Question Better to buy a prebuild spec out or buy a pre-built and upgrade from there

Astro RAM

May 15, 2014
Due to living arrangement I have, my beefy old pc has to stay in storage for a bit. And lately I've been wanting to pc gaming and my 4 year gaming laptop, while functional, is just not worth the heat or sound to play on.

For time sake, I just want to buy a pre-built pc. But don't know if its cost effective to buy the main parts i want now. Or get a lesser build and try and build it up from there.

The lesser build im looking at id have to replace the psu, cpu cooler and gpu(build has 2060 in it). Mobo is a maybe. And a new case down the road, but is not primary concern

Any opinions are helpful


Doesn't sound like a good plan. Why buy an RTX2060 just to replace it?

OEM PCs from the likes of Dell, HP, Lenovo tend to have proprietary parts. Recent Dell models have moved to the 12V only power supply design, so not great for upgrades at the moment. They tend to cheap out on RAM and Motherboards to an extreme, and storage is usually mid-range or low-end if hard disks.

Boutique PCs from iBuyPower, CyberPower, Maingear, etc are fine, overpriced, but fine. You can select the parts you want in most cases. Certainly get it cheaper yourself, but they offer warranty service at least.

Building a custom Mini-ITX rig makes more sense if space is an issue. Could probably salvage quite a bit from your old beefy PC. CPU, RAM, storage, possibly GPU. Probably need a smaller heatsink or switch to a 120/140mm all in one water cooler. Just comes down to a case small enough and yet large enough for whatever GPU you have. That should save a lot compared to buying and then immediately gutting a new PC.