The short answer is yes, it’s generally worth it to build your own PC. A custom build will naturally be more work than buying a prebuilt PC, and it will require some computer knowledge and assembly skills, but it’s ultimately a cheaper option and can teach you a great deal along the way. Building your PC also gives you full control over your components and allows for easier upgrading when the time comes. This is especially important if you’re looking for a gaming PC, and the costs you’ll save from building your own increase even more in this case since the components needed for gaming are often high-powered and pricey when included in prebuilt machines.
You’ll also have a better cooling system when you build your own, which is crucial for gaming computers. Machines built on assembly lines are generally crammed with components without much regard for how much room each one has. Building a custom PC lets you choose your own operating system as well and gives you full control over all software installed, not to mention you’ll gain much greater knowledge about your computer and will be able to fix many things yourself.
With the help of a custom PC builder, you can easily select all of your components, and so long as you can use some basic tools (mainly screwdrivers), you’ll be able to assemble your machine. Here are the most important parts to consider.
The central processing unit is essentially the brain of your computer, and this is the most crucial component whether you’re trying to build a custom laptop or desktop computer. All your other components need to be compatible with your chosen CPU. This component is what allows your computer to make the calculations it needs to run all of your programs. Modern CPUs have multiple processing cores that allow them to perform faster calculations and take on more at once. While it isn’t the most important component for high performance, a powerful CPU is always recommended for gaming. The AMD series of processors is considered compatible with most other components.
You can think of the motherboard (MB) as the heart of your computer. It’s a circuit board that acts as the foundation for your PC and allows communication to and from all your components. You’ll plug all of your major hardware components directly into the MB during assembly, which is why it’s so important to check that all your components are compatible. Product compatibility information can be obtained from the original manufacturers of each part.
For gaming, you’ll need to choose a motherboard compatible with AMD or Intel chipsets. Generally speaking, AMD provides good CPUs and graphics cards at a cheaper value, but Intel offers the best performance.
The graphics processing unit, also called a graphics card, is what converts data from your CPU into a picture. Creating 3D images this way is a demanding process, and you’ll need a powerful card if you’re looking to play the most graphically intensive games or do video editing and design work. Fortunately, there are many great options for powerful cards that offer similar performance and value, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a compatible one that fits your needs.
Random-access memory is like the short term memory of your PC. It temporarily stores everything you’ll need to run your PC, so your computer won’t have the check the hard drive to perform every action. Without RAM, every task would be much slower, and some wouldn’t be possible at all. For a custom gaming PC, it’s generally recommended that you install 16GB of RAM, although it’s possible to get by with 8GB with some games, but you may need to lower graphics settings. If you want to future proof your custom PC, you can go ahead and install 32GB, and you likely won’t have to worry about it for many years.
Naturally, you’ll need to decide on a few other components as well like a case that’s large enough to provide proper cooling and a hard drive that has enough space. With so many detailed build guides online today, you should have no problems building your ideal PC so long as you have compatible components.