Looking to buy a gaming PC and want to know whether it is cheaper to build a gaming PC or should you stick with a pre-built option to save cost.
Well, the price difference between buying and building a gaming PC is quite apparent but which one costs less? In this article, let’s find out which option is cheaper.
Building a gaming PC is cheaper than buying a prebuilt gaming PC simply because you save the cost of labor when assembling the gaming PC yourself.
Also, when building a gaming PC, you have control over each individual component hence you can buy stuff at a cheaper price. Hence the reason why many seasoned PC gamers prefer building their own gaming machines.
This isn’t to say that building a gaming PC is always cheap and the better way to go. In certain situations, prebuilt gaming PCs can also be viable especially right now when PC components are out of stock.
Long-Run Cost of Prebuilt and Custom-built Gaming PCs?
Initially, in the short run building a gaming PC yourself is always going to be the cheaper option. The price difference however between building a gaming PC or buying a prebuilt is not very significant at the initial stage.
Therefore, if you have limited time then paying $200-300 extra for a gaming PC that comes pre-assembled is not an obnoxious deal if you look at it that way.
However, things significantly change when we also factor in the long-run cost of the system. Here a custom-built gaming PC absolutely kills its prebuilt counterpart by a significant margin.
The best long-run initiative that the custom build gaming PC has going for it is the upgradeability factor. If you build a PC yourself, you would also be able to upgrade it quite easily, if need be, later down the road.
Also, you will be able to swap out each individual component for a newer one. This can save a lot of recurring expenses. For example, 3 years down the road the graphic card in your PC is not performing optimally for the latest games.
In this case, if you use a custom rig, you can simply remove the old graphics card and install a new one. Things, however, will not be as simple in the prebuilt department.
Since most prebuilt gaming PCs are only manufactured around the current specification therefore for installing a new graphics card you will also need to upgrade the PSU to a better one. Other components similarly may also need to be adjusted.
Another major cost-benefit of building a PC is that if anything malfunctions or a component dies you can easily replace single components as opposed to replacing the whole system.
In a prebuilt PC, that won’t be possible. If the PC fails, then I am afraid you will need to buy the entire PC again which will cost a lot more than simply replacing the faulty component in a custom-built gaming PC.
Therefore, it won’t be wrong to say that building a gaming PC is not only cheaper in the short run but also quite cost-effective in the long run.
The Shortage of PC Components
The prices for building gaming PCs have been absurd for the past year or so. It initially started during lockdown when there was a worldwide halt in the production of CPU, Graphic cards, RAM, storage, and basically all other components of the PC.
This meant that there was a huge demand for PC components, but the supply wasn’t there. This led to major shortages but the worst was yet to come. After production restarted there was major congestion in the shipping supply lines hence the price of components increased.
Another major factor that contributed to the hike in prices was the fact that microchips for manufacturing trivial PC components like CPU and graphics cards were not available due to huge backorders that had piled up when production was halted.
The final nail of the coffin was the revamped interest in crypto mining. This meant that the already limited supply of graphic cards was being stretched even further when investors and crypto hopefuls started hogging up graphic cards in large quantities.
Check out our price-focused prebuilt PC guides below.
- Best $500 Prebuilt Gaming PC
- Best $800 Prebuilt Gaming PC
- Best $1000 Prebuilt Gaming PC
- Best $1500 Prebuilt Gaming PC
- Best $2000 Prebuilt Gaming PC
Check out our GPU-focused prebuilt PC guides below.
- Prebuilt Gaming PC with RTX 3060
- Prebuilt Gaming PC with RTX 3070
- Prebuilt Gaming PC with RTX 3080
- Prebuilt Gaming PC with RTX 3090
Check out our aesthetics-focused gaming PC guides below.
Check out some of the other related guides.
- How to Make Sure All Your PC Parts Are Compatible
- Why Are Gaming PCs So Expensive?
- Is It Hard to Build a Gaming PC?
To conclude, it goes without saying that building a gaming PC is indeed cheaper than buying an off-the-rack prebuilt gaming system.
The value of the proposition that each type of gaming PC offers however depends on the consumer and what he values more. It is a pick between less cost or time-saving.