The Best Gaming PC Build for Under $600

In $400-$800, Custom Builds by Branton821 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: March 23rd, 2017

  • Corsair Carbide Spec 01

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

  • Gigabyte GA-B250M-DS3H

    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 600 BQ

    600W 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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Suggested/Optional

Add-ons like SSDs and optical drives are by no means necessary, but they may give you a better experience. Others, like an operating system, are much more crucial. 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.

  • Windows 10 (USB Installer)

    Windows 10 is your best bet when it comes to picking an operating system. This version is a USB installer.
    View

  • 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!
    View

  • 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.
    View

  • 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 Gigabyte that runs the new 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.
    View

  • Creative Sound BlasterX H5

    Extremely comfortable with great audio quality! Definitely one of the better gaming headsets you can get, in my opinion.
    View

  • 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.
    View

  • 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!

Order This $600 Build!

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

  1. Hey, just a question, down the line when i upgrade what should i upgrade first without bottlenecking? also if you know anything about the game Rust, will i be able to run it with this PC?

    1. Hey Ethan,

      You’ll want to upgrade the CPU first, something like an i5 7500 or i7 7700 would work great. Yep, Rust will definitely run great on this PC, it should pretty much max it out at ~60fps on average (with dips down to ~40 on occasion due to lack of optimization) in 1080p.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Also, theres a game i really like to play, its called robocraft. Its a game that requires a lot of fps and my current pc sucks at running it. And, its abput to into beta, and the makers tell me its gonna be a LOT more gpu entensive. So, i would like to know, what fps would this gpu manage on robocraft? 40? 50? 100? Who knows….. who knows….. 🙂

    1. I can’t be 100% sure as I’ve never actually played Robocraft and it hasn’t really been benchmarked much since 2015. That said, back then a GTX 960 was able to run it with an average of about 50fps, so the RX 480 in this build could easily run it at 60fps+.

      Hope that helps!

  3. DANG IT!!!!!!!!! The mATX is almost out of stock….. AGAIN!!! WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN TO MEEEEEEE WHY DO ALL THE PARTS POP IN AND OUT OF IN STOCK AND OUT OF STOCK!!! WHY…..

  4. This would be my first PC build and i’m substituting some components for others, so I have a few questions: Would the power supply be able to handle a Nvidia GtX 1060? Would the Seagate BarraCuba be fast enough without needing an SSD card? And, is the BenQ GL246OHM 24-inch an good monitor?
    Thank You

    1. Hey Daniel,

      The PSU can definitely support a GTX 1060 🙂 Whether or not an HDD will be fast enough is entirely subjective, personally I wouldn’t go without one anymore but that’s because I’ve been using them for so long. Pretty much all of BenQ’s monitors are awesome, the GL246OHM included.

      Hope that helps!

  5. is it possible to double up on ram? I’m trying for 16 gb and would the cooling system be sufficient or would I need to install more cooling systems on this?

    1. Hey Brian,

      You could definitely upgrade to 16GB of RAM, but due to the motherboard only having 2 DIMMs it would have to be a 2x8GB kit like this one. You wouldn’t need to make any changes to the cooling profile, RAM runs relatively cool for the most part unless it’s been overclocked.

  6. Just ordered all of the parts! So excited for my first PC 😄
    This guide has been really helpful. Thank you!

    1. Hey Austin,

      Awesome! Good to hear!

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

  7. Great build! I’m really thinking of getting this. However, there is a sale on Amazon right now:

    Can I upgrade the graphics card to the RX 480 Gaming X 4GB as long as I upgrade the motherboard to the Pro-VDH? Will it all still fit in the case and will the power supply still be sufficient?

    Thank you!

  8. Oops sorry I forgot something. I can still upgrade the mobo and it’ll still work right? And also, does the case you have here have a clear side panel?

    Thanks again, first time builder here 🙂

    1. You can for sure! The case does have a window in the side panel, but it’s not entirely clear and has a slightly dark tint to it – it’s clear enough that you can easily see your components but dark enough to obscure things like the fine details in a mobo.

    1. Hey J,

      It definitely would. It has more power on paper and will put out higher frames on better settings than a PS4 Pro.

  9. Hey Branton, how would this build run MMORPGs such as Guild wars 2, Black desert online, and Final fantasy 14? How would the 500$ build run these? Thanks for the guide!

    1. Hey Rikiya,

      This build will definitely run all of your favorite MMORPGs either completely maxed out @60fps or very close to (BDO wouldn’t run @60fps completely maxed out, as an example). My $500 build would run them well also, but it’s graphics card (GTX 1050 Ti) is much less capable than the RX 480 in this build when it comes to those more graphically intensive games – that’s the biggest difference between the 2.

      Hope that helps!

    1. Hey Garret,

      Rocket League will run at well over 100fps for sure, but Minecraft’s performance will depend more on the size of your world/state of your server and things like that; If you’re playing on a very built-up world with all of the settings maxed out then ~60fps will be more what you’ll get.

      Hope that helps!

  10. Hi, would the GIGABYTE GA-B250M-DS3H LGA1151 Intel Micro ATX DDR4 Motherboard work with this same build?

  11. This wil be my first gaming PC and I’m really excited to learn how to build one and experiencing my games in 60fps. My only personal problem is, I’m not great with a mouse and keyboard since I’ve played console all my life, but I’m hoping to learn as time goes on. Thank you for this and hoping to upgrade in the future!

  12. Hey,
    I was wondering how well this would run Battlefront (2015). Also, will this be enough to use Elgato and a game at the same time?

    1. Hey Ben,

      It’ll actually max Battlefront out at 60fps 🙂 They did a great job with the optimization on that one and it runs amazing on systems like this. This build could definitely support an Elgato.

  13. Just Asking, Why Did You Choose An Expensive Motherboard That Only Has 2 DIMM Slots, you can get one that same price with 4

    1. That would be a great question, if the mobo actually only had 2 DIMMs… but it definitely has 4 🙂

  14. hi there branton., just wanna know which one is better Kingston HyperX Fury Black 8GB (1 x 8GB) or Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 8GB (1 x 8GB) or should i get 8GB (2 x 4GB) . Thank you.

    1. Kingston’s HyperX Fury is marginally better than Crucial’s Ballistix Sport LT, but the difference is literally unnoticeable outside of technical benchmarks, pick the ones you prefer the look of 🙂 Generally speaking, go for the cheaper option, there’s such a small gain from running a dual channel pair of RAM (over single) that it’s worth saving some $ if you can get a single stick for cheaper.

  15. Does the motherboard support wifi? Also, if i want to change the RAM to 2 sticks instead of 1, what would you recommend. Lastly, what other GPU’s would be a good alternative? (for higher output and a little higher price)

    1. Hey Dan,

      The mobo does not come with integrated WiFi, that’s a feature more commonly found on smaller mini-ITX and high-end enthuthaist-grade boards; For the mainstream consumer like you and I, we’re stuck using WiFi adapters like I mention in the post. A GTX 1070 would be the next step up from this level of card, or you could go for an 8GB model of the RX 480 which wouldn’t necessarily translate into better performance across all games.

  16. If im looking to build a gaming PC nut i will only get to use it for a year and a half then i have to get rid of it for a year or 2 what build would you suggest i want to run all AAA games on it for the year and a half im using it, what would you suggest?

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