Here’s a beginner’s guide to building a $600 PC

Cristopher Centers

Looking for a fun project to keep you occupied during quarantine lockdowns? Building a PC from scratch might seem like a daunting task if you’re a beginner — or in my case, if you haven’t built a computer since high school. But it doesn’t have to be. A custom-built machine […]

Looking for a fun project to keep you occupied during quarantine lockdowns? Building a PC from scratch might seem like a daunting task if you’re a beginner — or in my case, if you haven’t built a computer since high school. But it doesn’t have to be.

A custom-built machine is the best way to get all the components you want, and it’s incredibly satisfying to know you built the entire rig yourself. As a fun challenge, we’re going to build a beginner-friendly PC in real time, using the new AMD Ryzen 3300X processor.

I go through the steps in this video. I’m joined by CNET Video Producer Oliver Padilla, who’s built his fair share of PCs in his time. He walks me through the process step by step so you can follow along at home.

All told, the components total around $600, so this is an affordable starter PC. We specced this PC to give a solid 1080p gaming experience. It can also handle everyday tasks and light photo editing. See the table below for the components we’re using. But if you’re looking for a more serious workhorse, don’t worry: We have a great step-by-step guide to building a powerful PC too.



a screenshot of a computer


© Viva Tung/CNET


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