You Guys Are Still Spending a Lot on Gaming PCs

Despite the doom and gloom around PC gaming that's gone on for years now, research shows that the PC gaming hardware market is still very strong. In fact, it seems that the type of people who like to read Tom's Hardware – the enthusiast class – account for nearly half of the dollars spent towards gaming hardware.

According to Jon Peddie Research, 46 percent of the dollars spent in 2009 on stuff like boutique PCs, high-end processors and graphics cards, SSD's, specialized gaming mice, keyboards, speakers, monitors and others come from PC enthusiasts.

The research firm figures that PC enthusiasts have a special style element to them that JPR calls a "muscle car element." These days, a respectable GPU from a recent generation has a pretty good shot at running any PC game at a decent frame rate and image quality level. This opens up the PC gaming market beyond just high-end systems and towards the more humble performance and mainstream users.

Jon Peddie, President of JPR, noted that "gamers are ordering, building, and modding their rigs with components that just a few years ago were simply not available with any economy of scale. SSD's, water cooling, gaming mice and keyboards and other components have come to the Performance class and gamers are starting to snap them up."

As a result of this, JPR estimates that the enthusiast class will only account for 35 percent of the dollars spent on gaming by 2013, despite projections of growing to $12.5 billion – up from 2009's $9.5 billion. This will be due to a spread of gaming towards the performance and mainstream segments, which should be good news to anyone making a PC game these days.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • Opinion: This is why consoles will eventually die: enthusiasts game on PC. To get that console feel, download an emulator and buy a usb sixaxis close, hook up 5970 to 54'' TV, and game.
  • cloakster
    I do agree that PC gaming is for the true enthusiast. but console gaming will never die because of how cost effective it is for the consumer, assuming that they buy all their games legitly.
  • Marco925
    If enthusiasts make up half of the money for gaming PCs, Who are the other half of people?
  • shadow187
    This doesn't surprise me. For every 10 Core2Duos E7400s sold, one I7-975/980X is sold.

    You also have to account for supercomputers / companies.
  • greatsaltedone
    i have certainly found myself spending a great deal more as i have grown up and started making real money. as the gaming generation matures i would not be surprised to see the dollar amount attached to it balloon.
  • xenol
    Not to make a horrible comparison here, but this reminds me of an article that said Apple accounted for most of the $1000+ computers sold.

    Of course, PC gamers aren't like Apple enthusiasts.
  • brimstone67
    You are welcome. Now if I only got all those mail in rebates back, I could build another one. So ya, I'm not holding my breath...
  • kittle
    I dont doubt it at all.

    im also getting ready to add another chunk of my own to the sales numbers.
  • Regulas
    Almost all enthusiasts who build (some buy) their own rig also buy a console and if they are smart, it is a PS3. The reason is almost all Xbox games are on the PC too. Why play a FPS on a crappy hard to aim controller when you can get the game on a PC and kick butt with a mouse and keyboard.
    You can build a descent killer rig including a 24" monitor for under $1,500. No need for overkill with a overpriced extreme processor or multi video cards.
  • the_krasno
    See? PC gaming is NOT dead.