Prebuilt vs Custom PC – Which Is Best?

Getting a new PC is an exciting time for any gamer, but many have had to stop and wonder which option is best for them. Prebuilt or custom PC?

Getting a prebuilt PC has its strengths and weaknesses, while making a custom PC on your own definitely poses its own challenges, but offers different sorts of rewards. Let’s take a closer look and see which is the best option for you.

Before getting into the meat of things, let’s clear up what these terms mean.

A prebuilt PC means that it was put together completely by someone else before it was put on sale. It could be a retailer or a specific business offering these sorts of services, but the fact remains that, once you purchase a prebuilt computer, you’ll be able to simply plug it in and enjoy its capabilities.

Custom PC is a term that indicates that you yourself choose every component inside the PC and either put it together or have someone else do it. Either way, you have the maximum control over your PC’s specifications with this approach, at a cost of higher effort on your part.

Let’s go a little bit more in-depth as to which is the best option for you.

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Prebuilt PC Is The Easier Option

It goes without saying that no PC is without its quirks, be it a prebuilt one or the one you customized yourself. However, it’s still important to state that, on average, the prebuilt PC will have less work to be done once you buy it.

Getting a prebuilt computer is the best option for people who aren’t too interested in the nitty-gritty part of the PC-building process. It’s also safer as there is virtually no way for you to inadvertently damage any of the PC components within the case.

The great part of buying a PC from the store is that all the parts are compatible and that you will be able to simply plug everything in and use it for whatever purpose you bought it for, be it playing video games or some professional reason.

There’s also an important thing to note here. Sometimes, the prebuilt PC won’t be as optimized as you would like it to be. Of course, this is understandable, as all PC parts are sold with their default settings, but the good news here is that you should be able to overclock the components to your liking.

Naturally, this is not without its risks, but if you’re careful, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting the best out of your prebuilt PC.

Related:How To Overclock Your GPU

The biggest advantage of a prebuilt PC is the price. Looking at a PC that’s already put together and has the same components as a PC you would need to assemble yourself is already an important factor, but when you take into account that a prebuilt one is actually cheaper, it becomes a no-brainer for a lot of people.

Custom PC Is Best For Enthusiasts

There are two main obstacles for people who want to get a new PC when considering a custom-built one. The first being the need for necessary knowledge of how components work and if they are compatible with each other, and the second one being the part where you’re putting it all together.

Truthfully, getting a custom PC doesn’t require you to put it together yourself. In fact, there are shops that will not only allow you to pick each part yourself and give you advice on it, but also combine them into a ready-made PC.

However, we understand that the true joy of having a custom PC is to choose your own parts, which means doing extensive research, and then putting them all together. While this is a lot easier than it used to be, you probably need at least a basic understanding of how computers work. If you don’t have that, you can always learn by following an online tutorial.

Another cool thing about gathering information on which components you need is a site like PCPartPicker. Over there, you can search for whichever part you need, by whichever parameter you want, and add it to a list of all the parts you’re looking to get. The brilliance of this platform is in the inclusion of a compatibility tool.

You can see if the parts you’ve picked are incompatible, but also learn why they won’t work properly together. This tool will also give you a wattage calculator, which is especially useful if you’re intending to overclock your GPU or CPU.

When it comes to actually putting together all the parts of your PC, the key is to make sure that your work surface is anti-static to avoid any potential mishaps. Of course, this isn’t the only thing you need to worry about but is probably the first on the list of things you should do when preparing. A cool trick here is using your motherboard box as your work surface.

The standard tools you’ll need are a screwdriver, a box cutter and zip-ties, or another similar tool. The latter two aren’t necessary but still very recommended.

The screwdriver is something you’ll use a lot and it’s preferable if you have a smaller one, as a lot of the screws within your PC are rather tiny. A box cutter is a tool you’ll use to open the packing and zip-ties are there to ensure the easiest possible cable management setup.

For a more detailed, step-by-step process, we recommend watching some good tech YouTubers, as they likely have their own video showcasing their process, such as LinusTechTips, which is shown below.

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Aleksandar Cosic
Aleksandar Cosic

Alex is a Computer Science student and a former game designer. That has enabled him to develop skills in critical thinking and fair analysis. As a CS student, Aleksandar has very in-depth technical knowledge about computers, and he also likes to stay current with new technologies.