You’ve decided to jump into PC gaming. Great! All you need now is a gaming PC that will run your favorite games.
But, how much do you need to spend in order to have a decent in-game experience?
How much is a good gaming PC?
In this short guide, we’ve broken down the different factors you need to consider if you’re wondering how much you should spend on a new gaming computer.
Average Cost of A Good Gaming PC
For 1080P gaming, the average cost of a good prebuilt gaming computer will be around ~$800. However, if you’re willing to build your own computer, you’ll need to spend ~$600 on components.
If you need a full set of peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse, headset/speakers), you can expect to add ~$200 to your budget
So, in total, the average cost to get a solid 1080P gaming experience will be ~$800 if you build your own system and $1,000 if you go the prebuilt route.
How Do You Plan on Using Your Gaming PC?
How much you need to spend on your gaming PC will depend on what you will be using it for; and, more specifically, what kind of games you will be playing on it.
If you mainly play non-demanding games like League of Legends, Minecraft, or Roblox, the amount you’ll need to spend in order to get a gaming PC that will meet your needs is going to be significantly lower. This $500 gaming PC build will handle those games with no problems.
If you want to play more demanding games (like Starfield, Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider, etc.) on a 1080P monitor, you’ll have to spend more. Something like this $1,000 PC build or these budget prebuilt gaming PCs should do the trick.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to max out today’s top titles on a 4K monitor with a high refresh rate, you will be looking at spending multiple thousands of dollars. The best GPU available right now (an RTX 4090) will run you close to ~$2,000 on its own.
Are You Willing to Build Your Own PC?
As mentioned above, you can save a good amount of money if you’re willing to build your own PC.
Prebuilt computers are a fine option if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of choosing compatible parts and assembling your own system. However, they do come with a small markup. That small markup means less performance for the amount you have to spend.
The good news is that building a PC isn’t as difficult as you’d imagine. So, that’s why many budget gamers opt to build their own system rather than buy a prebuilt option.
You get more performance for your money.
Learn How to Build Your Own PC
- Step-By-Step PC Building Guide
- How Much Does it Cost to Build A Gaming PC
- Parts Need to Build A Gaming PC
What Peripherals Do You Need?
For those of you that are jumping into PC gaming for the first time, you may need to get a new monitor, keyboard, and mouse (and possibly a headset or speakers) to go along with a new gaming desktop.
If this is the case, your cost for getting into PC gaming is going to be significantly higher.
At a minimum, you will need to spend ~$200 in peripherals:
- ~$100-150 on a budget 1080P monitor
- ~$20-$30 on a budget gaming mouse
- ~$30-$40 on a budget gaming keyboard
- ~$30-$40 on a budget headset
This means that if you had a total budget of ~$800, you’re going to have to settle for a gaming PC that is ~$600.
If you’re willing to build a gaming PC, a $600 PC build would actually serve you well for 1080P gaming.
However, if you’re not inclined to build your own system, you’ll be forced to choose a $600 prebuilt gaming PC. And, the dropoff in performance from an $800 prebuilt gaming PC to a $600 prebuilt gaming PC is going to fairly significant.
Budget Peripherals Buyer Guides
How Much Should You Spend on A Gaming PC?
The reality is that the amount you should spend on a gaming PC is going to come down to what you need.
As mentioned in the article above, someone who is mainly playing Minecraft isn’t going to have to spend as much on their gaming PC as someone who is trying to max out Starfield on a 4K monitor (good luck.)
In general, though, if you have ~$800-$1,000 to spend on a new gaming PC, you will be able to land something powerful enough to max out most games on a 1080P monitor.