If you talk about high performance computers to someone who doesn’t own a high performance computer, then you might be greeted with a depressed stare. Your friend will moan “I wish I could play Far Cry 3 at maximum settings but I just don’t have $2000 burning a hole in my pocket.”
Instead of deliberately making your friend jealous, tell them that they don’t have to have $2000 to access top tier gaming performance. Sure, you could spend $10,000 on a computer that runs Far Cry 3 at maximum settings. But you could also spend $500 on a PC that can run Far Cry 3 at slightly-less-than-maximum settings. How is it even possible?
MaximumPC published a fantastic article comparing builds at different price levels. That article was published in May of 2012, which means prices have come down significantly since that point.
In that article, MaximumPC created a PC for $500, $1300, and $2,100. If you check the price of those components today, you’ll find that they’re anywhere from $200 to $500 cheaper than they were a year ago. In other words, you can get a high performance PC from 2012 at cheap 2013 prices.

The sub-$500 PC (discounted to under $350 in 2013)

Prices for those components have dropped significantly over the past year. But unfortunately, this little PC won’t be able to keep up with today’s latest games. If you’re looking for a good desktop PC, then this will do the job. But if you want to access higher performance and longer lasting potential for just a few hundred more dollars, then the next mid-range PC is your best bet.

The $1300 PC (discounted to under $1000 in 2013)

The $1300 PC probably costs closer to $1000 today, which is a fair price to pay for a heavy duty piece of electronics. This PC comes with some seriously powerful components, including a high speed SSD storage unit and a decent video card and CPU. It also comes with a sleek case and awesome staying potential.

The $2000 PC (discounted to under $1500 in 2013)

As the price of PC components fall, the top tier computers of yesterday become the mid-range computers of today. However, to call this computer midrange would be unfair. It features 16GB of RAM, a large SSD storage unit, and a top tier graphics card and CPU. This machine will run any video game today at its highest graphics setting – guaranteed.
Keep in mind that these computers were created in May of 2012. If you want to learn about newer PC components and the latest technological improvements, check out MaximumPC’s Build a PC section for the best PC building tips.

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