If you’ve ever asked a techie for a recommendation on a new computer, odds are you’ve been told “You should build your own!” at least a couple times. Although, it may sound daunting, there are a couple advantages to building your own custom PC versus buying one that was prebuilt. Not only is the experience much more educational, but you will get a better value for your money as well.
Buying versus building a PC generally comes down to one big factor: Cost. One common school of thought is that although you will end up spending a bit more for each specific component, the overall value of your money will be better. For example, let’s say you want to build a gaming PC for use at home. You could buy great components (graphics card, motherboard, hard drive, etc.) and build an awesome PC from scratch for $1200-$1500. Meanwhile, a prebuilt PC with similar specs may run closer to $2000!
Perhaps the single greatest argument against building a custom PC is the cost of the components themselves. Good graphics cards, monitors, motherboards, hard drives, and other key pieces have become much more expensive in recent years. For some, buying a functional (though not optimal) prebuilt PC for less than $1000 may be worth the slight downgrade in performance. The decision comes down to value vs. sheer cost. If you have the budget, being able to customize your components brings a value that is hard to turn down! Pair that with the educational value and experience of doing it yourself, and the decision becomes a no-brainer.
In the end, there is one thing that stands out to me above all the arguments for or against a custom PC: I haven’t met a single person who has regretted building a custom unit. On the other hand, there are plenty of stories (my own experiences included) of buyer’s remorse when it comes to that prebuilt PC that doesn’t quite function as well as you’d hoped. Fortunately, there are companies out there like Cadan that can help find the best fit for us based on our unique needs and budgets.
Arguments in Favor of Custom PCs: