How to save Money Building a Personal Computer

16 February 2017

Those enthusiasts out there who enjoy building a more superior machine compared to what can be bought off the shelf, may know a few of these money saving tricks. Although you can’t consider yourself a true guru unless you know every tip there is.

Today we are looking at how you can build a PC without having to spend a cent more than is necessary. Whether you’re aim is to build a basic every day computer or you’re building a gaming rig, we look at the smart computer tips to keep costs and save money wherever possible.


Planning the build of your PCPlanning

Whenever you aim to save money there will always be an element of planning involved, as the old saying goes, ‘measure twice, cut once’. Begin by listing every component you need for the build to ensure you don’t buy too much or too little. Once this list is created, double check that all components are compatible with each other too. If you are a little lost, then lean on the online authorities in this space such as PCWorld, Toms Hardware and The Wirecutter.

If this is your first attempt at building a computer then you may want to follow a step-by-step guide along with these money saving tips to get everything right first time.


Recycling parts from your older computerRecycle Old Parts

If you already have an old computer then you can save a lot of money by reusing parts of it for your new one. The build of a new computer revolves around a new processor and motherboard, but besides that it’s very possible to transport an older graphics card, storage memory and case over. This is certainly the case if your older computer is under 10 years old, devices with more years may not be so viable.

Remember though, if you plan to transport parts over from your older device, be sure to add it to your planning list and check that it’s compatible with everything else. Older hard drives for example might rely on an interface that isn’t supported anymore, while modern motherboards may only support newer DDR4 memory. This will mean that you won’t be able to simply slap in an older DDR3 RAM. In the event of this scenario, use this free online tool Belarc Advisor, to scan your current system and get a detailed report of every component inside.


Online Tools

Now that you know exactly what parts will be going into your new computer, it’s time to use the incredibly useful PCPartPicker, which lets you virtually assemble your new device piece-by-piece. This invaluable money saving tool will reveal any incompatibilities that will arise with your build and warn you. Furthermore, this website really earns its stripes from scouring all major electronics retailers for each component in your build. This makes finding the best available price for your items incredibly easy. If you want to extend your money saving even further, always shop around just in case their website doesn’t pick up some deals, in which case I would recommend checking our Buckscoop Deals board and Vouchers page.

To give you an example, we currently have a Dell laptop online deal that can save you $800 off the original price.

Bargains and discounts can be found from other retailers too such as Micro Center which is known for offering big in-store discounts on processors. Fry’s has been known to offer open-box discounted deals and refurbished items too to help save money. Those of you who are strictly online shopping can take advantage of Newegg, which assembles bundles of several compatible components together at discounted prices.


Timing and Used Parts

Searching online can take some time and that’s exactly what you should consider when building a new computer. The more time that passes means the greater opportunity your components have to reduce in price. Unless you are lucky enough to start shopping right when a new generation of gear hits the market and retailers are flogging their older stock, then buying a last-generation PC won’t save you money.

This is where buying used parts can really save big bucks. Prices may be great and buying from a reputable second hand seller is always recommended, but remember that these parts will generally not come with a warranty.

Our advice would be that processors, memory and cases can generally be bought second hand due to the fact they don’t have moving parts. Graphics cards are more of a risk and opinions on motherboards vary too.


Using cheap software alternativesSoftware

Hardware won’t be your only cost either when building a new PC, but software doesn’t have to be expensive. Generally, most people will think that the most expensive cost for software will be buying Windows for $100 and over. However, you can always try another free route such as Linux OS, or you can save money on software by using the website Kinguin, which is basically eBay but for software products and licenses.

If you want to spend as little as possible on software then check out my recent article on how to save money on expensive software with free alternatives.

That sums it up with regards to money saving tips for building a new PC. Whether it has been a while or you haven’t built a computer before, our parting words would be to use PCWorld’s comprehensive guide to building a PC along with the string of other articles that are attached to this article too such as installing case fans, processors etc. Plus, if you have any tips that you would like to share with our community, please use the comments section below.

TOPICS:   Money

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