The PlayStation 5 or PS5 is one of the most popular gaming devices these days and back when it was released, the prices were so bloated, people were forced to compare them to gaming PC prices. Now, the PS5 is back to its normal retail of $500 and it beats a custom gaming PC build at the same price.
But if you add a hundred dollars more, you might just get a better gaming experience, because a $600 gaming PC (rounded down), offers higher framerates and sharper visuals.
That’s what we set out to do; a $600 custom gaming PC build that beats out the PS5. And while it’s technically more expensive, you can expect better 4K performance, better visuals, and more functionality beyond gaming. It’s no console killer, of course, but it’s pretty close.
Do note that the price here went over $600 to give a bit of luxury like a prettier PC case though if you don’t mind a blander look, you can always get a less aesthetically-pleasing PC case to lower the price further. Moreover, the $600 budget doesn’t cover the monitor and peripherals.
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AMD Ryzen 5 5500 6-Core
- Only marginally worse than the Ryzen 5 5600
- Comes with a free Wraith cooler
- High max boost
- Doesn't get too hot
- Outdated socket and platform
- Can only handle DDR4 RAM
- 4.2 GHz Clock Speed
- 6 Cores and 12 processing threads
- AM4 Socket
- 19 MB cache
AM4 might have been succeeded already by the more successful AM5 platform, but it’s still more than enough for today’s games. Most of the heavy lifting will be done by the GPU anyway.
In terms of performance, the Ryzen 5 5500 is only slightly worse than the more expensive 5600, or the mid-range gaming CPU for AMD.
Still, 12 processing threads is nothing to scoff at, and you’ll surely be able to browse and stream better with this kind of hardware.
XFX Speedster SWFT309 Radeon RX 6700
- Performs well at 4K
- 10 GB of VRAM
- Triple fan design means the cooling is great
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Can run most games at Ultra and smooth FPS on 1440p
- Poor ray tracing performance
- 2425 MHz Clock Speed
- 10GB GDDR6 VRAM
- XFX SWFT 309 Triple Fan Cooling
If you want more 4K insurance, then here’s the key to beating the PS5 even if its dynamic resolution triggers and it compensates by degrading the game’s image quality.
The Radeon RX 6700 from AMD is quite the beast and can sometimes even match up with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti’s performance (the latter being a more expensive card). 10 GB of VRAM definitely gives it an edge here for more of that 4K performance buffer.
MSI A520M-A PRO Gaming Motherboard
- Cheap price
- Supports memory overclocking
- Timid VRM heatsinks
- Looks barren
- Socket AM4
- DDR4 slot
- 1x NVMe slot
Here’s where compromises had to be made in the name of the budget. Our motherboard is the budget-oriented A520M-A PRO from MSI, and while it looks bare, it gets the job done.
It won’t overclock (the CPU is not going to overclock anyway) and the NVMe SSD slots are few, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more affordable motherboard that lets you save up and pour the savings on other components instead.
Silicon Power Value Gaming DDR4 RAM 16GB (8GBx2) 3200MHz CL16
- Incredible value
- Built-in heat spreader
- Lifetime warranty
- 3200MHz and 16 CL latency
- Dual channel
- Metallic design might not be for everyone
- 3200MHz Speed
- CL16 Timing
- 8GB x 2 (16GB)
- Built-in Spreader
- Lifetime Warranty
For our budget-oriented RAM, here’s something that won’t break the bank yet is reliable and will last you until it becomes too outdated. Silicon Power’s Value Gaming RAM has incredible value, true enough to its name.
You wouldn’t expect a RAM kit at this price to have its own heatsinks. Moreover, the timings and the speed are up to par with gamer’s standards today (at least for DDR4). If you’re wary about the brand, they offer a lifetime warranty.
TEAMGROUP AX2 512GB 3D NAND TLC 2.5 Inch SATA III
- 3-year warranty
- Decent read/write speeds
- Shock and drop resistance
- A bit too bright for certain builds
- 540/490 MB/s Read/Write Speed
- SATA III 6Gb/s
- 3-year Warranty
We can’t go too generous with the SSD or storage amount so here’s a SATA III instead of an NVMe SSD. It doesn’t have the blazing fast speeds of the NVMe, but it’s not like you’ll notice that during gaming.
At worst, your game will load a couple of seconds (or a few milliseconds) later compared to a PS5 rocking an NVMe SSD. And besides, the PS5 usually only has 660+ GB of space.
Zalman GigaMax 600W 80+ Bronze Power Supply
- High efficiency
- Lots of protection
- 5-year warranty
- Certified 80 Plus
- 87% Efficiency
- 600 Watts
- 5-Year Warranty
Zalman has been making some good PSUs and some of their models are well-regarded, like the GigaMax lineup. Sadly, we can’t go under 600 watts because AMD recommends that as a minimum for the Radeon RX 6700.
That should be enough or a bit more since our CPU and the rest of the components are not too power-hungry. If the PSU is gold-certified, then you might be able to get away with 500 watts, but it’s not worth the risk.
Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L Micro-ATX Tower
- Reasonably priced
- Lots of dust filters
- Generous GPU clearance
- Side panel
- Dust filter finish and magnets could be better
- No PSU shroud
- Micro ATX form factor
- Special Pattern Magnetic Dust Filter
- Acrylic Side Panel
- 360mm GPU clearance
One of the reasons why the budget went over $600 was this beauty. Despite the budget-tier price, this underrated case from Cooler Master is uniquely stylish. It’s all thanks to the magnetic dust filter at the front and top, complete with a mesmerizing pattern.
You can even view your build and cable management thanks to the transparent panel. Overall, it’s a good statement that despite the budget build, you still have a good sense of style.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much better is this build compared to a PS5?The performance difference and graphical quality leap is significant as it should be for the price. Since optimization for PS5 games is different, it's hard to make a 1:1 comparison. But the closest GPU to a PS5 would be the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 and this build's GPU is almost twice as powerful compared to that one.
How long can this PC build stay relevant?Give or take five years before you might be tempted to upgrade for the latest video games.