Today, it is possible to build a good and affordable gaming PC without having to pay an arm and a leg for the graphics card alone!
In this guide, we bring you the best gaming PC that you can get for under 600 US dollars!
Let us take a mor detailed look at the best $600 gaming PC build today.
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The Best $600 Gaming PC Build For 2020
Updated: November 28, 2020
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So, before we really get into it, what exactly can you expect from a $600 gaming PC?
As mentioned in the introduction, this is a mid-range configuration, meaning that it hits just the right balance between price and performance compared to budget setups and high-end setups.
If we’re talking in-game performance, this is definitely a rig that will be best suited for 1080p gaming. You should expect a stable 60 FPS in more games than not, and that’s with the benchmark presets that don’t omit hardware taxing effects which don’t offer proportional benefits.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, for example, doesn’t dip below 50 FPS on high graphics settings with this build, which should tell you everything you need to know about its capabilities.
Furthermore, it can even push a solid 30 FPS in 1440p, although if you’re aiming to make that resolution jump or have your sights set on VR, we recommend that you invest a bit more.
The PC Build
With that out of the way, let’s go over each component that we have selected for the build.
There’s no denying that Ryzen was AMD’s big comeback to the game. For many years, the only AMD CPUs viable for gaming were their FX series, a lineup of 32nm and 28nm CPUs that were grossly outdated and performed quite poorly compared to Intel’s offerings back in the day.
But since early 2017, Ryzen CPUs have really given the competition a run for their money and have become the most cost-efficient solution for budget and mid-range gaming.
That said, the Ryzen 3 3300X is probably the best-value CPU you can currently get at this price range. This is AMD’s belated addition to their line of 3rd gen budget CPUs, and when it came out, it blew everyone out of the water.
This 4-core, 8-thread CPU actually has a 3.8GHz base clock speed and 4.3GHz boost clock speed, which is, believe it or not, better than the Ryzen 5 3600. To top it off, it has a nearly identical in-game performance as the R5 3600 for a much lower price!
Now, we have to mention that the R5 3600 is still a better processor. It has more cores, which makes it better at multitasking, it performs better in any other situation except gaming, and it is a better option when it comes to upgradeability as there’s less of a chance that it will bottleneck a stronger GPU you might get in the future.
But even knowing this, we still stand by our decision. For this build, the R3 3300X is the better option, and we’ll explain why.
With a $600 budget, every dollar counts. The price difference between the R5 3600 and R3 3300X is around $50, while the gaming performance is virtually the same. As this is a gaming-oriented build, we decided that that $50 difference is better spent on a more powerful GPU.
This, of course, doesn’t mean that you can’t get the R5 3600 if you’re willing to spend an additional $50, but if you have a tight budget and want the best performance $600 can buy than the R3 3300X is the way to go.
Cooler: AMD Wraith Stealth
Say what you will about stock CPU coolers, but the Wraith Stealth cooler that comes with the Ryzen 3 3300X offers some pretty decent value. If you’re content to run the CPU at factory settings, you really won’t need anything more powerful than the stock Wraith Stealth cooler. This only adds to the cost-efficiency of the Ryzen 3 3300X.
However, once you introduce overclocking into the equation, the Wraith Stealth is not the kind of CPU cooler that’s going to be on top of the situation and have things under control.
So, what should you do then?
Well, for anywhere between $20 and $50, you can pick up a cooler that will unlock the overclocking upgrade path for this CPU. In which case, we’d recommend something like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO, for example.
But make sure the motherboard can handle the overclocking!
After the stellar streak of satisfactory GPUs Nvidia had had with the likes of the RTX 2060, the GTX 1660 Ti, and even the GTX 1660, we were excited for the GTX 1650. It looked as if Nvidia was finally going to give us a competitive mid-range GPU and had it as a contender for the GPU spot in this build for a while now.
But then it didn’t. To say that the GTX 1650 was dead on arrival would be an understatement. We want you to keep this in mind when considering that we’ve chosen a Radeon RX 580 GPU to be the heart and soul of this build.
We do usually gravitate towards newer pieces of hardware to secure better future-proofing for our builds wherever this is possible, but while the RX 580 is a pretty old GPU at this point, it is not only cheaper than the GTX 1650 – it outperforms it as well!
The MSI Radeon RX 580 ARMOR OC model that we’ve chosen for this build, in particular, comes with 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM. Granted, VRAM isn’t the only graphics card spec that matters. The truly mid-range 1257MHz clock speed will still limit you. However, if you’re looking to game mostly in 1080p, you won’t find the MSI Radeon RX 580 ARMOR OC lacking in any way.
You won’t be able to crank the graphics up to ultra in every game and still have a stable 60FPS, but as we’ve said, this build can run Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey at the High preset at between 55 and 65 FPS.
It easily outperforms both the GTX 1050 Ti and the GTX 1650, so if you’re looking for an Nvidia GPU to compare it to, the closest thing would be the GTX 1060.
With RAM prices finally reaching their lowest price in years, we were actually able to equip this $600 PC with more and better RAM.
Our RAM of choice is the affordable and reliable G.Skill Ripjaws V Series. It’s nothing flashy, but it certainly gets the job done, and you won’t have to worry about lacking RAM any time soon.
Not only does this PC come packed with 16GB of RAM, but it’s RAM that can handle clock speeds of 3200MHz! All in all, you won’t have to even think about RAM for years to come if all you’re interested in is gaming.
Just make sure to buy two 8GB sticks instead of a single 16GB one. Dual-channel memory has benefits of its own, but more importantly, having two RAM sticks can get you out of a sticky situation if your RAM was to malfunction.
If your one and only 16GB RAM stick dies on you, your whole system shuts down until you get it replaced, but if one of the two 8GB sticks dies, you’ll not only be able to run the PC on the remaining stick but to game as well!
As is most often the case with mid-range PCs, the motherboard here is nothing to marvel at.
But neither is it something to scoff at!
The Gigabyte B450 AORUS M has everything you’ll need from a motherboard and then some. In addition to the required features, it also has an audio noise guard, a thermal guard for the M.2 connector, an abundance of RGB headers, and dual BIOS. This is especially handy if something happens to one of them, or if you like to tinker with the settings, so if something goes wrong you always have a backup.
Also, while we won’t be listing all the ports and connectors available on this motherboard, we’d still like to note that it does come with 8 USB ports of all kinds, as well as 6 SATA ports.
Nothing to scoff at indeed.
Overall, this is a pretty standard motherboard without any bells and whistles, but it will do its job nicely. Just don’t expect to do any heavy overclocking on it. For that, you’ll need better VRMs!
When solid-state drives first came around, they were quite something, both from a performance standpoint and a price standpoint. For a while, they appeared all but unattainable to regular folk. Now, however, SSDs are more accessible than ever before.
Today we can not only put an SSD in a $600 build but a 480GB SSD at that!
While this may be too little for a lot of you, keep in mind that you can always get a cheap 1TB HDD to use for all the programs and things you don’t use on a daily basis, and you’ll be good to go!
Alternatively, you could also get an external HDD if you need more storage. While these may be slower than internal SATA hard drives, they are great for storing vast amounts of multimedia, especially because they are portable and can be used easily on multiple devices such as other PCs, laptops, consoles, etc.
In case a regular SSD just won’t cut it for you, you’ll be happy to know that for only $20 more, you can get a Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe.
Granted, you would be cutting down your SSD storage to 250GB, and you would definitely need an additional HDD, but if you’re searching for the highest speeds and best quality for a reasonable price, this is it!
Often, when trying to cut down the costs of a PC, people will skimp on the power supply, but that is something you should never do.
A low-quality power supply, especially if it’s from a non-established manufacturer, may literally end up being the death of your PC and costing you much more than what you’ve saved on the PSU’s original cost.
Luckily, PSUs do not need to be unreasonably expensive to be reliable.
Take this Thermaltake Smart 500W as an example.
This simple non-modular 500W power supply is 80 Plus certified, and comes complete with a quiet and efficient fan. The wattage will be more than enough for the CPU and GPU combo listed here, even when overclocking. And you won’t have to worry about your other hardware pieces potentially bunking with a ticking time bomb.
The 5-yer warranty is certainly appreciated, but it’s the peace of mind that we like the most about this PSU.
Now all that’s left is to move all these hardware pieces into an affordable, yet highly functional housing. To this end, we present to you the Thermaltake Versa H18!
Exterior-wise, the Thermaltake Versa H18 is a simple, minimalist case. It has a single blue LED strip in the front, which unfortunately cannot be customized, and a tempered glass side panel to show off the wheels and cogs of your machine.
Most importantly, however, this microATX case is very easy to build in, providing you with ample room for all the necessary components as well as excellent cable management space. Even without any shiny RGB-lit hardware, the window panel will still display a clean and impressive sight, free from any cable clutter.
As for the cooling, the H18 comes with one pre-installed fan in the back, which isn’t ideal, true. However, in addition to the one, the case has room for four more fans, one on the top, and three in the front.
Of course, you won’t need all five fans to keep this kind of setup cool. In fact, as the case already has decent airflow, adding just another one or two would make it excellent.
And just in case you want to make the airflow inside the 275R as optimal as possible, we suggest you take a look at the best case fans currently available on the market to complete your setup.
As you can see, the $600 budget has been spent on the PC itself, assuming that this isn’t the very first gaming PC you’ve ever owned and that you already have all the essential (and potentially some non-essential) desktop peripherals.
If that’s not the case or if you just want to replace some of your old peripherals, we’ll be offering some suggestions in this category.
Now, if this is your first PC and if $600 is your maximum budget, it might be a good idea to check out our other PC build guides.
Healthy competition is good and all, but the fact of the matter is that you simply need Windows 10 as your operating system if you want to have access to most of the games, and in their most optimized form no less!
We understand that this is no small cost to pile onto the already used up budget of $600, but it’s only by playing games on Windows 10 that you’re able to get the most out of your hard-earned hardware.
The monitor is hands-down the most important computer peripheral – after all, what use is a good graphics card if you don’t have a display that can do its capabilities justice?
When finding the best monitor for your needs, the key factor to consider is the panel technology that the monitor uses, as it determines what the monitor will excel at and in what areas it will have certain drawbacks.
The three most popular types of panel used in gaming monitors today are:
- TN (twisted nematic) panels, which are the cheapest to manufacture and offer the best performance, including both high refresh rates and low pixel response times, although at the expense of color accuracy and viewing angles.
- IPS (in-plane switching) panels, which excel precisely in color accuracy and offer the widest viewing angles, although only the more expansive IPS monitors can reach the kind of performance that even the more affordable TN panels can.
- VA (vertical alignment) panels, which are something of a middle ground between TN and IPS panels, balancing cost, performance, and visuals rather well, all the while actually handling contrast better than either of the above do.
Ultimately, we recommend going with a 144 Hz TN monitor such as the AOC G2460PF, since it has everything that you’d want out of a mid-range gaming monitor, at least performance-wise. Of course, an IPS or a VA monitor would be a better fit for those who prioritize visuals over performance.
In any case, best check our list of the best gaming monitors for 2020 if you want some suggestions!
When it comes to the mouse, you need to choose between an optical and a laser sensor, and we’d recommend the former since optical sensors have become so advanced that laser sensors aren’t significantly more precise anymore.
Specifically, we’d suggest the Corsair Harpoon Pro since it is a simple and affordable, yet highly accurate mouse that also comes with RGB lighting.
This mouse has a maximum of 12.000 DPI which is more than you’ll ever need, it fits nicely in your hand thanks to its curvy shape and rubberized side grips, and gives you numerous customization options thanks to the RGB and the 6 programmable buttons you can set up to do whatever you want.
And finally, we went with a wired version of this mouse since, despite the advances in technology, wired mice are still much more responsive than wireless, and will not run out of battery in the middle of a heated gaming session.
Naturally, though, tastes and preferences differ, so best check out our gaming mouse buying guide if you’re shopping for one right now.
Now that we’ve covered the monitor, we move to the input i.e., the keyboard and mouse, and there are a couple of factors to consider when picking these.
When it comes to the keyboard, the first and most important choice to make is to decide whether you want a mechanical or a regular membrane keyboard.
Now, this mostly depends on your personal preference, but there are also some objective aspects to consider.
While membrane keyboards are often cheaper and quieter, the reason many prefer mechanical ones is that each key stands on its own meaning that each key is registered separately offering much better responsiveness, and in case of a malfunction, individual keys can be replaced. This gives the keyboard a longer lifespan, and customizability options.
There are lots of rather cheap mechanical keyboards, which is great as it allows even those with a tighter budget to experience the quality and premium feel of mechanical keyboards.
Many would argue, however, that with cheaper products you often get what you pay for. We would usually agree with this and recommend you go with a membrane keyboard if Redragon didn’t exist. Luckily, Redragon offers some really high-quality products for an affordable price. Granted, it’s not unusual for some of their products to develop a glitch in the RGB over time, but besides that, there really isn’t anything bad we can say about them.
For this particular build, we recommend the Redragon K582 SURARA mechanical, full-size keyboard with RGB backlight and red switches. The keyboard is well-built, heavy, and has a metal frame. There is no bend or give, the keys are stable, and despite not being Cherry MX switches, the red-like switches do an impressive job at imitating that typical Cherry vibe.
The only slight downside to this keyboard is that it’s pretty compact, meaning that the keys are slightly closer together than on a typical keyboard, which might require some getting used to, but besides that, this is the perfect mechanical keyboard for this price range that won’t rip a hole in your wallet.
If, however, you’re more of a membrane keyboard fan, we recommend the Corsair K55 gaming keyboard. Since it’s a membrane keyboard it has more functions for a similar price. It’s splash-proof, has 6 programmable buttons, Windows key lock mode, dedicated volume and multimedia controls, and even a detachable plastic wrist rest (and, of course, RGB).
Those were our best picks for around $50. If, however, you’re ready to spend more, or else, not as much, take a look at the link below where we list our picks for the best gaming keyboards for this year to get more ideas.
True, the keyboard and mouse are a staple of PC gaming, and they are the definite go-to solution when it comes to precision controls. However, there’s no denying that some games are just better played with controllers, especially since many modern games are developed with controllers in mind.
Today, there are several controllers that you can use on PC, including the two major console controllers – the Xbox One controller and the DualShock 4 – but there’s also a range of other ones made by various other manufacturers.
At the end of the day, though, most will agree that the Xbox One controller is the ideal for PCs right now.
It is comfortable, reliable, well-designed, and it is supported by Windows because both are Microsoft products. If you’re going for a more affordable solution, the Xbox 360 controller remains a viable choice even today.
On a final note, if you already own a PlayStation 4, keep in mind that the DualShock 4 also works quite well on PC. Granted, it still requires third-party software to function, but ever since Steam introduced DualShock 4 support, this controller has become more viable as a PC controller than ever before.
Many people prefer headphones to speakers when it comes to gaming, and after all, they are much more immersive than your regular 2.0 or 2.1 speaker setup!
When deciding on which headphones or headset to get, you’d need to make up your mind regarding the main distinguishing feature of the two: the microphone.
Headsets come with a built-in microphone; headphones do not. Because of that, headphones tend to offer somewhat better sound quality for the money, but at the expense of having the convenience of an integrated microphone.
If you want a good but relatively inexpensive headset, the HyperX Cloud II is a sturdy, reliable, and comfortable one that comes complete with a detachable microphone and is compatible with both PCs and consoles.
You can also check out our more extensive gaming headset buying guide if you’d prefer something different.
When it comes to upgrading your setup a wrist rest is probably the cheapest and most surprisingly satisfying thing you can invest in. The other one would be a chair, but unlike a wrist rest, those require deep pockets.
What we mean when we say “surprisingly satisfying” is that it’s a little thing that will significantly increase the enjoyment and quality of the time spent on your PC. Many people neglect it, but once you get used to it you’ll find it rather uncomfortable to use a keyboard without a wrist rest again.
So if you’re interested in adding this quality-of-life feature to your setup we recommend the HyperX Wrist Rest.
This is a pretty simple item; black, sleek, comfortable, and fits almost any color palette. It’s made of gel-infused memory foam for maximum comfort and cooling, it has a rubberized bottom to prevent sliding, and it’s made to fit any full-sized keyboard. There are no unnecessary bells and whistles such as RGB lighting, just pure simple quality make and near unparalleled comfort.
It’s worth every penny out of its $20 price.
And there you have it, our take on what the best gaming PC under 600 USD for 2020 is.
We should mention, however, that the prices of individual components may fluctuate with time, so the above configuration could end up being slightly more expensive than it was at the time this article was written.
Rest assured, we’ll do our best to keep the guide up-to-date at all times.