Are "pre-built" computers modifiable?

JarofMilk

Prominent
Jun 5, 2017
6
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So like 2 years ago my older PC pretty much died, and it was cheaper for me to just buy a new PC...so since I did not have a computer I didn't really take the time to build one myself, since that could take weeks, and I would have to research/order everything using only my phone...so I went to best buy and bought a prebuilt one by iBUYPOWER (I now realize that building my own would probably have been much cheaper).

My question is: Can I modify a prebuilt PC, or is there some sort of hidden "restriction" in prebuilt computers? And if they are modifiable, would it be possible to change the motherboard without needing to buy a new OS?
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator


You can almost always modify pre-built desktops, though the exact degree usually depends on how proprietary the parts are. For an IBUYPOWER, they use fairly standard parts, so you tend to run into fewer problems upgrading them. Note that you'll likely need to because unless you specified particular parts, there are likely some low-end parts in there, especially the power supply. On a build you put together yourself, while you can't future proof it, you can plan ahead for future upgrades, with things like a good power supply and a versatile case.

The OS is a bit trickier. Unless it was a Windows 7/8/8.1 that you upgraded to Windows 10, you're very likely to run into difficulties - OEM/builder copies are tied to the motherboard, Microsoft chose to be more merciful in this specific case. Then you have to convince customer service that it's essentially the same PC, which will be harder with large changes.
 

constantine_99

Estimable
May 18, 2017
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people say that OS from retail version last for 3 mobo, but im not sure, since i never tried changing my mobo
i guess the limiting part comes from the case and mobo, since if u're changing mobo, technically, u're buying a new PC (if your mobo is from DDR3 gen to DDR4 gen for example, u need to change CPU and get new RAM too, won't matter if u change into the same gen) the case also limit your customization since components that is too big won't fit
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator


You can almost always modify pre-built desktops, though the exact degree usually depends on how proprietary the parts are. For an IBUYPOWER, they use fairly standard parts, so you tend to run into fewer problems upgrading them. Note that you'll likely need to because unless you specified particular parts, there are likely some low-end parts in there, especially the power supply. On a build you put together yourself, while you can't future proof it, you can plan ahead for future upgrades, with things like a good power supply and a versatile case.

The OS is a bit trickier. Unless it was a Windows 7/8/8.1 that you upgraded to Windows 10, you're very likely to run into difficulties - OEM/builder copies are tied to the motherboard, Microsoft chose to be more merciful in this specific case. Then you have to convince customer service that it's essentially the same PC, which will be harder with large changes.
 

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