aka Senary Speedster
So, you want to dive into PC gaming?
$600 can sound too little for a starting budget, but, trust me, this price range can get you a PC that is well over the abilities of a PS4 Pro. It can even let you buy a PC that can run majority of games on maximum settings at 1080p.
If you have your own HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, you can play some VR titles, too.
In case you are still not buying the idea, here are some of the best components you can buy for a 600 dollars PC build .
We’ve affectionately named this one the Senary Speedster.
Requirements of The $600 Gaming PC
To get the most out of your money, you have to ensure the following:
Performance. What’s the point of joining the glorious PC Gaming Master Race if you’re still getting console-quality performance? If you are going to build a PC, it needs to outperform the PS4 Pro as it boasts one of the best GPUs and CPUs any current console manufacturer is offering.
Decent cooling. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t buy a case that doesn’t come with intake and outtake fans. These fans can give you a smoother airflow and thermal performance in your rig.
Storage. Don’t settle for anything less than 2TB. Value-scaling of HDDs pretty much means that if you aren’t buying at least a 2TB drive, you’re hardcore screwing yourself out of money and storage space.
Reliability. There’s no point in you investing in a PC hardware if it isn’t reliable and safe. If you are going to invest in something, make sure that it has the most favorable reviews and backed by good manufacturers that will replace the hardware in case there are any issues.
IMPORTANT: The shortage of graphics card in the market is the reason why it is hard(and very expensive) for you to build your own gaming PC today. Read more about the GPU shortage news here. You can get a Prebuilt Gaming PC instead to address the shortage problem.
The Components of The Senary Speedster Update:
AMD Ryzen 3 1200
A humble, but powerful budget CPU that thrashes its competition and is perfect for a budget gaming build.
EVGA B3 440W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully-Modular PSU
EVGA’s budget Bronze power supply provides a great beating heart for this build.
ASUS PRIME A320M-K AM4 Motherboard
A budget AM4 motherboard offering access to all the Ryzen goodness you could need.
Estimated $608.14 at Amazon
(Price are accurate as of March 27, 2018)
To break things down a bit better for you, we’re going to present each component you’ll need to build the best gaming desktop under $600. We’re not even joking here- so be sure to take note of everything.
The Ryzen 3 1200 will trade gaming performance in certain titles with competing Intel processors, but as an all-around processor it’s the clear winner among budget CPUs. With only minor performance penalties in all but the games with the least multicore optimization, the Ryzen 3 1200 is more than enough to drive a great gaming experience on a budget.
The GTX 1060’s 3GB variant is a great budget option that hasn’t gotten too much more expensive since the GPU shortage, unlike the GeForce GTX 1070 or the 6GB variant. The 1060 3GB will offer all you need in terms of 1080p gaming at max settings, and should even open up 1440p gaming at medium-high settings. Plus, you’ll even be able to play some VR titles with the 1060! The 6GB version is more recommended for VR titles, though.
8GB of RAM will be fine for standard gaming and multitasking scenarios. RAM speed also generally doesn’t make a big difference in gaming performance, but DDR4’s base 2133 speed is still fairly respectable. Crucial makes solid RAM at all price ranges, so we feel comfortable recommending this part.
Hitachi’s Ultrastar series has a reputation for reliability at a fair price, and this particular 2TB HDD is no different. Offering, in my opinion, the best 2TB HDD solution on the market right now, this Ultrastar is a solid recommendation for any midrange budget build, and that’s why it’s here.
This modular, Bronze-certified PSU from EVGA offers plenty of power for this build and does so with some respectable power efficiency. In general, you want to make sure you’re investing in a power supply from a reliable provider- like EVGA- if you don’t want to risk something horrible happening. Like your PC exploding. Always buy from trustworthy brands, kids.
Fortunately, EVGA makes solid hardware and has great customer service. This makes this PSU a safe recommendation, despite its budget price. Plus, it’s fully-modular, which will make your building process much easier than it would be otherwise.
This ASUS PRIME motherboard is a budget board, to be sure, but it still boasts pretty great build quality. Thanks to being an AM4 board, you’ll also be able to slap any higher-end Ryzen CPU in it, as well any next-gen Ryzen chips. You won’t, however, be able to overclock with this board. That’s a sacrifice that comes with the price range.
The Corsair Carbide 88R isn’t necessarily a “budget” case, but it’s a fairly solid mid-range one that offers all the space and airflow you should need from a build like this. Corsair’s overall build quality is always excellent, too, so your building process should be relatively painless and your components will be safe and sound inside of this build.
Since this is PC gaming, we figured out you’ll want more. If you are fine with spending a little more money, below are some of the best upgrade options you can get- for under $600.
If you’re going to buy a Solid state drive, we highly recommend buying it before your HDD and installing your OS or favorite programs. This is because SSDs offer huge performance increase for desktop usage and boot-time, alongside much faster loading times in games.
If you want to remove any potential CPU bottlenecks from your gaming performance, stepping up to a Ryzen 3 1300X may be smart. This will also help your build get just a bit better at streaming and rendering than it would be otherwise.
OS Options and Recommended Peripherals
Building your PC doesn’t end there. If you want to really make the build more worthwhile in terms of money and performance, you should consider getting the following peripheral picks.
Note: Everything in this section will raise the price of the build, though!
First and foremost, you’ll need an OS to use your PC. For this category, you have two options: Linux (Mint or Ubuntu) and Windows.
Linux is free but has less compatibility with games and certain Windows apps that you may find necessary. Windows, on the other hands, adds a good $80 to the cost of a rig, but it’s widely supported by all PC gaming titles.
It’s probably what you’re most familiar with, too.
For more details on downloading and installing an OS, we have an in-depth guide further down in the article.
Mouse and Keyboard
If you don’t have a mouse and keyboard starting out, no worries. Getting these peripherals don’t need to cost you a huge amount of money.
But, if you want to splurge a little, we have a few recommendations that can be worth investing your money in.
For Starters: ($15)
If you just need some input devices and don’t care about fancy hardware for now, the best place to start is with the Logitech KH120 Keyboard and Mouse Kit. These are standard in offices/schools all over the world because they’re cheap and they work as intended.
You won’t get all the benefits of gaming-oriented hardware from these, but you can always upgrade later. For now, this will likely handle most of your needs.
For Advanced Users: ($100)
For your mouse, I recommend the Logitech G502. It’s aging a little bit, but it still has one of the best sensors on the market and it goes on sale quite regularly.
Logitech makes great, solid mice and the G502 won’t disappoint.
For your keyboard, I recommend the Red Dragon K551. It’s an entry-level mechanical keyboard, but it performs quite well.
For sheer value, the K551 is already comparable, if not better, than a fully-functioning mechanical keyboard.
If you can’t afford both, I’d recommend going with the mechanical keyboard first. Gaming mice have diminishing benefits while mechanical keyboards can give you the biggest improvements for both your gaming and typing experience on PC.
For Starters ($100)
The Asus VH238H is the best product to start with. It’s 1080p, has a low response time, is solidly built and comes from a reputable manufacturer.
If you can’t afford this monitor, you may want to tone down your PC because you won’t be able to enjoy games at this caliber with a sub-1080p monitor. Another cheaper alternative is to look at eBay and Craigslist for second-hand monitors.
For Advanced Users ($180+)
Get a 144hz monitor.
144hz monitors offer a great boost in visible frame rate and response times in supported games, which are usually multiplayer titles like CS:GO or Team Fortress 2. 144hz monitors have a real benefit for gaming which makes them a must-have investment for hardcore gamers.
If you don’t have any of your own audio equipment sitting around, the following options can seal the deal.
We recommend starting with the Logitech Z130 speakers. They come in cheap and you can get them from most outlets.
For the price, they’re definitely a step up from having no audio or built-in monitor audio.
If you are going to play games that require an internet connection, you have to invest in a device that will give you a seamless connection.
For Wi-Fi, you’ll want to use the TP-Link Archer T4U. It supports all the latest and greatest Wi-Fi standards.
If this is your first time building a PC, make sure you supplement yourself with the right information to safely build the pieces together.
We have compiled a list of mistakes that newbie PC Builder should avoid and questions when building a PC to iron out all of your questions about building a PC and to keep you from doing the mistakes most newbies do when building a PC.
Invest In Antistatic Equipment
First and foremost, make sure you don’t short out any of your components with electric discharge. Investing in an antistatic mat or antistatic wristband will go a long way toward preventing an issue like this.
If, for some reason, you can’t acquire these, a suitable alternative is ensuring that you’re grounded by regularly touching grounded metal objects. If you want to save an extra headache and worries, though, buy the wristband. It’s worth the peace of mind.
If you are unsure how to use the antistatic wristband, refer to our guide here.
Watch Building Guides
If you are unsure about what to do, it’s a good idea to take a look at some building guides for visual assistance first. We recommend Tek Syndicate’s.
You’ll also want to look at the manuals for your components during the build process, just to make sure nothing’s different. PC building can be a scary, daunting task, especially if you’ve never done it before. However, standoff screws aside, it’s honestly a pretty easy, painless experience.
Your first build session will probably take around an hour due to inexperience. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll see that time start dropping fairly quickly.
Our how to build a PC guide in this link is a good resource that will help you with this. You will find all the steps every first-time builder need. This guide includes steps from planning out your budget, installing the drivers, to tips on how to safely maintain your computer through the years of usage.
Install OS Via USB
Investing in an optical drive in 2017 is honestly pretty hilarious. Unless you’re shelling extra for a Blu-Ray player, chances are you aren’t going to use your PC’s optical drive after you’ve finished building the machine and installing the OS for the first time.
Any necessary drivers for a program or device can typically and conveniently be found online. (Take it from me- I made the same mistake when I built my rig!) So, instead of dropping an extra $20 on the drive and another extra $20 on actually having a disc delivered to you, just install your OS via USB.
All versions of Windows and Linux can be installed off a USB drive. And while you will need a separate PC to turn your USB drive into an installer, it’s still much smarter than paying extra for physical media.
If you’re buying Windows, we recommend buying Windows 10.
You can install it in two ways: a USB drive or use the DVD. Either method is viable, but know that installing over physical media will cost extra since you’ll need to invest in an optical disk drive. DVD installation of Windows is fairly straightforward, but doing it over USB does require a little extra tinkering know-how.
You’ll need another Windows PC, an ISO file for the version of your OS and a 4GB+ flash drive. To turn your flash drive into Windows installation media, download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.
All you need to do is run that program with your desired USB stick plugged into your computer and follow the built-in guide to creating a Windows USB stick.
Buying the best $600 gaming PC isn’t that hard. You just have to know exactly what you should be looking for.
And that’s exactly why we’re here.
Once you’ve finished this article and made your orders, you’re well on your way to enjoying the latest, greatest games at beautiful settings. Once the parts arrived and you’ve assembled them, you’re officially initiated into the wider community of PC gamers.
If you’re new here, welcome to PC gaming, and let us know in the comments below if you need any help!