How much should I spend on each component of a computer?

Achyut R September 4, 2013

I decided to build a custom gaming computer. This is the first time I have done this so I am looking for how much I should spend on each part if I am on a $1000 budget.

  1. Susendeep D
    November 7, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Generally,if you spend on quality motherboard,processor,then you'll have a good build of a computer.Since,rest of the components depends much upon these two.

    Your next priority should be whether you are purchasing a GPU and of how much power which in result would decide the power wattage of PSU.

    Next criteria should be on memory,whether you should use SSDs,HDD or a combination of both.You must spend more on HDD if you plan to play more games,watch movies.If you use high speed demanding applications like video editing then SSD in combination with HDD would be good and you must spend more on SSD which have a good read/write speed.

    Last but also important comes is case where you are going to house your all of the components.It must be good enough to provide decent airflow,if not much has been spend on getting water cooling or specialized aftermarket air coolers.

  2. Alan W
    September 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Your question will attract many different views and opinions, you have to think about what is right for you not us. My view is research the hardware within the budget you have. That way, with a bit of effort, not only will you get a good deal but you will get something that meets your needs.

  3. Dalsan M
    September 4, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Depending on the processor you wish to have (AMD FX series, AMD Phenom II series, Intel Core i series Ivy Bridge or Haswell), it could be anywhere from $150-400+. If you are a moderate gamer, go for a Core i5 Ivy Bridge (Generation 3) or FX 8350. For higher end, go with Core i5 or i7 Haswell (Generation 4) or the FX9000 series. To be honest, the processor should be at least a quad core at 3GHz or better because most of your performance beyond that is from the GPU. Having the latest top-of-the-line processor does not mean that you would have better frame rate if the GPU is lacking in performance. Expect to pay around $250-300 here for best cost-to-performance.

    A good motherboard should cost around $150 for compatibility with future technology and ease of upgrading.

    The GPU should not cost below $100 or else performance would suffer. AMD 7800 series or Nvidia GT660 or better would be suggested, at around $180 or so.

    The power supply should be at least 600 Watts with all of the necessary connections for everything you are wanting to install. A decent one would cost around $70 or more, and do not skimp on this as you can destroy your system if the power supply is not capable of handling everything connected to it, especially the GPU and processor.

    The computer case should be built for plenty of airflow, and should have case fans to make sure that the heat does not build up. This should cost around $100 or more for compatibility, airflow, and quality.

    Memory should be from a decent brand (G Skill, Crucial, Kingston...) and at least 8GB total of DDR3 1333MHz or 1600MHz. Dual channel is best, so 2x4GB should be around $60-70.

    Storage drives would be dependant on whether or not you want a solid state drive or regular hard drive. To combine the best of both, I'd go with a hybrid like the Seagate Momentus Solid State Hybrid 1TB, which is around $120+. Otherwise, getting a 1TB hard drive for around $80 and a minimum of 120GB SSD would be about $100.

    Expect other miscellaneous parts to pay for, such as heatsink/fan, thermal paste, wireless network adapter, etc. This would be another $30-50 depending on your wants and needs. The operating system, generally left off of lists for building computers, would be another $100 or so.

    This should be roughly around your budget, so plan accordingly. The three most important and expensive part of building a gaming/performance computer is the processor, GPU, and motherboard. If you want a better GPU but cannot afford it because of going with an Intel processor, then go with the highest performance AMD FX or Phenom II you can afford and put the savings into a better GPU. The Core i7 is great, but the cost is so high that you wouldn't be able to afford much better than an AMD 7600 series or an Nvidia GT640, if even that. Going with an AMD FX 8350 would allow the room to possibly get an AMD 7850 Overclock edition or an Nvidia GT660. You want to find a good balance between the processor and the GPU. Better CPU performance than GPU performance doesn't exactly mean better FPS, and better GPU performance than CPU performance does not guarantee better gaming performance.

  4. Hovsep A
    September 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    processor and graphic card, better they are better performance you have, then hard drive SSD to run application and a second one to store data.

  5. Oron J
    September 4, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    This is very much a question of personal preferences, and there is no "right" answer (though there are probably a few wrong ones...). At the end of the day, what is important with a gaming platform is that YOU are happy with it, so make a list of priorities of what you would like to see in your system (e.g. "1 - fast as hell, 2 - small case, 3 - looks cool!" etc) and work with that.
    Here are a few tips. Divide the components into those that have a big impact on gaming performance (graphics card, CPU and to a lesser extent motherboard and RAM), those that make a difference to the gaming "experience" (screen, keyboard, mouse, case) and those that are needed but are "gaming neutral" (hard drive, optical drive, cables, software and PSU, although you should get a decent one).
    Now start by getting prices for the cheapest acceptable models for each component, and for the ones you would like to have... Add up the price of the screen, keyboard, mouse, graphics adapter, CPU and associated mobo & RAM. Is there enough cash left for the other components (cheap or otherwise)? If so, great! If not, lower your spec a little and try again. Eventually you'll get a list that represents the best combination of components *for you*. Good luck!

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