Anyone who leads a computer-heavy life, whether it be for leisure or work, is likely to come to the point where they want to build their own custom computer. For PC enthusiasts looking to build their own computer from scratch, the high costs are likely to leave you disheartened. While there are vendors that will build you a PC by your specifications, many users may wish to put the pieces together themselves to better control price and capability. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to make building your own PC less of a financial strain.

Pay Over Time

Depending on your financial situation, you may feel more comfortable paying for the build in small increments over time. This is especially helpful if your computer is essential for your work and you can’t afford to wait until you have a lump sum to purchase the piece. By spacing out payments on a large purchase, you can customize your payments. While the lump sum of $2,000 may be out of your budget, $100 a month for 20 months might be more suited to you. Spreading the payments out is an excellent way to avoid breaking the bank while still building your own system.

Limit Yourself

Everyone is interested in having the best of the best, but despite this trend, you can limit the cost of your PC build by tempering your needs and making a full and conservative list of the specifications you want. This is especially true for gaming PCs but applies to all builds. For example, if you’re a student whose primary use for the computer will be Microsoft Office programs and text files, you don’t need excess hard drive memory. Many will go directly for the largest memory storage – often a terabyte – and fail to use even half of the memory available on such a drive. If you end up filling up your hard drive, it’s easy enough to purchase an external hard drive as a supplement, allowing you to lowball your memory without limiting your capabilities. This tip can apply to any part of your build, so plan out the parts you want and decide for yourself if you need the top of the line or can limit yourself.

Know Where To Cut

Memory is one of several places where you can cut down on excess funds. Knowing what you’re going to be using the personal computer can help you to decide on what may be ultimately unnecessary. Consider these brief guidelines for things to look out for, depending on your build.

If you’re building your personal computer for gaming purposes, consider the games you play. The beautiful AAA titles that are released with a focus on amazing graphics will require an excellent graphics card, which will be one of several pieces that drain your wallet. Budget-minded gaming builds will place emphasis on graphics cards, CPU, and often storage. Because of this, you may consider lower-end motherboards and cooling systems.

Towards Work

If you’re building your PC for work exclusively, several pieces can be cut to a lower end. Graphics cards won’t be as important, which can lower the cost of your build by hundreds. Along with graphics cards, you may not need as much processing power or memory, so CPU and storage can be replaced with lower-end options as well. This, of course, depends on the form of work you perform with your PC. Modeling and diagnostics programs, such as programming or music mixing, can be taxing on your system. Do the proper research related to your field to know what the programs you’ll need to use require so you don’t accidentally build a computer that can’t complete the task.

Building A Hybrid

Building a hybrid computer – one with a balance between personal and work use – is typically cheaper than focusing on a specific build. Unfortunately, this is often because hybrid computers don’t excel at any tasks and instead complete all averagely. Don’t expect to run high-demand projects on hybrid computers, such as Photoshop or demanding video games, but expect to be able to run most things you come across. Overall, your build will be cheaper due to picking the middle of the road for most of your options. However, aiming for a hybrid system can allow you to fine-tune it to lean the build towards a specific future build. Hybrid builds are a fantastic way to get your build going and allow you to upgrade the parts over time, letting you achieve a better build without breaking your bank.

Control Accessories

A good chunk of the cost of any build will be in important accessories. Parts like monitors, keyboards, the mouse, and audio systems will be vital to the operation of your build, but also can be seen as a way to cut costs. Avoid the current trend of having more than one monitor to save a couple of hundred dollars. Aim for a comfortable and affordable headset instead of the top of the line speakers, assuming that you don’t need flawless sound quality for your use. As always, consider the needs of your system to better see where you can cut down on expenses.

Space Out The Purchases

It can be difficult to pace yourself once the idea to custom build your own PC enters your head. You may want to purchase all of the parts close together and have them arrive simultaneously so that you can put it all together within a few days. This also means that you’ll spend the entire cost of the build-up front, so space out the purchases to alleviate the blow it can do to your finances

Building a PC is a rising trend that’s picking up more and more in the information age. The surplus of parts on the market means that anyone trying to build their own PC has more than enough options to fit any budget or build. No matter what you’re using your computer for, building your PC offers a level of customization that will make your experience exponentially more enjoyable.