Best Gaming PC Build Under $600

 

600-gaming-build

Introduction

Many gamers are after a good gaming PC build for under $600, which is a reasonable budget that can get you a very decent gaming machine.

In this article we’ll provide you with the parts list that will construct a formidable gaming PC which has been custom-optimized for the $600 price range.

Every part has been selected to get you the optimal bang-for-buck in terms of graphics quality and chug-free processing.

If you’re interested in this gaming build, be sure to read our commentary on the individual parts and why we think each of these is a good fit in this build.

We’ll also touch on optional extras, expected performance of this PC (including which games you should be able to comfortably run), and also give a run-down on the upgradability of the recommended hardware, so you’re all set for now as well as the future.

We really feel this particular build beats most gaming PC builds under $600, which often tend to sacrifice a good processor for graphics card (at the loss of game speed) but judge for yourself – without any further ado, here is our $600 gaming PC build:

Parts List

Last Updated: July 2016

Component Description Price
Graphics Card MSI GTX 960 2GD5T OC edition Check on Amazon
CPU Intel Core i5-6500 Check on Amazon
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB Check on Amazon
Motherboard 71bVkwbsoIL._SL1000_ Gigabyte GA-H110M-A Check on Amazon
Storage 1TB Western Digital Blue Check on Amazon
Case VIVO Gaming PC CASE-V06 Check on Amazon
Power Supply EVGA 500 W1 Check on Amazon
Buy this system on Amazon »

 

Graphics Card

Obviously one of the most important parts in terms of performance for a gaming system is the Graphics card. We’ve picked the MSI GTX 960 2GD5T MSI GTX 960OC edition for this build. MSI have kitted this version out with their own cooling system as well as a slight factory overclock.

Being part of Nvidia’s 900 generation means it can take advantage of some excellent features including:

  • Microsoft DirectX 12, NVidia MFAA, Nvidia Adaptive V-Sync
  • 1178MHz Core (Boost Clock:1241MHz)
  • 2048MB GDDR5 7010MHz Memory
  • Ports: Dual-link DVI-I x 1, Display Port x 3, HDMI x 1

CPU

One of the CPU’s most important jobs in a gaming machine is to send instructions to the graphics card in a timely fashion! Well, we may have oversimplified that a bit.. but rest-assured that this 3.2GHz, Quad-core Intel i5-6500 CPU has got what it takes. These are a fantastic processor and make a great addition to our gaming build.

This is a quad core CPU based on the latest Skylake architecture with a base speed of 3.2GHz and an Intel Turbo Boost speed of 3.6Ghz. The higher clock speed and 4 cores means this CPU is more than capable of serving the requests of modern games. These i5 processors are widely used by system builders for their performance and value for money.

 

 

  • Quad Core with a good clock speed of 3.20GHz (3.60GHz boost).
  • Excellent performance.
  • Widely proven and trusted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memory

The motherboard we’ve gone with in this build only supports DDR4 RAM, so we’ve gone with the Corsair Vengence 1x8GB stick. The benefit of DDR4 is that you’ll get similar performance to DDR3 RAM but with a slightly lower power consumption, which also means less heat inside your case. DDR4 also offers a higher clock speed for a comparatively lower price.

 

  • CAS latency of 14 (CL14)
  • 2400MHz (but the motherboard will clock it down to 2133Hz)
  • 8GB single stick

 

 

While the latency and speed of memory is not particularly important in a gaming build, it’s still nice to have some quality RAM installed. Installing a single 8GB stick instead of two 4GB sticks means you have room to install more memory later if you ever find you need it.

Motherboard

Again, this Motherboard is another one of our popular choices. The Gigabyte GA-H110M-A board is reliable, has a solid feature set and is excellent value.

This motherboard provides the basic connectivity you’ll need to support all of your components in this build and also has a super easy to use UEFI BIOS. In fact, it has two which means you have a backup BIOS if anything goes wrong with the first.

 

  • LGA1151 socket
  • Form factor: Micro ATX (22.6cm x 17.4cm)
  • Chipset: Intel H110 Express
  • Slots: 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slot, 2x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slots
  • SATA: 4x SATA3 6Gb/s Ports
  • Memory Support: 2 x DDR4 DIMM; MAX 32GB; Support for DDR4 2133 MHz memory modules
  • Onboard graphics: 1 x HDMI port
  • Onboard Gigabit network LAN module: Realtek GbE LAN (10/100/1000 Mbit)

 

Hard Drive

With the budget in mind, we’ve gone for a 1TB Western Digital Blue SATA hard disk. These Western Digital Blues have basically become the standard choice for system builders everywhere and with good reason. WD 1TB Blue

 

  • Outstanding value.
  • Great reliability.
  • 7,200RPM, 126MB/s.
While these speeds are no where near a modern SSD, the impact to in-game performance is minimal. See our Hard Drive section for more information on this!

 

Case


We’re going for the VIVO gaming case, CASE-V06. This is a nice budget case with a few extra features that make it quite good value for money.

  • This case supports up to a total of 5 case fans, and comes with 2 front 120mm LED-lit fans preinstalled.
  • Can fit a graphics card up to 330mm, which is plenty of space for this build.
  • Basic front panel controls and ports in a convenient high position.
  • Clear viewing window in the side panel.
  • Filtered power supply ventilation.

Power supply

Finally, to power all of your gear we’ve included an EVGA 500W power supply. This offers plenty of power for your new system with enough capacity to support futurEVGA 500We additions and other extras.
  • Single 12v+ rail – this offers the most compatibility & reliability for powering demanding components.
  • 80+ Bronze certification – 80+ certification insures a quality and efficient power delivery meaning more power, less heat!
  • 3 year warranty

 

 

 Buy this system on Amazon »

 

 

 

Optional Extras

In our budget builds we typically don’t include optical drives – e.g. DVD / BluRay drives. These days, many people install their operating system (usually Windows) via a USB drive and games via digital download (e.g. Steam). We have a guide up in our blog here showing how. If you’d rather use an optical drive or just find them handy to have we’ve included an option below which will suit most builds.

Blu-Ray – LG Electronics 14x Internal BDXL Blu-Ray Burner

LG WH14NS40

DVD – Lite-On 24X SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive

Lite-On IHAS124-14

Case Fans – Cooler Master SickleFlow 120

Add some extra airflow to your case, especially if you live in a hot area. These Cooler Master fans are a good balance between airflow, noise and price. They also come in a choice of several colors so you can match the preinstalled fans that come with the case we’ve selected.

Cooler Master SickleFlow 120

5 Comments

  1. Is there a guide to building this specific set? If not, then a guide to building a pc in general? I’m interested but don’t know where to start. Thanks.

    • Hi Arturo,

      Thanks for the comment. We’re in the process of writing up an easy to follow guide for our builds so stay tuned for that.

      If it’s your first PC build then the whole process may seem daunting at first but as long as you have access to the right helpful resources then it’s really not too difficult. We try to help by guiding people in the right direction in terms of the parts they chose and are always happy to help guide you through the build process if necessary.

      For a short guide which covers the essentials of putting together a PC, check out this video.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bUghCx9iso

      For a longer, more in depth walkthrough I like to refer people to this excellent video from Newegg which covers the entire process.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIF43-0mDk4

      Feel free to post back here with any questions of the process and any help you need along the way, We’ll help wherever we can. If you do chose to put together your own PC be sure to post some pictures of your build!

      • It is my first build so it’s a bit intimidating. I’m looking forward to your guide hopefully I can find it once its put up. And I will post pics should I decided to build one. Thank you.

    • Hi Kevin,

      Both of those cards are solid choices however just keep in mind a few points. While the 280x can be slightly faster than the 960 in some games it also consumes more power and generates more heat so you’ll need to consider those factors. The 380 will also use a little more power than the 960 but doesn’t perform as well as the 280x.

      Depending on where you live, the 960 can often be quite a bit cheaper than the 380 and 280x which is a major reason why it made it into this $600 build.

      If you can afford a little more and prefer an AMD card, I’d take a look at the R9 380X which is a much new release and seems very promising.

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