processor is absolutely fantastic, so if that’s something you’re looking for, this may be a really good deal for you.
The graphics card is nothing spectacular, in fact, it’s a very low-end option, one that we didn’t expect to find in an $800 rig, but such are the times. Graphics cards are really expensive these days and everyone, including retailers, is dealing with the same issues.
Together, however, the CPU and the GPU can give you a tolerable gaming experience. One thing we can’t stress enough, though, is that you will need to get more RAM in order to get the most out of this PC, and the storage shouldn’t be too far behind.
RAM is a very important PC component that has an immense impact on how your system performs both in-game and out. If you want to maximize your PC’s performance what you should focus on when it comes to RAM is the volume. For a gaming PC, the number you should be aiming for is 16.
Any less would be a handicap and any more overkill.
Luckily, neither RAM nor storage is too expensive, so even these additional investments shouldn’t make you exceed the $800 budget, but it does mean that you won’t be able to simply plug it in and enjoy your games without a worry as soon as you buy it.
So, should you buy this PC?
Well, we recommend taking a look at our other picks and choosing the one that you think will suit you best.
We can’t in good conscience say that this is a great PC. It’s not. It’s poorly balanced and can’t go without additional investments.
However, as we said, the current market situation is affecting everyone, so this is among the better options out there at the moment and it seems like this will be the case for a while longer. So, if you really need a PC with a fantastic processor right now and you’re willing to add another stick of RAM and an HDD then this might turn out to be a really good deal for you, but otherwise, we recommend you read on.
- Excellent processor
- 8GB of RAM
- Could use more storage
Our next pick is the AVGPC Hellfire.
This system is very similar to our first entry, but with a few small tweaks. Namely, it comes with the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor which is not as powerful as the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X from the previous build, but it’s still an excellent CPU with 6 cores, 12 threads, a base clock speed of 3.6GHz, and the max boost clock speed of 4.2GHz. And provided you have a decent motherboard and CPU cooler it can even be overclocked. Not too shabby.
In addition to this, the graphics card in this PC is the NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030. Once again, this is nothing to write home about, but it is slightly better than the AMD Radeon RX 550.
Speaking of improvements, the AVGPC Hellfire has 500GB of SSD storage. This is still not great, but it’s miles better than the 256GB that the HP Pavilion had, and for those of you who are used to gaming on laptops, this may even be enough. Of course, most gamers will eventually need more, but having 500GB means that you won’t have to invest money in more storage right away.
While these may be some welcome upgrades, the situation with RAM is still the same. As we said in the previous entry, none of the PCs on this list have 16GB of RAM, so this is something you’ll have to consider when calculating the price.
As for the gifts with purchase, just like with most other prebuilt systems, the AVGPC Hellfire comes with Wi-Fi, Windows 10 Home, a keyboard and mouse, and a 1-year warranty.
So, we mentioned some good points of this PC and some that are lacking. Taking all of these into account, is the AVGPC Hellfire worth it?
Of course, otherwise, it wouldn’t be on this list.
It has an excellent processor and an ok graphics card which are essentially the most important things to look for in a gaming PC. Full disclosure, the graphics card is far from great, but it will allow you to game in 1080p at low to medium settings in most cases.
Just in case we haven’t made ourselves clear so far, the RAM is disappointing, and we highly recommend you get another 8GB stick ASAP. However, the storage, in this case, is tolerable. While it’s highly likely that you’ll need more at some point, at least you don’t have to worry about it right away.
We haven’t exactly made this PC sound too appealing so far, so should you even invest your money in something that’s objectively speaking ‘just fine’?
Once again, that depends on whether this PC is for you or someone else, what it’ll be used for, if you’re willing to invest more and make some changes to it, etc. But keep in mind that at the time of writing, this PC costs $700. This is way below the budget, so if you are willing to invest more, there’s plenty of room to do so. On the other hand, if you were planning on spending as little as possible, this is also a fine deal, especially if your priority component is the CPU and not the graphics card.
But don’t pull out your credit cards just yet. There are three more entries on this list and each of them is worth taking a look at, so we suggest you reserve your judgments until you’ve checked out all of them.
HP Pavilion TG01-1022
CPU: Intel Core i3-10100
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super
Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD
- Good processor
- Powerful graphics card
- Wi-Fi 5
- Easy upgradability
- Very little storage
- Could use more RAM
Next up is the HP Pavilion TG01-1022.
This is the first build on this list that stands out in the GPU department. Namely, the HP Pavilion TG01-1022 boasts the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super. This is a fantastic GPU, perfect for 1080p gaming, and miles better than anything else we’ve had so far.
The GTX 1650 Super is supported by the Intel Core i3-10100 processor with 4 cores, 8 threads, and base and max turbo frequencies of 3.6GHz and 4.3GHz respectively.
This is a slightly weaker processor than either of the two we’ve had so far, but remember that in a gaming-oriented build the processor is only there to support the GPU, and the GPU is the one that dictates how good your games run, so despite the slightly underwhelming processor, this is still an excellent combo.
However, not even this PC is the exception to the issue that plagues each and every system on this list – insufficient storage and RAM.
Finding a decent PC these days, especially a prebuilt one is a real challenge, which makes the HP Pavilion TG01-1022 sort of like a remnant of an extinct species. Objectively looking, it has many flaws, but considering its competition it’s a phenomenal deal, especially given its price.
At the time of writing this PC costs only $720 which means that even if you were to upgrade it you likely still wouldn’t end up exceeding your budget.
But before committing to a purchase you should determine exactly what you want from your PC, and to do that, you can ask yourself these questions:
- Are you willing to upgrade your prebuilt PC?
- Do you plan on overclocking your processor?
- Is gaming performance the only thing that matters?
If you are willing to upgrade and overclocking isn’t important to you then the HP Pavilion TG01-1022 is a fantastic choice that’ll cost you less than you expected.
If, however, you plan on overclocking your CPU then you might want to stick to systems with AMD processors such as entry No5 for example since the Intel Core i3-10100 processor is locked and cannot be overclocked.
Furthermore, while the processor has only slightly weaker performance than, for example, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 in most modern AAA titles, when it comes to strategy games and productivity the Ryzen 5 3600 wins by a landslide and it’s unlocked to boot, so you can squeeze even more performance out of it.
Fair warning, though, overclocking requires a good motherboard as well as a decent cooler, so even if you have an unlocked processor you should first make sure that both your motherboard and CPU cooler are up to snuff.
As for the last question, if gaming performance isn’t everything and you plan on performing some productivity-based tasks on your PC besides gaming, then we recommend choosing a PC with a more powerful processor, the more cores, the better, in which case the most balanced option is yet to be revealed.
Ultimately, it all comes down to what you need and how much you’re willing to spend on it. But if gaming performance is all that matters, the HP Pavilion TG01-1022 is an excellent choice.
- Excellent processor
- Looks amazing
- Plenty of room for upgrades
- 8GB of RAM
- Needs more storage
Our next pick is the iBUYPOWER Trace 4 MR.
Once again, this system has a great processor, in this case, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 with 6 cores, 12 threads, and base and max boost clock speeds of 3.6GHz and 4.2GHz respectively. This is one of the best mid-range processors out there and it’s considered one of the processors that will give you the best value for your money. You wouldn’t need a more powerful chip even if you were to replace the current graphics card with the RTX 3080.
Speaking of the graphics card, this system is equipped with the AMD Radeon RX 560. It’s not as good as the GPU from the previous entry, but it’s fairly decent compared to everything else we’ve had so far. Bear in mind, though, that you shouldn’t expect too much because with this card you’ll only be scratching the surface of what 1080p gaming can offer.
As with all the previous prebuilt PCs, the RAM is sub-par and needs urgent attention along with the storage since what you get with the iBUYPOWER Trace 4 MR is only a 240GB SSD. It’s good to see all of these PCs having SSDs installed, but 240GB is simply not enough for anyone these days, so be aware that you will have to set aside a portion of your budget for additional storage very soon if not immediately.
Prebuilt PCs are notorious for having poorly balanced components and those looking to buy one should be aware that no prebuilt configuration under $1000 will ever be complete, meaning that at least an upgrade or two will be necessary to make it optimal for gaming. Nowadays the situation is even worse and with the GPU prices being sky-high the value you can get out of these builds is not as good as it used to be.
The iBUYPOWER Trace 4 MR is not the best PC for gaming on this list, but it’s not horrible either all things considered.
You get a great processor and a mediocre GPU that together do a decent job at letting you enjoy modern games in 1080p. The performance will by no means blow your mind, but you can expect to be able to play all modern games, even if that means setting all the graphics sliders to low in some cases. You will, however, be much better off if you get more RAM.
We keep saying that 8GB of RAM is disappointing, and that’s kind of true. Having 16GB will allow both your games and programs to run much more smoothly, but that isn’t to say that you can’t get by with only 8GB.
Having said that, if you don’t want to spend any more on your PC after your initial investment, you technically don’t have to, but it’s highly recommended as having that additional 8GB can feel almost as if you got a GPU upgrade and it would only cost you an additional $30.
Of course, there are probably some of you who aren’t comfortable with tinkering with a computer all by yourself and want to get as good of a PC as you can get without having to invest anything in it, in which case you should keep on reading because this is not it. If, however, you are willing to make some upgrades, this can end up being a fairly decent PC.
You should bear in mind, though, that most of the PCs on this list are pretty similar to one another, but have very different prices, so if you are willing to upgrade them, but don’t want to exceed the $800 budget, you should choose your system accordingly.
HP Pavilion Gaming PC
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super
Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD
- Excellent processor
- Great graphics card
- 8GB of RAM
- Needs more storage
And lastly, we have the HP Pavilion Gaming PC.
Along with our third pick, this PC is in the top two systems on this list. It’s equipped with the AMD Ryzen 5 3500 CPU and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super GPU, which is a fantastic combo, and one we actually have some great things to say about.
The CPU is a bit unconventional, but that doesn’t make it bad by any means. It’s a slightly weaker version of the Ryzen 5 3600, only without hyper-threading. This is a shame, but it’s not a huge deal, especially since the more important component for gaming is the graphics card anyway and the HP Pavilion Gaming PC is well-equipped on that front.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super is an excellent GPU that comes really close to matching the performance of the GTX 1660, and that’s saying something. This is a card that will allow you to run modern games in 1080p at mostly high settings once you upgrade your RAM.
We can’t seem to avoid repeating this, but upgrading your ram from 8GB to 16GB will give you a noticeable boost in both gaming performance and the performance of your PC in general which is why it’s highly recommended that you get another 8GB stick as soon as you can afford to do so.
And finally, there’s the storage. This is another system with only 256GB of storage, only this time we’re talking NVMe SSD storage. This will give you a significant boost in speed compared to regular SSDs which is fantastic, but the issue of volume remains, which means that this too will require a relatively urgent upgrade.
As we already mentioned above, this HP Pavilion model and the HP Pavilion TG01-1022 that was our third pick in this article are the two contestants for our Best Overall award.
When it comes to gaming performance no other GPU we mentioned in this article can beat the performance of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super. So if you’re asking yourself if that means that this PC is the best on this list and that you should buy it without a second thought, our answer is not exactly.
While the GPU does dictate the in-game performance for the most part, there are many other factors to consider such as the CPU, the upgradability options, and among other things, the price. So before you make up your mind you should think about several things.
For one, do you want to buy the best gaming PC you can find for $800 and never upgrade a single component ever again? If so, then this might be the right option for you because due to its fantastic CPU/GPU combo the lack of RAM won’t present as big of a problem as it would in weaker systems.
On the other hand, if you don’t mind having to upgrade a few components after your PC arrives, then our third pick on this list could make for a better deal simply because of its price.
In the end, no one PC is perfect for every user, so it’s best that you figure out exactly what you’re looking for before you make the final decision.
Conclusion: The Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $800
It was a tough choice between the HP Pavilion TG01-1022 and the HP Pavilion Gaming PC, but in the end, we opted for the latter simply because it has a slightly more powerful processor.
Since this is a list for the best prebuilt PCs, we wrote this article under the assumption that anyone reading it would either not be too well acquainted with PC hardware and wouldn’t be confident enough to upgrade components on their own, or that they would be somewhat familiar with it and willing to make minor upgrades, but would mostly be searching for a hassle-free solution.
If you consider yourself the latter, a fantastic alternative for you would be the HP Pavilion TG01-1022. It has a great CPU/GPU combo, it requires a RAM and storage upgrade, but the fact that it costs $720 is a huge plus, and it means that even after the upgrades the total cost of your rig would likely still be under $800.
But this is only if you don’t mind putting in some work after already spending all that money.
For everyone else, the HP Pavilion Gaming PC (the Ryzen 5 3500 model) has the perfect arrangement of components that won’t feel dated even after several years of gaming. It still needs another 8GB of RAM and a bit more storage to be perfect, but even without this, it will give you a gaming experience comparable to that you would have gotten in pre-Covid times.
And best of all, it’s only a click away from your doorstep.
Do You Need An $800 Prebuilt Gaming PC?
Whether or not you need an $800 prebuilt gaming PC depends on what you expect to get out of your investment.
Some people want to buy a basic system as cheaply as possible, with the intention of upgrading it later. If this is your goal, you can get away with a $500 system as long as it has a full-sized case.
This way you’ll have more upgradeability options in the future. You won’t be playing any of the newest games right away, but with a few upgrades, it could turn into a real beast.
On the other hand, some want to buy a computer that will last them for a long time. Keep in mind, though, that bleeding-edge technology will also bleed your wallet dry, so if this is what you want, you have to make sure that you are ready to pay top dollar for it.
And finally, some people want a PC that will enable them to play the newest games their friends are playing right now and will give them the ability to upgrade in the future. If this is you, an $800 gaming PC is a great investment.
However, we should also mention another alternative. You’ll get the best possible bang for your buck by building your PC. This comes with its own pitfalls, of course. For example, parts can fail, or you can make a costly mistake.
If a bad cable fries the GPU on your prebuilt PC, you can make a warranty claim and get it fixed. If you built your own PC, that cable is your responsibility.
Still, you’ll be able to afford much better parts by building a custom rig.
For $800, you can build a machine that’s way better than any of the systems in this article. If what we just said managed to pique your interest, check out our Ultimate PC Build Guide for the Best Gaming PC under 800 USD.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to build an entire PC, but still don’t mind tinkering with it a bit, there is a third option.
You can choose a cheaper prebuilt PC, and add a graphics card yourself for example. This will give you more flexibility in terms of what you buy when you buy it and how much you pay for it.
You might even be able to snatch the GPU you want at a great discount, and the total will likely cost you about the same as the PCs on this list, but instead of having to settle for what other people decided should be in your system you can have a degree of control at least over which graphics card you’ll be using.
If this is something that you think might interest you we suggest you take a look at our list of the best prebuilt PCs under $500.