Why Should You Build Your Own Gaming PC?
Building a Gaming PC
PC gaming can be easy and cheap, it’s not hard to load up Minecraft on your parent’s old laptop, but it can also be ludicrously expensive and technically difficult. There are plenty of middle-grounds to choose from, however. Many gamers have an idea of the components they want, even if they just know the general idea like “I need an i7/gotta get that new 1080ti”, and others might be financially secure enough to order a custom-built PC like an Alienware or Origin PC. But I say, the best thing you can do as a PC gamer is to pick out every one of your own parts and build your PC with your own two hands, and here are my reasons why.
It’s Easier Than it Looks
I will be honest, I was apprehensive about how to properly apply thermal paste to the processor; something about involving paste in this process that usually just has solid components that used plugs or screws threw me off. I was also constantly paranoid that I would crack my motherboard just installing the heatsink.
As it turns out, I had little to worry about. When I built my PC last year I had the help of a friend who works in IT often rebuilds computers for a living. I knew how most of it should go and after the whole process was over I was and am confident that most people with average gaming PC knowledge could build their own PC. The thermal paste was as simple as smearing paste on metal and making sure there were no bubbles and though I nearly jumped every time I cracked a bolt or fastener in place, my motherboard was solid as a rock, no cracks.
You Can Usually Save Money
The word “usually” is important here, because you do have to check your prices as you are collecting the hardware. Occasionally a prebuilt mid or low tier gaming PC will be on sale and come to about the same cost as the individual parts, but not always. With a custom picked part list, you can decide what’s important to you. Multitasking? Add more/better RAM and a solid CPU. Want Geralt’s hair to flow with stunning realism in the Witcher 3? Sink more of the budget into the GPU.
A smart buyer can take advantage of sales, rebates, and free add-ons to build a gaming PC for almost half the price. Using Newegg and Amazon, you can track prices and pounce on the sales. Builders can mess around with whatever operating system they want. If you want the standard Windows, they have sales too. Returns are often easier as you find the component that didn’t work and just get the exchange of that without having to send in your whole PC.
You Can Get Help Online
One of the intimidating aspects of building a PC is compatibility. Is the motherboard the right size for the case? Will my GPU fit in a mid-size tower? Is this motherboard/CPU/RAM combo compatible? Will my power supply run everything I want now and upgrades in the future? These questions and more make it tempting to just buy premade, but the answers are easier to find than ever before.
No paid endorsement here, but sites like PCpartpicker.com allow you to watch for price changes and virtually build your computer without having to worry about incompatibilities. Simply add your components to the list and the systems checks for any issues it can think of, such as a CPU not fitting the selected motherboard. Cooler Master, a supplier of fans and heatsinks, has their own power supply calculator so you know you’re covered.
Thousands of videos exist that will walk you through the process of building your PC as well. Newegg has a fantastic, though lengthy, series for building a PC. A minor problem is the difference of installing various parts, like different or new CPU connections or a specific motherboard and case. For that, you still usually have plenty of options just googling installation videos for the specific part you picked.
A Sense of Pride and Knowledge That Will Stay With You
While I have been making the argument that building a PC is easier than you think, it’s still a challenge for first-timers. I am still rocking my first home-built PC and I can say I have a great deal of pride in my system. Like doing your own landscaping or completing the first project you were proud of in high school woodshop, it’s a great feeling knowing that you were the one to do that.
Not only will you now be an accomplished builder, but you should know your new PC inside and out. I didn’t even need to open my case to know that it had a few inches to spare when I finally upgraded to a 1080ti. When I did get it, installation was a breeze, I knew where my extra power supply cables were and had no issue hooking everything up. Someday I will upgrade to the superfast NVMe SSD which hooks into an entirely new port, but hey, I know exactly where that is on my motherboard and will have no problems hooking it up.
I care for my PC quite well because I built it (with guidance) with my own two hands. Though you should dust your PC out frequently anyway, I found that I dust mine more than I did with my prebuilt ones of the past. There are also no dust-traps that I don’t know how to get to. I can get to everything I want. Building your own PC can be scary at first, but when you finally do you will find that it’s not that hard, you will have full control over your price point, priorities such as CPU power vs. GPU power, upgradeability, and lastly, a sense of pride in your work. Do it once and you will never buy premade PCs again.