You don’t have to spend a ton of money in order to get a solid gaming PC for 1080P gaming. This $600 gaming PC build will run most games on higher settings on a 1080P monitor with excellent framerates.
No more Mr. Nice Gamer. It’s time to finally get a gaming computer that can run all of today’s top games on a 1080P monitor on higher-to-maximum settings. It won’t matter what game you throw at it, you’re going to get a computer that will deliver at least 60+ FPS with ease.
That’s because in this guide I’m going to show you how you can get a gaming PC for under $600 that will run any game at higher settings on a 1080P monitor with no problems in 2023 and beyond.
You will have to build this $600 gaming computer yourself, though. By building it yourself, you’ll cut down on the high markup costs that often come attached to prebuilt PCs and you’ll be able to use that extra money to get an even more powerful system.
So, if you’re up for building a computer, keep reading to find out what components you’ll need in order to build a powerful $600 gaming PC. (And, if you absolutely don’t want to build your own system, we’ve also linked to a similarly-priced prebuilt gaming computer for $600, too—it won’t perform quite as well, but it will still be a decent option in the grand scheme of things.)
Also, if you want to look at more budget-friendly part lists, check out more options on our Cheap Gaming PC Build guide.
I. $600 Gaming PC Build Overview
While everybody would love to spend thousands of dollars on a new gaming computer that has liquid cooling, an insane graphics card and CPU combo, a ton of RGB lights, and an awesome-looking case, the reality is that you don’t have to have all of those things in order to play your favorite games on higher settings.
So, if your main goal is to simply have the ability to play today’s best PC games on high settings on a 1080P monitor, you can actually achieve that with a budget of just $600 (and, in reality, you could probably do it with $500, too—check out our $500 gaming PC build here).
That’s what the build listed below will give you. No, it doesn’t have an AIO cooler in it and it doesn’t come with a fancy RGB-laden case. But it will allow you to experience your favorite games at graphics-levels you never thought possible.
Also Read: Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $600
For $600, you get an Intel Core i3-12100F processor, a GTX 1660 graphics card, 16GB of memory, a 500GB SSD, and a 550W 80 PLUS rated fully modular power supply.
The combination of the i3-12100F and the GTX 1660 Ti are good enough to where this build will be able to run demanding games on higher settings. And, for non-demanding popular titles like Valorant, Apex Legends, Fortnite, League of Legends, Minecraft, Roblox, and Rocket League, this system will run on them on max settings with no problems.
So, the bottom line is that if you’re looking for the best gaming PC under $600, the part list below will serve you well.
*NOTE: If you’re not up for building your own computer, click the “Shop Pre-Builts” button to see a similarly priced pre-built gaming computer.
Part List for $600 PC Build
|CPU||Intel Core i3-12100F|
|GPU||ZOTAC GTX 1660|
|SSD||Kingston A400 480GB|
|CASE||Thermaltake Versa H17|
|ODD||Install O.S. from USB|
Grand Total: $570-$630
*Component prices fluctuate daily. Click here to check current pricing.
**You’ll need an operating system. Windows costs ~$100. However, you can still install Windows for free and it will work indefinitely without activating it—there will just be a watermark at the bottom left of your desktop asking you to activate it.
12100F + GTX 1660 Benchmark
Watch Me Build This PC
*Note: Due to changing prices and components going out of stock, we update the part list in this guide on a regular basis to reflect the current trends. However, it is much easier to update the components to match current trends than it is to rebuild the system every time a component goes out of stock. So, since the video below is a bit older, the current list of parts posted above is quite different than the $600 gaming PC build that we posted a video on a few months ago. The video will still give you a good idea on what the building process looks like as well as how the $600 list of components will perform.
II. $600 Gaming PC System Breakdown
One of the coolest parts about choosing components to build a new computer is that, while there definitely are right and wrong components to get, there are different ways you can go about it. We believe the components that we listed above will give you great performance for the price you pay. However, there are other routes you can go with this build. So, in the section below we will discuss some of the other options you have.
The other great thing about building a computer is that you will always have the potential to upgrade it in the future. So, we’ll also go over the different upgrade paths that are available for this build, too.
But, before we dive into the different component options out there and the available upgrade paths, let’s first cover what kind of performance you can expect out of this $600 gaming PC.
1. What Kind of Performance Can You Expect out of this $600 Build?
Again, for just under $600, this PC can handle just about any game on max settings on a budget-friendly 1080P monitor. But, to give you a more specific idea of the kind of in-game performance you can expect, check the bullet-point list below:
- This $600 PC can run less-demanding games like Apex Legends, Rocket League, League of Legends, etc. on max settings at ~100+ frames per second
- It will run more-demanding titles like Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duy, God of War, Tomb Raider, etc. on higher settings at ~60+ frames per second
So, whether you’re building this system to play competitive esports titles that aren’t very demanding (like Rocket League, LoL, Fortnite, etc.) or you’re building it so that you can play some of the more demanding and graphically-detailed games (like GTA V, Elden Ring, etc.), this build will be able to handle both types of games fairly easily on higher settings.
2. Intel Core i3-12100F vs Ryzen 3 3100
In my opinion, there are two processor options that make sense for this build. The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 and the Intel Core i3-12100F. We chose the Intel Core i3-12100F, though, because, when you include the cost of the CPU itself and a compatible motherboard, it is the most affordable option right now. However, there are always sales going on on the various online retailers and so it would probably be a good idea to shop around before you finalize your purchase to see if you can grab anything at a discount—which may end up allowing you to go with an upgraded processor.
Also Read: When is the Best Time to Buy Computer Parts?
3. GTX 1660 vs Other Options
As of right now, the GTX 1660 is currently the best semi-budget-friendly video card available. The next closest GPU in terms of performance is probably either the RX 6600 or the RTX 3050 and both of those cards run into the mid $200s and $300s (respectively).
And, for a cheaper alternative, the next best option at the moment (based on current price and what cards are actually available) seems to be the RX 6500 XT.
The GTX 1660 will offer a decent performance boost over the RX 6500 XT and it fits in the budget. However, if you’re mainly playing non-demanding games, you could save some money and choose the RX 6500 XT over the GTX 1660. And, both options will pair well with a budget-friendly 144Hz monitor.
4. Why Isn’t Windows 11 Included in the Price?
While you will definitely need an operating system in order to get your computer to actually run, we have left out including an operating system in the price of this build. Windows is the best-suited operating system for gaming. Unfortunately, though, a brand new copy of Windows will set you back ~$100.
However, there are alternatives to paying $100 for a copy of Windows. And, so while you will need some kind of operating system, we have left it out of the total cost of your system because of these alternatives that are available.
Here are a few ways to avoid the $100 cost of Windows 11:
First, you could install a free Linux-based operating system. You won’t be able to play certain games that aren’t compatible with Linux, but you will save $100.
Second, you could buy a Windows 11 key from a third party marketplace for ~$30. I’ve had good success purchasing Windows keys from Kinguin.net in the past (and G2a.com is another option), but there is definitely some risk involved in purchasing a Windows license from a third party source.
Finally, you could just install Windows 11 for free and not activate it. In my opinion, this is probably the best route to go. Essentially, Microsoft allows anyone to install Windows onto their computer without forcing them to activate it. And, for the most part, you can still use Windows normally even when it’s not activated. The only thing you will lose out on is some customization options like setting a custom background for your desktop. But, I think in order to save $100, that is not a bad trade-off cost. And, at the very least, you could run the non-activated version of Windows for the time being until you can afford to purchase an activation key for it.
5. Upgrade Paths for this $600 Gaming PC Build
This $600 gaming computer is pretty good as-is. Again, it is powerful enough to run pretty much any game at higher settings on a 1080P monitor.
However, there are some upgrades that you can make to it in order to get more performance out of it:
The first upgrade that I would make would be to add more storage
For this build, since it already has a CPU and GPU combo that is easily capable of maxing games out on a 1080P monitor, upgrading those two components to higher-end options in the near future probably doesn’t make sense unless you’re also upgrading your monitor.
So, for my first upgrade, I’d probably look to jump up to add an additional ~500GB (or larger) SSD. Later down the road, if you want to bump up to a 1440P or 4K monitor, you’ll need to upgrade the CPU and GPU. However, since there is already a decent motherboard and power supply in this build, that shouldn’t be too difficult of a task.
III. Peripherals & Accessories to Go With Your New $600 Gaming Computer
If you don’t already have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to go along with your new system, you will definitely need to get one of each. In this section, we’ll give you a few budget-friendly recommendations that will pair well with this build.
Gaming Monitor Picks
|Sceptre C248B|| ||/10|
|BenQ GL2460HM|| ||/10|
Gaming Keyboard Choices
|Logitech G213|| ||/10|
|Redragon K552 KUMARA|| ||/10|
|Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS|| ||/10|
Gaming Mouse Options
|Logitech G402|| ||/10|
|Logitech G203|| ||/10|
|Redragon M711|| ||/10|
Conclusion: $600 Can Deliver You High-End 1080P Performance
If this build proves anything, it’s that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a computer that is powerful enough to run today’s top games at higher settings. No, it’s not a high-end gaming computer that can handle 4K gaming, or push a 1440P 144Hz monitor.
However, if you’re someone that currently has a laptop or older desktop that is struggling to run games on a 1080P monitor at a playable framerate and you don’t have a huge budget to upgrade to a high-end system, then this $600 gaming PC will offer you a fairly affordable solution to your problem.
Overall, this build will provide you with the performance necessary to run the best games out there on the higher settings and it will also give you plenty of room to make upgrades in the future, too.