Value Gaming PC – Buyer’s Guide

The perception of PC gaming being costly and intricate is common. However, while it may be considered the more challenging aspect of the video game hobby than consoles, it is not as intimidating as it seems. This article aims to debunk common misconceptions, provide a basic understanding of PC components and suggest affordable entry-level machines for those new to PC gaming. And by considering your requirements, financial constraints, and personal preferences, this purchasing guide will assist you in determining which gaming PC to purchase.

Why Should One Buy a Gaming PC?

There are many reasons why someone might choose to buy a gaming PC:

  • Superior performance: Gaming PCs are typically more powerful than consoles, allowing for higher frame rates, better graphics, and smoother gameplay.
  • Customizability: With a gaming PC, you can customize and upgrade individual components, such as the graphics card, processor, and memory, to improve performance and meet your specific needs.
  • Versatility: Gaming PCs are not just for gaming; they can also be used for productivity tasks like video editing or graphic design.
  • Exclusive games: Some games are exclusive to PC and cannot be played on consoles.
  • Modding: PC gaming allows for modding, which can enhance and personalize the gaming experience by adding new content, features, or modifications to existing games.
  • Long-term cost-effectiveness: While a gaming PC may have a higher upfront cost than a console, it can be more cost-effective in the distant run due to the ability to upgrade individual components rather than buying a new console every few years.

Who Should Buy a Gaming PC?

Value Gaming PC

A gaming PC can benefit several types of gamers:

  • Casual gamers: These gamers are interested in one or two games, such as an MMO or a free-to-play game like Fortnite or Apex Legends, but don’t want to spend thousands on a gaming PC. For them, a budget gaming PC can enhance their gaming experience.
  • Frequent gamers: Those who spend more than 20 hours a week gaming and prefer a PC over a console can benefit from the flexibility of in-game choices and the lower cost of purchasing PC games.
  • Streamers: Streamers who want to stream their gaming content on platforms like Twitch need a gaming PC that can run games quickly and at a decent quality level to provide a seamless streaming experience.
  • Home workers: If you work from home and already need a PC, a gaming PC can serve as a dual-purpose system that meets your work and leisure needs.
  • Experienced gamers who like to mod: Gaming PCs offer more flexibility in game modifications and adaptations than consoles, which can appeal to professional gamers looking to add more content and features to their favorite games.
Value Gaming PC

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Key Components of a Gaming PC

When buying a gaming PC, there are several crucial factors to consider that differ from buying a regular PC. With various specifications and features offered by different gaming PCs, it’s vital to ensure you get a balanced system that suits your needs. Below are the five key areas to keep in mind when investing in a new gaming PC:

  • Cost 
  • Graphics Card 
  • Processor/RAM 
  • Hard Drive
  • Others


When buying a gaming PC, the price can vary widely, ranging from a budget-friendly $500 to a high-end $5,000 system. Ultimately, the money you spend depends on your budget and personal preferences.

Investing more money typically means you’ll have access to high-quality components that can offer better performance and longevity. So, if you’re looking to future-proof your investment, it may be wise to spend more upfront.

However, this may not always be feasible, and getting a great gaming PC is still possible even on a tight budget. With meticulous research and consideration, you can find a system that meets your gaming needs and offers good value for your money.

$500-$1000Suitable for playing games that don’t require high-end graphics and older games. Ideal for gamers who don’t require high-resolution or quality levels while playing. However, it may not be able to run the latest high-end games such as Forza Horizon 5, Cyberpunk 2077, or Control.
$1000-$1500Capable of running the latest games, the resolution may need to be lowered to 1080p and the detail levels reduced to prevent stuttering. However, this price range is ideal for individuals willing to compromise or interested in playing older games with lower system requirements.
$1500-$3000This range can play the latest games with high image quality, including 4K gaming. It’s ideal for players who prioritize image quality and are willing to spend more to avoid compromising.
$3000-$5000Capable of running the most demanding games and prepared for future games with even higher requirements. Suitable for gamers with a generous budget.


The Importance of Graphics Cards in Gaming PCs

The most critical component in any gaming PC is its graphics (video) card. Graphics cards are the heart of what enables you to play games at high resolutions and with as many graphical features enabled as possible. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the most expensive components out there.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Graphics Card

When choosing a graphics card, there are several factors to consider, including:

  • The resolution you want to play at
  • The power of the GPU processor
  • The amount of GPU RAM

Companies That Provide Graphics Cards

Regarding graphics cards, two significant companies exist, AMD and Nvidia. Nvidia is currently the preferred choice for gamers, offering the best graphics cards with its RTX 30 series. However, while the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is the finest graphics card available in the market, it is also the most expensive. As a result, you’ll likely come across the RTX 3060 or 3070 range when buying a gaming PC.

Graphics Cards for Playing Games at 4K Resolutions or High Graphic Settings

For gaming at 4K resolutions or with high/ultra-high graphics settings, the RTX 30-series is generally considered the optimal choice.

AMD Graphics Cards for Tighter Budgets

If you’re on a tight budget, AMD’s RX 6000 Series is worth considering. These cards are suitable for playing games at 1080p resolutions with slightly lower graphic detail levels. But, of course, most games can run at 1080p or lower graphics levels if you’re willing.

Considerations When Choosing a Graphics Card Model

When buying a GPU, paying attention to the model number is essential, as it can affect the price significantly. For instance, when purchased separately, a 20-series GPU card typically costs around $300 less than a GeForce RTX 30-series card. However, when buying a desktop system, expect to pay around $200 more for the latest RTX 30-series card. In addition, it’s worth noting that GPU prices often fluctuate due to global microchip shortages.

Importance of GPU RAM

One factor to consider when buying a graphics card is the amount of VRAM or Video RAM. Graphics cards with more VRAM can provide better performance in graphics-intensive applications such as gaming. Therefore, look for a graphics card with at least 12 GB of VRAM, as it will likely perform better than one with 8 GB.

VRAM, also known as GPU RAM or video random access memory, is RAM dedicated solely to assisting your computer’s graphics card. Unlike regular RAM, it cannot be upgraded at a later time. More VRAM allows your graphics card to access game textures and other effects more quickly and smoothly.


Gaming Processor

When choosing a gaming PC, two popular processor options are Intel and AMD. The choice of the most powerful processor for gaming depends on your budget. Generally, higher numbers indicate better processing power.


A processor or central processing unit (CPU) interprets and executes most of what you see on your computer screen. Its speed and the number of cores affect how fast it operates and completes tasks. Cores are like processors within processors, and most CPUs have between four and eight of them.


Computer RAM works similarly to VRAM, but instead of assisting the graphics card’s processor, it helps the main CPU. As a result, the more RAM you have, the better your system can retrieve temporary information, improving speed and performance.

For gaming, you need at least 16GB of RAM. Although the average PC can multitask reasonably well with 8GB of memory, 16GB is practically the least you need when gaming because games are more and more demanding than browsing the internet or using office-related software.

RAM Speed and Type

Not all RAM is equal, so it’s crucial to check the speed and type of RAM. DDR5 is the newest and fastest RAM, but many systems still use DDR4. Avoid anything lower than DDR4.

For Intel processors, RAM must run at 3,200 MHz for optimum performance, while AMD systems can cope with 3,600 MHz. Slower RAM will still work, but your PC might suffer from a bottleneck as it tries to process all the information, and performance may suffer.

Processor Options

Regarding building a gaming PC, two popular processor options are AMD and Intel. However, both have strengths and weaknesses, so knowing which one suits your gaming needs is essential.

AMD offers the Ryzen 5 series, commonly found in gaming PC systems, and the Ryzen 9 series for high-end gaming. On the other hand, Intel has the i9 range for high-end gaming and the i5 and i7 for more affordable but still speedy gaming.

Hard Drive

hard disk

Importance of Solid State Drives (SSDs) for gaming PCs

When purchasing a gaming PC, it’s crucial to ensure that it has SSD storage rather than a regular hard drive. SSD storage is one of the easiest ways to improve your gaming PC’s performance by enabling your PC to read files more quickly, reducing game loading times, and improving overall performance.

Optimal SSD Storage Capacity

Buying a gaming PC with as much SSD storage as possible is essential. Unfortunately, some gaming PCs only offer 256GB of SSD storage, which may need more to store many games simultaneously, especially with the latest games requiring over 100GB of space. As a result, you may need to uninstall games frequently to make room for new ones, which can be time-consuming.

Furthermore, games often require extensive patches requiring significant spare space to install. As a result, a minimum of 512GB SSD storage is recommended unless you only plan on playing one or two games. While 256GB SSD storage may be enough for a few games, you will likely need more space as new games require more extensive storage.

Exceptions for Hard Disk Drives (HDDs)

If the gaming PC only offers regular hard drive storage, it’s best to avoid it. However, it may be suitable if it provides SSD storage and a hard disk drive (HDD). An HDD can offer additional storage space at a lower cost, but it’s not as fast as SSD storage.

Upgrading Your Storage

Fortunately, installing a new hard drive in many systems is possible. If you need more storage space later, add a new hard drive to your gaming PC. However, keep in mind that installing a new hard drive may require additional expertise and time.


Here’s a quick overview of what else you would need after getting the essentials that can hugely impact your gaming experience.


A 1080p monitor with a 60 Hz refresh rate for entry-level gaming PCs is a good option. This type of monitor is more affordable and maximizes your hardware’s potential. In addition, if you have a weaker rig, a 1080p monitor with a 60Hz maximum refresh rate is better suited than a 1440p or 4K monitor with high refresh rates.

Internet Connectivity

Unless you plan on hardwiring your gaming PC to your router via an Ethernet cable, you will need a wifi card to connect wirelessly. Some motherboards may include wifi cards, while others require a separate component.

Keyboard, Mouse, and Other Peripherals

A basic keyboard and mouse are sufficient, but competitive players may prefer the feel and performance of mechanical keyboards and gaming mice. Gamepads like Xbox, PlayStation, and third-party controllers can be paired via USB or Bluetooth. Some monitors come with speakers, but a pair of headphones or a gaming headset is also a great option.

PC Buying Tips

There are three routes gamers generally take when buying a gaming PC.

  • Pre-built Gaming PC: The first option is a pre-built gaming PC, a ready-to-use system manufacturer or retailer sells. Pre-built gaming PCs are an excellent option for gamers who do not want to spend time or effort on researching and assembling individual components. They are also ideal for a quick and hassle-free gaming setup.
  • Custom-built Gaming PC: The second option is a custom-built gaming PC, which involves selecting individual components and assembling them yourself or having them built by a professional. Custom-built gaming PCs offer the advantage of being tailored to your specific needs and preferences and can often be more cost-effective than pre-built systems.
  • DIY Gaming PC: The third option is a DIY gaming PC, which involves selecting and assembling individual components. DIY gaming PCs are the most flexible and customizable option but require more technical expertise and time commitment.

Making Informed Decisions About Brand, Warranty, and Additional Features

Regarding brands, gamers should research and compare different manufacturers and brands to find the ones that offer high-quality components and reliable customer support. In addition, some brands may also offer specific features or software that are beneficial for gaming.

Warranty is another critical factor to consider. Most gaming PC manufacturers offer a warranty that covers the system’s components for a certain period. Gamers should look for warranties that cover the components for at least two years and ensure that the manufacturer has a good reputation for honoring warranties.

Additional features such as cooling systems, RGB lighting, and extra USB ports can also impact the value of a gaming PC. Gamers should consider which features they need and which ones they can do without, as additional features can add to the cost of a system.

Upgrading Components and Optimizing Settings for Better Performance

Upgrading graphics cards, memory, and storage can significantly improve a gaming PC’s performance. However, gamers should research compatible components and follow manufacturer guidelines to ensure the new components work well with the existing system. Upgrading components can be a cost-effective way to boost performance and extend the life of a gaming PC.

Optimizing settings such as resolution, frame rate, and graphics quality can also impact a gaming PC’s performance. Gamers should adjust these settings to balance performance and visual quality. They can also use gaming optimization software to help optimize their settings for their specific system.


When choosing a gaming PC, there are several important factors, such as the graphics card, processor, storage, display, internet connectivity, and peripherals. By understanding each component’s technical specifications and performance requirements, you can make an informed decision that maximizes your gaming experience and fits within your budget. Whether a casual or competitive gamer, investing in a high-quality gaming PC can offer you the speed, power, and graphics capabilities necessary to take your gaming to the next level.

Is building a gaming PC difficult? 

Building a gaming PC can be intimidating, especially for those unfamiliar with computer hardware. However, with the proper guidance and resources, it is certainly doable. Many tutorials, videos, and step-by-step guides are available online to help you through the process.

Should I buy a pre-built or build my gaming PC? 

There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. Pre-built gaming PCs can be more convenient and require less technical knowledge, but they are often more expensive and may offer less customization. Building your PC allows you to choose the exact components you want and can be more cost-effective, but it does require some technical expertise.

Can I upgrade my gaming PC in the future? 

Yes, one of the benefits of building your gaming PC is that you can upgrade it over time as your needs and budget change. You can swap out components like the graphics card, CPU, and RAM to improve performance or add new features.

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