Build The Best 600 Dollar Gaming PC Build

written by jacob tuwiner Jacob Tuwiner

600 dollar gaming PC header image

In this build guide, we’re going to learn how to make the best 600 dollar gaming PC in 2019.

This price range is great for builders on a budget – you’re spending enough on the build to ensure you’re getting quality components, but you don’t have to break the bank.

I can assure you that this is a terrific gaming PC for the money, especially for 1080p gaming.

If you’re interested in maxing out games in 1080p with ultra settings while achieving 60 to 100 FPS, this is the build for you.

This build can even game in 1440p, as long as you’re willing to turn your settings down a bit.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the build:

Best 600 Dollar Gaming PC Parts List

Component Name Image Part Overview
CPU Ryzen 3 2200G Ryzen 5 2200G Processor View
MOBO MSI B450M PRO-VDH msi b450m pro vdh motherboard View
RAM Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3000 MHz memory View
SSD Kingston A400 480GB Kingston A400 480GB SSD View
GPU ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 6gb View
PSU Raidmax Scorpio 535 Watt Raidmax Scorpio 535 Watt View
CASE Cooler Master Masterbox Q300L Cooler Master Masterbox Q300L Micro ATX Case View
Order This Build on Amazon

*prices fluctuate daily. The budget is within a $50 threshold. Some components may have been adjusted to fit the budget.

Pros
  • Supports overclocking
  • Up to 64GB RAM
  • Budget friendly
Cons
  • Not the most future proof motherboard
Clock
3.5GHz
Boost
3.7GHz
Cores
4
TDP
65W
Type
Zen
Cooler
Yes

With a base clock of 3.5 GHz, this CPU boosts up to 3.7 GHz under heavy load. You won’t have to worry about buying an aftermarket CPU cooler for the 2200G as AMD’s Stealth Coolers are pretty darn good.

In fact, you can even do some light overclocking with the stock cooler – however, if you’re more serious about overclocking and you want to harness this CPU’s maximum performance, you’ll need to invest in an aftermarket cooler.

As far as budget chips go, this one is a winner – it beats out any of Intel’s similarly priced offerings, and punches above its weight class in terms of performance.

Sure, it’s not the best processor on the market, but it’s not meant to be. This CPU is designed for budget gaming PC builds, and that’s EXACTLY what it does best.

Pros
  • Supports overclocking
  • Up to 64GB RAM
  • Budget friendly
Cons
  • Not the most future proof motherboard
Form
mATX
Chipset
B450
Slots
4
SATA
4
M.2
1
Overclock
Yes

The MSI B450M PRO-VDH has an AM4 socket (obviously) and four RAM slots that can support up to 64GB of DDR4-3466 memory.

It has a single PCI-E x16 slot for a graphics card, and two PCI-E x1 slots as well.

Rocking four SATA 6 Gb/s ports and an M.2 slot, storage support isn’t an issue here either.

Of course, this motherboard has onboard USB 3.0 headers and RAID support as well.

Best of all, this motherboard has a B450 chipset – it’s the second generation of the B350, chipset designed specifically for the second generation Ryzen processors.

What does this mean for you?

This motherboard supports overclocking without breaking the bank.

Pros
  • Dual-channel memory
  • High speed
  • 16GB
  • Affordable
Cons
  • None
Amount
16GB
Modules
2x8GB
Speed
3000MHz
Type
DDR4
CAS
15
Voltage
1.35V

A few years ago, I would’ve said 8GB was enough for gaming – and in 2019, that’s probably still the case.

However, newer titles are starting to recommend 12GB and even 16GB for optimal performance.

Looking at how quickly games are progressing, getting 16GB of RAM is a good idea to future-proof your PC.

In addition, Ryzen CPUs utilize RAM more than other models, so having plenty of high speed RAM is going to boost your processor’s performance as well.

Besides, you can pick up 16GB of DDR4-3000MHz RAM for less than $75 these days.

Pros
  • Crazy fast boot speeds
  • Maps load quickly
  • No moving parts
Cons
  • Only 480GB of storage
  • More expensive than a mechanical drive
Type
SSD
Capacity
480GB
Price/GB
$0.11
Size
2.5"
Interface
SATA
NVME
No

Trust me, the difference between a mechanical hard drive and a solid state drive is night and day.

Although an SSD won’t improve your FPS, it will significantly improve loading speeds, both in terms of boot speeds and loading screens.

You can check out our full guide on whether or not an SSD will improve FPS by clicking here.

Unfortunately, this SSD is only 480GB (SSDs are more expensive) so you won’t be able to fit a TON of stuff on this drive.

Just download your OS, drivers, and your favorite games/applications. We HIGHLY recommend adding a 1TB or 2TB mass storage mechanical drive to the build for good measure.

They’re only $40 these days and you can use them to store games, music, movies, applications, etc.

But if you can only pick one, the SSD is the way to go for performance.

Pros
  • 6GB of memory
  • Crushes 1080p
  • Can handle high-ultra settings
  • Affordable
Cons
  • More expensive than AMD competition
Core
1506MHz
Boost
1708MHz
Length
211mm
Fans
2
Memory
6GB
Ports
5

The GTX 1060 6GB still seems to come out on top in terms of gaming performance when compared against similarly priced cards in the 1600 series.

This card has 6GB of dedicated memory, which means you can safely turn up textures and AA without having to worry about taking a huge performance hit.

You won’t be able to play in 1440p, but as far 1080p gaming performance is concerned, you can’t go wron with this GPU.

Sporting a core clock of 1506 MHz and a boost clock of 1708 MHz, it’s already pretty powerful to begin with.

And thanks to its dual-fan cooling system, you can easily overclock and push this thing to the limit, thus harnessing its true performance potential.

When paired with the Ryzen 3 2200G, you’re left with a dynamic performance duo on a budget.

Pros
  • Awesome design
  • Acrylic side panel window
  • Great airflow
  • Affordable price
Cons
  • Poor airflow
Type
mATX
Airflow
Poor
Design
Great
Window
Yes
Spacious
Great
Noise
Quiet

This case looks great, and performs even better. Despite being a small micro ATX case, the Masterbox Q300L has a spacious interior.

You won’t have any issue building in this chasis. There are plenty of cable management options, and the case ships with an awesome cooling fan that has LEDs built in.

Airflow inside this case is pretty good, but don’t let your messy cables ruin it. You can learn more about cable management and airflow by checking out our guide.

It has a cool design on the front, and a big acrylic side panel window as well.

If you want to learn more about this and other cases like it, check out our guide on the smallest micro ATX cases.

Pros
  • Incredibly durable
  • Good bang for your buck
Cons
  • Not the most efficient PSU on the market
Wattage
535
Rating
Bronze
Modular
Semi
Color
Blue
SATA
5
Noise
Quiet

Yeah, this power supply has 535 watts of power, it’s Semi-modular, and it has an 80+ Bronze certification. Great.

But it gets better.

I’ve had this power supply for three years. Now I use it for test rigs, but it used to be my main PSU.

And let me tell you:

That thing was dropped, banged, and bruised countless times (because I’m clumsy) but it kept chugging along.

What’s the bottom line here?

This power supply is reliable, durable, power efficient, and easy to work with.

Best of all, it’s pretty darn cheap too, making it a perfect fit for our 600 dollar budget.

$600 Gaming PC Video Guide

Building a Gaming PC for Beginners

A lot of beginners want to build a gaming PC, but they don’t really know where to start.

Let’s talk a little bit about choosing the components for your PC build.

Choosing Your Processor and Graphics Card

A lot of first-time builders make the mistake of wasting too much money on a fast CPU and a ton of RAM, but they don’t spend enough on the graphics card.

That’s a fatal mistake. Here’s why:

The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is responsible for 3D rendering, which is the primary gaming related task.

Ryzen processor cover image

If you’re building a gaming PC for $600, you’re going to want to spend as much as you can on your GPU.

Still, that doesn’t mean you should spend too much on it.

I know that sounds contradictory, so let me explain:

Some people – rather than overspending on the processor – overspend on the GPU, and they buy a processor that’s too old and slow.

This will lead to something known as a CPU bottleneck, which will kill the performance potential of your gaming PC and result in a pretty bad experience overall, especially if the games you’re playing require a decent amount of processing power.

The CPU isn’t the primary component in a gaming PC, but it still has to process a lot of information… that’s a given.

If your GPU is too fast, your processor won’t be able to keep up.

Imagine trying to pair an Intel Pentium CPU with a GTX 1080 Ti.

Obviously, the 1080 Ti has way more processing power than the Pentium.

In this scenario, the Pentium CPU would be at 100% usage, causing frame drops, stutters, and ultimately limiting the power of the graphics card.

On the other hand, what if you bought an Intel i7 8700K (a top of the line CPU) and paired it with a GTX 750 Ti (an old, slow GPU)?

You’d have another bottleneck on your hands, but this time the graphics card would be too slow to keep up with the graphics card.

Tip

Here’s the key to building a 600 dollar gaming PC on a budget:

Choose the best graphics card you can, and then buy a CPU that is good enough to keep up.

It’s all about buying a CPU/GPU combo that compliments one another.

Luckily, we were able to select a powerful graphics card and a powerful processor, so we’re all set.

Choosing a Motherboard

When you’re building a $600 gaming PC, you don’t need to go all out on your motherboard.

Some expensive motherboards come with a bunch of bells and whistles, such as M.2 slots, a ton of SATA connectors, fancy LEDs, and more.

All of those features are nice, especially if you’ve got a lot of money to spend – but not on a $600 budget.

When you’re choosing a gaming motherboard for a budget PC, you should stick to the basics.

Here are the things to focus on:

  • Socket type
  • Chipset
  • RAM support
  • Storage options
  • Form factor
  • BIOS
  • Fan Headers
  • Crossfire/SLI support

Let’s go over each of those points in a bit more detail:

Socket type and form factor are pretty straightforward.

First of all, you should know the size (form factor) of your motherboard so you can make sure it’s compatible with your case. In addition, larger motherboards tend to have more features.

Gigabyte motherboard cover image

You should also definitely know your motherboard’s socket type, as this will determine which CPUs your motherboard is compatible with.

In the unfortunate event you buy a motherboard with the wrong socket type, you’re going to be out of luck.

It’s important to make sure you have the right chipset. Low-end chipsets don’t support overclocking.

Since we’re using a Ryzen CPU in this build, you should buy a motherboard that supports overclocking, as Ryzen CPUs benefit tremendously from overclocking.

B350/B450 chipsets are, in general, the low-end chipsets that still support overclocking.

With all of that being said, choose a motherboard that:

  • Is Cost-effective
  • Has Crossfire/SLI support if you want it (not feasible on a $600 budget)
  • Has enough SATA ports
  • Has USB 3.0
  • Is compatible with your CPU
  • Supports overclocking
  • Has enough fan headers for your build
  • Sufficient RAM slots with adequate speed support

You should also check the motherboard’s BIOS reviews – some are easier to use than others, and you don’t want to be stuck with a complicated BIOS as a beginner.

Choosing RAM

A lot of inexperienced PC builders make the mistake of going overboard when it comes to RAM.

In reality, you don’t need all that much, at least when it comes to gaming. 16GB of fast RAM is recommended for optimal performance, although it’s far from necessary.

Ryzen performance benefits significantly from having plenty of high speed RAM to work with. Still, if you’d rather allocate the money elsewhere – say, for extra storage – 8GB of RAM will still do in 2019.

RAM left side image

Besides, you can always upgrade in the future.

Conversely, if you’re the kind of person who likes to multitask a lot, you’re going to want the extra RAM.

Google Chrome – the most popular browser on the web – uses a lot of RAM, and it’s hard to game with satisfactory frame rates while you have a few Chrome tabs open.

RAM is also great for other workstation tasks such as streaming, recording, editing, and rendering.

What’s the bottom line here?

You can run 16GB of RAM in your build for optimal performance at a higher cost, or you can save some money and get by with 8GB.

Think of the extra 8GB as a power up.

Do You Need a Fancy Case?

The short answer is no, but of course, there’s a bit more to it than that.

Nowadays, you can usually find a half-decent looking case for cheap.

In fact, if you know where to look, you can even find good looking cases for a good price.

Finding a case that functions as well as it looks, well, that’s another story.

gaming pc case center image

Some people will buy the first good looking case they find with LEDs – big mistake.

Sure, looks are important. But your case also needs to do its job, which is even more important.

Some cases are hard to work in; others don’t have much room for case fans.

Further still, some cases are just plain old cheap, made with flimsy, plastic designs and low quality parts.

A proper case needs to be sturdy and robust, with plenty of room to work with inside.

Make sure it has ample room for fans, CPU coolers, graphics cards, drives, etc.

In terms of features, some cases have more than others.

With this sort of thing, you just have to shop around a bit to see what’s out there, and make your decision from there.

Cable management is another thing to consider. You’re going to have a harder time wiring your PC in a small ATX case than a larger case.

A cabled mess isn’t what you want. In fact, it is not only ugly but detrimental to your case’s airflow as well.

Speaking of which, let’s talk a bit about airflow and cable management.

Cable Management in a $600 Gaming PC

Proper cable management is a must, regardless of your experience in the world of PC building.

Whether you’re building in a small micro ATX case or a full tower case, you’re going to want to wire up your rig properly.

cable management positive example image

This is an example of great cable management!

Bad cable management looks, well, terrible. It’s especially harmful to the overall look of your gaming PC if you have a side panel window.

Who wants to peer inside a nice case, only to see a jumbled mess of cables all tangled up?

Even more importantly, poor cable management is going to harm your case’s airflow. In fact, I wrote an entire guide about how cable management affects airflow in your case.

A good case should distribute a healthy amount of cool air to the components inside, while simultaneously expelling the warm air created by the parts.

In order to accomplish this, a stream of air needs to be created with the help of intake and exhaust fans. Cables in the way equates to a blocked airway.

cabling example right

If you want to get the most performance out of your gaming PC, you should definitely be overclocking. After all, this build was designed with overclocking in mind.

That also means your parts are going to generate extra heat, which needs to be handled properly.

Components that get too hot won’t live for long, at least in comparison to their well-ventilated counterparts.

Luckily, there are plenty of cable management guides online. Follow them, and you’ll be good to go!

Build Add-Ons

The build guide above covers the bare minimum – you’re still going to need to buy some extra peripherals including a mouse, keyboard, monitor, wifi card, etc.

The next portion of this guide is going to highlight some of the additional things you may want to include in your new PC gaming setup.

A Gaming Keyboard

If you’re thinking about getting into PC gaming, you’re probably wondering what it’s like to game with a keyboard and mouse, especially if you’re coming over from console.

In my experience, using a keyboard and mouse is far superior to a controller.

A mouse can detect precise movements, whereas a joystick on a more traditional controller is clunky.

Your wrist is far more precise than your thumbs, which means a mouse is more accurate. That’s why PC gamers can’t use aim assist.

Razer Gaming Keyboard
The Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Gaming Keyboard

Don’t get me wrong, it will take you a while to learn the keyboard and mouse – but once you figure things out, you’ll wonder how you ever played games with a console controller!

Anyway, trying to game with an old keyboard, or one that wasn’t designed for gaming, can be a bit tricky to say the least.

You’ll want to invest in a gaming keyboard for a few reasons:

  • Gaming keyboards are designed to deliver the best gaming performance
  • You want a keyboard that is comfortable for you, even after an all night gaming session
  • Gaming keyboards often come equipped with cool LED lights that add some personality to your setup

Knowing how to buy a great gaming keyboard is important.

Some keyboards have membrane switches, which means the keys feel a bit mushy.

Most gamers, myself included, prefer a ‘crisper’ response when we press a key. That’s why I’d recommend going for a mechanical keyboard.

Here are some popular gaming keyboards to consider:

A Gaming Mouse

gaming mouse

As mentioned previously, a proper gaming mouse gives you the competitive edge you need to smash the competition.

No matter what kind of gamer you are or what games you enjoy playing, buying the right mouse is imperative.

There are different kinds of grips, and different mice are better for each type.

Your mouse has to feel comfortable in your hand. If you’re competitive, you’ll want a highly precise mouse.

Lastly, most gaming mice come equipped with programmable buttons known as macros which you can use easily configure to suit your needs.

Here are some popular gaming mice to consider:

A Great Gaming Headset

The quality of your gaming headset is equally important as the quality of your keyboard and mouse. Sound helps to immersify you in the game you’re playing.

If it’s a competitive title like CS:GO, Fortnite or PUBG, you definitely want to be able to hear your opponents. Sound gives you far more information than you may think!

With that being said, here are some popular gaming headsets to consider:

An Optical Drive

Although an optical drive isn’t necessary, you may want to include one in your build.

Luckily, you can buy a standard DVD/CD writer for less than $20. However, if you want to watch Blue Ray movies, you will probably end up paying a bit more.

Keep in mind that you DO NOT need an optical drive to install Windows 10. In fact, now Windows is usually installed via a USB flash drive.

In my opinion, an optical drive is totally optional. If you do choose to go that route and buy one, I’d recommend a $20 standard DVD/CD writer.

I have one in my PC, but I rarely use it – actually, the only time I ever have used my optical drive was to install the default motherboard drivers, but that can easily be done online as well.

Either way, here are some optical drives to consider:

A Fast WiFi Card

wifi card example

Regardless of the games you enjoy playing, a proper internet connection is mandatory.

Even if you don’t play multiplayer games, you still want a good internet connection to download games, stream music, watch videos, etc.

A wired connection with an ethernet cable is optimal to provide the best connection.

Unfortunately, not everyone can set up their PC next to their router.

If you can’t there are still plenty of options open to you.

First option: You could always buy a long ethernet cable and wire it through your house. However, this option is costly and time consuming. Unless you want to drill holes in your walls/floor, I’d recommend avoiding this option.

Second option: Using a power line adapter is probably your best bet if you want a great wired connection. Rather than running an ethernet cable across your house in the walls, you can make use of your house’s existing infrastructure.

Powerline adapters use your house’s electrical wiring to run the internet connection from your router to anywhere else in your house. Click here to learn more about powerline adapters and how you can use one!

Third option: Rather than choosing a wired connection, you can always use a USB WiFi adapter. They’re not as fast as a wired connection, but they’re pretty darn close, not to mention cheap and easy!

Here are some popular WiFi adapters to consider:

Should You Buy an SSD?

In short, yes, yes you should.

Solid State Drives (SSDs) significantly improve your PC’s overall performance.

Although more expensive than traditional storage solutions, they’re well worth the money.

You can pick up a 240GB SSD for around $60. That’s a perfect amount of storage for your Windows OS, drivers, and some games.

ssd vs hdd

Seriously, spend the extra money. If you’ve ever felt like you have to let your computer ‘warm up’ for a while after you turn it on, it’s probably because your Windows is loaded on a mechanical hard drive.

Mechanical drives are cheap and great for mass storage, but that’s about it.

If you install your Windows on an SSD, your PC will cold boot (that is, powering on from a completely turned off state) to being fully functional and ready to go in less than 30 seconds. Really, I’m not kidding.

Moreover, you’ll find your applications loading far quicker, not to mention your games.

If you have the extra money to spend, buy an SSD.

A 1TB mechanical drive will cost you around $50, whereas a 240GB SSD will run you around $60. However, it’s well worth the investment.

m2 drive

In another life (probably two years ago) I only had a 1TB mass storage mechanical drive.

That was such a big mistake…

I only had to pay $45 for a WD Caviar Blue drive, which I thought was a steal – and, in all honesty, it is a steal.

So, if it’s such a great deal, why am I complaining?

When you’re booting up your PC, launching a game and trying to load in, or launching a bunch of applications at once, a mechanical drive simply won’t do.

When I finally decided to upgrade, I moved my operating system and drivers to an SSD, and my computer booted in less than 30 seconds, and it was ready for action.

The story is the same with my games – I was always one of the first, if not the first, to load in.

No more waiting around, dealing with games crashing, or being the last to load. For more information about how SSDs work, click here.

Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to have a mass storage mechanical drive to serve as a cheap storage solution.

When you need to store files that don’t need to be loaded quickly – such as music, movies, some applications, etc. – a mechanical drive will do just fine.