Pre-built vs. Byopc: the Current Gaming Pc Market

Picture this, you’ve saved up enough money to finally start building out that awesome custom gaming PC that you’ve always wanted! You start by pulling up your favorite internet browser and going to your favorite online electronics retailer to check out what GPU you want, but this is what you see!

You think to yourself, “These prices are #@$%&#% insane!”

Screenshots showing prices of GPUs from various websites.

As you continue to look for parts you suddenly start to realize that you might not actually have enough to build your gaming PC at all. This situation doesn’t look so good, and you begin to wonder what caused these increase in prices and what options are available to you. Well, there is some good news and unfortunately bad news, but the hope is there so you can build the system to pwn noobs on PUBG or Fortnite!

As you saw there has been a rapid price spike in certain PC components as of late due to an ongoing memory shortage that includes RAM and the storage cells used in solid-state drives (SSDs). Although the most outrageous price increases are being seen in the graphics card market (GPU) at this time where cards that normally should retail for $400 to $700 are now sitting at close to $1000 or more!

“What’s been causing this?!” you say out loud.

Well, it’s a little thing known as cryptocurrency mining, which depending on what coin/currency you are mining is leading to the issue. Known as mining for short involves the use of computers to perform two key tasks, adding transactions to the blockchain (securing and verifying) and the release of a new currency. Most of you may have heard of Bitcoin, which had a rapid surge in value back in late 2017, as one of the main cryptocurrencies, but that one isn’t the cause for the increase of GPU pricing (since Bitcoin is done by specialized systems called ASICs). The main culprits are what we call alt-coins such as Ethereum, Zcash, and Litecoin to name a few.

An artistic view of some top Cryptocurrencies. (Top L to R: Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple; Bottom L to R: Bitcoin, Namecoin)

So now with a bit of understanding, what are the options out there for someone in the market for a new gaming PC? Well, there are two routes that could be used by going with a pre-built from a reputable Systems Integrator (SI) such as Origin PC, iBuyPower, and CyberPower PC to name a few or there is the option of looking at going mobile with a gaming laptop from any of the major brands. Then there is also going down the original path by building your PC, which is still feasible, but you just must pay attention to what’s out there and remain within your budget. Sadly, though those will have to come later in another installment as we look at what’s better in the current gaming PC market for Pre-Built vs. BYOPC!

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