The Pros And Cons Of Building A Gaming PC

Building a gaming PC can be a rewarding experience because you’ll know everything in it, how to repair anything that goes wrong, and how well it can perform. However, many prefer buying a pre-built gaming PC to avoid the stress of potentially overheating, spending too much money, and so on.

But before we continue, I also recommend reading my other article on knowing which parts are compatible if you haven’t seen it already.

Is It Better To Build Or Buy A Gaming PC?

The exploded view of the parts inside a computer.

The pros of building a gaming PC include upgrading components whenever you want, knowing every piece that goes into the computer, and saving money. The cons of building a gaming PC are that mistakes can cause severe ripples, and you might spend too much if you don’t know what to get.

You can find budget-friendly pre-built gaming computers for less than $500, while building a PC can cost over $1,000 or more.

Why would someone want to build a computer if it takes more time and could cost more than a pre-made model?

Truthfully, building a gaming PC will make it last longer and function better than any store-bought computer you could find.

For starters, buying a low-cost computer from a store typically means it’ll only last a few years before it is time to replace it.

You won’t get a fraction of the RAM or storage space, nor will you find high-quality graphics or game-ready processors.

Buying a computer is convenient for some, but building one is always the best decision if you’re using it for gaming.

There’s no denying the convenience of heading to the store and buying a ready-to-go gaming computer.

Still, you’ll spend more money, sacrifice the potential performance, and face many problems.

The sole benefit of getting a pre-made gaming computer is the all-in-one warranty you might receive.

If you’re interested in building a gaming PC with parts, you’ll love the pros and cons we’ve carefully researched and compiled in the following sections.

The Pros

Building a gaming PC can be a rewarding experience that yields convenience, financial savings, and a long-lasting, high-end setup.

Many popular streamers and professional gamers prefer building their computers for many reasons. We’ll explore all of the pros below to help you know if it’s the right decision for you.

  • When building a gaming PC, you’ll know all the parts inside of it. You don’t have to wonder about the graphics card, processor, or anything else. Knowing your gaming PC’s capabilities is important to have the right specs for your favorite games.
  • You don’t have to worry about paying for labor or price markups. According to Driver Support, choosing the best deals can save you hundreds of dollars by building a gaming PC. Prices are often inflated to provide a profit for the company and pay for labor and other expenses. DIYing the setup prevents you from incurring those costs.
  • A DIY gaming computer can be upgraded rather easily. You can remove the fans, graphics card, and other components without contacting the manufacturer. Many DIY gaming PCs are quite easy to upgrade because all you have to do is unplug one part and replace it with the new one.
  • You’ll decide how everything looks, functions, and fits into the setup. For example, some people prefer the low-temperature setting of an open-case PC, while others want to prevent dust and debris from clogging the internal components. You could also add color-changing lights and other unique cosmetic modifications. Or you could even add the ability to have it connect directly to WiFi.
  • Building a new PC furthers your knowledge of how computers work. There’s always something new to learn, even if you’re an experienced builder. In addition, brand-new parts and different configuration recommendations will keep your computer at peak performance throughout the building process.
  • Budget allocation. You decide whether you want more money into a faster CPU but slightly slower or less RAM. This holds true for every component you purchase for your new system, making it tailored to your usage requirements or preferences. I advise always opting for the best power supply and CPU cooler to help with longevity and stability.
  • Better chances for reliability. If you spend the time to make sure parts are properly compatible, doing a proper assembly job can help with reliability. For example, if you ensure the RAM is plugged in properly, the CPU thermal paste has been correctly applied, and the CPU is correctly seated, allowing you to get it right the first time. It’s one of the benefits that first attracted me to building my own. No problems related to assembly errors or shipping will be outside of your control.

As you can see, you’ll enjoy many benefits from building a gaming PC at home.

Rather than relying on manufacturers to find and implement the best parts at a reasonable price, you can do everything yourself.

However, it would help to analyze the cons in the following section before choosing.

The Cons

Almost everyone would do it if there weren’t any disadvantages to building a gaming PC.

There’s a reason many people settle for store-bought computers! Some of these cons only apply to beginners, so watch for ways to work around the odds.

Here are some of the cons of building a gaming PC:

  • When building your gaming PC, you will likely be without external assistance. Finding tech support could require an investment, meaning you’ll spend much more than buying a prebuilt computer. Fortunately, this isn’t an issue if you know what you’re doing.
  • You must obtain warranties for each part you purchase rather than the setup. Redshift explains getting an all-inclusive warranty is difficult since you’re not buying a prebuilt PC. Every component requires its warranty, so make sure you have a place to store them.
  • Some parts will be incompatible with others, most of which you won’t know until after the installation. Unless you’ve used the components before or know someone who has, it’s hard to know how they’ll work. We recommend using PC Part Picker to check if your gaming PC’s parts can work together.
  • It can take a long time, depending on how much you know about computers. Building a computer can take a few hours, days, or weeks if you have little spare time. On the other hand, prebuilt computers are typically plug-and-play out of the box (plug them into the wall and monitor, and you can use them instantly).
  • Improper installations and computer builds can quickly lead to overheating. If you don’t have enough fans, the PC case is overcrowded, or you overload the processor, your setup will be prone to overheating. It’ll run louder and take a toll on everything you’ve installed, which means you need some knowledge of the subject.

Many of these issues aren’t bad enough to steer people away from them. Perhaps the most significant problem is people don’t know what goes into a DIY PC, how much they should spend, or they don’t want to take the time to build it. Before diving into a PC build, review the following section for parts and other suggestions.

What should you know before building one

Are you ready to create your new favorite gaming computer? You won’t have to buy a brand-new setup every few years since you can replace the parts as you go.

Those who haven’t attempted a PC build should consider the following three tips to save time, money, and energy.

Research every part’s compatibility

As mentioned in the article, incompatibility can lead to overheating, or your setup won’t turn on.

You might experience error codes and other issues, too. It’s best to explore the internet or local computer shops to know which components work together.

Never assume two parts will mesh if you haven’t used them in the past.

Find deals and warranties

Buying PC parts online can help you save money for other hardware and software. If you’re not in a rush, it’s worth waiting for seasonal deals like Cyber Monday, Black Friday, etc.

Also, find out which companies offer warranties to prevent unwanted stresses or buying a lemon without getting a replacement or your money back.

Learn as much as you can

While researching all the parts you need, some learning will occur naturally. It is also beneficial to take the time to learn about various setups and decide which type of configuration you want.

This goes for compatibility of parts, cooling, performance, and aesthetics.

Try to take note of important practices when handling components. One example is avoiding touching copper contacts on CPUs, RAM modules, or graphics cards.

Compare open-case and closed-case computers

Open-case computers provide optimal airflow and temperature control. Still, closed-case computers protect their internal components from getting coated in debris, spills, and other issues that could ruin the setup.

If you choose an open-case computer, keep it clean by wiping it down regularly.

Building a computer might seem daunting, but it can be rather rewarding. The best way to make a top-notch gaming PC is to take time to wait for deals, extended warranties, and more.

Rushing the process can lead to ongoing compatibility issues or missed opportunities to improve the setup.

How long do DIY gaming PCs last?

Your gaming PC can last well over a decade, but its performance will drop and pale compared to new-age computers. You’ll notice it slows down, overheats, and gets bogged down much quicker than it used to.

The good news is that you can replace parts every few years to keep it running much longer.

Modern technology is built to last long, but that doesn’t mean it can withstand wear and tear.

If you don’t care for your computer, dust it, replace old parts, and so on, it can break down within a few years.

Most pre-built and DIY computers are designed to last half of a decade before their performance drops.

If your PC lags or shows error codes before four or five years, there’s a compatibility problem, or you’re overworking the system.

Malware and bloatware can ruin a brand-new gaming computer’s performance, too. Make sure you have trustworthy antivirus software downloaded to prevent such issues.

How quickly does a gaming PC’s value depreciate?

If you want to sell your computer or are worried about getting the money back, you spent on the parts. You might be shocked by how quickly they depreciate.

Since gaming PCs are improved annually, Easy PC states many computers depreciate by up to 400% within the first ten years. It’s safe to say you won’t get all of your money back.

However, you can sell old parts instead of scrapping them. A 400% reduction might seem frustrating, but you can get enough to put cash down on a new component.

Don’t be surprised if you buy the best parts online only to become outdated within a few years. Gaming PCs are often at the forefront of technological advancements.

Is it easy to build a gaming PC?

Building it will be a breeze if you know what goes into a gaming PC. You can follow many YouTube tutorials and other online resources if you are unsure where to start.

Building a gaming PC can be easy if you’re used to working with technology. As long as there’s space for everything you’ve bought, it’s usually relatively straightforward.

Most problems arise when people use the most powerful parts without adding fans or compatible components to prevent them from overheating.

If your computer sounds like a jet engine after a few minutes, there’s a high chance something needs to be replaced. Overlooking these issues can result in a premature part replacement.

For many people, building a gaming laptop isn’t worth it. Most parts are soldered to the motherboard, so they can’t be cleaned, removed, or replaced.

Once you choose the parts, you’re stuck with them until you get a new laptop. However, the convenience of bringing a laptop with you wherever you go could outweigh the significance of that disadvantage.

How to Geek shows the only tools you need to build a gaming PC are a screwdriver, the computer parts you chose, and plenty of patience.

An excellent way to know how to build a computer for gaming is to deconstruct an old one. If you’re replacing a computer, why not take it apart and figure out how everything works and where it goes?

Perhaps the only challenging part of the process (once you learn where everything goes) is ensuring it’s all compatible.

Use the previously mentioned PC Part Checker link to test your potential setup before purchasing anything. Once you’ve found the list of your preferred parts, you can buy everything and begin the building process.

The key is to take it slow and research every step of the process.

What is the point of building a PC for gaming?

Whether you’re curious about building a gaming computer or wondering why people would do it instead of buying one from a store, you’d be interested to learn several perks.

For most serious gamers, there’s no comparison between a DIY computer and a store-bought one.

Here’s a list of five reasons people build gaming PCs:

  1. Building a PC can be quite easy and affordable for those who know the ins and outs of the industry. A gaming setup will be very similar if you’ve built a couple of computers. Optimizing the processor and graphics card will likely be the most significant difference between traditional and gaming PCs.
  2. You can choose which software and hardware go into the kit. PC Gamer claims customization is one of the leading excuses to build a PC. Choosing all the parts you want in the setup is convenient and helpful. You’ll avoid loads of pre-downloaded apps from store-bought computers.
  3. Fluctuating prices can save you quite a bit of money. Store-bought computers usually have stagnant or ever-increasing prices, whereas individual parts sell for more or less, depending on the time of year. This process could work against you if you’re rushing the process and buy all of the parts as quickly as possible.
  4. Your gaming PC won’t be outdated in a couple of years. According to Apex Gaming PCs, most gaming computers are outdated within four to five years. Instead of buying a new one to stay current, you can replace the outdated parts for a fraction of the price of a brand-new computer.
  5. You’ll be able to flip parts whenever you’re done with them. Many people don’t care if their computers are outdated, so you can sell used parts to them. After a few years, replace the parts and put them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace to make money from the exchange.

Building a computer for gaming is an excellent way to ensure you’ll always have the edge over your competition.

Replace parts when they’re outdated, sell the old ones for more money, and keep your gaming PC in top shape for many years to come.

Since the cases last very long, you can keep your computer and exchange its components as needed.