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How much does a gaming setup cost

How much does a gaming setup cost


A high-end gaming PC will cost you well over $1000 dollars if you need top-end processing power and want to splurge on luxuries like liquid cooling. But you can build a good gaming PC for less than $1,000 that can handle most modern games at medium settings.

How do you find out how much a gaming PC will cost you? Step one is determining how much money you have to spend and what kind of performance you expect from the system. Based on those guidelines, you can begin buying parts and putting everything together.

We’ll cover some common questions about the cost of building a gaming PC along, compare the pros and cons of building your own vs. buying a prebuilt gaming PC, and throw in some pointers on buying parts for a custom build. Here's our guide — take it away! 🙂

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How do you find out how much a gaming PC will cost you?

Step one is determining how much money you have to spend and what kind of performance you expect from the system.

Based on those guidelines, you can begin buying parts and putting everything together. We’ll cover some common questions about the cost of building a gaming PC along, compare the pros and cons of building your own vs.

Buying a prebuilt gaming PC, and throw in some pointers on buying parts for a custom build. ...Read More...

The starting price for “Budget PC” is what you can expect to pay for decent quality budget gaming PC parts, just with less features.

The upper side of the price on “Budget PC” is beginning to exit “budget” territory and approach more enthusiast-grade pricing.

The starting price for “High-End PC” should be enough to buy an average mid-range gaming PC with more than just “budget” features.

The upper price for “High-End PC” is starting to exceed the point where you would be buying parts based on value (price doesn’t matter).


Although there are some great micro ATX (mATX) motherboards available for less than $100, full-size ATX boards that are worth buying tend to start around $100, while $150 or $200 buys extra features such as more ports and better onboard chips.

The board that you buy should ideally have at least one slot for a PCIe x16 graphics card and one slot for M.2 storage slots which will allow it connect through most PCI Express 3 connector types but still provide ample space above them when plugging in components into 2 external 4.0 drive bays.

Note: While this does make sense if your system supports SATA III interface cards like NVMe SSDs from Western Digital, these devices cannot use any dedicated port(es), so they usually require another motherboard's support software before accessing two USB connectors - One via SODIMMs instead (~$30 USD total depending upon model)).

However note that although mATO means "multi-purpose", I personally prefer using its term because multi purpose/dual loop audio hardware actually allow

 Read our full guide on how to choose a motherboard to learn more about selecting what might be the most crucial part of your gaming PC. Or if all this motherboard talk is already overwhelming you, choose from our curated list of the best motherboard CPU combos.


Some games like Civilization benefit from more general compute power for the number of different characters and all the calculations going on, but having lots of graphics power tends to be more important for playing PC games. If necessary, skew your budget toward a better GPU than CPU.

Budget CPUs in the $100-$150 price range should suffice for most gaming PCs. Few gamers would benefit from buying processor models beyond the $200-$300 enthusiast-grade chips. Some mid-range offerings can handle some heavy computer science tasks while others are ideal for complex scientific/physics simulations. 


Choosing a processor that comes bundled with a heatsink will save you money on an aftermarket cooler, which becomes more worthwhile to buy as you scale up in processing power. We have a full guide on aftermarket coolers if you aren’t sure whether your new build should have air or liquid cooling.

Upgrading to a decent aftermarket air cooler will cost somewhere around $30 to $60, while premium air coolers and all-in-one liquid coolers are likely to set you back somewhere around $100 to $200.

Many of these upgrades would be unnecessary for budget builders like us who don't need custom brackets but instead prefer high quality fans made by Cooler Master.

As we go higher tiers into the past year, most people no longer carry AirBoil heat sink mounts (the stock mount isnʼt bad), so consider it well worth upgrading just before buying another one: If you're getting close yet again…you better hurry!

Some products offer free returns within 30 days once they get replaced / repaired, some may require purchasing replacement parts from resellers depending upon their availability at checkout – check product pages carefully beforehand : They could sell broken hardware

If you have less than $100 to spend on a GPU, sometimes you can save a few bucks buying used on sites like eBay, while super budget builds should consider integrated graphics.


How much your RAM will cost depends on how much memory you want. Although you could certainly build a budget gaming PC with 8GB of RAM, 16GB has become the standard recommended capacity. 32GB may be overkill for most people now but is “future proof” if you plan to keep the system for a few years.

Buy RAM that will tap your motherboard’s fastest supported speeds. Avoid fancy heat spreaders and RGB lighting if budget is a priority. If your motherboard has four RAM slots, buying a kit with two 8GB modules will put you at the 16GB sweet spot and leave two slots empty for 32GB later.

Running single-channel RAM comes with a slight performance impact in games. It's better not set it up optimally when first starting out as then after some time (a year or more), newer systems are going down faster since they're no longer able add new information during each generation.

At certain configurations where higher video card timings make high resolution shaders possible without scaling from old cards, doubling CPU frequencies helps maintain framerate smoothness throughout all scenes – which also makes game loading times noticeably shorter even though only one pass through scene creation occurs every 1 second.

Double channel setup gets around this issue by removing an extra 2MHz/sec off clock bandwidth per module rather forcing use additional cache paths via L2 caches instead

Most motherboard manufacturers provide a “Qualified Vendor List” (QVL) that lists specific RAM modules known to be compatible with that board, though you shouldn’t typically have to check this if you’re buying RAM in the right format and speed for your board. Total incompatibility is less likely than your RAM running at a lower than desired frequency, though this shouldn’t matter much for budget builds.


Budget builders may only want to buy one drive, and that drive should be a decent capacity M.2 SSD, or a 2.5″ SATA SSD if your motherboard lacks an M.2 slot (bummer). That drive should have enough space for Windows and everything you plan to install on the machine, including your games.

You'll probably need some more room where PC makers can put external storage devices unless you're planning around 4K monitors from vendors such as ASUS or MSI (which aren't available here), but make sure those won&t break when installing anything higher than 8 GB of ram; 7Gbps hard drives are really capable of handling them well even over their 3DMark score ranges without any hiccups along these lines—you get all types!

If there's something important installed it will also often require extra expansion slots provided by chipmakers rather then having to do so yourself: Intel currently provides four full-size "Powered by" PCI Express

 Assuming you have Windows installed on an M.2 SSD and need more space, 2.5″ SATA SSDs are great for storing games that you are actively playing, while 3.5″ hard drives are ideal for cheap bulk storage on media files and games that you aren’t playing or that aren’t load-heavy. You may have storage drives from an old PC that would be great for this.


Budget-conscious builders should find a case that comes with all the fans you’ll need (probably at least one on intake and one on exhaust) so you don’t have to buy them separately.

Most cases will support the various hardware standards for motherboards, so you mostly just have to make sure the other components you buy have the proper clearance. For instance, your graphics card might block your drive cages.

There are exceptions, but cases bundled with a power supply usually aren’t worth buying (the PSU is typically poor quality). If you know that one of these bundles has a good PSU built into it then we recommend going ahead with it before even thinking about purchasing another package full – since if anything goes wrong they could cost money! Also check out our recommendations below: PSU Recommendations

Decent quality cases begin around $30 to $50, while premium models go for upwards of $150. Higher-end cases generally have cable management features, dust filters, RGB lighting, glass panels, sound insulation, and refined aesthetics.

Recommended reading: The 15 Most Unique PC Cases You Can Buy in 2021


Unless there’s a good deal around, a reliable power supply will probably cost somewhere between $50 and $100, with units that are modular or higher wattage costing upwards of $150.

You only need enough total wattage to power everything in your system (plus a little bit to be safe). New system builders commonly waste money buying excess power capacity.

At peak load, a budget gaming PC is unlikely to require a PSU capable of delivering more than 500 watts.

Perhaps more important than the overall wattage rating on budget PSUs is ensuring that the one you buy can deliver enough amps on the +12v rail for your GPU.

This varies from case manufacturer individually as well; some top brands ship their GPUs close by using an ATX 8pin connector instead—but it's not uncommon for gamers to swap cards out based upon available room space at home. Some compact devices like high end laptops may also use nonstandard connectors such just 3.5mm plugs used elsewhere inside larger PCs.

Finally we've seen new consoles often run into problems when they're attached off the wall due too much weight beneath them–especially since most old hard drive mounts fit this way under any desk surface once bolted closed.


If you only have around $100 or $200 to spare for a gaming monitor, consider a 1080p monitor with a refresh rate of 75/76Hz or 144Hz if that’s within budget.

Beyond that, you start approaching larger display sizes, higher resolutions, faster refresh rates, and premium IPS panels. The latter is typically more expensive due the lower quality they require (even when used in high-end laptops).

You'll be fine moving forward as long your graphics card has enough power supply so those costs are less significant even compared through cost comparison sites like Newegg.

If you want an additional PC then go back to 1440p resolution but try to stay below 860ppi which will allow sharper images & at least give decent screen reflectance across most materials such color screens vs TN Film technology + glossy glass displays - these tend not scale well yet though; keep watching TV news stories on new consumer products! In this way there's no reason why monitor

For high-end builds with more resources to spare, a 1440p 144Hz or 165Hz IPS monitor is maybe the best all-around display you can buy unless you need a 244Hz refresh rate or some other specification that favors TN panels.

Recommended reading: 60Hz vs. 144Hz and Beyond: Why High Refresh Rates Are Worth It


You can play games with any keyboard and there’s nothing particularly wrong with standard membrane keyboards that you can buy for $10 or $20. More expensive keyboards will include features such as macro and media keys, backlit keys, and mechanical switches.

Basic mechanical keyboards are now available for $50 or less and unless you really know what you’re buying and why, the value drop-off for prebuilt mechanical keyboards is probably around $150-$200.

If you want something built very well but not quite up–to‐the‑level of an MSI gaming laptop's offerings, consider one like this Kinesis Mechanical Gaming Keyboard from Cherry MX Blue ($300).

The keycaps have been redesigned specifically so you get your full RGB setup in real life playing those popular top video games—just no ghosting!

A few things about the lighting on these controllers; they aren't color blind compatible due their design (they're only supposed be used at certain brightness levels) though others use dimmer lights which may require redirection into different programs depending upon how far down the list the game has gone by then.

The world of DIY mechanical keyboards is too much to get into for this article, but check out our “Mechanical Keyboards” tab in our gallery for an idea of how crazy (and expensive) these typing instruments can get.


Budget gaming mice tend to either have lots of features with cheap build quality, or fewer features with better build quality. You can technically play games with any mouse, though having more buttons can help a lot and most $10 mice don’t have many.

Budget gaming mice from brands like Logitech start around $30 or $40 and they are worth buying for a gaming PC.

If not for ergonomics, DPI settings, and software customization, then again, because you’ll have more buttons for gaming. These range all the way up between about $200–$600 without touchscreens included.

They also come standard on almost every other model; keyboard accessories even include them if available!

Check your individual manufacturer's sites carefully as some will actually list their own price points after checking back at least twice per year so it might be hard initially knowing what each company does when selecting certain components—depending upon which parts may affect results.

Just know that there usually isn't anything special going forward beyond hardware specs such as USB support only comes once where customizations areníre optional.

*Note: When shopping I generally use my favorite brand first place based off its reputatio


The motherboard that you buy will surely have onboard audio processing, so if you already have a pair of headphones or speakers, or if you buy a monitor with integrated speakers (not recommended), then you’ll be able to hear sound from your new gaming PC.

Integrated audio has improved over the years. However, you’ll usually pay extra for a monitor that has speakers built-in (maybe $10 more), while buying speakers separately for say $20 will result in much greater sound.

Upgrading from your motherboard’s onboard audio to a dedicated sound card is probably only worthwhile if you have great speakers or headphones.

And even when an all-around amazing system like this one does come along, there may be issues which would make upgrading it undesirable at best.

If such things are involved ‒ and I'm not saying they aren't–then going after superior build quality isn't worth throwing away money on software upgrades just because some games do never better hardware now.


Unless you’re playing the most demanding games around and/or care deeply about aesthetic features like RGB lighting, you can probably expect to spend somewhere approaching $1,000 for more affordable builds (especially after shipping and sales tax) and upwards of $1,500 on builds with more relaxed budgets.

Spending less than $1,000 is certainly feasible for mid-range performance if you budget accordingly.

When compared against other popular CPUs in this price range - those that cost between ~$300-$400 CAD without overclocking included - we've come up fairly short as a comparison point;

It's not easy finding great new custom PC components available nowadays because people tend towards overzealous consumerism when buying computer parts rather then investing into serious hardware investment..

Which means today being able "get" something cheaper will be one way which someone might finally get their hands dirty creating cool looking workstations or gaming systems from scratch!

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