Unfortunately nowadays, in the world of gaming computers, $600 is a relatively low budget but the hope is not lost, you can still get a decent setup capable of running most games.
You might be on the fence as to whether you should buy your gaming PC prebuilt or in separate parts, and we’ll go into that in a lot more detail later, but essentially we side of the fence of the pre-builds, which is what we’ve detailed for you.
In this article, you’ll find our recommended best gaming computers under $600, describing each product and breaking down what’s under the hood. We’ll also then provide you with a bit of a buying guide, describing what you should look at in a gaming PC and what else you might need to buy to get you started.
You can use the table of contents below to navigate to the section you’re most interested in.
- Our best gaming computers under $600 options
- What are the main things to look at in a gaming PC?
- Should I build my own, or buy a prebuilt one?
- What other equipment might you need for your gaming computer?
Our best gaming computers under $600 options
Although it isn’t a large budget, you can still get a good gaming PC for $600, and we can prove it! We’ve spent a lot of time trying to research and find the best computers at this price range, and we’ve listed them below with a description, their main features and our opinion, as well as where you can find the product.
Priced just below the $600 mark, this HP Pavilion packs some pretty good features into a cheap price PC. It looks the part with its green lighting and is by the popular brand HP, so you know you’re getting a decent quality set up.
Let’s dig in, starting with one of the most important parts of a gaming PC, the graphics card. It has the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super, made specifically for gaming it’s a 4GB DDR6 card with a 1,725MHz boost clock, making it more than capable of running popular games like Fortnite at a high FPS. It offers far superior performance to its predecessor the GTX 1650, which in itself was a decent card.
It also offers a 10th Generation i3 processor which is capable of 4k, it’s not the best on the market, but the 4 cores and 8 thread at 3.6GHz, which can be boosted to 4.3GHz with the Intel boost. It should be more than capable of running most games.
It’s running with DDR4 8GB RAM, but you can always upgrade this should it become an issue for a relatively low price. It’s also got a 256GB NVMe M.2 SSD (Solid State Drive) – some of the latest tech available.
All in it’s an extremely capable PC that will run most popular games today with little issue and should it not, minor upgrades to RAM will help improve performance.
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super – 4GB DDR6 graphics card
- 10th Gen I3 processor running 3.6GHz
- Decent quality and good looking case with easy access USB ports on the front
- 8GB DDR4 RAM
- 256GB NVMe M.2 SSD
Why We’ve Chosen It
This PC offers you a great setup capable of running the most popular games, including Fortnite, with relative ease. It has some up-to-date elements like the processor and M.2 SSD which will mean it shouldn’t struggle with performance. The graphics card alone sometimes sells for near the $400 mark individually!
We know it isn’t the most exciting looking gaming PC, there’s no bright RGB lights, but that’s because they’ve literally put all the money into the internal components to give you one of the best value for money PCs we’ve seen, that will be more than capable of running most games.
Be aware, this is an Amazon renewed product! Meaning it isn’t brand new.
This HP tower is packing an Intel i7 processor of the 6th generation which offers 4.0GHz when turbo’ed, 3.4GHz as standard. It’s also got 16GB of RAM, which is double our two previous options. This processor is a few generations older than the latest, but it’s still more than capable of running most games without issue.
One of the biggest selling points of this gaming computer is that it has a 1TB SSD so you have no need for upgrading to have a secondary HDD, well as long as you stick within the terabyte, of course.
The graphics card is a decent one, for 2017, it’s the NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 2GB – which will still be capable of running most games, maybe it will struggle with the far more demanding recent ones.
- Intel i7 6700 processor
- 16GB RAM DDR4
- 1TB SSD
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 2GB GFX card
- 400W Power supply
Why We’ve Chosen It
This is renewed, so you’re getting a great price compared to some of the components in this PC. For the money it has a very good processor, RAM & a large capacity SSD making it a great option – perhaps the only downside is likely the Graphics card, it will do for now and run most of the common games, but it will probably be due an upgrade in the next few years, which will likely also mean that you’ll have to upgrade the power supply as the Wattage is quite low.
This again is another pre-owned option, however they make some claims for popular games which we thought where interesting. They say that this PC achieves 75FPS on Apex Legends, 85FPS on Fortnite, 70FPS on COD Warzone & 80 FPS on GTA V.
What’s under the hood? It contains an Intel i5 quad-core processor that outputs 3.2GHz although the exact detail of generation is not specified. It also has a 8GB stick of RAM, although this is the slightly older DDR3 which will also mean the motherboard is old and might not support DDR4 upgrades.
As for storage, it has a 120GB SSD for the operating system which is low in storage, however, it also comes with an additional 500GB HDD secondary drive.
Right, what about the graphics card? It’s packing a respectable AMD Radeon RX570 4GB DDR5 which actually compared to the other PCs in this list is pretty good and almost double the price.
The PC like the others also comes with a Windows 10 Home genuine edition.
- Claims to run a lot of popular games above 70+ FPS
- Intel i5 processor @ 3.2GHz
- 120GB SSD + 500GB HDD
- AMD Radeon RX570 4GB DDR5 GFX Card
- Windows 10 Home
Why We’ve Chosen It
One of the main reasons that we have chosen this PC to make the list is simply that it packs the best graphics card on the list, which is obviously a hugely important aspect of gaming PC. It gets let down slightly in regards to RAM being DDR3 but other than that, it’s a good PC for the price point!
This is again another Amazon renewed product, but you get a great deal for the price you’re paying for this Lenovo PC. We know it doesn’t exactly look the part, and some of the components are a little bit on the old side, but it’s the cheapest option in our list.
This desktop has an Intel i7-4770 which is a 4th generation chip, like we said a little on the old side, but it outputs 3.4GHz that can boost to 3.9GHz, meaning it has a very capable performance. It also comes with 16GB of RAM, although the DDR isn’t specified on that.
The storage is impressive, offering a 1TB SSD meaning you shouldn’t be required to have an additional second HDD – as long as you don’t go over the top with your storage needs.
What about the graphics? It has a NVIDIA GT 730 4GB DDR5, which is a graphics card on the older side and it might struggle with some more modern games including ones like Fortnite – so you might need to upgrade this in the near future.
Just like the others, this comes with a Windows 10 Home 64bit copy. There’s also a 90-day warranty on hardware.
- Intel i7 4770 – 4th Gen @ 3.4GHz
- 1TB SSD
- 16GB RAM
- NVIDIA GT 730 4GB DDR5
- Windows 10 Home
Why We’ve Chosen It
Although due to its graphics card we think that this PC might struggle with more modern games, it will run some of the older ones like League of Legends with relative comfort. The main reason we have chosen it is it’s the cheapest option in our list and is closer to the $500 mark, so is the most capable low budget PC we could find.
What are the main things to look at in a gaming PC?
So you want to buy a gaming PC on the cheap, what the most important elements that you should consider? We’ve detailed them and explained what to look for below:
The processor is important, and it’s likely you’ll have AMD or Intel. AMD are Ryzen, 3, 5 or 7 and Intel is i3, i5, or i7 – and the number that follows those will dictate what generation it is. It’s best to look at benchmarking companies before making a purchase to understand how good and capable the processor is compared to others, we recommend using CPU Benchmark.
This is one of the most important parts of a gaming PC, the graphics card. You want to ensure that it can keep up with the latest games. The best way of doing this is to understand how your graphics card benchmarks we recommend using Video Card Benchmark.
Harddrive / SSD
This is important because games are large now, there 50GB+ each, so if you plan on having several games you’ll have to think about if your storage can cope with it. The other thing to be concerned with is ideally you want your games & operating system on your SSD – they are a lot faster than an HDD (Harddrive), so the set up you tend to see on cheaper gaming PCs is a primary smaller SSD for the games you play regularly and a backup HDD with more memory for all your file storage.
RAM is Random Access Memory, the higher the RAM the better your computer is able to process and facilitate the storage of files – it’s short-term memory for file transfer. Now a days you want at the very least 8GB DDR4 RAM in order to be able to game.
There are a few other things that you should be concerned about such as power supply or motherboard, but when you buy a pre-built PC on a budget you tend to find that these are on the lower end. That’s not a problem, but all it means is if you come to upgrade your PC dramatically, such as a new graphics card for instance, that you’ll likely need to upgrade the power supply to cope with it as well.
Should I build my own, or buy a prebuilt one?
You’ll see a bunch of posts online about how you should build your own PC as it will be cheaper and more cost-effective, and a lot of the time with higher-end PCs this is true.
It’s not always true however with cheaper gaming computers as we’ve detailed, especially with ones under the $600 price point. You might be asking why that’s the case? Well, because the companies that produce these cheap PCs buy the parts in massive bulk, and get large discounts when doing so and on cheaper PCs you’re working with much smaller margins so these discounts can go a long way to making it cheap.
Let’s take a random one from our list, iBUYPOWER Gaming PC Computer Desktop Element Mini 9300, which at the time of writing this is $584.99.
Let’s look at the pricing of the individual components:
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3100 – Priced $182.67
- RAM: The specific sticks aren’t specified, so we went for the cheapest DDR4 8GB stick we could find, HPE RAM Memory 1 x 8GB DDR4 – Priced $29.95
- SSD: Again, the SSD isn’t specified so we found the cheapest possible 240GB option – Inland Professional 240GB SSD – Priced $32.99
- Graphics Card: The actual graphics card is by AMD, but we couldn’t find the specific one, so we found a very similar one by – Riiai Video Card Radeon RX 550 GPU 2GB – Priced $125.98
- Power Supply: Not specified, but let’s assume it’s a 400W – Raidmax XT Series RX-400XT 400W ATX12V – Priced $32.99
- Motherboard: Again the motherboard isn’t specified, so we went with the cheap – ASUS PRIME A320M-K AMD Ryzen AM4 – Priced $64.99
- Case: Again, you can’t find the specific case so we found a similar RGB one – Raidmax NEON Gaming Computer Case – Priced $58.98
- Windows 10: Windows 10 Home – Priced $119
There the cheapest options that we could find, and that’s not to mention they also supply you with a free keyboard and mouse!
What other equipment might you need for your gaming computer?
To complete your gaming set up there might be a few other things that you need to buy in order to get going. We’ve listed a few of the additional required accessories and given a budget recommendation for each below.
You’ll need a keyboard and ideally a gaming one at that. If you’re budget can stretch to it, choose a mechanical keyboard as it has better feedback, that being said you can still get a decent gaming keyboard for a cheap price, here’s one we recommend:
NPET K10 Gaming Keyboard USB Wired Floating Keyboard
For a mouse, you need one with a high DPI, especially if you’re planning on playing a first-person shooter game. The higher the DPI the quicker response time the mouse has at moving across the screen, here’s our recommendation:
Razer Viper Mini Ultralight Gaming Mouse: Fastest Gaming Switches – 8500 DPI
We’ve actually written a whole post about cheap gaming headsets, you can find it on our best gaming headset below $100 article.
On a monitor when you’re gaming the main aspect you want to look at is the response time, which you ideally want at 1ms and Hz, which you ideally want at 144Hz. Here’s our recommendation:
Dell S2421HGF 24inch FHD TN, Anti-Glare Gaming Monitor – 1ms Response time, 1080p 144Hz