Is it better to build your own PC than to quit and buy one?

Is it better to build your own PC than to quit and buy one? ...

Youll need to get started with a kick-ass PC if you want to build a kick-ass computer lab in your house. However, there are so many options to get good PCs these days, you will need to make a decision.

Do you purchase a pre-built PC? Or do you purchase your own components and build the PC with your own hands?

Computer Lab Week is a tribute to classic school games, likeOregon Trail and Number Munchers, that prevented us from being productive. Yes, you should be doing homework, but Carmen Sandiego is on the loose!

Im in a prime position to guide you through the entire process of making your own PC over the past ten years, and I recommend both of them.

What do you need to build your own gaming PC?

Building a PC is arduous, but it can be rewarding. It gives you complete control in the process, and makes your PC feel like your own creation. It also makes upgrading your PC simpler, since you know exactly how everything fits together.

Let's get started with everything you'll need to build a complete computer and be able to test it on your own:

  • A case
  • A processor (CPU)
  • A processor cooler
  • A motherboard
  • Multiple sticks of memory (RAM)
  • A hard drive
  • A graphics card (GPU)
  • A power supply (PSU)
  • Thermal paste
  • A flashlight
  • A screwdriver
  • An anti-static wrist strap (optional, but recommended)
  • A copy of Windows (or another operating system)
  • A monitor
  • A mouse
  • A keyboard

I recommend PCPartPicker as a great beginner's resource. It will let you compare different components so you can get exactly what you want (and it will also inform you if any of your components are compatible with one another). You may also buy individual parts from an online store like Amazon, or pick them up at a local store.

If you are going to test your PC, you must understand that PCs are complex and fickle. One wrong move might cause problems when trying to boot your PC for a test. And if you are not careful about your static electricity buildup, you may end up accidentally ruining one of your costly components.

This process takes hours of effort and precision. I recommend bringing a trusted friend with you if you have never built a PC.

Youll need a flat surface and either an iPad, laptop, or phone to watch a tutorial while you work on it. The best way to build a PC is to watch a companion video that demonstrates exactly what you should do and your order of operations.

The above video from ECPU is a great introduction to the basics of electronics. There are also timestamps in the video that make it easy to skip around.

It's worth noting that all PC builds are slightly different depending on what you choose. If youre having trouble with a component you've made that the person in your video tutorial doesn't, try reading the directions or better looking for a build video for your particular case, motherboard, or processor.

How do you get a customized pre-built PC?

Outside of building your own PC, you may either acquire a pre-built one at a store like Best Buy or you may customize one online like iBuyPower. The first can be fine, but I recommend you buy custom.

All you have to do is visit the iBuyPowers website (there are many websites like this, such as CyberPowerPC) and open up their PC customizer. You may even try your hypothetical build with popular modern games like Elden Ring.

If the graphics card you want is too big for your case, for instance, you can check out. An expert will gather your components for you, build the PC, and deliver it to your house. All you have to do when it arrives is remove the weird, gigantic packing peanuts inside the case.

The whole experience was fantastic, as well as making the immense financial burden of purchasing a new PC much easier for me to bear. I used Affirm's built-in credit program to purchase my $2,324 PC, but it was well worth it for the opportunity to upgrade my older desktop a full year early.

If you have the cash on hand or a really good credit card, you may purchase the whole package upfront. But if the cost of the PC is the biggest obstacle for you, getting a custom might make things easier if you follow my monthly repayment pattern.

Which do I recommend?

Over ten years of building machines, I never encountered a major setback during one of my projects. My PC always booted on the first or second attempt. Many other talented PC builders I know havent been so fortunate, but I had great experiences. I also really enjoyed the process, and originally imagined it would be something I would do every few years for the rest of my life.

After several upgrades and upgrades as well as a pandemic, I wanted to try something simple and straightforward. I still purchased all of my components, but I didnt have to do any of the labor during the epidemic. Most importantly, I was able to pay for the computer in the course of a year, which was invaluable to my family during the epidemic.

I'll be buying a custom one again in many years time, without question. It's just simpler in almost every sense, and I had an excellent experience with iBuyPower. However, I still value the experience I had building my previous computers. I'll eventually be able to upgrade my current PC because I know how to install computer components with care.

If this is your first PC and you love to learn, youll appreciate the experience of doing it yourself. Buying a custom build is the easiest way to get into PC gaming. It's fast, it's simple, and it's easy to do.

It's becoming harder than ever to get your hands on the finest gaming gear. With PS5s selling as fast as they can stock them, and Pokemon cards disappearing from virtual shelves, it's critical to know where to get them and when to get them. Members also receive monthly rewards, and a subscription to Game Informer magazine.