Getting a smooth gaming experience is what every gamer dreams of and if you are looking to build a gaming PC under $600, then keep reading because you are at the right place. We help people around the globe in building their first gaming setup from scratch. Therefore, if you have a particular budget fixed for your gaming build, then we are here to help you get the best build of your life.
With 600 dollars in hand, you can generally expect to have smooth gameplay at 1080p resolution. In 2022, we have a lot of options in each PC component category to choose from. However, it is important to get the ones that provide you with the best value for the money. Therefore, we will be guiding you to select your own components without wasting several days on the research.
What is a Gaming PC?
A Gaming PC essentially is a Desktop Computer that specializes in playing video games through the help of its configuration which consists of components powerful enough to render intensive graphics in games. A Gaming PC generally has the same components as the standard desktop PC except that its Processor and Graphics Processing Unit are significantly more powerful than the standard desktop.
A Gaming PC mainly uses 7 different components that are- Processor, GPU, RAM, Motherboard, Storage Drive, Power Supply, and PC Case with some having additional components such as aftermarket CPU coolers, Caes fans, and expansion cards for a more feature-rich gaming PC.
Is $600 Good For a Gaming PC?
Definitely. With 600 dollars it is totally possible to get the best budget components for your money. Whether you want an awesome CPU that will last several years or a GPU that will let you game for a couple of years easily, $600 will get the job done just fine. In this budget, the main components we are looking to buy are the CPU, GPU, RAM, Motherboard, Storage, Power Supply, and Case. For each component, we will set a particular budget and try to get the best one for that price.
You should be expecting around 50-60 fps on average on high settings at 1080p with this build. This PC won’t be able to max out all the graphical settings in all the games but most games will get you a good eye candy without compromising much on the fps. Generally speaking, this $600 build will compete with the current-gen gaming consoles under $500 but will have a lot of options to play with.
Before moving on to the list, it is important to know what components you should look for and why. This should give you an idea of how much powerful your PC hardware should be.
For the processor, we are looking at at least a 4-core CPU with hyperthreading. You should spend around $100-$150 on a CPU if you have a total budget of $600 for your gaming build. Fortunately, we have a good amount of CPUs from both AMD and Intel that have awesome budget gaming CPUs featuring 4-6 cores at this price range.
Unlike gaming builds for less than $500, you should try to get a better chipset motherboard to have more slots and ports. While it is more important to invest a good amount of money in your CPU and GPU, a motherboard that can support multiple components and peripherals at the same time is definitely recommended.
We are looking for at least 16GB of RAM here. Although 8GB will also get the job done, spending $10-$20 more won’t hurt our budget that bad. However, you will be seeing faster and better performance as a whole whether you play games or multitask.
We are going to spend at least $150 or higher for the discrete GPU. At this price point, an iGPU is a big No. With $150-$250, we can get one of the best budget GPUs that can easily take the fps to 60 with high settings.
The least we recommend is 500GB and for this build, we will never recommend a hard drive. A SATA or NVME SSD is the best option as they are faster and require less space. If possible, we can have 1 TB of storage or a combination of 500GB+1TB storage drives in the future.
You should never cheap out on your power supply. Your entire gaming build depends on it and a reliable PSU protects your system from faulty current and voltage. We are recommending at least a 500W of reliable power supply from one of the popular manufacturers with at least 80 Plus White power efficiency rating and some PCI-E connectors for the GPU.
At this price, it is best to go with an ATX mid-tower case that supports both micro-ATX and ATX motherboards. An ATX tower will also give you more space to work with and will allow you to add some more components in the future.
Parts list For $600 Gaming PC
The value for the price we get with the Intel Core i3 10100F is currently unmatched. While initially launched for over $100, this CPU is currently around $70 which makes it a perfect option for most budget gaming builds. We thought we should use the i3 12100F but the performance difference won’t be very high. However, the money we save can be invested into a better GPU, higher RAM, better case, and more storage. All of this will make your build absolutely fantastic and better upgradable.
The Core i3 10100F comes with 4 cores and 8 threads clocked at 3.6/4.3GHz. It is a locked chipset and hence, we can save even more money on the motherboard as we don’t need overclocking features. This chip can handle almost any budget to mid-end GPU without bottlenecking the latter. Moreover, 4 cores and 8 threads are sufficient for any latest title as well as for any office work.
Stream Processors- 1024
Clock- up to 2825MHz
VRAM- 4GB GDDR6
Despite being one of the worst GPUs due to its PCI-E limitation, the RX 6500 XT is still the best you can get for under $200 and that’s because we don’t have a lot of options right now. The RX 6500 XT is a powerful budget GPU that can play almost any game on high settings with consistent 60 fps on average. Some games may require some graphics tweaks but overall, it is a much better option than the GTX 1650 as it is cheaper and performs better.
The card comes with 4GB of VRAM and up to 2825MHz of boost clock which is insanely high. Coming to the card’s main problem, we know that the 6500 XT works better on PCI-E Gen 4.0 slot, and therefore, the motherboard we selected has the Gen 4.0 interface giving you the highest possible compatibility and bandwidth to get good performance. So, you should ignore that bandwidth thing totally.
CL Timings- 16-18-18-38
The RAM we used here is dual sticks of 8GB DDR4 RAM modules. As a dual channel is better than a single channel, we recommend using 2 sticks instead of a single 16GB RAM. The brand is TeamGroup which produces one of the best budget memory kits in the world and for this build, 16GB of RAM is more than enough. The clock frequency of the modules is 3200MHz and has good tight timings of 16-18-18-38 which will offer faster operation. Now whether you play video games or open a dozen Chrome tabs, you won’t have to worry about your PC freezing or crashing due to a lot of loads.
RAM support- 128GB, 5333MHz
Storage- 6x SATA, 2x M.2
PCI-E slots- 2x PCI-E x1, 1x PCI-E x16
For the i3 10100F, we have two chipsets that will be fit for use. The entry-level H610 and the B560. The problem with the H610 is that most motherboards with this chipset are close to the pricing of many budget B560 motherboards but offer fewer features. Therefore, we are going with the Gigabyte B560M DS3H V2 motherboard that is micro-ATX in form factor and features 4x DIMM slots for higher RAM size support and comes with dual M.2 slots for fast NVME SSDs.
The board comes with a single PCI-E x16 slot gen 4.0 for the graphics card and 2x PCI-E x1 slots for expansion cards like Wifi cards for wireless internet connectivity. For peripheral connectivity, there are 5x USB Type-A ports and a single Type C port for fast transfer speeds which can also be used for fast phone charging. This is neither overkill nor very low profile and gets all the job done in our budget.
We have set a good budget for the storage drive and we are going with a single 1TB of NVME SSD that offers high read/write speeds and enough space for storing multiple games. The Silicon Power 1TB SSD features up to 2200MB/s of sequential read speed which will boot the operating system and applications in a couple of seconds. You will see this insane speed in games too where the loading screen will disappear in no time.
Now with just one M.2 slot acquired on the motherboard, you can add another one in the second M.2 slot or you can add another 1 or 2TB SATA SSD if you ever run out of space but for now, we think that this is sufficient.
Power Efficiency- 80+ Bronze
Warranty- 5 years
NZXT is a new competitor in the PSU category but it has got good success with the C series of power supplies. For powering all of our components, we are going to use the C550 PSU that offers 650 watts of wattage capacity and an 80 Plus Bronze power efficiency rating. This PSU is quite cheaper than most 650W PSUs but has some additional features that are hard to find.
One of them is the Semi-Modular design which allows you to connect only those cables which you require. The ATX and EPS cables are pre-attached but they are well-sleeved. For graphics cards, it comes with 4x 6+2 pin PCI-E power connectors which are sufficient even for a high-end GPU but you will only get 2x 6+2 pin power cables that we believe are still perfect for our use.
Dimensions- 460 x 210 x 428mm
Material- SGCC Steel
For the case, we are going with one of the best-looking mid-tower chassis from NZXT. The H510 is a sleek mid-tower case that is constructed of SGCC Steel and features a tempered glass side panel. It has a PSU shroud at the bottom to cover all the mess to give you a neat and tidy look. On top, the working area is spacious and features a cable cover to hide all the cable connections.
It can support CPU coolers up to 165mm in height and GPU up to 381mm long. This makes it perfect for future upgrades and won’t require an upgrade unless you are bored of its look. The only thing that is not the best is the airflow. Most NZXT cases come with an opaque front panel and provide ventilation through either top and bottom or the side. This case has ventilation on the right side and can support up to 280mm radiators at the front for AIO cooling.
For cable routing, there is a dedicated cable management system with velcro straps at the back for easy cable routing and you will get SSD installation bays inside the PSU shroud as well as on the motherboard tray. For around 70 bucks, you will never go wrong with this one.
Links to Amazon UK and Amazon CA may contain different components depending on the availability and pricing. Most of the time these components will be RAM and Power Supply.
Is The $600 Gaming PC Upgradable?
Definitely. Our $600 gaming build can be easily upgraded anytime. We chose parts carefully so that you don’t have to change all the components for a decent uplift in gaming performance. Whether you want to upgrade the CPU or the GPU, you don’t have to spend money on other components.
For this build, the first upgrade we would like to suggest is the CPU. While the i3 10100F is pretty decent and can handle most mid-end GPUs easily, with some higher-end GPUs, it will certainly bottleneck your graphics card. The best upgrade will be getting a 10th or 11th gen Core i5 or i7 processor. Core i7s will be overkill for any gaming build today and it is recommended to go with a locked one unless you really need overclocking.
For overclockable Core processors, you will need an unlocked chipset. Therefore, the total cost will increase dramatically as you would need a Z590 chipset motherboard which will cost around $$150-$300 depending on the edition you are buying. However, it is best to stay with a locked processor and upgrade the GPU before upgrading the motherboard.
A decent GPU upgrade will be getting an RTX 3060 or higher. This will allow you to play games at 1440p resolution and you can also turn on ray tracing in supported games. The next upgrade should be your storage for which we suggest getting another 1TB or 2TB SSD. For the RAM, PSU, and Case, we don’t think you would need to upgrade them very soon as 16GB RAM is adequate for a couple of more years easily. Also, the PSU has a 650W capacity which can power most components including a high-end GPU.
As for the case, the H510 is already a premium mid-tower with good functionality and component support. After getting over these necessary components, we recommend using an aftermarket CPU cooler for lower thermals and better looks. A budget air cooler will do the job but an AIO is a permanent solution whether you upgrade to a locked CPU or an unlocked one. Moreover, you can add more chassis fans for better airflow inside the case.
Best PreBuilt PCs Under $600
We understand that custom gaming PCs are not for everyone. If you don’t have time to build one or if you don’t know how to build it by yourself, you can get a PreBuilt gaming system. Currently, there is a handful of PreBuilts under $600 and we have listed the ones that are the best for the money.
Again, we strongly recommend getting built by yourself or buying the parts and getting the PC assembled by someone who knows how to do it as the PreBuilts under $600 are not close in performance to the gaming PC we recommended above.
Nvidia Geforce GTX 750 Ti
8GB DDR3, 500GB SSD
USB Wifi and Windows 10 Pro
For around $550, the Kepler Systems Genesis computer brings a dedicated GPU with an Intel Core i5 2500 CPU. This CPU is very old as of now and therefore, uses 8GB DDR3 RAM. This can’t compete with the latest gen CPUs but with the GTX 750 Ti, you can play most games on low settings at 1080p. This PC is suitable for those who would like to play older titles that are less graphical intensive or the esports games that don’t require powerful specs.
The best feature of this PC is its case which is a beautiful mid-tower that is well built and can support a lot of components by default. It comes with a tempered glass front and side panel with 4x 120mm RGB fans pre-installed. There is also a PSU shroud and enough space inside to install big coolers and GPUs. For storage, you will get a 500GB SSD and Wifi, Windows 10 Pro pre-installed which you won’t be getting on the custom gaming build.
Overall, it is a casual gaming PC that doesn’t appeal to us too much.
Nvidia GTX 1050
8GB DDR3, 1TB HDD
Wifi and Windows 10 Pro
Next, we have the ViprTdh Pro gaming PC that costs $600 and features much better specs than the Kepler Systems. It has an Intel Core i5 4570 that is noticeably faster than the i5 2500 and has one of the best budget GPUs. The Nvidia GTX 1050 comes with 2GB of VRAM and can play most games on medium settings at 1080p.
Other specs include an 8GB DDR3 RAM and a 1TB hard drive storage. It would have been better if the PC came with an SSD instead as it makes things a lot better. All of these components are fitted inside a great-looking mid-tower chassis that features 4x 120mm RGB fans and a decent ventilation system from the sides of the front panel. It has a long PSU shroud with a 500W of PSU and a good cable management system for routing cables from all sides inside the case.
Radeon RX 550
16GB DDR4, 512GB HDD
Wifi and Windows 11 Pro
Last but not the least, the HP Pavilion is a little over $600 but has significantly better specs than the PCs listed above. It comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600G APU that is a powerful 6-core 12-thread CPU and also features a Vega 7 iGPU. It is combined with the Radeon RX 5500 which is a fantastic budget GPU that competes with the RX 6500 XT and doesn’t have any PCI-E bandwidth limitation.
The reason why it is still inferior to our recommended custom gaming build is because other components aren’t as good as they could have been for the money. However, it is definitely much better when it comes to the CPU. Other specs include 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 256GB NVME SSD. You will also get pre-installed Wifi and Windows 10 Home and a Keyboard/Mouse combo to start gaming right away.
With our $600 gaming build, you will get that sweet spot gaming performance at 1080p that doesn’t compromise much with the visual quality. If you need any help or advice regarding PC parts selection or building the computer, feel free to use the comments box below and we will try to resolve your issues in a day or two.