Building a computer at home has become far more common in recent years. Where computers were once both expensive and complex to assemble, modern standards mean that home-built PCs are extremely easy to put together. Provided you have the right know-how, hardware, and tools available.
Along with the ease of construction, computer components have significantly dropped in price over the years, especially for those that are looking to build a mid-tier gaming rig. In fact, there are a multitude of different ways you can cut down on the overall costs of the build if you make use of the following helpful tips.
You might feel the temptation to buy everything brand new, especially if you’ve got an old rig that you simply can’t wait to get rid of. But not all the components in your old system need to go. Hard drives, for example, can easily transfer to a new case, giving you free additional storage capacity.
Modern hardware is much more durable than it used to be. This means that when buying second-hand components, especially from a reliable source, you can get your hands on a part that’s still in great shape. There are plenty of people that upgrade their systems regularly. So, there’s almost always a supply of second-hand hardware available at a decent price.
Another common trend among PC-building enthusiasts is to make their rig look as aesthetically pleasing as possible. These days, that usually entails adding RGB lighting and other unnecessary visual peripherals that carry a hefty price-tag. If you’re building your computer on a budget and only need it to work as intended, you can save yourself a fair amount of cash avoiding the bells and whistles. Avoid any add-ons that don’t improve or enhance functionality and stick to the basics. It doesn’t need to look good to work well.
Another trope in the enthusiast world is buying parts that don’t exactly match what’s needed for their gaming or work needs. If most of the games you play only need around 8GB of RAM, it doesn’t make sense to buy 16GB for double the price. It’s important to know your priorities when making a purchase, so that you only buy what’s necessary to enjoy your favorite games.
At the moment, the three most popular resolutions include 1080p, 1440p, and 4K for those that can afford it. The total costs of the machine scale directly with the resolution of the screen. If you want to game at 4K, you’re going to need a much more expensive monitor. Plus, you’ll need a more expensive GPU, as well as a better power supply unit to keep it all running.
Full HD at 1080p is usually more than enough for most games, which also provides a better return for the money you spend.
SSDs have quickly overtaken hard drive technology as the primary storage medium on modern computers. But that doesn’t mean you need an SSD for everything. Instead of buying a large 500GB or 1TB SSD, opt for a much cheaper 128GB that you’ll use for your operating system and a selection of programs. For mass storage, less expensive HDDs are much more cost effective, at least until SSD prices become cheaper in the future.
When we’re shopping online, we tend to stick to retailers that we know, such as Amazon. The problem here, however, is that it’s not uncommon for prices to be inflated. Especially considering there are so many different people and companies selling on the platform.
It might be a better idea to check out other online stores, see what they offer, and compare the costs. But don’t forget to take the cost of shipping into account too, or any customs duties your purchase may attract.
Today’s motherboards boast a huge selection of features, but each one adds a bit extra to the price. It’s important to take the time and think about what you would plug into the computer daily.
For instance, if you tend to only have a gaming keyboard and mouse, headphones/speakers, and a USB stick plugged in, buying a motherboard with a multitude of USB ports doesn’t make sense. The fewer utilities a motherboard has, the lower the price will be, without it affecting your gaming experience.
There’s a common misconception that you need a powerful CPU to run all the latest games. While that may be true for the games of yesteryear, it no longer applies today. Rather than focusing on getting a hold of a newer generation of CPU, save the money and invest in a good graphics card.
Your graphics card is where most of the processing for games takes place. AMD offers a great selection of CPUs at a relatively cheaper price point. These GPUs still provide enough processing power for most programs and games.
As the world’s most popular operating system, it almost seems like a no-brainer that you need Windows on your rig. But a new key for Windows 10 can be expensive.
Fortunately, you can opt for a Linux OS, which are usually completely free to download, and many of them provide excellent support for modern games. They’re also just as easy to install as Windows 10, leaving you with money saved, or to invest in other hardware.
Building a decent gaming computer at home doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. With the right research, some shopping around, and the right attitude, you can enjoy your favorite games in no time. All while saving plenty of money.
Make sure to leave a comment if you’ve got any of your own cost-saving tips about home-built gaming computers.
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