To Build Or To Buy A Gaming PC? Pros & Cons

Written By: Justine Liew

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Source: tomshardware

In our previous article, we talked about the step-by-step guide on all you need to know about building your very own gaming PC. If you haven’t read it yet, you can always read it here. 

After reading the article, you might wonder if it is better to build or buy a gaming PC. Everyone has their preferences, budgets, and even urgency. Some may want to challenge themselves with PC building’s intricacies, while others may opt to purchase a pre-built one to avoid making any serious mistakes.

Breaking Down The Choices

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Source: neweggbusiness

There are generally three main choices that you can opt for when deciding to get a gaming PC. 

  1. You can build the PC yourself. As discussed in our previous article, you can choose to make the PC yourself, sourcing all the components you want and then finally assembling it the way you want it. 

  2. Custom build your PC. You can also consider ordering it from a custom PC building company or getting it from your local computer hardware store (*cough* PCByte *cough*). You can select the features and components you want, and their team of experts will build and test them for you.

  3. You can buy a pre-built PC. Lastly, a pre-built gaming PC is a complete system put together by well-known manufacturers using reliable hardware configurations. They are thoroughly tested and ready to use once it’s out of the box.

In this article, we’re going to go through the pros and cons of building your PC and purchasing pre-built PC options to help you come to a sound decision. 

Reasons To Build Your Gaming Rig

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Source: msi

Many serious gamers opt to build their gaming PC rather than investing in a pre-built machine. It opens the door to creating a unique and aesthetically pleasing system that gives them a sense of accomplishment when the build is complete. 

We’ll explore some of the pros of building a PC from scratch.

Freedom To Customize

This is arguably the most significant advantage of building a PC instead of purchasing one. You get to hand-select every component that goes into your PC, from the CPU to the cooling system. You’ll be able to fine-tune and build your PC according to your budget and preferences. It also won’t feel like a competition, and you can take your time researching the parts you want and the performance it’ll give.

If you don’t mind thrifting, you can opt to save a couple of bucks with open-box or refurbished products. Just make sure they’re trustworthy and reliable! Or if you want to splurge, by all means, go for the higher quality parts if you’re going to overclock your PC. 

Cost Saving

Building a PC from the ground up can be less expensive than buying pre-built ones. That is because higher quality pre-built PCs have a higher markup. You can easily purchase each part individually for a cheaper price point.

Easy Upgrades 

As components are continuously upgrading, it is much easier to purchase a new version of your part and then swapping them out. Additionally, the basic knowledge of building the rig that you’ve picked up can aid in performing the upgrades. 

Are There Cons To Building A Gaming Rig?

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Source: tomshardware

Every method has its pros and cons and building a PC yourself has its drawbacks which we’ll look into together. 

Time Consuming

Putting together a gaming rig takes time, especially in the research process. You’ll need to know which parts are compatible with each other and what kind of performance that you expect from them. It also takes several hours to finish building the rig, and the process can be tedious. Once that’s done, you’ll also need to configure the setup accordingly and fix any issues that arise. 

Lack Of Knowledge

You will need to have some form of technical hardware knowledge to test out the parts thoroughly and if they’re compatible. Though PC building guides are abundant online, making it reasonably easy to follow along; however, it still requires more common hardware knowledge. You’ll have to test out the PC yourself multiple times to get it working the way it’s supposed to. 

Limited Warranty

Each component that goes into building your PC has the risk of failing, and it doesn’t matter which company or brand manufactures it. You will not be getting an all-encompassing warranty for your rig with creating your PC. That is because you may have purchased different components from different vendors. If one of your PC components fails, the individual hardware vendors tend to blame the other party.  

Reasons To Buy A Gaming Rig

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While it is worth noting that building a PC by yourself has its benefits, there are also many instances where purchasing a preassembled machine is preferred. 

Warranties & Support

People tend to purchase instead of building a PC because of the warranty and after-sales service that comes with it. The truth is, many of us just don’t have the time, skills, or desire to build a PC unless you’re interested in the nitty-gritty details of it all. With pre-built workstations, their support team is just a phone call or email away. If the problem needs more assistance, the warranty will cover the cost of repairs or replacements. 

Better For The Less Tech-Savvy

Some people might feel more comfortable purchasing a pre-built PC rather than built it themselves due to the lack of hardware knowledge and any aptitudes necessary to assemble all the components. It is also best suited for people who won’t know which computer parts combination complements each other well. 

Reliable And Thoroughly Tested

You know you’re getting the most out of a pre-assembled PC build because they are fully configured and tested by professionals. Should any issues arise during the tests, their experts will ensure the problem gets resolved before putting it up for sale. Moreover, some shops or manufacturers also offer features that you might not be able to purchase on your own, i.e., pre-installed software, warranty-safe overclocking, and more. 

Cons Of Buying A Gaming Rig

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Source: newegg

Likewise, every approach will have two sides, and purchasing a gaming PC is not exempted from having drawbacks. 

More Expensive

Buying a pre-assembled machine sometimes means paying for more, in which you could save the extra money spent on other peripherals. Generally speaking, a pre-built PC costs more because manufacturers use high-quality parts, and you’re also paying for assembly, high-profit margin, and warranty services. 

It is not always the case, though, as some mid-tier PCs are much cheaper than building one yourself. You can also get one during sales, such as Black Friday, to get the most out of your money. 

Harder To Customize & Upgrade

Many pre-built PCs leave little to no room for any hardware expansion or upgrades. That is because the manufacturers already decided on the components that will go into the system. And to some extent, the fixed structure makes it more challenging, if not impossible, to upgrade some aspects of your computer. With this, customization is limited, especially when you’ve done your research regarding which part can help you maximize your gaming performance. 

Bottom Line

In the end, the choice is entirely yours alone. If you want to relish in the sense of accomplishment by completing your PC build, by all means, go ahead. Or, if you’re going to put your trust in well-known manufacturers and purchase a ready-to-use PC, that is also another viable option. 

The outcome of both options is the same: you get to play any games you want on your new setup. 

We hope some of the benefits and drawbacks written in this piece help you come to a better conclusion if you’re ever keen on building or getting a gaming rig of your own.