Before You Build a Gaming Computer
The amount of money you have to spend when you build a computer will be a huge factor in
what kind of gaming pc you end up gaming on. When you build a gaming computer don't get caught up in the idea that
if you build a computer that it will save you loads of money. There are a lot of variables that will affect
that preconceived outcome.
The money amount factor versus quality is true whether you build a gaming pc or
simply go to the store and buy a gaming computer. It is very true that you can build a gaming
computer using quality parts and for the same cost of a store bought
computer. When you build a gaming computer it can certainly be a much, much better
quality of a gaming pc than the same cost computer purchased at a
Build a Gaming PC Cheaply
It is however still very possible to build a cheap gaming pc
cheaper than simply buying a store bought computer – but that does depend entirely on
choices made in the beginning of the project.
- Absolutely, the higher end your pc gaming build is the more money you will save building it
- The Windows operating system always tacks on a minimum of $80 USD more if you go with Windows Profession
instead of Home, even still more if you buy retail rather than OEM
- Without the cost of an Operating System you could always build a computer, even a
cheap gaming pc cheaper than buying one
- A cheap gaming pc can be built that saves you money if you use a barebones kit as the base for building your gaming computer
- Otherwise, to save money in a very cheap build (ie less than $500 USD) you’ll need to get some really good
sales, or sacrifice speed in some components to keep the price down.
- When you need to build a gaming computer cheaply, skip the bling bling case. Pick up a
very cheap computer case $30 (or less if you can find it). It makes no sense to pay as much to ship the
case as you are paying for the case.
- Sink most of your money in to a graphics card
- Buy a mid range solid but not flashy CPU and overclock the *beep* out of it
- Re-use parts from an existing computer to save on purchasing components for your new gaming computer
- Free shipping, is totally a must to build a gaming computer cheaply. Buy your components where you don’t
have to pay for shipping. Or buy your components in one place to save on shipping, with the combined shipping
- Make sure customer service is good
When You Build a Computer
Where you buy your parts can make a huge difference in your bottom line when you build a computer. First, you
can buy your components offline or online. Offline (ie brick and mortar store) will be higher priced. Second,
online, you need to be aware of shipping costs.
99.99% of the time, I buy my components online. There simply are more choices online. If you live
near Fry's you do have better options offline than most everyone else. However, they generally do not
carry the exact component (brand or model) I am looking for when I go there. I do admit it is like being in a
serious candy store going there.
While I like looking at pc hardware in stores, they are simply overpriced even if I have to include paying
for shipping it’s still cheaper for me to buy online parts online when I build a computer from scratch.
I do tend to purchase the majority of my parts from the same online vendor. That can help with keeping
shipping costs down, but frankly it's just when I build a computer I like easy access to my receipts. Buying
from one vendor means I don't have to remember where I bought what, when I'm digging through my email or
logging in to the vendor for receipt copies.
Online items simply do not have to pay for shelve space, which makes them cheaper. When it comes to shipping, I
rarely if ever end up paying for shipping.
While saving money is definitely a reason to build your own pc, the main reason is the satisfaction of knowing
you have built the absolute best gaming pc you could.
When you build a computer always, always keep your shipping materials and receipts until the
warranties run out. Generally for electronics (ie any computer component you've purchased) if you have to return
something you have purchased online, they require the original packaging. The more prepared you are, the less
of a hassle getting your way will be.
If you ever have to deal with the customer service have all all of your documentation (receipts,
warranties, etc.) in front of you before you contact them. Frequently, there are extra steps the customer service
folks could take, that they are not required to take; but a lot of whether you get the benefit will depend on how
you treat them.
Be sure to troubleshoot thoroughly before you decide it's a lemon hardware part. Sometimes, it's a
simple end user error, not faulty hardware. If this is the first time to build a gaming pc, it can be something
really simple that's tripping up your install.
Computer Tool Kit
If you just build a computer once in a while you can get by without having a computer tool
- Just grab a couple of screwdrivers (small Phillips and flathead), and a flash light. Read up on
static electricity if you don't have an anti-static wrist
It will get around that you know how to build a computer and are skilled at fixing them. You’ll be amazed
at how many times you’re out minding your own business and end up doing a computer rescue that you had no clue was
even on the radar heading your way. You'll also be surprised how many times you get asked to build a computer
for someone else. By then you’ll need your own war bag ‘er computer tool kit.
Basic Computer Tools:
- Small Phillips head screwdriver
- Flat blade screwdriver
- Anti-static wrist wrap
- LED flash light (brighter)
- Compressed Air
- Container to put the screws in
Build a Computer Step by Step
Check out the how to build a
computer section for how to install your computer parts. Basically, this section is me building
a gaming computer for a buddy of mine. We snagged some pictures of the process to help illustrate things such
as the amount of thermal paste to use.
Build a Gaming Computer Configurations
Cheap Gaming PC - Suggestion for a $650 USD build it yourself
Mid range gaming pc - Suggestion for a $2,400 USD build it yourself
gaming computer. Included are several ideas to bring the cost down significantly under $2,000 USD.
Gaming PC Accessories:
Best Gaming Keyboard - Specific gaming keyboard model reviews, what to
look for in a gaming keyboard and top gaming keyboard brands.
Gaming Accessories - tips on what to look for in gaming mice, gaming mouse
pads, gaming keyboard underneath the keys mechanics, gaming monitors, surge protectors, UPS
In House Tips:
- Cheap computer tips has a list of ideas on how to keep the
costs to build a gaming pc down, if cost is a concern.
- Computer Parts contains info on things to know
about choosing your gaming computer parts, such as price points, how much memory an OS supports etc.
- Home networking just in case you need tips on setting up and securing
your home network
- Articles with information on SSD vs HDD, power surges, water cooling basics and more.