A PC is made up of several mandatory as well as optional components. In a pre-built PC, you don’t have to worry about the price of those components singularly. But, you want to build a PC like many of us do. So, how much does it cost to build a PC? To answer that question, I will have to go around the price of each component that a PC consists of. And I’ll do precisely that.
When you buy a pre-built PC, you pay the price for the whole PC, and everything from the price of each component to the labor charge is included in that amount. Whereas, to build a PC, firstly, you have to decide on a configuration that you want to go for. And then, you have to make adjustments to the configuration according to your budget. You know, you might not be able to get everything you want to if you are on a budget. But the good news is that there is the best configuration for all kinds of budgets.
In this article, I’ll lay down different kinds of configurations for you. I will give you all the available options of RAMs, GPUs, CPUs, SSDs, etc. I will give you the approximate cost of each component, without which you cannot build a PC. In the end, the question “How much does it cost to build a PC?” would be answered by you. Does that sound fair?
How Much Does it Cost to Build a PC? Let’s Determine How Much Money You Want to Spend
Even if you are not building a PC for the first time, you should consider certain factors. Only then can you pinpoint a configuration. If you are unclear about your priorities, you may build someone else’s PC. That’d be tragically funny. Also, if you don’t know exactly what you want, you might spend more money than required. So let’s see what determines the money you need to spend.
- The purpose of the computer.
- If it is professional, the kind of task it is going to perform daily.
- If it is going to be a gaming PC, the genre of the games that you are going to play.
The thing is that at this moment, the price of a computer is not easy to determine. A few years back, it was. It is because of the pandemic and the crypto craze that has taken both physical and the digital world by storm.
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So, if you ask how much it costs to build a PC, I won’t be able to answer with a fixed amount. Rather, I can go to each component individually and talk about their uses and prices. You can choose the components according to your requirement and eventually get an idea about the total cost.
There are two types of PCs: Workstation PCs and Gaming PCs. Workstations are meant for productivity, and Gaming PCs are for gaming. It will relatively be a bit tougher for me to break down the price of a workstation because the components for these PCs are unique to each niche. And, if you are living off a computer workstation, you are expected to know how to build one.
Build a Gaming PC | How Much Does it Cost to Build a Gaming PC
With the coming of new-age games and the exponential advancement of computer components, the demand for an advantageous gaming PC among gamers is rampant. If you are a gamer and want to build PCs that can sustain in the competitive gaming environment, I have embroidered this section, especially for you. The cost of building a gaming PC will depend on its components’ prices.
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List of Components Needed to Build a Gaming PC
- Central Processing Unit (CPU)
- Graphics Card (GPU)
- Motherboard (MOBO)
- Random Access Memory (RAM)
- Storage: Solid State Drive (SSD)/Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
- Power Supply Unit (PSU)
- Computer Case
- CPU Cooler
The most expensive components among these are the CPU and the GPU. They are the most important parts of the computer. Every process that the modern computer handles are dependent on the CPU and the GPU. So, you need to be very careful while choosing both of them.
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At the same time, you should also be aware that because of the pandemic and the unprecedented rise in the number of cryptocurrency miners (miners need a lot of graphics cards, so they buy in bulk) in the world, the chips are scarce now. This has led to the inflation of CPU and GPU prices exponentially. The prices that I am going to mention below can vary according to their availability. So, how much does it cost to build a PC? Let’s find out.
1. Central Processing Unit (CPU)
When it comes to the overall purpose of a computer, the CPU is the deciding factor. The CPU performs a whole lot of system processes. Different CPUs are made for different purposes. If you ask how much to build a gaming PC, I’ll tell you that a majority of the amount will go into buying the CPU.
Some CPUs can also perform GPU tasks. The jobs of a GPU that these CPUs can perform are because of what we call an iGPU (Integrated Graphics Card). If you are not into heavy gaming and want the PC just for the purposes of office suit work and surfing the web, you don’t need a CPU without an iGPU. What I mean is that you don’t need a dedicated GPU. A CPU with an iGPU can cost you a minimum of $100. While if you want a playable gaming experience, the cost can go up to $250.
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But as we are talking about gaming PCs here, the CPU that you might be looking for is the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X. It is a lower-range yet fantastic processor. This CPU doesn’t have an integrated graphics card. You will need a dedicated graphics card in tandem with the 5600X for a complete gaming setup.
Some of the other best CPUs for gaming are:
- Intel Core i9-12900K – $585
- Intel Core i7-12700K – $447
- Intel Core i5-11400F – $180
- Intel Core i3-10100F – $73
- AMD Ryzen 3 3200G – $114
- AMD Ryzen TR 3960X – $2025
- AMD Ryzen 9 5950X – $731
- Intel Core i5-10400F – $133
- AMD Ryzen 7 5800X – $260
- AMD Ryzen 3 3100 – $139
Every single one of these is a good CPU for gaming. It’s all up to your choice of games and budget that will determine which one you should go for.
2. Graphics Card (GPU)
The GPU or Graphics Card is undoubtedly the most expensive part of a PC build. If you want to know how much it costs to build a gaming PC, you first need to know how much your graphics card will cost. As mentioned earlier, the current fad of crypto mining and the Covid-19 pandemic has brought in a surge in the prices of graphics cards. So, it can get pretty expensive if you go crazy on the powers.
NVIDIA and Ryzen are making the best graphics cards at this time. There isn’t a reason you should go for other brands if you want a good GPU for your gaming PC. Considering the prices of brand-new graphics cards, you have two options to choose from if you don’t want to pay a premium.
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First option: Buying from a reseller. Even though it is hard to believe, people get GPUs for their real price from resellers. There are individuals in the hardware community who buy these cards in bulk to keep them off the hands of scalpers. Especially the low supply cards. These resellers don’t charge too many extra dollars. You can definitely try this option.
Second option: Going for a lower-end GPU. See, if you don’t play 3D games, you don’t always need a hi-fi graphics card. In that case, you can look out for GPUs in the aftermarket. It will reduce the cost to build a gaming PC to some extent.
GPUs can cost anywhere between $300 to $3500. The best graphics cards in 2023 are:
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 – $725
- AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT – $600
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti – $539
- Nvidia RTX 3070 – $600
- AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT – $700
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti – $990
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 12GB – $525
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 – $1591
So, you must be getting an idea of how much it costs to build a gaming PC.
3. Motherboard (MOBO)
Without the motherboard, no other component in a PC would run. Everything that you need to build a PC is connected through the motherboard. It is the circuit that distributes power among the components of a PC. All the different parts of your PC communicate through the motherboard. So, a significant amount of the PC build cost will also go into the motherboard.
Before buying a motherboard, you must make sure that it is compatible with the other parts that you have chosen. Even though most of the components are universally compatible, the CPU isn’t.
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You may need to update BIOS (which is a simple process) after buying a MOBO. Well, there are motherboards that are compatible and don’t need an update. If you are okay with updating BIOS, you can get a motherboard at a price as low as $125. But, mind you, these motherboards are not everlasting owing to the fact that they don’t support any update after the BIOS update you performed right after buying. If you update the processor in the future, you will have to purchase a new motherboard. The futureproof motherboards can cost somewhere between $200 to $300.
The best motherboards for gaming in 2023 are:
- ASUS TUF Z590-Plus – $180
- Gigabyte X570 AORUS – $170
- ASUS ROG Strix-I – $259
- MSI B550 Tomahawk – $170
- Gigabyte H410M S2H – $188.86
It can be deduced from the prices that how much does it cost to build a gaming PC also depends on the choice of the motherboard (MOBO).
4. Random Access Memory (RAM)
How to measure RAM? Measure it by capacity and speed. Capacity is measured in Gigabytes and speed in MHz. If you don’t know already, the more capacity your RAM has, the more speed you have in running programs, and the more programs you can run. The best RAM configurations are:
- 1 x 8GB = 8GB
- 2 x 8GB = 16GB
- 2 x 16GB = 32GB
- 4 x 8GB = 32GB
- 4 x 16GB = 64GB
16 GB is the ideal capacity of RAM; it never disappoints. If you want to play memory-intensive games like Warzone, Apex, Battlefield, etc, having 32GB is preferable. But it is not exactly essential. 64GB is a flex mostly, notwithstanding, making simultaneous processes super-fast and uninterrupted.
8GB RAM is also acceptable if you are on a tight budget. Moreover, it is possible to add a second stick of 8GB RAM in the future.
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You can find both single and packs of two or four RAMs. The average prices of these are:
- 1 x 8GB: $35
- 2 x 8GB: $65 – $80
- 1 x 16GB: $65
- 2 x 16GB: $120 – $150
- 4 x 8GB: $160
- 4 x 16GB: $275
Although it costs higher, 4-pack RAM delivers a higher clock speed. Random Access Memory (RAM) for gaming can be divided into three segments; RGB Memory Kits, DDR4 RAM, and DDR3 RAM.
The best RGB memory kits in 2023 are:
The best DDR4 RAM in 2023 are:
The best DDR3 RAM in 2023 are:
- Patriot Viper 3
- Crucial Ballistix Sport
- Kingston HyperX FURY
- Patriot Signature
- Corsair Vengeance Pro
So, how much does it cost to build a PC also depends on what RAM you choose.
5. Storage: Solid State Drive (SSD)/Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
Although Solid State Drives and Hard Disk Drives perform the same tasks, they work differently. They both store data, including the Operating System of a PC. The SSD stores data electronically, and the HDD stores data mechanically.
SSDs are more expensive than HDDs with a lot more storage capacity. The reasons are many. They are firstly faster, and secondly more reliable. It’s a quality over quantity issue. However, the prices of high-storage SSDs are coming down. You should definitely include one while building a PC in 2023. Since the SSD is faster, having your OS installed on an SSD is beneficial in terms of load times. Similarly, installing games on SSD is the smarter choice if you want speed and reliability while playing.
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You can connect both SSD and HDD in a single build, as most of the motherboards allow. It is the smarter thing to do when it is about storage. Install heavy-duty software on the SSD and store other data on the HDD.
Seagate BarraCuda is a hot favorite SSD in recent times. And the most bought is the 2TB model, which costs $50 on Amazon. The 4TB and 8TB models cost $75 and $150, respectively. There are also 1TB, 500GB, and 120GB options available in the market. I’d recommend you to go for at least 1TB.
There are other brands that are sprouting in recent times with cheaper SSDs and are allegedly lowering the write speeds to be able to offer that price. Research the brands you are choosing to buy and consider spending a bit more money for the sake of reliability and standard. You can also leave out an SSD and go ahead with an HDD if you are on a budget. You can also include an SSD later.
Depending on what kind of storage you choose to go for, you can end up spending somewhere between $50 and $450.
The best SSDs for gaming in 2023 are:
- Samsung 970 PRO
- Samsung 970 EVO
- WD Black
- Samsung 860 EVO 2TB
- SanDisk Ultra 2TB
- Crucial MX500 2TB
- ADATA Su800 2TB
- Samsung 860 PRO 1TB
- Samsung 860 EVO 1TB
- Crucial MX500 1TB
- Samsung 860 Pro 500GB
- Crucial MX500 500GB
- Samsung 860 EVO 500GB
- PNY CS1311 120GB
- SanDisk Plus 120GB
- Kingston A400 120GB
The best HDDs for gaming in 2023 are:
- WD Black 4TB
- Seagate Barracuda Pro
- Seagate FireCuda SSHD
- WD Black 1TB
- Seagate Barracuda 1TB
- WD Blue 1TB
Believe me, you are nearing the answer to “How much does it cost to build a PC?”
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6. Power Supply Unit (PSU)
The size of the power supply you need will decide what PSU you buy. Generally, 650-750 Watts is what I recommend. If you want to make your life easier and got some extra cash to spend, buy a modular PSU. Modular PSUs don’t have excessive cables. You can detach the cables that you are not going to use in your computer case and save a lot of space.
A PSU will cost you around $60 – $150. The wattage and efficiency will decide the cost. The best power supply units for 2023 are:
- EVGA SuperNOVA 1600 T2
- Corsair AX1600i
- Seasonic SSR-1200PD
- EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 T2
- Corsair RM1000x
- EVGA SuperNOVA 850 T2
- Corsair AX860
- SeaSonic X-850
- EVGA SuperNOVA 750 P2
- Corsair RM750x
- SeaSonic FOCUS 750
- Corsair CX650M
- EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G3
- EVGA 600 BR
- Corsair CX550M
- SeaSonic S12III 550
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7. Computer Case
Gaming PC build cost is not something that can be directed about so easily. The choice of components can vary from person to person, purpose to purpose. And the options are manifold. A computer case is one such component that can cost you from as low as $50 to as high as $200.
Choosing the right computer case is extremely important. If you have chosen all the right ingredients for the special dish and then chose the wrong pot, you will not be able to yield the best results. Your case needs to be able to host all the parts of your system. Cases come in various shapes and sizes.
Again, some cases are better than others in the field of keeping your system cool. And, the better the airflow, the better the life of the components, and the more expensive the cases are.
The best computer cases in 2023 are:
- Dark Base Pro 900 – $280
- Fractal Meshify 2 – $165
- NZXT H210i – $110
- Corsair 4000D – $95
- MasterBox MB600L – $80
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8. CPU Cooler
There are two types of CPU coolers: Air coolers and All-in-One (AIO) coolers. Some CPUs come with air cooling technology, so, depending on what cabinet or PC case you use, your CPU may be enough of its own.
AIOs can cost anything between $80 and $200. Air coolers will be charged between $40 to $100 approximately.
The best CPU coolers in 2023 are:
9. Case Fans
Many computer cases come with multiple fans, and some don’t. So, buying case fans will depend on what case you have chosen. Different cases can home different-sized fans and different numbers of fans. The prices vary accordingly.
Cheap case fans (120mm) can cost you as low as $10. 144mm fans cost somewhere around $20.
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To play games, you’ll need a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and audio output (speakers or headset). The performance of these peripherals varies dramatically. And in the age of competitive gaming and e-sports, everyone wants to have the coolest and the most efficient peripherals.
Monitors, among the peripherals, are the most pricey. You can buy a monitor for $100 or for thousands of dollars. The choice and ambition are yours. The others (keyboard, mouse, headset) can cost you up to $300.
The best gaming monitors (2023):
- Samsung Odyssey G7 – $651
- Acer Nitro XV272U – $258
- MSI Oculux NXG253R – $749
- Acer Predator XB273K – $1056
- LG 38GL950G-B – $1917
- ASUS VG278QR – $204
The best gaming headsets (2023):
- Beyerdynamic MMX300 – $249
- Razer BlackShark V2 – $80
- SteelSeries Arctis Pro – $349
- SteelSeries Arctis 5 – $99
- Logitech G430 – $89
Keyboard and mouse combos for gaming in 2023:
- Corsair Gaming K55
- ASUS Cerberus
- MOTOSPEED CK888
- Redragon K552-BB
- Cooler Master MasterSet MS120
- Cooler Master Devastator 3
- Redragon S101
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Gaming PC | Example Gaming PC Build
For an entry-level gaming PC, we went for this configuration:
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
- MOBO: ASUS A320M
- RAM: Patriot Signature 8GB
- SSD: PNY 240GB
- CASE: AeroCool Cylon
- PSU: EVGA 500W
- ODD: Install O.S. from the USB
- OS: Windows
So, how much does it cost to build a PC of this configuration? The cost of this configuration was $300 at the time of assembling. This is just a basic gaming PC. I have built gaming PCs worth $1500.
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Build a Non-Gaming PC | How Much Does it Cost to Build a PC For Work
If you want to know how much does it cost to build a PC for work and not gaming, this is the section you should focus on.
List of Components Needed to Build a Non-Gaming PC
- Processor [CPU]
- Graphics Card (if there is no integrated graphics) [GPU]
- Random Access Memory [RAM]
- Storage Device
- Power Supply Unit [PSU]
- Operating System [OS]
- Input devices like Mouse and Keyboard
Building a Non-Gaming PC
In this section, I will talk about building two types of PCs. One would be general-purpose or entry-level computers, and the second would be creative or mid-grade computers.
Build General-Purpose or Entry-Level Computers ($500 approximately)
Entry-level computers are those computers that you can use for day-to-day tasks. To do day-to-day tasks, you don’t need very high-end components. Yet, you want components that can deliver a seamless working experience.
So, let’s build an entry-level non-gaming PC. What we want from our PC are durability and comfort. Everything else, such as web browsing and office suite work, can be performed by tabs too. I will not go into details about every component because it is reasonably easy to configure an entry-level PC. So here are the pieces we would put together to build a general-purpose or entry-level PC:
- Gigabyte B450 AUROS Pro WIFI motherboard.
- Ryzen 5 5600G 6-core CPU with Vega graphics.
- Adata 16GB DDR4 XPG Z1 kit
- ADATA SU635 240GB 3D-NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD
- Metallic Gear Neo Silent ATM Mid Tower Case
- EVGA W3 450 W 80+ PSU
This configuration is sufficient if you want to perform general computing tasks. It is also a great configuration if you are a student and have to use a PC for assignments, projects, and any kind of Microsoft Office work. You can also play games at lower resolution settings at 1080p or 720p.
If you want to save a few bucks, you can go for lower RAM; an 8GB RAM. You can also choose a cheaper AMD CPU that has integrated graphics. Just make sure that the drop in performance and the price reduction are justifiable.
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Build Creative or Mid-Grade Computers ($1500 approximately)
When you need a PC for serious use, you need significantly more money. That’s the hard truth. And in that case, you need to have ways to make enough money utilizing the system. You need to be able to make enough money to make a livelihood with that computer. So how much does it cost to build a PC for professional work?
Although building a creative PC is way more expensive than building an entry-level PC, you don’t have to spend money on gaming components like RGB lighting. Alright, for a PC to be able to perform heavy editing or production-related tasks, you need as many cores as possible within budget. You need a good amount of RAM, copious mass storage, an average GPU, and undoubtedly fast primary storage. Let me give you an example of a mid-grade PC configuration:
- Asus Prime Z690-P WIFI D4 motherboard.
- 10-core Intel i5-12600KF with Cooler Master Hyper 212 Cooler.
- Crucial Ballistix 32GB DDR4-3200 kit.
- Western Digital Blue 6TB mechanical hard drive.
- Samsung EVO 980 Pro 1TB SSD.
- Asus GeForce RTX 3050 8GB GPU.
- Seasonic S21III 500W PSU.
- Gigabyte C200 Glass Mid Tower Case.
Be it 3D modeling, video editing, or data analysis, the above-mentioned PC can handle all sorts of heavy professional workloads. The motherboard is the OG here. It is a Z690 chipset motherboard with expansion options. The Asus Prime Z690-P WIFI D4 motherboard has three M.2 slots, two 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 4 SATA ports, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, many PCIe ports, and up to 15 USB ports for different types. You are sorted for at least another 5 years. Future expansions will also be as easy as a piece of cake.
The Alder Lake Core i5 CPU has multiple cores (high-performance and high-efficiency cores). So, you can also turn it into a gaming PC if you wish to. The GPU (RTX 3050) is not perfect for gaming but is more than sufficient for accelerating video editing tasks. It also has an inbuilt ML (Machine Learning) accelerator.
So, how much does it cost to build a PC? OR, how much does it cost to build a gaming PC? These questions are tough to answer. There isn’t a specific answer. Also, it is not a very cheap affair which I can tell you. A pre-built PC can be way cheaper than an assembled PC because you don’t get to choose the components.
In the case of a pre-built PC, the components can be old too. It is always recommended to go for building a PC. You can go through all the sections of this article, choose the parts you want to put in your PC as per its purpose, and calculate the whole thing. That is how much it costs to build a PC. With this, I’d like to bid adieu. Until next time, Ciao!