Are you on the fence on whether or not you should build your own computer or buy a pre-built system?
Building a PC is not as difficult as you might think. In fact, if you can follow instructions and operate a screwdriver, you are likely qualified enough to build your own computer.
There are many reasons why it makes sense to build your own computer. In this post, I’ve outlined the top 14 benefits associated with building your own computer in the hopes that you will see how much better of a deal you will get when compared to buying a pre-built machine.
1. Building a Gaming PC is Cost Efficient
If you build your own computer, it will cost you less than if you bought a pre-built system from the store. You can also build a computer based on your specific wants and needs.
You can build a basic PC for normal internet usage for about $300. These internet-only builds are perfect for someone that just wants to send emails, browse the web, and stream videos. There is no reason to spend the extra money if that’s all you do with your machine.
Gamers can build a solid entry-level gaming PC for as low as $300-$400. If you want something a little nicer than an entry-level model, you can build a gaming PC that can handle most games at max settings on a 1080p monitor for $600 or more. For gamers that want to play on monitors with higher resolutions and refresh rates, or who want to get into virtual reality gaming, spending $800 or more (the more you spend, the better performance you’ll get) on the best gaming PC components possible should get the job done.
Ultimately, though, in comparison to a pre-built system you’d get from the store, building your own computer can give you the same performance for a fraction of the cost.
2. Building a PC Allows for Easier Upgrades
When you build your own PC, you’ll know exactly where each part in your system goes and how it is installed. If you determine that it isn’t performing to your liking, or if you decide you want an upgrade, replacing parts is a simple process. People that want to upgrade components on their pre-built store bought machines will have a more difficult time. Since they have never built their own computer, they may not be comfortable enough to perform the upgrades themselves, which will force them to pay more to have someone make the upgrades for them.
Upgrading parts on your custom-built gaming PC is cheap, and it’s often as simple as removing the component in question and replacing it with the upgraded component. And, as an avid gamer it is always a good idea to update your system every few years.
3. You Will Have a Superior Cooling System
One of the problems with pre-built computers is that their cooling systems are not always efficient for gamers. These machines get built on assembly lines and are crammed with components in a tight space, which limits the airflow. They either don’t have enough fans or the cables interfere with airflow and sometimes both.
When you choose a case while building your own PC, you can select one that has options for cable management as well as slots to install fans. Even with mid-range builds, you should be able to find a case that allows for two or three fans. If you build a high-end gaming PC, you’ll have even more options to add fans and liquid cooling radiators. When your cooling system operates at a high level, the airflow allows your components to last longer, which ends up saving you time and money in the long run.
4. Building a PC Gives You a Skill You’ll Keep Forever
Whether you are a student or an adult in the workforce, building a PC gives you an advantage over those who have not built their own computer. If you put 100 people in a room and ask how many of them can build a computer, I can guarantee that a small percentage would raise their hand. We live in an era where computers are everywhere we go; they are in businesses, households, cars, and even in our pockets. Understanding how these machines are put together is an important life skill.
If your computer has problems, you can fix it yourself. Maybe your parents, friends, children, or other relatives are having computer trouble too. Rather than spending thousands of dollars to replace it, they can call you over, and you can help diagnose and fix it yourself. Having the ability to build and fix a computer can benefit you for the rest of your life. These life skills can help you save time and money, which gives you an advantage over everyone else who doesn’t have those skills.
5. Building a PC Gives You the Option for Higher Quality Parts
You may assume that certain computers are high quality based on their logo or brand reputation, but the components within the store-bought pre-built machines are not always at the top of the line. Often, these big-name manufacturers use low-quality brands for components like their RAM, optical drives, hard drives, power supplies, and other components as well.
The reason they go with cheaper parts is that they are constantly looking for the lowest bid, which maximizes their profits. If you build your machine, then you know exactly what parts are going into your system, which means you can incorporate only high-quality components.
If you’re looking for the best components for your upcoming build, check out our Top Components section to browse through our components’ buyer’s guides.
6. No More Waiting for Tech Support… You ARE the Tech Support
When you buy a computer from the store, your technical support is limited to whatever system that retailer offers. Often, that involves waiting on hold for hours at a time, only to find out their tech agent either can’t identify your problem or can’t offer a solution to fix it. That system is frustrating and ends up being a waste of your valuable time. If you build your own PC, you can bypass this process.
When something breaks or isn’t running properly on the machine you built, you can fix it yourself. That’s right… you are your own technical support team.
Yes, it is true that you place more responsibility on yourself when you build your own computer and take it upon yourself to fix any problems that arise during your build. However, in the process you will learn a lot about the inner-workings of a computer and most people who build their own computer find that any problems they run into can be easily solved with a quick search in Google for the solution.
And, by understanding that the answer to most computer-related issues is just a Google search (or two) away from being solved, system-builders rarely have to spend hours on the phone with tech support to fix common problems, because they already A) understand their computers better than most consumers, and B) know exactly how to find the answer to their question in a much quicker and more efficient manner.
7. Building a PC Eliminates Bloatware
What is bloatware? If you own a retail bought computer, then you have bloatware, and you may not even know it. Do you ever wonder why your computer is running so slow? It’s not even a year old, and you haven’t installed anything harmful on the system. Well, the answer is bloatware. Bloatware isn’t destructive or dangerous to your system, but it tends to slow things down by taking up unnecessary space on your hard drive.
The manufacturer installs all kinds of unnecessary software on your computer that you never use and don’t need. Why do they do this? Usually, these add-ons include third party applications, which give them another revenue stream. Trialware is another form of bloatware. Antivirus and security software is a common form of trialware. You get to use certain software for a month or so and then it just takes up space on your hard drive if you don’t renew the subscription.
If you build your computer, you don’t have to worry about any of these. Since you are going to install the software yourself, you’re not going to include any unnecessary applications that slow down the performance of your computer.
8. Building a PC Gives You Better Warranties
When you buy a pre-built computer from a retail location, it usually comes with a warranty that lasts for a year. These warranties typically cover the entire computer, which may sound nice but it ends up being an inconvenience if something goes wrong. If one part breaks or has a malfunction, you need to send your entire computer in for a repair, which leaves you without a computer in the meantime.
If you buy each component individually for a custom build, you’ll quickly learn that these pieces have warranty options that last for two or more years as opposed to just one. Some of the high-quality components have warranties that last up to five or seven years with some components even coming with lifetime guarantees.
If something goes wrong, you can just send the individual part back. And, while it is true that it isn’t always easy to diagnose where the problem is in a system, the fact that you’ve built your own computer lends credence to the fact that you can probably figure out what is wrong with your computer.
Ultimately, though, you get longer warranties (and thus better coverage) when you buy your components individually and build your own system.
9. Building a Computer Teaches You Responsibility
If you are a child or a teenager that is interested in building a computer, the process will help you mature faster and teach you some responsibility. PC parts are expensive, and if you are paying for it with your own money, then you will quickly learn the value of a dollar. Maybe your parents are helping you with some of the costs. If so, you don’t want to flush their money down the toilet. Make sure you finish the project that you started without giving up if you come across problems along the way.
Once the computer gets built, you’ll need to take good care of it as well. So, keep it away from liquids, dirt, dust, and anything else that could damage your machine. If you’re not careful with your newly built computer, a mistake could end up costing you up to $1,000. You’ll also need to properly maintain the computer over time, which includes any tweaks or upgrades to enhance the performance. These factors will give you a lesson in responsibility, which doesn’t only apply to children; there are plenty of adults that need to learn how to be responsible as well.
10. You Have Complete Control for Customization
Building a PC means you have total control as the builder. You can select parts based on exactly how you want your machine to operate. Doing this also allows for easy changes down the road. Consider your custom computer an ever changing and ever growing process. Right now, you may only do minimal gaming and not care so much about the highest quality graphics… you spend most of your time using the internet and streaming videos.
However, in a few years, you may be a gaming fanatic. Instead of buying an entirely new computer, you can just swap out a couple of parts on your existing PC to maximize your gaming experience. The parts that can be switched for customization include your graphics card, memory, case, optical drive, power supply, processor, motherboard, mouse, monitor, keyboard, and speakers.
11. Building a PC Sharpens Your Problem-Solving Skills
Learning to solve problems in an efficient manner is a skill that can translate into other aspects of your life as well. During the computer building process, you are going to encounter some obstacles and bumps along the way. When this happens, there is no reason to get upset or freak out; it’s an opportunity for you to put your problem-solving skills to the test. The way people respond to adversity tells a lot about who they are as a person. It’s easy to just give up, but fighting through your struggles makes the reward feel even better.
Don’t feel ashamed to reach out to someone for help. Ask the experts who have gone through this before to share some knowledge with you. No matter how difficult or frustrating your problem may seem I can promise that there is a solution for it. You’ll also have to put your research skills to the test. During the research process, you will encounter other useful information as well, which broadens your comprehension and helps make you more knowledgeable on the topic.
12. Building a PC Allows You to Choose Your Operating System
When you buy a computer from a retailer, you are stuck with whatever operating system is on that machine. Just because a company comes out with a new operating system, it does not mean that it’s the best one on the market. Often, these new systems have plenty of glitches and other problems. Some people have the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” mentality, which means they don’t want a new operating system because they are happy and used to the one their machine currently runs on.
If you build your own PC, you don’t have any restrictions with this problem. You aren’t forced to run the new Windows 10; instead, you can install whatever operating system you feel most comfortable using. You won’t be forced to upgrade to a different system unless you want to, and you can always go back if you are unhappy with the new software.
13. You Join an Elite Community When Building a PC
Don’t just build a PC with blinders on. Reach out to experts and other peers to get some advice during the process. There are plenty of online groups where people discuss their experience building different machines, and their knowledge is useful. Even if you don’t want to contribute to these blogs or forums, you should at least read through some to avoid making some common rookie mistakes.
If you encounter a problem during the building process, or even years down the road if you have an issue with one of your components, I guarantee someone else encountered these obstacles before. Reach out to someone on these message boards, comment sections, and other online forums for help. These communities are special because everyone shares a common interest. Maybe one day you can even contribute and offer advice to a first-time builder.
14. Building a Computer is Fun
You will enjoy yourself throughout the entire process of building your PC. Sure, there might be a few mishaps or hiccups along the way, but those challenging aspects make things more interesting. Overall, building a computer is not a difficult process. There are step-by-step guides (including ours!) to help you along the way. All it takes from you is the concentration and ability to precisely follow instructions.
Building computers could end up being your new hobby. Some people enjoy working on cars or building model train sets in their spare time. Your calling could be computer building. It’s an enjoyable way to pass the time, and the result is something functional that you can use daily for both work and leisure.