For many gamers, customizing and building our own PCs carries a great deal of pride and prestige, I have personally built quite a few over the years and still enjoy it. However there are those who prefer to purchase a prebuilt PC that will run straight out of the box as it saves them time and hassle. Both options have their advantages and their disadvantages. So, we at DesktopNinja decided to do a little price comparison between the two options.
Our prebuilt rig:
We chose the HP OMEN 870-130VS as our prebuilt PC as it offers decent hardware specs. While there may be stronger contenders on the market, the HP OMEN offers a good performance to price ratio.
We went ahead and customized the HP OMEN and these are the specs that we ended up with:
- Intel Core i7-6700K CPU
- 32GB DDR4 2133MHz RAM
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
- 3TB 7200rpm HDD
- 256GB SSD
- Liquid cooling
- 500 W Bronze efficiency power supply
- 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2×2) and Bluetooth 4.0
This all came to a grand total of $1955, so we decided that our budget to build our own rig would have to be under $2000. This would have to include Windows 10 and a keyboard and mouse.
Our own build:
We decided to source our parts from a host of different retailers, which means that while the prebuilt rig would arrive and you could start it right up, we would have to wait for everything part to be delivered. So this is what we managed to get for our $2000 budget.
Cooler Master CM 690 III – $100
Intel Core i7-6700K CPU – $340
ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming mainboard – $150
CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 32GB DDR4 3000MHz – $186
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 – $630
Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD – $95
Seagate 3TB BarraCuda 7200rpm HDD – $90
Corsair Hydro H60 Liquid cooling – $60
Intel 7260NGW M.2 WiFi + Bluetooth – $34
EVGA BRONZE 600W PSU – $50
ASUS DVD Burner – $20
Windows 10 Home – $119
Logitech G213 Prodigy Keyboard – $70
Logitech G502 Proteus – $50
PLEASE NOTE: Prices may vary due to price changes by Amazon and Newegg sellers and the prices in this article are a reflection of the prices when the article was written.
For around $1994 (excluding shipping) we managed to source some good components in order to build our own gaming PC that has similar specs than the HP OMEN 870-130VS. While the HP OMEN features a Founders Edition GTX 1080, we decided to go for another version with a higher base clock speed. We also chose a slightly higher wattage power supply, as the 500W that the OMEN features is borderline too underpowered for our build. We also managed to find higher frequency RAM for a good deal.
While it still offers a massive 32GB of memory, our choice runs at 3000MHz instead of 2133MHz. We also decided to go for a better motherboard than what HP use for the Omen. Our choice offers us SLI support, support for 3400MHz RAM and USB 3.1 Type-C. We could have gone for a cheaper motherboard, however after building my own gaming PCs for years now, my advice would be to rather spend that extra money on a good motherboard than regret it later down the line. We also decided to spoil ourselves and decided that a basic keyboard and mouse would not do for our build. If you already own a copy of Windows 10, then you could save yourself a further $119, or you could use that money to upgrade the SSD to a larger drive.
In the end we managed to build a gaming PC that had slightly better hardware specs than the OMEN for around the same price. However our build would mean waiting for parts from different sellers and then we would have to build and setup our gaming rig ourselves. In the past I have had the issue of receiving faulty components from a seller and this can be extremely frustrating when you are building your PC. In most cases I went to a store and purchased the same or a similar product for more, just to get my build completed as quickly as possible.
However if you are on a tighter budget then you will have to wait for the seller to replace the defective product. However, the percentage of faulty components is fairly low with the higher end products, and you could just as easily receive a faulty prebuilt rig, so it is all down to the luck of the draw. So both prebuilt and own builds have their pros and their cons, I personally love building my own PCs, however have bought two prebuilt gaming PCs and they were both great machines. If you are after a high-end gaming PC for some hardcore gaming sessions, then head over to our Best Gaming PCs guides where you might find your next rig.