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Pre-Built vs Custom-built

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Note: We have nothing against these sites or their respective owners, we just believe that they don’t offer anything worth the price tag they ask for; some of them don’t even have compatible parts. So, if you care about your money and getting good quality components, then build a PC instead of getting a pre-built one. However, if you don’t mind overspending for the same components or don’t care about the quality of the parts, then sure check them out. Do keep in mind that the respective owners of these sites may completely change the builds or remove them, it is their prerogative. We have only taken some builds to serve as an example.

It’s a modern era, and building a PC has never been easier. Building a PC was, in fact, never that hard. There are a plethora of videos and guides on how to build a PC with active users at your disposal for proper guidance so you never end up investing in a bad component. Don’t know anything about computers? No problem, check our build guides according to your budget and requirement, check out the stores here on this site, and build it yourself, or let the seller build it for you. Seems too much work? You can also head to shops/sites that sells pre-built PCs, which we don’t recommend at all. But before getting all lazy, please take your time to read through this post and the Golden Chest to have a better idea of what you are dealing with. After all, a computer is an investment.   

We have taken few examples from some famous sites to explain how these companies charge you for extra with a bag of mixed and questionable quality components.

Why We Don’t Recommend Pre-Built PCs. 

Before continuing, please read the Golden Chest section to have a better understanding of what components are important and what should be given more priority. Now, coming to the important topic, generally, the guys who build pre-built PCs need to generate revenue or profits. They do this by two methods: overpricing their pre-built desktops and using cheaper components. If you compare some PC models, you will come to find that they use cheap components and are overpriced. The first component they cheap out is the power supply unit. A PSU or power supply unit is the heart of a PC. A cheap PSU can break a whole system, as it has happened to numerous people. The next component they cheap out is the motherboard. Everything is connected to a motherboard, and it is something that can hinder the performance of a whole PC with poor future upgradability and all. To make the comparison easy and short and precise, I will take examples form some sites and explain some problems with pre-built PCs: 

X-Rig 

In the pic above, notice how they have not added any description of what motherboard they are using and what PSU they have used. They do mention the board and only the wattage in the X3 unit, but still no mention of what PSU they have used. But we have good news here: we know what PSU they are using!   

Image taken from MDComputers.

 If you look at the Xrig X1-03, The PSU has a little red switch on it that is used to adjust the input voltage depending on where you live. This switch is a good indicator of how cheap the PSU is. Any PSU that has that little red switch has no APFC (Active Power Factor Correction). Keeping the APFC aside and by looking at the internals of the PSU (yes, we have Eagle eyes), we are confident that they are using Thermaltake TR2 600W 600NL2NC in the system. This is one of the worst PSUs out there. It is worse than Corsair VS orange. Now coming to the motherboard, it says in the description that they have used ROG Strix WiFi, but what does that mean? And why is it in the details for the PSU?  The only ROG Strix motherboard, for 8th gen Intel processor, that comes with built-in Wi-Fi is the E and G version of the Z370 chipset. But if you look at the I/O panel of the motherboard and compare it with the image above, you’ll find that they mismatch. Also the Wi-Fi is using a PCI-E slot, and it reads “TP-Link” if you look closely. So we really don’t understand what ROG Strix WiFi + BT means (except the BT part). So, what motherboard are they using? Well, certainly a cheap one, as you don’t get this kind of layout and sparse I/O ports from a good motherboard. Lastly, it costs way too much for the parts they are using. If you buy X1-03, you are basically overspending and can get a better MicroATX system than this with quality components and a much better looking case with better airflow.   

Ant-PC 

Here are another pre-built desktop builders that are not at all concerned about the dangers of low-quality power supply. However, here you can actually customize what parts you want, so that’s a good thing.

If you have seen our Golden Chest PSU section, then you may have seen this Masterwatt Lite PSU in the blacklist. This is another problem with these pre-built desktops, they come with cheap PSUs that only hampers performance and can cause physical damage and reduce the lifespan of other components. Another problem is the cooler as well the motherboard. The Cooler is not enough to cool 8700K as the chip gets really hot and requires a minimum of 240ML Liquid cooler or the Noctua NHD15 SS cooler. The motherboard in question is PC PRO from MSI, which again, is not recommended for overclocking 8700K, as this has poor VRMs that cannot handle the power delivery for the 8700K well. So, if you are thinking of buying from ANT-PC, make some changes. However do note that you will save a lot of cash if you build it on your own. Ignore the OS, you can use Windows 10 free from Microsoft without any time validity. You don’t have to use any key. We don’t know why Ant-PC states “Windows 10 for 30 days.” Shouldn’t they provide Windows with genuine product key if they are listing an OS with the build?  Or are they charging extra for a 30-day trial Windows 10?

MasteRig 

Here is another contender: MasteRigs. Let me spoil the fun a bit earlier: they are no better. Take their high-end build for instance:

They have done one of the most stupid mistakes: using wrong chipset motherboard for the CPU. They have specified i9-7900x that requires X299 board with FCLGA2066 socket. But they are somehow, only they know, fitting an i9-7900x on a board that cannot fit it physically. Either it’s a huge mistake (it’s not a mistake, we took another build of theirs, keep reading) or a huge blunder. With a 2.2L build, they haven’t even specified what PSU they are using with such a premium CPU. Are you following the pattern here? Take a look at their another build:

Do I need to iterate that they didn’t mention the PSU? Another mistake is that they are using the wrong chipset here. They are using B360 motherboard that doesn’t support overclocking (you provide more power to make the processor run faster, and everyone buys Intel K series CPU, like 8700K, to overclock). with an 8700K that is built for overclocking. They are also using Cooler Master Masterbox Lite case, which has restricted airflow (yeah, this case is not a big issue). In this build also they have used a B360 board with 8700K.

Also, what does “gaming cabinet” mean? Please specify the model of the case. We can keep comparing pre-built PCs, but there is no point in repeating the same stuff over and over again

Conclusion

Pre-built PCs generally use cheap PSUs and motherboard and are priced at higher price point than what it would take to build a PC with the same configuration. Sometimes, these pre-built PCs don’t even take some common factors into consideration like if a board is good for overclocking or not, whether the cooler is good enough to cool the CPU, or how good the airflow is in a case.

If anyone wants to buy from them, sure, go ahead, but be wary of what you are buying. Make sure to change the respective components with better parts if the site allows. Building a PC takes longer but it is rewarding as well. Not only you get a good feeling, but you also build confidence and you get familiar of the hardware. Diagnosing and upgrading stuff later down the road gets easier when you are already familiar with the hardware.

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Made by the Editorial Team.