After watching some big-name gamers on YouTube, you think, “Damn, that’s a rad setup they’ve got there.” Next thing you know, you’re deep in Amazon looking at graphics cards, motherboards, and processors, thinking to yourself, “I could put a PC build together myself.”
You do some research and find out that you need a pretty beefy computer to run the latest games at high settings. Not only that, but you also need a good monitor, keyboard, mouse, and maybe even a headset. The total cost of all of this new gear puts a big dent in your bank account.
You now start to wonder if it would be cheaper to just buy a prebuilt gaming PC. After all, big companies and PC manufacturers like Alienware and Razer have been doing this for years, so they must know something you don’t, right?
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Gaming PC?
The cost of building a gaming PC will vary depending on the parts you choose and the quality of those components. Generally speaking, you can expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $2000 on a high-end gaming PC. But you might want to consider a budget pre-built gaming PC.
Of course, this is just a rough estimate and your final cost could be higher or lower depending on the specific parts you select.
To give you a better idea of how much it would cost to build your own gaming PC, let’s take a look at the prices of some popular components.
This might be the most expensive component in your own system. A good graphics card can cost anywhere from $300 to $1000, depending on the model and brand. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line GPU, you’ll probably have to spend closer to $1000. However, you can get by with a mid-range card if you’re on a budget.
Depending on the games you want to play and the resolution you want to play them at, you might be able to get away with a lower-end graphics card.
As the brain of the operation, the CPU is another important component to consider when building a gaming PC. A good gaming CPU can cost anywhere from $200 to $500, depending on the model and brand. Once again, if you want a top-of-the-line machine, you’ll have to pay more, obviously.
If you plan on heavy multitasking or streaming while you game, you’ll need a processor that can handle those extra workloads. If you’re only interested in gaming, you can get by with a less expensive CPU. You can’t get away with skimping on the GPU, though.
This is something not a lot of newbie gamers put a lot of thought into. But it’s actually a very important consideration, especially if you live in a hot climate or plan on increasing the clock speed of your CPU. A good cooling system can cost anywhere from $50 to $100, depending on the type and quality.
A lot of people skimp on CPU coolers in an effort to save money, but this is not advisable. Overheating can shorten the lifespan of your components and lead to performance issues. So, it’s important to keep your system cool before you start gaming.
When selecting a motherboard, you’ll need to make sure it works with your CPU and the other components in your build to avoid compatibility issues. A good mid-range motherboard can cost anywhere from $150-$180 on Amazon.
Most beginners find this specific component to be the most challenging when it comes to building a gaming PC. If you find yourself struggling, you can always check out online forums or YouTube videos for help.
Even better, if you know someone who’s into PC gaming, see if they’re willing to lend a hand or offer advice. You can even ask your local computer store for some suggestions before building a PC.
RAM, or random access memory, is another key component of any gaming PC. This type of memory is used to store data that can be accessed quickly by the CPU. It’s actually not as expensive as you might think.
You can find a 16GB kit for less than $150. If you think you don’t need that much RAM, you can always find something cheaper. Just keep in mind that 16GB is probably what you should aim to get if you are gaming as 32GB is often overkill unless you use your PC for video editing or doing game development or something similar.
Insufficient storage is one of a few reasons for slow boot times and laggy gameplay which is why some people are considering an upgrade to their PC. So, it’s important to make sure you have enough space for all your games, applications, and other files.
For an average gamer, 1-2TB of storage should be plenty, which could cost between $40 to $60 per TB. If you plan to play games that need a lot of space or store a lot of media files, you might need more than that.
An SSD, or solid-state drive, is the best type of storage for gaming. They’re much faster than traditional hard drives and can really improve your gaming experience. However, they’re also more expensive. If you’re on a budget, you can always get a traditional hard drive and upgrade to an SSD later if you need more storage.
Casing & Lighting
If there’s anything in this list that you can pass on, it’s the casing and lighting. At the end of the day, it’s not an absolute necessity. But if you like your setup to look hella fly, then, by all means, go for it!
LED lighting is a popular way to spruce up your custom build. It doesn’t do anything to improve performance, but it does look pretty damn cool. You can find LED strips for as little as $15 on Amazon.
As for the casing, it really just depends on your budget and what you’re looking for in terms of aesthetics. You can find a computer case from the low-end, which could cost less than $50, to the high-end, which could set you back a few hundred dollars.
So, is it cheaper?
There are a lot of advantages to building your own gaming PC. For one, you have complete control over the components. This means you can choose exactly what you want and need, which often leads to a better overall gaming experience.
Additionally, when you build your own PC, you’re usually able to get more bang for your buck. In other words, you can get higher quality components for the same price as a prebuilt PC.
That’s not bad considering you could easily spend twice that on a pre-built system with similar specs. You can even spend lower than that if you’re willing to make some sacrifices in terms of performance. As previously mentioned, it can still vary widely depending on when you are buying components.
Many gamers will agree that building a PC relies heavily on personal preference. Some might prefer the challenge and satisfaction that comes with piecing everything together and call it a hobby. You just need to know how to do it right.
So, if you’re looking to save money and get a better gaming experience, building a new PC is definitely the way to go. Just be sure to do your research beforehand and take your time putting everything together. It’s not as difficult as it seems and the end result will be a very rewarding experience.