PC: To Build or Not to Build?

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A good PC is an invaluable asset. it not only can fulfill much of your academic and professional needs, it can bolster the quality of your entertainment. When it comes to getting one, there are two traditional avenues: Buy or build. This article hopes to give you some food for thought in making a decision to build or buy your next PC.

Why Build a PC?

For Mac users, it’s not a very applicable question. For PC users, it should be the first one you ask yourself when considering a new PC. Building a computer can be very rewarding. Firstly, you need to consider what your desired uses for a PC are. There is much to consider based on what your needs are:

Casual Gamer:

For the casual gamer, it is most likely that the build/buy decision will break even for you. You want a PC that can handle games, but your PC is mostly for your family or professional life. Because of this, you want something that can provide entertainment but don’t feel a need to spend too much money on it. Even the cheapest retail computers have integrated graphics card that can run games on low levels. If you want more impressive gaming, you could even upgrade a retailed computer with dedicated graphics and more RAM. Even if you build a computer, it may come closer in pricing than you imagined because retail chains buy materials in bulk. They can produce a better casual machine than you could for the same amount of money. for the casual gamer, the decision is mostly personal. If you want to build a PC, go for it. If not, go buy one. The price difference will likely be insignificant.

Strictly for Work:

Many people aren’t gamers. If you use your PC strictly for work, then it would most likely benefit you to purchase from a retailer. As mentioned above, the large PC retailing chains will build many standard work machines at a very reasonable price.Even the most useful professional software doesn’t require amazing specifications, so buying the PC retail isn’t a big deal. Many companies buy work computers for their employees in bulk anyway, so this section may be scarcely applicable to readers. If your spending range is relatively low and you don’t game, there isn’t much reason to build a computer unless it’s a hobby or personal aspiration.

Hardcore Gamer:

For high end gaming PCs, building your computer is certainly an advantage for pricing. You can order the parts at similar rates computer retailers would receive them. High end PCs are typically not mass produced because the parts are too expensive for regular users (such as businesses, schools, etc.) to consistently buy them. Therefore if you can build it yourself, you will save the money a specialty store or retail chain would charge you for assembly. This is usually a decent dividend because the labor cost to build a great PC is one of its expensive factors.


Maintenance is crucial to getting the most out of your computer for an extended period of time. One thing to consider is that when you build a computer, you will not have the technical support that comes with buying a name brand product. Additionally, many name brand computers come with software like Microsoft Office, that you would otherwise have to pay for with a built machine. The same applies to virus protection. You should consider your ability to personally maintain both software and hardware before building a PC.

 It’s Truly Up to You

Even though building or buying may be more or less cost efficient in certain scenarios, there is no definitive rule on whether you should build or buy. The best way to figure it out is to find an exact machine you would consider buying from a retail or specialty store and try finding the parts online. Consider the difference between simply buying the retail machine or attempting to build it. If the price difference is worth doing the labor yourself, then absolutely build. If you have the money not to care, then more power to you. Many hardcore gamers combine the two ideas and pay to have a specialty store worker build their PC. It’s expensive, but they get a very high quality product they can trust will work. This proves there is no “right way” to attain a PC; do what fits you and your wallet the best.

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