With the advancement of technology, computers have become more pocket-friendly. At present, you can grab a workable PC setup just for 150 dollars. If all you need is email and access to writing software or presentation software, this is perfect!
However, the scenario becomes completely different when we look for gaming computers. Computer games require a lot of computer power to render every aspect of the game’s design, including the visuals, sound, AI, loading data, and so much more.
It is easy to spend more than 2,000 dollars on a computer, but not everyone needs a system this expensive. In fact, 600 dollars is enough for a decent machine that can output a resolution of 1080p at 60 fps, provided you are willing to give up some visual flourishes.
If you are big into Rocket League, League of Legends, Fortnite, Minecraft, The Sims, World of Warcraft, or other similar and less demanding titles, a cheap computer will get the job done.
Even more demanding titles should run with minimal fuss.
Focus on the Processor
Whether you are buying a customized model or a ready-made desktop set from HP or Dell, you have to focus on the processor, which is otherwise known as the heart of the computer. It determines how your computer will perform while playing games.
If you want a gaming computer, look for a six-core processor. However, if that is too expensive for the build, a quad-core processor will be enough, but be mindful that this may affect framerate and load times. Most game engines scale to your hardware, so you should be able to play more demanding games like Far Cry, PUBG, Tomb Raider, and Modern Warfare, at a low-medium graphics setting.
Digital Foundry is a great place to start learning about game technologies and how hardware affects game performance.
Now, the question is which brand is perfect for the processor of gaming computers under 600 dollars – AMD or Intel? Right now, Intel processors are generally more expensive than what AMD offers. Intel processors will probably give you marginally better performance, but at this price point, if you want to spend more on other components, you should look to AMD.
Don’t Overdo the GPU
The GPU is responsible for rendering visuals at your given screen resolution. Basically, you spend more and you get more. However, if you buy a slower CPU, buying an expensive GPU won’t solve any problems. One can bottleneck the other.
If you are buying a modest AMD or Intel CPU, you should not be spending a lot on the GPU. For a gaming computer under 600 dollars, check out either Nvidia with their 16XX-series GPUs or AMD’s 5XXX-series GPUS. You can save money by getting something cheaper, but make sure it has at least 4GB of ram on the GPU. If you have too little RAM, you may not even be able to load the game.
Don’t Invest In Excessive RAM
The price of RAM is a lot cheaper these days, but more RAM isn’t going to improve the performance of your PC unless you are doing a lot of multi-tasking. Most games do not require more than 8 GB of ram. In fact, after you load up a game, you can open the task manager and look at how much RAM is being used. Some games won’t go above 2 GB. However, having apps running in the background or multiple Chrome tabs can quickly eat into your free RAM space. At this price, 8 GB is great. If you do a lot of multi-tasking, and you can stretch your budget, 16 GB will be more than enough.
How to Find Parts at Your Price Point
The Logical Increments website is a great place to start if you aren’t sure what parts you need. As of the writing of this article, looking at the chart, you can see that a 600 dollar machine is going to include the GTX 1650S for the GPU, a Ryzen 5 2600 for the CPU, and a modest 8GB of ram. These are, of course, just a few of the components you will need.
To buy parts, use PC Part Picker to find the best prices, or you can follow other people’s builds to see what already works, especially if you are new to buying hardware and don’t know what components you need.
Finally, check out the Linus Tech Tips video on how to build a PC from scratch.