Sometimes it’s very easy to overlook some simple aspects to building a computer due to how difficult it might seem. One of those aspects that can be and are consistently overlooked is a budget. The budget is the deciding facto in the ability and most importantly the want to actually build a computer.
From personal experience, I believe the first step in the process to building a PC, would be creating a budget for the next PC build. This could be a lengthy process however I have a guide on How Long this takes to ease the curiosity/anxiety while trimming down the amount of time it could take to building your first computer.
Creating a budget for your next computer build is quite simple. Most of the time we look at the parts we want or even need, write them down somewhere, “where’s that pen and paper..” then look to piece it together before we purchase said parts. Usually we have a set price in mind such as $1500, or even $2000. Here is a short guide to avoid missing parts in your budget and create your budget to set yourself up for success.
Before You Get Started
The extras! That is usually the more expensive items that might be needed/wanted, but are not added into the budget. For example, there is a $1500 computer that catches our eye. But then you just realized that a new monitor, keyboard, and a mouse is needed and the new price of adding the new computer would spike the “new” budget to around $1700.
Another thing to think about and to keep in the forefront that could potentially set the budget* back is not having the knowledge of every single part to the computer that is needed.
Along with the fact that most people forget to add into their list of parts is the heat sink. This is from experience, but the heat sink can be an important piece of the puzzle as it gives a computer the longevity to take care of itself.
The Essentials for the Budget
Most of the time especially when first looking into a gaming computer or a larger scale computer for storage and think that the cost is just too much. It is important to know what to want ahead of time then set and stick to the rules of said budget to follow as a guideline.
There are a few examples in my article Check List Creation for your Computer. I will have an example or two in this article as well to give as many examples as needed to be successful. It can be easier to see it a few times to really get it!
So starting with the essentials we have:
- Graphics Card
- Hard Drive/Solid State Drive
- Power Supply
These are the primary parts that will more or less effect the budget the most. So keep an eye out for their price ranges when coming up with a table which I will cover shortly.
Extra Things to Consider in the Budget
- Fans for computer case
The more common parts that are seen and generally known items that are associated with computers for instance are motherboards, graphics card, processors, and RAM are vastly more advertised and considerably the most expensive parts.
Some of the extras like mice, keyboards, and monitors aren’t things someone usually factors in when thinking about a computer. So just make sure to check and to go over the notes again a second time to account for the items that are needed when creating the budget along with a list that will be touched on in a little bit.
Now it’s time to look onto transitioning into the Go Big aspect of this process which allows that repressed imagination of the inner self to let loose and create the style of your very own computer.
Remember to create a budget and not spend all of the money! But how is it possible to create a budget while not getting overwhelmed with not knowing what parts to get that are needed?
Let Your Goals Decide the Budget
Let your goals decide the budget for you. Usually you will get an accurate read on your budget based on the type of goals you want for your computer. This is a part of the few steps that was mentioned about in Check List Creation, and Pre-building Your Computer. Pretty much, let your goals decide your budget and create the foundation for building your computer preemptively.
Also follow those goals up with a check list to really nail down the vision of the best computer that is right for you. So a few example questions could be:
- What is the computer for?
- What will you be doing with the computer? (This could be for storage, gaming, photo storage, art, etc)
- When do you want the computer?
- How much power do you want the computer to have?
- How much is your limit in terms of money
- Is having extras and flashy lights something you want?
Foundation for the Budget
There are many other questions out there but I just wanted to focus on the primary ones to really hone in on the essentials for a computer when just getting started. So now that are questions to be answered, let’s take a moment to create a small guideline to follow when searching for parts.
- Can only spend $1500
- I would like to have a solid gaming computer
- Most likely a really strong graphics card to help for visuals
- Doesn’t have to be flashy
- I do a new keyboard, mine is a bit old but my mouse and monitor is okay
For the most part there is now a solid foundation that’s been laid out for searching about parts. Again this isn’t creating rules to follow, it is more of a guideline to help prepare to stay with the range of the set budget.
In this example the budget limit is $1500 so now is the time to remain and stick to that set limit. I would like a better graphics card here however sometimes it isn’t realistic as sometimes prioritizing the budget is not having better parts.
Creating the Map
But let’s have a whack at this and see if it’s possible to get a good graphics card while staying within the money route that is the budget! I like to create a table to really get a visual as seeing it really sets the tone for myself. Not only does it help visually see where you are going with your computer but it almost seems like a map!
|(Case)Corsair Crystal 208x RGB Micro-ATX Case||$182.99|
|(Processor)Intel Core i7-9700F Desktop Processor 8 Core Up to 4.7 GHz Without Processor Graphics LGA1151 300 Series 65W||$368.99|
|(Motherboard)Asus Prime Z390-A LGA 1151 ATX Motherboard||$179.99|
|(Graphics Card)MSI GeForce RTX 2060 DirectX 12 RTX 2060 GAMING 6G 6GB 192-Bit GDDR6 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP||$369.99|
|(RAM)Crucial 16GB DDR4-2666 RDIMM||$89.99|
|(SSD)Samsung 860 EVO 1TB Internal SATA Solid State Drive||$129.99|
|(Power Supply)EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G1+ Power Supply – 80 PLUS Gold – 750W||$136.49|
|(Heat Sink with Coolant)Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU Cooler, CORSAIR – TM30 Performance Thermal Paste||$42.00|
Grand total here is $1500.46. Right on the money with this one, but even though not able to snag a stronger graphics card, despite not obtaining the graphics card the important thing to note is remaining in the budget range.
For instance I also used bits and pieces of the examples in the article Check List Creation to really drive home the idea of swapping and moving around parts that suite the build of the computer you are looking for.
Notice in the example that there is no keyboard in this one though. I left it out purposely because this can happen when getting involved in pre-building a computer. It wouldn’t cost too much more, maybe a little over $1500. Going over or under the budget will for you to decide!
Summary of Creating a Budget
Searching for other parts comes later depending on if things change for you. Maybe you don’t need a solid state drive so we can swap those out. This is the brilliance behind creating a list and pre-building your computer. This method will save you tons of time and money!
So basically the steps we used for creating a budget were as follows:
- Know what we want
- Create a list
- Pre-build the computer
- Double check everything to make sure it is what we want
It seems simple enough, I can say from first hand experience that it is very easy to forget parts and get too involved and just getting that flashy new computer to start gaming in my case. Stick to the fundamentals and you will see great success. Not only in saving time and money but also the heartache of having to send a part back because it’s not compatible with the others.
So was this article helpful? Leave a comment and let me know or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you to know if these kind of articles help. Maybe a question I haven’t answered yet. But this can provide you with more information to set you on a path of success for your computer. See you in the next one!