Should I Build My Own Computer? Or Just Go Out and Buy One?

caffeine_machineAs computers have grown in our life the farther they have moved from the mysteries of geekdom. Where only the dood with horned rim glasses could demystify the complexities of your computer problems. Computer have become so easy to work on, build, troubleshoot, and repair it seems like a no-brainer to just go out and build your own.

Or.. should you?

It might make sense – especially for those on a budget to think about possibly going to your local Compu-Hut and purchasing one that is already set to go out of the box. (yuck)

Read on to figure out whether you should go out and build my own computer vs. purchasing one that is done out of the box. Both present their challenges.

Before Making a Decision

You need to decide what the computer is going to be used for:

  • Will it be used for surfing social media sites, checking email, and paying your bills online?
  • Is it going to be used for Computer Gaming?
  • Will it be used for Graphics or Web Design?
  • Is it going to need to be Portable?

So now you know what it will be used for then you can go onto the next step of this process.

Buy a Pre-Built Computer vs. Building a Computer

OK, you have to take a moment to sit down and think about this for a moment. Before going forward you have to think about what type of budget do you have set aside for the next computer your going to purchase or build. Keep that in mind as I go through the points on the benefits and negatives of each.

Building a Computer

I’ve personally been building computers ever since I’ve gotten my hands on one. (It runs in my family… long line of Mechanics and Engineers).  For me there is nothing like getting a box full of parts from NewEgg and spending the afternoon (ok into the night) building or updating a Computer.  When I’m done – I know that I have a reliable system with all of the parts I want internally, and running a “clean” install of Windows (sshh Linux guys – I love Linux too) with the Free Utilities I like to run!

Benefits

  • You control the budget.
  • You control on what parts you put into the computer.
  • You have complete control over your system from start to finish.
  • You will have a computer that you can upgrade/update hardware at a later date if needed.
  • NO Bloatware! The extra “Stuff” that gets thrown into any computer you purchase.
  • Sense of Pride and get to earn your “Geek” card ;)

Negatives

  • You can easily go over your budget.
  • You have to spend hours (days, weeks, lifetimes) researching the parts to go into your new computer.
  • You have to put the computer together yourself.
  • You will have to purchase any software needed separately instead of getting it bundled – including the Operating System.
  • You have to troubleshoot any type of software/hardware issues that arise.
  • You have to deal with each separate piece of hardware’s Warranties and RMA process.

Buying a Pre-Built Computer

Nowadays it has gotten to the point where you can go just about anywhere and purchase a decent computer. You can find them from anywhere from $299.99 all the way on up to $15,000.00!!

Benefits

  • You can control how much your are spending before even going out to purchase it by doing your research ahead of time.
  • You have a computer that is ready to go out of the box with minimal configuring.
  • You have a  warranty for the computer.
  • You get a help desk where you will be able to talk to someone over the phone.
  • The computer includes the Operating System (Usually Windows 7 – Home) already installed.
  • You can get extras – Printers, Free Upgrades, Free Software etc. with your purchase.

 Negative

  • If your a PC Gamer – the PC you purchase might not play games very well.
  • They will try and get you to get their “extended” warranty – just in case!
  • You are not allowed to perform any work on internal hardware unless you wish to void the warranty.
  • The person you might be talking to in Technical Support will most likely be Over Seas – and English will be a Second, Third, or Fourth Language (no joke!)
  • You are required to physically ship the entire computer back to the manufacturer if you do have a hardware issue. They will then perform a “Factory Restore” – and all of your data will be gone.
  • Places like the Geek Squad will charge you 100′s of dollars just to look at your computer!
  • The Pre-Bundled Free Software I talked about earlier? It is mainly a bunch of Shareware, unnecessary utilities hastily produced by the Computer Manufacturer, and is taking up a LOT of space on your Hard Drive that doesn’t need to be there.
  • You get what you Pay For – So if yo purchase a new computer for $300.00 – you will be getting a low end computer. If you spend a LOT of money? You could get the top of the line gaming system you dreamed of. But either way you are going to be paying for it.

Conclusion

As you can see – there are pluses and negatives to both. So what is the final answer? With today’s computers coming down in price and you only need it for performing basic online duties? I would go with buying a pre-built one. If your a PC Gamer or you just have to have the best out there and money is no object? Then go build one!

Either way – you can’t really lose! Stay tuned as I will be posting some articles on Building your own PC – from the Checklist you need, to building the cheapest to the most expensive I can build!

If you do decide to build your own computer? I highly suggest ordering through NewEgg (click the banner below!)  I have been using them for over 10 years and have never had a poor experience with them.


Once You Know, You Newegg
 

or you can go to my second favorite online shop for computer hardware:

components

What do you think? Build your own – or go to the local Best Buy and purchase one? Leave a comment below!

 

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Jason Mathes
Dad, Geek, Gamer, WordPress Fanatic. When not playing Call of Duty, or busy being a Dad, he shares his over 20 years of experience with Game Reviews, Technology/Gadgets, and WordPress
Jason Mathes
  • http://www.spinxwebdesign.com/ Brain

    I am also prefer pre-built computer because it is bit complex to assemble it. Also, if someone is not familiar with technologies then he have to contact a some technical guy for assembling it and for installing the OS. Nowadays Many companies offer a computer with good features and also in cheap cost so it is the wise decision that we have to buy that one.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net avgjoegeek

      Brain – for most people it would make sense to purchase a pre-built computer. I still prefer to build my own – but that is because I can’t justify getting a pre-built that I will have to toss in a couple years instead of being able to upgrade it.

  • http://techtwisted.com/ Rajnish

    I recently Playing Call of Duty and IGI on my Currently System but to play the new Call of Duty 2 I will have to purchase a New System as my current system might not handle this so I am thinking to buy a Pre-Built Apple iMac.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net avgjoegeek

      Apple iMACs today are great looking and running computers. Not so much for gaming – but they are great for just about everything else!

  • http://www.thehobbyblogger.com Bryan

    Not only will Pre-Bundled Free Software (aka bloatware) take up space on your hard drive, it will usually add a bunch of background services to your system tray that will suck up your computer’s memory and tax your CPU. The other bad thing about pre-built computers is that you usually don’t get a Windows install disk that you can use to perform a yearly wipe and reinstall of your OS to clean out the cruft.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net avgjoegeek

      I had forgot to mention that! What makes it worse if you don’t get the physical restore disk anymore either! Most of the time it is a partition setup that you have to hit some mystical key combination to get it to restore everything back to factory… and you will lose all of your DATA!

      To get the restore disk depending on the company at a nominal cost.

  • http://www.tubeblogger.net nicko

    I definitely enjoy building my own computer.

    Cool picture in the beginning of the article, by the way, I’ve repinned it =D

    • http://avgjoegeek.net Jason Mathes

      Nicko – sorry for the late comment. Thanks for commenting. The computer was a real working computer that a friend of mine built. It actually helped him to get his first “tech” job lol!

  • http://www.bouncyspider.com Aaron

    Building an own computer seems bit hard but with the pool of information available on the internet one can easily build it and it will also make feel proud. Thus in my opinion its better to give it a try. Will definitely try to build one.

    Thanks avgjoegeek.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net avgjoegeek

      It has gotten very simple to build your own nowdays. The problem is if it is still cheaper to do so. It depends on what you want to do with the computer. If your a gamer? Then it still makes sense to build one.

  • Universe

    This Lovely post, it is really helpful for me , and all other visitor , I will look this site always for this kind post. thanks man.

  • James Fabian

    I will always build my own computer. I like to inform myself about new technologies, take a look at graphic benchmarks, spend a day just buying the parts and another half for putting them together. And when I hit the power button and everything works, then I feel proud of myself.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net Jason Mathes

      James – I feel the same way. But is it truly economically viable to do this any more? Used to be you could build an awesome rig for a lot less. Manufacturers have been able to bring the cost down to where it is now the same or cheaper to buy a computer with the same specs rather than building one… I’ll have to research this further now lol!

      • James Fabian

        I am ready to bet that it is still economically viable and one more thing: no manufacturer in the world could make me feel like I was talking about at the end of my previous post.

        • http://avgjoegeek.net Jason Mathes

          True – I enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get when the computer turns on and there isn’t any “magic smoke”.

  • RC

    great article. im all for building your own but i find you can easily get carried away. then again if you were to buy it in the store you would pay the mark up price. just depends what you are going to be using it for.

  • Gerard

    I will build my own PC. After looking at the all-in-one PCs, like the Dell XPS One 27, it was a hard pick…LOL. But then I cant add three monitors at 2500 by 1400 resolution each. Plus the warranty on an all in one is about a year. But with building my own PC with the MSI Big Bang II motherboard, the warranty last for 3 years :-)..and plus I can upgrade or change parts anytime I feel like it.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net/ Jason Mathes

      Gerard sorry for the (very) late response! I will probably always build my own computer. I just have never found that price to hardware ratio that I like. I can build what I know is good for the same price as one you can purchase. But without all the garbage that goes along with it!