It’s certainly convenient to buy a complete and packaged personal computer (PC) from the store so you can just set it up and start playing. However, there are benefits to building your own PC — such as the ability to completely customize components to accommodate your needs. A custom-built PC can also be cheaper than a store-bought one because you can switch between multiple suppliers depending on the price or availability. But because of the vast options available, you might be a little overwhelmed and not know exactly what your budget should look like. To help, we’ve divided PC builds into three main categories below according to how much you can expect to spend on them:
A budget build is anything under $700. That may seem impossible during the pandemic, at a time when chip shortages, and scalpers and cryptocurrency miners have caused a spike in GPU prices. However, 2022 will see an abundance in entry-level GPUs — namely AMD’s Radeon RX 6500 and Nvidia’s RTX 3050. For the CPU, the Ryzen 3 3300X offers great value and performance, and it comes with a Wraith Stealth cooler. A good budget SSD is the WD Black SN750, with its great in-house technology. For the motherboard, something solid where you can plug your CPU, GPU, and SSD is enough. A great example is the Asrock B550M-HDV.
Mid-range PCs, costing $700 to $1,000, already let you play a lot of games in fairly good quality. For the CPU, you can get the Intel Core i5-11400, which has the in-built Intel UHD 730 graphics and a cooler. The GeForce GTX 1650 GPU has features that can keep noise and temperature down no matter how much you push it. For the SSD, the Samsung 980 is highly capable with read and write speeds up to 3,500MB/s. As for the motherboard, the ASUS Prime B560M-A AC has multiple slots and ports for USB, RAM, and SATA in case you want to expand your build in the future.
High-end builds are for serious gamers that want the best and smoothest experience on a PC. These PCs cost at least $1,000. The Intel Core i7 10700K isn’t the most expensive CPU out there, but it already offers great performance and overclocking potential. For the GPU, the Nvidia RTX 2080 Super has ray tracing and deep learning features. The Intel SSD 670p is an excellent SSD with great game load speed and high durability ratings. For a motherboard to contain all that power, the MSI MPG Z490 is a good choice. It has strong networking options, a pre-installed IO shield, and M.2 slots.
Peripherals and accessories
When you’re budgeting for your PC, remember that you should also allot money for PC gaming accessories and peripherals. For one, you’ll need a solid monitor. The LG BL85U monitor is a great option as it has wide-range brightness and contrast, alongside true color vibrancy, for better visual immersion. For the mouse, the Logitech G305 LIGHTSPEED is lightweight and ultra-fast for better maneuverability and response times. As for the keyboard, the Mountain Everest Max is fully modular and comes with a plush magnetic wrist rest. You can also consider headphones. And if you really want to get into certain games, there are also racing wheels and pedals you can purchase.
Games you want to play
One of the most important things you should remember when budgeting for your PC build is what games you’ll be playing. Budget builds aren’t stuck with games that don’t demand much processing power like Among Us. In fact, they can run a number of interesting games too, like Darkest Dungeon and Dead Cells. Even Minecraft also runs well on those. Mid-range builds can give you a great experience in many games already — from League of Legends and Elder Scrolls to GTA and Dishonored. Finally, high-end builds let you run optimal settings in games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Control, and Cyberpunk 2077 for the best experience.