Are you planning on upgrading to or buying a new gaming computer for yourself? Before you buy a gaming computer, you need to decide on one thing first. That is if you want to buy a pre-built or custom-built gaming PC.
Among gamers, PCs or personal computers are the second-most popular medium for gamers. 52% of gamers in the US play on a laptop or desktop. However, even among PC gamers, there is a divide in gaming PCs they use.
As a gamer, is a custom-built or pre-built gaming PC right for you? In the guide below, we’ll answer that question to help you make an informed decision. Keep reading to learn how to decide between building a PC or buying a pre-built gaming PC.
Pre-Built Gaming PC vs. Custom-Built PC: Key Differences
In the world of PC gaming, the type of PC you have can change the way you play. Buying a pre-built gaming PC or custom-built PC can have direct and non-direct impacts on your game. With that in mind, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to picking between the two choices.
A custom-built PC is a computer assembled to meet the user’s specific needs. Depending on the user’s goals, different parts of the computer will get prioritized first. For example, gamers often focus on getting a computer’s motherboard, CPU, and RAM first.
A pre-built gaming PC, in contrast, is a personal computer that’s already assembled by the manufacturer and sold that way. The machine already has complete systems and won’t need further upgrading. Of the two, this is the cheaper yet more limited choice.
Buying a Custom-Built Gaming PC
There are different ways to get a custom-built PC. You can build the computer yourself. This means you buy and assemble the components yourself. If you do this, the common method is to buy each component at different times to save money.
The other way to get a custom-built PC is to have someone else build it for you. You can order a custom-built gaming desktop PC from a custom PC building company. You send them the list of specific components or specs that you want in the computer, and they’ll build it for you.
When they’re done, they’ll send the computer to you. This is a great option for those who don’t have time to shop for the PC components and assemble them. However, this method will cost more since you’ll pay for the labor and PC transfer.
Why Make or Buy a Custom-Built PC?
A big advantage of custom-building a PC is that it allows for more flexibility. You get to decide which components you want to put on the PC. If a component gets outmoded, you can switch that component and upgrade it to a newer and better model.
With that said, you get to buy only the components that you’ll need. For gamers, almost all the components of a PC are vital for good performance. Yet, for others, like video editors, they’ll want to focus more on buying a video card and extra memory.
With that said, building your PC will also let you put together a cost-effective configuration. If you’ve got a limited budget, you can still put together a decent gaming PC without spending much. The secret lies in finding the components that’ll work together well enough to form a fitting gaming PC.
Cons of Building or Buying a Custom-Built PC
While it may seem ideal to build your gaming PC, there are a few drawbacks you need to watch out for. First, DIY builds aren’t recommendable to those who are new to custom-building PCs. If you’re building it yourself, you must also troubleshoot any problems yourself.
You’ll enjoy the machine better if you ask a PC custom builder to do it for you. However, this will cost extra money. Custom builders may also not have access to all the configurations you want.
Before you start building or commissioning custom PCs, you need knowledge of them. A rough understanding of PC specs and parts can be enough. Otherwise, you may be buying hardware parts that are incompatible or imbalanced.
Who Should Buy or Built a Custom Gaming PC?
People with a limited budget should consider custom-built PCs. This is because they’ll have more control over the prices of their components.
To get an idea, check the prices of hardware like RAMs and motherboards in the market. The price of the average gaming PC will cost you between $800 and $1200. If you want to play high-end games at a high frame rate, you may have to shell out as much as $2000.
A custom-built PC is also right for you if you want a computer that’s easy to upgrade. With that said, building a PC is the right choice for you if you have the knowledge and technical skill for it. Order a custom-built PC if you want a custom PC but don’t have the know-how to build one.
Buying a Pre-built Gaming PC
Pre-built PCs are a lot less flexible than custom gaming PCs because you get them in one piece.
Still, since they’re gaming PCs, they most likely already have everything you’ll need for gaming. Convenience is the name of the game when it comes to pre-built gaming PCs. If you’re planning on buying a desktop without much hassle, a pre-built gaming PC is the best pick for you.
Like getting a custom-built PC, you’d still need to have an idea of the system you want. You need to know at least the CPU and GPU that you want. Knowing a few more specifications of PCs can help you find the right pre-built gaming PC for you.
Pros of Buying a Pre-built PC
We said that a good custom-built gaming PC presents a lot of flexibility. This doesn’t mean you’ll have only three or ten choices of pre-built PCs. Many pre-built gaming PCs have different configurations suited to your needs.
As we mentioned, convenience is the trump card of pre-built gaming PCs. You won’t have to study the correct ways to build a PC or learn the skills needed. Getting one is as simple as researching, paying for it, and then taking it home.
The effort and time you need to research gaming PC components alone can be overwhelming. If you buy pre-built PCs, you spend less time researching and checking the components you want. You can instead use that time for other tasks or focuses.
Finally, a pre-built gaming PC’s warranty covers every part of it. If something breaks, you can send it back to the manufacturer for repairs. In contrast, custom-built PCs have separate warranties. Also, its parts aren’t always ready for replacement.
Cons of Buying a Pre-built PC
Compared to customizing your PC build, you’ve got more limited choices if you buy a pre-built PC.
Manufacturers try to find a balance of PC components most consumers need and want. If you happen to want a PC with a more powerful GPU, it may be hard to find. While you can upgrade a pre-built gaming PC, the choices for upgrades are also limited.
Pre-built PCs are also more expensive than custom-building a PC. The manufacturers of pre-built gaming PCs try to cover the base cost of the components. However, they still need to make a profit and charge for the labor of building the PCs.
Who Should Buy a Pre-Built Gaming PC?
If you don’t want to spend months building the best custom-built gaming PC, then it’ll be better for you to buy a pre-built PC. People who earn from playing games are those most suited to buying pre-built gaming PCs. In case your current gaming PC goes haywire, then your best solution is to buy pre-built.
If the higher price of pre-built PCs is no issue for you, then you may want one. Pre-built PCs are more convenient, as well. You won’t have to undergo the stress of learning the basics and skills for building a PC anymore.
Plus, you get to de-stress once you start playing. You can enjoy your favorite PC games as soon as your pre-built PC arrives at your doorstep. The only thing you have to do with them is to figure out the wires for your input and output devices.
Deciding Between Buying a Pre-Built Gaming PC and Custom-Built PC
As we mentioned, there is no wrong answer in picking between a pre-built and custom-built PC.
It all depends on your budget, time, and what you want and need in a gaming PC. A custom-built gaming PC suits those who want flexibility, upgradability, and cost-efficiency. If you want a gaming PC that you can use as soon as possible and with convenience, buy a pre-built PC.
Get the Gaming Computer for You
When you’re new to the world of PC gaming, you may feel overwhelmed by all the available options. The decision alone between getting a pre-built or custom-built gaming PC makes many anxious. Our best advice for you is to research well and get comfortable with whichever one you pick.
If you want to keep learning new things on the subject, check out our blog. We’ve got more content to make your PC experience smoother and easier.