How Long Should A Gaming PC Last?

PCs are pretty cool, aren’t they? If you don’t have one in 2023, what are you doing? That’s more or less the mantra over the last few years. Everyone has a gaming PC now from celebrities to elected officials in congress. It’s insane. And just a few days ago, mine died.

Mind you, it’s nothing I can’t fix, or have fixed at a computer repair shop, but these last few days without being able to boot up my PC to do anything online feels quite strange in ways I didn’t expect. As a millennial, I’d describe myself as a “Console Kid” growing up. I’m old enough to remember first seeing a computer in kindergarten at four years old, and my family didn’t have a computer in the home until I was eight or nine.

So, what I grew up with was Sony’s PlayStation – the original, that’s right – and I’ve had every subsequent console they’ve put out in the last 25 years except for the current PS5. Consoles were my source of entertainment. I played games and watched movies for years on consoles before I built my PC with an old friend seven years ago. 

My PC has become my source of entertainment these last seven years. It became the de facto machine I’d use for virtually anything we do online for fun or to kill time. I even used my PC to interview people while studying for my BA in journalism. I’m unsure if having an emotional attachment to a piece of machinery is weird, but I realized I do. However, it’s not as strong as I initially imagined. 

What Matters More Has Everything To Do With Cost

You can find plenty of pre-built gaming pc options

Seven-year-old technology is ancient even by 2003 standards, let alone 2023. I’ve had my current phone for as long as I’ve had my PC. I wasn’t planning on that, either. However, when you have tech that’s that old, determining where to start looking feels daunting. Money becomes a factor, and with the price of new phones and PCs being so high, what’s more valuable to me right now?

A quick online search for gaming PCs could lead you to results from sites like Amazon, where you could easily spend well over $2,000 for pre-built systems. The obvious caveat is that you don’t have to spend nearly that much on a gaming PC. With my current issue of a malfunctioning power supply unit, that’s the only component I really need.

A big selling point for me, noted by the friend who helped me get into PC gaming, was the fact that it will save you money over time. I spent $670 on parts for a PC that lasted me from January 3, 2016, to March 4, 2023. But it’ll still cost me over $100 to get the part I need, and I desperately need a new graphics card.

I have a GTX 970, a model in NVDIA’s GeForce 900 series that debuted in 2014. That was five generations ago. The new GeForce RTX 4070 Ti launch price was listed at a higher rate than what I paid for my PC in 2016. I don’t have $800 to spend on a graphics card. Granted, I don’t have to get that one. I could buy an older model, but it will still cost me over $150-200. I could buy a cheap gaming PC off Amazon for the price of the two components I need to change. 

That’s why I’m wondering if It’s worth it. 

Component Costs for Gaming PCs Have Soared In Recent Years

You'll want a high-end monitor for your gaming PC

There’s also talk of PC gaming becoming too expensive. Graphics processing units are one of the main culprits. Another issue I’m seeing is that many mid-range PCs don’t have the base memory storage needed to store even ten AAA (Triple-A) games – and video games are only getting bigger. It’s a lot to take in, and when you include the cost of monitors, you can easily add $200 or more to your build. 

By this time next month, I’ll reassess whether or not I want to spend the money. Thankfully, not having a PC for a while might help me focus on other things.

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