All external links open in a new tab. For more info on how I use links, see this page.

Disclosure: Cryptic Butter uses referral and affiliate links to earn commissions from featured products and services. Think of it as giving me a tip and supporting the website. Learn more


Why Would PC Building Be A Good Idea?

Before we step into the problems associated with PC building in 2018, why would it be a reasonable idea—ever? Well, it turns out that there is a multitude of various motives behind PC building.

It’s (Generally) Cheaper

Custom PC Building

Firstly, building your own desktop computer can be better value for your money than something pre-built. This seems reasonable since you are buying each component and assembling it yourself, not paying someone else to do so.

However, PC manufacturers such as Dell, ASUS, and even CyberPowerPC etc order OEM—original equipment manufacturer—components in bulk. OEM computer components tend to be cheaper per product, albeit they are exclusively intended for resale by another computer manufacturer. For example, Dell would buy Nvidia’s OEM graphics cards as opposed to the consumer models.

Don’t get excited too soon—while OEM product might be cheaper, they are certainly not better; unsurprisingly, these products come with no warranty even if you do get a hold of an OEM product. This is because the reseller of the product will provide a blanket warranty for the entirety of the computer system.

Save Money in The Long Term

Furthermore, PC building can save you precious quantities of that sweet, sweet money in the long-term. Think about it like this: what if you were obliged to buy a new house each time your furniture went out-of-fashion.

Undoubtedly, that would be a horrendous spillage of cash down the toilet of your new property. One would, of course, simply expel the furniture item from one’s current house and buy a new piece of furniture. So why on this Earth wouldn’t the same principles here apply to PC building in 2018?

The universal standards for PC components make it incredibly easy to create a vast combination of components for your computer. Likewise, can be rather simple to replace a particular component if it’s becoming out of date, or no longer adequate. For example, it’s almost effortless to replace a graphics card with a more powerful one if it’s inadequate or broken.

Make More Money Back

Save Money When PC Building in 2018

Moreover, for the reason that you’re dealing with individual components, you’re more likely to get more money for selling them. I think this because there is a higher chance of someone wanting a specific component than that component and the rest of a pre-built computer.

You can also sell the functional components of a computer wherein one component may be broken. Granted, you could achieve this with a branded pre-built computer by, say, Dell. Nevertheless, it will be more difficult as the components are not designed to be as attractive to a consumer.

You Have More Control Over Your Computer

Secondly, if you involve yourself in PC building in 2018, you should be gifted with the extensive freedom of choice. Contrast this with most pre-built computers, where you are confined to a limited range of PC parts; while you might be able to configure some aspects, you’re less likely to have a choice over the majority of components.

Besides, this makes it exceedingly frustrating to choose your computer, given the variety of brands and models. You cannot, for instance, draw a direct comparison between branded computers with ease. Surely it would be far simpler to establish what you want in your computer, acquire those components, and get building?

For those who aren’t the most practical of people, there is a stupid opportunity to customise your self-built computer. Products increasing your computer’s fun-factor predominantly include RGB LEDs such as RGB fans as well as RGB light strips. In fact, this list is continually growing, so one day everything will have RGB LEDs everywhere—even dust filters.

It’s Fun

Learn How to Build Computers with Carey Holzman

Go and find out who this is.

Lastly, the experience of building a computer is—assuming all things go perfectly to plan—enjoyable. After all, a computer you build yourself is your own creation, like a little baby child of yours; you accordingly look after it with utmost care, even if it involves sacrificing the needs of your true children.

And this ultimately brings us to the pivotal question: why have our joys been stolen away from us with PC building in 2018 like a thief stealing all hope?

Major Issues Surrounding PC Building in 2018

Above, I have outlined the numerous benefits that you should gain from with PC building in 2018. The key word being “should”. For you see, in current times, we are experiencing several problems regarding PC building in 2018.

These problems have the potential, as a matter of fact, to make it a pre-built system a better idea. Speaking of better ideas, I will show you some sneaky tips which could render the issues to be discussed irrelevant.

Overpriced GPU Prices

This is a significant issue if you want to get into PC building in 2018, albeit it is slowly getting better. At times, you would be forced to pay twice the price for a graphics card. This could manifest as $1500 for an otherwise $750 graphics card.

Yes, it got that bad.

Price Change of the GTX 1070

The price increase and subsequent decrease of the GeForce GTX 1070.

But it got worse. In order to understand why, recognise that this inflation of GPU pricing resulted in the lacking stock of the cards. This is attributed to the sudden increase in popularity of GPU cryptocurrency mining. As a result, you would have been lucky to get attain a GPU in the first place.

Learn more about mining: Mining Profitability 2018—Is it Easily Worth Your Time?

In that article above, there are 5 strategies you can employ to make money from your graphics card. I had also suggested that you could use mining to counteract the woes of overpriced graphics cards.

This is because you could effectively buy a GPU at the recommended retail price; that is if you’re willing to put forth the initial, extra investment to attain the card in the first place.

That’s superb if you have money to spare—which is assuredly not all of us. What if, for example, you must conform with your strict budget for PC building in 2018? In that case, the obvious solution is not to give in to the overpriced GPUs, though you could still mine.

Before we jump ahead to a solution, let us examine the second considerable problem facing PC building in 2018.

Overpriced Memory Prices

Keeping to the overpriced theme, memory—RAM—has inflated largely (in terms of their price tags) in addition to GPUs. These price increases can be as equally devastating as the GPU market, at times being 4 times the original price.

Memory Price Changes

To place that into a comprehensive perspective, imagine a set of RAM originally priced at $50. The worst-case scenario sees this exact same set of RAM priced at a shamefully hefty $200. By absolutely no stretch is this value-RAM.

Woah. But it gets worse.

Have a cheeky glance at the memory pricing data to confront the depressing truth: unlike the GPU pricing crisis, there doesn’t seem to be any hope of this problem disappearing anytime soon. The average price seems to have peaked around December to January this year (when the cryptocurrency prices crashed) with no definitive rate of improvement.

Having said that, what is the cause of this nonsense? Again, similarly to the GPU troubles, a stock shortage is diminishing the feasibility of budget PC building in 2018.

All the peoples of the cities are gobbling up the memory faster than it is replenished; this invariably leads to an increase in price for the product, which has now edged towards being a rarity.

In fact, major DRAM manufacturers such as Samsung have been sued for allegedly fixing the price of our precious memory. They could have intentionally limited the supply of the DRAM such that prices are consequently raised, in turn boosting profits. Nonetheless, that sort of stuff doesn’t matter, as long as we can get you’re an exquisite experience for PC building in 2018.

How to Evade the Problems of PC Building in 2018

It’s no surprise that this is the piece of the equation that everybody cares about. Most crucially, you don’t want to wait indefinitely for the prices of PC components to drop out of orbit. And don’t be mistaken—we aren’t talking about mere low Earth orbit, this is the full-on geostationary orbit.

We’ve already discussed mining as a feasible option, albeit only if you have the skills to pay the bills. Therefore, the only solution to the problem of the masses is to go the pre-built route.

“But hold on there, Jimmy! I don’t like where this is going—I thought pre-built desktop computers are the demon!”

Okay, calm down Jimmy, for it is going to be just all right.

If I were to ever purchase a pre-built desktop computing experience, it would be from custom PC builders.

PC Builders

NXZT BLD

One example of these is NZXT’s BLD service which is chiefly for gamers. This is evident as soon as you jump into the meat; firstly, it presents to you a collection of games you can choose from and you can optimise the system around that.

The same configuration in PCPartPicker.

That feature is a part of NZXT’s top-down approach, by first identifying your gaming needs, budget, then platform. Subsequently, a suggested computer is presented alongside the estimated framerate you would get with your chosen game(s). What’s more, you can customise—or fine-tune, rather—this suggested computer build.

PCPartPicker BLD Configuration

Unfortunately, the primary caveat for this configurator—for me, at least—is that it only ships computers to the US. To add, I was able to assemble the same build on PCPartPicker than one in BLD, with a cheaper price tag. This might not be the solution in all cases, for these reasons.

Another service for PC building in 2018, that I like, is PC Specialist, and there is a good reason for that. Firstly, they allow you to upgrade the system easily without voiding the warranty. Secondly, you can send in your own case and they have competitive pricing.

However, that pricing doesn’t quite compete with building a computer yourself, from my testing. Although, this shouldn’t stop you from trying the configurator out for yourself.

Despite this disappointment, you can still configure your own laptop, all-in-one, and mini-PC like a regular desktop computer. This is something you certainly can’t do easily without a PC builder like this one.

The Solution, At Last

In conclusion, what is the ultimate solution that I would recommend to everyone here?

It seems to be that building your own computer is still a far cheaper option than going with a pre-built computer. This is especially true now that (more) reasonably priced GPUs have returned to the market. Once again, though, do your own testing with regards to this.

How about some unreasonably-priced Cryptic Butter branded goods?

Make Some Short-Term Compromises

Although, for those living the cheap life, buying into the overpriced PC parts seems like a poor way to approach PC building in 2018. Therefore, I recommend that if you are building an entirely new system, you obtain the minimum parts necessary for functionality.

For example, you could skip a graphics card—using the CPU’s integrated graphics—until prices have declined sufficiently. Moreover, if you one day intend to have 16GB of RAM, you could buy 2 sticks of 4GB and get 2 more when the crisis has melted. This obviously requires you not necessitating the full capability of your future computer at the present time.

On a similar note, you could also skip the snazzy RGB LEDs and fancy, yet unnecessarily high-end, products. Be practical and save some money—RGB LEDs aren’t important in actuality.

Pay the Price, and Be Paid for The Price

Sadly, if it boils down to the worst, you will inevitably have to pay the extra price for your components. Conversely, you could become lucky by stumbling across an exceptional deal like I did with my graphics card.

Keepa is the browser extension I use to track products on Amazon hence I receive email notifications for price drops. Equally, PCPartPicker does a decent job at tracking specific products and notifying you of price drops. Now you have absolutely no reason not to miss out on some pretty respectable deals.

Finally, regardless of your approach, I heavily recommend you make some of your hard-earned money back. I have a guide here so you can discover if your system is sufficiently profitable to mine the best way. As a matter of fact, I think this is the best way to mitigate the current disadvantages of PC building in 2018.

Bitcoins

The Bitcoins

Remember this if nothing else: as long as you get value in return, what you pay doesn’t really matter, especially if you mine some cryptocurrencies. Accordingly, don’t be held back by trying to price-trim as frugally as possible; it’ll mess with your head, and you will make that money back anyway.

Is that chocolate bar truly deserving of your money?

Or can you manage your finances better?

 

Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye

I consider myself a computer enthusiast and technology in many respects. (That's right—I am a technology). I write about how you can be proficient with computers along with fascinating ideas.

Drop a Buttery Comment