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Prebuilt vs Custom PC


A PC is a versatile system that allows you to perform multiple tasks easily. You can watch movies, play games, and also use it for office purposes.

But some people only use the PC for specific purposes. For instance, you are a gamer who only uses your PC for gaming purposes. In this case, you want a high-end PC with a powerful configuration.

If you want a PC to create presentations and perform office tasks, a lower configuration will suffice.

Many brands are developing PCs to meet the exact needs of users. But, still, it is very difficult to find a PC with the perfect configuration. In some cases, you pay for something you don’t need.

For instance, you might be satisfied with a 1 TB storage space. But the PC you prefer will have a 2 TB space. So, in most cases, you have to overpay for what you need or compromise on the configuration.

What do you do in this case? Well, you have the option to customize the PC and choose individual hardware components to perfectly match your needs. In this way, you only pay for what you want.

The below article explains the differences between a pre-built and custom PC and which one will best suit your needs.

What exactly is a prebuilt PC?

A prebuilt PC is a complete system that comes with a balanced and reliable hardware configuration. You do not have to spend time choosing separate hardware components.

Brands do this work for you and put together the necessary hardware for an optimized PC performance. Depending on your budget, you can purchase a PC and start using it right out of the box.

It is safe to go with a prebuilt PC if you do not know much about computer hardware.

Advantages of prebuilt PC

  • They are reliable and provide a well-balanced performance
  • They are convenient to purchase and you do not have to assemble them
  • They come with a brand warranty and the brand offers continued customer support
  • You need not have computer hardware knowledge to purchase this

Disadvantages of prebuilt PC

  • They do not offer the best value for money. You end paying for features you do not need.
  • You can not upgrade them easily. There are certain limitations.
  • You can not purchase a uniquely-designed prebuilt PC.

What exactly is a custom PC?

As the name implies, you choose the individual components and features you want in a PC. Basically, you customize the PC according to your needs.

You request qualified experts or a store to build the PC for you. For that, you have to provide them with a list of hardware components such as motherboard, graphics card, and RAM you need. They will build it for you.

The main advantage of a custom PC is that it saves you money. You only pay for exactly what you need. If you do not need high storage space, you do not have to pay for it.

Advantages of custom PC

  • They offer you the best value for money. You only pay for what you need.
  • You have the freedom to choose individual components and customize the PC within your budget.
  • You can easily upgrade them at a later stage.
  • You can customize the design and paint job of the PC to make it unique.

Disadvantages of custom PC

  • The reliability of custom PCs depends on the store you purchase them from.
  • For any product malfunctions, you have to contact the store.
  • It takes more time for the product to be delivered as it has to be assembled from scratch.

Comparison: Prebuilt PC vs Custom PC

We have compared prebuilt PCs and custom PCs against important aspects that influence your choice.

1. Assembly time

In the case of a prebuilt PC, all you have to do is order it online and wait for the delivery. Or, you can go to an offline store and purchase it instantly. Assembly time does not apply here as the prebuilt PCs are already assembled.

Custom PCs, on the other hand, will take some time for assembly. In most cases, the stores will have the hardware components with them. Or at the very least, they know where to source the components. On average, you will get the custom PC delivered to you in 2 to 4 days.

2. Tech Support and Troubleshooting

When you get a prebuilt PC, you will also get dedicated customer support from the brand. As the brand developed the complete PC, they will address any problems or concerns. Besides, you also get a warranty period. Additionally, you can also purchase a protection plan from the brand.

If you purchase a custom PC, the store will provide you the support. Hardware components will have a warranty. So, if there is a problem with specific hardware components, you may also choose to contact the brand.

But, if you are unaware of the problem, you have to contact the store you purchased it from. The stores will also provide protection plans and warranties. But it will vary from one store to another.

3. Software

Prebuilt PCs come with pre-installed operating software. Brands go with software based on the hardware components to deliver optimized performance. Besides, you also get some pre-installed applications and programs.

In the case of custom PCs, you have the option to choose your operating software. The store will then install the operating software before delivering you the custom PC.

But, in both cases, the operating software is not a huge deal. You can always change the OS by yourself. There are a lot of video tutorials to help you with this.

4. Aesthetics

While performance is the primary criteria for a PC, visual appearance also plays an important role. It makes a style statement.

When you go with a prebuilt PC, you get the brand color and design. Brands have their own color portfolio and design. So, there can be some limitations and a lack of individuality. But, still, you will get a good design, nonetheless.

If you want a unique design, then custom PCs are your best bet. There are some companies that specialize in the visual features of PCs.

You can request custom paint jobs for your PC based on your color preference. Besides, you can add other visual customizations such as UV printing and laser etching.

Comparison Chart: Prebuilt PCs vs Custom PCs

To make your choice easier, we have listed the above-mentioned differences in a simpler table format.










Features Prebuilt Custom
Hardware configuration System-level selection Component-level selection
Assembly time No assembly 2 to 4 days
Software Preinstalled Preinstalled based on your preference
Support Brand support Store/Vendor offers support
Aesthetics Brand color and design Customized unique design
Warranty Brand warranty Store/Vendor warranty
Discounts System-level discounts Component-level discounts
Cost Expensive Comparatively cheaper

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you modify a prebuilt PC?

Yes, it is possible to modify a prebuilt PC. But it is harder and you will not get the same freedom as modifying a custom PC. Besides, if the PC is small, you will not be able to install a new graphics card or additional storage drive.

2. Why are prebuilt PCs so expensive?

The reason that many people feel that prebuilt PCs are expensive is that they often pay for features they do not need. As it comes as a complete set, you can not get the best value for money.

3. How long do prebuilt PCs last?

The reason that many people feel that prebuilt PCs are expensive is that they often pay for features they do not need. As it comes as a complete set, you can not get the best value for money.

4. How much does it cost for a custom PC?

Again, there is no specific answer to this question. It depends on the configuration you need. On average, it costs anywhere between $300 and $2,000. Most people like to get it done between the range of $500 to $700.

Conclusion

To sum it up, pre-built PCs are reliable and deliver a decent well-balanced performance. They are backed by a brand warranty and you get continued support from the brand. But they do not provide the best value for money.

If you are short on budget and you know a thing or two about computer hardware, then a custom PC will be the best option for you. You can choose individual components based on your needs and get maximum value for money.

If you have any doubts or queries, you can share them with us using the comments section. Our team will help you out.



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