If you’re looking into building yourself the best gaming PC for around $600, you’re definitely going to want to look at this build! This budget gaming PC build has plenty of power where it’s needed and a lot of upgrade potential for when you’re ready to go even further!
I’ve put together an amazing build including an Intel i3 6100, a 4GB RX 480, 8GB of 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 6100 and 4GB RX 470!
- A couple different styled/sized screwdrivers
- Anti-static wristband (optional but suggested)
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:
- Install the Power Supply into the Case
- Install the processor (make sure the arrows line up)
- Install RAM (make sure they are in the right way before you try to seat them!)
- Mount the CPU cooler
- Place the rear I/O plate
- Mount the motherboard to the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
- Plug your GPU in
- Install any storage
- Plug everything into the appropriate spots
- Turn it on / Install OS & drivers!
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: January 15th, 2017
Corsair Carbide Spec 01
Mid tower case, great layout, good cooling, big window & decent cable management.
MSI H110M Gaming
mATX, 4x SATA3, 6x USB. Supports LGA 1151 socket CPUs and up to 2133MHz RAM.
Intel i3 6100
Dual-core with Hyperthreading, 3.7GHz core clock, comes with a CPU cooler.
XFX RX 480 (4GB)
4GB GDDR5, great cooling, awesome 1080p performance.
EVGA 600 BQ
600W power supply, 85% efficiency (bronze), semi-modular, 3-year warranty. View
Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 RAM
2400MHz, CL16, single stick.
Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD
3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, quiet & reliable!
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
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 6500 for an i3 6100. That said, the 6th generation i3 6100 is a great 3.7GHz dual-core (with Hyper-threading) CPU with plenty of power to handle pretty much any game you’re going to play. Upgrading to an i5 would give you a lot more power, but it would also cost a lot more.
The motherboard in this build is a great little mATX unit from MSI that runs the H110 chipset. It gives us support for all of the features we need with room to expand down the line, including 4x SATA3 ports, 4x USB 3.0 / 2x USB 2.0, 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 model I picked from XFX has received great reviews based on its build quality, noise level, and overall performance. There are other options to consider, however, if you want 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, 600W is pretty much all a build at this level will need. EVGA’s 600W 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.
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.
When 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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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!