Why is PC Gaming So Expensive?
PC gaming continues to become more expensive every year and inflation is not the only thing keeping it up.
Advancement in technology and increasing development costs all play a factor in this. The biggest factor will always be the market; classic supply and demand.
With new things popping up all the time like Crypto mining, the demand for anything related to computer processing will always spike up the prices.
This is one of the reasons for why PC gaming is so expensive.
There are many other things that demand high-performance computer parts and unfortunately gamers will continue to get hit with them.
Below, we’ve explored some of the reasons for why PC gaming is expensive and might only get more costly in future.
Factors That Affect PC Gaming Prices
Video editing requires a lot of computer processing. It might even be x3 heavier than playing the biggest game with every graphics setting maxed out.
The video editing market is continuously growing every year and they play a part in increasing the prices of these computer components for gaming PCs.
In the US alone, they are anticipating a 22% increase in the video editing industry (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, via Yahoo).
Mining was one of the biggest trends throughout the 2010s decade.
It allows PC setups to use their processing power when they are not using it to mine virtual currency. This was crazy back then and they almost single-handedly jacked up the prices of the latest GPUs.
Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 1080Ti was still as expensive as the newer generation model (GeForce RTX 2080) and this was all because of the supply and demand.
When there are new trends always forming that requires processing power, this will increase the overall demand for computer hardware therefore, increasing the price.
The video game industry was already worth at least $140 billion way back in 2018.
It has been increasing by 10% every year and this plays the biggest part of why the computer components are getting more and more expensive by the year.
The saving grace is that the most popular video games always have low system requirements to run.
MOBAs, first-person shooters, and even MMORPGs all have low system requirements. The longevity of these games is at an all-time high as well.
The high system requirements for video games usually come from single-player games that invest a lot more in graphics and story-driven gameplay. Meanwhile, real-time strategy games are more on processing a ton of stuff going on at the same time. The more these games get popular, the more demand higher-end computer parts get.
Prices of Gaming PCs
The prices of gaming PCs vary on which type of build you want.
You can either go for a budget gaming PC under $500 — where truthfully you’d be lucky to get much, if anything at all, you could get a mid-range build using the 2nd latest generation models, or a top tier gaming PC that uses all the latest parts.
Budget gaming PCs
These budget gaming PCs can be built for under $500. These builds usually have their investment more on the CPUs and GPUs while saving on everything else.
Motherboard – around $60-$100
GPU or video card – around $120-$200
Processor or CPU – around $100-$200
HDD, RAM, and PSU – around $150-$250
Gaming PC case, thermal paste and case fans – around $50-$80
The motherboard is not that important unless you want to invest by having more slots to upgrade in the future. You can get around by getting a cheaper version that is compatible with the GPU and CPU you are looking for. Since you are not looking for the top of the line for this tier, you can opt to dial everything back.
The other components are usually added only if needed but most of them are already cheap except for the SDD. It is not needed but it will help load your video games, including your OS, tenfold.
Others (SSD, additional case fans, additional RAMs, and additional HDDs) – $100-$150
The best upgrade should be the SSDs to help load times including PC restarts as long as your operating system is installed in the SSD.
Mid to high-tier gaming PCs
These are mostly opinionated and you can judge how much a budgeted gaming PC costs and step up a generation for each of the models. Obviously, investing in better PC components will give you better longevity. Mid-range usually goes for around $700-$1000 and everything else above that is already considered the high-end gaming PC.
This price is excluding all the peripherals and gaming monitors so it will be more expensive. This is what makes PC gaming so expensive. If you do not invest more in your gaming PC, it will become outdated really fast and if you go for a mid-range gaming PC, it will last longer but it will be more expensive.
For gamers, your build really depends on the games you are looking to play in the future.
If you are only playing simple MOBA and FPS games, you can get away with building a budget PC and have it last for more than 5 years.
The market dictates the price on these components so that variable will heavily affect gamers as previously mentioned.