Custom Built Computer versus Off The Shelf

posted in: Blog Posts 0

Custom Built Computers Versus Off the Shelf Systems

A custom built computer has numerous advantages over an off-the-shelf purchased system. It can be configured to your exact requirements for the purpose it is intended to be used for, i.e. Gaming, Audio or Video Editing, Animation and Graphics Production, Web development, Word Processing, Accounting, General Business, etc.  With a pre-built system, you are trying to shoehorn your requirements into something that may or may not quite meet your needs or your application’s requirements. Some manufacturers do offer system customization but the choices are very limited.  Worst case scenario is having to spend more money than necessary to obtain the performance or features that you need for your applications. In certain cases, some features may not even be available from some vendors.


DIY-Computer2The largest benefit of a custom built system comes to those that are not all that computer savvy and aren’t familiar with all the latest technologies that are available for systems today. That is the service that is provided, culling through the plethora of hardware choices that are available out in the marketplace and fitting them to your application. Most people use a computer as a tool and don’t necessarily feel the need to keep up with the steady progress of computer technology. Even people that are aware of the latest developments may not be aware of which technologies will benefit them the most in a new system. Some capabilities are overkill for certain applications. Many users familiar with the technology do not want to spend the time trying to choose a system from the vast selection of available systems, that may meet their requirements.

Custom built systems are a way to optimize your purchasing dollars to have a system that will meet your needs for years to come and still fit your budget. So whether you are a Gamer, a Video or Audio Editor, Animation or Graphic Creator, Web developer or just use your system for Business or Accounting chores, a custom built computer may be the way to go.

Here is a list of the Benefits our custom built computer systems provide that set us apart from the Pre-Built Off-the- Shelf Systems:
Components – We utilize the highest grade, latest technology, industry standard components available on the market today, unlike most Off-The-Shelf Pre-Built systems which in order to have the lowest prices, use the least expensive components they can buy in quantity, regardless of quality.

Processor – CPU Speed is specifically chosen to fit your performance and budget requirements.
Pre-Built systems are generally categorized by the processor included so if you want some higher end features you’ll have to buy their top of the line system to get those features.

Motherboard – Equipped with the features you want, i.e. WiFi, Bluetooth, USB 3.0, etc.
Many features are not available on the Pre-Built lower end or base systems.

Memory – Chosen by performance requirement with enough capacity and speed to accommodate your applications for years of service.
Goes Hand in Hand with a given processor on Pre-Built systems, lower end systems cannot be easily upgraded.

Video Card – Speed and On-Board Memory chosen by the performance required for your applications.
Most Pre-Built systems come with very little variance in the video subsystem included, usually low-performance cards or only on-motherboard video system which share system memory (slower) instead of discrete memory for video.

Storage – Hard drives or Solid State Drives that fit your storage capacity and speed requirements.
Many Pre-Built systems have only a single hard drive, many cannot be upgraded beyond two internal hard drives, which is a requirement in many applications. Generally, only higher end systems include an SSD as the system drive.

Optical storage – DVD or Bluray burner or both your choice on any system.
Pre-Built systems typically come with DVD drives on the lower end systems and only have Blu-ray Players on higher end systems with the Blu-ray Burners only available on the highest end systems.

Power Supply – Industry standard, larger wattage capacity for overhead and upgraded video cards, replacements can be purchased anywhere computer components are sold.
Most Pre-built systems have the minimum power supply required by whatever video subsystem is included, usually very little, if any, overhead is provided, so adding additional hardware (hard drives, upgraded video cards, blu-ray burners or video capture cards) is not possible. Additionally, some manufacturers use proprietary power supplies which can only be replaced by their own brand of supply leaving you to pay whatever price they set on the replacement unit.

Add-In Cards – To support specific hardware requirements i.e. Firewire, Video Capture, etc.
These are not usually included in the Pre-built systems and must be added after the fact leaving the customer to install the drivers and software and to configure the software themselves.

Operating System Software – We offer systems with either Windows 7 or Windows 8 whichever is preferred.
Most Pre-Built systems these days are being shipped with Windows 8, typically you don’t get a choice and going backward to Windows 7 can be problematic.

Application Software – We can install and configure your application software if provided to us in advance, i.e. Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, Office etc. or we can provide it if required.
On Pre-Built systems, you will have to install and configure your application software yourself. Additionally, systems these days come with a lot of trial versions of software that will time out in 30 to 90 days, they, of course, want you to purchase the full version through them. With Windows 8 systems there is a full suite of Apps installed that may be redundant for most users.

Custom Computer Configuration
Custom Computer Configuration

Really the only potential advantage pre-built systems may have over custom-built computer systems would be that they may already be built and ready to ship; so if you were in a rush you could order it and have it rushed overnight to you the following day. We believe most people do not buy these types of computers on impulse, so the time factor is generally not critically important.
Additionally, the systems we build are burned-in for several days to verify the stability of all the components involved. Consequently, our component failure rate is very low.
Unlike the larger computer manufacturers we are open to suggestions; if you decide you would like to have more storage or additional components added to your system, we can easily do this to accommodate your wants and needs. Large manufacturers are somewhat inflexible and are unable to make those changes to most of their available systems.

Our experience in building systems is second to none, we have built and configured systems since 1996 for NASA, Raytheon, Hyundai, Brighthouse and many independent production companies, as well as several City, County and Federal governmental agencies and U.S. military entities.

The bottom line is that it may seem like you save a few dollars buying an Off-The-Shelf system, but it is a false economy. The system you get will not be of comparable quality or performance to a completely custom-built and up-gradable system that is specifically designed to meet your production needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

6 − 5 =