Prebuilt vs Custom PC: Which is better?

Prebuilt vs Custom PC: Which is better?

A top-performance PC is required if you want to play top-tier games or want to play current-era games. In both cases, you will throw a lot of load on the computer, so only a good-quality one will get through it. For instance, you have decided to purchase a new system. Before writing the specifications of different elements, it’s crucial to decide what type of personal computer you need. You either have to go for a prebuilt or custom PC as per your needs and sense of satisfaction. Remember, both types of systems carry their own benefits together with certain downsides.

Well, in this post, we will look at both sides of prebuilt and custom-made PCs, together with several other related factors. No doubt, modern gadgets, and devices are getting smaller, and desktop PCs are also getting compact, but not with that much pace. The competition between prebuilt vs custom PC is quite serious since prebuilt systems come with fixed sizes, while custom allows you to decide your ideal size. Other than that, several other factors also help us choose between both types of computers. Let’s dive deep into the post and explore more knowledge about the topic. 

How are Prebuilt and Custom PCs different?

The first and foremost important thing to know is the ultimate difference between both types of personal computers. A prebuilt PC comes plug-n-play ready and completely assembled by someone else; it may be a person, retailer, business, or brand. You don’t have the freedom to choose its elements in most cases. In contrast, a custom PC is assembled by its users. In this way, a custom one offers you the freedom to choose between a wide range of customization options like color, RGB lighting, size, and performance, and most importantly, you can vary the price.  

Prebuilt vs custom PC: which is better?

There are several differences between prebuilt and custom-made PCs. Breaking your curiosity, we will look at all the important ones to help you decide between both types of computers. In the below section, we have compared both types in terms of each factor, like price, performance, and more. Let’s start: 

Cost

Cost of building a PC is one of the important reasons to think about choosing between prebuilt or custom systems. You may think that the companies making a PC will not only cover their base expenses but also earn profits to run their infrastructure. In short, if you’re purchasing a prebuilt system, it would be pricier than a custom one. If you’re thinking the same, you may be wrong. Well, the whole cost issue lies in the components’ prices. The top-tier PC assembling brand purchases the element in bulk, while the users like me and you need a few components. 

If you bulk-ordered something, it costs less than buying the same components from the after-market. If we compare the prebuilt with the custom, the prebuilt can be purchased at a lesser price than what it will cost you to build a custom computer. But, the PC’s price may also vary from time to time and condition to condition. Anyhow, I suggest you keep checking the online retailers of both prebuilt and custom PCs, calculate the cost difference between both, and go for one that costs you less. In addition, make sure to keep stalking the sale seasons and sales offers. 

Performance

On paper, both prebuilt and custom PCs provide the same performance if you put all the same components, especially the CPU, GPU, and volatile memory. But still, several enthusiasts vote for custom-made computers in terms of performance. Another reason for the custom PC is that it allows you to choose all types of components to get the most out of the loads. Moreover, you can attach any cooling system that allows the components to overclock up to their true potential. In short, if you want guaranteed performance, you can go for a custom system.

Convenience and Backup support

The prebuilt systems are plug-and-play ready, so you don’t have to spend much time making them able to operate. Just connect the system to the monitor, attach it to the power unit, and start running it—easy peasy. In contrast, if we look at the custom-made PC, we must spend some time researching different elements, buying them, and then connecting them to the system. In the process, there is some risk of damaging different elements, especially if you don’t have much knowledge. In short, the prebuilt system wins in terms of being stress-free and convenient. 

Another benefit of having a prebuilt PC is the backup support or guarantee by the manufacturer. You don’t have to worry about anything if something goes wrong, rather, contact the brand’s support center and return the system to the company. In addition, these suppliers have strong testing platforms and expert teams to assemble all types of systems. In this way, the prebuilt PCs are safely assembled, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally damaging any element. In short, the prebuilt computers again win in terms of backup support.

Flexibility and Future-proofing

If we compare the prebuilt system with the custom one, the prebuilt lags in terms of freedom to choose different components. You get everything prebuilt into the system, including the processor, graphics card, memory, and other components. In contrast, you can put any type of element into your system as per your wishes while keeping everything compatible. Further, you can make an affordable system without breaking the bank if you don’t have many bucks in your pocket. In short, the custom-made PC is the winner in terms of flexibility. 

Custom PCs not only win in terms of flexibility but also guarantee future-proofing. The prebuilt PCs may undoubtedly come with old-school components, including CPU and chipsets that may go out of the league after a few years. To ensure that everything works fine even for years, you can take help from custom-made systems. You can use any type of processor like AMD Ryzen 9 5950X or choose the Intel Core i9-12900K so you can keep playing games or doing content creation for years. In addition, the same thing applies to the graphics card. 

Aesthetics

If we look at a few years back, the system’s look wasn’t very noticeable, but things have changed now. Nowadays, every enthusiast tries their best to customize the aesthetics of their computer as per their personal preferences. Maybe due to this reason, the trend of building all-black and white PCs is getting popular among tech users. Moreover, several customers are demanding RGB lighting in their systems. Overall, we can sense that people are paying attention to the overall size and design of the system. It makes them quite attached to the technology.   

The prebuilt systems are perfect for those who have no interest in modding their system from ordinary ones. These come with a fixed look, so you can’t change them even if you don’t like them. In contrast, custom PCs allow you to choose any type of component with any color painted on them. You can add your favorite colors to the system and make it attractive as well as beautiful. Moreover, you can also add RGB lighting. In this way, you can be an enthusiast following the latest trend of building PCs with customizable lighting all around the components. 

What to consider before building a PC or buying a pre-built one?

Like every other computer element, there are several factors to consider while purchasing a PC itself. Either you’re building a custom PC or purchasing a prebuilt one. Either way, you have to ensure all the factors are given below. For your information, most of them vary from user to user. But still, we have tried our best to mention all the necessary ones, so you don’t miss any important things. Those include

Budget

The first and most important user-based factor is your budget. Although performance is directly proportional to price, in most cases, we suggest you purchase a good-quality computer without breaking the bank. Even though you don’t have so many bucks in your pocket, you can still uncover a fine-quality PC with adequate performance. 

Processing power

The next factor to consider while purchasing or building a computer is its processing power. If you want to do ordinary tasks like internet browsing or listening to multimedia, you can work it out with any Intel i5 5th-gen chip. In contrast, those who want to play top-tier games or create content need high-end chips like AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

Graphics card

This factor is applied only to gamers and content creators. Your usage is quite enriched with graphics-intensive loads so you need to pair a good-quality graphics card. For entry-level output, you must pair a card with at least 4GB GDDR6 type memory. In contrast, true enthusiasts need a minimum of 8GB GDDR6 graphic memory for gaming. 

Storage size

The next factor to consider after ensuring the right RAM size is the size of your storage memory. I suggest you choose the SSD storage over the HDD since it’s way more efficient. In addition, if you want to store several games or applications, make sure to have at least 500+GB of storage. Normal users can work out with 256GB storage without any issues. 

RAM

With good processing power, there must be a same-tier volatile memory to support its performance and speeds. Since a CPU directly takes its instructions from the RAM, you must pay attention to it. As far as the least limit matters, you can’t go for anything less than 6-8GB of memory. In contrast, you must have 16GB at least for gaming or content creation.

Power supply

Last but not least, ensure an adequate power supply unit in your system to deliver the optimal input power. No doubt, there must be enough power to support CPU, GPU, and RAM when you overclock these elements at their peaks. A modern 500+W PSU is quite enough a system, but it also depends upon the rig’s components. 

Conclusion

A good-quality PC is a foremost requirement of a gamer or content creator who wants to take everything up to the next level. Everything seems settled up to this point, but it gets quite complicated when choosing between prebuilt vs custom PC. We mentioned the term “complicated” since both types of systems have their own benefits and a few downsides. But we have tried our best to make everything easy for you with the help of this post. There is a long list of important factors to compare both the categories of computers. 

A prebuilt system is very convenient and comes with suppliers’ backup support. You don’t have to spend hours building it since it comes pre-assembled, plus no need to worry about any repairs unless it’s out of the guarantee period. In contrast, custom PCs offer flexibility to choose between different things so you can make everything future-proof. In addition, if you don’t have many bucks in your pocket, you can also build an affordable custom system. Moreover, you can choose a custom design for your computer with RGB or without.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a pre-built PC last?

Most of the time, a pre-built PC could last for 5-6 years. But the exact PC lifespan varies from user to user depending upon the quality of PC components, how you use your computer, and how much you take care of your system. A PC can even last for 10 years, but it depends on how properly you take care of it.

Is it better to buy a pre built or build a PC?

Building a custom PC is a perfect option for those users who want to take the PC performance up to the next level. Plus, they want to custom-build every aspect of their computer and want to take control over design, lighting, fans, and more. In contrast, for those who don’t care much about aesthetics and want to save time, pre-built is for you.

Is Building a PC Hard?

Not at all if you have its knowledge and, most importantly, experience. Even if you don’t, you can watch several YouTube tutorials and learn everything required to build a computer. Moreover, you can choose different components by reading the guides on our website.

Zohaib Hassan
Zohaib Hassan is a staunch tech enthusiast and has been writing about his interactions with computers for years. He has been serving the PCIdeaz, GamingSilk, and BesTechReview as a content writer and manager along with experimenting and testing numerous tech masterpieces. Indeed, he often forgets about eating his spicy snacks when has his head on the computer screen.