If you’re on the hunt for a new computer or want to upgrade your current one, building your computer is an option. However, before you dive in, it’s essential to understand the various costs associated with this process.
Building your computer can range from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars. The most crucial factor in determining the cost of building your computer is the type of computer you want to build.
Building your computer is a great way to save money on your purchase and ensure you get the best possible device for your needs. The more features and powerful components your computer have, the more expensive it will be.
This article explains how much it costs to build your computer, what types of components will work best for your needs, and whether it is worthwhile.
What Do You Need To Build Your Computer?
Building your computer is not as difficult as you might think.
In fact, with a few basic supplies and some simple instructions, you can build a computer that is just as powerful and efficient as any that you could purchase from a store.
Listed below are the components and parts you’d need to build your PC and their ballpark average costs.
The processor is the heart of your computer. It helps the computer do its job and affects how fast your computer can run. The more powerful the processor, the better your computer will perform tasks.
Processors vary in price from $125-200 for the low-end ones, $250-450 for the mid-range CPUs, and upwards of $500 for the high-end chipsets from Intel and AMD.
The high-end processors are generally more powerful and run faster but also cost more. You don’t need a high-end processor to build a great computer, but a low-end processor won’t give you the performance you need for gaming or other intensive tasks.
Motherboards are the central component of a computer, and they control all the other hardware. You will need to find a motherboard that fits your budget with the needed features. They can be expensive, so finding the right one for your computer is crucial.
Budget motherboards from Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, etc., cost between $70 and $130, midrange ones are between $150-$180, and high-end ones are over $200.
A good motherboard will have at least 4 RAM slots, 2 SATA ports, 8 USB ports, and a PCI-E slot for graphics cards. Also, ensure it’s compatible with your processor and has features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Graphics cards are essential for serious gaming and other high-intensity graphical tasks but are not necessary for most purposes. Integrated graphics in most computers are more than enough for most users.
In the case of a low-to-midrange Nvidia GPU such as GTX 1650, 1660, or even RTX 2060 or 3060, you are looking at about $200-350, while for the high-end ones, such as RTX 3080, 3090, or even AMD GPUs, you’re looking at something between $600 and $1600.
If you want to play the newest games, you may want to consider buying a graphics card, but for most people performing basic tasks, an integrated one will do just fine.
RAM (random access memory) is important for your computer because it helps speed up its overall performance. More RAM means the computer can hold more tasks simultaneously, making it faster.
DDR4 memory sticks of 4GB cost between $15-$25, 8GB sticks cost between $30-$50, and 16GB sticks cost between $60-$100.
The amount of RAM you need depends on the type of computer you’re using. You can buy computers with more or less RAM, but the average computer nowadays needs at least 8GB of RAM.
A hard drive is the primary storage device on a computer. The downside is that hard drives are slower than SSDs when transferring data. An SSD is similar to a hard drive but has much faster speeds.
Depending on the model, hard drives with 1TB capacity will cost $60 to $100, and SSDs will cost $50-$60 for the 500GB 2.5″ SATA and $120-$140 for the 1TB variant.
When choosing a disk storage device, consider your needs and budget. If you need enough space for essential files such as photos, music, and videos, a 1TB hard drive will work fine.
Make sure to calculate how much power your specific hardware requirements will need before shopping for a power supply. You can save money by buying an off-brand power supply, but you may end up with a weaker unit that won’t last as long.
450W 80+ Bronze power supplies cost $60-80, 650W 80+ Gold power supplies are $100-130, and 1000W 80+ Gold power supplies cost $140-160.
Generally, power supplies for gaming PCs are in the 500-1000W range, while for basic desktops with not a lot of power usage, 350-450W will suffice.
Cooling Solution and Case
A PC case houses your computer’s motherboard, CPU, RAM, graphics cards, and other internal components. Make sure the case has plenty of ventilation and comes with mounting provisions for fan controllers and other hardware.
Basic PC cases start at $20, and the flashier ones with tempered glass and RGB lighting can cost $150-$200. Similarly, cooling fans can range anywhere from $10 to $30.
Another critical aspect of building your computer is selecting the right cooling solution. Regarding your budget, you can use cooling fans or liquid cooling.
Once you have all of the necessary parts, it’s time to start assembling the machine! We’ve outlined the components that make up a PC and given you an estimate of what each one might cost you.
Remember that prices vary greatly depending on your chosen specs, so it’s essential to do your homework before starting any PC building project.