Now that we’ve completed our build under $500 I wanted to move on to our build for $600 to show you exactly what would be changed if we had just $100 more. While a lot will still remain the same, there are some substantial differences in this build when compared to that of our previous one.
AMD PC Build: AMD Phenom II X4 960T Processor, Black Edition, 3.0 4 Socket AM3 – HD96ZTWFGRBOX – 115
Intel Gaming Build: Intel Core i3-2100 Processor 3.1GHz 3 MB Cache Socket LGA1155 – 125
6850 PCIE Video Card (100315L) – $135 after rebate
*Tip – If you have a little extra here you can upgrade to the 6870 for around $10. The 550 TI is still an option here as well.
As far as this build is concerned we’re not planning to upgrade our ram. For Both Builds we’re going with the Corsair XMS3 8 GB (2 x 4GB) 1333 MHz PC3-10666 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit CMX8GX3M2A1333C9 or Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit for Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD Platforms SDRAM CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9. – $47-$50. For now, 8GB of ram is enough for today’s latest games and we’ll focus on more of it once we have enough money to increase both our CPU and GPU to the above $200 level.
Again our motherboard for this build isn’t going to change as there is simply not enough to go around. We’re sticking with the GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 for our AM3+ board at around $100 and going with the ASUS P8Z68-V LX for our Z68 motherboard which comes in around $108.
For Both Builds: Western Digital 250 GB Caviar Blue SATA 6 Gb/s 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive – WD2500AAKX – 74
Why waste money? The Asus 24xDVD±RW Drive DVD-RAM/±R/±RW 24x8x16x(DVD) 48x32x48x(CD) Serial ATA Internal OEM DRW-24B1ST costs only 19 and is perfect for our needs.
The GAMMA Classic Series ATX Mid Tower Interior Steel Chassis is still a solid option at 34, and a favorite among budget gamers.
The PSU, in my opinion, is a significant upgrade from the 70+ Cooler Master to this solidly built Corsair Builder Series CX V2 500-Watt 80 Plus Certified Power Supply, model number CMPSU-500CXV2.
Overall you get a significant performance boost with this build over our $500 build. Is it perfect? No. Can it play today’s latest games? Absolutely. On the highest settings? No. With our next $100 increment we’ll focus on upgrading the GPU further.
Best Gaming PC Build Under $600 – February 2012 Table Review
|AMD PC Gaming Build||Price / Deals||Intel PC Gaming Build||Price / Deals|
|CPU||AMD Phenom II X4 960T Processor, Black Edition, 3.0 4 Socket AM3 - HD96ZTWFGRBOX - 115||Intel Core i3-2100 Processor 3.1GHz 3 MB Cache Socket LGA1155 - 125|
|GPU||Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6850 PCIE Video Card (100315L) - $135 (after rebate)||Same as AMD|
|Ram||Corsair XMS3 8 GB (2 x 4GB) 1333 MHz PC3-10666 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit CMX8GX3M2A1333C9 - $47||Same as AMD|
|Motherboard||GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - $100||ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Z68 SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0 ATX Intel Z68 ATX DDR3 2200 Intel Motherboard - 108|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital 250 GB Caviar Blue SATA 6 Gb/s 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive - WD2500AAKX - 74||Same as AMD|
|DVD±RW:||Asus 24xDVD±RW Drive DVD-RAM/±R/±RW 24x8x16x(DVD) 48x32x48x(CD) Serial ATA Internal OEM DRW-24B1ST - 19||Same as AMD Build|
|Case||GAMMA Classic Series ATX Mid Tower Interior Steel Chassis - 34||Same as AMD Build|
|PSU||Corsair Builder Series CX V2 500-Watt 80 Plus Certified Power Supply Compatible with Intel and AMD Platforms - CMPSU-500CXV2||Same as AMD Build|