Should You Build or Buy Your Gaming PC?

When you’re looking for a new gaming PC, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is whether to build or buy your new computer. Here are the pros and cons of each to make your choice easier.

     Building Your PC


When you build your own PC, it’s completely customizable, meaning that your new computer has exactly the right design and functionality for your play style. Your hardware and software choices won’t be chosen by someone trying to appeal to mass audiences. Since you’ll be making your own decisions, you can choose processor, video card, and whatever else you want that will best fit your games and your budget.

The same goes for software. Your computer will be a blank slate, meaning you don’t have to spend tons of time going through pre-installed software that you don’t want to clean off unneeded data on your hard drive.

A lot of times you also get more for your money when you build a PC. While you may spend more on great specific parts, that’s a matter of choice, you may end up spending less overall due to discounts on individual pieces and not paying for the corporate logo on the PC.

Another reason building is cost effective is that you aren’t forced to pay for everything at once. If you’re smart about your strategy, you can upgrade your PC piece-by-piece, prioritizing what really matters and meaning you don’t have to shell out quite as much in a single purchase.

You can also continue modding your PC for better performance as technology improves without worrying about voiding a pricey warranty.

Building your own computer is also easier now than ever with tons of sites, like PCPartPicker, offering advice and pre-made builds that can help you find the right design for your price gaming needs.


If you aren’t particularly tech savvy, building may not be right for you. Building a PC requires a lot of research into parts to make sure that each piece works with every other piece. Plus there’s the added frustration of actually putting the pieces together if you don’t already understand the inner workings of your computer.

Unlike a store-bought PC, you can’t just take the whole thing back for a new one or get on the phone with troubleshooters who can talk about the whole computer.

If you do need troubleshooting help, chances are you’ll be on the phone with several customer service agents for different pieces of the hardware, and they may not be able to help you fix the issue.

Waiting for parts to be delivered when you’re stoked about your new computer is a pain!

     Buying Your PC


Probably the biggest benefit of a store-bought PC is that it’s ready to go right out of the box. All you have to do is plug the pieces in, and you’re ready, unlike the long process of putting a PC together from scratch.

You also don’t have fear that your pieces won’t work together, or that you haven’t gotten all the pieces you need and will have to wait for more to be delivered.

Buying a PC may also be a cost-effective choices if you are looking for computer to run older or basic games that don’t require a ton of RAM or a high-end graphics card.


You can buy pre-made PCs that have great processors and amazing graphics cards, but you’re probably going to be paying more for it than homemade versions, because you’ll be paying for a logo, and won’t be able to take advantage of wholesale deals on parts.

You also don’t get as many custom options for hardware or software. While you can change both of these, you may void your warranty by doing so, or run into compatibility issues.


The Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for high-performance PCs that are also cost-efficient and highly customizable, you may want to build your own.

If you aren’t particularly tech savvy or you’re looking for something simple that has warranties and customer support, buying a prebuilt PC may be a better option.

Deciding whether to build or buy really is a matter of your comfort with technology, what specs you’re looking for, and your budget. No matter which way you decide to go, make sure you research your all your options before buying.

Are you planning to build or buy your next PC and why?





  1. I built my last PC after buying an MSI laptop that forced a very small C:/ partition with OS. Everything I tried to download fought for space on that drive. Fan went bad shortly after buying and using the noisy laptop in public quickly became embarrassing. The biggest issue I ran into is that despite owning a brand new laptop I could not play many of the games or run many of the applications I bought it for. Performance of this new computer was simply not up to par. I decided it was time to research the parts for my own build. It took me a while but after making my first build I am hooked. Because of my decision to build my own computer I now have a better understanding of my system and can get more out of it.

  2. I run Linux full time at home these days. I tried to make the switch to Linux a few times in the past and I always ended up back with Windows in the end. But this time I’ve been able to make Linux work for me and I’ve been switched over for about ~6 months now with no intention of going back to Windows as a full time OS (although I do run it in a virtual machine at home and I use it full time at work).

    The point of all this is that Linux is still a fairly obscure OS for home use. This means it pays to make intelligent decisions about the hardware that is in my PC. I could just buy something off the shelf, and I’m sure Linux would run on it, but if I want Linux to run really well then I need to take care about the details of which hardware I choose and the drivers that are available for it on Linux.

    That’s one of the main reasons I will build my own PC next time. But also, as an electronics tinkerer, I get some enjoyment out of building my own PC.

    For someone with less experience, motherboard bundles offer a possible compromise. The major choices about motherboard, processor and RAM are taken by someone who knows what they’re doing and the rest is left up to the end user.

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