A top of the range gaming PC is going to get expensive. Sure, you’ll be able to hit 120 frames per second on even the most demanding online games, but you do have to pay for that kind of quality.
Things are especially expensive when you’re paying someone to build the PC for you. Most people will tell you that it is cheaper to build your own PC. However, this does depend a little bit on what your experience is, and what you want out of a gaming PC.
Building a PC isn’t quite as simple as just slotting the pieces together. Some manufacturers of components make them easy to fit together, almost like very expensive Lego. However, these ‘easy install’ components are more expensive than doing things the traditional way. Building your own PC can be a bit difficult.
However, there are definitely positives to doing things yourself. Firstly, it can be quite a bit cheaper to build your own PC. Significantly cheaper, in fact. It can also be a very rewarding hobby. Do everything right, and you can end up with a top of the line PC at a much cheaper price.
Is it Cheaper to Build a Gaming PC?
As a general rule, it is usually cheaper to build a gaming PC yourself than to get one that’s already been prebuilt. It’ll take more time to do so, but for many gamers, this is all part of the fun.
And the truth is that at the start, every gamer has pretty much no idea what they’re doing. If you’re worried about not knowing enough about the internal components of your PC, then try not to stress too much about this. You can find out everything you need to know online.
You can easily save yourself a few hundred quid by going for your own budget build as opposed to buying a brand new gaming computer. If you’re looking for a ballpark price, then we’re going to take a look at how expensive the individual pieces of a gaming PC are when you add them all up together.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Gaming PC?
Building a gaming PC can be a bit expensive. However, this is all relative. It is going to depend on the level of parts that you buy. These are the rough price ranges you can expect.
This will cost anywhere from £100 to over £500 for a really high-end graphics card. Most fall somewhere in the middle though and you can find good value.
Your GPU is super important for playing video games, and it’s one area where gaming enthusiasts are happy to splash out on a new one. A good graphics card can completely transform your overall gaming experience.
These run from £50 to over £450. This is the powerhouse of your PC, so it is a pretty important part to choose for your entire setup. In an ideal world, you’re going to want a hexa-core or octa-core processor with double the amount of threads.
Deciding between an Intel and AMD Ryzen processor is one of the main decisions you’ll need to make. When it comes to value for money though, it’s very hard to beat an AMD CPU, and they’re perfect if you’re trying to keep PC costs down.
Fans or heat sync can cost you anywhere from £50 to £300. For those that want to get an increase refresh rate by overclocking your system, then good ventilation is going to be something that you need.
Depending on the case that you opt for, there will be different options for fans that you can choose from. Whilst 1 may be enough in some cases, you could opt for more than this if you want to ensure your processor stays cool.
From £75 up to £300. Usually you don’t want to skimp on getting a motherboard; after all, it is the part of your computer that allows all of its components to talk to one another.
There are different sizes of motherboard to opt for, which we usually refer to as form factors. From ATX to ITX, doing some research into the right one for you is definitely advised beforehand.
Although your RAM, or memory, is one of the most important parts of your computer, it’s actually relatively cheap. You can usually pick up 8GB of RAM for around £40, with a 16GB stick of RAM being not much more than this.
This can vary widely. However, you’re looking at around £100 if you want something of a big size and an SSD. If you plan to play a lot of games on your computer, then it could be worth getting a large 1TB or 2TB HDD to save all of your stuff on.
Casing & Lighting
This is one area where you can keep things cheap! This won’t cost too much unless you need some elaborate lighting. Some RGB lighting can be pretty expensive. It’s not a necessity, but it can definitely make your gaming PC look a whole lot cooler.
These are the essentials for building a full PC. However, if you’re going completely from scratch you’ll have other things to worry about too. A gaming PC is going to need a keyboard, monitor, gaming mouse… these things can add up.
The benefit of building your own gaming PC is that the costs outside of those are going to apply to purchase a gaming PC too. You’ll probably still end up going for your own choice of monitor, keyboard, and mouse, so these elements are the only ones that need comparing to a prebuilt gaming PC.
Even from those essentials, you’re looking at at least $500 for a well-functioning gaming PC that can handle most games and more for more demanding ones.
You can build something that is a bit more budget-friendly for less, but some areas just can’t be skimped on too much. You can look at getting a low cost laptop, but even then the typical gaming laptop won’t give to the same performance as a PC.
Is Building Your Own PC Better?
For many, building your own PC inherently means higher quality. This isn’t always the case though. It is definitely easy to screw up and build a poor quality gaming PC.
However, with a little bit of research, time, and care, you can make something considerably better than what you could buy. Building a PC yourself means you can tailor it to your own needs.
Unless you’re commissioning your own gaming PC, building one is going to make it a lot more personal. If you’re willing to do the research you can ensure that your gaming pc meets your exact requirements.
If it running quietly while having great cooling is a priority for you, you can do that. If you’re willing to spend a lot more on processors, then you can do that too. Pre-built gaming PCs are one size fits all, and your needs aren’t. Building your own is definitely an advantage here.
Is it Hard to Build a Gaming PC?
Building a gaming PC isn’t going to be the easiest task in the world, but it is a lot simpler than it used to be. As building your own gaming PC has become so common, the parts that go into one have become easier to slip together.
In the past constructing an entire PC took quite a bit of technical know-how, it now just takes a bit of research. You can do a good enough job of building an entire gaming PC if you look up what needs to be done every step of the way, and take some care.
This is where costs can mount though. The time it takes to build a gaming PC is worth something. You need to think about this since it could actually be a bonus. Many gaming PC enthusiasts actually enjoy the process of building them. Like putting together an elaborate model of a ship, building a gaming PC can be a very rewarding experience.
If you don’t enjoy it though, you should factor in how much your time spent building it is worth. If this makes a pre-built gaming PC a more cost-effective choice for you, then you shouldn’t build your own.
How expensive your gaming PC will depend on the specifics of what you want, but it is cheaper to build it yourself.
If you look at the components that go inside of any gaming PC and then compare the price all together to buying them separately, you’ll see some significant savings.
Another upside is complete control over all of your components. Many pre-built gaming PCs that aim for a particularly attractive price point will skimp on one little thing to save money elsewhere.
Low-quality cooling, less RAM, there are lots of smaller components that might not grab your attention like the GPU that they can cut corners on. Even if you pre-buy a gaming PC, you may end up having to replace components that you significantly overpaid for.