We all need high-powered workstations, but is building your own custom machine a viable option? Is it a better option? Should it be avoided altogether? If you don’t know how to build a PC or workstation, then the decision is easy. If you can’t build it yourself but want to go down this road, hire somebody who can—but that might make the cost too high to make a difference. Below I’ll discuss the pros and cons of building your own PC.
Five Reasons to Build Your Own PC
1. It’s Cheaper to Piece It Together on High-End Systems. Believe it or not, it is possible to buy each part to your workstation at a cheaper price than a complete workstation—a real workstation, not a consumer PC that you can purchase at a brick-and-mortar store. High-end parts still have a higher markup. There are larger margins on higher end hardware that goes into a workstation.
2. You Can Upgrade the Parts You Want When You Want. One of the main reasons to build your own workstation is to ensure you get exactly what you want and need. When you need to upgrade your machine, it is very easy to swap out any one part, or even two. You can do that on a preassembled workstation, but then you may void all of your warranties.
3. Individual Parts Come with Their Own Warranty That Could Be Longer. Preassembled workstations often come with a one-year warranty that is upgradable for an extra charge. Individual parts cost less to replace, so the manufacturer’s warranty may last longer. It’s worth taking this into consideration.
4. It’s Much Easier to Get Exactly What You Want. Workstations typically come in a predetermined package. This makes manufacturing them easier, but it also means you may be paying for features you don’t want or need. Nobody wants that. Piecing together your own system means you get only what you want.
5. No Bloat Ware. Computer manufacturers often install software on their machines in an effort to differentiate themselves from their competition. What really happens is that there is extra junk on your desktop that you can either ignore, deal with, or uninstall. This takes time and effort. When you create your own machine, the only software installed is what you install.
Four Reasons Not to Build Your Own PC
1. You Will Not Get an All-Encompassing Warranty. All computer parts have the risk of failing. It doesn’t matter which company made them or which company installed them. Parts will fail. A preassembled workstation from a company will have a warranty that covers all parts. That means if your computer fails, the company will work with you until the offending part is found. Individual hardware vendors will not work with your computer as a whole unit. They will blame the other guy.
2. No Help Desk. Workstation manufacturers typically provide support for their systems. This service may be included in the warranty, or it may be extra. Regardless, they will provide some level of help for your entire system. Your hard-drive manufacturer will provide help only for your hard drive.
3. Individual Parts May Have Incompatibility Issues. Workstation manufacturers have already tested the machine. They won’t sell it (hopefully) until they know the parts they have chosen will work together.
4. You Have to Do Everything Yourself. Workstations come preassembled. You just have to install and configure the software. If you piece together the hardware yourself, nobody is putting it together but you. This will take time and effort.
It comes down to what you need, how much it will cost, and if you are willing to put in the time. If you are willing, then you can get exactly what you need and potentially save money in the long term. But don’t overlook the potential hassle and time you might have to put into building your own workstation.