Buy vs Build

When dealing with clients who are looking into getting a new computer. I get ask the question “What is better, buying a computer or having one built?”. Which is a very good question as both sides have their pros and cons. For me, building my computer is way better than buying one from a manufacturer unless its a laptop. The reason for me is that I know every single part in detail that I put into my system, I am able to build a computer to fit my exact needs of what I need to do, that I know I have plenty of room to upgrade if need be in future, and finally, I know the computer I built will go beyond the three year life span of a normal bought computer. But that’s just me. I will let you the readers decide for yourselves if you want to buy or build.

Buying a computer


The good thing about buying a computer from let say Dell or any place is that you wouldn’t spend a whole lot of money if money is a factor for you. Companies like Dell have contracts with companies like intel and AMD to buy in bulk for really cheap, which in turn they can make computers with to sell to the consumer at a reasonable price. Along with selling low cost systems, they also provide extensive tech support around the clock if anything happens to go wrong. Not to mention companies like Dell are the only places that you can get a laptop because it is way more expensive and troublesome to build one.


The bad side of buying a computer is that you can buy one for cheap. These are companies who are looking to spend very little but making a lot of money. They do this by buying cheaply made parts or parts that are outdated. That is why they are able to build and sell computers on the cheap. So when you see a company like Dell having a sale on computer for a great low price, keep in mind that though you think the computer is a deal with great features. You are actually looking at a computer that has outdated parts or was made with sub par parts.

Another con to buying is that all computers made by the company are cookie cutter computers. Meaning they make computers to fit the general needs of the consumer, not specific needs of every consumer. Yes you can customize your computer on Dell’s website but only to their guide lines of customizing. For instance, if you want to upgrade a video card on a system that you are looking at. The site will allow you to do that only if you upgrade your memory size to “handle” the new video card. That’s how they milk more money out of your pocket. Also they leave you very little room for upgrades because they want you to come back in three years to buy another computer for them.

Lastly their tech support. It is great that they have around the clock tech support you can call when needed, but in my dealings with tech support haven’t been so good. They have people who follow a script who can almost help your problem but cant and you end up being bounced from person to person who might help. Not to mention if your machine needs a replacement part or upgrade, you need to ship the computer back to the manufacture. Leaving you without a computer for a few days.

Building a computer


The good thing about building a computer is like i mentioned before. You know exactly what is in it, you have plenty of room for upgrades to further expand the life of your computer, you can build a kick ass computer for as low as $600, know how to fix it on the spot and quickly if anything goes wrong, and you can build one to fit your exact specific needs.


The bad things about building your own system is that it can get costly. Because you are not able to buy parts at whole sale so your stuck with paying retail price with taxes and shipping if you buy online. This can hurt your wallet a bit. Also, unlike buying say from Dell, you would have to have all the money upfront for all the parts you buy. There is no payment plan. Yes you can put it on a credit card and pay for it over time, but you would be stuck paying high interests rates that makes it more costly.

Another con is that if something does go wrong with your system is that you have no one to blame but yourself. Not to mention if you didn’t keep your receipts or the warranties that came with the parts, your paying out of pocket to replace the part. Not to mention if you bought online your going to wait a few days until a replacement can be mailed. That or if you bought from a store, you would have to wait for the next business day for the store to open and drive to where ever you went to buy the part.

It is time consuming. Building a computer is about a few hour project, not including all the research you would have to do to insure that all the parts you are buying will work with each other. Not to mention operating system software and other software to be installed takes another few hours.


In the end it is up to you whether you want to buy or build a computer. If you need something low cost, you don’t know how to build a computer, don’t know someone reliable who can build one for you or need a laptop, than buying one is your best option. Just be sure to research and read reviews on the parts that goes into that specific system and the system itself. But if you don’t mind spending a little extra more, know how to build a system or know someone reliable to build a system for you. Than building a computer is the choice for you because you get so much more for a long time.

Like I said, for me I prefer to build a computer because it’s fun, challenging, and I know what I built will last for years. My current system I built in 2004 with a core 2 duo, nvidia card and 4gigs of memory and it has stand the test of time able to run modern software and games with ease.

So what is you choice?


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