If you’re looking for a new PC, there are more choices than ever before that you need to stifle through based on your budget and performance requirements. The good thing is that this means that you can get the most bang for your buck given competition between PC part manufacturers has driven the cost of PC components down. That said, performance will still cost you more.
In this article, we’re going over how much can a PC cost you based on the performance you’re looking for and whether or not you’re willing to build your PC yourself.
What will you be doing with your PC?
Before you chalk out a budget for your PC, we recommend coming up with a list of use cases. Being clear about what exactly you’ll be doing with your PC will help you save massively, allowing you to optimise your budget and spend more money where it actually matters.
For example, if all you’ll be doing is browsing the web and watching Netflix, a top-of-the-line 244Hz gaming monitor that costs upwards of $600 will be a waste of money, especially when you can build an entire PC for half that price. Similarly, if you’re looking to play games at a good framerate, but blew your budget someplace else, getting stuck with a cheaper, weak GPU can throw quite a rut in your gaming experience.
Another thing that we recommend you consider is whether or not you really need a PC in the first place. Laptops and handheld PCs have gotten really good lately and will serve most if not all use cases just as good as a PC for most everyday users. The main reason why you’d want a PC is performance and upgradability as the mobile components used in laptops are often restricted in terms of performance and cost more.
Prebuilt PC vs building your own vs laptop
Another thing you can save money on is assembling your own PC. Depending on your region, the cost of PC parts available to you, your performance requirements and your overall budget, building your own PC can save you a markup that a prebuilt PC maker will charge you in terms of labour costs.
We recommend building your own PC. Not only is it a fun time, but you’ll learn a lot about computers and electronics in general. Not to mention if something breaks down the line or you need an upgrade, you’ll be able to handle it on your own instead of running to the local computer repair store and putting your machine out of commission for a while.
That said, if you’re not comfortable fiddling around with electronics, which is completely understandable given just how expensive performance CPUs, GPUs and motherboards can get, you can either order the parts yourself and get a local computer store to assemble them for you, or you can check our prebuilt PC makers such as Origin PC, iBuyPower, Volted PC or even your local Best Buy.
However, if you need to be on the go, you could also consider getting a laptop. Windows laptops have gotten significantly better and cheaper over time and you can land yourself a pretty decent laptop with more than enough power to go about some web browsing, media consumption and even light gaming for around $500.
So how much does an entry-level PC cost?
Depending on whether you decide to go for a desktop or a laptop, the pricing can vary. Generally speaking, you’ll get more performance for your money if you go for a desktop, but it doesn’t provide the mobility advantages a laptop does. More modern laptops with 11th or even 12th gen Intel processors will cost you around $700, with more modest machines coming in at the aforementioned $500 mark.
When it comes to a desktop, however, deciding the right parts for your specific use case is the most critical part of the PC building process. While we already have guides on how to build a gaming PC under ₹1 lakh, ₹50,000 and ₹30,000, to help you get started we’ve put together an updated list of basic parts that’ll get you good performance with the most bang for your buck.
|Processor||Intel 10th Gen Core i3 10105F||₹7,645 ($93.49)|
|Motherboard||MSI H410M PRO-VH||₹5,299 ($64.80)|
|RAM||Crucial CT8G4DFRA32A||₹2,800 ($34.24)|
|Graphics Card||Colourful GeForce GT 1030||₹9,400 ($114.96)|
|Storage||Ant Esports 690 Neo||₹2,118 ($25.90)|
|Case + PSU||Artis ICE 3.0||₹2,599 ($31.78)|
|Total Price||₹29,861 ($365.18)|
Note that the prices are mentioned as they are at the time of writing. There’s a good chance that these might change down the line. Additionally, based on your geographical location, you might find that some parts cost more or less than what’s mentioned below.
As you can see, for $365 you can get a pretty decent PC that can take care of most day-to-day PC tasks like web browsing, media consumption and even light gaming. Of course, this list doesn’t include the peripherals you’ll need. But budget monitors as well as keyboards and mice are quite good these days and you should be able to cram in a monitor, keyboard, mouse and perhaps even speakers or a pair of headphones under $100 easily.
Also read: The Epic war: PC vs Console vs Mobile gaming