Many people question why people, myself included, build their own desktop computers. Well, there’s actually a lot of reasons – so let’s get started.
Computers don’t always come finished. In fact, many people buy components to build their own PCs from the ground up. It has many benefits, and some disadvantages, but it’s also a really fun, and educational experience. While I’m not going to explain here how to build a computer, I’ll explain some of the benefits, and in the end briefly describe some disadvantages. Here are some benefits.
Let’s start with the obvious. When you build your own PC, you have complete and total control over what components you put in, and how powerful it is. Only you (and your budget) decide the PC you build. You don’t have to choose one specific model with some compromises, instead you can have it all.
When you buy a stock PC, unless it’s a gaming rig, chances are the case is boring and doesn’t have too many windows or lights. When you build your own, you have the ability to choose a case with (or without) large windows, lighting, and space for extra components later on. Off-the-shelf PCs are in cases designed to perfectly fit the components, leaving little to no room for expansion. You can even get cases for Water Cooling, which most off-the-shelf PCs don’t offer.
Buying a new computer when your old one fails is expensive. Especially for high-performance computers, which can cost a lot upfront. When you build your own, you know the exact specifications. For example, the socket type on the motherboard. If you know this, then you can replace the CPU with a new one with the same socket. If you use intel based systems, then this is limited by the new sockets that come out often. AMD however has incredible compatibility across old and new CPUs.
You can also update the GPU if needed. Essentially, you can swap out parts to optimize performance, without having to buy all the parts at once in a new computer.
Most off-the-shelf PCs allow you to do this, but some solder the RAM and other components on, making upgrades difficult. However, if you can replace the CPU and need to know the socket, either look up the CPU online, or install CPU-Z, a free program that shows the specs of your computer.
Storage is bound to fill up, especially for a creative professional editing photos and videos. When you buy an off-the-shelf PC, it’s designed to be used as-is. Most cases for build-your-own PCs offer plenty of slots for adding additional hard drives if needed, while off-the-shelf ones often are left with minimal room for expansion.
Top of the Line Components
Many off-the-shelf PCs cut corners. They use only that manufacturers components (except complex components like RAM and CPUs). No company makes every component perfectly, so building your own enables mixing and matching, so you don’t have to get stuck with a low end motherboard or storage drive.
It’s Fun, And Not Too Expensive
Now building your own PC isn’t as expensive as it used to be, so sometimes it’s actually cheaper. That said, it is costly to make a high end PC. But you’re also given a fun experience, and you learn a lot about the way computers work. It’s also very satisfying to know you made the computer you use, by hand, and to know every component.
- Software crashes are more frequent, but still uncommon if you set it up properly.
- Some technical skill is needed, or at least some assistance
- Lots of choices to make, especially for processors and RAM. And Motherboards.
- Cutting corners to reduce cost can result in system errors, as well as hard drive crashes.
- No warranty on the system. Instead, there is a warranty on each individual component, so keeping track of each component can be challenging.
Building a computer is really fun, and there are advantages. It gives you full control over your PC, and it’s really interesting to see what goes into the PC.
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