Here’s who can build your PC and how much it costs.
Yourself (it’s easier than you might think), your local PC shop, custom build online stores, and freelance builders. Costs start at $300 and go up to $2,000 and more.
So if you want to know more about who can assembe your PC and the costs, then this article is for you.
Table of Contents
Who Can Build Your PC?
The biggest gut reaction many people have to the idea of building a PC is that it sounds too difficult to accomplish.
After all, you’ve probably imagined building a computer as something only someone with an advanced degree or years of experience can do.
The truth, however, is that building a PC isn’t as hard as you might have imagined.
These are the most common ways to get a PC built:
#1 Building a PC Yourself
Building a PC yourself can seem like an incredibly overwhelming project on the surface.
However, if you can follow directions, you can get the job done.
No matter what upgrades and customizations you go with, every PC has a few common components you will need:
- The Processor (CPU): The brain of the computer that works directly with the motherboard. The CPU controls other components on the computer by sending signals.
- CPU Cooler: The system that keeps your computer from overheating
- Motherboard: A circuit board where all components connect together. Basically, it holds together all the pieces of an electronic system.
- Graphics Card: The specialized part for visual data. This special circuit board controls what is displayed on a computer screen and calculates 3D graphics and images.
- Data Storage: Where all your data is stored.
- Working Memory (RAM): Temporary storage and data cache. RAM (Random Access Memory) is the memory in a computer where running programs and data are stored.
- Power Supply: Manages power to the components. It converts mains AC (Alternating Current) to low-voltage regulated DC (Direct Current) power for the internal components of a computer.
- Case: The container that houses the computer
- Software Operating System: A system like Windows that will run your rig.
While this list may seem like a lot, each of these parts will come with directions on how to install and build them together.
While assembling a PC yourself can be challenging, it is also a rewarding experience with many benefits such as cost efficiency, customization, and control (see below for more advantages).
#2 Local PC Shops
Many local PC shops love projects like homebuilds for those who want the benefits of a custom-built PC but don’t feel comfortable doing it themselves or don’t have the time to dedicate themselves to assembly.
They can also help you pick the right parts that will suit your needs and walk you through upgrades and options for customizations you might not have known about.
Googling for PC shops in your area is the best way to find local businesses.
While using another business to help you build your rig can help alleviate some stress about trying it for yourself, you should be aware that it means that you’ll be reliant on others to fix and improve your PC for upgrades and troubleshooting issues.
#3 Custom Build Online Stores
There are many websites and online customization stores dedicated to walking you through selecting your parts and customizing your PC.
This might be the best option available for those who don’t want to assemble the PC themselves and want guidance in selecting the parts.
There is information throughout the selection process about the parts and explanations about the differences between options.
Websites like Origin, CyberPower PC, or BLD are great options.
#4 Freelance Builders
Many freelancers and computer engineers make their living by building PCs for others.
They can help give advice on parts and guide you in creating a rig that will meet your needs.
Finding one in your area will help ensure that you have help nearby for any troubleshooting issues—as well as keeping your shipping costs down.
Websites like Fiverr.com or Upwork.com can connect you to freelance PC builders.
How Much Does it Cost to Build Your PC?
Now that you know how to build a PC yourself or get help to assemble your dream rig, the big question left is how much it will cost you.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a cut and dry answer, as the question of price largely depends on the pieces and hardware you purchase, the customization upgrades you want, and the labor costs if you go to someone else to build the PC for you.
As mentioned above, it’s more cost-effective to purchase the components and build a PC rather than purchase a pre-made rig.
Comparing the two costs, a high-tier pre-made PC can cost up to $4,000, while the average price for a home-built PC can range from $400-$1,500.
Of course, adding more parts and high-end components will raise the price, but the long-term costs are also lower when you consider the updates you can make without needing to purchase a new rig.
Typically, the pricing ranges are as such:
- Low-Tier: $300-$500, perfect for those who don’t plan to do much gaming and want a PC for typical computer purposes.
- Mid-Tier: $500-$800, the popular range for non-competitive gamers who want to create a custom rig to enhance the gaming experience.
- High-Tier: $800-$2,000+, for those who plan to game extensively, play competitive esports, or stream their game playthroughs.
When breaking down the individual components, the graphics card is going to be the most expensive piece.
Other pieces can be bought at a lower quality with the same or similar result as a top-of-the-line part, but for the best gaming experiences, you will want to ensure that your graphics card can stand up to the challenge.
Plan to spend around 50% of your budget on a graphics card.
With such a variety of providers for components and ways to buy second-hand parts, there is a combination out there for every person’s needs.
Taking the time to research pricing and comparing the options for the rig you want to build will ensure that your computer is assembled with the best parts for the budget you have.
Why Build Your Own PC?
While you are looking into who can build your PC for you, it’s important to understand why making a switch to PC is recommended for gaming in the first place and why you would choose to build a PC over buying a pre-made computer.
Switching to PC over Console For Gaming
As gaming has evolved, it’s become more popular to game from a PC rather than a console like a PlayStation or Xbox.
Take a look at Twitch streams, and you’ll find that very few serious gamers use a console device.
PCs have become the standard in professional and casual gaming for a few reasons:
- PC games have better graphics.
- Online game stores like Steam usually have better pricing than console games.
- There is more variety in PC games than console games.
- PCs offer better backward compatibility, which is the ability to play older games that usually aren’t supported on new console systems.
- The customization options on PC are endless, while consoles are very limited.
Benefits to Building Versus Buying a PC
Even after making the decision to get a PC rather than a console for gaming, you might still not be sold on the benefits of building a PC over buying a pre-made model.
After all, don’t off-the-shelf PCs work about the same?
Well, not exactly. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons to consider building over buying.
Ready-made PCs can cost thousands of dollars while building your own PC can easily be done for $800 or less.
Of course, this all depends on what type of PC you build and what hardware you purchase, and we will discuss all of those details below when we get into the costs of a home-built PC.
#2 Higher Quality Parts
When you build your own PC, you can select higher-quality parts and upgrades that will better serve your needs.
You’ll know exactly what parts are going into your machine, and you can rest comfortably knowing that you didn’t cut corners for costs and can customize the part to fit your needs.
#3 Improved Cooling Systems
One of the biggest problems pre-made PCs have is their cooling systems.
Running high-resolution games can cause pre-built computers to make the classic “plane taking off” sound, which is not only irritating but can be a precursor to your computer crashing.
PCs made on the assembly line are often crammed full of parts with no airflow pathways or additional fans.
#4 Upgrade with Ease
Nothing is more frustrating than having a piece of technology that no longer supports upgrades.
PCs that are only a few years old can often run into problems with supporting new upgrades, meaning that in order to play the games you want, you’ll need to buy an entirely new rig.
With a homebuilt PC, you can easily switch out the parts you need to upgrade without having to toss the entire computer.
#5 Customization and Control
When you purchase a PC from a big company, you run into many warranties, support, and knowledge issues.
Trying to upgrade a broken PC or fix a technical issue can void your warranty and cause you to lose a lot of money.
Far too often, you have to spend the day on hold trying to track down a specialist or tech support agent who can address your specific question.
When you have a custom-made PC, you control the customization from beginning to end and understand how to fix the problems better than a person on the phone.