How to Build Full HD Gaming PC for Under $800 in 2019
Check out our PC building guide for living classic Full HD with more than a reasonable price
For about five or six years already, TV, monitor, camcorder manufacturers, and even game developers in collaboration with Nvidia and AMD, have been trying to sell us a new super-clear image format. In the ‘90s and ‘00s, new resolution standards changed smoothly: from 640x480 to 800x600, then to 1024x768, and then to 1280x1024. Eventually, displays became wider, giving us a living classic, 1920x1080 aka Full HD. Today, however, everyone is trying hard to jump into a four times larger pixel density — from 1920x1080 (Full HD) to 3840x2160 (4K).
Nevertheless, it all comes down to the high cost of the necessary equipment. On the cheapest TVs, even YouTube can lag when playing 4K videos with a frequency of 60 frames. At the same time, the TV screen is often located 3 meters or more from the viewer, which blurs the difference in resolutions. As for gaming, neither the console nor even the most powerful GPUs can always provide a stable frame rate while playing in 4K.
Therefore, it is not surprising that according to Steam statistics the good old resolution of 1920x1080 still leads the way. It does not need an expensive computer but the games still look great. So today we will build an optimal gaming PC for our favorite Full HD.
Choosing a monitor
Here, we will simply recommend two optimal models and will not include them in the cost of the build. For games and movies, VA-monitors are best suited, since only they can deliver high-contrast images. As for the color rendering in the latest models, it is not inferior to IPS-solutions. We selected one budget model for the standard 60 Hz and one 144 Hz with an even more impressive screen.
The first model is a Samsung monitor with a difficult model name C24F396FHI. For $150, everything is there: the curved screen and the Flicker-free backlight will remove an extra strain from the eyes. The VA-panel is well calibrated out of the box, and the 24 inches diagonal is optimal for Full HD.
However, if you want a more technologically advanced picture with perfect black color (or you are an e-sportsman), you can choose one of the most inexpensive models in this class named C24FG73FQI. This Samsung monitor features more sophisticated quantum dots lighting that go out in the dark areas of the screen. The refresh rate of 144 Hz is not only good for online shooters but also tires your eyes less. True, it will all cost twice as much — about $300.
Getting a good CPU, RAM, and motherboard
If you want the most universal solution for a reasonable price, then AMD is what you need. Their latest series of Ryzen processors have got rid of such issues like memory problems and overclocking, while a large number of threads gives a good performance reserve for professional tasks. Therefore, we have chosen a typical ‘People’s Choice’ with 6-cores / 12-threads Ryzen 5 2600X for ridiculous $160. In the future, if you decide to switch to the notorious 4K, this CPU will be enough for a new video card since the main load at higher resolutions will fall on the GPU.
As for the memory and the motherboard, you can choose anything with a frequency of at least 3000 MHz and a chipset of at least B450, respectively. Meanwhile, BIOS from Asus is better than others. So in our build, we stopped at one of such models, TUF B450M-Plus Gaming.
Intel apologists can get a roughly equal in power and slightly more expensive Core i5-8400, as well as a similar Asus motherboard but with a B360M chipset.
Choosing the best middle-class GPU
In gaming, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti confidently bypasses the GTX 1070. Without fashionable ray tracing of course, but that’s unlikely to become critical in the next couple of years.
We got one of the cheapest options on the market — MSI Ventus GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. A double-fan cooling system for a graphics core of this level will be more than enough. As for the build quality of MSI production, it has greatly increased in recent years.
SSD and HDD choosing tips
Everything is simple now. You can take the cheapest SSD or HDD, just picking up the required volume. Any modern solid-state device with a three-dimensional structure will serve for many years, and the defective product will be detected immediately and can be easily replaced with warranty. As for the classic HDD, their development has long ceased, and prices have reached a minimum. So just take anything for the price of about $50 with standard volumes: 240 GB for SSD and 1 TB for the hard disk. Below are our variants:
How to choose the best budget PSU
Power supply unit is more difficult to choose. Most brands simply release China-made products under a beautiful wrapping. Only FSP, DeepCool and SeaSonic have their own production (ironically, all these companies come from Asia). However, you need to carefully monitor reviews for each model — the presence of a varistor and other protection against power surges is vital. Therefore, for reliability, many customers often simply get expensive products made by legendary SeaSonic.
However, you can buy a proven model for a little money. For example, a 520-watt M12II 520 Bronze EVO Edition from the aforementioned SeaSonic will cost about $50. All reviews are purely positive.
Best PC case under $50
With the case, it is also not so simple. Most cheap models are built disgustingly: breaking plastic parts, unreliable power button, too thin metal and so on. Of all the compact cases at a price of less than $50, we were satisfied only with the DeepCool MATREXX 30 model for $30. The PSU here is located at the bottom as it should be in 2019. Every aspect of it is arranged quite successfully: there is enough space, a complete backlit fan, and strong walls of reliable looking materials.
Here’s what the final build looks like:
- 60 Hz monitor: Samsung C24F396 — $150 (optional).
- 144 Hz monitor: Samsung C24FG73FQ — $300 (optional).
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600X — $160.
- RAM: G.Skill Aegis DDR4 3000 MHz — $55.
- Motherboard: Asus TUF B450M-Plus Gaming — $100.
- GPU: MSI Ventus GeForce GTX 1660 Ti — $280.
- SSD: Kingston A400 240 GB — $30.
- HDD: Western Digital WD10EZRZ 1 TB — $45.
- PSU: SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze EVO Edition 520W — $55.
- PC Case: DeepCool MATREXX 30 — $30.
As a result, we got $755 for the rig without a monitor. And if you still like some model from the first chapter, you get $900 and $1050, respectively. Plus prepare another $50 for the rest of the periphery.