Prebuilt vs Custom PC – Why You Should Buy A Prebuilt PC Now
It’s always great to build our own gaming PC. The feeling of accomplishment with every build you piece together is just incomparable. But with how hardware prices (I’m looking at you, Nvidia) have become so expensive, to as much as 300% over the past 6 months...
..is it best to get a prebuilt gaming PC now?
It breaks my heart to say this, but it will be better to get a prebuilt PC today.
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Comparing Prebuilt PC vs Custom PC
To start the comparison, prebuilt gaming PCs today are designed to run even the most demanding triple-A games with at least 60FPS at 1080p resolution. You just need to know what to look for when choosing the best prebuilt gaming PC. We have here our list of the best prebuilt gaming PC under $1000 as proof.
A custom built PC may deliver serious gaming performance. But you can find a prebuilt gaming PC today that can fairly beat its performance.
You don’t need to worry about part compatibilities. A prebuilt gaming PC is paired with components compatible with each other. If the package arrives, set everything up and you can start playing games.
Building a gaming PC yourself requires more in-depth knowledge. The CPU should be compatible with the motherboard you pair it with. Furthermore, the power supply should provide the right amount of electricity.
Even the slightest of miscalculation could blow your unit to crisp. Refer to our how to build a gaming PC here if you want to learn how to correctly build a PC.
If you have problems with your prebuilt gaming PC, all you need is to return the system unit for repairs.
Basic troubleshooting can be made from your end but if the problem seems larger than you think, you can always send the system unit back. This saves you from having to do complicated troubleshooting procedures and risks of damaging other components in the process.
A custom built PC is rather complicated. You need to understand error and troubleshooting codes before you can identify the problem and start the repair.
A prebuilt gaming PC’s warranty includes every single part of the system. The parts are also on standby and ready for replacement.
A custom built gaming PC may have individual warranties, but this does not guarantee that parts are on standby and ready for replacement. In most cases, consumers have to wait for at least 2 weeks to a month for replacement parts to arrive.
Prebuilt gaming PCs are obviously cheaper in price and practical today since parts are purchased in bundles directly from manufacturers. As a proof, we have compiled the best prebuilt gaming PC under $500 that can play a number of newer games today.
Going for a custom built PC requires you to get each of the components at SRP. This leaves builders to deal with the expensive GPU and RAM prices.
To have a better comparison, we’ll use Amazon’s $779.99 prebuilt gaming PC. This is among the popular prebuilt PCs you could find.
To start the comparison, we’ll go ahead and use PCPARTPICKER.com to see how much it’ll cost us if we go and get the parts individually.
These system specs are according to a consumer who has actually bought the system. According to PCPARTPICKER.com, the build costs over $1000 ($1018.05 to be exact). Keep in mind that this excludes the unbranded power supply and the Apevia branded case fans, which, should cost you to spend at least $50 more.
With a difference of over $288.06 (including a $50 450W PSU), without a doubt, going with a prebuilt gaming PC surely is a smart investment to make today. You just can’t build the same PC for the price.
Why You Should Buy a Prebuilt PC?
GPU Price Increase
As per Nvidia’s CEO:
“We’re not anywhere near meeting the GPU demand…”
This clearly means GPU prices could still rise over the top in the next couple of months.
The rise of bitcoin mining and other cryptocurrency mining is solidly linked to needing fast processing capabilities. Graphics card performance is able to outperform a CPU in terms of processing multiple data at once.
Simply put, the more power the graphics card, the more coins can be “mined” per second.
Current and aspiring miners from all over the world have jumped on the bandwagon in hopes to get rich without doing anything. This ideology has led to a significant shortage of graphics card production in the market.
The demand is so high that the rate of production just can’t keep up. In the just 6 months, prices are seen to have doubled, hitting its peak during the first quarter of 2019.
We have a screenshot from CamelCamelCamel.com below as proof of how expensive graphics cards have become within the said timeframe.
Looking at the graphs above, AMD or Nvidia graphics card prices have skyrocketed.
UPDATE: Though prices of GPUs have toned down, there are still prebuilt gaming PCs you can find that still offers similar - or even more performance per dollar, especially in the $1000 price range
Lenovo IdeaCentre 720
The Lenovo Ideacentre 720 still packs a punch in this price range. Thanks to the Intel Core i7-7700 processor and the GTX 1050 Ti, AAA games would look like they were nothing. To top that off, this has 12GB of DDR4 memory, 1TB of HDD storage and 128GB of SSD storage for faster boot and loading times.
RAM Price Increase
RAM also contributes to the already-worsening-problem of GPU price increase.
Mobile phones are now using the DDR4 memory technology. Samsung Galaxy S6, Lenovo Z2 Plus, as well as the HTC One M9, are just among the major consumers of DDR4 memory technology. Not to mention Google Pixel and even Sony Xperia Z4, a tablet, are powered with DDR4 memory.
We also have a screenshot of RAM price history below.
It breaks my heart seeing how prices have jumped to as much as 300% in just 6 months.
This data alone shows strong proofs how unfortunate it is for PC builders to resort to prebuilt gaming PCs instead.
A System that You Can Use Right Away
A prebuilt gaming PC allows you to use the system the soonest you get it out of the box. Everything is installed with updated drivers. Our list on the best prebuilt gaming PC under $800 and any other prebuilt is plug and play.
This is perfect for gamers who isn’t really up for building systems themselves since prebuilt gaming PCs today are carefully pieced together.
Comes with a Hardware Tech Support with Hardware Warranty
Most prebuilt gaming PCs comes with a tech support. If you have problems with the computer system that was sent to you, you can conveniently call the tech support and have the problem sorted out.
Rest assured all the parts come with at least 1-year warranty and 7-days replacement for defective components.
For people who are into gaming but aren’t knowledgeable enough to piece a computer together, getting a prebuilt gaming PC today will be a smart investment.
Pre-installed with Windows 10 and a Keyboard/Mouse
Most of the time, builders tend to forget about including these on the budget list.
What's great about buying a prebuilt gaming PC is the fact that you get a gaming keyboard and mouse along with a pre-installed Windows 10 OS.
A System that Meets Your Gaming Standards
Today's prebuilt gaming PCs are paired with the right CPU-and-GPU-combo to deliver serious gaming performance.
With a variety of pre-built gaming PCs in the market, it should be easy to choose one that delivers performance for your preferred budget.
Building your own custom gaming PC may be great in a variety of angles. But with the consistent increase of GPU and RAM prices, going with a prebuilt gaming PC is becoming more and more practical. This goes true today if you look at the cost per dollar.
If you plan on building your own custom PC today, you might want to think twice and look at the overpriced GPU and RAMs in the market. It’s practical to pay less for a prebuilt gaming PC as opposed to building a custom PC that will cost you at least a $100 or more for the same performance.