When I was 18 years old, after saving up my money for a few months, I finally dropped $1000 to build my first computer, in the fall of 2015. It was both a fun and rewarding experience. Building your own computer is a thing that I recommend everyone try at some point. Building your own computer is more cost effective than buying a prebuilt PC, and it is better for the planet as well. You will learn a lot about how a computer works, in addition to having complete control over your hardware and software.
- You will l earn a lot about how a computer works
By building your own computer, you will learn a lot about how a computer works. This is a good thing. It can help you learn how to troubleshoot basic skills on your own, like making sure your computer is plugged in if it isn’t turning on. It also teaches you a lot about the different types of computer components, and how everything fits together to make your computer work. Do not be intimidated by computer hardware. It is a very normal component of day to day operation of a computer, and I highly recommend everyone learn what is powering their computer.
- You save money by building your own PC.
You may not believe it, but it is true. You will save money by building your own PC. A PC build with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, an Nvidia 3060 GPU, 500 GB Disk, and the other required components (like a motherboard, power supply, and case) will set you back only about $1300 at the worst, when PC component prices are normal anyways. A prebuild with the same specifications can cost upwards of $1500. It is usually (although not always) more cost effective to build your own PC than buy one prebuilt, especially when you get into gaming rigs, or high intensity workstations doing things like movie or CADD rendering. And given that most people who build a PC are building one for something high intensity, like gaming, the cost savings really do add up. With gaming prebuilds, you are usually paying for a badge. Such as with Alienware or ASUS ROG. It’s like buying a Mac or iPhone, you’re paying for the brand and “experience”.
- You will have complete control over your hardware & software
By building your own PC you will have complete and total control over the hardware and software you install on your PC. Hardware on a custom-built PC uses industry standard specifications. Prebuilds, especially lower end ones, often use nonstandard or proprietary specifications that make it hard to upgrade your PC. If you want to add in more USB C ports, you can order a $30 USB C expansion card on Amazon. Want a motherboard without WiFi? We got you covered. Want to only use SSDs and have no spinning rust installed? You got it. As for software, by building your own PC and installing Windows, you have a clean install of Windows that doesn’t come with any crapware that the manufacturer installs, and you don’t run the risk of the manufacturer loading the crapware into the BIOS, which means it will automatically reinstall even if you clean install Windows. You don’t even need to install Windows. You can install Linux, and save money on even buying a Windows license. And Linux has come a long way over the past decade, in terms of gaming, and general software support. You won’t be playing many anti-cheat games on Linux still, but even this is getting better.
- It is easier to repair a PC you built.
As custom-built PCs, even if it may sound ironic, use standard parts, it is easier to repair a PC you built, rather than trying to repair a prebuilt. Did your graphics card die? No worries, just order a new one on Amazon or something, wait a couple of days, pull the old GPU out and put the new GPU in, and get back to it. Did your hard drive die? Same deal. Fan went out? You can even replace the fans in the case! Building your own PC also enables you to repair it easier, because you’ve learned a bit about how a computer works, and so you can figure out which component it is that failed, get the correct replacement (or treat yourself to an upgrade), and install it, and resume where you left off. (Unless your disk failed, in which case, you should have had backups)
- You can reuse components when you upgrade
In addition to custom build PCs being easier to repair, you can reuse the components in your PC when you decide it’s time to upgrade. Want to upgrade everything but your case is still in good condition, your power supply still works, and your new upgrade won’t change much in wattage? Go ahead and reuse the case and power supply, but upgrade everything else. Want to just upgrade your CPU to a slightly faster model but keep everything else the same? This is possible too. Just make sure your BIOS is up to date, and your CPU socket and motherboard are compatible. Just want to upgrade to a faster GPU? Totally possible. This is something that cannot always be done with prebuilds, especially prebuilt cases, that usually use nonstandard configurations that make it almost impossible to install a standard motherboard in it without some major modifications.
- Building a computer is better for the environment
Building a PC is better for the environment than buying a prebuild. Prebuilt PCs are usually made in assembly line production environments which contribute to the greenhouse gas problem. And while yes, PC components are also made in a similar fashion, when you build your own PC, you are taking on a step that the prebuild manufacturers do not take, which is the actual assembly of your computer. Plus, with the ease of repairs and reusability of components it reduces E-Waste, which is also very harmful to the planet, as most E-Waste is just stripped for gold and silver, and then the rest is sent to rot in a landfill.
- You will feel the accomplishment of a job well done
When you finally finish assembling everything, plug everything in, and turn your computer on, the feeling of accomplishment will immediately set in. You’ve done it. You’ve produced something, on your own, that works. Now all you need to do is install an operating system and get cracking on whatever it is you want to do, whether that be gaming, video rendering, CADD, or all the above and more. The feeling of producing something with your own two hands is a feeling that is hard to replicate. Same for the feeling that you have fixed something by yourself.
In conclusion, these are my top 7 reasons why you should be building your own computer. In an age where many computer manufacturers are stripping away the ability to repair your own devices that you paid for, building a computer can also help send a message to laptop manufacturers, or phone manufacturers as well. That we, the people, want power to repair and service our own devices. We the people want the power to OWN the devices that we have purchased with our OWN money. I recommend everyone give PC building a try at least once. You will get a great sense of accomplishment, reward, and satisfaction knowing that you have built something on your own, that you can fix it as much as you need to, and that you can reuse your components down the line. PC Building is a fun & rewarding experience.