If you’re on the fence on whether or not you should build your own gaming PC, or buy a pre-built system, in this guide, we’ll cover the pros and cons of each option and discuss whether it’s cheaper to build your own PC.
When it comes to PC gaming, one of the most common questions that people ask is whether it is cheaper to build a gaming PC or to buy one pre-built. There is no straightforward answer to this question, as it depends on several factors such as your budget, your level of technical expertise, and your desired specifications.
In this article, we’ll cover the main pros and cons of both building your own gaming PC and buying one pre-built, as well as attempt to provide you with an answer to the question of whether it is cheaper to build your own gaming PC.
Building a Gaming PC: Is it Better?
Building a gaming PC doesn’t require knowledge of computer hardware. However, it does require that you are willing to learn the basics of PC hardware.
And, it also requires time and effort to research and select the individual components, such as the CPU, GPU, motherboard, RAM, storage, and power supply, that will be used to build the system. Check out our guide: All Parts Needed to Build A Gaming PC
One of the biggest advantages of building a gaming PC is that it allows you to customize the components based on your specific needs and preferences. You can prioritize components that are important for gaming performance, such as a high-end graphics card or a faster processor, and cut back on other components, such as storage or the case.
Also Read: Best Graphics Cards Right Now
Another advantage of building a gaming PC is that it can be more cost-effective than buying a pre-built system. By selecting and purchasing individual components, you can often find better deals and discounts than you would with a pre-built system. Additionally, you can control the overall cost of the system by choosing components that fit your budget.
However, building a gaming PC can also have its drawbacks. One of the biggest challenges is troubleshooting any issues that may arise during the building process. This can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially for those who are not familiar with computer hardware. Additionally, if you make a mistake during the build, it can result in damage to the components, which can be costly to replace.
Read Our Guide: 31 Common PC Building Mistakes to Avoid
Dealing with warranties is also a bit trickier when it comes to building your own PC. We’ve discussed this further in the section on buying a pre-built system below.
For a good look at what a compatible part list of PC components looks like, check out some of our gaming PC build guides:
- Budget Gaming PC Builds (Under $1,000)
- High-End Gaming PC Builds (Over $1,000)
- VR-Ready Gaming PC Builds
Buying a Pre-Built Gaming PC: Is it A Bad Idea?
Buying a pre-built gaming PC is a simpler and more convenient option for those who do not have the technical expertise (and aren’t willing to learn it) or time to build a system from scratch. Pre-built systems come with all the necessary components already assembled and configured, and they often come with warranties and customer support.
That isn’t to say that building your own PC won’t give you the security of having warranties. However, with a pre-built gaming PC, the whole system is covered under warranty. Whereas, if you choose your own parts and build your own gaming PC, each component has its own separate warranty. And, this means that if something goes wrong with your build, it will be up to you to determine which component is faulty and needs to be sent in under warranty.
All of this makes buying a pre-built gaming PC more hassle-free. You do not need to spend time researching individual components or troubleshooting any issues that may arise during the build process.
However, buying a pre-built gaming PC can also be more expensive than building a system from scratch. Pre-built systems often come with higher markups and additional costs for assembly and testing, which can drive up the overall price.
Additionally, you may not have as much control over the individual components that are used in the PC, which can limit your ability to customize the system based on your specific needs and preferences. It also means that the manufacturer may cut corners on certain components. In order to keep the costs down on their pre-built systems, they may opt to use cheaply-built power supplies or motherboards. This could lead to problems later down the road and/or prevent you from making meaningful upgrades in the future.
Still, though, there are some cheap and affordable pre-built systems out there. And, some of them come close to the cost it would take to build a similarly-specced gaming PC.
Also Read: Best Prebuilt Gaming PCs Under $1,000
Bottom Line: Is it Cheaper to Build or Buy A Gaming PC?
In the end, whether it is cheaper to build or buy a gaming PC depends on your individual circumstances. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to build a system from scratch, on average, building a gaming PC is the more cost-effective option.
On the other hand, if you value convenience and are willing to pay a premium for a hassle-free experience, buying a pre-built gaming PC may be the better option for you.