Build the best $600 gaming pc in 2016

For 600 dollars you can build a gaming pc that can literally max out almost every game present right now. This pc can be the best budget gaming build for money that can play all the games at 1080p maxed out with no compromise. I have chosen the best components for money wisely that are newly released and provide best performance for the buck spent.

As most of the people cannot afford >$1000 gaming pc, it doesn’t mean that they cannot play games at 1080p ultra settings. In fact gaming pc’s above $1000 are for enthusiast and are more future proof. But this one can serve you at least 1-2 year letting you play at 1080p from high to ultra settings and leaves space for you to upgrade it for higher resolutions.

That’s why I named it “THE ELITE“.

If you don’t know how to assemble a gaming pc or want a complete guide for building a gaming pc from scratch you can grab my guide HERE.

Processor

Amd Fx 8350

Price=$149.99

AMD Fx 8350

When it comes to building a budget gaming pc, Amd are the best choices especially when you are ready to pay 100 dollars or more for your cpu. I could have used the Intel Core i3 4130 or 6100 processor in this build. But there are many disadvantages of i3’s over the Fx 8350. Now this build should be able to handle everything at 1080p and I don’t want it to bottleneck or hold back any high end graphics card therefore I chose this instead of the dual core i3’s.

Fx 8350 has 6 more cores than the i3 processors which affects the performance in many games although the single core performance and power efficiency of i3’s are better but they also cost near to the fx 8350. The second disadvantage is that in applications like rendering i3’s fall back due to lesser cores. Fx 8350 beats i3 in many games and eventually ties with i3 processors but when it comes to multi-tasking and rendering, it easily pulls out the win.

For only 160 dollars, this is the best cpu you can get which has 8 cores and have 8mb of L2 cache and 8mb of L3 cache. Which means a total of 16mb cache memory which makes it run faster. The other advantage of fx 8350 over i3 processors is that it is unlocked and can be overclocked upto 4.5Ghz with a custom cooler whereas the i3’s are locked.

This alone can boost your gaming performance upto 10% or more. See also: Best budget gaming processors.

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Motherboard

ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+

Price=$59.99

ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0

I have listed this motherboard in the Best AMD Am3 Motherboards for gaming list due to it’s superb performance and features at a cheap rate. It has 970 chipset which is unlocked for overclocking Processors and Memories. With 4 DIMM slots you will be able to upgrade your Ram upto 32Gb which is insane but for now you will only use 2 of them and the rest 2 will be ready for further use.

It has 2 x PCIE x 16 slots for graphics cards out of which one will be used for graphics card and the other one is optional and can come in handy if the first one malfunctions. It has tons of USB and Sata ports that will allow you to install several hard drives and different devices to your system at the same time. At this price this is a complete steal.

Features:-

  • ASUS Exclusive Design consists of the EPU (Energy Processing Unit) and the TPU (TurboV Processing Unit), guaranteeing superior performance for every task, bringing users an unbeatable experience
  • Network iControl Gives user real-time bandwidth allocation control to insure efficient bandwidth usage
  • DirectKey Easy access BIOS when PC is on standby with the push of a button
  • Windows 8 Ready Meets strict hardware requirements for Windows 8 support
  • USB 3.0 Boost Faster USB 3.0 Transmission with UASP, with increased transmission speed of up to 170%

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Memory

 Corsair Vengeance 8gb(2x4gb) 1600Mhz

Price=$41.99

Corsair Vengeance 8GB memory

Memory is the way to speed up your computer and your games. If you have 4gb of memory, things will work just fine but you will be experiencing bottlenecks in games and other applications. Even windows startup takes more time with 4gb of ram when compared to 8gigs. Every game available today use no more than 6 gigabytes of memory and 8gb will be future proof for at least 1 or 2 years.

For memory I chose Corsair Vengeance 8gb(2x4gb) memory that will remove complete bottleneck. It is clocked at 1600Mhz which is fast and has heat spreader on it for heat dissipation. You will also get lifetime warranty with this memory. As we have chosen a motherboard that has 4 DIMM slots, you still have left with 2 more DIMM slots for upgrading your system to 16 gigs in future.

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Graphics card

Zotac Gtx 1060 mini 3gb gddr5

Price=$199.00

Zotac Gtx 1060 mini 3gb gddr5

This card is a beast and is the latest release from Nvidia is the gtx 1060. This is the mini edition and has 3gb of gddr5 memory and is similar to the 1060 6gb edition. While the Rx 480 matches the performance of gtx 970, this one is near to the gtx 980 but as the cuda cores and memory are cut out, it will perform slightly better than the gtx 970 and a little slower than the 980.

3gb of memory is enough for maxing out most of the settings at 1080p like details and shadows but textures in some games like middle earth shadow of mordor requires 6gb. So you can’t max out that setting.  The core clocks are also massive. It easily reaches over 1800Mhz in games and provides extra boost. This card is for 1080p 60 fps maxed out without any compromise and there shouldn’t be any reason for not getting it.

This one is shorter and can fit into any case, be it a mini itx case or a mid tower case. The heatsink is very basic just like the older generation and has one 90mm fan just above it. The card has 6 pin power port and requires less power as compared to the previous generation cards. As the price of this card is just $200, I don’t think it will be a good choice to go either for the rx 470 or the R9 380X.

Also see

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Graphics cards rebates

Hard drive

 Western Digital blue 1TB

Price=$49.99

WD Blue 1TB Desktop

For storage you need at least a 1TB of hard drive from a trusted company like Western Digital which provides two years of warranty. Now games are getting bigger and bigger and you don’t want to run out of space. Games like Gta V and Call of duty Black ops 3 require huge space. 20 games like that can fill your whole hard drive easily. So, better get at least 1 terabyte of storage and you can always add more hard drives to your system as the motherboard we used has 6 Sata ports.

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Power supply

EVGA 600B 80+ 600 watts Bronze

Price=$49.99

EVGA 600watts B1 80+ BRONZE

This pc uses a very power efficienty graphics card so you can run it on a 500 watts power supply. 500 watts can supply power to every component but as the prices of 500 watts and 600 watts are same so I chose the bigger one, which also has all the power cables required to supply the power to your components. It’s 80+ Bronze power supply and has power efficiency more than 87% on typical loads. Gaming pc’s which have power efficient components like the skylake processor and ddr4 memories  should also have a at least 80+ power efficient power supply.

This brand is very much trusted and I have used these power supplies in almost every build due their huge success of protecting the components against overcurrent and overvoltage. The wattage is found out by calculating the total TDP of all the components and this system will not require more than 300 watts overall even if you overclock everything. The graphics card I chose requires a single 6 pin power connector for power supply and this PSU is enough to provide that.

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Case

 Thermaltake Commander MS-I Snow edition

Price=$48.99

Thermaltake Commander MS-I Snow Edition

For ATX motherboards, you require at least a mid tower case. This one is really attractive and is a steal at 50 dollars. The case is totally white and is also present in two more colours: RED and BLACK. But white snow edition is really cool. The case has a lot of space and has several bays for installing hard drives.

The case comes with proper ventilation at all sides including bottom, top, side and rear. It comes with 1x120mm pre-installed fan at the rear with blue LED. The side panel has a transparent glass for a complete clear look to inside. This case is very good for budget builds and can be used for upgrading to higher end components. Therefore, I have also listed this case in my Best mid tower cases list also.

It doesn’t comes with any pre-installed power supply and we don’t even need it. Graphics cards with full lengths are supported in this case.

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TOTAL=$599.94

Additional

Cpu cooler : Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO

Price=$27.97

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO

If you are going to overclock your processor, then you cannot reach upto 4.5Ghz without a proper custom cooler. Cooler master hyper 212 EVO is the cheapest best cooling solution for overclocking cpu’s. It provides a larger heat sink and can be easily installed in the case we chose. The other advantage of this cooler is that you can even add another fan to this so that one fan can work as intake and other as exhaust.

Also Read:- Best Cpu Air Coolers

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Sarfraz

I am an engineer and a certified Hitech computer technician who loves to play CSGO. But this is not what else I love. I love to dive into the computer hardware and same goes for you. That's why you are here! AND YES IGNORE MY BAD ENGLISH:)

  • I’ve never built a computer, but I’m tempted. Your guides look thorough and you seem to offer a lot of support. What are the odds I break something?

    • you will not break anything if you do the things correctly. Don’t be afraid of anything. If you need any help. I am here always.

  • TRX1

    hey i have a question… im building a pc and i wanted to ask you how this setup looks.. ive done it before with junk pcs but i wanted to build a very cheap, decent pc that i could do some gaming on.. graphics isnt huge for me.. as long as it dosent lag and looks decent im good.. im still deciding on a gpu but im 100% gonna pick one from your list of the top ones under 150.. either the gtx 750ti or the one that has 4gb, i forget the name.. but heres where im at so far:
    AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor : 89.99
    Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard: 50.98
    Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory: 32.99
    Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive: 46.98
    Rosewill Line-M MicroATX Mini Tower Case: 39.00
    EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply: 40-50.00
    Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer: 18.99
    Asus PCE-N10 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter: 7.99

    im still trying to cut corners on prices if i can but i doubt i can anymore…its about 330.00 so far without the gpu and i want to keep it around 400-450 max.. how do you think this looks.. im using pcpartpicker

    • TRX1

      and if you can think of any other gpus that might be a little better than the gtx 750 ti please let me know. any suggestions about my build from you would be greatly appreciated

      • It seems totally ok. All the components you have chosen are fine. As far as the gpu is concerned gtx 750 ti is the best option for you now but you can check on amazon if any version of r7 370 2gb is available with rebate as sometimes its price really goes under $110.

        • TRX1

          thank you very much. i was thinking that today, that i should go with the 750ti and upgrade in the future if needed.. but ya i will deff check out that r7 370, i was already looking at it to.. one last question if you dont mind, is there a big difference between the brands of gtx 750ti?? i was looking at the asus strix, but theres the evga, gigabyte i belive, zotac and probably more.. so is there any REAL difference, in your opinion, besides the price? because zotac gtx 750ti is the best deal but if i have to spend a few more bucks for a little more power i will… thanks again!!

          • There is almost no difference in performance of different brands. The difference is only of cooling, warranty etc. Example Msi gtx 750 ti or asus strix gtx 750 ti cards remain cooler than zotac one.

          • TRX1

            okay, well thanks a lot for all your help. im still trying to figure out if i can cut corners by buying the gpu, wireless card, and disk drives or anything else used, but as of now im using pcpartpicker still. but again thank you.

  • arabuli

    I’m building a PC with almost same budget. My problem is that Radeon R9 isn’t available in my country. Will GTX960 work for this build? Or should I go GTX950 and i5 processor?

  • Nick

    Im totally new to building pc as well and was wondering if there is any difference between 500w b1 or 500w w1 power supply? The b1 is only for amazon prime members :,(

    • Hi Nick. The only difference between the b1 and the normal power supply is power efficiency. b1 are bronze 80+ psu’s which provide upto 87% of efficiency at typical loads and a minimum of 84%. Whereas the normal 80+ psu’s provide just above 80% efficiency and heat a little more. That’s it. Not much difference.

      More questions are welcomed.

      • Nick

        Last question i have. Are cpu coolers only necessary for overclocking? If not overclocking would you still recommend it? By the way thanks alot for your articles. Very helpful

        • Sometimes CPU temperatures may go high even without overclocking. You should check it regularly. But if it happens then stock cooler must be replaced or at least thermal paste should be applied again.

  • Christian Caluwe

    I have one question will the AMD FX-8350 8-Core Black Edition and the EVGA GeForce GTX 960 4GB SSC work for this build?

    • Yes sure.

      • Christian Caluwe

        Do i need to buy a wifi card to connect to the internet wirelessly or does the motherboard have one built in?

        • you have to buy one separately. You can get wifi card as cheap as $14 on amazon.com

  • Gareth Hunter

    Hello, I am a casual gamer who wants to play CSGO, LoL, Overwatch, Total Wars and some Civilization. Is this computer good enough and if I didnt misunderstand you said that it would only last 1 year at max settings? I want a computer that will last me about 4-5 years. Does this computer have any room for future upgrades such as graphic cards, etc?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Well I can’t guarantee that a rig having gtx 1080 can be future proofed for 4-5 years. But this pc can at least play all the games at max 1080p for 1 year. After that you may need to tweak down some in game settings to play smoothly. But it can last you a few more years at least. When you observe some bottleneck’s from CPU and GPU side, you may have to upgrade your CPU and GPU in future but for 1-2 years it’s completely fine.

      • Gareth Hunter

        Is it not possible to upgrade the graphics card come the 1-2 years? Is building this computer more advantageous than buying one for approximately the same price?

        Thank you for your answer.

        • It “IS” possible to upgrade the graphics card anytime. If you buy a pre-built computer you will regret a lot. That’s all I can say. Pre-built computer comes with cheap power supply, crap graphics card and low end cpu.

  • lt

    Hi, I did this build but can’t get it to POST. Everything turns on, including the video card, but I get no video output. I followed the guide on tom’s to find the issue, but had no luck. Any suggestions?

    • Have you tried resetting the bios?

      • lt

        Thank you for your response. Yes, I did reset the bios by removing the battery for a few minutes. I also followed the guide below trying to find the issue, with no luck.

        http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/261145-31-perform-steps-posting-post-boot-video-problems

        • Have you checked without the graphics card?

          • lt

            Yes, I still get nothing. Not even a beep from the system speaker. I pulled the mobo out of the case and tried with the bare minimum, still nothing. Is it possible I have a defective mobo?

          • It’s hard to tell what’s going on without looking at your rig. you can cross check your ram and processor. I don’t think motherboard is the problem. If someone has an Am3 processor and a ddr3 ram. You can check by interchanging them.

          • lt

            Unfortunately I do not have a spare am3. I did get an extra stick of ram, but that didn’t work. Im trying to find someone local to take a look, as I’m not sure where to go from here

          • When you boot your pc, does the cpu fan slows down after a few seconds?

          • lt

            No, the cpu fan stays on. The gpu fans cycle on and off. I pulled the aftermarket cpu heatsink off, checked the pins on the cpu and everything looks good. I also tried another video card to see if that was the issue, but no luck. I’m going to install the stock heatsink and see if that makes a difference, I read that it may.

    • lt

      Well, I’m not sure what’s wrong. As I mentioned, I’ve tried every tip and hint i can find with no resolution.

      I’m disappointed and frustrated. Did you complete this build with no issues?

  • lt

    It turns out this mobo requires a bios update to work with this processor. As I do not have a compatible processor, I cannot update the BIOS. You can attempt this build in pcpartpicker and see the issue. This was a big waste of time and money.

    • Have you bought everything exact what is mentioned in the list? As many people have build the same and havent found any problem. The fx 6300 is fully compatible with this motherboard. You can check the list here http://www.gigabyte.in/support-downloads/cpu-support-popup.aspx?pid=4642

    • Well if you have a fx processor, whats the problem in updating the bios?

    • Well I still did not get one thing. How can you get this motherboard without the bios f5 update if it was updated in 2013 and therefore people used it a lot with fx processors?

    • Bro You can return it to the store from where you have bought it. There is no way that it requires a bios update now.

      • lt

        I thought it was updated too, but I read some reviews from 2015 where people are having the same issue. My bad, I should have done my due diligence before making any purchase.

        I appreciate al your responses! Sorry if I was grumpy, just got frustrated. Dig the site.

  • Allan

    Would all the components fit in a Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-02 Mid Tower Gaming Case

  • Mauricio

    Hey! What do you think about this build? Is there an incompatible component? Would you change something? http://pcpartpicker.com/list/WBBsYr

    • I would buy a cheaper motherboard and invest money in getting at least a gtx 950.

      • Mauricio

        Well that makes sense, thank you so much for responding.

  • Chev Chillidog

    is this USD?

  • J. Miller

    I’m having trouble fitting the graphics card in the case. How did you get it to fit?

    • Can you be more specific? Whats coming in its way?

      • J. Miller

        Thanks for replying so fast, but I figured it out! I had to just take out the back paneling on the case. I was just being dumb lol. So everything is working great, I just can’t get my monitor to connect to the graphics card now. I’ve tried the hdmi and the DVI with it, and it still says no signal. The Graphics card is working, the fans are spinning and everything, I just can’t get a signal. Sorry if I’m not making any sense, this is my first build.

        • Try without graphics card first. And if signal still doesnt comes, your motherboard may need a bios update. You can get your bios updated from a computer market. Amd is really doing bad work with motherboard now a days. You can read in comments below, one person got an unupdated mobo.

  • Daniel Matveev

    Whats the difference between an i5 cpu and the amd listed above? Im planning on building my own pc and ill probably use this build, but i am relatively familiar with intel and want a reassurance that this will hold its own. if i want to use i5, will it work for this build?

    • i5’s are better for gaming but fx 6300 is overall an all rounder processor for everything at a cheap price.

    • i5’s are better for gaming but fx 6300 is overall an all rounder processor for everything at a cheap price.

  • Daniel Matveev

    Whats the difference between an i5 cpu and the amd listed above? Im planning on building my own pc and ill probably use this build, but i am relatively familiar with intel and want a reassurance that this will hold its own. if i want to use i5, will it work for this build?

  • J Angel Sarabia

    Hello, I’m from Peru and I like to playe cs:go and dota 2, You wrote another post like this named “Bulid the ultimate $600 gaming pc(INTEL)” i wanna know who is the best for gaming? the amd needs a xtra cooler fan so it means that the intel is better? i dont have to much money and i wanna play 4 a long time, and studing at college, so i wanna edit videos use CAD programs too, and so sorry for my bad english too hahahaa
    http://www.xtremegaminerd.com/600-dollar-gaming-build/

    • Intel processors are more powerful than amd processors but the $600 gaming build with amd processor has more cores and is half the price as compared to the i5’s. Amd fx 6300 is unlocked processor and therefore requires a custom cooler for overclocking. i5 6400 doesn’t need that. Overall my recommendation for a gaming computer is that intel one.

      Well if you just play csgo(like me)and dota 2 then you may skip gtx 960 with a gtx 750 ti or r7 360 if you don’t want to spend too much money.

    • Intel processors are more powerful than amd processors but the $600 gaming build with amd processor has more cores and is half the price as compared to the i5’s. Amd fx 6300 is unlocked processor and therefore requires a custom cooler for overclocking. i5 6400 doesn’t need that. Overall my recommendation for a gaming computer is that intel one.

      Well if you just play csgo(like me)and dota 2 then you may skip gtx 960 with a gtx 750 ti or r7 360 if you don’t want to spend too much money.

      • J Angel Sarabia

        thank you too much for the answer 🙂

  • J Angel Sarabia

    Hello, I’m from Peru and I like to playe cs:go and dota 2, You wrote another post like this named “Bulid the ultimate $600 gaming pc(INTEL)” i wanna know who is the best for gaming? the amd needs a xtra cooler fan so it means that the intel is better? i dont have to much money and i wanna play 4 a long time, and studing at college, so i wanna edit videos use CAD programs too, and so sorry for my bad english too hahahaa
    http://www.xtremegaminerd.com/600-dollar-gaming-build/

  • Candis

    Will this run all the latest games on low grafics?

  • david goody

    why doesnt it have a video card will it still work ?

  • david goody

    why doesnt it have a video card will it still work ?

  • RetraK77

    the psu wont fit into the case. Am I missing something?

  • RetraK77

    Everything is all put together and I power it on and less on fans all working but no beeps, no BIOS, and nothing on the screen??

    • Check without graphics card. If it doesnt post then maybe the motherboard needs bios update. Some motherboards dont come updated which is disgusting thing about amd. You can get it updated by a computer centre.