Why you should buy a Pre-Built PC VS Custom
Yes you could build it yourself for less...
But why buy? Building your own computer versus buying from a supplier: a debate as old as time (Authors note: Not factually accurate). It has been a heated debate with both casual PC users and hardcore enthusiasts for the misconstrued benefits and negatives of both sides of the argument. While self-building was once the mythos of cheap PC ownership, nowadays it isn’t as elementary as one may think.
This isn’t a PSA for technology companies. At Novatech, we are confident in what we do and we let our products do the talking for us. Continue reading if you are looking for an informed deliberation on the benefits of buying when staring into the vast, unforgiving abyss that is the personal computer market. As avid PC enthusiasts ourselves, it’s an important debate that we obviously care passionately about.
So, you’ve read one online bloggers’ article on PC building and presume it is only a simple process that takes one casual evening. You’ll even get a bottle of wine in. Make a night of it.
You’ve ordered all the components, suddenly spent tireless weekday evenings slaving away at research to understand the basic constructions of your tailored PC, and finally connected the internal hardware together like the most elaborate lego-set you’ve ever bought. That bottle of wine is now empty and you’ve upgraded to the spirits. But among the oil, scratches and sweat, the moment of truth is finally upon you. You reach for the power button and, with a confident tap, give birth to your creation. You lean back confidently to… oh, nothing happens. Maybe the motherboard even starts to smoke. When did those cheaper computer components become so… well, cheap?!
Now you’re in a set of bother. Those PC parts may have included a warranty, but when one component damages another then you’re left in the dark to fend for yourself. Now the confident self-builder is searching for replacements and reflecting on where it all went wrong. The simple build has turned into an endless money pit of seeking parts that are compatible and easily detectable when defective (Which they usually aren’t). Suddenly what was a massive saving on price between buying individual components and getting a supplier-made PC is thinning very rapidly. You're begining to wish you just brough a gaming PC...
Not everyone is a PC guru. Even with a veteran of computers, the most simple of issues can have you working away trying to get the machine to work, like a Neanderthal caveman chipping away at a rock for the desperate sparks of fire. Purchasing a computer from a supplier buys you peace of mind. The machines come with a warranty that also ensures lifetime tech support, meaning your issues are our issues. You wouldn’t skip the middleman and build your own Mercedes-Benz and expect the same slick engineering. At Novatech, we pride ourselves on championing that same reputable german efficiency with brand passion in mind.
We stress-test every machine we sell for 48 hours and find any internal issues in-house before it meets any customer. This means putting the computers under arduous overloads so that any flaws become instantly apparent. With a self-build PC, these issues can take months of casual use to eventually become apparent. By then, it can be too late. Instead of stalking every computer-savvy friend or internet post that you can find for assistant, we provide a single point of contact for IT support, meaning that you are not alone when failures occur.
“But what about when I want to customize certain components to benefit what I want from a PC?”
Alright, mate, sit down. While it is true that building your own PC allows for personal customization, our PC specs haven’t defined our computers in a long time and we offer options on what any customer may want from their computer, which is then tested and designed with your specifications in mind. All that time figuring out what is best for your build is suddenly saved and we at Novatech get to do what we are best at.
We used to say we made worry free computing but that is an assurance nobody can provide. Instead, let us be the ones to sweat and cry over your computers and provide a reassured peace of mind that is worth more than just the price.
Aaron - 03 Oct 2017
There are plenty of resources available online to help you avoid the smoking motherboard moments - Reddit, PCPartPicker etc - it's very easy to build your own PC. You skim over the price factor - buying pre-built costs a tonne more than selecting your own parts and building yourself.
Norman - 03 Oct 2017
I have built my own computers with no problems, and I am about to do it again. I have a high end case, perfectly good and re-useable power supply, DVD drive, SSD and a number of other parts. I will build using a new motherboard bundle and RAM and expect no problems at all.
Paul - 03 Oct 2017
I call this article big BS, just to scare people of building their machine. If you are not the smartests person when you shouldn't be doing anything technical anyway.
NotAnIdiot - 03 Oct 2017
Entirely agree. "most complcated lego set"? Really? The inside of a modern PC has perhaps ten parts for the ordinary builder to assemble. Even the Lego sets aimed at five-year-olds are bigger than that!
Ken Humphries - 03 Oct 2017
Paul - must take issue with your statement that claims that "non smart" folk should not attempt anything technical. I have good technical qualifications, and a BSc in something else completely different. I AIN'T DAFT. In fact, looking at my total life and academic skills and qualifications, it might be said that I am pretty smart. Smart enough in fact to know that "you don't keep a dog a bark yourself". Smart enough to realise that not everybody, knows everything. Two things I do not know about, are the technical specifications of computer components, or building computers. So I will not presume to try. Yes - perhaps to you, it is all very simple. Good for you, but for those of us who do not possess your skills, it is better to trust a company that has proved it can be trusted. For what it is worth, I am still running an ancient Novatech tower on Windows 7. Can't be done I am told, but this comment is "living proof".
Stephen - 03 Oct 2017
I have bought Novatech's motherboard bundles in the past and can recommend them. My son bought a high-end overclocked motherboard bundle (elsewhere) because we knew we lacked the expertise to overclock everything ourselves for the first time. But there are other reasons why we build the rest ourselves. Firstly the case is a very personal choice, rather like a car: if the looks are wrong, then that's that. Secondly the power supply: only you know what your likely expansion plans are. Thirdly disks have their devotees: we use one brand for SDDs and one for HDDs and that's it; forget others, and only we know what capacities will suit us. Lastly, the excitement and learning of putting everything together is very rewarding, and not in the least bit worrying these days. I wish Novatech well with their builds but never forget the customer!
Andy - 03 Oct 2017
Completely missing the point that building your own is part of the fun. Smoking motherboard moments are pretty rare and the sense of achievement when you power it up and it **does* work is huge.
Jerry - 03 Oct 2017
Hey Andy, absolutely there is fun in building your own PC, we would never deny this. This is really why you should buy a pre-built PC and isn't really scare mongering, just putting out points and facts of why you should buy a pre-built PC. Always two sides to every story and we'll be looking at the other side in due course!
Harry - 03 Oct 2017
Couldn't agree more! We just understand that a lot of our customer demographics do not have the time nor knowledge for the builds... there are two sides to every argument and we thought it would be interesting to explore both sides. Watch this space!
Andy - 03 Oct 2017
I agree it would be quite a task to build a modern Mercedes from scratch but there are many hobby engineers out there who would love to assemble a kit car. There’s risk in most worthwhile endeavours but oh the joy when it all goes to plan. Take the plunge and build your own.
Daniel - 03 Oct 2017
Never brought a pre built pc. Learnt to do it myself...even my mate who is a console gamer built his own with ease. Every cable is labelled. Plus novatech aren't the cheapest any more by any means.
Darren - 03 Oct 2017
This is the whole let some one else do it for you while you pay them. In my opinion nobody will learn anything if they had someone else do it. If you build your own PC then your more likely to know what the problem is and know how to get to it.Then you learn how to avoid it. Our whole humanity is built on mistakes you just get better fixing them instead of getting someone else to do it.
Harry - 03 Oct 2017
Discussion is the start of the debate and that is why we wrote this article!
Mike - 04 Oct 2017
I couldn't agree with you more Darren. I have been building and upgrading PC's for several years now. I only ever purchased one pre-built computer my; my first in the days of Windows 98. As the technology and software advanced I found myself upgrading components to meet specifications. Since then, I recycle older components by selling them which helps finance newer components or system's. This is part of the experience and fun for me, and has enhanced my knowledge and instilled confidence in undertaking task where others would send back to a shop to complete. If you have a little faith you can accomplish a lot for yourself.
Zeo - 03 Oct 2017
Building your own computer is pretty darn easy these days, I've always purchased computer parts from Novatech from cases to Motherboards, though personally I have found prices to be slightly higher than other companies, I can't fault them. I've purchased over 100 pre-built Novatech device, laptops, tablets and PCs. I've made over a dozen or so custom made computers for family and friends using parts from Novatech. And over summer deep cleaned, rebuilt and partly upgraded (SSD, Graphics Card & RAM) just over 20 Dell Optiplex 380 that are 7 years old. I had to also re-image and Windows update them, took 2 weeks for work. I've only ever had one issue with Novatech when I asked them to do a deep clean on my personal home computer [I was feeling lazy] and to sort out the cables, £50s and 6 hours later, I get it home, turn it on and a strange sound was coming from the case, found out that the internal 4pin power cables were cable tied to the exhaust fan, which was making a horrendous smacking sound, I was however compensated with 2 free games, which was a total of £90, so I was somehow in the black so to speak.. If I have the time, I will build it myself if however time is short then I will get a semi pre-built computer or a fully built computer. Personal preference at the end of the day!
Doug - 03 Oct 2017
TL;DR - buy pre-built from us because we get more money that way.
Harry - 03 Oct 2017
Perhaps you'd be more interested here: https://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/
Richard - 03 Oct 2017
Buying your own premade PC also overlooks the fact that you might have some really good hardware from your last one which you can use. You'll likely be replacing the motherboard, chip and graphics card but if you bought something decent last time you might be able to reuse your water cooled heat sync, power pack, RAM, SSD and case. But if I had money to burn I'd buy a premade model again. Also the first PC i bought from Novatech (some 12 years ago) arrived and didn't work and had to be sent back. I was so excited, waited days for it to arrive and then had to wait another week. It was great when it finally worked, but there were almost 2 weeks between paying and playing. Even if I had run into issues building my own it wouldn't have taken that long.
Daniel P - 03 Oct 2017
I build PCs for people regularly and save them a fortune, if something goes wrong, I fix it. Buying a prebuilt is fine if you're a business or you happen to find one with your specification without spending a fortune, but to be honest, it's so simple to put machines together and sites like PCPartPicker sort out which components will work with which for you. It's simpler and more fun to do it yourself unless you have 0 interest or knowledge of computers. If you have no experience you can still easily assemble a PC, check Youtube if need be, there are hundreds of people out there doing it.
Zygmunt - 03 Oct 2017
Firmly a DIY enthusiast with regard to building a desktop. Each part then has its own warranty. The choice of PSU, mobo, RAM, CPU, Cooler, SSD, Hard drive(s), Graphics card(s), case, OS and software offer great opportunities. Not necessarily a cheaper option. And one can avoid having to clean the bloat from the machine before using it. Without MS, malware is less problematic, updates can be controlled, no system restore and registry bloat and no unwelcome surprises. Software and Drivers for existing peripherals can be taken from distribution repositories. OS upgrades are free and unencumbered by EULAs.
Brian Carter - 03 Oct 2017
Cannot agree with Novatech post. If you have the technical ability and understanding then there is no reason not to build your own. I have always built my own desktop computers and they have always "fired up" first time. The only time that I did buy a pre-built was when I needed a laptop. Of course, if you don't have the technical ability and knowledge, well it would then make sense to buy a pre-built computer - but, come on Novatech, don't make that a case for everyone. Bit insulting of you really.
Jerry - 03 Oct 2017
It's not meant in an insulting way in any shape or form. There are always going to be people who want to buy pre-built and people who want to self build. Sometimes they may dip into the other side for a bit depending on the circumstances. I myself have a similar situation with building a road bike which is my hobby, I could buy a pre-built road bike or buy the parts myself and there's always pros and cons to both sides. It's an article aimed at reassuring people and also it's good to see that it's creating a good debate/conversation so far I think as it's great to get peoples feedback!
Ross Stroulger - 03 Oct 2017
Send me any more "advice on prebuilt being better than a custom home build then you will loose any of my future custom... By your examples you charge £899 labour to build a pc with only £1000 in parts... I expect that behaviour from PC World not Novatech... I'm offended that you have even tried. The last graphic card I bought off you was the Titan X at £900. Consider your current customers before you try to offend us further...
Jerry - 04 Oct 2017
By no means is this article ever aimed to try and convert people who regularly make their own builds convert to buy pre-built Ross. The reason for that, that's never going to happen because a lot of people enjoy putting their own builds together, designing it from scratch and then putting it together. I've used it before in a post above using road bikes as an example for me, I enjoy taking a road bike from certain websites and customising them and then sometimes sourcing the parts and doing it myself, but that's because I've got the confidence to do it if I do. Sometimes, with 3 kids, I don't have the time to do something like this on the quick so we want people to have total faith and confidence in us as a company with what we can do, as system building is a big part of our business. I can assure this post is in no way meant to insult anyone anywhere, every person is different and that's what's great about the Internet. We can now have a great discussion about the pros and cons of everything, I value your input you'e given and appreciate the time you've taken out to let us know your thoughts on it. The Titan X is a beast too, you have taste sir.
Dan Smith - 04 Oct 2017
Aren't we getting away from the fact that PC is exactly what means personal computer, I've been building since I was a teenager and each and every one has been personal because I did my research and put together machines I wanted and building it myself made it personal, my PC. The one I have now I've had since about 2005 but it's evolved, a bit like trigger in only fools said about his broom" I had this broom for 20yrs, it's had 17 new heads and 14 new handles" ?? Which is exactly what PC is all about, you don't need to buy a new PC you take out the parts that are dated and put the upgrades in, eBay the old parts. If we solely bought pre built then it would be the demise of the PC and people would just buy that throw away trash that Apple make. People should be encouraged to build they're own computers it's got so much scope and a real sense of achievement. My son has always been a console boy and I've bought so many as they upgrade over the years and what a waste of money it's been, now he's a mid teenager he wants to change over to PC and wants to build his own because he's seen me build my own ones over the years. Keep building and keep it alive
Jamie - 04 Oct 2017
Funny you should post this article. My dad bought a pc from you several years back and it turned up with a faulty motherboard, powered off every boot. Your article is void as it's all scare tactics aimed at people who do not realize just how easy it is to build one. Shameful to be honest
PaddyC - 09 Oct 2017
With a bit or research on-line somebody who has never built a PC can do so fairly easily. I did this for the first time 7 years ago and my first gen core i7 build is still going strong (and very fast). I found the whole process rewarding, not stressful and now when something goes wrong I have no qualms about opening the tower up and fiddling about. I have not had to go near a "computer fixer". I even managed to overclock the CPU and GPU without a smoking motherboard simply by going on OC forums and trial and error (quite a few BSOD!!). It does take time and patience, so if you lack time and/or patience I would buy a pre-assembled PC and be prepared to pay for the pleasure!