Personal Computer gaming is and always will be the most powerful gaming platform. There’s no debate about it. It’s not that consoles aren’t good, it’s just that, unfortunately, there is no way that they can keep up due to the fact that they are based off of PC hardware. That means that consoles will always be behind PC gaming, except for when the next generation systems are released. And, even when the next generation of consoles arrive, they will only maintain a comparable level to PC hardware for a short while.
Despite PC gaming’s superior hardware advantage, many gamers have not made the switch to PC gaming due to the fact that most believe that getting a good gaming computer is far too expensive and is something that is ultimately out of the question.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars in order to get a gaming computer that will allow you to play today’s top games on the highest settings.
In fact, for $400-$500 you can play games like World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Diablo III, StarCraft II, etc. on the highest settings with no problem. For more graphics-intensive games, a ~$600 system will give you enough power to max out games like Battlefield 3 (or 4), Assassin’s Creed III, Guild Wars 2, Far Cry 3, etc.
There’s just one catch…
You have to build the computer yourself, rather than buying it pre-built from the manufacturer. Fortunately, that’s not as difficult as you might think it is. All you have to do is take the time to watch some YouTube tutorials and read some how-to articles (of which there are a shortage of neither) and you will be all set!
Why Building Your Own Gaming Computer is the Superior Option
There are a number of reasons why it makes more sense to build your own gaming computer rather than to buy one pre-built, or to stay with a console…
Build Your Own Computer vs. Playing on a Console
A $500 self-built computer will not only give you a better gaming experience than the next generation consoles, but it will cost about the same (the PS4 is rumored to start at $400).
Nowadays, everyone needs a computer… your self-built gaming computer can double as your PC and your gaming machine, giving it even more value. A console won’t do that.
Multi-player PC games are much more multi-player friendly than they are on consoles. (For instance, on the PC you can play in 64-player games, whereas on consoles, the largest game you can get into is a 24-man server.)
Games like World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, and StarCraft II offer up a totally different and much richer gaming experience than consoles do.
A self-built computer can be upgraded when necessary so that it lasts longer… a console can’t.
Build Your Own Computer vs. Buying a Pre-Built Gaming Computer
Building your own computer costs a lot less than buying one pre-built.
When you build your own gaming computer, you get to choose your own components, giving you full control over the quality of your system.
Pre-built manufacturers like to cut costs and choose cheap, stripped-down components for their systems. That means you’ll get a low quality power supply, motherboard, and hard drive… and those are three components that can have a very negative effect on your computer if they die.
Building your own computer gives you an experience you won’t get if you buy your computer pre-built from the manufacturer. Plus, it makes you much more inclined to maintain your own system, which will allow you to get more out of it before you buy a new one.
An Example of a $500 Build and What it’s Capable Of
Now that you can see all of the benefits that come with building your own computer, I’m going to show you what $500 worth of components can get you and what it will give you performance-wise.
The following is a list of components (including their price on Amazon) that will be everything you need in order to build your computer:
CPU – AMD Phenom II X4 965 ($94.99)
Motherboard – ASRock 880GM-LE FX AM3+ mATX ($54.99)
Video Card – XFX Radeon HD 6670 ($67.74)
RAM – Corsair Vengeance 4 GB ($34.99)
HDD – Seagate Barracuda 500 GB ($57.29)
Case – GAMMA Classic ATX Mid Tower ($39.98)
Power Supply – Antec VP-450 ($39.99)
Optical Drive – Samsung 24x SATA DVD RW ($17.99)
Operating System – Windows 7 Home Premium ($96.05)
Grand Total: $504.01
Of course, the above build does not come with a monitor, keyboard, or mouse, but it’s likely that you already have those. Also, the above build does not consider the money you could save if you shopped around. It only accounts for the prices on Amazon. And, while Amazon typically has some of the best prices for computer components, other sites like Newegg, or TigerDirect often have promotional deals, which makes it easy to find certain components at even lower prices.
The following is a list of the things that this computer is capable of:
Will run any game you throw at it.
Can run popular games like World of Warcraft, League of Legends, and Starcraft II on max settings with no problems.
Can easily be upgraded in the future to accommodate higher-end parts and to play the top games on the highest settings.
Will easily handle basic computer tasks like word processing, video streaming, web browsing, etc.
So, as you can see, for just $500 you can get a system that will blow any console out of the water, and will play any PC game you throw at it for a fraction of the cost of a pre-built “gaming” computer.
What Are You Waiting For? Build Your Own Gaming Computer Today!
It’s pretty obvious why building your own gaming computer is the best option for serious gamers… It will allow you to enter into the more advanced world of PC gaming and it will give you the opportunity to get a system that is capable of playing any game on the highest settings all for an affordable price.
So, if you’ve always wanted to see what PC gaming had to offer, or if you just want to build your own gaming computer, now is the best time to do so!
Brent Hale runs Elite Gaming Computers, a blog dedicated to helping new system-builders build their very own gaming computer. If you need help choosing components for your build, or if you want some advice on assembling your computer, check out Elite Gaming Computers today!
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Well, the gaming configuration you suggested isn’t my favourite. I rather prefer the list below –
1. Intel i3 (3.7 ghtz) dual core hyperthreading.
2. AMD Radeon 480 or NVIDIA GTX 1050
3. Samsung evo SSD
4. Windows 10 (it has DirectX 12 support)
And the rest of the list is same as yours.
The thing is, core i3 has hyperthreading, which means, your dual core processor will be virtually quad core. Plus, 3.7 ghtz speed should be enough in this price. The new AMD Radeon 480 is a good, but Nvidia’s GTX 10 series gpu are also good.
Would you say this PC that is suggested would be good enough to run on TwitchTV and stream with it at fairly high FPS? I’ve always wanted to upgrade from my current PC but been too scared to unload loads of money into a PC, because I’m brainless when it comes to PC parts and whatnot. It does sound good though, and defiantly at an affordable price!
Good suggestion brother. Thanks for sharing.
This article was very useful. It showed me that I can play the pc games I want and not drop $2,000 on a new computer. Plus it also gave me some information on what components I will need to build a pc.
I think many people have the idea the in order to enjoy computer games they must spend $2,000 on a computer. Computer hardware has advanced so quickly over the past several years, that the game actually lag behind the hardware. The graphics card is still the determining factor in playing a game on a computer or not.
With the next generation of consoles about to hit store shelves, I believe they will push computer games to go beyond where they are now – especially since many are still 32-bit.
Also, for those that don’t play games on their computer, any system they build/buy today should last them easily for the next 5-7 years. Another idea of having to upgrade every 6 -18 months is now old, since computers are very powerful to the average user.