PC enthusiasts of all types and all creeds absolutely love to put together their own PC’s. It’s almost like a rite of passage among those that are just coming to terms with the more technical aspects of PC hardware. For the seasoned vet, building a PC is akin to putting on clothes in the morning to go to work. We have a certain order that we put things together, and it’s relatively easy. To the uninitiated, it can be slightly daunting. Motherboards look fragile, the CPU looks naked and GPUs are devices borne from the forge of the gods, right? So to speak.
It’s a learning experience that can be fun for everyone involved and you can get a great sense of pride from doing it. There are even resources all over the Internet that makes it much easier to approach. Building your own PC has never been more simple, and prices for components can generally be quite low when purchased singularly, or as part of various bundles throughout the Internet.
Building your own can feel good, but there might be a reason for getting that custom-PC from boutiques like OriginPC
But where does this leave the likes of boutique PC makers such as OriginPC? Having a PC built for you takes some of that fun out of the process, at least on the surface it does. When building, there are a lot of little things that have to be considered when planning and executing the build. Not to mention the numerous other small issues that might pop up during a build. Nothing ever truly goes smoothly, and the answer isn’t always immediately apparent, even if it does end up being something as simple as reseating your GPU. Having your PC built by a professional boutique can easily avoid those issues and provide you with a proper platform with which to jump off of. No one says you can’t play around with your pre-built PC, and the likes of OriginPC actually encourage it. They’ll even walk you through it should you want to play around.
Support is another area where we, as enthusiasts, might handily scoff at. Certainly we can answer every question an fix every problem, software or hardware, that stands in our way. But the reality isn’t that simple. And sometimes an RMA with a vendor takes a bit longer (or is significantly delayed as can often be the case) setting you back by weeks or even months. Yeah, it might not seem like much, but in the end, time is money, and money is, well, money. Call them up with any question for the life of the PC they built you, no matter how technical, and they’re there. And quite friendly.
I actually bought an OriginPC in 2012 on my own when I was returning to the PC scene. I’ll admit, I got lost along the way, lost interest in PC gaming then bought a PS3 and just didn’t keep up. The last PC I built was an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 on a Gigabyte G41MT with an NVIDIA GTX 260 inside a very nice Lian Li V351 aluminum case. So it had been awhile, though I was very confident I could do it on my own. But doing that takes time, and I didn’t exactly have copious amounts of it at the time. No, I was busy doing adult things, that and I suck at cable management. It’s a chore, like it is for most people, so I chose instead to have one built for me. Time is money, they say, and the convenience of having someone else do it (and do it magnificently by the way) does outweigh any potential savings from buying and putting them all together on my own. In fact, I’m pretty sure having the guarantee that parts will work, and are tested to work very thoroughly for that matter, is also quite nice. What if something accidentally happened and you needed to RMA your RAM or GPU? Or even your CPU? That’s a lengthy process that can have mixed results after a component has been used for awhile. With a proper pre-built, the process is much simplified and being gamer and enthusiast friendly they understand your plight. It also doesn’t void any warranty should you want to put on better thermal paste or switch out those GPUs. They encourage it.
Back then my PC came in a Lian Li PC80 tower, and you can still customize everything while talking with your specific build representative. It’s easy. They’ll even set the homepage of your specified browser should you want, install Steam and other software for you and ensure things run great. It’s the little things that mean the most, such as the three GTX 680’s I had chosen being overclocked (but only slightly due to being so close together) and stress-tested to ensure they actually won’t melt anything. They do the dirty work so you can concentrate on playing games. And it works great, because you can also use that as your upgradeable base station. All without having to do cable management, which is the bane of my existence. It can be difficult to get it just right, and while some are great at it, I still, to this day, cannot make the inside of my cases look that pretty. One of the biggest points for me, was support. Paying for that support in the cost of the system was a no-brainer. And the cost of the whole system isn’t even that much more than if you would pay for it yourself anyway.
Perhaps the pre-built is more for those that are looking for that convenience, that plug and play ability that might be more noted in the console community. It provides an easy point of entry into the PC gaming world for the wary console gamer looking to make the switch to a different, more complex world. It’s all a very well controlled way to be a PC gamer without the associated headaches. And there are headaches for the first-time PC builder.
Of course getting a pre-built, or custom-built, PC isn’t for everyone. And it never will be. The point is that there definitely is a case for it and a even a huge market for it. Even among the more zealous among us. I build PC’s a lot, play with hardware a lot, and it’s still nice to know that someone took the time to make things perfect. There’s room for both in the world, too. Custom-built from someone else takes a lot of headaches out of the process for a lot of people who might not want to, or are not able to, build their own. This is a way to make sure that everyone can have their perfect, great looking, PC they can play with.
Plus seriously, they come in a freaking wooden crate. It’s fun on its own just to break it all open and play around.
I understand the value of these boutiques, though I’m not so sure others really do. Sure, build your own. I do too, but there may come a time when you just don’t want to, or maybe you can’t. There are benefits to having like this, and I’m a proponent of both. I’ve used the system personally well before working here, and also know the wonders (and pain) of building my own. It’s a journey, for sure, but that doesn’t mean that a great boutique with great support doesn’t have its place either. Dismissing them outright, however, would overlook the utility of getting a custom-built PC. Just because you might not initially understand it, doesn’t make it bad.