How much does it cost to build a PC? Gaming PC costs explained
So, how much is a PC? A gaming PC is almost always going to cost you more than a regular PC but why?
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Building a PC can be quite challenging if you haven’t done it before, with hidden costs and possible compatibility issues being a bit intimidating for some newbies. There are many questions before you even begin the building process such as, how much does a PC cost? Is it cheaper to build your own PC? Will a gaming PC cost more than a standard work PC? Don’t worry, WePC is going to answer everything about the associated costs with computers and then tackle the more tailored questions like – should you buy an extra fan?
PC gaming is an expensive hobby, so the more research you put in prior to investment, the better.
How much is a PC?
How much a PC costs varies dramatically. A standard PC for general work can be put together for as little as $300, sometimes less with second-hand parts. The price of a PC starts to increase as you up the specifications. If you were to utilize a CPU or APUs integrated graphics, you can save money on a GPU you may not need but this can come with compromises.
The most expensive part of the PC is the graphics card. A GPU varies in price, with older or less powerful options being much more affordable. Like anything PC-related, the price goes up with the more power you require. So, if you want to play the latest games in 4K, you are going to require a more expensive graphics card.
How much does it cost to build a gaming PC?
Just like any PC or laptop, how much a gaming PC costs depends on your individual budget and game requirements. It can cost anywhere from $300 to $2000, and many people like to occupy a happy in-between at around $700-$1000. Whether you’re on a budget and pinching pennies or an enthusiast who wants the best of the best, there is a gaming PC for you. Check out our How to Build a Gaming PC guide for a more detailed breakdown of pricing tiers.
|– $300 Entry-Level Build
|– $700 Gaming PC Build
|– $1500 Gaming PC Build
|– $3000 Gaming PC Build
|– $400 Entry-Level Build
|– $800 Gaming PC Build
|– $2000 Gaming PC Build
|– $5000 Gaming PC Build
|– $500 Budget Build
|– $1000 Gaming PC Build
|– $600 Budget Build
For those looking to build a mid-tier system and above, you can usually expect to spend around 50% of your budget on the graphics card. The GPU is the most expensive part of a gaming PC, so don’t worry about focusing your budget on this item. The CPU can also raise the cost of a PC build but this largely depends on your gaming requirements as previously mentioned. You could save in the CPU area as older generation chips are still quite good for gaming, giving yourself more towards the graphics card.
It can sometimes be best to find a balance between your components but it is important to note that other, forgotten about areas may raise the overall cost significantly. RAM kits are fairly priced these days and you should probably look to include 16GB of fast RAM with your PC, ensuring you get the absolute most out of it. Storage may seem like an area you can save money, however, you should focus on purchasing an SSD. It may seem like a good idea to buy a small-capacity SSD but they can fill up quite quickly, with modern games in some cases exceeding 100GB.
So how much does it cost to build a gaming PC? It obviously varies but it ultimately depends on your planned build and its capabilities. If you are looking to play the latest games, in max settings, at the highest resolutions, then you are likely to need to spend quite a lot of money ($1,500+). For the competitive esports lovers out there who want nothing but high frames in their favorite shooters, you are lucky, you don’t have to spend quite as much, with low to mid-tier systems able to support 144+ FPS in 1080p.
How much do gaming computer parts cost?
When building a PC there are many different online and offline retailers you can buy your components from. Prices can vary and the overall cost of your PC depends on your budget. Whether you are after entry-level spec to play games with low requirements or something more high-end, you can tailor your PC build around those needs.
Every component in a PC can be split up into the same cost categories entry-level, mid-range, and high-end. Typically, high-end components come with more power or more features and obviously cost more. Lower-end components have a bit of a trade-off, maybe they are older generation or come with fewer features, giving you something more affordable.
Let’s take a closer look at what the various components typically cost.
How much does a CPU cost?
|$125 – $200
|$200 – $450
The two flagship processors from AMD and Intel’s latest generation (7950X3D and 14900K) both retailed at MSRP between $589-699. The CPU is still largely affordable as you may not need the top choice of processor for your needs.
How much does a GPU cost?
|$300 – $600
A graphics card will be the most expensive part of your gaming PC and it is largely accepted that half of your overall budget should be spent in this area. Although you still want to match its tier with the processor. Along with the fact the custom models may vary in price even with a known MSRP.
How much does RAM cost?
|Low-end (8GB Capacity)
|Mid-range (16GB Capacity)
|High-end (32GB Capacity)
RAM prices increase if you are looking for faster memory kits. You will also spend more on memory with tighter timings but for the most part, RAM is quite affordable and you should always aim for 16GB for gaming these days if possible. However, it may be sensible to top for more but with DDR5 memory there is a possibility of variation for the newer tech.
How much does a motherboard cost?
|$60 – $150
|$150 – $250
A motherboard is a great area to save money but the lower end you go the fewer features and capabilities you get. It is also worthwhile making sure you take full advantage of your motherboard’s features when looking at higher-end options as you can usually get similar performance for less.
How much does an SSD (storage) cost?
|Low-end (250GB Capacity)
|$30 – $60
|Mid-range (500GB Capacity)
|$60 – $100
|High-end (1TB+ Capacity)
Storage costs more based on its size and speed. You could in theory have two SSD devices with the same capacity, however, if one reads and writes quicker, it will likely be more expensive. You can also assume a price increase with the latest type of SSD. Old 2.5″ SSDs are often the cheapest option, with the newer, more convenient m.2 type SSDs costing more.
How much does a PSU cost?
|$30 – $50
|$50 – $100
A power supply is relatively inexpensive in comparison to the rest of the PC. You can keep costs down by going for a non-modular option and ensuring you get just the right amount of power for your build. Be wary of anything below Bronze-rated and always research PSU tier lists before buying too as there is no reason you shouldn’t be buying from a reputable manufacturer.
Generally speaking, the lower the wattage, the lower the cost. The same goes for certain features like modular cables and LCDs, avoid these spend that extra cash on more important components.
How much does a PC case cost?
|$40 – $60
|$60 – $100
Like a few components, the PC case is available for a variety of budgets. Lower-end cases are considered fit for purpose, with a bare minimum number of features and included fans. A budget PC case can still get the job done and still provide enough airflow to your system, however, these are sometimes plagued by quality issues.
A mid-range case can often provide the perfect balance between price and performance. Depending on the case, you could get an optimal amount of included fans, higher quality dust filters, and other nice-to-have features such as cable management options.
In the high-end, You usually have fewer quality concerns and can often see a lot of modularity, with the ability to re-configure your case depending on the size of your build. Some models may come with premium sound-dampening materials for added stealth, others could assist in your next loop.