The Best Gaming PC Build for $600 in 2018

In Budget Builds, Custom Builds by Branton1167 Comments

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 budget build including AMD’s brand new Ryzen 3 1200, a 3GB GTX 1060, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of storage! This cheap but powerful build serves as a great platform to start with and upgrade as you go.  

Competitive shooters, MOBAs, indie games, and most eSports titles are where this budget build is going to perform the best. It’ll also give you that smooth 60fps performance in demanding AAA games like The Witcher 3 or GTA: V that you’re looking for!

Have a question? Ask me in the comment section!

GPU Shortage 2018

Due to a recent and major GPU shortage, almost all graphics cards from the GTX 1050 Ti and up have become all but impossible to buy. This includes both AMD and Nvidia cards and there’s no way to say when the shortage will end.

That being said, building a gaming PC is going to be difficult right now if you can’t buy the graphics card you need. So, you have 2 (maybe 2.5) options. 

Option 1 is waiting until the shortage ends, whenever that might be. It could be a couple of weeks or it could be a couple of months, there’s no way of knowing. 

Option 1.5 is buying a GPU from a scalper who’s trying to sell it for 100% more than the actual value. This option sucks.

Option 2 is buying a prebuilt gaming PC. Now, I know you might have heard all sorts of bad things about buying a prebuilt desktop, but not all of them are bad! There are actually some great prebuilt options that offer really decent value. It won’t be of the exact same quality as if you built it yourself, but it’ll come with Windows installed and ready to fire up right out of the box. Sometimes, you have to take the good with the bad. 

Below you’ll find some options that I’ve hand-picked for this level of build. They range from $600-$1000 in price and are ordered from cheapest to most expensive. 

Mid-range Desktops ($600-$1000):
– HP Pavillion (i5 7400 + 3GB GTX 1060 + 8GB RAM)
– CYBERPOWERPC GXIVR8020A4 (i5 7400 + 4GB RX 580 + 8GB RAM)
– CYBERPOWERPC GXiVR8060A5 (i5 8400 + 3GB GTX 1060 + 8GB RAM)
HP Pavillion 580-068 (i7 7700 + 3GB GTX 1060 + 16GB RAM)

Summary

This gaming PC build is for those gamers who want to play demanding/AAA games and aren't worried about dropping a setting or two down from ultra to get that smooth 60fps experience. In competitive shooters like Overwatch and CS:GO, this build won't have any issues pushing well over 144fps so you can comfortably use a 144Hz monitor to get that edge on your competition. 

The Hardware

CaseVivo V06
MOBOMSI B350M Pro-VDH
CPUAMD R3 1200
GPUZotac GTX 1060 Mini 3GB
PSUEVGA 450 B1 80+ Bronze
RAM1x8GB DDR4 2666MHz
HDDWD Blue 1TB 7200RPM
SSDOptional

Features

  • 1080p 60fps gaming
  • Can be overclocked
  • 10x total USB ports
  • Integrated 2.1 audio (Realtek ALC892)
  • Great for competitive shooters
  • Easy to upgrade
Image

-A small Phillips screwdrivers
-Anti-static wristband (optional but suggested)
-Patience

That’s about all you’re going to need, seriously. Building a PC is a pretty simple process that requires your time more than anything else. But, watching a video walkthrough or reading a guide always helps, so I’ve added both of those in the next tab! There’s also this checklist which you can download and use to make sure that you have everything you need 🙂

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!

In-depth Walkthrough

Instead of me typing out a ton 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.

Or, if you did want a ton of words, I’ve put together somewhat of a crash course to building your gaming PC that you might want to check out.

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 1st, 2018

  • Vivo V06

    mATX tower, comes with 2 fans, front USB 3.0 & 3.5mm audio jacks.
    View

  • MSI B350M Pro-VDH

    mATX size, AM4 socket, B350 chipset. 4x SATA3, 6x USB. Supports up to 3600MHz RAM.
    View

  • AMD Ryzen 3 1200

    3.4GHz quad-core processor(CPU). Comes with a great stock cooler.
    View

  • Zotac GTX 1060 Mini 3GB

    3GB GDDR5 VRAM, good cooling, awesome 1080p performance.
    View

  • EVGA 450 B1

    450W non-modular power supply, up to 85% efficiency. 3-year warranty.
    View

  • Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM

    1x 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, CL16. Upgrading to more ram is completely possible!
    View

  • WD Blue 1TB HDD

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

Estimated
$599
At Amazon
Get This Build

Add-ons/Upgrades

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 (Newegg) View (Amazon)

  • LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 External DVD drive

    Supports rewriting as well as M-DISCs. External optical drives are quickly becoming the standard as more cases move away from internal 5.25″ bays.
    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.
    View

  • TP-Link Archer T4U V1

    If you have to use WiFi you’re also going to need a WiFi adapter. Read more about WiFi below!
    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 listed above is for the core components only, you will still need an operating system and any other peripherals that you don’t currently have (mouse, keyboard, audio, etc).

Holding everything together is the Vivo V06 micro-ATX case. It gives you lots of options for expansion in terms of added storage, or a more intensive cooling profile. Since the V06 only comes with fans mounted in the front of the case, it’s a good idea to take one off and mount it at the rear as an exhaust; this way you’ll have one fan bringing cool air in and one blowing hot air out. 

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 one that you like more! If you need some suggestions, check out what I consider the 5 best mATX cases

AMD’s new Ryzen 3 1200 is a CPU with plenty of power to handle basically any game that you’re going to play. It’s a quad-core processor with a core-clock of 3.4GHz. It’s capable of overclocking and comes with a great CPU cooler. All-in-all, the R3 1200 is an awesome entry-level CPU. Since it runs the same AM4 socket as the higher level Ryzen CPUs, you could easily upgrade to an R5 1600 if you wanted to. 

Regarding the CPU cooler, the stock cooler the R3 1200 is good enough to handle light overclocking and of course gaming. But, if you really want to push your CPU you’ll want a better CPU cooler. For that, you should check out what I consider the 5 best CPU coolers

The motherboard in this build is a great little mATX unit from MSI that runs the new AM4 socket and B350 chipset. It gives us support for all of the features we need with room to expand down the line, including 4x SATA3 ports, lots of USB ports, support for 3600MHz RAM, integrated 7.1 audio, a built-in ethernet controller and it also supports overclocking. It also looks great, so there’s that to.

A 3GB GTX 1060 is definitely the best option for this level of build right now, it completely tears up 1080p gaming and you’re going to be happy you have one. This particular 3GB GTX 1060 from Zotac 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, it cools great and overclocks alright to boot! There are lots of different variants available, but they’ll all perform basically the same so just choose the cheapest priced option!

8GB of RAM is really all you need for a dedicated gaming PC, so that’s exactly what this build has. Running 8GB of 2666MHz RAM from Corsair’s Vengeance LPX line is going to serve you well while gaming and will leave you with 2 more DIMMs to upgrade to even more RAM down the line. If you’re like me and you multi-task a lot, upgrading to 16GB of RAM would be a good idea.

EVGA’s 450W B1 power supply offers up an awesome semi-modular (only some cables are permanently fixed) form factor and lots of connections for everything this build needs plus most upgrades that you might consider adding down the line. It also comes with a 3-year warranty which is not too bad. 450W of power is more than enough for this build, but if you wanted a little extra peace of mind and a semi-modular layout, the 600 BQ or 500BQ would work as great upgrades.

As for storage, there’s a 1TB HDD in this build by default with the option to add an SSD. The reason I picked a 1TB HDD over an SSD is entirely due to size, for the same you’d pay for a 1TB HDD you can only get a 120GB SSD which honestly isn’t enough when you consider Windows will take up half of that. However, if you have a spare $50 kicking around, adding an SSD (like this one) would be a great idea.

All-in-all, this build is great for competitive shooters and AAA titles alike. It’ll rock 60fps in 1080p without an issue and even higher in less demanding/more optimized games like CS:GO and Overwatch. In PUBG it’ll pull off competitive settings without an issue. 

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, you would really only need to do option 2 if you’re going with Linux.

The USB option will 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 VS247H-P 23.6" 1080p monitor

    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 TE

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

About WiFi

Because the motherboard included in this build doesn’t come with any kind of on board WiFi, most don’t, if you have to use WiFi then you’re going to need an adapter.

There are tons of options when it comes to picking WiFi adapters and it can be a relatively confusing process without knowing what you need. First you should determine what kind of router you have, does it support 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, or just 2.4GHz?

If it supports both, you will probably want an AC adapter to take advantage of the 5GHz band which is much better for gaming than 2.4GHz; but, if your router only supports 2.4GHz then you’ll be fine with an N adapter. There are always numbers following the AC and N classifications, these numbers tell you the maximum speed (in Mbps) that the adapter or router can transfer data at.

Keep in mind that your router and WiFi adapter can’t speed up your internet connection and going for the highest numbers won’t mean the lowest ping. Even N900 (basic) WiFi adapters and routers are capable of transferring data at much higher rates than the average internet connection requires.

  • TP-Link TL-WN722N

    A very affordable N150 USB WiFi adapter. Capable of 150Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
    View

  • TP-Link Archer T4U V1

    A reliable AC1200 USB WiFi adapter. Capable of operating on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
    View

  • Rosewill AC1300

    A good internally mounted (PCIe) AC1300 WiFi adapter.
    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 3GB GTX 1060 is a budget-level powerhouse and it’s definitely going to leave you in awe. Titles like GTA: V, Battlefield 1, The Witcher 3, PUBG 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!

Get This $600 Build
Author
Branton

Branton

Hi! I'm the founder and lead editor here at PC Game Haven. The first game I ever played on PC was Ultima Online way back in 1999, since then I've been hooked on every facet of PC gaming! Thanks for stopping by!

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Comments

1167 Comments on "The Best Gaming PC Build for $600 in 2018"

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Marc
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I am experiencing lag in multiplayer games. My internet is 70mbps, so i shouldn’t be having fps drops in the division from 75 fps(single player) to 50 fps on 4 player co op. Its a similar story on BF1, single player performance awesome, then i have to lower the graphics to medium to get 40 fps. It cant be that the servers are far away,(I was in US server) or the cpu fault. Maybe its my WiFi antennae?

Vakrah
Guest

I’m a newbie in the PC building world so I wanted to ask if there is any walkthrough video or a step by step guide?

Stephen
Guest

Hi, so I looked on Amazon to buy the build but it said this component was missing any suggestions on what else to get?
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini 3GB GDDR5 VR Ready Super Compact Gaming Graphics Card (ZT-P10610A-10L)

Devon
Guest

The b1 450 is out of stock, is it possible to use another? If so, what would you recommend for around the same price?

Mark
Guest

Completed this build and couldn’t be happier! For my first build to work on the first try so smoothly I was pleasantly surprised. The video walkthrough was super helpful as well. Can’t wait to start gaming on it now

Marc
Guest

I now believe I have posted more comments here than anyone else.

Marc
Guest

What cpu temp monitoring software do you use. The one I downloaded says the temp is 30 degrees, which cant be right because in bios it says 39 degrees. Whats the idle cpu usage because I’m afraid Ive already downloaded malware and extra programs that came with dvdwriter.

Marc
Guest

Thanks so much for this build and answering all my questions! I have booted into windows 10 and I saw a video that says you should download mobo drivers, and download the chipset driver from amd because it comes with amd balance plan. But if I do that, wouldnt I have installed the same driver twice? Would it work? heres link to video. :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WOtXtDZLd8 Also how important is it that i install drivers before playing games?

Marc
Guest

After I looked at msi website, i think I should install all drivers except chipset and get that from amd. Is this correct? Im just super nervous I’m gonna download wrong driver and screw up computer.

Marc
Guest

Upon entering the bios it said my ram frequency was something around 2000 which isnt right. The case and cpu fans were not spinning fast, I could barely feel them blow, and the cpu temp went up to 39 degrees! I checked on the fan speed and it was like 700rpm, .5 sec later it said it was at 1400rpm, and kept switching even though the actual fans were not speeding up.

Marc
Guest

For the fans each has two connectors, one small 3 pin connector and one huge 4 pin one. Does the huge connector plug into the psu? Do i only need to connect one of the connectors?