Are PC games more expensive today than they were a decade ago?

Say it with me: “It’s getting more expensive to build a gaming PC.” Price is our top priority When to build a gaming PC in 2022, and why wouldn’t it be? today is The best graphics cards It will cost you over $1,000, DDR5 memory is expensive, and CPU prices are double or even triple what they were a decade ago.

It’s easy to crunch the numbers and come to a conclusion, but that ignores the game optimizations, the lower prices of other components, and the various upgrade tools that players have to squeeze in for extra performance from their PC. rather than adding what you are could You spend it on a gaming PC, you add what Will be spend.

And after researching what $1,000 buys today for a decade, I can confidently say that PC gaming doesn’t get any more expensive.

What $1,000 can buy you now

Radeon RX 6700 XT GPU installed on the motherboard.

You can still build a respectable mid-range PC for $1,000 right now, despite the price tag GPU prices. Although AMD has released its own Ryzen 7000 processors (read the Ryzen 9 7950X review for more) and pushed Nvidia out RTX 4090We’re still in an awkward middle ground between the last generation and the next. This mostly means last-generation components that offer great value now that prices are starting to drop.

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600 – $160
  • CPU cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo – $45
  • Motherboard: ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4 – 105 bucks
  • memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 16GB – $60
  • Storage 1: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500 GB – $70
  • Storage 2: Computer MX500 1 TB – $90
  • Photographers card: ASRock RX 6750 XT Challenger Pro – 400 dollars
  • issue: Focus on fractal design 2 – $70
  • power supply: Thermaltake Smart BM2650 Watt – $60
  • the total: $1,060

For today’s most demanding games, you’re looking at over 60 frames per second (fps) at 1440p with this configuration, plus 4K with upscaling tools like FidelityFX Ultra Resolution (FSR). This configuration can play even the most demanding games available today at the max setting, since you’re willing to sacrifice quite a bit for it X-ray section.

It includes the most popular and demanding games today Cyberpunk 2077, Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2, And the dying light 2. Tom’s Hardware Deals The RX 6750 XT hits over 110 fps in Horizon Zero Dawn and 80 fps in Red Dead Redemption 2 at 1440p, While TechPowerUp The card hits just under 60fps Cyberpunk 2077 movie at 1440 pixels.

This is our baseline. If you spend $1,000 today, you won’t quite be able to hit 4K in the most demanding games, but 1440p is still within reach (often well over 100fps). You also get 1TB of game storage, a modern 6-core CPU, a clipboard and a power supply with room to grow.

What $1,000 bought 10 years ago

Turn the clock back to 2012: AMD had “HD” in the names of its graphics cards, every motherboard was decked out in blue plastic, a metal PC case would cost you over $300, and even a 60GB SATA SSD was over $100. dollar. We’ve come a long way.

Looking back, it’s interesting to see the same talking points as today, especially for a GTX 570 graphics card in this configuration. Even a decade ago, Reviews complained Pricing is an “arm and a leg” of the GTX 580, which launched at $500. It echoes what we see now with RTX 4080.

Reflections aside, here’s the configuration I settled on from 2012, using prices on Newegg available through the Wayback Machine.

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 – $ 210
  • Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V LE – $130
  • memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-1866 – $60
  • storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7,200RPM – $160
  • Photographers card: MSI N570 GTX 570 – $370
  • issue: Antec Three Hundred – $60
  • power supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro M600 – $60
  • the total: $1,050

In 2012, DirectX 11 was all new, and the landscape of demanding games looked a lot different. Batman City He led the title lineup, and he joined him The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, cry: warhead, battlefield 3, And the Subway 2033 (original version).

A decade ago, 4K was still a pipe dream, with 1440p being the aspirational resolution for the most expensive graphics cards. Or rather, 1600p was the ambitious resolution. At that time, 16:9 was not recognized as the actual aspect ratio yet, so most of the tests were done at 16:10. It’s important to remember that there weren’t any upgrade options at this time – you got what you got from performance.

DDR3 memory sits on the motherboard.

The GTX 570 managed to top 60fps in Batman City In Full HD with maximum settings, although it did not reach 1600p at an average of 38 frames per second. The The same was true of battlefield 3, It delivers around 70fps at Full HD and around 40fps at 1600p.

This time she was still often in the “could work.” cry” era, which is clear from Shout: Warhead performance. The GTX 570 is short, just shy of progress 50 frames per second in Full HD and closer to 30fps at 1600p. Subway 2033 The real standard at this time was – styled Cyberpunk 2077 movie Now – where you can expect is around 30fps at Full HD and closer to 15fps at 1600p.

Are computer games getting more expensive?

Hand holding RTX 4090 GPU.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

It’s hard to answer whether PC games are actually getting more expensive because the answer is yes and no. For evidence, you need look no further than Nvidia’s latest GPUs. Major 10 years ago was $500. Today, $1,200. If you want the best of the best, PC gaming is more affordable today than it was a decade ago.

But this is a narrow segment of buyers who want this configuration. If anything, you’re getting more for your money today than you did a decade ago. Upgrading tools like Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) Make higher resolutions possible with less capable hardware, and the CPU plays a much smaller role in gaming performance, allowing you to save some money by using options from previous generations.

Today, $1,000 buys you over 60fps, and oftentimes closer to 100fps, at 1440p with 4K playability. A decade ago, you could get past 60fps in Full HD without resorting to much jumping in resolution. Obviously, resolutions and game requirements change over time, but games a decade ago were clearly more demanding on hardware than games today. You get a better experience, even with the most demanding benchmarks available in each era.

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