Build It Yourself: The $800 Gaming PC

By Jason Cross  |  Posted 2006-05-16 Print this article Print

A decent gaming rig doesn't have to cost thousands of dollars. We show you how to build a better box on a budget, delivering perfectly acceptable gaming performance for around $800. (ExtremeTech)

Its a commonly held misconception that playing modern PC games is an expensive proposition, full of $500 video cards and $900 dual-core processors. Sure, you can have an amazing gaming experience if you want to blow thousands of dollars putting together our Killer Gaming Rig, but it doesnt have to be that way. You can enjoy the latest PC games with a sub-$1000 PC. As youll see, that doesnt mean you have to miss out on all the "good stuff," either. You dont need to turn all the detail levels down, or play at a resolution of 640x480. With the PC we built for around $800, were able to play even demanding games at HD resolutions (1280x1024) quite well. Granted, thats without anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, but its still a great gaming experience.
So if your computer is getting too old to play all the hot games, or if youre looking to build a second computer on the cheap, our suggestions for an $800 gaming PC may be a good place to start.
Rule #1 for Build It systems is this: The stuff we recommend has to be readily available, in stock, at online vendors we would trust with our own money. We dont just go with the lowest price we can find anywhere in the wild land of online commerce. Prices tend to fluctuate and were sure that you can find a better deal if you dig around enough—wed rather err on the side of "you can actually find these prices" than promise a less expensive system you could never build yourself. Its been our experience that do-it-yourselfers looking to build a computer under $1,000 are recycling monitors and speakers from other machines, so you dont see them on that list. Obviously, you can spend anywhere from $100 to well over $500 on each of those components, depending on just how high-end you want to go. Read the full story on ExtremeTech: Build It: $800 Gaming PC
Jason Cross Jason was a certified computer geek at an early age, playing with his family's Apple II when he was still barely able to write. It didn't take long for him to start playing with the hardware, adding in 80-column cards and additional RAM as his family moved up through Apple II+, IIe, IIgs, and eventually the Macintosh. He was sucked into Intel based side of the PC world by his friend's 8088 (at the time, the height of sophisticated technology), and this kicked off a never-ending string of PC purchases and upgrades.

Through college, where he bounced among several different majors before earning a degree in Asian Studies, Jason started to pull down freelance assignments writing about his favorite hobby—,video and computer games. It was shortly after graduation that he found himself, a thin-blooded Floridian, freezing his face off at Computer Games Magazine in Vermont, where he founded the hardware and technology section and built it up over five years before joining the ranks at ExtremeTech and moving out to beautiful northern California. When not scraping up his hands on the inside of a PC case, you can invariably find Jason knee-deep in a PC game, engrossed in the latest console title, or at the movie theater.


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