Prebuilt vs Custom PC- A guide to finding what’s best for you.

custom pc - chapter z

Anyone who has wanted to get a PC this year has been faced with what seems to be an obvious question. Custom or prebuilt? Well depending on what you are looking for your answers will be drastically different so in this article, we’ll go through and find out what computer type is better for you.

Each side has its own pros and cons and is highly dependent on what you want. Custom pc building is a very fun and rewarding experience. It looks great on any CV to say you can build computers and with only a little bit of research you’ll end up realizing that it’s just the adult version of lego. Overall custom pc building is useful if you are making your PC with a purpose in mind such as gaming or editing as the prebuilt PC on these markets are incredibly expensive for a noticeable dip in quality. However, the biggest and most underrated part of custom PC building is the software side. You can get windows for free but to get the actual version it can cost up to £80.00 which is more expensive than some of the components you will be getting as well as being pretty difficult to understand what’s happening between Bios updates and refresh screens, not mentioning the confusing layout of processor websites making it difficult for newcomers to get to grips.

This is where the prebuilt start to shine. They usually come with all the software pre-installed as well as antivirus and Microsoft office as well as avoiding the need to learn a second language to understand how to make a PC. It’s quite a daunting challenge to build one as any missteps can cause you to break a machine that could cost well over £1000.00 and so the relief and time saved by just clicking something and it arriving in your house with none of the hassle, ready to plug in and play can not be understated if you just want a simple bare-bones PC.

The third less spoken about option is custom building your pc online and it being built by a third party and being shipped to you. There are many websites that do this and this seems like the best of both worlds, you get your gaming set up with the exact specification you need and it gets sent into your house ready to use. However, there is a building fee and there is usually a very limited supply of PC parts so everything is a lot more expensive and you might not get the parts you want so you need to look at your budget and see how much money you are willing to spend on this.

There are some people who just need a machine to do the basics. Watch youtube, store files or you have been sent to work or learn at home throughout the pandemic and so you need a simple screen with a microphone. Without question, your answer is a cheap prebuilt PC. The time and effort are not worth the better specifications of a custom-built one as you won’t need it for that. When buying a prebuilt make sure not to overspend as it’s very very easy to fall into the trap of buying lots of software or thinking that you are gonna need that extra 1TB hard drive. I recommend something small and simple with a processor no higher than an intel i5 or Ryzen 5 series. By all means, if you see a ryzen 7 series processor on a cheap pc from a reputable brand buy it but remember what purpose you are buying this for as an i5, which is way worse than a ryzen 7, still does everything you need and more. 

However there is now a trend in PC gaming and for this, it’s leaning more into Custom built as this will allow you to get everything you want at a way cheaper price as prebuilt PC specifications may look nice when they slap a ryzen 5 3600x in there, but at the same time they cheap out on the RAM and, most importantly, the power supply. A poor power supply will at best slow your PC performance and at worse blow your PC up. By drawing in customers with fancy coloured cases and RGB lighting, pre-built PC companies give them very little value for money however if you really are against building your own at your home, I recommend building your PC online and having it shipped to you as then you know the quality of the items you are getting and that you have not cheaped out on something as important as a power supply. I advise using the Mesh computers website as they are very highly reputed and test your PC for 3 days to make sure everything is working before everything is shipped to you.

It’s scary looking into this computer world from the outside world, knowing that the money you have saved up years for could go down the drain by buying a poorly conceived prebuilt from a malicious company or breaking something when building it yourself but as someone who built there own PC I recommend building your own as there is a lot of resources out there to help with the mechanical side of the building. Remember the purpose of your PC and you will be just fine in finding the perfect one for you.