When considering acquiring a new computer, many often wonder if it is better to build from scratch or buy pre-made. For the right type of person, building from scratch is the superior choice, both financially and to ensure that the computer you get is exactly what you want. While saving on hardware and software costs are just a few obvious benefits, even more money can be saved in less obvious ways.
Custom-built PCs are often less expensive than their pre-manufactured counterparts. Since the choice of what to include is exclusively yours, you aren’t stuck with any extras that a manufacturer provided to make the offering suitable to many audiences. A gaming PC, for instance, likely wouldn’t need Firewire ports or SD/CF card readers, but a PC manufacturer might include those peripherals and add to the cost.
If you’ve got a solid understanding of how the different components of a PC are put together, you can build your own computer in just a couple of hours; or about the same time you’d spend going to and from a computer shop, looking at PCs, waiting in line, etc. Even if you’re not 100% sure of how everything fits together, building your own computer is a valuable learning experience. The things you learn about PC construction and hardware may allow you to do your own computer repairs in the future, leading to even more savings!
The software often included with a pre-built computer also adds to the cost. Even though the OEM (or original equipment manufacturer) generally receives a discount on this software, you’re still paying for this software when you buy a new computer. If you already have a copy of your preferred operating system handy, there’s no need to pay for another. Even if you’d like to use the OS you’d get with a new computer it usually comes along with other software you don’t need or want ” but you’re still paying for it along with a pre-built computer.
There are also some downsides to building your own PC. If you’re not already fairly knowledgeable about hardware and especially compatibility, then you’ll want to do a lot of research beforehand. Support isn’t going to be easy to come by either; the vendor of your operating system might provide some support, but don’t count on it if its a strictly hardware related issue. However, if you know your PC hardware and have a reasonable grasp of how things fit together (or can follow instructions), then you should be fine. There are even many how to videos on You Tube and other video sharing sites which can show you much of what you’ll need to know.
Even taking the above into account, there are other less obvious ways of saving more money when building your own PC. First, shop around. Since you need not purchase all parts from a single supplier, take the time to research the best deals. Next, re-use old parts if you can. If your new PC is intended to replace an older one, you may be able to scavenge components from the older computer rather than purchasing them new.
It’s not as complicated to build a computer as you may think. Its easy to find parts, tutorials and other resources are readily available and for those who enjoy a little challenge in their do it yourself projects will find this to be an educational and rewarding endeavor.