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What you need to build your own gaming PC

Building your own gaming PC can seem complicated, expensive, even a little intimidating. But once you plunge into the research, you may be surprised at how fun, easy, and worth it the process may be.

Though some configurations can cost up to $3,000, you can get started with about $1000. That's not only cheaper than some prebuilt gaming PCs, it may be a small price to pay to build a long-lasting device that's curated to your specific needs.

At Asurion, we not only fix and protect your tech, we teach you about the gadgets that run your world. Here's what you need to build your own gaming PC, from parts to prices.

The case

The case is what protects your device from dust and potential damage—though you can set up your gaming PC without one if you prefer how it looks. A well-ventilated medium-sized tower case can start at $80, which is really all you need in terms of a good PC case. But higher end models with more intricate designs—if aesthetics are important to you—can cost up to $400.

The processor

This component serves as the brain of your gaming PC. It makes sure your hardware and software communicate with one another smoothly.

There are two main processing options: Intel® and AMD®. AMD processors are best known for gaming because of their power, especially the Ryzen® models. Intel has more of a reputation for work and everyday use. But it's newer, Raptor Lake series is on par with AMD processors.

Whichever one you choose, a good gaming processor can cost you anywhere from $100 to $600, depending on how much power you want. When building gaming PCs, most people will want something in the middle of that range. Keep in mind, some processors don't come with the fan included, so you may need to buy one separately to keep your processor cool and avoid damage. Consider an additional fan if you opt for a powerful processor and top of the line parts as they tend to create more heat.

The Motherboard

Your motherboard is home to your computer's hardware, and the type you need depends on whether it's compatible with your processor. Choose both carefully, otherwise they won't attach or communicate well. You'll also want to be sure the motherboard fits within the case you've got in mind. A good motherboard, like the ASUS ROG STRIX Z590, should cost you between $150 to $300. And some electronics stores bundle processors with compatible motherboards, which is often a good way to find a deal.

Graphics card

Your graphics card is the most important part of your gaming PC—and it is probably why you're interested in building your own gaming PC. The better the card, the better the quality of the graphics on your game, so if there's any place you might want to splurge, it's here. The reason: A mid- to high-level graphics card will make sure your system doesn't become obsolete. The big players—AMD and Nvidia®—have graphics cards that cost well over $1000. If that number makes you uneasy, they also have solid, cheaper versions like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, which costs around $300.

Memory

When it comes to gaming, the type of memory that matters is called random access memory, or RAM. The term refers to your laptop's short-term memory. The more you have, the faster your computer can access information it has stored with little lag or loading time. For gaming, there's no such thing as too much RAM, but too little will hinder your experience. We recommend either 16 or 32 gigabytes (GB) for your PC, which should cost you between $50 and $100, depending on how many GB you want.

Storage

There are two types of storage drives that are important for gaming PCs: solid state drives and hard disk drives. The former are faster and quieter, but they tend to be a bit more expensive.

Which one you choose may depend on your budget and the size of your game files. If you know you'll be using it to play heavy duty games like Elden Ring™, save yourself the trouble and opt for more space. For most people, 1 terabyte of storage will do the job, and you can use external storage drives if you need more space. You can pick up a 1 terabyte solid state drive for under $100 and a 1 terabyte hard disk drive for about $50.

Power supply unit

If you're looking for a place to save money, the power supply unit is probably it. Yes, this device is important—it's what supplies power to your gaming PC. But if you keep your machine simple, you can use just about any one on the market and spend about $100. If you built a top-of-the-line PC, however, you may wind up spending more—from $250 to $300 depending on the brand—because you'll want to make sure you have the right amount of wattage (between 850 W and 1000 W).

Need your computer to be a bit more portable? Here's what to look for in a new laptop.

Tech is expensive. Protect it all.

Protect the devices your family loves and relies on with one simple plan. With Asurion Home+®, we cover your computers, TVs, tablets, premium headphones, smart devices, and so much more—plus, 24/7 live support for your tech care needs—for less than $1 per day. Learn more about Asurion Home+® coverage and how you can get peace-of-mind electronics protection.





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