As 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!
- 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 😉
- 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!!
- 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.
- 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.
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? You can go to places like NewEgg or Amazon to order your parts online. I still think that building your own computer vs. buying a pre-built is the way to go though.