Gaming is becoming more and more of an expensive hobby. Not only are the games themselves becoming more expensive (almost $100 SGD for Diablo IV?!), the surges in CPU and GPU have made gamers very worried about upholding this hobby. However, is it necessary for gamers to spend so much on gaming PCs in order to indulge in their hobby? Maybe not.
When it comes to picking up a gaming PC, there are only 2 main choices in the market: custom gaming PCs or pre-built ones. This article will not be debating on which choice is better; you can check out another article here. Instead, we will be discussing what the average prices of components are for a custom gaming PC and whether it is value-for-money.
List of components
Everytime we discuss about PC components, we always fall back onto this list:
- Storage (SSD, HDD)
- CPU cooler (optional in most cases)
- PC fans
- Power Supply Unit (PSU)
- PC Casing
Starting things off, we have the CPU. There is a wide range of CPU chips in the market, from the AMD Ryzen 3 3200G ($169), Intel i3 13100F ($179) to the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X ($1349) and Intel i9-13900KS ($1021). Pricing is taken from Volta PC’s Catalogue page. The good news is that you don’t have to look at the high-end CPU chips to run most popular game titles. In fact, most, if not all, games in the market do not require the processing power of such expensive CPU chips to run well.
One of the most popular AMD CPU chips in the market at time of writing is the Ryzen 7 5800X (see below).
- AMD RYZEN 7 5800X$729.00 w/GST
The Ryzen 7 5800X is part of the Ryzen 5000 series, which was released in late 2020. It features 8 cores and 16 threads, with a base clock speed of 3.8 GHz and a boost clock speed of up to 4.7 GHz. Its high clock speed makes it often recommended for gamers and enthusiasts who want a high-performance CPU for gaming. At 1080p resolution, the Ryzen 7 5800X can run AAA titles such as the Assassin’s Creed series, Cyberpunk 2077, at high to ultra graphic settings with 60-100+ FPS. For competitive titles such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, Valorant etc., high FPS counts over 100 can be easily achieved at the highest settings possible. Hence, you would not miss out should you go with the Ryzen 7 5800X.
Now about the pricing. The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X isn’t expensive, but it is not exactly cheap either. Tom’s Hardware considers its price point to be ‘relatively high’ back in 2021, but given the new chips that were released since then, we think that this chip’s price is one of the better ones in the market.
One of the most popular Intel CPU chips in the market at time of writing is the Intel i9-13900K, but it is also one of the most expensive ones (see below).
- Intel i9 13900K$877.00 w/GST
But not without reason. This chip features a whopping number of 24 cores and 32 threads, which is insane to think about. Its base clock is 3.0 GHz and a boost speed clock of up to 5.8 GHz. This allows it to run pretty much all games in the market with amazing framerates. Even though its base clock might seem low, you cannot see it in the games that you play. HowManyFPS has an amazing breakdown of some of the most popular games’ FPS when played with the i9-13900K (see below).
Image taken from HowManyFPS.
These numbers are insane, and definitely not average. While this article is meant to provide some numbers and insight into the average custom gaming PC cost, the price of the i9-13900K isn’t as crazy as you would expect (even though it’s still one of the most expensive ones). At $865, it is not cheap, but for what you are getting, it is certainly not very expensive either. However, we think that the numbers are overkill for a CPU. Most gamers would be happy with 60 FPS or more on their favourite games, like Valorant, and anything above a 100 is already amazing. 635 FPS? On Valorant? The difference would be indiscernible for most gamers. So, if you are thinking of picking this CPU up primarily for gaming, then we would advise you to look into cheaper components like the Ryzen 7 5800X that we mentioned earlier.
After all, the CPU isn’t the only component you need to have in your custom gaming PC build.
Next up is the GPU. It’s the one handling all the graphical tasks in your custom gaming PC. For you to see the beautiful nature images in the Witcher 3 or crisp images in Cyberpunk 2077, the GPU is the one doing the job. It plays a crucial role in determining how detailed and realistic the game looks, how smoothly it runs, and how high the frame rates are.
One of the most popular AMD GPUs is the Radeon RX 6800 XT (see below).
- ASUS ROG-STRIX-LC-RX6800XT-O16G-GAMING (3Y)$2,169.00 w/GST
It was released in late 2020 and is known for its strong performance in gaming and offers features such as ray tracing. It also supports AMD’s Smart Access Memory (SAM) technology, which can further enhance performance in certain gaming scenarios when used with compatible AMD CPUs. So if you’re looking at the Ryzen 7 5800X that we mentioned on top, then this is a good GPU to look at as well. Given that GPU prices are not the most affordable right now, this is one of the more value-for-money ones that we’ve selected.
Of course, there’s still other GPUs in the market that are way cheaper, but they are not able to make games look as good as the RX 6800XT. For example, Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2 all look impressive. At high frame rates, you are still able to experience the reflections, lighting and particle effects. Other GPUs might not be able to bring you the same outcome.
For Nvidia, we recommend the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti (see below).
- MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Ti VENTUS 3X 8G OC$709.00 w/GST
The GeForce RTX 3070 Ti is a powerful mid-range graphics card that provides a good balance between performance and price. It offers great 1440p gaming performance and can handle many games at high settings above 60 fps, even in demanding titles. It supports ray-tracing, which you can see is a common theme here in the GPU section. Many games nowadays could benefit from ray-tracing capabilities, hence having a GPU that allows ray-tracing would be a win in our book.
We’re in the midst of releasing an article discussing about the amount of RAM you actually need in a custom gaming PC at time of writing. So, do keep a lookout for that. In the meantime, without going too deep, we recommend either 16GB or 32GB (if you have the budget) of RAM for your custom gaming PC.
Typically, 16GB of RAM is enough for most games to run well, and for you to run some Chrome tabs at the side. As we will have discussed in our RAM article, most games will only ask for 8GB of RAM at most to be available in your computer, so 16GB hits the sweet spot. If you have the money, and wish to spend it more on RAM for future-proofing etc., then you can also consider 32GB. This is more than enough if you primarily game on your custom PC. If you do creative work on it too, then your PC will be more than sufficient at tackling those tasks.
Here are some of our products that you can take a look at.
- GSKILL DDR5/2x16GB/5600 Mhz F5-5600J3636C16GX2-RS5K$365.00 w/GST
- GSKILL DDR5/32GB/4800 Mhz F5-4800S3838A32GX1-RS (Sodimm)$169.00 w/GST
- GSKILL DDR5/16GB/4800 Mhz F5-4800S3838A16GX1-RS (Sodimm)$98.00 w/GST
- GSKILL FLARE X5 AMD EXPO DDR5/32GB/6000MHz F5-6000J3238F16GX2-FX5$199.00 w/GST
- GSKILL FLARE X5 AMD EXPO DDR5/32GB/6000MHz F5-6000J3636F16GX2-FX5$195.00 w/GST
- GSKILL FLARE X DDR4/32GB/3200MHz F4-3200C16D-32GFX$119.00 w/GST
- GSKILL FLARE X DDR4/16GB/3200MHz F4-3200C16D-16GFX$69.00 w/GST
There are 2 types of storages in the market: Solid State Drives (SSDs) and Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). Many custom PC builds opt for a combination of both, with an SSD for the operating system and frequently used applications, and an HDD for mass storage needs. Nowadays, games can be as big as 100GB (or even bigger, we’re looking at you, Rainbow Six Siege), and we would recommend you look at having at least 1 of each storage type in your custom gaming PC.
In a custom gaming PC, incorporating an SSD offers numerous advantages, greatly enhancing your gaming experience. With exceptional speed and performance, an SSD reduces game loading times, provides smooth gameplay with minimal lag, and ensures swift boot times. The absence of moving parts increases durability, reliability, and silent operation. SSDs are also resistant to physical shocks and vibrations, making them ideal for gaming laptops. By integrating an SSD into your custom gaming PC, you’ll enjoy enhanced speed, responsiveness, and overall gaming performance.
In a custom gaming PC, incorporating an HDD provides you with affordable and ample storage capacity, enhancing your gaming experience. With its large storage space, an HDD accommodates a vast gaming library and data-intensive applications. While not as fast as an SSD, an HDD delivers reliable performance for gaming at 1080p and beyond. Its mechanical design ensures durability and resistance to physical shocks, safeguarding your valuable data. By adding an HDD to your custom gaming PC, you can enjoy cost-effective and spacious storage for your games and multimedia content, making it a practical choice for your gaming needs.
Choosing a good motherboard is crucial for a custom gaming PC. The motherboard serves as the foundation of your system, determining compatibility, expansion options, and overall performance. A high-quality motherboard ensures seamless communication between components, provides necessary power delivery, and supports essential features like overclocking and future upgrades. It plays a vital role in optimizing gaming performance and stability, making it an essential component for building a reliable and powerful gaming PC.
Therefore, choosing the right motherboard is key. One of the popular motherboards is the Gigabyte B760M. It’s an Intel motherboard that supports DDR4 RAM and has ample ports for you to plug your external devices in. PCMag calls it a ‘worthwhile budget motherboard’. At $255, the Gigabyte B760M is suitable for just about any type of custom gaming PC build; budget or not.
- Gigabyte B760M DS3H AX DDR4$255.00 w/GST
6. CPU Cooler
You deserve the best performance in your custom gaming PC build, and thus why you might be considering buying a CPU cooler separately. However, it may not always be necessary. Many modern CPUs come bundled with adequate coolers that are specifically designed to handle their thermal requirements. These included coolers offer decent cooling performance, ensuring stable operation even during intense gaming sessions. If you’re not planning on overclocking or pushing your CPU to its absolute limits, the stock cooler can effectively keep your temperatures in check. This not only saves you money but also simplifies the build process by eliminating the need for separate cooler installation. That said, if you’re looking for extreme overclocking or prefer the benefits of a more advanced cooling solution, investing in a separate CPU cooler might be worth considering.
If you’re looking for a separate CPU cooler, however, the Cooler Master HYPER 212 ARGB cooler is one of the most popular CPU coolers around. It is affordable and efficient, all the while offering a balance between cooling performance and budget-friendliness. For those who are RGB fans (pun intended), it also features RGB lighting for added aesthetics.
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 ARGB cooler offers numerous benefits that make it an excellent choice for your PC build. Firstly, its exceptional cooling performance ensures efficient heat dissipation, allowing your CPU to operate at optimal temperatures even during intense tasks or gaming sessions. The tower-style heatsink with direct-contact heat pipes maximizes heat transfer for superior cooling efficiency. Additionally, the included 120mm fan delivers a strong airflow to further enhance cooling performance. The addressable RGB lighting adds a touch of style and customization to your build, creating an eye-catching aesthetic. With its user-friendly installation process, you can easily install and start enjoying the benefits of enhanced cooling in no time.
- Cooler Master HYPER 212 ARGB ARGB CPU Cooler (2Y)$49.00 w/GST
- Cooler Master HYPER 212 BLACK EDITION CPU Cooler (2Y)$59.00 w/GST
- Cooler Master HYPER 212 RGB BLACK EDITION CPU Cooler (2Y)$79.00 w/GST
7. PC fans
PC fans play a crucial role in custom gaming PC builds. They provide essential airflow and cooling to maintain optimal operating temperatures for critical components. By efficiently dissipating heat, PC fans help prevent overheating, which can lead to performance degradation or even hardware damage. Proper airflow ensures that your CPU, GPU, and other components operate at their best, allowing for smoother gameplay and extended component lifespan. With customizable fan speeds and configurations, you can tailor the cooling performance to suit your specific needs. Including high-quality PC fans in your custom gaming PC build is essential for maintaining performance, stability, and longevity.
Some popular PC fans include the Be Quiet! Silent Wings 3 fan series (see below).
Image taken from Be Quiet! website.
With its focus on silent operation, the Be Quiet! Silent Wings 3 fan series is popular among users who prioritize low noise levels while still maintaining efficient cooling performance. Their fans utilize a unique blade design and high-quality fluid-dynamic bearing for silent and smooth airflow. With anti-vibration features, they eliminate disturbances caused by vibrations, ensuring a silent operation. The Silent Wings 3 fans also offer excellent airflow while maintaining a low noise profile, keeping your system cool and quiet. Finally, they provide a long lifespan and reliability. Currently, at time of writing, it costs $25.33 SGD on Amazon, which is very affordable for many gamers, and a good price!
8. Power Supply Unit (PSU)
In your custom gaming PC build, the Power Supply Unit (PSU) plays a crucial role. It distributes power to all components, converting AC power from your wall outlet into usable DC power. Choosing the right PSU with sufficient wattage ensures your components receive stable and reliable power, reducing the risk of damage from voltage fluctuations. A high-quality PSU also offers protection features and efficient power conversion, minimizing energy waste and heat generation. Optimal cable management and modular options improve airflow and aesthetics. Consider future upgrades by selecting a PSU with higher wattage. Overall, a reliable PSU is essential for stable power delivery, component protection, and the overall performance of your gaming PC.
One of the popular PSUs in the market is the Seasonic Focus GX-850 White 80+ Gold PSU. It is highly regarded for its reliability, efficiency, and stability. With its 80 PLUS Gold certification, it efficiently converts power, reducing energy waste and keeping your electricity bills in check. Its 850W power output provides ample wattage for high-performance gaming systems and future upgrades. The fully modular design allows you to connect only the necessary cables, ensuring clean cable management and improved airflow. With reliable and stable power delivery, the Focus GX-850 PSU provides peace of mind and protects your valuable components. Its silent operation and quiet fan ensure an optimal gaming experience without unnecessary noise distractions.
9. PC Casing
Last but definitely not the least, we have the PC casing. It helps ensure optimal performance and protection. It also provides a sturdy and secure enclosure for your valuable components, shielding them from dust, static, and physical damage. The casing also facilitates proper airflow and cooling by directing the airflow efficiently through its well-designed ventilation and fan mounting points. It allows you to showcase your hardware with customizable RGB lighting and transparent side panels. Additionally, the casing offers convenient access to the components, simplifying the installation and future upgrades.
Here at Volta PC, we have our own casings; Model V, T and A (see below).
They have excellent airflow and compartments for cable-management so that your PC looks as aesthetic as possible. The models have dedicated compartments to hide the PSU as well, making the interior of the casing as minimalistic as possible, which is all the rage these days.
That is all we have for you for this article. Adding all of them up, the average price of a custom gaming PC is $3,181 without PC case fans. With the one we recommended, it’s $3,181 + ($25.33 x 3) (assuming 3 case fans) = $3,256.99. Not a cheap price, but not the worst either. If you were to look at pre-built PCs, this price might get you lower-quality components. For a similar level, the price might be way more expensive. But that’s for another article. Thank you for sticking through this article with us, we hope that it was informative. Happy gaming!
Should you wish to build your own custom PC build, check out our Custom PC Build on our website. Should you wish to purchase any of the components or gaming peripherals, check out our catalogue. We also sell pre-built PCs that are reasonably-priced, which is uncommon in the market, so do check out our Model V, T and A here as well.