Buy or Build: In Depth Analysis of How to Get the Best Gaming PC

Game developers are constantly pushing the envelope, testing the limits of current technology to see how advanced their games can be. This is excellent for gamers, because it means we always have cutting edge games to play. It can also quickly become an expensive hobby as we scramble to keep our computers up to date to play these new games. Some gamers buy new gaming computers and run them for years, while others insist that building a computer from scratch is the way to go.

Buying a Gaming PC

Buying a PC used to be a sign of weakness among gamers. If you couldn’t build your own rig, you might as well not be playing. The computers you buy from a retail store or manufacturer have grown much more powerful and more solidly constructed over the years, however, and may be a good choice even for the most advanced gamers.

The big advantage of purchasing a gaming PC, rather than building one, is that you can get all the computing power you need instantly. You’ll have the satisfaction of getting immersed in that brand new game that everyone’s talking about without delay and without problems. These people know what they’re doing when it comes to putting in the right components and building machines with the right specs, something that you may be uncomfortable doing if you’re building a machine for the first time.

Of course, if you buy a machine, you may not be getting the exact PC that you want. You may not be able to find the exact graphics card you want, for example or you may not order the right amount of RAM the first time. Keep in mind that your gaming computer, no matter whether you buy or build, is completely upgradable, so even if you don’t get the specs you really want right now, you may be able to drop them in later.

Building a Gaming Rig

Building your own gaming PC takes a unique skill set and it isn’t for everyone. You need to know enough about the internal workings of computers to know whether you need a SATA or IDE hard drive, which graphics card is best for your PCI-E motherboard, and what the socket type is for your processor. Of course, those are just examples, but there’s a whole list of information you need to know. If you make a mistake, you run the risk of your parts not fitting in the computer or not working with each other. Unfortunately, this also means you don’t have anyone but yourself and your tech-savvy friends to turn to in a crisis.

Building a PC also makes you intimately familiar with the inner workings of your machine. You’ll need to handpick the pieces or use a guide on one of the many popular computer sites online. Motherboard, RAM, graphics card, hard drive, power supply, processor, cooling fan, case and all the accessories need to be picked and purchased. Then the fun part of piecing it all together happens.

Building your own computer is skill-intensive, but it’s easier with a bit of research. It’s certainly slower and takes more personal interaction than buying a computer at the store. On the other hand, you can often find the individual components for much cheaper than they would be coming out of a store-bought PC. Many parts dealers have sales frequently, which leads to even more discounts. In the end, a gaming PC built by hand will take longer to get from start to finish, but if the satisfaction of knowing that you put it together yourself is important, it may be worth it.

Whether you choose to build a PC from scratch or buy one depends on what’s important to you and what your technical knowledge is. Let us know what your preference is in the comments.

David works with Dell. He loves PC gaming. Right now he is currently learning about gaming laptops learn more here. When not working he enjoys hiking, biking and writing about technology.

Comments (10)

  • It would seem an easy job to buy a gaming PC but it sure is lot of fun to assemble all the parts and handpick them on your own. Those who are tech savvy can use their knowledge and creativity to do it. And it will add a personal touch to it too making it precious for us.

  • We’ll the advantage of having your own computer being assembled is that you can upgrade it anytime soon when there’s a new technology being introduce on the market, you can just easily upgrade the hardware and compete with the trends when it comes to specs, however, on the other hand when you bought a brand new computer thats when already been built for something and designed for gaming, that would be great, but there are some assembled that would cause you some disadvantage. Like the computer you bought is limited for upgrade and some specs are not upgradable or can be expanded. My first option is to assembled with you own, even if you don’t have basic knowledge on the specs, the store technician can help you choose and whats the best for you and can still be compete and fill-in the gaming requirements for the next 3-5 years in the future.

  • Unless you’re very interested in building your own and know what you’re doing, other wise I strongly suggest buying. The process of assembling and hand picking each of the parts of the PC are no doubt fun for a tech savvy guy, but if you don’t know much about PC technical knowledge and you’re not the patience type of geek, just go buy one at your local computer store!

  • Well if you don’t posses a gaming PC then you should prefer buying but if you already have a Pc then its better to build, all you need for building is knowledge of latest developments in that particular department and you can have this through searching, it will work good with less cost.

  • Why would someone buy a gaming PC in this era when everyone has an X box or PSP which are specialised machines to play games and much better and exotic games. Still if someone wants to go for a gamiong PC, the information provided by you is going to be very helpful. Thanks.

  • I have a PC. I always prefer to buy gaming PC. It feel goods to assemble all the parts. The process of assembling and hand picking each of the parts of the PC are no doubt fun for a tech savvy guy. So i think we should try to assemble your self. so just go and buy the parts. Well thanks for sharing this post.

  • Assembling a PC is not that daunting a task if you ask me. If we have even a little bit of knowledge of the parts and their functions, assembling will almost feel like a jigsaw puzzle. Agreed it’s way too time-consuming, but then again we get the satisfaction of building one of the most complicated structures ever to have been invented. We can even add a few bucks to our savings account. As is the case with every trade in the world, you either spend time or you spend money.

  • Wow.. That picture above is my dream gaming PC. 😀 Anyway, i agree with above comment, building a gaming PC is actually not complicated as we thought, although it’s not easy. But if we understand a little bit about assembling PC or laptop, then it can be challenging to build our dream gaming PC. The most important things are, if we want to build a solid gaming PC, then it must have good amount of RAM, great GPU or video card (GeForce GPU is recommended) and maybe multi-core CPU. Most of this year’s games, especially the ones that are high graphic intensive games like COD or Battlefield require at least 6GB of RAM and the most advanced GPU in order to be able to play them on PC. Therefore, if you want to play games like those, then the spec requirements above must be firstly met.
    Brian Johnson recently posted…Some Facts About Bioshock Infinite Booker Dewitt that You Probabaly Don’t KnowMy Profile

  • I think gaming pc’s should be builded. There are many available in market like Alienware but there prices are so high that everyone would not be able to afford it. I would choose to build the gaming pc rather than directly buying it.
    Brijesh Gohil recently posted…5 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000 (November 2014)My Profile

  • I think building a gaming PC is so much better than buying powerful laptop, especially if you are a hardcore gamer. I mean, with a gaming PC, you can literally play all heavy 3D PC games without any problem. If the games require much bigger RAM or more powerful GPU, you can just swap them with more powerful hardware manually.
    Tim Miller recently posted…Samsung GALAXY S6 and S6 Edge Announced: More Improved Designs and HardwareMy Profile


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