inexpensive gaming computer

Best Budget Gaming PC Build Under $600 Dollars, Inexpensive Powerful Computer 2016

 

Once again I’m looking to put together a nice guide to help you build an inexpensive gaming computer. But the BIG question is… can we get a good budget gaming pc under 600 dollars still in 2016? Now that we have our quest lets get a game plan together.

For a build like this plan to get the best graphics card we possibly can with a good supporting staff of other hardware to compliment it nicely. This price range is awesome for someone on a tight budget and we should be able to build a pretty sweet gaming rig with it.

In the end you will have an awesome gaming machine that will handle all you throw at it.


 

Updated: 11/20/2016

Best Budget Gaming PC Build Under $600

 

Case – Corsair Carbide Series 200R Compact ATX Case CC-9011023-WW

 

CPU / Processor – Intel Skylake 3.70 GHz Core i3-6100 3M Cache Processor

good gaming pc under 600

 

 

Motherboard – Gigabyte LGA1151 Intel H110 Micro ATX DDR4 Motherboard GA-H110M-A

 

RAM – Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 2133MHz

 

Graphics Card – EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB GAMING ACX 2.0 3GB GDDR5

 

Hard Drive – WD Blue 1TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive – 7200 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch

 

Power Supply – EVGA 500 W1 80+, 500W Continuous Power, 3 Year Warranty Power Supply

 

Total Cost: $575-$625  Current Price: $592.91


 

Build Explanation

 

This build is going to be very close to my PC build under $500 guide that I put together recently. With the extra money in the budget I decided to put it towards a few different areas. Remember that this build and the prices are subject to change as the tech world is fast moving. I will do my best to keep it up to date.

To get the next really good bump in graphics you will have to spend a little more then I wanted to on a graphics card so I am going to be bolstering the build around the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB graphics card.

The first noticeable upgrade is the case. I went with a nice full featured ATX Mid-Tower that will provide plenty of room for all of your hardware. It is simple, sleek and just the right bones to support your needs.

Next I upgraded the CPU to an Intel Skylake i3-6100 Processor 3.70 GHz. This is a dual-core chip with hyper-threading. Meaning it acts similar to a quad core. This is a naturally cool running CPU while paired with the stock cooling and has a nice upgrade path towards an i5 or i7 in the future if you ever need the extra power.

Lastly 16GB of RAM is more then enough and quite suitable at this price point.

 

Computer Case Selection

 

Like I’ve said before in other articles a computer case is really up to personal preference and style. The main thing you need to know is that it is compatible with your motherboard and large enough for all the parts you want to shove inside it.

For this specific build I decided to select a standard sized mid-tower to give a little more room for cooling. The end plan is to overclock things which means a larger CPU cooler and also the more space the better to help keep down temperatures.

You can certainly spend more or less then the case I recommend or even find one you simply like better. Just know that for most builds under say… 1 grand I wouldn’t spend a lot on a case because your cutting a lot into your budget that could be better spend on sick hardware.

On the other hand a case is something you can keep reusing over the years on builds so maybe spend more now on a case you love and get more value over time? The choice is yocheap gaming pc cpuurs my friend. 🙂

 

Intel? Yuck! Why no AMD?

 

I’m just kidding I know a lot of you prefer Intel over AMD. I regretfully report to you that Intel is pretty much king of the hill for gaming PC purposes even at the lower price point.

The reason I regret to say this is its not that i’m an AMD fanboy but I just like to see a little competition and variety in the marketplace. In the past from time to time AMD has held the lead in the bang for buck and overclockability realm but alas this time has passed. I dream that when the bell rings for the next round we will see some good stuff from AMD again.

Don’t get me wrong the FX-6300 and Athlon X4 860K are both good processors but they will be lagging behind the Intel counterparts. Plus FM2+ and FM3+ are at the end of their run so to speak and you won’t be left with much of an upgrade path.

Going with the Intel Core i3-6100 Processor 3.7 GHz gives you nice overclockability, decent upgrade path and will be able to keep up no problem with your graphics card. The fact that it runs 4 threads will make sure you will have no problems playing any modern games at great settings.

 

All the other things…

 

After the general direction of the project has been established I build out the rest of the machine with the best bang for buck hardware that makes sense at the price point.

While not being overly picky, this is still a lower budget build after all, we need to make sure we get it right. From the hard drive to the power supply unit look to get the most performance you can without encroaching into the money budgeted for the graphics card.

 

Star of the Show – Graphics, Graphics and more Graphics!

 

Again I designed another PC around the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB GPU and this is because I think it’s one of the best cards in it’s price range. You will get plenty of performance out of it allowing you to crush it at 1080p or better on high settings. My suggestion would be to spend $150-$250 out of your $600 budget in this area alone.

To reinforce this idea I want to tell you again that making the graphics card the focal point in any gaming machine will always be most important. If playing games is your main activity on the PC then this is key. The cool thing about building a gaming computer is that they can typically handle most everything else you want to throw their direction as well.

 

What else goes well with this PC?

 

Operating System – Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit

 

WiFi – Wireless USB Adapter

 

SSD Drive Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD

 

Optical Drive – Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA OEM DRW-24B1ST

 

Monitor – Acer G226HQL Bbd 21.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen Display

 

Keyboard & Mouse Combo – Redragon S101 VAJRA USB Gaming Keyboard + Mouse

 

Headset –  Sentey Gs-4730 Gaming Heaset

 

Speakers – Creative A250 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System

 

Extra Parts Explanation

 

This is mainly a list of schtuff you can take a look at if you are in need of any of these things. I will talk about the OS here in a bit but let me talk about a couple other parts first.

In the area of internet connection I highly recommend connecting directly into your router rather then wireless for best performance. This way you can insure your connection will be the best possible and reduce the chances of lag.

To pair with this you can get a fairly cheap wireless USB adapter as I stated above however, if wireless is your only option I recommend you go with something a little more permanent for better results.

A TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Dual Band Wireless N900 PCI Express Adapter would work well for this but there are a lot of good options out there. As you’re doing with this PC, just do your homework on the hardware in question and you should be fine.

An optical or DVD-RW drive is the other toss up piece of kit that can be added to your computer. As you can now buy your operating system on a USB drive and download all your programs and games I would say for most people including this isn’t real important. It is also something that can be scavenged from an old PC or bought at a later date. Whatever suits your needs is fine.

 

Why buy an Operating System?good pc build under 600 dollars

 

With the release of Steam OS and availability of other free Linux based operating systems is there really any reason to go out and pay Microsoft for their product? This is an age old question so i’ll answer it with an age old… I’ll just give you my opinion on the matter. 🙂

Starting off with Ubuntu, one of the most popular Linux releases to date. Having used it myself on machines throughout the years I can tell you it is a pretty sweet free / open source option for you. The main problem being that a lot of popular games today still do not support being played on this OS.

A smaller but still valid point is getting started with Linux isn’t always newbie friendly. If you really want to I say go for it but maybe start out with windows and add Linux on a 2nd partition to have the option to boot from either OS.

Now that Steam OS is a thing and being widely talked about should we look there for your gaming needs? After all it is free as well. At this time I will say no and you can check out why from the guys over at Ars Technica who did a nice comparison of Steam OS to Windows 10. To summarize: Steam OS is actually hindering gaming performance.

All in all you would be best suited to pickup a copy of Windows 10. At this time, for the modern gamer, it is our best option and actually buying a user license is the way to go. We all love to hate old Billy don’t we?

 

How to Build the Best Gaming PC for Under $600 Dollars in 2016!

 

I recently wrote a whole page on PC building where I also compiled a few videos to help you along your way. You can check that out as well as the video below if you are a beginner to computer building or even if you are experienced and just want a refresher.

Every time I go to do a new build the first thing I do is get my self immersed into some on topic content. It can help speed the process up and it is a fun activity to do as well.

If this is your very first build I advise learning as much about the process as possible and you should have no problems at all going forward. Let me know if I can help at all!

 

Why Building Your Own Gaming PC Is Awesome

 

I get a lot of people asking me why building a PC is better then buying a pre-built rig. I will try and give you the low down as simply as possible.

There is a lot of misconception that building your own is the only way to go and biblical. The simple truth is that for a lot of people it is more convenient and easier to just pick one up off the shelf and call it a day. While that is fine i’ll give you a couple reasons as to why I enjoy building my own computer.

The first and most important reason is that it is a hobby in which I absolutely love. From conception, to design, to actual build process I am having a total blast. While it’s true that PC gaming is a hobby, it is also true that PC building is a hobby. Even just talking with others on forums or social media has been a great time as well.

Secondly there is a lot of value to be gained from putting a PC together your self. You know exactly what make, model and quality of parts are going into the build and that they are being cared for and installed by a real person who cares (YOU!).

The End but the Very Beginning!

 

So this concludes my guide to an inexpensive yet what I believe to be the best budget gaming PC build for under $600 dollars for 2016. I know it is hard to believe that such a great gaming machine can be created for a lower budget such as this but, yes it is possible. To see another build of mine check out this $500 or $700 guide.

With this build you will be well on your way to dominating the online battlefields and immersing yourself within the wondrous pixel worlds of tomorrow. Stay easy and game on my friends!

 

Are you ready to build your own gaming PC? You gotta tell me if you are planning to :). Was I able to help you in some way with my article? I sure hope so. Also i’d love to share in your experiences so let me know what is going on! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop me one anytime at the bottom of this page. Likes, shares, tweets and +1’s are greatly appreciated as well.

Thank you,

Anthony

Founder of Level Up Your Gear

 

30 comments

  • Rajat Kapoor

    You have put in some interesting points, whilst I have been in the I.T industry for quiet a while, it has been mostly on the software side of things. Your site provides useful information as I read thru the posts and replies from other visitors. Will definitely bookmark it for future reference. Hope you keep updating regularly as tech. changes

    • Anthony

      Hi Rajat,

      I have taken a little break but will certainly be updating as often as possible. The tech world does move about as fast as any industry possibly can. Thanks for taking a peak at my website and I hope the gaming PC article was useful to you.

      Thanks again!

  • Paul

    And now I move into the $600 class — thanks again Anthony for this killer PC build. I haven’t researched computer components in quite some time now (I look into certain components when I’m looking to upgrade/replace) so I can’t say I really recognize much in your list. I know the brands, of course, and for the record I’ve always used Intel processors; it’s my understanding that no other company has really been able to compete with them for many years now. Regardless, I’ll be sure to keep this page bookmarked and refer to it when needed.

    • Anthony

      Heya,

      That’s right Paul Intel has really been leading the industry for processing power for a while now but AMD is looking to put up some competition in 2016. This $600 build is designed around that powerful graphics card but is still very solid overall. It should make you a good gaming PC when you are ready to build.

      Thanks,

      Anthony

  • inzhirov

    Hello just wanted to say great information on building a great personal computer for a great price. I was always looking into building my own pc just did not know what would be better to get to build a good pc for a decent price.Thanks again for this post now I got an idea on where to start.

    • Anthony

      This is certainly a good place to start for an inexpensive PC build whether you are gaming or not. While you could go with a different AMD processor or Nvidia graphics card that choice is up to you but the build I have curated is what I think is optimal for the price point. Also check out this $500 gaming PC build if you want to save some money. Take care and if you have any further questions just let me know.

      -Anthony

  • sc88

    Hi Anthony,

    thats a really informative article, I wish I had come across this a couple of years ago when I was really into gaming and optimizing my computer (not that i am or was an expert but i had the interest.. You can see the passion you have for what you do here and thats what success follows… keep writing great content Ant!

    • Anthony

      sc88!

      Thanks for stopping by and giving such high praise. It is much appreciated as is reading my articles. You know where to come when you’re ready to build your next computer! If you have any questions at all just let me know.

      -Anthony

  • Anthony

    Now this is a good budget PC. You get a lot for the price which is great. AMD is good but, in my opinion, intel is just better.

    AMD right now is playing catch up to a few things such as NVIDIA’s G-sync etc so I would prefer other things than AMD, but AMD isn’t bad.

    Have you built your own PC? If so what are some of your specs. Do you go overboard or do you try and keep things simple?

    • Anthony

      Hey there again buddy!

      AMD has never really competed with Intel on higher budget chips but at the lower end they historically have. At this time they aren’t fully on par even there which makes me sad cause I like some competition in the market. The new AMD Zen processors look to be promising later on in 2016 so keep fingers crossed. As far as graphics go their graphics cards DO compete so you can go with Nvidia or AMD cards. I don’t have much preference there but I like to try and find whatever is better performance per dollar. I have built a lot of my own PC’s over the years usually keeping everything simple and on a lower budget. I have some plans for this new year to build something more monstrous! When I do I will be sure to blog and possibly vlog about it. Stay tuned 😉

  • brathbone

    I have a set of teenage boys that complain about our old computer… They say our computer “sucks” something about lag, ram, and processors… I am going to show them your site because this is in my budget.

    Do you have a link to the items on you site that tells me where to buy?

    • Anthony

      Hows it going?

      That would be great i’m sure your kids would love a modern gaming PC. I will add in the links shortly to the exact product pages for my recommended parts. Let me know if you have any questions.

      -Anthony

  • Tim

    Looks like a pretty sweet build for under $600 man.

    It was interesting reading about the free operating systems and in particular the Steam OS. You would think it would be great for gaming since it is Steam.. but apparently not.

    This was very helpful in working out how to build a cost effective yet powerful machine, thanks for sharing!

    • Anthony

      Hello Tim,

      Thanks! Yea you would think the last thing a gaming company would do is make an OS that preforms worse for… gaming haha. I am sad about that I hope they improve it soon it would be nice to have other good options. I think using Ubuntu may be a decent option but you wont have access to certain titles so that’s the main thing to watch out for. Appreciate you reaching out!

      -Anthony

  • Dan Maxwell, Jr

    Really awesome post Anthony.. Very detailed and starter friendly. Your post actually took my mind way back to 2004 when I built my first PC for word processing and internet purposes. I could afford to buy one so I figured I’ll salvage parts from different I got from dustbins and yard sales. How far we’ve come.

    Anyway, when it comes to you ingredients, how much of a difference will it make in terms of price if one got an i7 processor as opposed to the i3 you recommend?

    • Anthony

      Hey there Dan,

      Haha you are right we have came a long way haven’t we? I was building my own first PC’s just before 2004 as well. You can upgrade to an Intel i7 but you will be looking at roughly $300-$330 for just your CPU alone. Of course down the road the price will come down. Thanks for commenting and if I can help you at all going forward just let me know.

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

  • Nicki

    Fantastic tutorial. Do you have any plans to write a how-to instruction guide for putting this all together? Some of us have never built our own but are ready to try it!
    My son is really into the some of the flying simulator and world of tank types, but he’s been having tons of graphic card issues. It just can’t keep up anymore.
    How long do you think this set-up (your recommended build) would stay relevant?

    • Anthony

      Heya Niki!

      Thanks! Here’s a link to my build a PC page. I think it would be cool if you decide to build your own PC. A build like this one would stay relevant for years and is also upgrade ready for down the road. I myself tend to do a lot less upgrading and a lot more building new PC’s at that time but it just comes down to what you want to do at that point. Thanks for the response here I really appreciate it.

      -Anthony

  • jCamden

    This is pretty cool, I didn’t even know it was possible to get a good gaming PC under 600 dollars! I paid more than that for my computer that doesn’t even come close to having the specs to being a gaming computer. I really love how detailed all your instructions are and how you include so much extra in your post! You have a great knack for getting people excited about this 🙂

    • Anthony

      Hows it going,

      Glad you enjoyed this article / guide on how to build your own gaming PC on a budget. Like you said you usually end up spending more on a pre-built and getting less. I hope I was able to help you in some way or maybe inspire you to build your own PC next time!

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

  • Cephas

    I love your site so much that am moved to comment on more than one page. I am struck by the value you are offering for we the game lovers. I know how frustrating it is when all you want to do is to game but all that you get from your PC is overheating or running slow. It is the most frustrating moment. But you have the answer to all that and I appreciate your coming out to help us live our passions to the fullest

  • Zoly

    Hy Anthony,

    I play on console from time to time, although i like to play more on pc. I give up playing on pc because it’s too expensive to upgrade to meet the requirement of new games. Your article is full of great information for passionate pc gamers with low budget. Anyways more and more powerful games come out on market, so in my opinion on long term building a good gaming pc is important no matter what parts or programs you use.

    Great job on article!

    Zoly

    • Anthony

      Zoly!

      How’s it going? I think it sounds like you are due for a new PC build. This one would be a great place to start and I think you will find that the quality and community in the PC gaming world is just exceptional. A nice $600 budget will get you setup nicely for sure. Thanks for the high praise I appreciate that greatly.

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

  • tatihden

    Thanks for such a great article. For someone who do not play games, you got me captivated. My dad will totally love this post, he cannot keep his hands from tweaking things. I love your funny analogy for Intel vs AMD. You are right, some competition will be great because usually when a company is on top and has no real competition, they have no real need for improvement. There is always room for improvement.

    • Anthony

      Hey hows it going?!

      I apreciate the kind words that is very nice of you I put a little bit of work into this article 🙂 I don’t think AMD will be going anywhere anytime soon and I’m looking forward to what the release in 2016. Thanks for sending your dad or anyone else to check this guide out. I love talking to everyone about this stuff. Maybe you guys can build your own PC soon!

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

  • Erik

    Hi Anthony.
    Thanks for this article, I think it’s great. Everybody who want’s to play games on the PC but has a limited budjet should take a look at your post. $600 is not much money for a gaming PC , that’s for sure. Just have one question: when you overclock the processor does it lower its durability?

    • Anthony

      Hello Erik!

      I know I have been on a budget pretty much always for my gaming PC’s but I am looking to upgrade here soon to a pretty nice one. As far as overclocking goes, It can potentially lower the life span of a CPU. But if done properly it should last a long time. I have overclocked a lot of CPU’s and never had one die on me so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It’s definitely one of those things that can be a little bit of a risk but most people find the reward great enough for how low the risk really is.

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

  • Regina

    I don’t play games but my husband does. He builds his own computer for it. It’s not a hobby for him but a money saving and personal preference thing. The great thing about it is you can change any part that spoils or that you want to upgrade later on.

    We connect that to the tv in our living room. Sometimes we watch shows together on this pc, so I guess everyone benefits!

    • Anthony

      Hello Regina,

      That is cool that your husband built his own. Next time tell him about my site I’d love to talk with him about it! He’s right is is a pretty good way to save some money and bump up the performance for what you are getting. It is always good to see friends, family and people in general connect over the use of technology like you guys are rather then letting it get the best of us and separate our selves from reality! Take care and let me know if you need any help building your own gaming PC. Although it sounds like you already have a great resource for that right at home 🙂

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

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