The Best Gaming PC Build for Under $600

In $400-$800, Custom Builds by Branton760 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 22nd, 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 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

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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!
    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 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.
    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!

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

  1. well it’s been years since i’v been any kind of a pc gamer been for the most part a console player for the past 8 to 10 years lately i’v been wanting to get back into pc games and would like to try one of your budget builds but i also use a junk laptop running windows 10 using the dvr function to record xbox game play with my friends it would be nice to if i could use the pc build to also capture game paly off my xbox in stead of my very under powered laptop could you recommend any of the Microsoft soft recommended gpu that would work just as well for gaming and with the dvr function for your build or am i stuck still using my junk laptop for game captures and still be somewhat on budget

    AMD: AMD Radeon HD 7700 series, HD 7700M series, HD 8500 series, HD 8500M series, R9 series, and R7 series or later.
    NVIDIA: GeForce 600 series or later, GeForce 800M series or later, Quadro Kxxx series or later.

    1. Hey Scott,

      Glad to hear that you’re making the wise decision to transition into PC gaming, it’s the way to go for sure!

      You can rest assured that the graphics card in this build is well above the requirements you’ve listed, it is what’s referred to as a GeForce 1000 series, so it’s well above the 600 🙂

      Hope that helps!

    1. Hey Nate,

      You sure can, you’ll just have to select it as your primary boot drive through the BIOS in the same way you would pick an internal optical drive 🙂

    2. Hey Nate,

      You sure can, you’ll just have to select it as your boot drive through the BIOS in the same way you would pick an internal optical drive 🙂

  2. So, I have been attempting to push Skyrim to it’s limits and all the settings are maxxed out and running at 64 bit and everything. The last setting that I have gotten to is resolution with scaling I have my GPU( EVGA GTX 1060 6gb SC) rendering it at 4k and scaling it down to 1080p and it looks amazing but only at 40-60fps(capped 60 fps) and I just want it to be stable. Is it worth overclocking?

    1. Hey Rex,

      Do you mean that you’re using DSR to run Skyrim at 4K on a 1080p monitor? Are you using a 4K monitor/TV and running Skyrim upscaled in 1080p?

      1. I am using Nvidia’s built in down scaling thingy(I am new to this)to run it at 4k
        on a 1080p monitor

        1. Ahh, gotcha. That’s called DSR and it’s why you’re having issues hitting a consistent 60fps. It’s meant more for older games that will benefit from running at a higher res. Try 1440p for Skyrim instead, 4K will be too much for the 1060, 1440p (2560×1440) might not even give you a consistent 60fps but it’s worth a shot!

          Hope that helps 🙂

          1. Thanks it helps a whole lot! Also, I have been looking into upgrading, I know already I am still new and it takes me a year to save up 400$(I am a teenager), and I was wondering If this is a good/legitimate plan. This year I want to save some of my money that I get from chores and work for my family that I do and my birthday money from my family which I will receive at around the end of the year. With all of my money saved up I want to buy an intel i7-7700k and a Z270 chip-set motherboard and replace my 500W PSU with around a 600-850w PSU with around bronze rating(Using Christmas/black friday sales). Then over the course of the next year or two I want to get a new GPU lets say the 1180 or 1280 are out and about at the time I would attempt to purchace one of those. Does this sound like a good plan and then continuously upgrade my PC when needed in this order?

            1. I know how it is, Rex! We were all there at one point 🙂 That sounds like a very good plan, only I wouldn’t go as high as an i7 7700K, I think the i5 7600K would be a better (and more cost-effective) choice 🙂 If you can, I would go for a 600W PSU now so you don’t have to upgrade it down the line – the 600W units are often cheaper than 500W units due to popularity.

                1. Ohh, if you currently have a 500W PSU then there’s no need to upgrade it right away 🙂 I more meant that if you hadn’t picked your PSU up yet you should just go right to the 600.

  3. Hey Branton i have some questions is it okay if i change the asus graphic card to gtx 1060 https://www.amazon.com/MSI-GTX-1060-ARMOR-OCV1/dp/B01L9VB642/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1484165876&sr=1-1&keywords=MSI+GeForce+GTX+1060+6GB+6GB+ARMOR+OCV1+Video+Card but this power supply does not ship to my country is it okay if I switched to EVGA 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply https://www.amazon.com/EVGA-WHITE-Warranty-Supply-100-W1-0500-KR/dp/B00H33SFJU/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1484166289&sr=1-1&keywords=EVGA+500W+80%2B+Certified+ATX+Power+Supply and also i changed the motherboard to GA-H110M-S2H https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019M0FBZW/ref=twister_B01MFBKDST?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 for the same reason

    1. Hey Marios,

      You can definitely use that GPU! I wouldn’t go with a 500W W1 PSU for this build to be honest, does this one ship to your country? That mobo would also work great 🙂

      Hope that helps!

    1. Hey Magiccc,

      Unfortunately that link won’t work. Above your list you’ll see another link with some random letters after the /list/, that’s the one you want to use 🙂

    1. It’s no worries 🙂

      That looks pretty solid, except you don’t really need a Z170 chipset motherboard unless you’re planning on getting a K-model CPU at some point. You could save a bit by going with an H170 chipset mobo instead.

      Hope that helps!

        1. Check out the one in this build 🙂 It’s only mATX, but that’s about the only way to get a cheaper mobo.

            1. Perfect! The mobo in this build is black and red 🙂 There aren’t any other options without spending around $100 though, unfortunately..

    1. Hey Josh,

      Nope, the built-in ethernet controller is for wired connections only. If you want/have to use WiFi then you’ll need a WiFi adapter as well.

      1. Hi Branton,

        I’m a console user looking to make the switch to PC. I was wondering how difficult this build would be to assemble considering I have no experience in building a PC. Also how well will this build run a game like Ark Survival Evolved? From my understanding this game requires a little more than the average PC game.
        Thank!

        1. Hey Trey,

          It’s not very difficult at all, assuming you follow along with a guide 🙂 Ark definitely does require more than most games, but only because it’s so poorly optimized – that being said this build can run it on at least mid level settings without an issue.

          Hope that helps!

  4. Should i buy USB type of OS or the dvd type . which one is better? and can you please give me a link. Thank you!

  5. Should i buy USB type of OS or the dvd type . which one is better? and can you please give me a link. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Mike!

      16GB of RAM is hard to justify from my standpoint in a build like this – I would be sacrificing waaayyyy more than $50 of performance which would give you guys a build with way less potential. That said, feel free to double down on RAM 🙂

  6. was the mother board changed in the past couple days ?Because i did this exact build last week and now theirs a different motherboard on this build then i used

    1. Hey Luis,

      More than just the mobo changed – this build is now packing the brand new 7th gen i3 7100 as well. They were just released around the middle of the month and I had been waiting for some good “budget-level” mobos to come out so I could move my builds to the new platform 🙂

  7. alright would i need to upgrade my cpu then and motherboard? also do you have any mini itx builds in the future?

    1. Nope, definitely not! The 6th gen CPU you have now will work just fine for the next couple of years 🙂 In my opinion, it’s not really worth upgrading to the 7th gen from the 6th unless you’re big into overclocking.

        1. No problem, Luis! Ahh, my bad, I missed your question last time 🙂 Yep, I’ll be doing some different sized itx builds in the near future – I’ll also be doing specific instructional videos for each of them due to how tricky itx builds can be!

  8. Hey there!

    Im completely new when it comes to this PC stuff, so I was wondering how well could this run games such as over watch, skyrim and other FPS games. I was also wondering theoretically if you were to take a guess for Destiny 2 if it were to come to PC around the end of 2017 would this PC be able to run it??

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Zurn,

      Now is the best time to get in, without a doubt! This build can easily handle games like Overwatch, Skyrim, and anything else you can throw at it 🙂 Both Overwatch & Skyrim SE could be maxed out in 1080p and perform amazingly, where newer/more graphically intensive AAA games will run great on “very high” settings (or the equivalent of one below “ultra”). I wouldn’t imagine that Destiny 2 would give this PC any problems if it does get released on PC.

      Hope that helps!

  9. Wow that was fast!

    Thank you this helped a lot! I really appreciate you responding so fast! wish me luck building this beast!

    1. I try to reply as fast as I can 🙂

      Glad I could help! Good luck with your build and if there’s anything else I can help with don’t hesitate to ask!

  10. Hi Branton,

    I was wondering if instead of the motherboard in this build, maybe i could use the GIGABYTE LGA1151 Intel H110 Micro ATX DDR4 Motherboard GA-H110M-A instead and would it still be compatible with all the other parts in this build?

    1. Hey Tanner,

      That mobo might not be compatible with Intel’s new 7th gen CPUs as it’s using a chipset meant for 6th gen CPUs (h110), to be safe you’re better off sticking with either the B250 or H270 motherboard chipsets for this build.

      Here’s a cheaper B250 chipset alternative 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  11. I’ve seen a few other guides, and they recommend the I3-6100. Here you are recommending the 7100.
    Which one is better? Thanks

    1. Hey Markarr,

      The i3 7100 is better without a doubt, it’s a relatively new release and that’s probably why you’re not seeing it included in other guides yet. Personally, I like to keep everything up to date when I’m recommending which parts you should buy 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  12. Hey man, I’m going to be buying this build next week, on a tight budget but I love pc gaming, just a quick question, I saw a bunch of people were saying that the i3 won’t be good because it’s only dual core and cannot handle the newer games that are going to be releasing or have just released, this is a silly rumor right?? Because I really want this build lol

    1. Hey Jarett,

      Yep, that’s a very common misconception, the next thing you’ll hear is “you absolutely need an i7” lol. Of course there’s going to be a performance increase when going to a true quad core like an i5, but the new i3s can definitely handle new games without any issues 🙂 If they were just a dual core without the Hyperthreading like the Pentium lineup, then it would be more of an issue.

      This build is capable of running The Witcher 3 on at least high settings @ 60fps in 1080p – most AAA games are less demanding than it and will run even better!

      Hope that helps!

  13. Awesome thank you so much for the quick response! One more question, could I use this exact build with an i5? If so which one

  14. Hey branton, just started purchasing all the parts to build this with the i5 7500, it does come with a cooler but could I add a liquid cooler instead for better cooling? They aren’t to expensive and I’d like to make sure my system gets the best treatment!

    1. Hey again Jarett,

      You could definitely add a liquid cooler like the Corsair H60, but the i5 7500 won’t really need it, it’ll be more for your peace of mind than anything.

  15. Hey Branton. Thanks for helping first timers like me to choose great components for a budget gaming pc build. I was wondering if i could change the power supply u mentioned for this build to this one: http://www.lazada.com.my/corsair-cx-series-modular-cx600m-atx-power-supply-600-watt-80plus-bronze-certified-modular-psu80plus-bronze-36-monthswarranty-10760077.html
    The one you provided is not available in my country and ordering through amazon incurs a lot of money for shipping. The above one is a local store in my country so shipping wont be too high.

    1. Also if u could suggest a couple of other motherboards that would fit the casing and all in this build as the one in this build is not available in my country. Thanks. btw, the power supply that i mentioned above should fit the case as well, right?

      1. I definitely can and once I know what country you’re in I’ll be able to suggest a solid replacement! The power supply you mention will fit in the case without an issue.

        1. Im in malaysia. I couldnt find the mother board in this build at the local stores. They suggested the Gigabyte GA-H110M-DS2 to me. Should i take it or do u have some alternative suggestiions? Also this one supports DDR4 but only at 2133MHz. That would mean i would be wasting the 2400MHz RAM in this build if i go with the Gigabyte GA-H110M-DS2 mobo. What do u suggest?

    2. Hey Jimmy,

      It’s not a problem! I’m out here solely to help you guys enjoy PC gaming like you should 🙂

      The Corsair CX600M will work for sure, especially if the one in the build isn’t available where you’re at. Which country are you in? I might know of a store more local to you that would save you a bunch of $$!

      1. Im in malaysia. I couldnt find the mother board in this build at the local stores. They suggested the Gigabyte GA-H110M-DS2 to me. Should i take it or do u have some alternative suggestiions? Also this one supports DDR4 but only at 2133MHz. That would mean i would be wasting the 2400MHz RAM in this build if i go with the Gigabyte GA-H110M-DS2 mobo. What do u suggest?

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