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How much does it Cost to Build a Gaming PC?

Even though you can go with either a laptop or a pre-built computer for your PC gaming needs, those do not offer the best performance or the experience. This is due to the reason that such options usually skip on various key components resulting in poor performance.

In fact, in some cases, these might also have poor performance due to limited thermal cooling performance. But the major reason for building a gaming computer is that you get better performance at a lower price tag resulting in a better value for money.

You want to know how much does it cost to build a gaming PC in 2021

Let me give you an idea. Though I am going to talk about it in detail later in this post. 

Answer: It can cost you between $500 – $1500 depending on the configurations and specifications you go for. Keep reading this detailed report to know them.

Although, if you are not familiar with PCs made for running games, then you might not have an idea about their pricing and how much you should spend to build a gaming PC that is well balanced. Thus, we are here to show you how much does it cost to build a gaming PC with all the details.

This includes details about the parts needed to build a computer for playing games so that you can get the right one according to your budget by the end of this guide.

Building a Custom Gaming PC or Pre Built one

As now you know that going with a custom PC is much better in terms of value for money, you might be interested in getting one. And a great thing about custom gaming PCs is that you can get one at almost any price tag.

Hence, irrespective of the budget that you have, you can surely try building a PC at that price point with ease. In fact, here are the three best price points to build a gaming PC:

Different Price Points for Building a Gaming PC

1. Entry-Level Gaming PC Build for $500

Because everyone can find the right computer build at their given budget, you can also make one even if you are on a tight budget. Such a budget gaming PC is going to cost you around 500$ and can be a great option for those who just want to try out PC gaming or are highly restricted in terms of their budget.

Talking about the performance offered by such an entry-level PC, it is going to be ideal for running games at low resolutions and graphic settings. While the games may not look the best, they can be certainly played on such an entry-level PC under $500. You can also use PCs at this price point for most basic computing tasks that you would do on a family or work computer.

2. Mid Range Gaming PC for $800

Moving up a step, there are also mid-range computer builds available out there which are going to be the most viable option for the average PC gamer. Even though a mid-level computer is going to be somewhere around $800, you can still expect excellent performance.

You will be able to run most games at high and ultra graphics as long as you are running them at 1080p which happens to be the most commonly used resolution for PC gaming. And since not all parts of such mid-level gaming PCs are not entry-level ones, you can also expect a much better upgrade path later on. In fact, in some cases, you can also use a mid-level PC for basic streaming and computing tasks like photo and video editing up to an extent.

3. Pro Level Gaming PC for $1500

In case you are not restricted by your budget, then you can simply go with a pro level gaming PC build. As you can tell by the name, such a desktop will not have any limitations or restrictions of any sorts.

Even if you wish to play games at high refresh rates or higher resolutions like 1440p or 4K, that should not be an issue at all. For such high-performance numbers, you can expect to pay around $1500 when you are talking about a pro-level gaming PC build.

Apart from being a highly powerful desktop, a pro-level gaming PC can also be a great option for workstation usage which can include things like 3D design, content creation, simulation, and much more.

Primary Components to Build a Gaming Computer

Before taking a look at the various possible PC builds that you can get at your given budget, you should first know about the parts needed to build a gaming computer. This is highly important to ensure you are familiar with all your PC parts before you start building your PC.

Primary Components to Build a Gaming Computer

You can also check the PC parts and their individual pricing to get an idea of how much does it cost to build a gaming computer. And while there is a lot that goes into making a desktop, here are the major parts that you need to consider while making a PC for running games:

1. CPU

The CPU of any gaming computer is the most important element for all kinds of computing tasks including gaming. Apart from playing a large role in the performance of your computer, it is also a great starting point for picking computer parts.

While you can find budget CPUs under $100, better-performing ones are going to be $400-500 especially if you want the best gaming performance.

2. Motherboard

Since the motherboard of your computer is used to connect all of the parts together, getting a versatile one is quite important. While you can find both budget $50 motherboards and high-end $300 motherboards out there, a $150-$200 motherboard is most likely going to be enough for most. In a lot of cases, these mid-tier motherboards offer excellent connectivity, great power supply connections, and even overclocking support in a lot of cases.

3. RAM

Whether you are running PC games or using your computer for heavy multitasking, having a decent amount of RAM or Random Access Memory is quite important. Even though a $50 8 GB RAM kit might be decent for an entry-level gaming PC is quite good, you can also find high performance 16 GB RAM kits for around $80 which should be more than enough for a long time when it comes to gaming and other computing tasks

4. GPU

One of the major differences between a gaming PC and a standard work PC is that a gaming one will have a dedicated graphics card. Since it handles all of the graphics of your PC games, this is where you should spend most of your budget.

Apart from an entry-level $150-$200 graphics card, you can also find mid-tier $400 graphics card options for a smooth gaming experience and even $700-$800 graphics card models for excellent high resolution and high refresh rate gaming on your computer.

5. PSU

To power all of the high-performance parts used in your computer, you will also need a high-quality PSU or power supply that is not only efficient but also powerful enough.

Hence, even if you have to spend $100 on a quality power supply, you should not skip on the same if you wish your high-end parts to stay functional without any electrical issues over time due to a cheap power supply.

6. Storage

Whether it is the games installed on your computer, any other program, or your personal media files, you will need some sort of storage option for the same. Except for entry-level PCs which might have to go with a $50 hard drive, all other gaming PCs should have an SSD drive of some sort.
Also read: Is SSD worth it for gaming?

You can easily find high-speed NVMe SSD drives starting at around $80 that offer excellent performance, a snappy computing experience, and very low game loading times.

7. PC Case

You should also check out the PC case that you are going to use for fitting all your components inside. Not only do you need to have enough space for the same, but your PC case should also offer proper cooling to avoid any thermal throttling.

Fortunately, unless you are going with premium cases, any PC case ranging between $50-$100 can offer you great cooling along with decent aesthetics.

Best PC Builds and their Cost

After learning more about the components needed for building PCs for smooth gameplay and their respective prices, you must already have an idea of how much you need to pay for a gaming desktop. In fact, here are the three major build or configurations that you can consider as your first gaming computer:

1. Entry Level Gaming PC for $500

Starting with one of the most affordable budget gaming PCs, the PC build stated here offers decent performance to the user. You can expect to have decent performance in most esports titles even at 1080p resolution. And if you prefer to play at lower stretched resolutions, even high refresh rate gameplay can be surely possible.

As for higher-end AAA titles, those will have to be played at lower resolution and graphics settings for a smooth gameplay experience. Because you are on a limited and restricted budget, some older parts have been used which are as follows:

intel core i3-9100f desktop processor
Intel Core i3-9100F Desktop Processor
  • Intel i3 9100F
  • 4 cores and 4 threads, up to 4.2 GHz boost clock
Check Price →
MSI B550-A PRO ProSeries Motherboard
  • Asus Prime H310M-E.
  • M.2 SSD slot,.
  • Dual RAM slots with mATX form factor
Check Price →
EVGA GeForce GTX
  • Crucial Ballistix DDR4 with 2 x 8 GB modules
  • dual channel kit
  • 3200 MHz speed rating
Check Price →
ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX
  • Zotac GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card,
  • 12 GB GDDR6 VRAM with Up to 1807 MHz boost clock
  • dual fan cooling
Check Price →
Corsair CX Series
  • Corsair CXM 550 watts output with semi modular design
  • ATX form factor
  • 80+ bronze efficiency rating
Check Price →
WD_Black
  • Western Digital SN750 500 GB NVMe SSD
  • M.2 form factor
  • up to 3430 MB/s speeds
Check Price →

Phanteks Eclipse
  • Phanteks Eclipse P360A
  • ATX case
  • Tempered glass
Check Price →

2. Mid Range Gaming PC for $800

Even if you increase your budget just a bit to around $800, you can get yourself a mid-range gaming PC. And despite the slight increase in price, your overall experience in terms of gameplay as well as other computing tasks will be completely different. Starting with esports titles, running at native resolution even at high refresh rates should not be an issue at all.

And as long as you are running at 1080p resolution, you can also play AAA with all ultra settings even if you have RTX enabled. In fact, a mid-level gaming PC can also be potentially used for streaming and other heavy load tasks by getting these parts:

AMD Ryzen 5
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • 6 cores and 12 threads, up to 4.2 GHz boost clock
Check Price →
HP Pavilion x360
MSI B550-A PRO ProSeries
  • MSI B550-A PRO ProSeries with dual M.2 SSD slot
  • quad RAM slots
  • ATX form factor
Check Price →
Crucial Ballistix
  • Crucial Ballistix DDR4
  • 2 x 8 GB modules with dual channel kit
  • 3200 MHz speed rating
Check Price →
ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX
  • Zotac GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card with 12 GB GDDR6 VRAM
  • Up to 1807 MHz boost clock
  • dual fan cooling
Check Price →
Corsair CX Series 550 Watt
  • Corsair CXM 550 watts output with semi modular design
  • ATX form factor
  • 80+ bronze efficiency rating
Check Price →
WD_Black 500GB
  • Western Digital SN750 500 GB NVMe SSD
  • M.2 form factor
  • up to 3430 MB/s speeds
Check Price →
Phanteks Eclipse P360A
  • Phanteks Eclipse P360A with ATX case
  • Tempered glass
  • RGB lighting
Check Price →

3. Pro Level Gaming PC for $1500

Coming to one of the more high-end options out there, you can get a pro-level gaming PC if you do not have any budget restrictions. While it may not offer the best value for money as your first PC, you can still go with it if you want excellent performance. Whether you are playing at high resolutions like 1440p or 4K, such a high-end gaming PC can easily handle it.

The same is also true for playing at a high refresh rate using this desktop. If you wish, such a high-end gaming PC can also be used for workstation usage if you need which includes things like photo and video editing, live streaming, 3D design, simulations, and much more. One viable pro-level PC configuration can be built via the following parts:

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
  • 8 cores and 16 threads, up to 4.7 GHz boost clock
Check Price →
ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming
  • Asus Rog Strix B550-F Gaming with dual M.2 SSD slots
  • quad RAM slots with ATX form factor
  • WIFI 6
Check Price →
TEAMGROUP T-Force Vulcan Z
  • Teamgroup T-Force Vulcan Z DDR4 with 2 x 16 GB modules
  • dual channel kit
  • 3600 MHz speed rating
Check Price →
2021_ZOTAC GeForce RTX
  • Zotac GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card
  • 8 GB GDDR6 VRAM with 1725 MHz boost clock
  • dual fan cooler
Check Price →
NZXT C750
  • NZXT C750 750 watts output
  • fully modular design
  • ATX form factor, 80+ gold efficiency rating
Check Price →
Sabrent 1TB Rocket 4 Plus NVMe
  • Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1 TB NVMe PCIe Gen4 SSD
  • M.2 form factor
  • up to 5000MB/s speeds
Check Price →
Fractal Design Meshify 2
  • Fractal Design Meshify 2
  • ATX case
  • tempered glass side window
Check Price →
Noctua NH-D15 2
  • Noctua NH-D15 CPU cooler
  • 140 mm fans
  • air cooler
Check Price →

What do you Need to Consider Before Building a Gaming PC?

Now that you have checked three of the best gaming PC configurations as your first pick, you must be ready to build your first computer. Although, if you are going to assemble a PC for the first time ever, you should consider the following things:

  • Make sure that you have all the required tools at hand before starting. This includes tools like a screwdriver kit, zip ties for cable management, and pliers for working on them.
  • It is advised to build your PC on a table and not your bed or a carpet to prevent any static buildup.
  • If current graphics card prices are high due to crypto mining and global silicon shortage, then going with a used graphics card is always a great idea since PC parts perform the same even after a long period of time.
  • You should not go for budget PSUs especially if you are going with high-power CPU components. The last thing you want to have in your PC is a cheap and low-quality CPU that kills the rest of the components due to a short circuit.

Conclusion

By checking the various PC build configurations stated above, you can consider easily building your own PC at your home. And since all these configurations consist of all their components and pricing, you must have a decent idea of how much your PC will cost.

Those of you who are new to building a PC can also find information regarding PC components and the things you need to keep in mind before you go ahead and build a PC.

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