Is It Cheaper To Build A Gaming PC? Custom PC VS PreBuilt

Custom vs PreBuilt PC
Short Answer

Building a gaming PC yourself is generally cheaper than buying a PreBuilt PC in most cases. The total cost of a Custom Gaming PC is generally lower as it doesn’t include the assembling, shipping, and additional OEM costs.

On the other hand, going with a Custom PC requires knowledge of assembling the parts whereas a PreBuilt PC comes pre-assembled which saves time.

One of the best things about building a gaming PC is the feeling of accomplishment you get when your PC can boot on the first try.

Not only you have now acquired the knowledge of building a computer successfully but you probably are well acquainted with the current prices of PC hardware.

However, if you are a total beginner looking to enter the PC Master Race, you might be confused between building a Custom Gaming PC and PreBuilt Gaming PC. This is absolutely normal and everyone starts their journey with this dilemma.

This post will answer everything whether it is related to the pricing or advantages of each type of gaming build. If you don’t have much time, you can also read the Short Answer above the post and a quick summary of the differences between a Custom and PreBuilt Gaming PC below.

Custom PC vs PreBuilt PC- Summary

Custom PCPreBuilt PC
Needs a lot of researchMinimal research
User needs to buy individual partsAll parts come with a single purchase
Parts selection and building is time consumingSignificantly less time consumption
Better value per dollarLower value per dollar
No hidden extra costsExtra costs for building, shipping, warranty, etc.
Different warranty periods on individual componentsSingle type and duration of warranty on whole PC
Easy customizable and upgrdeableComparatively more difficult to customize and upgrade
No pre-included OS and peripheral combosMost OEMs give pre-installed OS, Wifi, and peripheral combo
Easier to troubleshootDifficulty in troubleshooting
Shortage and availability of parts can skyrocket the costShortage and availability of parts don't have huge impact on PC cost
Has some risk for absolute beginnersNo risk as PC comes pre-assembled

Reasons To Build A Gaming PC

You Know What You Are Using

One of the best reasons to build a gaming PC yourself is to get to know what parts you will use. As you start doing your research on buying the best parts for your build, you know exactly why you are using a particular component.

You have several options to choose from in each component category and you learn a lot about compatibility. We have several great sites that also help in finding any potential incompatibility like PCPartPicker.

With continuous and thorough research for several days or weeks, you know what is out in the market and what is cheaper. You also get to know about various things related to building a PC like cooling, overclocking, and troubleshooting.

Upgrading also becomes easier in the future as you have selected the parts carefully for an easy upgrade without changing your whole PC. This saves a good amount of money and headache in the long run.

You Save Time And Money by Avoiding the Scam

Although building a gaming PC by yourself is time-consuming, you are still in a win-win situation as you won’t need to get this done from a computer shop. Not only that but you also save a lot of time and money if your system ever fails.

It is easier to figure out the common hardware problems when you have built your PC yourself. The most simple troubleshooting problems can cost you several dollars or even more than that as the PC offline market is filled with scammers.

Better Performance Per Dollar is Achieved

This is perhaps the best reason of all. Carefully selecting the parts will result in a much higher performance per dollar spent than going with a PreBuilt gaming system. This makes building a gaming PC preferable and it also saves you some good bucks in the long run.

A $1000 Custom gaming build is far better than a PreBuilt gaming build in terms of performance, upgradeability, and value for the price. This is why we always recommend learning and building a PC on your own.

You Avoid Crappy Parts

This is the most common problem with PreBuilt systems. Even the higher-end PreBuilt gaming PCs are equipped with some of the crappiest PC components despite paying good money.

OEMs don’t care about the reliability of your components and their looks. More than 90% of the PreBuilt systems come with a generic power supply, a low-end entry-level motherboard, and a low-profile RAM kit. This ruins the look of your whole system and doesn’t give you the promised performance, functionality, and even flexibility to upgrade easily.

Most OEMs simply put the best CPU and GPU installed in a beautiful RGB case. They save a lot of money on the rest of the parts but the cost is retained as it is.

There Are No Hidden Costs

PreBuilt companies save a lot by charging for various services you might not even know about. Their storage, handling, assembling, and other such costs are included with the gaming PC. Shipping a fully assembled build is also costlier as it poses a risk of physical damage in the shipping process.

Building a custom PC doesn’t have any of those hidden costs and you only pay for what you are buying.

Better Warranty

PreBulit systems generally have a one-two year warranty on the whole PC for parts and labor. This is way worse than a custom gaming PC. A custom gaming build has a dedicated warranty for individual components and the warranty easily extends to more than 3 years on many components.

With a PreBuilt system, generally, you need to send the whole rig for any kind of repair or replacement even if the problem is related to just one part whereas a custom gaming build is easier to fix as you will need to send only the faulty part to its manufacturer service center. Till then, you can replace that part in your PC with another spare one to continue your work.

Buying Individual Parts is Fun

This may sound ridiculous but shopping for your favorite computer parts is more fun than the actual building process(at least for me). Going through several online retail stores as well as offline computer shops is a memorable journey. This also helps you know a lot about the current pricing trend.

Reasons To Buy A PreBuilt Gaming PC

Research is Minimized

Although you need to do the essential research on GPUs and CPUs, there is still nothing much you have control over. For any particular price range, there are only a couple of good Prebuilts available. So, choosing the best from them is easier than choosing individual parts.

You can easily compare the specs of different PreBuilt gaming PCs, the freebies or bundles you are getting, and the warranty. This makes buying a PreBuilt less time-consuming than building a custom one.

You Only Need to Shop Once

As the PreBuilt PCs come pre-assembled, you don’t have to shop for individual components. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about pricing and availability. Buying a PreBuilt is 5-6 times less time-consuming and you don’t need to invest time in assembling.

You Get Extras

Most OEMs ship their PreBuilt PCs with pre-installed Wifi adapters and Windows operating system. Those alone can cost around $50-$100. Some OEMs also ship their PCs with a keyboard/mouse combo to let you start right away.

Good Technical Support

PreBuilt owners have the advantage of customer support and nearly all OEMs provide technical support on their PreBuilt PCs. This means easier troubleshooting and you don’t have to search manually on forums.

No Compatibility Issues

There is absolutely no risk involved in buying PreBuilt gaming PCs. Companies configure the PreBuilts according to the compatibility of the components and you don’t have to worry about any incompatibility issues.

No Significant Availability Issues

Remember the historic 2018 and 2020-2022 GPU shortage? With PreBuilt gaming PCs, you don’t have to worry about components shortage. Yes, in a historic shortage as we have witnessed, the prices of PreBuilt also went high, but they were still much more reasonable than building a custom gaming PC.

Up To You

I have explained the advantages of buying PreBuilt and Custom gaming PCs in detail. The last decision is yours. So, take your time in deciding which one will be better for you, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need any help. Use the comments section below and put your queries. We will try to sort out your problems in a day or two.