Custom-Built PCs are one of the pleasures of life. They allow for future-proofing, standard components, normal cooling (wooo!), and they tend to look pretty snazzy too. So what's the rage about them?
Future-proofing is probably the single-biggest draw to a custom-built PC (whether it's you, your tech friend, or a reputable non-Dell company) that there is. Future-proofing means that some (or all) of the components will allow for easy upgrading later on. This could mean buying a higher-end motherboard that has more options on it. Or a CPU that you know won't need to be upgraded anytime soon. Or an SSD that will run like a champ for a while. Buying a lower-end component to save cost...only to have to switch it out for a better part a few months later, is fairly annoying. It is especially aggravating when an entire PC is so preset, and locked down, that you are forced to make an entirely new PC.
Standard components make building a dream, and they keep your tech friend sane. When things are built to an industry standard, and never waver from that line, everything fits into everything. Now, that's not to say that an AMD CPU will fit into an Intel motherboard..DO NOT DO THAT. AMD CPUs belong with AMD motherboard, and vice versa. Standard components help when constructing things that are "supposed to work". If the parts are compatible, then they will fit. If you have a GPU that is really long, and might be in danger of hitting a drive cage in a case...chances are that the drive bays are removable. How nice of the case manufacturer!
Note: If you don't know if a set of parts are compatible, feel free to ask me (consultations are free!)
Cooling. Computers and heat are basically mortal enemies, seconded only by computers and water (watercooling is super fun by the way). Custom computers will generally have ample options to cool that massive beast you just made, or want. From air-cooled options, self-contained watercoolers, all the way to custom-built full loops...custom computers will scream right past a prebuilt system in cooling abilities. And like I've said before, it will all fit nicely together (if it's compatible). Attempting to put 2 480mm radiators, plus all the hardware that goes with them, into a really small case...just won't work. The laws of physics are unyielding.
While some people may not pay extra for a shiny desktop PC, everyone appreciates them. The higher-end models tend to be more visually appealing, as better technology and materials go hand-in-hand with style. Unless you want a "sleeper PC"...then by all means, go for it. The beauty of custom computers allows you to do just that!
Finally, people seem to take it to heart when a system builder takes their time and does it right. So often, we get the device that "works", knowing that it won't work in a short period of time. Custom computers may not be the cheapest option, but they are worth every penny in my book.
Stay tuned for my next topic... Why I dislike high-end CPU Air Coolers, and why you should get an AIO CPU watercooler kit instead.