One of the most common questions you ask yourself in any technological field is, “How much is this going to cost?”
As we move into the technological age, computers (and custom PCs especially) are becoming much more commonplace and readily accessible. In line with economic theory, as the demand for these advanced machines climbs, the price plummets.
But with the constant ebb and flow of supply and demand, it can often be hard to pinpoint what a reasonable price is versus a rip-off, especially for something as dynamic as the custom PC industry.
If you aren’t careful, you could very well end up thousands of dollars more impoverished with a piece of junk that can’t even run vanilla Minecraft.
This begs the question, however: Exactly how much is a good custom PC build?
Is it cheaper to get a custom PC?
To answer how much a good custom build is, we first need to elaborate on a prebuilt’s price.
Prebuilt computers made their rise in the first part of the 21st century, quickly moving into popularity before beginning their fall from grace with the custom computer build’s debut.
These days, a prebuilt gaming computer averages about $1,200 at the most basic specification. Unfortunately, however, the initial purchase is the least of your costs.
Many consumers fall into the trap of making a significant initial investment with modern prebuilt desktops, hoping that a computer will last long enough to pay off. This can sometimes not work out to be the case.
With mass-manufactured PCs, the industry is impacted by several harmful monopolies, especially when it comes to the use of unlisted, proprietary components, which prevent users from following what are normally simple upgrade paths for components such as graphics cards, motherboards and power supplies.
With custom builds, as part wear out, or you feel the need to upgrade, doing so is as simple as purchasing a new part and switching them out. There is usually no need for the brands to be the same or even for the specs to be similar.
With a branded prebuilt, companies can charge whatever they please for replacement parts because, many times, only their parts will work in the unit. Since the parts are all manufactured by the parent company or one of its subsidiaries, price gouging becomes a genuine problem.
As such, the answer to this question is straightforward: if you’re looking at the long term, custom rigs will always be cheaper.
What defines a “Good” custom PC?
This is a question that doesn’t have a straightforward answer, as it varies from person to person. When considering a custom PC, you have to find a balance between price and performance.
Once you pick your price point in the world of custom builds, deciding your specifications often comes down to what is most important to you as the owner (or future owner, as it were). The process of designing your builds often comes down to making inevitable trade-offs so you can beef up the areas that are important to you and tone down the specs that aren’t.
Even though there aren’t hard and fast rules for defining a good PC build, there are some guidelines to follow to ensure your specs are up to par.
For example, in choosing a CPU, your choices are between AMD and Intel. For Intel, your CPU should be an Intel Core i3 at a minimum; AMD, on the other hand, should be a Ryzen 3 or higher. For both the 6-core Core i5 or Ryzen 5 generally provides the best bang for your buck, providing higher performance and scaling better into higher resolutions and quality settings with higher-tier graphics cards.
The other major components in your build are going to be your GPU and RAM. In terms of GPU, 4GB of VRAM is a must, while your PC’s RAM should start at a minimum of 8GB, with 16GB providing enough for modern games and some future-proofing.
Again, these specifications aren’t hard and fast rules, but they should serve as a guideline to get you started.
How much does a good custom build cost?
Now that we’ve defined the general price of a custom build versus a pre-built, as well as outlined what constitutes a “good” PC build, we can answer the question of the hour:
How much exactly does a good build cost?
If you want a build worth its salt that can bring a smooth performance to most games (provided you’re realistic about your resolution and graphical settings you expect), you can expect to start your price point at about the $1000 mark.
Now that you know how much a reasonable build costs, one question remains: where do you buy a custom PC for that price?
With our Allied Stinger, you can easily hit that price point and all the specifications you want in a good rig.
The Stinger delivers a solid gaming experience at an unbeatable price, meeting (and in some cases exceeding) the specs needed to have a great gaming experience. Built on a sturdy foundation of the Ryzen 3 3100/ Intel i3-10300F as well as a minimum of 16GB of RAM and an entry-level 1080P NVIDIA graphics card (the GTX 1650 4GB), this PC is capable of running several big-name titles such as Call of Duty Warzone, League of Legends, and Minecraft.
The bottom line is if you’re looking for an excellent custom-built PC at a steal of a price, the Stinger is what you need. It can also be up-specced into more powerful processors and graphics cards, so if you dig the Stinger’s visual appeal but need some more grunt, the options are there. Similarly with the Allied Patriot, the base configuration offers a rock-solid 1080P gaming experience with options that extend right up in the ultra-high tier. And then there’s the Allied M.O.A.B., the gaming PC for those for whom compromise simply isn’t an option.
Unless you’re playing exceptionally demanding titles or pouring money into PC aesthetics like there’s no tomorrow, you can expect to approach around the $1,000 range for a good basic PC build. While spending less than this is certainly feasible, your overall performance and gaming experience are going to take a significant hit.
We understand, however, that this price point can look a little daunting at first. That, however, is because the price of your PC for the next few years is packed into a single number, rather than spread out over several replacement parts, maintenance costs, and new PCs when the old one either stops working or fails to live up to expectations after only a few short months.
Undoubtedly, this number is much smaller than what you would spend otherwise on a prebuilt with all of the tacked-on costs that large computer corporations shove at you.
Not to mention, a custom build at this price will maintain its performance for years to come and create ease in exchanging and upgrading parts to meet your expectations as your needs evolve.
And if you ever find yourself wanting to make the jump into owning the best PC you’ve ever had, we’ll always have you covered at Allied.