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Best Gaming PC under $600 in 2021

We take a look at the best gaming PC you can build or buy for under $600.
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600 dollar gaming pc

Our $600 Custom Gaming PC Build

You can expect some really great performance from this build at an equally great price. At 1080p you should have no trouble playing games like Fortnite, CS: GO, or even more intense titles like The Witcher 3 on lower settings.

While $600 still isn’t very much to spend on a gaming rig, at this price point you’re approaching the upper echelons of budget PC building. With this sort of financial limit you still need to be strict with most of the components you choose, but you’re no longer constrained to the realism of integrated graphics processing or small amounts of RAM either. 

If you’re not a PC gamer yet, this sort of build could be your perfect choice. You’ll get a solid gaming RIG without having to invest insane amounts of money to get it. While you won’t be playing any high-intensity games on ultra settings, you will be getting a gaming PC that can play a huge variety of different games.

What you Get For $600

 In this price range, we can finally start to get into some dedicated graphics cards instead of relying on AMD’s admittedly impressive APU series. A slight drawback to the dedicated GPU is the fact that it means a pretty sizable chunk of the budget is being taken by the card. With that in mind, we made a few concessions in other areas, but if your focus is going to be gaming then those trade-offs are worth making. 

Even with an RX 560 in the build, we’re still able to get 16GB of RAM and a decently-sized SSD, so this baby has power where it counts. Having said all of that, you should be realistic about it’s capabilities. You won’t be hitting those triple-digit frame counts in most games, but you can expect a decent experience on medium settings at 1080p in most cases. 

On the plus side, you’ll also be getting a solid workhorse of a PC that you can use for work or school tasks. Overall, this $600 build is a perfect all-rounder that’s a great starting point for anyone interested in PC gaming. 

How We Made This Build

As with all of our builds, we used our team’s cumulative decades of experience to pick out the best components needed within our budget. We rigorously research, build, and test each of the builds on our site so that you can be sure you’re getting the absolute best PC you can for the price. 

We run the PCs we build in our offices every day to ensure that they’re capable of anything you could throw at them. From the cheeky lunch break gaming session to the rigours of day-to-day work, these builds are put through their paces in every situation imaginable. 

You can be sure that if this PC can do it, we’ve tested it. That includes the PC gamer’s gold standard of overclocking the hardware. Just make sure you know what you’re doing before attempting it yourself.

Our Recommended Custom Build Details

Looking for your best possible PC for only $600? Well, you’ve found it. Now let’s take a look at this gaming PC.

600 dollar gaming pc

Our $600 AMD Custom Gaming PC Build

You can expect some really great performance from this build at an equally great price. At 1080p you should have no trouble playing games like Fortnite, CS: GO, or even more intense titles like The Witcher 3 on lower settings.

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CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is a 6 core, 12 thread processor that is a perfect fit for a build at this price point. It provides a very respectable 3.6GHz clock speed by default, but can be boosted up to a maximum of 4.2GHz with overclocking. Paired with the great GPU and enough RAM, this little beauty will take care of all of your gaming and workstation needs.

Motherboard

B450M-HDV R4.0

When it comes to the motherboard of your PC, you need to ensure you’re picking the right hardware. It’s the centre of your rig, and which one you use can define which hardware will work in your PC, as well as your potential for overclocking. With all that in mind, the B450M-HDV R4.0 is a great fit. Not only does it work with 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation AMD processors, but it supports RAM speed of up to 3.2GHz. Plus, you can be sure it’s solid, reliable, and affordable, everything you want in a motherboard.

RAM

Patriot Viper Steel Series DDR4 16GB (2 x 8GB) 3200MHz

16GB of RAM is the most memory that most people really need, so this Patriot Viper Steel Series DDR4 16GB (2 x 8GB) 3200MHz kit is perfect for this build. Not only are you getting more than enough memory, but the 3.2GHz clock speed is a perfect match for the capabilities of your motherboard.

GPU

XFX GTS XXX Edition RX 580 4GB

For a decent graphics card at this sort of price, you cannot find better than an RX 580 4GB. Not only does it outperform many similar cards, but it’s also typically a fair bit cheaper than its competitors. Most mid-intensity games will run on this thing at 1080p with no issues whatsoever, and you’ll almost certainly have some luck with some more high-intensity games if you keep your settings on low or medium.

SSD

Silicon Power 512GB SSD

While HDDs offer a lot more space, for a proper gaming rig you really need an SSD. A decent SSD will lower your operating system’s boot time considerably, and any games installed on the thing will load like lightning. This Silicon Power 512GB SSD is a great balance between size and affordability. With your OS installed you should be able to fit a handful of your most treasured games on the thing with no worries.

PSU

EVGA 500 BA

When it comes down to your power supply, the key factor is ensuring you have enough wattage to cover all of your components. Ideally, you also want some extra room in the future to upgrade your parts. Both of these cases are covered to perfection by the EVGA 500 BA. While we didn’t have enough budget left to go for a modular PSU, the case we’ve chosen should make your cable management nice and simple.

PC Case

Zalman S2 ATX Mid Tower

On a budget, the Zalman S2 ATX Mid Tower is one of the best cases around. It’s designed to have great airflow, ensuring that your components are kept cool while you’re gaming. Even more importantly, it looks great, and is easy to put together and to keep your cables neat and tidy. You also get 1 120mm fan installed in the case to aid in cooling, so no need to splurge on extra fans straight away.

Things to Consider

Budget & Upgradability

If you’re trying to decide whether this build is for you, then the first thing you need to consider is what you want from your PC. If you’re looking for a starter gaming PC that’ll give you a foothold in the community, then this is perfect if it’s within your budget. If you’re aiming for the most basic gaming PC that money can buy, then you should consider one of our lower-budget options. 

Obviously, it goes without saying that you won’t be playing the latest triple-A games on a PC of this budget, at least not at 1060p with high or ultra graphics settings. What you will get from this build is a solid PC that can handle a lot of decent games from the past 30+ years of PC history, plus a good amount of workstation activities like light video and image editing. 

You’ll also have at least a little room when it comes to upgrading as well. We’ve already mentioned that the PSU has some watts to spare, but you also have a motherboard that can handle even faster CPUs as well. You may want to consider adding a HDD down the line, as you’ll find 512GB isn’t anywhere near enough space once you start collecting PC games. 

Overclocking Capabilities

While you can certainly do some light overclocking with this build, you should be extremely careful, especially if you’re new to the practise. If you push your components too far without upgrading your cooling solutions then it’s likely that you’ll end up frying your shiny new PC before you’ve even had much chance to use it. 

If you are going to overclock, consider a more fancy cooler for your CPU, and possibly some premium thermal paste to make heat transfer much more efficient. You should also ensure that you’re 100% clued up on what overclocking is, how it works, and the dangers it can pose to your rig. 

Ease of Building

As with all of our builds, we try to make sure that even someone who’s new to PC building could still put them together. This build is no exception to that, and the case we’ve chosen is easy to open, and easy to fit everything inside without cramming in your expensive parts. 

You might also want to consider getting some PC-building tools and an anti-static band to make your job that little bit easier. You don’t want to get mid way through the build and discover you’re missing a crucial component. 

Non-Gaming Performance

While you’re probably more focused on the gaming side of your new PC, it’s still comforting to know it can handle other tasks when called upon. Thanks to the multicore, multithreaded performance of the AMD chip in this build, you’ll find non-gaming-related tasks a complete breeze with this machine. 

Multitasking is no problem for this PC, so you can watch YouTube while you’re supposed to be doing work or school stuff. Even better, if you want to edit videos you should have a relatively comfortable experience waiting for you when you start. Just bear in mind that it’s still a budget PC, so your render times may be a little higher than you’d like.

Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $600

You might find the task of constructing your first PC a little daunting, and that’s completely understandable. If you’d rather pay for the convenience of having your new rig pre-assembled for you, then we have the perfect option for you within your price range. Just remember, paying for convenience means you either have to pay more, or get slightly worse performance for the same cost. 

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop 

It can be tough to get decent performance for a decent price from a prebuilt PC, but this one from HP is a great choice. It technically comes in just above our budget, but offers a GTX 1650 SUPER and an i5 10400F, which makes the extra cash completely worth splashing out for if you want a gaming rig you can rely on.

Upgrade Path for Custom Build

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Moving from a 6 core, 12 thread CPU to an 8 core, 16 thread one is a great first upgrade to consider for your new gaming rig. You’ll see dramatically increased performance across the board, and should be able to handle some of those more CPU-intensive games without any troubles. Plus those extra cores and threads should make your workstation capabilities even better, dramatically reducing any render times you were experiencing on the other CPU. 

XFX Radeon Rx 5700 XT 8GB

If you want to improve your GPU, then moving to an 8GB RX 5700 is a solid choice. Not only are you increasing your available VRAM by 100%, but you’re also getting a bunch of the fancy features AMD has reserved for their fancier and newer cards. Less screen-tearing, sharper images, and generally an ability to play higher-intensity games without having to compromise on graphical quality. 

Seagate Barracuda (1TB)

If you’re finding your SSD unable to contain your entire game collection then a new HDD is a must-have item. With an extra 1TB you should find it much easier to fit all of the games you’re actively playing onto your gaming PC. Seagate has been in the data storage business for decades, and the Barracuda 1TB is considered one of the best in its price and size range. 

Operating System & Peripherals

If this build is your first step into owning a desktop PC then there are a few things you might want to think about getting your hands on before you start building your rig or buying parts. 

Windows 10 Home USB 

When it comes to running the most software, Windows 10 is the clear choice for operating systems. It’s not only the most widely-installed desktop OS in the world, but is also one of the easiest to install and use. The USB option makes installing on a modern PC a breeze, and you can even save a little cash by going for the OEM version, rather than the retail edition. You should try to remember, the OEM version can only be installed on a single machine, so if you have plans to swap out your motherboard at any time you may want to think carefully about this decision. 

Razer DeathAdder V2

When it comes to gaming, almost no peripheral is more important than the mouse. Razer makes excellent gaming mice, and the DeathAdder V2 is a great, entry-level mouse for someone who’s getting into PC gaming for the first time. It has an accurate sensor, and a great ergonomic grip, without breaking the bank.  

Corsair K70 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

When it comes to a mix of style, reliability, and affordability, you won’t be able to find a better deal than the Corsair K70 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. Not only does it come with the RGB that makes all the gamers go crazy, but it also has solid, tactile switches which will make playing games on the thing a complete breeze. 

QcK SteelSeries Gaming Surface

If you’ve got a great gaming mouse with a great sensor, you really need a great gaming surface to take advantage of it. QcK’s SteelSeries gaming surfaces are a perfect choice for their durability and great build-quality. We highly recommend at least an XL sized surface to help prevent your keyboard from scratching your desk or slipping during gameplay. 

ASUS VG278Q

If you’re going to be doing any amount of gaming on your new PC, then we suggest you get your hands on an entry-level gaming monitor. The ASUS VG278Q is a great choice for your first gaming monitor, as it combines great value with decent performance. It’s a 27” display with a 144 Hz refresh rate, so you can be sure that with an upgraded graphics card you’ll actually be able to enjoy the increased frame rates your PC is capable of outputting. 

Creative Inspire T12

If you don’t already have any speaker lying around, then the Creative Inspire T12 speakers are a great choice. They have awesome sound reproduction for their cost, but if you like a lot of bass in your music it might be worth spending the extra money on a comprehensive sound system with a subwoofer. 

Kingston HyperX Cloud Stinger

If you want to play a lot of online games, then the HyperX Cloud Stinger headset is perfect for you. It feels comfortable even when worn for extended gaming sessions, and has a noise-cancelling microphone that’ll make being heard on the battlefield that much easier. 

Closing Thoughts

600 dollar gaming pc

Our $600 Custom Gaming PC Build

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Silent PC Review has been providing expert advice and detailed reviews of PCs and peripherals since 2002. Our technical advice has been featured on publications such as: New York Times, O’Reilly, PCMag, Popular Mechanics, Forbes, etc. plus countless trade shows and industry articles. We’re dedicated to providing top-notch advice and reviews for choosing your next PC build.