Don’t break the bank building a poker computer

Breaks piggy bank

Building a poker computer doesn’t need to break the bank. Spending the money wisely will make your computer last for years, while you try fixing the hole in your pocket by playing online poker!

Building a computer to play poker is often a confusing experience for poker players, who are totally newbies when it comes to connecting computer equipment. Most of them call tech savvy friends to have them build a super computer or trust the local store. While those kind of friends are hard to come by and will just make a recommendation for you, local stores will be more than happy to serve you.

But there is a premium to pay for that service. Computer stores will usually charge you a bit in comparison with building the poker computer on your own. And they will probably sell you their partners’ products, limiting your options.

Why don’t players build their own poker computers?

Because they are too busy improving their poker skills, studying poker books and actually playing the game. A day lost of searching for computer parts is a day loss of poker winnings! Add another 2 days of learning how to bring all those parts together and setting up the poker computer, and you have the main reason poker players elect to have their computers built by an expert.

Still, there are poker players who enjoy spending time building computers. It’s like a hobby, much like poker being a hobby for computer specialists!

Save money and build a budget poker computer

Personally I always save money first and then go after a shopping spree! And even then, I try going for the value-for-money options, despite affording top-of-the-line products.

So, what would I consider value-for-money parts when building a poker computer?

My picks would be:

•    An Intel i5 CPU (€180)
•    8GB DDR3 RAM (€70)
•    An Asus or Gigabyte motherboard (€100 range)
•    An Intel 520 or Samsung 840 Pro SSD 120GB hard disk (€140)
•    A Corsair 650W PSU (€100)
•    One 24-inch Dell monitor (€250)
•    A case with good air flow (€100)

That poker computer would set you back for €940 but will allow you to multitable up to 6 tables without lags or eye strain. Poker software will run effortless and even the biggest database of poker hands will be loaded and updated quite fast.

The poker setup will allow for expansions in the future. For example, if you’d need a second monitor or want to try a triple-monitor setup, adding a graphics card (€100) would be the only part you’d be required to connect to the motherboard. Oh, and the additional monitors, obviously!

However that computer will cope happily with the additional workload and you won’t notice any slowdowns.

How about breaking the bank and having money burning a hole in my pocket?

Well, if the computer is going to be used for anything besides poker, I would upgrade these parts:

•    An Intel i7 CPU (€300) in case of video editing.
•    16 or 32GB of RAM (the more, the merrier)
•    Top Asus/Gigabyte motherboard (€200)
•    Additional hard disks, especially in case of photo-editing.

I wouldn’t expect the total cost of that computer to exceed 1,500 euros even in the worst case scenario. If you are just starting out building a poker computer and you are going to spend more than that, you are doing something wrong.

Unless you are a big winner at high stakes tables; it’s about time to throw away that Pentium Pro with the 17’’ CRT and 19’’ LCD monitors! Yes, you can spend the money and help the economy, don’t be scared!