How Much Does It Cost to Build a Gaming PC

Computer hardware prices have been seeing a surging upward trend, with flagship CPUs, GPUs etc. raising the bar with each successive iteration, both in terms of performance and prices. As a result, building a gaming PC, especially for the first time poses a set of challenges.

For someone with a bucketful of cash to spend on hardware, it makes sense to go for the latest and greatest components and build a monstrous rig to give you some bragging rights. But what if you don’t want to stump up huge chunks of cash and just want the most performance per dollar?

Based on our experiences, you can build a solid gaming PC in a budget of about $750 – $1000. Of course, what’s “good” totally depends upon what you want out of it. Casual players content with indie titles can absolutely rejoice in a $500 build. But if you care about all the bells & whistles, you will need a more generous budget.

Whatever the case be, you need to know that you’re not spending on unnecessary things. That’s only possible when you understand how much does it cost to build a gaming PC on your own, which is exactly we’re going to talk about today!

How much does a good gaming PC cost?

Just as we talked earlier, what’s “good” according to you? Is it running every new game at 1080p settings and 60fps. Or you simply won’t settle for anything less than 1440p and triple-digit fps for competitive gameplay?

The following chart will give you some rough estimates of an average PC build corresponding to the gaming demands met. Please bear that these values are not stringent by any means and may change as per your requirements.

Resolution Refresh Rate Graphics Quality Estimated Average Price
1080p 60Hz Medium/High $500 – $600
1080p 100Hz High/Ultra $900 – $1300
1440p 120Hz  High/Ultra $1500+

Let’s take up an example of a mid-tier build from the table above. Of course, all of these are ballpark figures, but here’s a breakdown of what a $1200 build (without peripherals) might look like:

  1. CPU – $300
  2. Graphics Card – $500
  3. Motherboard – $100
  4. RAM – $100 (16GB)
  5. Hard Drive – $40
  6. SSD – $30 (250GB)
  7. Power Supply Unit – $70
  8. Case – $80

Is it cheaper to build or buy a gaming PC?

Avid gamers will tell you that it’s a coveted skill to build a gaming PC that’s cost-effective yet packs enough power to breeze through modern AAA titles. Well, at least you have the flexibility to choose all the parts which you won’t get with a pre-assembled PC.

The downside to building a PC from scratch is that you need to allocate separate budget for a Windows license as well as peripherals including keyboard, mouse, monitor and others as per your needs.

Which means that the simple answer to that is – No, it’s not necessarily cheaper to build a PC. You may even find some deals on refurbished or used builds which are significantly cheaper and more convenient.

However, building your PC is surely better, and often “cheaper” when you want to hand-pick each component to exactly fit your performance requirements and budget. You may even consider the best of both worlds – buying an old premade PC and upgrading certain parts as per your liking. That said, building a PC is fun no matter how challenging and time-consuming it can be; It’s something we surely recommend everyone to do.

Is $1000 good for a gaming PC?

Yes! For a budget of $1000, you can build a solid gaming PC that’ll ace the performance with any modern game at 1080p settings at the max settings. You may be able to even push some 1440p gaming if you tone down the graphics a bit.

A $1000 rig can usually sport a mid to high-end CPU such as the Ryzen 3600X, but a little less powerful CPU in lieu of a better GPU makes a lot of sense here. Apart from that, you’ll be able to accommodate 16GB of 3000MHz RAM and reasonable SSD storage, which is more than enough for most gamers.

Is a $500 gaming PC worth it?

A pre-built $500 gaming PC – No! The one you proudly built by carefully selecting all the components yourself – Maybe.

With the prices of crucial parts like CPUs and GPUs skyrocketing these days, it’s very hard to come up with a great gaming build under $500. But that doesn’t mean all $500 builds are terrible for gaming.

In fact, any budget gamer can build a basic gaming setup that will max 60fps on most modern titles bar a few. A simple rig consisting of a budget CPU (like the Ryzen 3400G) and an entry-level RX GPU should run most games well enough. Unfortunately, if you throw the price of a new Windows 10 license as well as brand new peripherals, it becomes a bit too unrealistic.

Where to Save Money?

GPU should be your number 1 priority for gaming. Not only does it impact gaming performance the most, but the GPU will become obsolete sooner than the other parts. As far as saving money goes: OS, Peripherals, CPUs and motherboards are something that can be dialed back a bit without sacrificing much on the performance.

Consider open-box or old items as well. You might be able to buy used or refurbished parts for 20% or more off. This will allow you to enjoy your favorite titles without compromising on the visuals, unless you are one of those lucky ones who have “fun” even with the graphics turned low enough.

Apart from the gaming performance itself, the cost also depends on how you want your rig to look like. Granted aesthetics are purely personal preference, but it’s something you need to pay a premium for.

If you don’t care about all that added bling, you can save up some cash by passing the RGB and aesthetics components as well as utilizing used components such as your old monitor, peripherals, operating system among others.