The Best Gaming PC Build for Under $600

In $400-$800, Custom Builds by Branton745 Comments

best cheap gaming pc build under 600 featured image
best gaming pc build under 600

If you’re looking into building yourself the best gaming PC for around $600, you’re definitely going to want to look at this one! This budget gaming beast has plenty of power where it’s needed and lots of upgrade potential for when you’re ready to push it even further!

I’ve put together an amazing build including a brand new Intel i3 7100, a 4GB RX 480, 8GB of 2400MHz DDR4 RAM and 1TB of storage! I know that you’re going to really enjoy it, so without wasting any more time let’s get started!

Want to take it down a notch? Check out this ~$550 option with an i3 7100 and 4GB RX 470!

  • A couple different styled/sized screwdrivers
  • Anti-static wristband (optional but suggested)
  • Patience

That’s about all you’re going to need, seriously. If this is the first gaming computer you’ve ever built, it might seem like a daunting process that only an expert could complete, but that’s wrong. Building your own gaming PC couldn’t be easier, and there is a ton of concise guides available.

If you’re still thinking it’s a super-difficult process, just click (or tap) below, skim through the video, and then you’ll know for sure.

Here are the basic steps that I follow when building:
  1. Install the Power Supply into the Case
  2. Install the processor (make sure the arrows line up)
  3. Install RAM (make sure they are in the right way before you try to seat them!)
  4. Mount the CPU cooler
  5. Place the rear I/O plate
  6. Mount the motherboard to the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
  7. Plug your GPU in
  8. Install any storage
  9. Plug everything into the appropriate spots
  10. Turn it on / Install OS & drivers!

Video Walkthrough

Instead of me typing out a ton of of words to explain this process, why not watch this video put together by EasyPCbuilder.com? He does a great job of explaining everything in detail, and is going to get you running in 30 minutes.

Keep in mind that it’s not the exact same build, but the process is really similar. There’s really only 1 way to do things, and it’s pretty hard to mess anything up if you’re being careful.

The Best $600 Gaming PC Build

Updated: February 4th, 2017

  • Corsair Carbide Spec 01

    Mid tower case, great layout, good cooling, big window & decent cable management.
    View

  • MSI B250M Pro-VD

    mATX, 6x SATA3, 6x USB. Supports LGA 1151 socket CPUs and up to 2400MHz RAM.
    View

  • Intel i3 7100

    3.9GHz dual-core “Kaby Lake” processor with Hyper-threading.
    Comes with a CPU cooler.
    View

  • MSI RX 480 Armor 4G

    4GB GDDR5, great cooling, awesome 1080p performance.
    View

  • EVGA 500 BQ

    500W semi-modular power supply, 85% efficiency (bronze rating). 3-year warranty.
    View

  • Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 RAM

    1x 8GB 2400MHz stick, CL16. Upgrading to more ram is completely possible!
    View

  • Seagate BarraCuda 1TB HDD

    3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, quiet & reliable!
    View

Estimated
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Potential Upgrades

Add-ons like SSDs and optical drives are by no means necessary, but they may give you a better experience. If you’re planning on installing your OS from a disc instead of a USB flash drive then you’ll definitely need an optical drive.

  • 120GB PNY CS1311 SSD

    An SSD is the single best upgrade to make your PC feel faster but it won’t increase FPS in games. This one performs well with up to 90,000 IOPS in 4K read/write!
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  • Samsung Internal 24x CD DVD±R/RW kit

    An optical drive isn’t necessary, but if you’re installing your OS from a disc you’ll need it. This one comes with mounting hardware & cables.
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  • Samsung Ultra-Slim External CD DVD±R/RW

    A lot of people are moving away from internally mounted optical drives, and it’s easy to see why! This one is definitely one of the cheaper & better external options to consider.
    View

Details

This build is perfectly suited for 1080p gaming, it’ll handle most AAA titles on at least high settings while putting out 60fps+. Less intensive games (CS:GO, DoTA2, etc) will run absolutely flawlessly. Keep in mind that the price above is for the core components only, you will still need an operating system, and any other peripherals you don’t currently have.

If you’ve been looking at this build for a while, you’ll notice something has changed. Due to price fluctuations, I had to swap out the i5 for an i3. That said, the brand new 7th generation i3 7100 is a great 3.9GHz dual-core (with Hyper-threading) CPU with plenty of power to handle any game that you’re going to play.

Upgrading to an i5 7500 would give you a lot more power, but it would also cost roughly $80 more, that’s definitely an option in this build but keep in mind the cost!

The motherboard in this build is a great little mATX unit from MSI that runs the B250 chipset. It gives us support for all of the features we need with room to expand down the line, including 6x SATA3 ports, 4x USB 3.0 / 2x USB 2.0, support for 2400MHz RAM, integrated audio and a built-in ethernet controller for wired internet connections.

The 4GB RX 480 is definitely the best-priced option for this level of build, it completely tears up 1080p gaming and you’re going to be happy you have one. The 4GB RX 480 from MSI that offers up some of the best price vs performance out of any currently released card of the same tier. It’s capable of 60fps on at least high settings in pretty much any AAA game!

There are other GPU options to consider, however, if you wanted the Nvidia alternative you’ll be looking for a 3GB GTX 1060.

8GB of RAM is really all you need for a dedicated gaming PC, so that’s exactly what this build has. 8GB from Crucial’s Ballistix Sport LT line is going to serve you well while gaming and going with a single stick in a build like this just makes it easier to add more RAM later on.

Holding everything together is the Corsair Spec 01 mid tower case. It comes with 2 fans and gives us lots of options for expansion in terms of added storage, or a more intense cooling profile. There are A LOT of other cases that would work for this build, I really suggest that you take a look at some other options just in case you can find something you like more!

When it comes to power, 500W is pretty much all a build at this level will need. EVGA’s 500W BQ power supply offers up an awesome semi-modular form factor and lots of connections for everything in this build plus most upgrades you might consider adding. It also comes with a 3-year warranty which is not too bad.

Operating System

You’re also going to need an operating system for your new build, and due to the fact that the newest iteration of DirectX requires Windows 10, that’s going to be the version of Windows you want to consider. You could always go with an older version if you wanted to, you just wouldn’t be able to take advantage Windows 10 exclusives like DirectX 12, Forza 3, Dead Rising 4, and so on. It comes in both disc and USB flash drive versions.

If you don’t feel like forking out the dough for a copy of Windows, your next best bet is Ubuntu or another Linux-based operating system. A Linux-based OS is capable of running basically anything you can run on Windows, only it’s entirely free and open source. Games without Linux ports will have to be ran through a program like Wine, but it’s ultimately a small inconvenience for a free OS.

windows-10-homeWhen it comes to actually installing your OS, you basically have 2 options. Option 1 is to install it from a disc using an optical drive or via a retail USB flash drive. Option 2 is to create your own bootable flash drive which you can find decent instructions on here, or buy a USB-flash drive based Windows installer. The USB option will generally install faster but costs a bit more if you’re buying Windows, and the disc option requires an optical drive if you don’t currently have one. Both have their pros and cons, it just depends on what works best for you.

Extras

If this is the absolute first gaming PC you’ve ever owned, then you probably don’t have a very good keyboard / mouse, or maybe your monitor is sub-par to really enjoy the experience this build is capable of.

Whatever it is you’re missing, you’ll definitely want the basics at the very least, just to make sure that you’re getting the absolute most out of your new PC.

Luckily for you, I’ve hand-picked some awesome peripherals to cover each of the basic PC gaming needs, just check them out below!

  • Asus VS238H-P

    23″, 1080p 60Hz, 2ms response time – Great for gaming
    View

  • CM Storm Devastator II KB+M Combo

    An awesome keyboard + mouse combo from Cooler Master for around $30! Available with red, green, or blue backlighting.
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  • Creative Sound BlasterX H5

    Extremely comfortable with great audio quality! Definitely one of the better gaming headsets you can get, in my opinion.
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  • Reflex Lab Mouse Pad

    Super smooth, very accurate, and extremely comfortable to use! Reflex Lab mouse pads are available in 4 sizes from your basic 9″ x 8″ right up to a whopping 36″ x 18″!
    View

WiFi

Because the motherboard included in this build doesn’t come with any kind of integrated WiFI, if you’re planning on using WiFi then you’re going to need an adapter of some sort.

You basically have a couple of options. You could get a decent USB WiFi adapter for about $20 that would work alright. Or you could get a PCIe WiFi adapter that’ll cost roughly $35, but would be more reliable than the USB option.

  • TP-LINK TL-WDN4800

    Internally mounted WiFi adapter. 2.4GHz or 5GHz.
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  • TP-LINK TL-WN722N

    USB WiFi adapter. 2.4GHz
    View

Conclusion

As you can see, for right around $600 you’ll be able to run any game on high settings in 1080p without breaking a sweat. The 4GB RX 480 is a budget-level powerhouse and it’s definitely going to leave you in awe. Titles like GTA: V, Battlefield 1, The Witcher 3, Black Ops 3 and basically anything else will all run amazingly at 60fps+ in 1080p.

Building a gaming PC on the cheaper end of things should mean that you’re creating a solid foundation, and this build is just that – a solid place to start. But, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to use it for a long time, because a build like this will easily last a couple of years before it really starts to fall behind.

All-in-all, you really couldn’t hope for a better gaming PC for around $600, I know it’s a little over the budget but the performance here is definitely worth it!

If you have any questions or comments about this build, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments!

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Not the one for you?

Author

Branton

The first game that I ever played on a PC was Ultima Online in 1999, and since then I have been hooked on PC gaming, and putting together awesome builds. Thanks for stopping by!

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745 Comments on “The Best Gaming PC Build for Under $600”

    1. Hey Ankur,

      That’s the age-old question 🙂 There’s no official talk of any new mainstream graphics cards coming out anytime soon, so unless you’re okay with waiting an undisclosed amount of time you should probably just put something together now. The only releases I know of that’ll potentially happen before fall are the GTX 1080 Ti and the new AMD Vega-based card (RX 490? RX 590? whatever they’ll call it), both will cost around the same as this whole build does, or so I would imagine.

  1. Hey so i just searched this website and looked at the parts. The 1 tb of storage is good, but i already have a lot of storage with win 10 on one so i wus wondering, could i take out the 1tb storage cuz i have my own storage, and instead use the money and put a intel 15 in it instead? I would love to know if you can. Ive heard i3 s are ok but i5s are better. Pls respond!

    1. Hey Justin,

      You could definitely reuse your old storage, but you’ll have to make sure that the drive you’re going to use as your new “primary boot drive” is completely reformatted and wiped clean prior to installing your new system on it – the old drivers and things will cause issues otherwise. Also, you can’t reuse versions of Windows unless you own a retail key and not an OEM one like you would get with prebuilt system.

      If that’s all good, then you could definitely use the leftover cash to upgrade to an i5 – it would be an awesome choice for sure.

        1. If that’s all good, then you could definitely use the leftover cash to upgrade to an i5 – it would be an awesome choice for sure.

          🙂

  2. Look, I know next to nothing about PC gaming or building. When this model starts to get outdated, should I expect to buy a whole new computer or can I just gradually upgrade various parts over time?

  3. Sorry to bother you again, but i noticed on amazon that there were 2 versions of the power supply. Both 500 , and one is white, and the other one is bronze. Can you tell me what model is better? Reading the disc. On the page said they were the same.

    1. It’s not a problem! The 500W (white) is much lower quality than the 500BQ. I’m not sure which page said they were the same, but that page was very wrong.

        1. Yep, definitely better to have the Bronze. Another major difference is the form-factor, the 500W1 model is non-modular (all of the cables are permanently attached) where the 500BQ is semi-modular (only some of the cables are permanently attached, you only use what you need so there’s nothing extra hanging around).

  4. Hey branton, just ordered all my parts for this build, had to order the motherboard on eBay so I cannot put my build together until march 3rd when it arrives, I cannot wait until I can play all my first person shooters with this build!!!! I’m really hoping they will play in 1080p at very high settings just because I could not afford a better build! Thank you so much!!

    1. Hey J,

      Awesome, glad to hear it!! Sucks that you have to wait until March 3rd, but that is still better than nothing! You’ll be in there gaming on at least very high settings in most AAA FPS 🙂

      If there’s anything else I can help you with, don’t hesitate to ask!

  5. Hey again sorry, quick question, I am able to get the GIGABYTE GA-B250M-DS3H LGA1151 Intel Micro ATX DDR4 Motherboard way faster, will that work with all the other components of this build?

  6. I’ve been trying to decide on a computer to buy/build so I have a few questions. First of all, what would be better, the i3 7100 or AMD FX-8350 processor? I’m trying to decide on buying a pre built computer i found on Bestbuy for $700 or building this one here that you’ve posted. Here’s the one on Bestbuy: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/cyberpowerpc-gamer-ultra-desktop-amd-fx-black-edition-series-8gb-memory-amd-radeon-rx-480-1tb-hard-drive-black/5615010.p?skuId=5615010

    How does the one on Bestbuy compare to this computer here that you’ve posted? thanks

    1. Hey Brandon,

      The FX 8350 isn’t a bad processor, but it’s getting old (released in 2012) and is definitely falling behind in terms of what it can do. The i3 7100 actually has better single and quad-core performance, but the FX 8350 has better multicore performance (over 4 cores) – the vast majority of games are going to take advantage of single and quad-core performance over multi. The FX 8350 also caps you in terms up worthwhile upgrades, there’s nowhere to go without changing the mobo, RAM and of course the processor, this would ultimately be more expensive than say upgrading the i3 7100 to an i7 7700 down the line.

      That all said, where the FX 8350 will completely stomp on the i3 7100 is in video editing/rendering/animation and things like that. If you’re not doing those kinds of things, then the i3 7100 is the more prudent choice imo.

      Hope that helps!

  7. Branton,
    I came across a Dell xps 8700 i7-4790 @ 3.60GHz at a local pawn shop that I could buy for 400. Already has updated bios and win 10 + monitor,keyboard and mouse. Graphics card is Geforce gt 720. I would want a better graphics card but my budget is about 600. Wondering if I should build your 600 build or get the xps and up-grade graphics card? If upgrade what would you suggest? This is my first dip into PC gaming. Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

    Also the Dell xps is not that old. checked with dell and it was shipped in jan of 2016 and is still under warranty.

    1. Hey Rusty,

      I’d jump on it for sure! The i7 4790 is great and it’s still a ~$300 processor so you’re getting a really decent deal there. Another ~$200 and you can throw in a GTX 1060 3GB or RX 480 4GB and you’ll have a very strong 1080p gaming PC!

      Hope that helps 🙂

  8. Thanks for your help. I have another question for you.

    the 3.9Ghz duel-core intel i3 “Kaby Lake” processor with Hyper-threading Vs. the 3.0Ghz quad-core intel i5 7400?

    Which would be better?

    Thanks.
    .

    1. No problem, Brandon!

      The i5 7400 is without a doubt better 🙂 CPUs in the same generation will always be beaten by the “next level up”, in this case, the i5 7400 is a step up from the i3 7100.

      Hope that helps!

  9. Yo branton! I just swapped out my 500w for the 500bq and somehow, with an i5, the cost is exactly 600. Idk how that works, but ill take it!

    1. Awesome! The BQ is a much better power supply and will definitely last you much longer than the W1.

    1. I don’t provide any kind of warranty if that’s what you mean, but each component is covered under manufacturer warranties of varying lengths and limitations – the average length is 3 years, but some will be longer like the 5-year warranty on the graphics card.

      Hope that helps!

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