Why Custom Built PC Is Better Than Prebuilt Desktop

I was eager to get into PC gaming. My budget was tight, so I opted for a branded prebuilt from a popular manufacturer. Initially, it handled the latest games on medium settings – a great value, I thought!

However, just a year later I wanted to upgrade the graphics card. I quickly learned the power supply and motherboard in my restricted prebuilt system couldn’t handle any meaningful GPU upgrades. To improve performance, I would need an entirely new PC!

uilding your own custom built gaming PC avoids the costly pitfalls of prebuilt systems. Constructing a custom built PC lets you maximize performance, upgrades, and price for your exact needs.

With carefully chosen components that you select, a DIY gaming machine outperforms branded desktops for the same budget. And you retain the flexibility to grow your system rather than being locked into what the OEM gives you.

Prebuilt desktops seem affordable, but the PC company makes big profit margins off components. By personally choosing each part instead, you’ll save money for superior computer hardware.

Hidden Prebuilt PC Markups

Let’s break down why off-the-shelf PCs cost more but deliver less:

Filler Parts

Prebuilt desktop manufacturers have agreements with brands to use their components. However, they don’t necessarily select the highest performance parts. A branded PC may have a decent CPU and GPU but cut corners on areas like the power supply, motherboard, or RAM. This saves them money while still touting a flagship CPU or GPU in the marketing.

Assembly & Warranty Costs

Of course, you aren’t charged just for the PC components with a prebuilt system. The price also accounts for assembly, shipping, retailer margin, and support/warranty costs. With a custom built PC, you avoid all these unnecessary extras that inflate the price.

Business Expenses & Profit

Naturally a portion of the prebuilt cost goes towards the PC company’s normal business expenses and profits. As the middleman, they pay for office leases, employees, advertising, executive salaries, shareholder returns, and more from the markup baked into machine prices.

Save Big By Choosing Components Yourself

Let’s explore a real example to showcase the money saved building your own custom PC:

A popular prebuilt retailer offers a Acer Predator Orion Desktop: i7-12700F, RTX 3070 8GB, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD at SG$4,398

Source: Predator Orion X – Desktops | Acer Singapore Official Store

I priced out building the same performance machine myself:

  • CPU – Core i7-10700K: SG$609
  • GPU – RTX 3070: SG$849
  • SSD – 500GB NVMe: SG$99
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-3200MHz: SG$139
  • Motherboard – Z490 Chipset: SG$369
  • PSU – 750W 80+ Gold: SG$129
  • Case & Misc Parts: SG$150
Total Custom Built PC Cost: SG$2,344

By choosing quality components yourself that match your exact needs and budget, you save over SG$2000 compared to that prebuilt offering similar specs!

For parts or custom built PC service in Singapore, you can check out Volta PC

Carefully Select Components for the Best Value

The full control custom building provides lets you get no compromises performance for less. If budget is a concern, you can strategically select areas to save vs premium parts that benefit your uses most.

Waiting for sales around the year on various components unlocks additional big savings unheard of with fixed-configuration prebuilts. And buying used gear from enthuiast sites like r/hardwareswap offers another avenue for major deals.

When you choose each part rather than accepting what a manufacturer gives you, maximizing price/performance is easy. Let’s explore how that custom tuned configuration also provides better real world speed.

Buying off-the-shelf machines seems convenient. But the generic components selected often fail to maximize real-world speed for the cost. By customizing instead, your PC performs better for both gaming and professional workloads.

Generic Parts Bottleneck Prebuilt PCs

Let’s explore places where prebuilt PCs cut corners that sabotage performance. Prebuilt machines face inadequacies across multiple core components that end up severely limiting real world speed for the dollar.

One area commonly minimized in branded boxes is the power supply.

These premade systems often have cheap, bare minimum models lacking necessary wattage headroom or efficiency. This can lead to instability and crashes during demanding workloads or when overclocking. By contrast, selecting a quality PSU with 80+ Gold rating and 100W+ of extra capacity over expected peak power draw helps ensure rock solid power delivery. High efficiency and overhead prevents shutdowns while also protecting your valuable components from damage.

Prebuilt vendors also tend to cut costs on memory, utilizing basic DDR4 modules rather than faster RAM optimized for the latest CPUs.

Memory speeds drastically impact performance from both AMD’s Ryzen and Intel’s 11th/12th Gen platforms. Another frequent shortcut is storage – small SATA SSDs are standard rather than blazing fast PCIe 4.0 NVMe models taking full advantage of your motherboard and processors capabilities.

Finally, prebuilt vendors minimize expenses on cases and CPU coolers.

The result is inadequate cooling capacity leading gaming PCs to throttle and drop speeds under sustained loads. By building it yourself, you can tailor the chassis airflow and CPU coolers to prevent thermal limits from robbing performance in custom gaming rigs. Quality cooling keeps even the hottest modern multi-core CPUs and GPUs running reliably at max turbo speeds.

Optimized for Your Workload

The key advantage of custom built PC comes from tuning the machine precisely to your exact needs rather than a one-size-fits-all prebuilt configuration.

Gamers in particular want to squeeze every last frame possible out of the GPU to maximize gaming performance. A customized gaming rig intelligently couples the GPU with premium cooling, high speed RAM, and an overspecced power supply. This prevents any other components from bottlenecking the graphics card. Contrary to marketing hype, powerful and expensive CPUs often matter far less to gaming workloads than proper GPU and memory support.

On the flip side, content creators doing intensive work like 4K video editing, 3D modeling and streaming need abundant CPU muscle and storage speed. For these tasks, balance becomes critical to avoid wasting money on aesthetics like RGB lighting that fail to improve export times. A DIY desktop carefully allocates budget based on the specific programs within the workflow rather than assumptions.

Custom Testing & Overclocking

Buying aprebuilt PC means you have no input into testing methodology or component settings – often downgraded to improve vendor profit margins out of the box. However with a custom machine, extensive stress testing can be tailored to exactly match how YOU will utilize the system for guaranteed stability.

Meticulous overclocking when warranted pushes performance another 10-20% across the board. And adequate aftermarket cooling ensures overclocked parts like the CPU and GPU won’t be thermally throttled under load. Unfortunately most prebuilt vendors take an ultra-conservative stance, rarely allowing users to tap into these “free” gains readily available to DIY builders.

For example, the outlined custom PC above tested very stable in my personal video editing and gaming workflow. For just $100 more upfront compared to an off-the-shelf alternative, thoughtful upgrades to storage speed, RAM capacity, power supply overhead and cooling easily delivered 25%+ faster real world editing and rendering with whisper quiet acoustics.

Looking beyond just the initial build, custom gaming systems are strategically designed for easy upgrading as component needs inevitably evolve over their lifespan. This offers clear long-term flexibility compared to proprietary limitations in prebuilt desktops.

Branded OEM PCs may seem convenient at first glance.

But trying to upgrade them even slightly down the road quickly reveals restrictive headaches stemming from non-standard layouts and components. At best, limited chassis space and odd shaped power supplies, motherboards or coolers frustrate upgrades. Common pitfalls include power supplies lacking necessary higher wattage or GPU power connectors to add a better graphics card. Proprietary motherboards and cases totally prevent swapping improved aftermarket parts due to non-standard component shapes, sizes and power inputs. Adding faster RAM or a better CPU cooler also becomes blocked by space constraints or plastic tabs uniquely designed by the vendor.

By contrast, carefully selecting standard compatible components when initially building the custom machine ensures excellent future upgradability.

For example, choosing 80+ Gold or better power supplies with 100W+ extra capacity than demanded allows effortlessly installing future higher wattage GPU upgrades. Standard ATX size motherboards from reputable manufacturers provide assurance that next-gen CPUs and memory will remain compatible for years. High airflow cases with mesh fronts and room for ample cooling fans or radiators enable beefier cooling to handle future processor and graphics card upgrades.

I always advise new custom PC builders to invest in quality foundations like PSUs, motherboards and cases rather than maxing out the CPU and GPU budget. This promotes system balance for current workloads while simplifying expanding capabilities down the road. It prevents needing to discard still competent components just because one part has aged. Considering long term upgradeability during initial parts selection ultimately prevents throwing away entire systems when demands inevitably grow in just a couple years.

Looking beyond the more obvious cost savings and performance gains covered already, constructing your own desktop also provides some additional worthwhile benefits compared to buying prebuilt machines.

A major advantage is the ability to freely mix and match your ideal combination of components when building a custom gaming rig.

Preconfigured OEM PCs lock you into whatever branded parts that particular manufacturer has preselected. With a DIY system on the other hand, you can hand pick parts based on personal preference rather than being restricted to someone else’s vision of the “perfect” configuration. Like AMD graphic cards but prefer Intel processors? No problem building your own machine – select exactly what you want right from the start rather than settling. Does fond nostalgia for old school Creative Soundblaster audio cards still burn strong? When custom building, simply choose components speaking to your specific tastes and past experiences rather than a fixed OEM bundle.

Prebuilt vendors also exclusively utilize brand new components direct from the manufacturers.

However constructing a custom box opens the door to even more value – buying used parts from fellow enthusiasts. Sites like the r/hardwareswap subreddit offer major discounts on gently used CPUs, GPUs, RAM kits and more that fellow PC gamers are upgrading from. While managing warranties introduces some extra effort, buying used enables budget constrained builders to afford capabilities otherwise out of reach new. Just be sure to stress test key used components before purchase to screen for defects.

Finally, the actual process researching components and assembling your first custom built PC provides invaluable hands-on education.

Following online guides to properly select compatible parts teaches practical real-world hardware basics in a way passively buying a completed system simply can’t match. And few things ultimately beat the sheer satisfaction of pressing the power button for the first time on a system you meticulously researched, crafted and tuned yourself. That sense of personal ownership and accomplishment lasts for years over the lifecycle of a carefully constructed DIY machine.

Despite the many well-documented advantages of custom built PCs outlined already, constructing your own machine undoubtedly requires more upfront effort than buying an off-the-shelf prebuilt desktop. For certain audiences, ready-made PCs provide genuine benefits that deserve acknowledgement around warranty coverage, quicker initial setup, and official technical support.

Prebuilt machines remain a reasonable solution for users who either lack confidence tinkering with computer hardware or simply have no interest learning the finer technical nuances.

For these buyers just wanting a working system with minimal headaches, having all parts pre-selected and assembled by the vendor holds legitimate appeal over sorting components yourself. However, thanks to the abundance of detailed build guides on YouTube these days, the actual assembly process proves far more straightforward for first timers than intimidating reputations suggest. And lively communities like r/buildapc stand ready to assist fellow DIY system builders if any roadblocks arise.

Large manufacturers like Dell, HP and Lenovo are also hard to ignore when it comes to included product warranties and dedicated technical support tied to their prebuilt desktops.

For enterprise IT departments and other organizations purchasing hundreds of PCs, having a reliable support backstop as insurance provides reasonable peace of mind. Of course for savvy home users already comfortable troubleshooting issues online, those premium support contracts prove less valuable. Smaller boutique system integrators also offer a “best-of-both-worlds” value proposition to buyers wanting custom builds backed by direct assistance.

At the end of the day, grabbing an off-the-shelf desktop still makes perfect sense for certain audiences prizing plug-and-play convenience over customization flexibility or maximal value.

Parents buying for young kids and enterprise admins deploying basic office computers at scale come to mind here. But for discerning gamers, power users and PC enthusiasts focused on maximizing ownership performance, upgradability and value over the long haul – few alternatives beat taking the time to plan and assemble a carefully crafted custom built machine.

Constructing your own desktop isn’t some magic bullet for every PC buyer as we just covered. However, for tech savvy users willing to learn, nothing beats the satisfaction and value from a custom built system.

Carefully Planning Each Part Brings Rewards

The process selecting components for your particular needs teaches you practical skills. And meticulously assembling each piece into a high performance custom machine delivers irreplaceable hands-on education.

PC builders also get uniquely personalized computers, fine-tuned for their exact applications. Flashy off-the-shelf boxes stuffed with extra features may look slick in the store. But a DIY gaming rig configured around YOUR games, programs and budget delivers better real-world speed for less.

Join a Passionate Community of Enthusiasts

Finally, custom PC construction connects you with a vibrant community centered around personalized computing. Fellow obsessive builders love assisting newcomers in forums like r/buildapc, making the process smooth and fun.

And long after construction, PC enthusiasts endlessly tinker with their systems in ways impossible with restricted prebuilts. Whether swapping new GPUs, experimenting with overclocking or water cooling – custom machines enable making a great computer truly your own.

So for those unafraid to get their hands dirty, crafting a custom built PC offers superior performance, satisfaction and value over any prebuilt. What are you waiting for? Start planning your next awesome DIY system today!

Now convinced on a custom gaming desktop instead of an off-the-shelf prebuilt? As a Singapore resident, I suggest having local experts Volta PC handle component selection, professional assembly, and comprehensive warranty support.

Volta PC Delivers Bespoke Gaming Rigs Tailored for Singaporean Gamers

Rather than navigating sourcing all the parts yourself, Volta streamlines upgrading to a top-notch custom PC. Their Singaporean team offers deep technical expertise honed from years participating in the local DIY computing scene. Based on your exact performance requirements and budget, Volta hand-picks components maximizing capability and value.

Enjoy Reassuring Local Warranty Support

Once sourced, Volta PC’s experienced technicians then professionally assemble and configure your system locally using best practices. This ensures your new custom desktop meets expectations out of the box with professional cable management and stress testing.

Going beyond just initial construction, Volta PC stands behind their work with comprehensive local warranty coverage for peace of mind. If any issues emerge, you have a Singapore-based support team ready to quickly resolve problems for years rather than overseas RMA hassles buying direct.

For Singaporeans looking to finally enjoy a tailored high-end custom gaming PC, I highly recommend engaging Volta PC‘s end-to-end consultative guidance and build expertise flanked by reliable local warranty support. Reach out to get started on making your dream machine!

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