Buying a Pre-Built PC vs Building Your Own: Which Is Better?

pre-built vs building your own gaming pcIn my 6 years of being a PC gamer, one of the biggest questions I’ve heard many people argue about dozens of times in the realm of PC gaming is “Should I buy a custom built gaming PC, or just build one myself?”

The problem with this decision is there isn’t a straight answer. It depends on a lot of circumstances, and the type of person who will ultimately give out an answer to the question.

What I’m trying to say is there are many things you will need to take into consideration first before you are able to answer this question.

Things You Will Need to Consider

Believe it or not, there are many differences between the two which will be comfortable for some people to do, and not so comfortable for others to do.

I’m going to go through some of these differences in this post to help you decide which direction you should take when choosing your next (or maybe even first 😉 ) gaming PC.

  • The Overall Price

Let’s first talk about the price because that’s probably one of the biggest differences between the two.

When it comes to buying a pre-built gaming PC, the organization (or the sole person who built the machine for you) is going to want to make a profit from it after buying the components and going through the time and hassle of building it out.

Thus, they will charge you more than what the overall components, case; gadgets and accessories, and finally the operating system – which is usually Windows in the case of pre-built PCs – had cost them.

If you do decide to build the PC out yourself and you choose the same components and gadgets as the pre-build, you will find that the overall value of your “brand spanking new” gaming PC is cheaper than what they would have charged you with.

This is perhaps the biggest aspect which draws many people away from buying a pre-built, and sheds the entire concept of building computers for other people in a bad light.

But I don’t think it deserves a spotlight of shame… people have to make a profit out of these things, right? It’s understandable if they have to charge you just slightly more for the work they did for you…

  • How Much Time Do You Have?

If you have a school or college to go to to learn, or perhaps even a job to do to give yourself an income to spend on essentials and hobbies, chances are you don’t get a lot of free time on your hands.

If you want a gaming PC, but very important things occupy most of your time to the point where you don’t get any free time whatsoever, it would probably be best if you brought a pre-built PC
so that you don’t have to worry about finding the time to build one out yourself.

If, on the other hand, you have all the time in the world to build yourself a gaming PC, well, what are you waiting for?! Go do it now if you want to play games at high frame rates and with stunning graphics which thrash anything either of the next gen consoles can produce! 😉

  • Are You Willing to Build a PC?

If you want to build a gaming PC, you are going to need the motivation and willpower to do so…

Many people opt to getting a pre-built gaming PC because their either too lazy to build one themselves, or they just don’t know how to… Some might even be afraid to do so and are worried they might damage an expensive component in the process…

If you are determined to build a gaming PC for yourself, then go ahead; it’ll cost you slightly less than if you brought a pre-built version with the same components, and we all want to save a bit of money every day, don’t we? 😉

  • Customizability

One of the best things people say about building your own gaming PC is the fact that you can customize it however you want, and I definitely agree with them.

Being able to choose what kind of components you want inside your machine and what colour you want your components or accessories to be gives you a sense that the computer you’ve build is yours and nobody else’s… it ultimately becomes your baby that you want to love and protect. 😉

When it comes to buying pre-built, you sadly don’t get to choose what goes inside the machine or what colours will be inside and around it will be either.

While there are pre-built companies that let you choose what you want inside your gaming PC – Alienware and PC Specialist are great examples of these kinds of organizations – but you won’t get as much customizability than you would if you were building one yourself.

The Pros and Cons of Both Options

pros and consTo recap the things that need to be taken into consideration when choosing how to go about getting a new gaming PC, we are going to do it in a pros and cons sort of way, just to make it a bit simpler for you. 😉

  • The Pros of Buying a Pre-Built Gaming PC


  1. You don’t have to spend time building a gaming PC as it will be done for you.
  2. You aren’t required to go through the hard work of building a gaming PC.
  3. There are many platforms out there that make it easy for you to get a pre-built of your choice (Alienware, PC Specialist ect)
  4. You won’t risk any of the components breaking while it is being built (and if it does, it’ll just be built again by the company or individual… hopefully. 😉 )


  • The Pros of Building a Gaming PC Yourself


  1. It is cheaper than buying a pre-built and thus will save you money.
  2. You can choose how you want your gaming PC to be (i.e. what colour you want your components to be and what you want your fans to go inside your case.
  3. It can be very rewarding to power up a gaming PC that you’ve built yourself.


A Big Problem With Pre-Built Gaming PCs

One ginormous problem that many pre-builds (not all might I add, but still it’s many…) face is the fact that individuals and companies tend to add components inside the systems which aren’t exactly powerful enough to run most games at a decent frame rate, but their description lists them as a gaming PC and they price them as such…

If you’re planning to get a pre-build, just be weary of the components inside it and if you can research them online to find out if they are actually suitable for video games or not… you might save yourself a lot of money (and hassle) by doing so. 😉

Anyway, that’s all I had to say about that large and somewhat common problem with pre-builds… There wasn’t anywhere else I could put it in this post, so I hope you can understand. 😉


And with that, we conclude this post on buying a pre-built gaming PC verses building one out yourself; thank you ever so much for reading this post! 😉

If you have any questions, or want to share a pro or con of either option, please feel free to comment down below in the comment section.

Happy gaming!

Jamie – the PC Gaming Nerd


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