Like many PC owners, you might fancy turning your old office rig into a gaming machine. PC gaming is arguably the most expansive, accessible, and enjoyable way to play video games. With the full power of a PC, you can typically enjoy a mix of performance and visuals that consoles need to compromise on. While most console games, for example, give you a choice of 4K visuals or 60-plus frames per second, PC gamers do not have to make that choice. The difference? Consoles cost much less than gaming PCs. What are we talking about here in terms of cost? How much is a gaming setup?
Sadly, the answer varies massively on how you go about building your gaming setup. For example, you can turn to a premium gaming PC company such as Alienware and have something built for you directly. Or, you can source the parts yourself, build the thing on your own, and have your own in-house edition. It really depends on three things. Ask yourself the following questions:
· How much money do you have available to spend on a gaming setup?
· Who are you buying for? Is it for yourself, or is the gaming setup for someone else?
· What kind of games do you intend to play on that gaming rig you are buying/building?
· Where are you going to be playing from? Will you have a desk or a larger space?
· What kind of skill do you have when it comes to assembling a gaming PC?If you can have a clear answer to the above questions, then it does become a bit easier to build a clear plan of action. If you want to know how much a gaming setup is, though, the price will vary depending on what you have mentioned above. Let’s take a look to try and better understand what you might have to shell out for a gaming rig.
- Building a rig for yourself
- Buying a pre-built gaming setup
- Which option is best for you?
- The answer is the one that is most suitable for you, but you should expect to be paying anything from $1,000 and well beyond if you want a comprehensive gaming setup. Whether self-built or ordered from an expert, prepare to pay for what you are investing in. For gamers looking for the best experience, though, the price is almost always worth it.
Building a rig for yourself
The most common choice for the budget-friendly is to build a rig for yourself. This costs less because you can source the parts for cheaper elsewhere. You can look for deals, discounts, and promotions. It works out better in many ways because you have full control over what you are going to be buying. Also, your rig will be scalable because it will be easily opened back up and parts swapped without having to worry about the warranty.
However, please note that building your own PC has a few issues:
· For one, you need to have the skills needed actually to install each part that you buy
· You also need to have the PC knowledge to buy every single part that you will need
· You should also have an understanding of part types, brands, and who you can trust
· There will also likely be added costs for things like peripherals, monitors, and other add-ons
· It is likely that if something goes wrong, you need to troubleshoot the issue on your own
· You will need to source software and buy things like the Windows/your operating system
These are very important points and something that most people will not factor in. If your self-built rig fails, you are likely to have to chase up warranty and returns on individual parts. It also means trial and error until you find the culprit. At the same time, all it takes is one mistake, and you could be looking at a pretty expensive error. If you install something wrong or cause damage, you could find it hard to get your money back in a refund.
Naturally, then, you need to be pretty skilled to do this. Wondering how much a gaming setup is if you build it yourself? You could probably find anything in the region of $1,000 for a basic gaming PC and $2,000 plus for something that can start to run games at 1440p to 4K whilst being relatively future-proofed.
You also need to factor in the current market; many PC parts cost more today than they did even a year or two ago. Supply and demand have gone crazy, and you could find yourself paying hundreds of pounds over the RRP of graphics cards and the like.
Buying a pre-built gaming setup
The other option is to simply go down the route of buying a pre-built rig from a reputable company. Many firms exist out there, with the aforementioned Alienware probably being among the most recognisable. For the added price, you can find that you get a PC that simply works out of the box. It will come with Windows pre-installed or another OS, and it will have all of the best hardware in your price range. As such, for many, this is the ‘easy’ choice.
You do, though, pay for the convenience factor. You will often find that each part is more expensive when bought as one big package like this as opposed to sourcing it all for yourself. You also have a double-edged sword with regard to support. If something goes wrong, you can ship the PC back to the builder and let them fix the problem – albeit likely for a price. You can also have them upgrade and improve your machine for you – again, at a higher cost.
The problem is that you are highly unlikely to be able to open up the PC to make changes yourself. Naturally, that is a problem that limits the potential of your own development. In fact, many manufacturers will not even fit parts that you source on your behalf.
That being said, many people are finding that the incredible cost of parts like GPUs means that self-buying parts are highly expensive anyway. You might find it easier to buy everything in one slot, and with prices so artificially spiked at the moment, you might actually not pay too high of a premium.
Pre-built PCs, though, arrive with no technical issues, are ready to be used from day one, and come with everything you need, including monitors/TVs, peripherals, and more. Like anything that packages all of the parts that you desire into one place, though, you pay for the privilege of speed, convenience, and expertise.
The cost of a pre-built gaming set, then, will likely cost you at least $2,000 for something worthwhile. Your starting price will be around $1,000, but even a mid-tier gaming rig can cost you in excess of $2,500. Pre-assembled kits can easily hit $4,000 and beyond, so it really just depends on your budget. The more you pay now, the less you will likely pay in the future to upgrade and improve parts.
Which option is best for you?
There is no right or wrong answer. You need to revise the questions we posed at the start, look at your budget, and evaluate your options. If you are PC fluent and think you can source and build a PC from scratch, it is almost always cheaper. You also have control over scalability and upgrades, at the cost of having to self-troubleshoot any problems that arise.
Pre-built gaming setups are easier to use, simpler to work with, and generally more convenient for non-experts. And with the rising cost of parts, the difference in cost is not as stark as it once was.