Budget Gaming PC $600

Approximate Purchase Date: This month

Budget Range: $550-$650

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming
Parts Not Required: (monitor)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com
Country: (USA)

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: I don't know

Additional Comments: I'm new at building pcs and don't know much about parts compatibility and which ones are best. I'm looking for a pc that can run newer games at medium to high settings.
24 answers Last reply
More about budget gaming
  1. I,d say 800$ is the bare minimum for a gaming PC but well I'll post you core build in a min with price and then a couple of low cost GPU so you can chose something that fit your budget.
  2. what games are you playing? i just recently built my first computer around 600$ but i didn't get a graphics card just yet
  3. i suggest i3-2100 120$
    H61 mother board 50$
    radeon 7850 250$
    2x4GB 1600 ram 50$
    1tb HDD seagate 7200 (st1000dm003) 105$
    500w seasonic or FSB
    overclocking only allowed with i5-2500k\i5-3570k\i7-3770k\i7-2600k(k versions)
    and your budget dont allow to get any of these
    SLI or CF only make a sense for highend graphics cards like 670 or 7950
  4. What is the resolution of your monitor?
    Do you have a license for Windows, or do you need that too?
    In any case, start with the last $500 SBM build and improve from there. Definitely get a stronger CPU even if it's only a Pentium. If you also need Windows, that may be the best you can do for now, but the system will remain upgradable and still be decent to start. If you don't need Windows, make sure you get at least an i3 CPU, but additional money might go into a better mobo, more RAM, and/or a stronger PSU. It won't help performance any so don't make it a priority, but you may wish to get a full-sized case, or an additional front fan for the one they used.
    If your monitor is only up to 1440x900, you could drop back a little on the graphics card if necessary, otherwise I wouldn't.
  5. CPU: i3-2130 / 150$: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115092

    mobo: Asrock z77 / 100$ : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157297

    Case: Rosewill (thats an awsome one for the price trust me)50$: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147153

    PSU: 520w seasonic / 60$ (avoid cheaper PSU like plague) : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151093

    Ram: 8g / 47$ : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139984

    DVD burner: Asus / 17$ : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204


    Total cost 424$ + GPU cost.


    Here is a little list:
    gtx560 / 130$ (don,t expect much from it, especialy in 1080p): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130770
    560 ti / 160$ (don,t expect best quality graphix in 1080p in intense game): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500196
    hd7850 / 240$ (Now your talking about something that will run smooth in 1080p, will last you a couple years probably, but you might need a bether PSU probably only +5-10$): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102986

    Also for + 60$ you can replace the dual core CPU by a quad core i5-2500: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115073

    or for +65$ you can have an ivy bridge i5-3570 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115233

    If you go for the cheapest build (the i3 set-up at 424$ + the 130$ GPU I suggest you stay away from 1080p monitor and play in 1600x 1050p on a 20-22" screen.

    You can take a look here for other GPU advice: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html
  6. chipdip said:


    About the same as the 560 but you got a free game overal its a good $/value. here is some benchmark on both Nvidia and AMD GPU:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graphics-performance,3063-8.html

    and

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graphics-performance,3063-3.html

    Be aware those are on "high quality" with no AA. BF3 As an Ultra quality option.

    So basicaly the card would run just fine on a 1600x1050p monitor on high quality and wouldn't be as smooth on ultra.

    So its depend what kind of game and what kind of performance your expecting.
  7. Say I want to play Battlefield 3. I'm not too picky on graphics what I want is to be able to play the game without lag or any other problems with medium to high graphics could that happen on the monitor you mentioned?
  8. btw thanks everyone for replying
  9. Oh and also are there any DIY combos on newegg that are good to start with?
  10. chipdip said:
    Say I want to play Battlefield 3. I'm not too picky on graphics what I want is to be able to play the game without lag or any other problems with medium to high graphics could that happen on the monitor you mentioned?


    With the 6850 yes on a 1600-1050 monitor on high setting and DX9 you'll be good. The hd6870 is just 160$ to 170$ and would give you a little more room if you can afford it.

    The problem with an i3 and the 6850 is that you might not be able to play the next big game that will be released.

    if you ever pick up an i5 instead (60$ more) and lets say the hd6850 it would probably help you a bit.

    Also you could just buy a bether GPU later on as the i5 2500 or i5 3570 will remain a good CPU in 2-3years.
  11. venur's build didn't include a hard drive.

    given your tight budget, I'd suggest you go for a core i3-2100. 300MHz isn't a big deal there and saves you $40.

    Also, go with just 4GB of RAM for now to save another $20.

    so I'd advocate something more like this:

    core i3-2100 $110
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115078

    GTX560 $180
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130664

    4GB of RAM $25
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148488

    motherobard $60
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128539
    why H61? because you can't overclock anyways, has USB 3.0, has SATA 6.0GB/s, plus it's cheapness means you can splurge more on the gaming stuff, i.e. video card.

    128GB SSD - $120
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227791
    This is the one thing that will make your computer FEEL really fast. And I'm a fan of the Indilinx everest 2 controller.

    DVD $17
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204
    commodity item

    Case - find a cheaper case. I'd downgrade to a $40 case in order to help afford an SSD, or an upgrade to a HD7850. I'd also order from amazon to save on the shipping cost, newegg tends to charge $5-10 for cases.
    I've built with, and recommended this one a couple times. $39 bucks and free shipping
    http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Elite-Window-RC-430-KWN1/dp/B003O8J11E/ref=sr_1_12?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1340834317&sr=1-12&keywords=atx+case

    PSU - $60
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139027
    has a $20 rebate...

    right near $600.

    An option is to trade the SSD for a mechanical hard drive around 500GB and step up to a HD7850.
  12. thanks for the reply. anyone know where to get a good monitor i would like to replace my old one
  13. chipdip said:
    thanks for the reply. anyone know where to get a good monitor i would like to replace my old one


    Tom's has daily round up of deals like todays
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/dell-deals-sale-desktop-blu-ray,16147.html

    there's a 23" dell for $169 and an HP for $179.
  14. you do not need an SSD with a less than$800/$1000 budget and avoid microATX boards like the plague unless you're building an HTPC (my personal opinion)

    Intel Core i3 2120 $119.99
    MSI H67A-G43 (B3) $79.99
    $59.99 after mail-in rebate card
    PNY Optima 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) PC3-10666 1333MHz $39.99
    Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB $79.99
    $15 off w/ promo code EMCNDHH39, ends 6/28
    SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W $59.99
    COOLER MASTER Elite 430 $39.99
    $29.99 after mail-in rebate
    EVGA 015-P3-1480-KR GeForce GTX 480 $199.99
    SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner $14.99

    TOTAL
    $634.92 before rebates/promo codes $589.92 after!

    seriously considering adding $60 to the budget and get:
    Intel Core i5 2300 $179.98
    you will thank yourself for it! (btw, and need it if you play BF3 multi player maps)
  15. If you Live near a Microcenter,

    $50
    Case

    Rosewill Challenger
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147153

    $60 ($40 after MIR)
    PSU

    CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139027

    $130
    CPU + mobo

    965 black + Asrock 970DE3 bundle
    http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/0c732362#/0c732362/28
    individual links
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0388180
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0325874

    $30 ($20 after MIR)
    Cooler

    CM Hyper 212
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    $40
    RAM

    Crucial Ballistix 8 gb(2x4) 1333
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0382099

    $75
    HDD

    Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136769

    $16
    Optical

    LG 22x DVDRW
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0372836

    $250
    Video

    ASUS HD 7850 DCII
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B007JLFV7U/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new
    *there are some cheaper 7850's out there (XFX has one for $220 after MIR), but ASUS DCII line has the best stock coolers.

    At most $18.60 tax on the parts from microcenter (that's 10% sales tax). Free shipping on parts from newegg and amazon.

    Total $639.60 after MIR or less if your sales tax isn't that high.

    good luck!
  16. Right now i have a laptop it is hp pavilion dv4
    Some System info:
    OS:Windows Vista Home Premium
    Processor: AMD Turion™ II Dual-Core Processor 2.10Ghz
    GPU: radeon hd 3200
    RAM:4 GB
    HDD:250 GB

    How does it compare to others like you suggest and to this

    $500 Gaming PC System Components
    CPU Intel Celeron G530 (Sandy Bridge): 2.4 GHz, 2 MB Shared L3 Cache
    $50
    CPU Cooler Intel boxed heat sink/fan 0
    Motherboard Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V: LGA 1155, Intel H61 Express
    $60
    RAM Pareema 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333 MD313C80809L2 $20
    Graphics ECS NGT560TI-1GPI-F1 GeForce GTX 560 Ti $210
    Hard Drive Western Digital WD3200AAKX: 320 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
    $75
    Case Rosewill R101-P-BK MicroATX Mid Tower $30
    Power Antec VP-450 450 W $38
    Optical LG 22x DVD Burner SATA Model GH22NS90B-OEM $17

    Total Cost
    $500
  17. Alternative Microcenter option, this draws more power (mostly due to the 480) and downgrades several parts, but fits in a 2500k.

    $40
    Case

    Rosewill Blackbone
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147023&Tpk=blackbone

    $60 ($40 after MIR)
    PSU

    CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139027

    $230
    CPU + mobo

    I5-2500k + Asrock Z77 Pro3 bundle
    http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/0c732362#/0c732362/27
    individual links
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0354589
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0387627

    $15
    Cooler

    Rosewill RCX-ZAIO-92 92mm Sleeve Bearing Fan CPU Cooler
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835200056

    $20
    RAM

    Crucial Ballistix 4gb 1333
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1412135&CatId=4534

    $75
    HDD

    WD Caviar blue 500gb
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136769

    $16
    Optical

    LG 22x DVDRW
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0372836

    $200
    Video

    EVGA GTX 480
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130759

    At most $24.60 tax (10%) from microcenter. Free shipping on all other parts.

    total $660.60 at 10% sales tax.

    have fun!
  18. bliq00 said:
    venur's build didn't include a hard drive.



    Well yeah forgoten the hard drive. But well you don,t want a SSD on a 600$ gaming budget thats a total waste.

    500gb for 75$: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148221

    You can go for higher capacity but remain with the seagate barracuda 7200rpm, you'll like the speed.

    And saving 20$ on the ram isn't the right thing to do I,d say. You will be stuck with windows7 32bit instead of 64bit and you won't be able to use the good looking Aero them.

    4gb to save only 20$ ish you might regret your choice. You'll be stuck with the low resolution theme and you won,t be able to let anything run on background while gaming (well maybe MSN and 1 or 2 web page).

    But well just stay away from the SSD.
  19. I don't agree that an SSD is a waste on a $600 computer. You really want a machine to feel fast, meaning responsive, as well as being actually fast, meaning it can process a lot. Nothing in the last decade has made an impact to the perception of speed of a computer as much as SSD's since as processor and memory speeds increased, the overall experience was hamstrung with hard drives that peaked at 7.2-10k (for consumer drives) rpm about 10-15 years ago. As an extreme example, using a core i7-3770k with a 2TB 5900rpm "green" hard drive will result in a computer that feels slow, even though it can probably process a lot in a short time.

    I've been putting SSD into almost everything I own to make the experience feel fast. even in my netbook- it feels way faster than it is, when it boots in 20 seconds, apps open instantly, etc. I bought my wife an ultra portable with an i5-2410 and I dropped in a 60GB agility 3 to make what is effectively a low cost ultrabook, and it boots to login in 12 seconds and logs in and ready to use in about 3 or 4 seconds. apps launch instantly. she loves it because it's so responsive.

    I used a last generation 128GB samsung SSD I had lying around in my work i7 Macbook Pro and most of my spinning beachball issues have gone away.

    Given 120GB SSDs go for as little as $90 these days, one could easily fit an OS and a few games and a small library of media on it (although to be fair, media library really belongs on a secondary, large, mechanical drive) to gain the benefits of SSD.

    It's obviously a choice with consequences at that price range (which is why I said there's an option to do HDD and use savings for better video card) but for a general purpose computer, I believe it's a good option.
  20. Anonymous said:
    you do not need an SSD with a less than$800/$1000 budget and avoid microATX boards like the plague unless you're building an HTPC (my personal opinion)


    Not to criticize, but why do you want to avoid microATX boards? with today's boards carrying just about everything onboard, aside from discrete video, the only reason I can think of is sometimes huge cards will block SATA ports if the manufacturer is stupid about placement (which many unfortunately are). And I guess you can't do multi video card set ups with most mATX (not many people do though I realize the percentage is probably larger with this audience).
  21. bliq00 said:
    Not to criticize, but why do you want to avoid microATX boards? with today's boards carrying just about everything onboard, aside from discrete video, the only reason I can think of is sometimes huge cards will block SATA ports if the manufacturer is stupid about placement (which many unfortunately are). And I guess you can't do multi video card set ups with most mATX (not many people do though I realize the percentage is probably larger with this audience).

    again my personal opinion and not gospel. and i do not think you are criticizing, its all good.

    a microATX board when using a bigger GPU can have some heat issues; granted that can easily be resolved with a ATX case and case fans. they also tend to have less features and that is reflected in the price. and finally but to me most important they have only 2 DIMM slots; so if someone can only afford 4 gigs (2x2) those would end up in the desk drawer to make way for 8 gigs (2x4) when/if they upgraded. an ATX board you could just get another 4 gig (2x2) or get the 8 gig (2x4) and have either 8 or 12 gigs total without "losing" the first two sticks.

    oh and i forgot, a "full sized" ATX board is just easier to work on things with; more room.
  22. Anonymous said:
    again my personal opinion and not gospel. and i do not think you are criticizing, its all good.

    a microATX board when using a bigger GPU can have some heat issues; granted that can easily be resolved with a ATX case and case fans. they also tend to have less features and that is reflected in the price. and finally but to me most important they have only 2 DIMM slots; so if someone can only afford 4 gigs (2x2) those would end up in the desk drawer to make way for 8 gigs (2x4) when/if they upgraded. an ATX board you could just get another 4 gig (2x2) or get the 8 gig (2x4) and have either 8 or 12 gigs total without "losing" the first two sticks.

    oh and i forgot, a "full sized" ATX board is just easier to work on things with; more room.


    Very good point on the RAM slots thing. I didn't think of that since I only ever use 2 DIMMs since I upgrade so infrequently and when I do, RAM tends to be so cheap, I just pick up 2 DIMMs with a lot of capacity. Plus I guess I'm getting old but I'm starting to prefer tiny cases that are less ostentatious and mATX and mITX are my form factors of choice these days. I'm due for an upgrade and I'm planning a Z77 or Z79 mITX board inside a BitFenix Prodigy and maybe a i7-3770k.

    The heat issue is also very valid, I've run across it before with an 8800GTX in a small microATX case. It got hot but no problems with performance. Then again, I don't overclock either. Thanks for the reply.

    as an aside, I think it's good for people who are presumably new to building to see rationales for why they "have to do this" or "don't do that" and you're setting a good example.
  23. bliq00 said:
    I don't agree that an SSD is a waste on a $600 computer


    For a $600 machine who's primary purpose is gaming, it uses money that is better spent on the video card or processor. Loading screens are the only things that an ssd will speed up in a game, and are a negligibly small part of the gaming experience.
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