When it comes to getting a new gaming PC, many gamers are faced with a choice – build one yourself, or buy a pre-built gaming PC. It can be a difficult choice but keep reading and we’ll outline the pros and cons of pre-built gaming PCs, and whether going the ‘build it yourself route is right for you…
What Is a Pre-built Gaming PC?
Before we go over the pros and cons of pre-built gaming PCs, let’s quickly define what we mean.
As you may have guessed, a pre-built gaming PC is a gaming PC that arrives at your door fully built and ready to play.
All you need to do is plug it in, boot it up, and you can be gaming within minutes.
Pre-built gaming PCs are available from many sources, from bespoke gaming PC builders to big high-street stores.
The Benefits of Pre-built Gaming PCs
Are pre-built gaming PCs really all they’re cracked up to be? Let’s take a look. Below we’ve set out the top benefits of buying a pre-built gaming PC.
Great for All Knowledge Levels
If you’re new to the world of PC gaming, then things can seem a little daunting.
A pre-built gaming PC is the perfect way of getting into PC gaming, as you don’t require a huge amount of knowledge. Most pre-built gaming PCs are designed to be ‘plug and play’, in much the same way that gaming consoles are.
All you need to do is plug them in and start gaming!
You’ll Have a Safe, Balanced, Reliable System
When you try and build a gaming PC yourself you are faced with a minefield of compatibility issues, balancing concerns, and reliability considerations.
Pick the wrong components, or have the wrong mix of performance specifications (e.g. RAM vs motherboard) and you can easily fry your system!
With a pre-built gaming PC, all of that hard work has been done for you by the manufacturer. A pre-built gaming PC from a good quality builder will be balanced, stable, and reliable.
Value for Money
Given today’s soaring prices for graphics cards, pre-built gaming PCs can offer fantastic value for money.
In many instances, if you want to buy one of the top NVIDIA or AMD graphics cards, you’ll pay more for one, than you will for a pre-built gaming PC that includes one of the same cards.
This is because PC builders benefit from economies of scale and are able to buy these graphics cards cheaper than you can as an individual.
So, if you want a gaming PC with a high-performance GPU, it often makes more financial sense to buy a pre-built system that includes the graphics card of your choice!
The Downsides of Pre-built Gaming PCs
Sure, pre-built gaming PCs offer plenty of benefits, but they do have some drawbacks too.
We’ve detailed what many gamers see as the drawbacks of pre-built systems below.
You Can’t Define the Specification
If you’re really into your gaming PCs (and we mean really into them) then you probably have favored components that you’d like to include in your new gaming PC.
Whether you want to include one of Intel’s latest Alder Lake processors or you’ve got your eye on a founders edition NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card, you may not be able to buy a pre-built gaming PC that includes exactly those components.
For many gamers, this is the key reason why they’ll opt to build a gaming PC themselves, rather than going for a pre-built system.
Pre-built Gaming Pcs Can Be Harder to Upgrade
Depending on who you buy your pre-built gaming PC from, you may find it difficult to upgrade it in the future.
Whilst it’s fairly simple to make upgrades to components like RAM, it can be more difficult to upgrade substantial components like the motherboard and CPU.
Some manufacturers of pre-built gaming PCs also build their systems in such a way as to deter upgrades. For example, you’ll find some systems use glue rather than bolts and screws to keep things in place.
This naturally makes it far harder to rebuild the system following an upgrade.
Pre-built Gaming Pcs Can Be Harder to Repair
In much the same way that it can be difficult to upgrade a pre-built gaming PC, it can sometimes be difficult to repair one too.
For example, if a component fails, it’s not always straightforward to know its specification of it. This can make it difficult to find the correct replacement part.
Likewise, pre-built gaming PCs can be more difficult to take apart and reassemble because of the way they have been designed and manufactured.
Pre-built or DIY: Which Type of Gaming PC Is Right for You?
Ultimately, it all comes down to your individual requirements.
If you’ve been playing consoles like the PlayStation or XBOX for years, and want an easy route into the world of PC gaming, then you’ll want to buy yourself a quality pre-built gaming PC.
You can often get a lot for your money, particularly when it comes to buying a gaming PC that has a high-performance graphics card.
However, if you’ve got a very specific build in mind, and there are certain components you absolutely want to be included in your new gaming PC, then it’s probably best to go down the route of building one yourself.
You’ll be able to select every single component yourself, but you’ll be responsible for the sometimes difficult job of checking compatibility and the balance of your system.
At the end of the day though, it’s entirely down to you. Whether you’re thinking about a pre-built gaming PC or building one yourself from scratch, we hope this article will help you make that decision.