If you are in the market for a new computer and are currently weighing the options between purchasing a prebuilt computer from a manufacturer (i.e. Dell, HP, Gateway, etc.) and a computer you build yourself, allow me to humbly weigh my thoughts on some advantages and disadvantages of each:

Prebuilt Advantages:

  • Usually significantly cheaper. 
  • Works out of the box, no worries with compatibility.
  • OS is preinstalled and ready to go.
  • Typically includes necessary utilities (DVD player software, CD/DVD burning, etc.)
  • Generally, the system as a whole is supported.

Prebuilt Disadvantages:

  • Usually no control over the OS available. 
  • Typically limited upgradibility.
  • No control over the quality of parts.
  • Many times components are proprietary and expensive to replace when off warranty.

For the most part the advantages and disadvantages of the custom built computer are the opposite of the prebuilt, so just to be thorough, here goes…

Custom built advantages:

  • You have total control over the components going into your machine.
  • Easy to upgrade and repair (since you built it).
  • You have your choice of the OS to use.

Custom built disadvantages:

  • The price usually ends up more expensive than the same components on a prebuilt system.
  • It’s up to you to make sure all the parts are compatible.
  • If you use Windows, there is an extra cost of the OS and some utilities (i.e. DVD player software, etc.).
  • No tech support, although you probably wouldn’t need it if you choose to build your own.

That’s about all I can really think of. If I missed anything, feel free to comment below.