With the average cost of a new video game coming in at around $60, it’s no wonder why so many gamers are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a high-end PC that’s only going to be used to play games. But why are gaming PCs so expensive?
However, with an ever-growing market and an increasing demand for gaming PCs, manufacturers have had no problem continuing to hike up the prices on their machines. Fortunately, there are a few reasons why these PCs are so expensive and not beyond our reach.
The reason why games are more expensive on certain consoles is because the manufacturers earn money from every game sold for that console.
In this article, we’ll explore exactly what goes into making these machines so expensive and how you can save money while still getting the performance you want.
What Makes a Gaming PC So Expensive?
The most expensive gaming PC starts at around $1,000 and goes up from there. So what makes them so expensive? There are a few factors that contribute to the high price tag on these machines.
First, for gamers to play games on their computers with the best graphics possible, they need to have a powerful GPU which does cost more money.
Second, because manufacturers are trying to make their PCs stand out from their competitors, they have started using higher-end components like top of the line GPUs, CPUs and motherboards.
Third, parts that make up the PC can be very expensive. For example, RAM memory is usually one of the most expensive parts of a gaming PC and it’s likely going to be in your budget if you want it to last you for five years or more.
Fortunately for gamers who want a desktop PC but don’t have an unlimited budget, there are ways to save money while still getting your hands on a high-performance machine. One option is assembling your own gaming PC yourself instead of buying one pre-built–though this will require some extra technical know-how and corresponding equipment (see our article “How To Build Your Own Gaming Computer”).
Another option is waiting until Black Friday or Cyber Monday when prices will usually drop as manufacturers try to get rid of last year’s inventory in hopes of making room for new models coming out next year (see our article “5 Ways To Find Deals On Gaming Computers.
Motherboards, and RAM In general, the most expensive components of a PC are the Central Processing Unit (CPU), motherboard, and memory. These three parts are essential to how your desktop operates. They’re also the most difficult to compare prices for because every CPU is different.
You can get an Intel Core i7-8700K for $300 or you can get the AMD Ryzen 2700X for $250. Either one is a good choice depending on how you plan on using it, but there’s no denying that each one is more expensive than average. Motherboards are similarly difficult to compare prices for because of their wide range of prices and functionality.
There are budget motherboards with only a few connections as well as high-end motherboards with all kinds of extra ports, overclocking capabilities, and so on. The final piece to consider is RAM.
This component can be relatively cheap if you buy it in bulk, but it’s often more expensive than other components due to its higher demand by gamers and high-performance computers.
GPUs are expensive components that many gamers consider the gold standard for gaming performance. When you’re shopping for a GPU, you have to decide between two different types: high-end graphics cards and midrange graphics cards. High-end GPUs like NVIDIA’s RTX 2080 Ti, for example, cost over $1,000.
But similarly performing models can be found for less than $500. If you’re not a hardcore gamer, you don’t need to spend as much on a GPU as someone who is. The same principle applies to other parts of your gaming PC too.
Many people will spend thousands of dollars on their CPU and motherboard without considering whether they really need those features or not. But this doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank when it comes to building your custom gaming rig. You can save money by opting for lower-priced hardware in some areas and spending more where it matters most to your needs.
Motherboards are the backbone of a computer. The motherboard is what powers everything in your computer, from your graphics card to the RAM and hard drive. It’s also one of the most expensive parts that you can buy.
For example, a high-end gaming motherboard can cost upwards of $300 or more. But there are ways to save money on motherboards by buying them at the right time. A good way to save money on motherboards is to purchase them during a clearance sale or when they go on sale for Black Friday in November.
There will usually be an influx of inventory as store owners try to clear space for new models year-round. If you’re looking for a specific model, this is a great time to buy it because stores will be trying to make room for newer models and may have older stock collecting dust on the shelves.
The other option is buying refurbished parts from companies like Newegg or Amazon, which tend to be significantly cheaper than new ones because they’ve been used before and have passed through rigorous testing procedures before being resold. You can find some amazing deals here if you look around hard enough.
RAM is one of the most expensive components in a gaming PC. The reason that RAM is so expensive is because it’s incredibly fast and high-performing and also because manufacturers are having trouble keeping up with demand.
Storage (SSD and HDD)
One of the biggest reasons why gaming PCs are so expensive is the storage. The average gamer needs at least 1TB of space to store games and other files, but the standard for pre-built desktops is only about 300GB. That means you’ll need to get a solid state drive (SSD) and a hard disk drive (HDD).
SSDs are more expensive because they offer faster speeds, even when compared to high-speed HDDs. For example, you could buy an EVO 840 SATA III 2.5-inch 250GB SSD for $77 on Amazon or an HGST Touro Mobile 500GB USB 3.0 Portable 2.5″ Hard Drive for $51 on Amazon.
However, if you plan to build your own desktop soon there are deals out there that can help you save money on both components. You can find an EVO 850 2.5″ 256 GB SSD for $59 on Newegg or a WD Black PC Desktop Hard Drive with 8TB capacity for $109 on Newegg as well as many others depending on your specific needs.
The best thing to do is shop around and see what deals you can find on these two items before purchasing them separately or in a pre-built device that includes less storage than what you need.
Related Article: Can you use a gaming PC for work?
The Top Reasons Why Gaming PCs Are So Expensive
Several factors contribute to the high cost of a gaming PC. Much like any new technology, these machines constantly have to be updated and improved to keep up with the current standards.
Also, most of these devices require additional equipment such as a monitor, keyboard and mouse that all come at an added cost. In addition to the initial purchase price, there are also recurring costs such as software licenses and upgrades that can add up over time.
In order to get the same processing power you’d find in many gaming PCs, you’d need to spend nearly double on a laptop or desktop. And even then, you’re not guaranteed you’ll get the same performance you would from a gaming PC.
However, there are ways for gamers who want to save money on their PC purchase by using alternative methods to increase their budget without sacrificing performance or quality.
High-Quality Components and Solid Construction
The first reason why these PCs are so expensive is that they involve high-quality components and solid construction. In a normal PC, you’ve got the tower and then you’ve got a bunch of individual pieces (like hard drives, CPU, RAM, motherboard, etc.).
There’s not much of anything holding these pieces together – the plastic towers are usually just holding the pieces in place. However, with gaming PCs, there are actually metal reinforcements for all the important components.
This ensures everything will stay put when you’re lugging around your PC from event to event or if there’s an accident inside your house. You can also be sure that you won’t have any issues with overheating since most of these models come with built-in cooling fans and vents.
This is why a lot of people say that building your own gaming PC is cheaper than buying one already assembled – but it does take time to put together the pieces yourself and ensure everything works properly.
The Importance of Quality Components
One of the biggest reasons for the high cost of gaming PCs is the quality of their components. The components that go into a gaming PC are generally considered to be more expensive, which can account for as much as 65-70% of the total cost.
These components, such as graphics cards and motherboards, are usually made using more expensive materials and parts than those found in desktops and laptops. One reason for this is because they run hotter and need better heat dissipation to allow them to operate at maximum efficiency.
Another factor that contributes to the high price tag of a gaming PC is the fact that these machines have been designed with performance in mind at every stage. This means you won’t find any low-quality chips or subpar hardware within a gaming PC.
In addition, with higher manufacturing costs comes higher research and development costs for video game developers who need to make sure their games work on these high-powered machines before release. This means gamers will often see delays in releases, limited editions, or additional physical copies available only if they purchase it from specific retailers (usually online).
Limited Edition Products and Exclusives
One of the most expensive parts of a PC is the graphics card. These cards have very limited quantities and often come with other perks like carrying cases or additional hardware like keyboards and mice. Some manufacturers even include extras with purchase of their high-end models.
One example of this is the Razer Blade Pro which includes a gaming mouse, an extended battery, and a backpack to carry it all around in. The same can be said for consoles as well. For example, Nintendo’s Switch console includes many accessories like Joy-Con controllers, a dock, and more depending on what package you buy.
The first reason why gaming PCs are so expensive is that they often come with conflicting technologies. For instance, a high-end gaming PC will typically have more than one graphics card and a powerful CPU, which can lead to other problems.
A high-end PC also often comes with a higher screen resolution and more RAM than the average desktop PC. This combination can make for some hefty prices. However, this variety in technology isn’t always bad because it means that you get to enjoy better performance at home or on the go without sacrificing quality of your display.
PC Gamers Are Constantly Upgrading
One of the major reasons that PC gamers are constantly upgrading their PCs is to stay on top of the latest and greatest games. Luckily, with every new release, game developers are optimizing their games for PCs with more processing power, which means that as soon as a new game comes out, you want to make sure you have the most up-to-date PC in order to get the best experience possible.
In other words, if you buy a $500 gaming PC now, chances are it’s not going to be able to keep up with newer releases that come out next year. The reality is that high-end PCs continue to get faster and better with each passing day.
And while this ensures that we’re getting the most out of our machines, it also means that we need to keep updating them in order to take advantage of what’s available today.
Proprietary Software, Licensed Software, and Windows 10
The first and most obvious reason that gaming PCs are expensive is the proprietary software. Proprietary software is made by the company who sells the computer and can only be used on that specific manufacturer’s equipment. This means if you buy a Dell tower with Windows 8, you’re locked into using Windows 8.
The same goes for other operating systems such as Microsoft’s Office suite. Loaded games, like World of Warcraft or League of Legends, also come with their own licenses that must be purchased separately from the PC tower itself.
These licenses range in price depending on what features are included in the game but can still be an additional expense when buying a new PC.
Finally, there’s Windows 10 which is installed on every gaming PC. This operating system does not come cheap and will cost you anywhere from $120 to $240 for just an individual license — that’s not even including an Xbox controller.
And since these computers are so specialized for gaming, it’s much more likely than not that Windows 10 will be needed for basic functions like browsing the web or checking email.
CPUs and GPUs Are Especially Pricey
CPUs and GPUs are two of the most expensive parts in any custom gaming PC. CPUs, or central processing units, work by processing information given to them in order to produce a desired result.
GPUs, or graphics processing units, work by taking information from the computer’s CPU and turning it into images that can be shown on your monitor. The problem with CPUs and GPUs is that, as technology advances, so do these machines.
As CPUs become more powerful and GPU capabilities improve, they also become more expensive because they can do more than ever before. You see this reflected in pre-built PCs as well; their prices are higher because they often include these components while the cost of stand-alone components has fallen.
Building your own PC allows you to buy your desired components at the right time–at a cheaper price while still getting what you want–rather than paying for expensive performance you don’t need now (or ever).
Gaming PCs Are Built For Ultra-Responsiveness
One of the most important aspects of a gaming PC is its responsiveness. When you play games, you want to feel like your computer responds instantly to every command and that your game is running at an optimal level of performance.
This can be difficult to do when using pre-built desktops or laptops, which often aren’t designed for gamers. They’re not designed to respond quickly, which means they’re not optimized for high frame rates, fast loading times, or minimal input lag.
This is because many pre-built desktops and laptops are built with affordability in mind rather than pure performance. For instance, Dell and Lenovo might not use high-end components to ensure their devices are more affordable even though they would have higher responsiveness when playing games.
The irony here is that while building your own PC will always cost more than buying one ready-made from the store, you will get better value out of it if you buy the correct components and build it yourself.
Will building my own PC void my warranty?
No, it will not. That’s a common misconception people have about building their own PC. The warranty on your PC will be just the same as if you bought one pre-made from a manufacturer, essentially just as long as you take care of it and do not do any harm to your PC. Pre-builts are often more expensive than building it yourself and you don’t get the same warranty.
Do I need to know a lot about computers to build a gaming PC?
You don’t necessarily have to know a lot about computers to build a PC, but you do need to know the basics. The best thing you can do is do some research before you start building, and make sure you know what parts you need and how they work together.
Can I Save Money If I Buy Used Parts?
Yes, you can! Depending on the parts you buy and how long they’ve been in use, you can save anywhere from a few bucks to a few hundred – it all depends on what you buy.
Can I Use Any Parts?
Yes, you can use pretty much any parts you want. Some components work better with others, but that’s largely based on preference. You can even use older parts if you want to save even more money – just make sure that they still work before you put them inside your computer.
What processors are good for gaming?
For gaming, you want a chip that’s Intel’s i5 or i7 processor. i5 processors are cheaper than i7s and perform almost as well. i7s, however, are better for multi-tasking and are worth the extra cost in most cases.
A high-quality gaming PC is not inexpensive. The main reasons that make gaming PCs so expensive are the high-quality components and solid construction. Limited edition products and exclusive, conflicting technologies, the constant need to upgrade, and the need for proprietary software, licensed software and Windows 10 are also important factors.
In order to save money, most gamers opt for budget and entry-level gaming PCs.