If you want to play modern PC games, you can get a prebuilt gaming PC or build your own from scratch. Since gaming PCs come at different prices, we'll discuss the cost of building your own computer in this post. So, read on to find an answer to the question "how much does a PC cost?" and the consideration factors for building a gaming PC.
How Much Does a Gaming PC Cost?
The price of a gaming computer depends on two main factors; your budget and the level of performance you need. So, you'll need to figure out how much cash you are willing to set aside for the PC.
Getting a prebuilt gaming PC is usually more expensive than building your own gaming PC because of overhead labor costs, the prebuilt system, and other features.
Fortunately, you can build a gaming PC at a more affordable price than a prebuilt computer. Plus, depending on your budget, you can focus on the components that will ensure you can play games in high settings without problems. The primary downside to building your first gaming PC is that it'll take some time.
If you want to play modern PC games at the max settings, you'll need a high-end gaming PC. This means you'll need a budget of over $1,000 to ensure the modern games run smoothly. A budget gaming PC can range anywhere between $500 - $1000, while a high-end one ranges between $1400 - $4000.
Cost of Gaming PC Components
So, how much does it cost to build a decent gaming PC? The total cost will depend on the price of specific PC gaming components. Fortunately, you don't have to account for labor costs since you'll be assembling the computer yourself. Now, let's look at the price of different PC parts.
1. Power Supply Unit Cost
You'll need $50 - $100 for a good power supply unit for your own PC. If you want a modular or high-watt unit, you'll cough up about $150 or more. The total wattage should be enough to power the entire system with a little left to spare. So, you don't have to get the biggest units since it takes less than 500 watts to power a budget gaming PC.
2. SSD Storage Cost
The best storage drive to buy as you build a gaming PC is an M.2 SSD with sufficient capacity. However, if your motherboard doesn't have an M.2 slot, you should consider a 2.5" SATA SSD.
Ideally, you want a storage drive that can accommodate the operating system and the games you want to play. In addition, you can take 3.5" hard drives for storing the games you aren't actively playing.
3. Motherboard Cost
First, you'll have to decide whether you want a micro ATX or full-size ATX motherboard. You can get an mATX motherboard for less than a hundred dollars, but if you want a full-size ATX motherboard with more ports, you can get it for $150 - $200. The other considerations to make while choosing your motherboard include a graphics card slot, storage slot, and USB-C support.
A micro ATX motherboard could feature less RAM or USB slots, but it'll meet the needs of your budget gaming PC build.
4. PC Case Cost
Another component you need to buy is a PC case. If you want to avoid extra costs, you should buy a case that already has intake and exhaust fans. This will save you from the need to buy them separately, increasing your budget.
You'll need to ensure you pick a case that allows for enough clearance between the internal PC components. Some cases come with in-built power supply units, but most aren't worth the price. So your PC case is another factor that helps answer the question, "how much does a PC cost?"
The average cost of a case is between $30 - $50, and the high-end options reach up to $150.
5. CPU Cost
The Central Processing Unit of your computer is a crucial component. Fortunately, you don't need an overpriced CPU since most units have enough computing power for various games. As a result, you can set a budget of between $100 - $150 for the CPU of your own computer.
Some high-end CPU options range between $200 - $300, but they don't offer the PC gamer much additional value. Premium units often have added features like cable management systems, RGB lighting, clear panels, and sound insulation.
6. CPU Coolers
You could get air or liquid cooling system for your PC. Fortunately, it's possible to avoid these costs if you get a CPU that comes with a heatsink. Nevertheless, if it's not possible, you can buy an aftermarket cooler for $30 - $60. If you'll be playing the latest games at maximum settings, you should consider premium CPU coolers which cost about $100 - $200.
7. Graphics Card
The graphics card is probably the most expensive component you'll buy when building your own PC. If you can buy the best graphics cards on the market, well and good. However, if you have a tight budget, you should choose a unit with enough power for the gaming performance you need.
It's worth noting that a powerful graphics card will require a good gaming monitor for optimal performance. You can buy a GPU for $150 - $500 depending on the refresh rate and display setups, among other features.
The amount of memory you need for your gaming PC will determine how much your Random Access Memory will cost. A budget gaming PC can work with a RAM of 8GB, but the standard capacity is 16GB for most gaming PCs. If you want to get future-proof RAM, you can take the 32GB options, which might seem over the top for some gamers.
You'll need to ensure the motherboard is compatible with your RAM module, but this won't be an issue if you take a RAM that matches the speed and format of your board.
A standard keyboard is enough when building your own PC. You don't need an expensive keyboard since membrane units can play games without hassle while costing $10 to $20. So, if you thought you were stuck with prebuilt mechanical keyboards, you can relax.
High-end keyboards will offer more features that could be convenient but not entirely essential. Some of these features include backlit keys and mechanical switches.
An ideal monitor for gaming should have at least a refresh rate of 144Hz and a display of 1080p. This will ensure you can enjoy crystal clear visuals as you play games since the graphics card will deliver the power you need. If you have a high budget, you can choose a 165Hz IPS monitor for a realistic display.
The last component to get as you build a gaming PC is a mouse. A gaming mouse could have excellent build quality, but if you are on a budget, it'll probably come with fewer features than more expensive options. Technically, you can use a standard mouse to play games, and you can get them for $30 - $40 from popular brands.
Things to Consider When Building Your Own Gaming PC
There are several considerations to make as you answer, "how much does a PC cost?" Let's cover them below:
First, you'll need to identify the games you want to play on the PC to determine the necessary features for the best performance. This means you should look at the minimum requirements for the computer games and list down the essential details. As a result, you'll build a gaming PC specifically designed to handle the game you have.
The next consideration is the level of experience you have with building the best gaming PC. If it's your first gaming PC to build, it'll probably take a few hours since the process will be new to you. So, don't rush through the steps since you could make a mistake that could cost you more in the long run.
The primary advantage of building your own computer is that it eliminates the need to pay someone to do it for you.
How decorative do you want the PC to be? Of course, aesthetics aren't the most important factor, but if you aren't on a strict budget, you can think about how you want the computer to look. Features like glass panels on the PC case and RGB lights can add interest to your gaming space.
The amount of money you've set apart for building your PC will determine the type of machine you end up with. You'll need to ensure you buy components that remain within your budget to avoid ending up with a half-built computer.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long does it take to build a gaming computer?
It'll take about 3 -4 hours if it's your first time. Experienced people take about 40 minutes to an hour to build a gaming computer.
2. Is it cheaper to build a gaming PC?
Yes, it is. This is because it eliminates labor and profit costs that companies impose.
3. How much does it cost to build gaming computers?
You should set aside about $1000 for the components for a decent gaming PC.