Building a PC vs. Buying a Pre-built PC: Which is Best for You?

A computer is a serious and expensive investment. For many people, this is where they get their work done. For others, it is their entertainment center. When you need a new system, you can go one of two ways – build your own computer or buy a pre-built system.

Before you can choose the best option for your needs, you should understand the advantages and disadvantages of both options.

BUILD YOUR OWN PC

For a PC enthusiast, there can be no greater sense than building their own system. When you decide to build your own computer, you have the opportunity to own a system that is unique and customized to meet your needs.

While building a computer requires effort and detailed research on your part, you will have a lot of resources at your disposal. Because of the growing popularity of PC builders, the internet is full of how-to guides, step-by-step videos, and forums for interacting with other PC builders.

Dedicated computer build cpu water cooling ram

You’ll also have access to websites that will help you simplify your build process by checking to see if the parts you’ve chosen are compatible with each other.

Despite the resources available to newcomers and even seasoned builders, building a PC can be stressful. There is a chance that things can go wrong, as the user has very few ideas on how to fix their problems.

Before you decide to build your own computer, you may want to consider its advantages and disadvantages and only take the initiative if you decide you’re ready for it.

Advantages

Building a custom computer has many advantages.

Personalization

When you build your own computer, you have the option of handpicking each component. You can choose the case, CPU, GPU, RAM, storage and power supply. You’ll have control of how powerful your device should be and how it should look – all while staying within your budget.

Building your own computer allows for a level of customization that is simply not possible with a pre-built hardware. You can customize your computer to your own specifications and design options.

Related Topics: A Quick and Dirty Guide to RAM: What You Need to Know

Limitless options

Picking out each component means you have many options in terms of pricing and upgrading.

If you want a budget gaming machine, you can build one with affordable components. You will also have the option to purchase used parts – this will make the total cost of your computer significantly less than the cost of a pre-built one.

If you already have a computer, but feel the need to upgrade, you can simply replace the components that no longer work for you. This may require replacing your GPU with a better option, or increasing your RAM, or your computer’s storage capacity.

Cost-effective

A pre-built PC will cost more than the total cost of its parts. This is because companies factor in assembly costs and some additional markup on the total price. Therefore, the computer you are building can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. If your budget is limited, you will have the option of purchasing less expensive components.

You can also build a powerful machine at a relatively low cost by choosing to buy used components.

Related: Reasons why you should upgrade your PC motherboard

cons

While building your own computer can be rewarding, it has some drawbacks:

Technical knowledge required

If you’ve never built a computer before, you’ll need to research the different parts and what’s going on. Technical knowledge is critical when it comes to building computers. You will be dealing with fragile components, and you must know how to properly assemble your machine.

While you will have resources such as guides and instructional videos at your disposal, you will still need to invest several hours in learning how to build a PC.

High risk of incompatibility

There is a chance that something may go wrong when building your PC. Since you are assembling several separate components, there is a possibility that your components are not compatible with each other. sites like PCPartPicker Ideal in this scenario, allowing you to choose from a list of compatible components, making sure every bit works together.

Related Topics: Best PC Building Websites for an Easy Life

user error

Building a computer is equal parts rewarding and challenging. If you don’t have much experience building computers, there is a higher chance that something will go wrong. If you’re not careful, you could end up bending the pins on your CPU or picking up an important cable.

You may also end up putting the parts together incorrectly. User error while building your computer could mean damaging expensive components.

Buy a pre-built computer

While building your own computer can be an exciting endeavor, it is not for everyone. Many people want a system that works without extra steps. If you prefer having a device that you can simply plug and play, a pre-built system is a great option for you.

Advantages

A pre-built system offers quite a few advantages over building a PC:

Simple setup

With a pre-made computer, you can get the machine up and running in no time. You don’t need to have technical knowledge or to understand how the components work to use a pre-made computer. It may also come preloaded with essential software, which means setup is relatively easy.

Compatible components

An off-the-shelf system is often pre-assembled by a professional and tested for stability and compatibility. This ensures that you will encounter few or no problems when you turn on your computer.

Easy fixes

Most pre-built systems come with a seller’s warranty. This ensures that you have support and access to easy fixes even if things go wrong with your computer.

Related Topics: Common Mistakes Beginners Make in Building Computers – and How to Avoid Them

cons

While a pre-built computer can be a decent purchase for most people, it does come with drawbacks:

Limited configurations

With a pre-built system, you have limited or no say in its internal components. So, while you may be able to do certain upgrades, like increasing your storage or RAM, you won’t be able to fully customize them. However, you can opt for a pre-built PC, which allows you to choose the components, but you will certainly pay a premium for the parts, pushing the final price of the PC much higher.

More expensive

Because of assembly costs, warranties, and pre-loaded software, pre-made computers often cost more than their internal components.

lower quality

Many manufacturers use cheaper components when they can. Typically, this means that the least important parts are where these components are used – such as the case, cables, or power supply.

Current GPU Market

At the time of writing, there is a huge shortage of GPUs. This shortage is attributed to the lack of silicon chips and the emergence of cryptocurrency mining. Due to high demand and low supply, scalping has become a huge problem. Scalpers buy stocks from websites and resell them at a huge price. As a result, GPUs are sold at ridiculous prices, sometimes in excess of 80% of their MSRP.

Building your own computer has long been considered the least expensive option. But with the current GPU market, more and more people are thinking of buying pre-built PCs instead. Even if the PC doesn’t meet the user’s requirements, it can replace the components you don’t like and keep the rest.

With a pre-configured computer, the user can take out the components they need, such as a graphics processing unit (GPU), and sell the rest. In some cases, this is a more affordable option than buying from speculators.

Build your own PC vs buy premade

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Building Your Own PC vs. Buying Pre-made: Which is Best for You?

Whether you build your own computer or buy a pre-built one, both options will have pros and cons. So, which one should you choose? Well, it depends on your needs and what you require from your computer.

If you do not have the time to understand the technical knowledge of building computers, then a pre-built system will be ideal for you. On the other hand, if you are a PC enthusiast and are very interested in customization, building your own PC will be very rewarding.


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