As with any interest with diehard enthusiasts, there’s a lot of elitism in how we deal with putting together new computers. For those on the elitist side of the spectrum, the building is always a good idea, saving you money, teaching you skills, and leaving you with a more satisfying product.
While there are elements of this belief that could hold true, it’s far from the whole story. This is especially true in 2021, where recent changes to the gaming hardware market have made buying a pre-built a much more enticing and reasonable prospect.
What Hold’s Back a Prebuilt?
In a functional sense, there is practically nothing that sets a prebuilt apart from a PC assembled at home. Consider two different use-cases, people using machines for general interactive browsing experiences, and people using computers for the most cutting-edge video games.
In less demanding online interactive entertainment experiences like the online casino William Hill, any low-powered machine will have no appreciable difference. Whether just browsing to check on sign-up bonuses to betting on sports, playing casino games, or just looking around, pre-built and hand-built systems will have no difference. The demands are so low here that even integrated graphics chips will play just fine, so there’s no missing out.
For demanding video games, the only real, if minor, differences could be found in overclocking. Overclocking a system means purchasing specific overclock supporting hardware, as HowtoGeek explains, which is easier to do if a system is entirely built by hand. That said, it’s also usually possible to buy many overclockable parts in prebuilt machines, though the selection range will suffer slightly through this route.
Why is a Prebuilt a Good Idea?
First of all, we need to state that we’re not trying to sell prebuilt systems, they can genuinely be good ideas. The most obvious audience for these systems is those without an interest in putting together a machine for themselves. While the building process of modern computers is fairly basic, it’s not quite as easy as plug and play. With horror stories coming from the internet about built mistakes made by amateurs, the peace of mind alone from buying a prebuilt can be worth the cost of admission.
On top of this, prebuilt systems also have the advantage of offering more complete warrantees than homebuilt systems. Though individual components in home builds have warrantees, tracking down which component has failed if you don’t understand much about computer hardware can be next to impossible. Again, this is a peace of mind thing, and there’s no shame in that.
In 2021, however, the biggest contributor to homebuilt success has been the global silicon shortage. In simple terms, the demand for advanced chips has been so high that the few factories capable of producing them have been pushed to their limits. For those that do reach the public market, scalpers and crypto miners have set up bots to buy faster than most humans alone could manage.
This is a problem for home buyers, but prebuilts are different. Able to order more directly from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), prebuilt companies can get around this shortage and have items in stock that might not be available anywhere else. For this reason alone, some buyers in 2021 are purchasing complete prebuilt for single parts which on their own can cost more than the entire prebuilt computer on the scalping market.
As CNBC reports, the current chip shortage could last until 2023. At this point, those waiting around for a new high-speed component are probably not going to find relief any time soon. For this reason, and those outlined above, it could be time for many to take the potential of prebuilts more seriously. Of course, checking reviews first is still a must, but for those who formerly found themselves on the fence, a change could be worth the cost.