So how much does a good gaming PC cost?
A good gaming PC will cost you around $1,000 to $1,500. In this budget, you’ll get a mid-tier PC that can run most modern games at 60fps on 1080p. Of course, depending on your budget and gaming requirements, you can upgrade the components over time to improve your gaming PC’s capability and performance. And that’s the best thing about a gaming PC. Let’s learn more!
What Constitutes a Gaming PC?
Here are the components that make a gaming PC:
● Processor (CPU): The processor is the gaming PC’s brain, responsible for running complex calculations. It handles game logic. CPU’s performance capabilities depend on its clock speed and core count. The two popular manufacturers of processors are Intel® and AMD®.
● Graphics Card (GPU): The GPU is the visual powerhouse of a gaming PC responsible for rendering graphics in both 2D and 3D. It is a companion processor to the CPU to calculate the Graphics more efficiently. The two popular GPU manufacturers are Nvidia® and AMD®.
● Motherboard: A motherboard is a circuit board of a gaming PC that connects all components and allows them to communicate with each other. The top motherboard manufacturers are ASUS, ASRock, Gigabyte, and MSI.
● Cooling equipment: Cooling equipment is an essential part of a gaming PC that keep components, especially CPU and GPU, from overheating during intensive computing processes. There are two options available to mitigate heat: air cooling and liquid cooling.
● Memory (RAM): The RAM is a short-term storage unit that temporarily stores data for quick access. It plays an integral role in processing games. Bigger RAM improves frame rates and maximizes system responsiveness for a seamless gaming experience.
● Storage: Storage is a fundamental component of a gaming PC that allows for preserving all types of data, such as documents, pictures, videos, game files, and raw data. Installing a fast solid-state drive (SSD) can minimize loading times and ensure smoother gameplay.
● Power Supply Unit (PSU): The PSU delivers stable power to your gaming PC components, including motherboard, CPU, GPU, memory, storage, and cooling system, as well as peripherals attached to your gaming PC.
● Gaming PC Case: A gaming PC case houses all the components of a gaming PC and protects everything inside from dust and other harmful elements.
In addition, you’ll require peripherals to enjoy gaming sessions on your computer. The must-have peripherals for PC gaming include monitor, keyboard, mouse, and headphones. You may also consider investing in a microphone, webcam, and VR set to take your gaming experience to the next level.
Should You Buy or Build Your First Gaming PC?
When delving into the realm of PC gaming for the first time, the most important decision you must make is whether to buy a pre-built gaming PC or build one. Well, it depends, given both options come with their own pros and cons.
Most people recommend first-time gamers buy pre-built gaming PCs as it’s more convenient and requires no technical expertise. The pre-built systems are created by professionals, so you are unlikely to encounter compatibility issues that require troubleshooting.
There are also fewer changes to come across CPU/GPU bottleneck issues, for instance, underperforming processors or graphics cards. As a result, you enjoy the optimal performance of your PC. Moreover, pre-built gaming PCs also come with a warranty that gives you added peace of mind.
On the other hand, building a gaming PC from scratch—all by yourself—can be a rewarding experience. You pick the precise components you need while keeping your budget and gaming requirements in mind, which can help plan future upgrades.
For instance, if you intend to upgrade your graphics card in a few months, you’ll likely invest more in a quality motherboard that supports the latest graphics card. Conversely, your ability to pick exactly the components you want can be limited with pre-built setups.
Of course, building your own PC requires technical knowledge and research. However, you can watch instruction videos on YouTube and tinker with components to ensure proper installation. Or better yet, get a pro on board who has built their own gaming PC many times.
What Cost More: Build a PC or Buy One?
Buying a pre-built gaming PC costs more than building a gaming PC—in general.
However, it also depends on various factors, for instance, whether you’ve got access to GPU at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) since GPU is the most expensive component of a typical gaming PC that often goes for a higher price than MSRP due to scalping.
If you get a GPU at MSRP, chances are that you’ll be able to save money by building a gaming PC. Unless you come across an exceptional deal or promotion on pre-built systems in budget categories, you can find sweet deals on used systems on Amazon and other platforms.
Building a Gaming PC under $1000
Is it cheaper to build a gaming PC when your budget is under $1,000? Probably yes. You must ensure that you spend every dollar to derive maximum performance and value. Here is our recommendation for building the best gaming PC under $1,000.
● ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 3050 Twin Edge OC 8GB – $267.00
● Intel® Core™ i5-11600K – $186.42
● MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Motherboard – $109.99
● Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO V2 CPU Air Cooler – $47.99
● Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz – $42.99
● Thermaltake Smart 700W – $54.95
● SAMSUNG 980 SSD 500GB NVMe M.2 2280 – $39.99
● Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L – $69.99
● SAMSUNG T350 Series 22-Inch FHD 1080p Computer Monitor, 75Hz – $99.99
● Redragon S107 Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo – $27.89
● ZIUMIER Gaming Headset with Microphone – $21.24
The total price for the listed components is $967.45, leaving room for more items like a webcam. This combination offers a great price-to-performance ratio without going over the budget.
Intel 11600K is a high-performance processor that provides a seamless computing experience. The RTX 3050 can handle most modern games at 1080p resolution with high settings.
You can also opt for MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 12GB ($364.99) or MD Radeon RX 6700 XT ($369.99) and AMD Ryzen 5 5600G 6-Core 12-Thread ($128.54) to get improved graphics performance.
Moreover, the SAMSUNG 980 SSD will provide fast boot and load times for games, and the 16 gigs of Corsair RAM will handle multitasking and gaming with ease.
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Air Cooler, along with MasterBox Q300L, will keep the temperatures of your gaming PC low during intensive gaming sessions, even if you overclock your PC. The 700W PSU will provide you room to increase the clock rate of your processor without affecting performance.
The 75Hz Samsung monitor offers seamless, smooth visuals along with the Game Mode feature, so you can spot your enemies lurking in the shadows and get the dubs.
Buying a Gaming PC under $1000
Is buying a gaming PC worth it when your budget is $1,000? Yes! If you don’t want to go through the hassle of ordering different components and assembling them and simply want to dive into the world of PC gaming, buying an off-the-shelf gaming PC is a better option.
Let’s check out some stock gaming PC options and see how they compare to our customized build:
1) HP 2022 Newest Pavilion Gaming Desktop Computer – $878
● Processor: Intel Core i7-10700K CPU
● Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB GPU
● RAM: 16GB DDR4-2933 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB) RAM
● Storage: 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage & 1 TB 7200RPM SATA hard drive storage
● Extra capabilities: Wi-Fi 5 (2×2) and Bluetooth 5.0
● Peripherals: HP black wired keyboard and mouse combo
This budget gaming PC offers a fine balance between performance and value. Equipped with a 10th gen Intel Core i7-10700K CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super GPU, it can run most games at high settings without any major performance issues.
The 16GB DDR4 SDRAM and 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage provide fast and responsive performance, while the 1TB 7200RPM SATA hard drive storage provides plenty of space for games. Also, there are additional features like Wi-Fi 5 (2×2) and Bluetooth 5.0.
GTX 1660 Super performance is almost equivalent to Intel RTX 3050, but it doesn’t support hardware-level Ray Tracing. The CPUs are both powerful and capable of running demanding games, with the Intel Core i7-10700K being slightly more powerful than the Intel Core i5-11600K.
The casing model isn’t mentioned, but by the looks of it, we’d expect a better casing. Overall, our customized option may offer slightly better performance and value for the price of $878.00, which leaves a room of $122 for the monitor.
2) AVGPC Hellfire Series Gaming PC – $849.00
● Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5600G 6-Core 3.90 GHz CPU
● Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 8GB DDR6
● RAM: 16GB 3200MHz DDR4
● Storage: 500GB NVME M.2 SSD
● Cooling System: 240mm Liquid Cooler
● Case: MasterBox 3.1 Lite TG Case with ARGB Fans
This pre-built gaming PC is an interesting option, given it shares a lot of similarities with our customizable build. The common GPU means you can expect a similar gaming performance. The i5-11600K CPU outperforms the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G in single-core performance, which can be advantageous in gaming.
Besides that, both builds use similar storage (500GB NVME M.2 SSD), but SAMSUNG 980 SSD tends to provide faster performance. The 700W PSU in customized build offers more power to increase the clock rate of your gaming PC. In contrast, the 550W PSU might restrict you from overclocking your system.
The MasterBox 3.1 Lite TG Case comes with ARGB Fans and tempered glass side panels, offering better aesthetics. The Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L case is more compact and lightweight and has a front mesh panel for improved airflow. Both cases are suited for their respective specifications.
At $849.00, AVGPC Hellfire Series Gaming PC is a solid pre-built setup that will leave you with $150 to get the same peripherals that we’ve recommended earlier. Opting for this option will save you the hassle of building your own gaming PC by yourself.
3 Ways to Save Money When Getting a Gaming PC
Here are three tips to get a gaming PC without splurging extra money while also ensuring you don’t compromise on performance or quality:
Prioritize Components based on Your Gaming Requirements
Only purchase components essential for your gaming requirements to avoid overspending on the components that you may not need.
For instance, if you want to run competitive FPS games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a mid-tier gaming setup is more than enough to run it smoothly. You’d be better off investing in a monitor with higher resolution and higher quality peripherals to minimize input delay.
In contrast, if you want to derive maximum performance from your PC to run graphics-intensive titles, avoid unnecessary accessories like RGB lighting, a mechanical keyboard, and expensive headphones. You can always make these additions later when you have some extra room in your budget.
Consider Buying Refurbished or Used Components
New components can be costly. Your dream gaming PC might not fit under your budget if you intend to buy brand-new parts. Purchasing refurbished or used components is a great way to save money. In most instances, they work just as well as new ones.
Just make sure you deal with a trusted seller and check the refurbished or used components thoroughly. There’s an exception to this tip, though: avoid buying a used processor because it’s difficult to know the extent of its wear and tear. In some cases, it doesn’t perform as well as a new one.
Take Advantage of Sales and Discount Offers
Keep your eyes peeled for sales, discounts, and online deals to save big bucks on gaming PCs and components. With some patience and luck, you’ll be able to get deals on the gear that you need to take your gaming PC to the next level.
Amazon often offers incredible deals on gaming PCs and components throughout the year, especially during their annual Prime Day sale, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
Is It Better to Build a Gaming PC or Buy a Console?
Honestly, building a gaming PC is a better option. Sure, consoles are great if you want to enjoy casual gaming sessions on your couch or enjoy FIFA with your friends. But, if you’re looking to play a wide variety of titles, especially FPS games, then a gaming PC should be your go-to option. It offers greater flexibility, more customization options, and potentially better performance.
Consoles are generally cheaper and easier to set up and use. You can also pack them easily in your luggage and travel. Though, unlike gaming PCs that empower you to upgrade individual components to improve performance, consoles don’t allow upgrades, meaning you must purchase a whole new console to upgrade your setup.
Arguably, that’s the biggest reason why we advocate building a gaming PC over buying a console.
FAQs- Buying a Gaming PC
How Long Do Gaming PCs Last?
A gaming PC typically lasts up to at least five years before requiring significant replacements. The lifespan of a gaming PC will also depend on the components. You might need to upgrade to play newer and more demanding games requiring higher specifications. Regular cleaning and maintenance can go a long way to extend the lifespan of your gaming PC.
Is $1000 Enough for a Gaming PC?
Yes! You can build a decent gaming PC under $1,000 (as shown above) that will allow you to play most modern games without any hassle. In this budget, you can build a system that includes a powerful processor, a dedicated GPU, sufficient RAM, and SSD storage.
Is $1500 a Lot for a Gaming PC?
Of course not! When it comes to PC gaming, the sky is the limit. A high-tier GPU like MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 4090 24GB GDRR6X costs well beyond $1,500. This budget is on the higher end of mid-range to high-end gaming PCs. If you opt for a high-end gaming PC like Cobratype Viper Immortal Desktop Gaming PC, you can expect to splurge more than $4,000.
What Should I Buy First for a Gaming PC?
The processor should be the first component you should buy for your gaming PC. It determines the motherboard you need, which consequently determines the type of RAM and the number of storage drives that you can install—as well as the ports and expansion slots available. However, make sure to do your homework to ensure all the subsequent components are compatible with your build.
In a nutshell, you can build or buy a solid gaming PC for under $1000. Regardless of which route you take, there are plenty of ways to save money—from prioritizing PC components to investing in refurbished parts and leveraging sales and discount offers. We’re sure this guide will empower you to build or buy a gaming PC that meets your gaming requirement without breaking the bank.