When searching for a new gaming computer, it may seem like the options are endless. You can go with a full custom build, a barebones system, or a pre-built desktop.
Many big box stores like Best Buy and Walmart now offer lines of “gaming” PC’s and super low prices. At first glance these may seem like great deals, but if you do a little digging you will find some issues.
Big box PC’s are not typically designed to achieve peak high-end performance. The components selected often leave a lot to be desired for those looking to achieve high frame rates.
You may find that due to cooler selection and cheaper components that overclocking your system may be more difficult, or not at all an option. These systems often come laden with bloatware too, further slowing the system down.
One of the biggest issues with big box gaming computers is the components used. These machines typically use the cheapest possible version of any given part. And component quality matters. Like a lot.
From the case, down to the internal wiring, you shouldn’t expect premium components from one of these off the shelf systems. For example, one of the areas most commonly skimped on is the Power Supply (PSU). Cheap power supplies are less efficient and tend to have a higher fail rate, and can damage other system components if they go bad.
Oftentimes, the GPU found in these machines will be a barebones unit that has been purchased in bulk through the OEM rather than a high quality component with advanced cooling like those from EVGA. The CPU coolers are also often just a stock or barebones unit as well.
Looks & Style
While this may not bother everyone, a lot of people care how their new gaming PC looks. Big Box units often have below average styling, with cheap looking plastic cases that are not visually appealing. Internal wiring is also often neglected, both hurting the aesthetics of the build as well as ease of upgrades.
Long Term Value
While you may be saving money upfront, the system you would be purchasing isn’t designed to last indefinitely. Upgrading to newer more powerful components as your PC ages may be difficult, or not possible at all. Because of the lower quality components and lack of emphasis on cooling solutions, these systems don’t tend to last as long as a custom PC from a boutique like us.
If you are in the market for a new gaming PC, it will ultimately it will come down to what you can afford to buy. If you are thinking about a big box PC, consider paying a little more for a more substantial machine that better meets your needs. Long term, you’ll be more satisfied.