Are you in the market for a new pre-built gaming PC? Then you’ll probably know that the gaming PC market has a huge range of systems – and most importantly – price points to choose from. So, what should you be paying? And, what should you be getting for your money? Keep reading and you’ll find out.
Desktop PC or Laptop?
The first thing you’ll need to decide is whether you want a desktop PC or a laptop.
In general, you’ll find that desktops offer better value for money. This is because they tend to be produced in higher volumes and can also pack more performance into their form factor.
If you want a laptop that offers comparable performance to a desktop, you’ll often have to pay significantly more. This is due to the challenges associated with developing high-performance components in form factors that are small enough to fit in a laptop.
In other words, if you want to enjoy the highest gaming performance at the lowest price point, you’ll want to buy a desktop PC.
Gaming Specific Desktop PCs
Not all desktop PCs are created equal!
When selecting a desktop PC, it’s important that you select one which has been specifically designed for gaming.
It’s all too easy to walk into your local high street store and come away with a desktop that isn’t necessarily going to be all that great at playing games.
So, look out for desktop PCs that are explicitly labeled as ‘gaming PCs’.
You’ll find that these systems have gaming-specific components such as NVIDIA or AMD graphics cards, Intel or AMD multi-core CPUs, and plenty of RAM and storage capacity.
Best Pre-built Gaming PCs by Budget
Now it’s time to provide the answer you came here for. How much should you pay for a pre-built gaming PC? To make it easier, we’ve split our answer into different bands; budget gaming PCs, mid-range gaming PCs, high-end gaming PCs, and extreme gaming PCs.
Reputable retailers, like CCL Online and others, make it easy for you to select a gaming PC within these price brackets.
How Much Should You Pay For a Budget Gaming PC?
If you’re working to a budget, then you shouldn’t be looking to spend any more than £750.
This will get you a gaming PC that has a good basic graphics card, such as an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, a reasonably powerful CPU such as an AMD Ryzen 3 4100, and enough SSD storage to keep a number of games on (500GB).
To give you an idea of the capabilities of a budget gaming PC, a GTX 1650 graphics card along with the other components listed above should let you play games at lower resolutions, or at 1080p at medium-to-low settings.”]
How Much Should You Pay For a Mid-Range Gaming PC?
For a mid-range gaming PC, you should pay around £1,250.
You should expect a mid-range gaming PC to have a graphics card such as an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 or an AMD RX 6600, a CPU such as an Intel Core i5 1100F or an AMD Ryzen 5 4500, between 8Gb and 16Gb of DDR4 RAM, and at least 1TB of storage.
With all of those components, you should be able to play most current games at 1080p.
How Much Should You Pay For a High-End Gaming PC?
Should you want to get into the realm of top-level AAA gaming, then you’ll want a high-end gaming PC that will set you back around £2,000.
At this level of spending you’ll get a system that has a higher-end graphics card such as an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, a powerful processor like an Intel Core i7 11700F, at least 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and usually, both HDD and SSD drives for storage – totaling around 2/3TB.
With those specifications, it’s no surprise to find that a high-end PC will typically be able to handle 1440p gaming at decent frame rates and resolutions.
How Much Should You Pay For an Extreme Gaming PC?
When it comes to extreme gaming PCs, the sky really is the limit. Prices for extreme gaming PCs start from around £3,000 but we’ve seen systems available that cost as much as £5,500.
Take a peek under the hood of a pre-built extreme gaming PC and you’ll usually find a top-of-the-line graphics card such as an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090, a top-of-the-line CPU such as an Intel Core i9 12900k, as much as 64GB of DDR4 RAM, and huge amounts of SSD and HDD storage.
Thanks to that sheer ‘firepower’, an extreme gaming PC will be able to easily handle 4K gaming on even the top AAA titles.
As you’ve just seen, there’s no one fixed price that you should be paying for a pre-built gaming PC. Instead, there are effective ‘bands’ whereby what you will pay will be based on the specification of the system and the kind of performance it’s capable of.
If you use our guide above and make sure that the price you’re paying lines up with the level of components in a system, you can protect yourself from paying over the odds for a pre-built gaming PC.