How Much For a PC? Cost To Build A Gaming PC

How Much For a PC

Are you wondering how much for a pc? Well here is the answer in this article.

A high-end gaming PC build will cost you around $1000. A mid-tier PC build will cost you $700 and a low-tier PC build will cost you $500.

Building a PC can be tough with the expensive GPU prices and the graphically demanding games. Inflation and the economic state of the world are more factors that may make your budget even tighter. Which is why budgeting correctly for a PC build is more important than ever.

In order to make sure you can play the video games you want, work productively or stream on twitch, you must know what level of PC you can get within your budget.

This article will take you through everything you need to know about choosing the right PC build for your budget, performance needs and aesthetics. We want to make sure you choose the right build which will last you many years.

Keep in mind that GPU prices fluctuate heavily.

image credit Sharad Kachhi

Suggested article: 45 best White Gaming Setups.

What PC Build Can You Get With Your Budget?

The more you spend, the more options you have in terms of CPU and GPU choice. These two components are the main factors of PC performance and by using this information we can guess how much a PC build would be if you buy the components yourself.

Each generation of intel has a range of CPU models which offer different performance and price so choose accordingly.

If you are on a budget, I recommend prioritising a good CPU and GPU, then spending the rest of your budget on a motherboard, case, power supply, ram and storage.

If you purchase your PC components over the course of a few months, you can drastically increase the quality of items your budget can purchase by waiting for sales.

It’s also a good idea to wait for GPU prices to be low as this component fluctuates in price the most and is very expensive.

Below we have created a table that shows you our top pick of CPU and GPU for your budget.

Low Tier BuildMid Tier BuildHigh Tier BuildGod Tier Build
CPUIntel i3Intel i5intel i7intel i9
GPUGTX 1650RTX 2060RTX 2060RTX 3080
Budget Table

Suggested article: Top 5 White Laptops.

How Do I Choose A PC Build?

image credit john petalcurin

Choosing a PC build is determined by your budget and what games you would like to run.

If you want to run the most graphically intensive games on steam, you might require a PC in the $1000 price range.

The $1000 price range is also a good range for competitive gamers who play CS:GO, Valorant or Apex. It will provide you with FPS over 300+ when playing these competitive games on low-medium settings which is what a lot of professional players do.

If you are a twitch streamer and want to also play games, you might need a higher end computer. A lot of streamers actually buy 2 computers so they can stream and game separately.

VR players also need to have a higher end PC and a higher budget because it places a lot of stress on the CPU and GPU.

Some good places that you can get PC builds are Cyberpower, iBuyPower, Best Buy, Alienware and NZXT.

Buying a PC build from credible suppliers will ensure you have a computer that will last many years and perform well.

There are also many warranty options available for pre built systems that you can’t get if you were to build it yourself.

If you don’t know what PC build to choose, you might want to wait for a sale and then choose from a select range that are discounted.

Pre-Built PC Recommendations

What Games Can Each Build Run?

Each tier in the budget table is capable of running certain games depending on how graphically intensive they are. Some games are more demanding on the CPU and others are more demanding on the GPU.

When we talk about what games these builds can run, we are referring to the popular games that are on the top charts.

image credit pixabay

Low Tier Build

A low tier build is basically a toaster, but one that can still run a few games on low settings. Games like League of legends, fortnite and valorant can be played on a low tier build if you maximize the efficiency of the build. With a low tier build, you can expect to have to make sacrifices in video settings and monitor resolution.

This means that you should build the PC yourself to get the most out of your budget and optimise your PC and game settings to get the highest FPS you can.

Expect to be playing top games on the lowest settings and sometimes even in windowed mode for them to be playable.

Nearly every gamer has started out with a toaster build at the beginning of their journey and then upgraded from there.

If you only have a $400 budget, you may already be considering purchasing a console instead. This choice depends on your lifestyle and if you have a lot of friends that are on consoles. However, I recommend saving a little bit more and aiming to get a $600 PC build as you can play a lot more games.

image credit martin lopez

Mid Tier Build

Mid tier builds will give you just enough performance to play new games on low to medium settings with decent FPS. These builds are great for people on a strict budget, but would still like to play modern games.

Most of the popular multiplayer games such as Fortnite, Apex legends & Valorant can be played on a mid tier build with no issue at all.

image credit 洋榤 郭

High Tier Build

A high tier build is capable of running CPU intensive games such as CS:GO and Valorant on max settings with over 120FPS. If you use even lower settings like a lot of competitive players do, then you can see upwards of 250-300 FPS.

High tier builds can run the majority of games with no issue, but may struggle with the best graphical games on the market.

High tier builds can also run games on high FPS such as Elden Ring, Battlefield 2042, Assassins creed Odyssey, Metro exodus and Rust. However, less optimised games such as Cyberpunk may struggle to reach over 30FPS on max settings.

image credit 洋榤 郭

God Tier Build

A god tier build is capable of running 99% of games on max settings and high FPS. Although, there are a few games such as Star Citizen that will take a toll on even the best of PC builds.

PC Build Breakdown

Here is a breakdown of the components you can expect to purchase for each PC build according to your budget.

$500 Low Tier Build

In a budget PC build you should expect to choose a 4-6 core chip Intel (non-K) CPU around the $75 price range and a lower tier Nvidia GPU around the $125 price range. Choose the cheapest case you can find and see if you can find a case that comes with fans and a power supply to save even more money.

Stick to 4-8gb of DDR4 ram and a 500W PSU. For the motherboard you can get a budget ATX board or a smaller mATX board.

$700 Low Tier Build

This price point can get you a decent build if you choose the right components. The intel i5 and RTX 2060 are a good starting point which is around $530 at the time of writing. From there you should buy a cheap case with a PSU and fans. Then get a motherboard compatible with the CPU and GPU. 4gb of Ram and a cheap CPU cooler would be enough to finish the build.

$1000 Low Tier Build

A $1000 budget gives you a lot of room to choose great components for performance. I recommend getting a powerful Nvidia card such as an RTX 2060 or 3060 depending on the price action of GPUs. For the CPU I would opt for a strong i7 processor like the 8700k. You may still need to go cheaper on the case and fans in order to get a good motherboard and ram.

$2000 Low Tier Build

With this budget you can get nearly any CPU and GPU you want. Also this price range is great for aesthetics, meaning you have room in your budget to buy LED and RGB products. You can get an intel i9 and RTX 3080 as your main components. From there you should get a powerful motherboard, at least 16GB of ram and a sufficient PSU.

For storage I would opt for a 1TB SSD and a 2TB HDD. You can get a tempered glass case to show off the inside of the build.

Component Costs

The main components for a PC are: Motherboard, case, Storage, Ram, GPU, CPU, CPU Cooling, Fans and Power supply. Different components are more expensive than each other, and this is important to consider in a budget since you need all of them for a PC build.

CPU Costs

CPUs are very expensive because they are the powerhouse of the build. This is where all your processing power comes from and most of your gaming performance.

Intel CPUs are very popular and come in many generations such as: i3, i5, i7 and i9.

These are the rough price estimates for each generation. There are many models within each generation of intel.

ProcessorIntel i3Intel i5Intel i7Intel i9

Having a cheap CPU will give you subpar results when gaming compared to having a quality CPU.

GPU Costs

Graphics card costs fluctuate a lot, so it’s hard to estimate the cost of a graphics card at the time of reading this article. However, here are some rough ideas of GPU prices when the prices aren’t inflated.

An Nvidia GTX 1660 is a good card for budget builds. It’s not too expensive but it can also perform. You can pick these up around the $200-$300 price mark.

RTX 2060s are very popular and good for mid tier $1000 builds. These cards roughly cost around $250-$400 depending on the time of year.

RTX 3080s are a card you can expect in a god tier $2000 build. These cards hover aroudn the $750-$1000 price mark.

Motherboard Costs

Motherboards are the main component that everything within your computer sits on. Although these are not too expensive, you should make sure you are buying a quality baord so you don’t get any problems down the line.

Motherboards come in various sizes: ATX, micro ATX and mini ATX.

Expect to pay $150-$250 for a quality motherboard that suits most low-mid tier builds.

Ram/Memory Costs

Ram is important for any build. Most people get between 8-16GB of ram depending on the build budget and what they want to do on their computer. You will need more ram for better games.

Corsair Vengeance ram is very popular and is roughly $60 for a 16GB DDR4 set.

Storage Costs

You can either get a Hard drive or a Solid State drive for your build. Most people opt for both if they can afford it. SSD’s are a lot better than HDD’s. They are faster, more reliable and less bulky.

A 1 TB HDD will cost you around $45, but a 1 TB SSD will cost around $90.

CPU Cooler Costs

CPU coolers are important if you use any high powered intel chip. You can either get fan cooled or liquid cooled.

Liquid cooling is more expensive and costs around $100-$200.

Air cooling can be $0-$200 depending if your case already comes with fans.

Power Supply Costs

Power supplies for the builds we have mentioned in this article are usually 500W or 750W.

A good PSU ranges from $75-$150 depending on the quality and wattage.

Computer Case Costs

Budget cases can be very cheap, however cases that include things like tempered glass will cost a lot more.

A standard fully enclosed case that has no glass is around $40.

Aesthetically pleasing cases with better cable management and space are upwards of $100.

Tempered glass cases are $200 and above.

How To Maximize Your Budget

image credit ron lach

There are many strategies you can use to make the most out of your budget.

Choose Stock Over Aesthetics

You can save a lot of money on your PC build by opting for components that regular and do not come with flashy RGB LED’s. Some good examples of this are the case and fans. Aesthetic components are great, but having more FPS when gaming is even better.

Buy A Cheaper CPU And Overclock It

If you understand overclocking, you may want to save some money by choosing a cheaper CPU and overclocking it. For example you could get an overclocked intel i5 CPU instead of getting an i7.

Downgrade Lesser Important Components

If you save money in the right places you can spend more on the more important components. The last thing you want to save money on would be the CPU and GPU. The first things you would want to downgrade would be the case, fans, storage, ram and power supply.

Don’t downgrade more than necessary, instead just make sure you get the essentials.

Build It Yourself

Generally it will be much cheaper if you purchase all PC components separately and build the computer yourself. The overall cost could be 10-20% cheaper depending on many factors such as sales, cost of prebuilt PCs and rising GPU prices.

One of the biggest downsides to building a PC yourself is that you have to wait for each part to arrive individually via delivery. This is the case because to find the cheapest option for each computer part, you often have to order from multiple places.

If you build it yourself, you already save $50-$100 of a build and setup fee that a normal store would charge you. On top of that you can choose to buy certain parts cheaper such as the case. Instead of getting a prebuilt that has an inflated price because of RGB fans and a glass case, you could save around $200 if you were to choose cheaper parts yourself.

The best part about custom building your own system is that you get to decide which parts you would like to spend or save money on.

How Much Should You Spend On Your First PC

Obviously how much you spend on your first PC is determined firstly by your budget. In my opinion, I think you should save up enough money to purchase a mid-high tier PC that will last you many years.

Every year the games get more graphically intensive and demanding of powerful components. Also GPU prices get more expensive over time. This is why I believe saving up around $650-$1000 for a good PC is the best option.

PCs in the $1000 price range have lasted me many years and consistently perform with new game releases.

The amount that you spend on your first PC is also determined by how much you want to use it. If you work at home or play a lot of PC games, then spending more would be ideal for you compared to not having much time to spend on your PC.

How Much For a PC in 2022?

image credit martin lopez

The prices of graphics cards in 2022 have been somewhat affordable, especially the older graphics cards like the RTX 20 series. Prices of the other components have been steady as well, which means buying a PC in 2022 is not too expensive.

You can get a mid-high tier gaming PC build consisting of an RTX 2060 and an i7 processor with a $1000 budget in 2022.

There have been many computer sales this year and there will continue to be more. So if you are looking to get some componets or a prebuilt system then you should keep an eye out for the next sale.

How To Design Your Own PC Build

A PC is an entire unit and some models of components are not compatible with eachother. This means that you need to make sure each part compliments eachother.

The main components that affect performance will be the CPU and GPU. These are also the most expensive parts of the PC. Once you choose a good CPU and GPU you can’t underestimate the importance of the motherboard, ram, cooling and power supply.

You have many options to upgrade components when designing your dream computer. For example you could opt for liquid cooling compared to air cooling which will add an additional cost to your build.

If you build a computer for pure performance and neglect most of the aesthetic upgades, you could be looking at $1500 minimum to play the most contemporary games at high settings.

However, if you are looking for a PC that is purely for work related tasks you could get away with spending around $600 unless you need to use 3d or design software. if you need to use 3d software such as blender, you are also looking at the same price range around $1500 for fast rendering speeds.

If you really want to keep the budget low and only need to use a basic browser for work, you could spend around $300 for a functional PC that would out perform a laptop at the same price range.

You can choose to either build a PC yourself or purchase a prebuilt one from amazon. Usually building it yourself is cheaper, however you will need to be confident in your ability to fix any technical problems that you may encounter.

The first thing you must do if you are going to build your own computer is to go to pcpartpicker and make sure all of your chosen components are compatible with eachother. This will save you from having to return items.

Keep in mind that these costs are not including the price of a monitor which also can vary in price from $150-$1000 depending on your needs.

You should also consider the next 3-5 years when buying your computer because every year new games will be released that demand higher performance from your PC.

If you want to play the best video games on the best settings and still have high FPS for years to come, I would suggest building your own PC with around a $2000 budget. Doing it yourself will allow you to make the most of that budget.

Avid gamers who save up to buy their dream PC can spend between $3000 and $4000 for a build that will last a decade. However, these expensive builds usually come with $500 or more worth of pure aesthetic upgrades such as RGB, control panels and tempered glass cases.

Costs of Peripherals

image credit alena darmel

You can’t play games on a PC without a monitor, mouse and keyboard. So this is what you can expect to pay for each of these peripherals.

Monitor Cost

Monitors will be your biggest expense when it comes to peripherals, especially if you want to have a display that is smooth and not choppy.

1080p displays are a great budget option and usually come in 60hz with a 24inch screen size. Although these are great for the budget, the low refresh rate is what makes games feel sluggish. These are around $100

If you don’t play games competitively, a 60hz monitor could be great for you.

120hz monitors are the next step up and will provide you with a smoother and more enjoyable experience when gaming. These range from $150-$300

Ultrawide displays are the top end of monitors and cost around $300-$1000. These displays can be 2k or 4k resolution and require a stronger GPU to power them.

Keyboard Cost

Keyboards can be pretty cheap, depending on what type you choose.

Either you can choose a membrane keyboard which is your regular office keyboard that you can pick up for around $5.

Or you can choose a mechanical keyboard which makes gaming feel a lot better, especailly for FPS games, or games like League of Legends.

These mechanical keyboard range anywhere from $30-$300 and most of them come with LED or RGB backlighting.

If you play Valorant, CS:GO or Apex Legends, I recommend getting a cheap mechanical keyboard to help with your movement in game.

Headset Cost

Most gamers opt for an all in one gaming headset rather than a pair of headphones and a separate stand up microphone.

Gaming headsets can cost around $50-$300, where as a separate headphone and mic can cost around $200-$500 in total.

Some good headset brands are: Razer, HyperX, Steelseries, Corsair and Sennheiser.

Noise cancelling and bluetooth headsets cost more money but can be very worth it. Especially if you use your computer in a noisy environment.

Nothing is worse than playing games that require you to depend on audio ques while you are in a noisy environment.

Mouse Cost

You can pick up a regular office mouse for around $5 or you can get a gaming mouse that comes with more features.

Gaming mice cost anywhere from $20-$200.

If you play FPS games, it’s a must that you get a gaming mouse where you can control DPI settings. Otherwise you will have a hard time with aiming because office mice are not meant for gaming.

Premium gaming mice have many features such as RGB lighting, paracord cables, honeycomb shells, faster mouse skates and matte or glossy finishes.

The Glorious model O is a great option that has all of these features in the one mouse for only $50.

Ergonomic mice are very popular for FPS games such as the EC series from Zowie. These are roughly $50.


Should You Buy Prebuilt or Build it Yourself?

Getting a prebuilt system will be faster, safer but more expensive. Doing it yourself will be cheaper, take longer, but give you more customization options.

How long does it take to build a PC?

Building a PC can take 1 day if you understand how to do it correctly, piecing it together can take a few hours, then you have to troubleshoot and setup all the programs again.

Depending on the items you get, it will lengthen the setup time. For example some coolers will require a more advanced setup than just a regular fan.

If you want elite cable management you may take an extra hour or two to do that.

Subpar PC cases will also give you a bunch of problems that you need to work through and that can add extra time.

Also if your PC doesn’t boot up and there is a hardware issue then it can take a day or so to resolve that problem.

With over 12 years of experience with laptops, Grayson Uppington has delved deep into the tech world, always learning and sharing. His top pick is the Lenovo Legion Slim 5, blending performance with style. Formerly a pro gamer in CS:GO, those tournaments sharpened his skills and heightened his appreciation for laptop potential.