If you are in the market for a new computer, DIY might come to mind as an option. However, is it better to build your own computer?
The answer might lie in what kind of PC you need. For basic PCs, most buys find that a pre-built option is best. More high-end PC users, such as gamers that prefer a more customized setup, may find that a build-it-yourself option is preferred.
You might fall somewhere in the middle. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of each option so you can determine what is the right type of new PC for you.
Build it Yourself PC
If you are mechanically inclined and think that buying a bunch of components – high-end GPUs, liquid cooling or fans, processors, LED/lighting switches, RAM, plastic or aluminum casing – individually sounds like fun, a build-it-yourself PC might be a worthwhile project to take on.
This option can balance the ratio of price to performance, helping high-end users get the most machine for the best price, which is the top reason PC users tackle building their own computers.
- There’s less markup on high-end computer components than pre-built high-end computers, resulting in the ability to save money when you build your own PC.
- You can customize everything. Building a PC from the ground up gives you the ability to get what you want without shopping around. Many pre-built options don’t mix and match higher- and mid-range components, but you can with a build. This can result in significant savings and a more efficient computer.
- Individual computer components come with their own warranties, which often last longer than the warranty on an out-of-the-box model.
- You’ll learn a lot as you build a computer, giving you the skills to make repairs and save money on maintenance over time.
- Building a computer takes time. If you need a new machine right now, this probably isn’t a good idea.
- You need to have a pretty good idea of what you are doing. Putting together parts incorrectly can result in malfunction, negate warranties, and cause you to spend extra money replacing parts.
- Finding a reliable set of plans can be tricky. There are plenty of step-by-step guides on the internet, but how do you know which one to trust?
Buying a PC off the shelf is the most common method of purchasing a new computer. These systems come at a variety of price points and with varying features for different types of computing needs.
The biggest advantage to buying a pre-built PC is that you can walk in and out of the store with a new computer immediately.
- Pre-built computers have everything you need included. If you are intimated by the difference between a CPU and GPU, a computer out of the box puts it all together. These models give you the ability to use the PC immediately.
- Warranties are easy to navigate and understand with an off-the-shelf model, and you can contact the manufacturer if anything goes wrong. You don’t have to know which part is causing the problem.
- Basic pre-built computers are often less expensive than building one yourself. Big manufacturers buy in bulk, and you get those savings with popular, mass-produced PC models.
- It doesn’t take a lot of knowledge or know-how to pick out a computer that you can use, and you can buy multiple computers of the same type for an office environment.
- Finding just the right computer can be difficult if you have specific needs or want specialty customizations. Pre-built computers often come with low-, mid-, or high-end components and options, but not a combination of the three. This can drive up the price even if you only need one type of high-end component, such as additional memory or a specialty graphics card.
- For high-end systems, particularly for gaming, buying a computer at retail can be pricier than building one yourself.
- You might have to hire someone else to do repairs or send it back to the manufacturer for warranty claims. The amount of time needed can vary with repairs, leaving you without a computer in the process.
- Making changes to the PC, or opening the case, can negate the warranty if you want to add on components.
Connect Your PC to Other Devices
Whether you opt to build your own PC or buy a model that’s already assembled, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll add other devices to your setup. Peripheral devices may include printers or scanners, microphones or speakers, special keyboards or gaming equipment. All of these PC add-ons use drivers to connect and function.
Driver Support can help manage all those tools and drivers to make that part of the PC installation process a little easier with automatic updates for almost any device and peripheral you can imagine.
Regardless of which option you choose when it comes to acquiring a PC, you can keep it and other peripherals running smoothly with Driver Support.