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Prebuilt vs. Custom Built Gaming PC: Which One to Buy?

A man sitting at a desk and looking at a computer screen with a gaming setup in the background.

Prebuilt vs. Custom Built Gaming PC: Which One to Buy?

If you love online gaming, you might wonder whether to purchase a prebuilt PC or build your custom gaming PC. Weighing up their best offers will ultimately come down to your budget, preferences, and technical knowledge.

Let this discussion below help you determine which is worth considering based on your preference.

What Is a Prebuilt Gaming PC?

Prebuilt gaming PCs are often sold by companies specializing in gaming hardware and can be configured to meet specific gaming needs and budgets. These computers are ideal for gamers who want to avoid the hassle of building their system or may need more technical knowledge.

Some well-known Prebuilt gaming PC manufacturers include Dell, HP, and Lenovo, and sold at various price points.

What Is a Custom-Built Gaming PC?

A prebuilt gaming PC featuring a sleek, compact design with built-in RGB lighting and a high-performance graphics card.

A customized gaming PC differs from pre-built ones because you can choose and personalize each component based on your preferences and requirements. This means that you can personalize the performance of your system for specific games or programs by carefully selecting hardware parts for your budget or desired specifications.

Custom-built gaming PCs are also highly upgradeable, allowing you to swap out components as newer and more powerful options become available.

Main Factors that Differentiate Having a Pre-built PC and Custom PC

Pre-built gaming PCs and custom gaming PCs have their distinct advantages and disadvantages. See the following factors that differentiate them:


Pre-built gaming PCs are generally more affordable than custom gaming PCs since they are produced in large quantities, and the manufacturing cost is distributed among many buyers. On the other hand, custom gaming PCs can be much more expensive since every component is individually selected and assembled.


Custom gaming PCs can deliver optimum performance because every part inside is tailored to the user’s needs. Hence, it is optimized for specific tasks.

On the other side, Pre-built gaming PCs, however, may have limitations if the components are not powerful enough for the user’s requirements because they are designed to meet a broad audience’s needs so that they may perform better for specific tasks.


A person holding a prebuilt gaming PC while another person assembles components for a custom built gaming PC, illustrating the choice between convenience and customization.

Custom gaming PCs are more upgradeable than pre-built gaming PCs as they are built with standardized components. Swapping out a part like memory or a graphics card on a custom gaming PC is easy without worrying about compatibility issues. Whereas pre-built gaming PCs may have proprietary components that make upgrading difficult.


Components are crucial in determining whether you should purchase a pre-built or custom PC. 

Pre-built PCs in the market have package components that are pre-selected and pre-installed that are often chosen based on budget, availability, and compatibility. 

With custom PCs, you will enjoy taking complete control over the selection of parts, allowing you to choose specific hardware that suits your usage style, performance requirements, and budget.

So, if you’re a gaming enthusiast looking to customize a gaming computer or someone who’s creative works looking to build a PC that can meet in Virtual reality applications or video editing, in that case, you may opt for a custom PC that lets you pick high-performance graphics cards, power supplies, cooling systems, and other components that can support your desired requirements.


A close-up image of a custom built PC that delivers high gaming performance.

Aesthetics can be a factor in deciding whether to choose a pre-built or custom PC. Pre-built PCs come in a set design, which may limit your personalization options. This means you may not be free to choose the color scheme, lighting, or case design that suits your taste or desired aesthetic.

On the other hand, custom PCs offer complete control over your computer’s design and look. You can choose specific components matching your preferred color scheme, add RGB lighting, or opt for a unique case design that sets your computer apart. Additionally, custom PCs allow you to select the components that fit seamlessly into your workspace, making creating a cohesive and visually appealing setup easier.

Time and Effort

Pre-built PCs give you all the convenience of owning one since they come in a complete package with pre-installed components. This means that you can get up and running with your new computer relatively quickly without worrying about assembling individual components or troubleshooting potential issues.

Meanwhile, if you opt for custom PCs, you require considerable time and effort since you’ll have to select each component and assemble them yourself or hire a professional. You have to deal with the risk of compatibility issues between different parts or other technical problems that may arise during the building process.

Warranty and Support

Warranty and support are important when buying a pre-built or custom gaming PC. This is because a warranty provides peace of mind, knowing that defects or malfunctions will be covered for a certain period. 

Most manufacturers offer years’ warranties covering parts and labor for pre-built gaming PCs. Other additional perks include free shipping, technical support, and parts replacement if they get broken within the warranty period.

This means that if a hardware part requires repairs or maintenance, you must contact the manufacturer of that specific component for support. Building a custom PC requires some technical knowledge, so if you’re uncomfortable troubleshooting or repairing your computer, a pre-built option with good customer support may be better.

Custom built PC covered with product warranties.

Customer service

Customer service is vital in choosing a pre-built or custom PC. Hardware compatibility issues are inevitable due to the wide range of available components when building your PC. Hence, reliable customer service is needed to guide you through these challenges. They can offer their knowledge, advise, assist in troubleshooting, and respond promptly to your inquiries and worries.

Which One Is Right for You?

There is no standard answer to the question as the decision comes down to your preferred setup, the amount you are willing to spend, and what specifications can meet your needs. You know that Prebuilt PCs are convenient and ready to use right out of the box, saving you time and effort in selecting and assembling components. 

On the other hand, custom PCs offer greater flexibility and control over the hardware specifications. They allow you to handpick each component to suit your needs, such as gaming, video editing, or professional work. Custom PCs also provide the opportunity for future upgrades and modifications. 


Buying a prebuilt gaming PC or a custom-built gaming PC is personal. The following factors;  price, components, performance, warranty and support, upgradability, aesthetics, time and effort, and customer service can guide you in finding one. Whatever you choose, the most important thing is your PC serves your purpose.


Is it cheaper to build your gaming PC?

Building your gaming PC can be cheaper, especially if you have the skills and some of the necessary components or plan to reuse parts from an old PC. However, the price can increase if you purchase all the pieces from scratch. Hence, the best way to overcome this is by comparing prices to determine if building your PC will save you money.

Are prebuilt gaming PCs worth it?

Prebuilt gaming PCs can be worth it, depending on your preferences and circumstances. They offer convenience, come fully assembled, and often include warranties and customer support. A prebuilt system can be a good option if you’re uncomfortable building a PC or need more time or knowledge. However, they are generally more expensive than assembling your PC, and customization options may be limited.

How long does it take to build a gaming Computer?

The time it takes to build a gaming PC can vary depending on the experience level and complexity of the build and the component’s availability. On average, assembling a gaming PC can take 2-6 hours.

Is it better to go for custom-built gaming PCs instead of prebuilt gaming PCs?

Custom-built gaming PCs have several advantages over prebuilt systems. By selecting individual components, you can tailor the PC to your specific needs and budget, ensuring optimal performance for your desired games or applications. Custom PCs offer greater upgradeability, as you can easily swap or upgrade individual parts. However, building your PC requires technical knowledge and can be time-consuming.


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