Just $600 can go a long ways when building a gaming PC if you allocate your funds effectively. Here we have a build that will run most titles at the on a 1080P monitor at 60 frames on maximum settings.
Our Gaming PC for Under $600
|$550 - $650|
No set price as pricing of components changes day to day *
Intel i3 8100
A powerful little quad-core Coffee Lake CPU -- great for gaming
Sapphire RX 580 Nitro+
Sapphire's flagship Nitro+ RX 580 with high OC speeds -- but lacks memory
CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 8 GB 2400 MHz
Standard 2400 MHz DDR4 memory
Very bare bones H310 chipset microATX motherboard -- will get the job done
Kingston A400 240 GB SSD
A decent 240GB SATA SSD for really cheap
WD Blue 1TB SATA 7200 RPM 3.5"
Lots of hard drive storage for those massive games
EVGA 500 BR 80+ Bronze
A trusty budget EVGA power supply with 80+ Bronze efficiency rating
Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3.1
A case that fits all our criteria: full acrylic side panel, afforable, mATX
Our Goals for this Build
$600 is a good budget for a gaming PC since it’s about what you need to get some really good 1080P performance. We are talking about 60 FPS on most of the latest titles.
Gaming at 1080P
The key of this build to being able to run 60 FPS on max settings is the RX 580. Our specific model only has 4 GB of VRAM because 1080P doesn’t take up too much VRAM, and the clock speed on the Sapphire Nitro+ cards are among the best.
We only try to recommend quality and reliable components from good manufacturers and we try to not make the build look ugly if we can help it.
Good General Performance
Although this is a gaming PC, you’ll probably use your PC for a lot more than just gaming. This is why it’s essential to have an SSD as having fast storage makes the overall experience of browsing the web and other light PC tasks feel much quicker.
While Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 chips are the hottest budget and mid-range gaming CPUs right now, we chose to use the Intel Core i3 8100 for this build because Ryzen struggles with low-speed RAM, and the 2400 MHz DDR4 RAM stick we are using for this build is relatively slow for DDR4 memory.
The closest AMD counterpart to the i3 8100 is the Ryzen 3 2200G APU. While the 2200G blows out the 8100 in term of it’s on board graphics, the i3 8100 is slightly better than the 2200G with a dedicated graphics card.
The RX 580 is probably the best mid-range graphics card on the market right now. It goes toe-to-toe with the GTX 1060 6GB in gaming performance, but it costs around $20-50 less, depending on whether you get the 4GB or 8GB version.
This Sapphire Nitro+ RX 580 has only 4 GB of VRAM, but because you probably should’ve be looking to game at 1440P at a $600 budget, 4 GB of VRAM is plenty for 1080P gaming.
On all our $700+ PC builds, we include 16 gigabytes of memory because having enough RAM on a 2019 PC is so important even though 8 GB alone is enough for gaming. On this build, we couldn’t afford to over $100 on RAM so we instead opted with just one 8 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 2400 MHz stick so we could put $50 we saved into a better GPU.
Because there is only one RAM stick, you won’t be able to take advantage of dual channel memory everything will be just a tiny bit slower. However, you can always add in another RAM stick in the future and activate dual channel memory.
The MSI H310M PRO-VH is a very very basic LGA 1151 motherboard, but since this is a budget build with a fairly lightweight i3 8100 CPU, it will do the job. Because this motherboard only has two RAM slots, we opted to use one 8 GB stick instead of two 4 GB sticks in order to ensure the RAM can be upgraded in the future.
Standard SATA SSDs have become really cheap, and putting forty dollars of your budget towards 240GB boot drive will make your PC load times, game load times, and general speed of your much much better. It is a common mistake to try to skimp out on the SSD part, especially for new builders.
Obviously an SSD won’t change the amount of processing power your PC has as that is based on your CPU and GPU, but fast memory and storage make your PC feel much faster.
A standard 1TB 7200 hard drive if you have a lot of files to store. If you don’t need that much storage, you should forgo getting a hard drive and instead get a larger SSD instead of a small SSD+HDD.
AMD recommends a 500W power supply for the RX 580. You can even get a 550W or 600W PSU if you want to have more PSU headroom and better efficiency, but for the sake of our budget we have settled with the EVGA 500 BR.
It doesn’t have modular cables, but it’s a pretty good budget PSU that gets the job done.
$600 isn’t too much to work with, but the MasterBox Lite 3.1 is a nice microATX case that doesn’t cost too much. It’s got red/black/silver attachable trim options that come in the box as well as a full sized acrylic side panel.
Upgrade Options for this Build
Options to Reduce the Cost of Build
We did a little false-advertising here for this guide, as we usually do.
So it’s only far that we give you some different component options so you can keep the cost below $1000 or possibly even $900.
Sadly, unless you already have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse you’re going to need to spend more money on your PC setup. Typically, a budget gaming keyboard, mouse, and monitor will cost you under $200, but that cost can balloon to more than the cost of your entire PC when people go overboard.
We don’t expect anyone building a $600 PC to be looking at $500 ultra-wide monitors or $250 mechanical keyboards with custom key caps, so here are some budget picks for you peripherals.
The RX 580 is a monster at 1080P, but it will struggle for most games at 1440P especially since the Sapphire RX 580 in this build is a only a 4 GB model. If you play resources intensive games like Fortnite, e-sports, or older titles, the RX 580 s a viable card but 1440P monitors usually cost two or three times as much as a comparable 1080 monitor.
|Acer SB220Q bi|
1080 x 1920 | FreeSync | 75 Hz | 21.5" | 4ms | HDMI | VGA
The Acer SB220Q is a little small, but it's an amazing monitor for it's price coming with AMD FreeSync and 75Hz refresh rate at under a hundred dollars.
|Acer G257HU |
2560 x 1440 | 60 Hz | 25" | 4ms | HDMI | DVI | Display Port
The RX 580 can handle 1440P gaming depending on what games you're playing, but expect to not be able to run max settings.
Fans – Noctua SSO NF-S12 redux-1200
120mm | 1200 RPM PVM | SSO Bearing | 150,000 hours MTBF rating | 100,6 m³/h
The Cooler Master Masterbox 5 case in this review already comes with three fans. If you’re going to replace those fans, you’d better be replacing them with fans that a lot better or it would be a waste. The Noctua NF-S12 redux-1200 airflow fans are some of the quietest bang-for-the-buck fans out there.
Noctua doesn’t mess with the RGB crap so you’ll have to give up your pretty RGB lights if you use Noctua fans.
We always recommend mechanical keyboards for our gaming builds because there’s really not reason not to buy them. Budget mechanical keyboards go for basically the same price as a membrane keyboard, and are vastly superior in design to you mushy membrane keyboard.
|Redragon K552 RED LED Mechanical Keyboard|
Mechanical | Blue Switches | 87 Switches | Red LED | Splashproof
The best selling keyboard on Amazon -- 87 mechanical switches for thirty bucks. A killer deal
|Redragon K557 RGB Mechanical|
Mechanical | Blue Switches | 104 keys | RGB | Waterproof | Anti-ghosting
Full-size mechanical keyboard with RGB and waterproofing
A lot of gamers swear by a decent gaming mouse. Here are some good budget gaming mice that might just add a tiny bit to your gaming performance.
|Logitech G203 Prodigy RGB|
RGB | 6000 DPI | Wired | 2 Custom Buttons
A really solid no-frills budget gaming mouse from a reputable manufacturer
|Razer DeathAdder Elite|
RGB | 16000 DPI | 7 Custom Buttons | 5G Optical Sensor
A perennial bestseller known for it's ergonomics and performance
Monitors speakers, if they even come with your monitors at all, are pretty horrific even if its a high end monitor. Here are some decent budget headsets.
|Mpow EG3 |
20-20,000 Hz | Noise cancelling design
A good looking budget headset. Even comes with a braided cable.
|HyperX Cloud Stinger|
18-23,000 Hz | Memory Foam
A higher-end gaming headset for better performance and quality.
Operating System – Windows 10
The de facto standard OS for gaming PCs is Windows 10. A few people will use Linux, but Linux is much more suited to a niche audience and low-end PCs that are too weak to run the relatively bloated Windows operating systems.
A Windows 10 license and key is really expensive if you buy it the way Microsoft wants you to — it will cost you ~$100 if you buy a key from a retailer.
On reseller likes like Kinguin, you can cop a Windows key for a fraction of the price, usually around 25 bucks.
Finally, Microsoft actually allows Windows 10 installs without a product key. Just install Windows with a USB installation media as you would with any Windows 10 install and selected “I don’t have a product key” when you hit the “Activate Windows” page. Your install will continue and your Windows 10 will work perfectly, but you will have a permanent watermark at the bottom right of your screen and your personalization will be semi-disabled.
You Need To Build The PC
You’ve bought all your components. Now it’s time to actually build your PCs. It may seem like a big challenge at first, but with the amount of resources out there online, almost anyone can build their PC as long as they follow the right directions.
While you’re waiting for your last component to arrive in the mail, try spending a few hours online every day looking at videos and forum posts about PC building and PC technology. You get a better understanding of the process.
Check out this build guide on Youtube. It goes through basically everything you need to do to build a PC from start to finish.