Build Your Own Computer or Buy?

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Image of person building computerGuest Blogger: Ron King

Just look inside a computer case. At first glance, all those wires and components can look terrifyingly complex. And thinking about putting them all together by yourself may seem impossible.

Not to worry! Even though they are the products of advanced technology, the various pieces of a personal computer (PC) fit together with simple connections. If you can use a screwdriver and follow simple instructions, you can build your own PC.

Don’t be intimidated by the task of connecting the computer components together. Many of the internal connections are molded so that it is impossible to fit them together the wrong way. If you have ever assembled a child’s toy, you are more than capable of assembling a computer.

Advantages Of Building Your Own

You are probably asking yourself why anyone would bother to build a PC. After all, you can buy a cheap computer in almost any retail store.

If cost is your only consideration, you probably are better off buying one of those cheap machines. But if you have any special requirements for software or hardware, you’ll benefit from the total control over the type and quality of components you get from building your own PC.

You can save some money, too. Although you probably can’t match the price of the cheapest preassembled PC, once you begin adding on the inevitable customized hardware, the costs go up anyway. Suddenly building your own computer starts looking cheaper. And don’t forget–those super-cheap PCs are bare-boned systems. Unless you need a computer only for basic word processing and e-mail, you will probably have to upgrade anyway. Building your own PC can be a great learning experience. You will gain a better understanding of how the various components work together, knowledge that can be useful for troubleshooting. If your computer ever breaks down, you may be able to pinpoint the problem and fix it yourself, saving money on expensive repair bills.

You are virtually guaranteed to get the best computer when you build your own system. Big retailers often use cheaper OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) components to cut down on costs. Components like these can compromise the performance of a computer system. Although you can buy OEM components yourself, the trade-off in reliability and stability is usually not worth it. Brand name components are just a bit more expensive, but are well worth the cost.


The major disadvantage in building your own PC is that you don’t get a system-wide warranty. For example, if a malfunctioning motherboard fries your memory chips, you may not be able to get compensation for the damaged memory. If something like this happens with a store-bought system you could probably get the whole computer repaired under the warranty.

However, if you buy all your components at the same time from the same retailer, you are more likely to be compensated for this kind of situation.

Time is, of course, a factor. But it is educational time. And if you enjoy tinkering at all, it counts as fun time as well.

The Bottom Line

Building your own PC has a lot to offer. You’ll be assured of getting the best components available, which translates to the best and most reliable computer for your money. You will learn about computer components and how to choose parts with the best performance. When it comes to servicing your computer, you may be able to solve and fix the problem yourself.

Oh, and one final advantage. The bragging rights of telling your friends that you built your own computer. Priceless!

Ron King is a full-time researcher, writer, and web developer. Visit to learn more about this fascinating subject.

Copyright 2005 Ron King. This article may be reprinted if the resource box is left intact.

Ron King is a researcher, writer and web developer. Ron King may be contacted at

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