Gaming on a budget is something most of us are familiar with. When you don’t have unlimited funds to throw at a $3,000 juggernaut, you’ve got to make smart decisions, and you have to make sure that you’re going to get the most bang for your buck in all the areas that matter. Quality, upgradability, performance, and aesthetics are all things a builder takes into consideration. For the budget $600 gaming PC build, we put together a list of components that should satisfy most 1080p gaming needs with the EVGA 1050 Ti SC edition video card. This build also offers HDMI 2.0 for solid playback of 4K cinema, USB 3.1 to comply with the newest and fastest devices on a Micro-ATX MSI gaming edition motherboard. Sporting both a 120Gb solid state drive for your operating system, and a 1Tb Western Digital 7200RPM hard drive it has both the speed of SSD, as well as plenty of storage space. The rig’s brain is the newest-generation i3-6100 CPU, allowing for plenty of speed and room to grow with socket 1151. I know for you out there that like to tinker and upgrade, it will be a while before this new chipset becomes outdated, so a CPU upgrade in a few years, and still being fast enough for the new games of that time, may be an additional selling point. Along with the 1151 CPU compatibility, the chipset also is compatible with DDR4 memory, one more aspect that sets this system apart from other budget builds. With solid performance to run any current game out now, and plenty of options for future upgrades, this is a rig that most gaming enthusiasts can agree is well worth the price point. If you have any questions about our 600 dollar gaming pc, feel free to drop us a comment below and we’ll try out best to get back to you. Enjoy!
|CPU||Intel Core i3-6100 3.7GHz Dual-Core Processor|
|Motherboard||MSI H110M Gaming Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard|
|RAM||Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory|
|HDD||Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive|
|GPU||EVGA GTX 1050 Ti SC ACX 2.0|
|Case||Corsair SPEC-01 RED|
|PSU||EVGA 500W 80+ ATX Power Supply|
|Optical Drive||LG GH24NSC0B DVD/CD Writer|
|SDD||Kingston digital 120gb SSD drive|
Note: Prices of components fluctuate daily. Check current price of this Gaming PC Build
For a budget build, your CPU needs to be powerful enough for your needs, but will also, in a perfect world, have a good upgrade path for the future. Intel’s i3-6100 is a perfect fit. It allows for using DDR4 memory, which is only getting faster. It has 3M smart cache, and an 8GT/s Bus speed, supporting the newer PCI-x 3.0 standard, allowing for much faster and more stable SLI and crossfire set-ups. The CPU itself is quite fast, running at 3.7 GHz stock speeds, yet only consumes a minute 51 W of power, making this one of the most power-efficient CPUs for gaming PCs available. It has two physical cores, supporting four threads, and comes with Intel’s HD graphics 530, so you can run a second monitor without taxing your dedicated gaming GPU. As far as budget and performance ratios go, this one is a winner. Even for a lot of non-budget gaming PCs, this CPU will perform very well, and has years of upgradability both with the chipset, and the newly supported DDR4 memory standard.
Choosing the right motherboard for a budget gaming PC can be one of the harder decisions to make. There are dozens, and hundreds of different options, given all of the manufacturers, and available technology these days. For this build, the MSI H110M Gaming MicroATX Motherboard seemed like the right fit, giving a lot of great configuration options, but still coming in at only $69.99 (at the time of this writing). Even with the very respectable price point, MSI still uses their ‘Military Class 4’ components, including the ‘Dark Choke’ core design, and solid aluminum caps, you get lower temperatures, with better power efficiency and stability. It has DDR4 memory speed boost technology built in, and M.2 drive support. PCI-E x16 3.0 is standard, and the whole package will fit into a Micro-ATX of full ATX form factor case, giving you tons of options for your rig’s housing. All in all, you’ll be hard pressed to find a motherboard that gives so many features at such a good price.
Memory is something everyone knows they need, but often some of the specifics get overlooked. Don’t ignore the attention to detail that Crucial has put into the Ballistix Sport LT 8GB Single DDR4 2400 though, because it’s a piece of hardware worth every bit as much respect as your CPU or video card gets. Priced at only $52.99 (at the time of this writing), this little memory stick is affordable and offers blazing fast DDR4 interface speeds. It runs at a stock 2400 MT/s, it is loaded with a sharp grey gun-metal heatsink that not only keeps the ram cool, but also looks amazing. Being only a 1 stick set, it also gives you the space to upgrade in the future when you’re ready for 16Gb.
For any gaming PC, storage is crucial. With games taking 30, 50, or even up to 70Gb of space (we see you, X-Plane 9 enthusiasts!) the WD Blue 1TB SATA drive delivers on both capacity and reliability. The WD Blue 1TB Desktop Hard Drive has 6 GB/s transfer rate to match the SATA III standard on our H110 motherboard, plus ultra-cool and quiet operation to keep it from adding unnecessary heat to your system. The WD Blue series drives are affordable ($49.99 at the time of this writing) and come with a 2-year manufacturer warranty. Of course, with Western Digital’s signature attention to quality, it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll ever need to make use of it.
Of course when you’re building a gaming PC, everything else aside, it’s the video card that we’re going to be most excited and picky about! EVGA is always a good brand for quality, and their 1050 Ti SC GAMING edition video card is the perfect fit for our budget rig. Keeping budget in mind, we’ll start with the modest $149.99 price point (at the time of this writing), to fit into our <$600 total build cost. It embodies the saying ‘good things come in small packages’, as this is a demure looking card. It certainly packs a huge punch though, boasting 4Gb of 128-bit GDDR5 memory clocked at 7010MHz and a 1468 MHz boosted core clock speed. Built on NVIDEA’s Pascal architecture, it supports the newest PCI 3.0 standard, and supports HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 for the newest-generation gaming monitors and TVs.
When everything is said any done, it’s the case that you’re going to see day in and day out. It’s important to have something with nice looks, and a functional design. Corsair, always a top-quality brand, satisfies the need for quality, and our budget-minded build with the Carbide Series SPEC-01 Mid Tower Gaming Case. The case has a matte black finish, and gives you front-row seating to see the components of your build with a large side panel window. The included intake fan has red LEDs to make it stand out and give it a killer look, and has room to support up to 5 120mm fans, or 3 120mm and 2 140mm fans. It has front side USB 3.0 and HD audio jacks, and cable routing options to keep everything looking clean inside. There’s lots of options for cases, but at just around $50, the features of this case are hard to beat.
To power our budget gaming PC, we chose the EVGA 500w W1 80+ White power supply. While keeping to our budget-mindedness, coming in at only $39.99 (at the time of this writing), EVGA provides a number of very desirable perks with this unit. First it offers 80+ power efficiency, giving you much better power usage, and less wasted watts drawn from the wall. The 500 watts of peak power are more than ample to power our budget build, and what’s even better is that at even at such a low price, EVGA uses black mesh sleeved cables, and enough cables to allow for future hard drive, optical or molex device/fan expandability.
When installing your OS, drivers, or installing games without having to wait for a lengthy download, a solid optical drive is crucial. The LG electronics internal Super Multi Drive is a great option for a simple SATA interface multi-drive. This particular model is a great fit for the budget PC build, because not only is it cost effective, but it is a full CD and DVD re-writing drive, offering up to 24X speeds. It support M-Disc as well, if you have any long-term archiving needs. With a simple but sharp looking black front plate, this will not only serve its’ purpose, but look great in our custom setup.
For our OS, these days with prices so low, it’s almost unthinkable to skip a solid state drive for the fantastic boot and loading speeds. Kingston is a rock solid provider when it comes to SSD technology, so the 120GB SSDNow V300 seemed like an obvious choice. It offers way more than enough room for any version of Windows, and plenty leftover if you have a favorite game or app you’d like to take advantage of the load speed increase with. It’s got a standard SATA III interface, and offers speeds up to 10x a 7200RPM spindle drive, so for your operating system especially, this is a great option, with performance that won’t keep you waiting and watching loading screens.
Got any questions about this build? Need advise on swapping components into this build? Ask us in the comments section below!