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Why You Shouldn’t Buy Gaming PCs from Big Box Stores in 2024

Gaming PCs

Big box stores may seem like the best option when building your gaming PC. For instance, they are famous, they are widely accessible so you can visit any one of their stores and it may seem like an obvious choice. However, getting your rig from one of these stores may become a mistake that haunts you and your productivity in the future.

Certain drawbacks of these stores often make you regret purchasing your gaming PC from one of these stores like compromising on the quality of some components or not getting a free hand customizing your dream rig. In this article, we’ll explore all the reasons why you shouldn’t buy gaming PCs from big box stores and alternatives to make your PC buying experience smoother.

The Hidden Costs of Big Box Store Gaming PCs

When considering buying from one of these stores, your initial thought is the price and deals they advertise. In particular, they attract customers with low costs, but several hidden costs don’t show themselves when initially buying.

Big Box Store PCs

Firstly, big box stores often compromise on the quality of certain components and use cheaper parts that risk the integrity of your system. For example, these types of stores often use cheaper and lesser-known brands of power supply. While it does its intended work, there is a higher risk that other components get damaged because of this low-tier component, or even a fire may occur. Besides this, cheap motherboards and even hard drives are the go-to for these stores because they cut costs, but put your system at risk so you eventually have to replace them.

In addition, components in these systems often have a shorter lifespan compared to other PCs because of their low quality. So while you pay less initially and get your gaming setup, eventually you will have to replace or even buy another one when it stops working or encounters a fault. 

Lastly, trying to get any support or warranty help from these stores means spending extra money. In particular, if your warranty expires or there’s an issue beyond the coverage of your warranty, you better be ready to spend more.

Customization Limitations

There’s an obvious limitation around customization when buying a gaming computer from a big box store. For example, most stores only sell pre-built systems that have standard specifications without much room to personalize anything. Whether you better GPU to run recent games better, or more RAM to stream or multitask smoothly, you don’t have any choice regarding what parts you need.

Gaming PC

Consequently, these gaming PCs are difficult to upgrade as you don’t have the luxury to customize them. This mostly means a custom-sized case that can be small for recent components that launch, or motherboards that have limited connectivity options. Therefore, when you want to upgrade, what can happen is that you may have to change the total system instead of the areas where you want an enhancement in the system.

Besides this, customizing your gaming PC allows you to prioritize parts based on your usage. For example, if you are going to be doing a lot of video editing, you want to invest a little more of your money in a higher-end CPU and additional RAM. However, big box stores don’t offer this level of adaptability, and you end up paying for things you do not need and skip out on the ones you do.

Preinstalled Unwanted Software

Your pre-built gaming PC from these stores will come preinstalled with Windows which is incredibly helpful because you can just plug and play your system. Despite the accessibility, it also comes with a ton of unwanted software, also called bloatware which has adverse effects on the efficiency and performance of your gaming setup.

These bloatware are a serious security threat to your gaming PC because most of them are outdated and unnecessary software. In addition, the developer of this software can also be unknown which puts your data at risk of being breached. Even if they aren’t a security threat, these programs often slow down your PC by consuming system resources like your memory and CPU.

Bloatware PC

When you get to removing these programs from your PC, it’s usually a tedious and time-consuming process because of the sheer number of them. They may be a trial version of an antivirus that refuses to leave your system or promotional games that use background resources. For users with less experience with PCs, the procedure is frustrating and they may even make mistakes while removing this software.

Overall, pre-installed software and operating systems may seem beneficial initially, but it comes with many drawbacks. For this reason, going with a custom PC is more efficient as you start with a clean installation meaning no useless software is installed without your knowledge. This leads to better productivity and a smoother PC experience.

Aesthetically Unpleasing

Most importantly, you want your gaming setup to look good and have custom RGB lighting to showcase your personality. Alas, that can’t be done with these big box store systems and you most likely have to use a dull, boring gaming PC with a basic case and no lighting. The role of aesthetics in PC building and purchasing decisions has grown significantly, influencing everything from the choice of components to the overall design of the system. 

Gaming Setup

Aesthetics can impact the user’s experience and satisfaction with their PC, making it an essential consideration alongside performance and functionality. For instance, some users prefer a sleeker and minimalist look so they customize their PC according to that. On the other hand, other users want a bold look that reflects their personality, so they go for a brighter case and colorful lighting. Unfortunately, this cannot be done with pre-built gaming PCs from big box stores.

Interestingly, many people want to mod their gaming PCs which is an upgraded version of customizing. This means having custom paint jobs or new case designs. To do this, you have to go with making a custom gaming PC rather than choosing one from these stores because an enthusiast needs proper tools to unleash their creativity.

Low-Tier Performance Gaming Computers

Mass-produced rigs and systems are known for their underperformance when bought from big box stores. They are created to suit everyone’s tastes hence they end up having poor performance. While trying to maintain a low cost, this also results in a weak system at the expense of energy efficiency.

Still, big box stores are notorious for their use of entry-level components in their systems that include low-tier processors, minimal RAM, and integrated graphics. Although this may let you browse the internet and watch videos, your system will probably be unable to handle gaming or other intense applications like graphic design programs or video editing software.

Budget Gaming PCs

At the same time, cooling solutions used on these computers are often poor which leads to overheating and reduced performance when operating under high load. This means that not only will your gaming computer perform poorly but also have a shorter life span because of its components.

Alternatively, custom-built PCs offer more flexibility such that you can build them according to your own specifications in terms of how much better they perform than others. Since you already know what tasks your gaming PC will be performing, it is easier for you to design your system with those specific tasks in mind as well. This way, you ensure that apart from using higher quality parts on your machine; you also have better cooling solutions for maintaining the gaming setup’s overall temperature.

Lack of Good Warranty and Customer Support

Warranty and support services are critical to consider while purchasing a gaming setup from a big box store. They however rarely offer the level of service and support that many users need, especially when compared to specialized gaming PC vendors or custom builders.

Typically, warranties from these retailers only cover basic repairs and replacements for limited periods. At first glance, this may appear sufficient but they actually exclude several common issues like software problems or damage caused by overheating. Moreover, the repair process can be quite complex using up a lot of time since you will have to send your gaming computer away for repair before it is returned after weeks.

Computer Customer Support

Big box store support services are also typically less personalized in nature. Customers often interact with huge call centers where their technical staff might not possess deep enough knowledge to solve highly complex problems. Consequently, you might have to deal with frustrating experiences or unresolved problems that you will have to sort out yourself.

However, when you buy from a specialist gaming PC supplier or customized constructor there usually come comprehensive warranty options as well as excellent support services. Such companies often give extended warranties that take care of a variety of issues and similarly,

Higher Prices for Lower Performance

Buying a gaming PC from a big box store means paying more for less. Such stores may have appealing price tags and also easy ways of purchase but the real worth of the system’s hardware is generally lower than what one can get elsewhere for the same or even less expensive prices.

Low performance PCs

However, big-box retailers usually focus on selling pre-built gaming computers where brands and hollow features take precedence over core components that should determine performance. In such instances, people might pay extra just because it carries a popular brand name only to acquire substandard parts or those that have been surpassed by technology. For example, there could be a gaming computer with an enormous hard drive or cool RGB lighting, but it will come with a weak processor, insufficient memory as well as integrated graphics that cannot effectively run intensive programs.

What is more, these machines may also contain certain undesired bundled software and bloatware which slow them down right out of their packages. It takes too much time to uninstall this kind of software and besides being annoying makes the user experience worse.

Better Alternatives: Where to Find Gaming Setups

When it comes to purchasing a new gaming setup, you should think about other options, apart from big box stores, in order to get the best performance and value for your money. A few alternatives offer greater customization, higher-quality components, and better customer support.

One appealing alternative is buying from custom online gaming PC builders. Companies such as SiriusPowerPCs enable you to configure an individual computer that fits your particular needs at a good price. These custom gaming computer shops enable you to choose every part of your machine starting with the processor through graphics card up-to-cooling system & case design, thus ensuring that it is optimized for its intended use whether gaming, video editing, or professional work.

Gaming PC setups

You can also go to the local computer store. In these places, you can find personal attention where you will discuss your requirements directly with well-informed people who will guide you on acquiring appropriate components while still considering affordability. Additionally, local shops can offer quicker and more convenient assistance and repair than large retailers do.

Since this might also be an option for some people it’s worth mentioning building your own computer. This choice involves some research and technical skills but is very satisfying in return. You will only pay for what you need by selecting and assembling each component yourself and avoid features that are not necessary or parts that are not qualified enough for your purposes.


Gaming Computer

As for buying gaming PCs, going to big box stores may sound straightforward and cheap. However, often the costs hidden behind these shops are much more expensive, poor performance, not enough customization choices, and inadequate customer support make them less attractive than how they may initially look. Such stores’ mass-produced computers are often equipped with low-level components, needless bloatware, and limited upgrading possibilities that all result in disappointing experiences over time.

Investigating better options will lead you toward a stronger machine that is dependable and well-suited for your needs. For instance, there are custom gaming PC builders like SiriusPowerPCs and local computer stores that offer distinct advantages. These alternatives allow you to select components of good quality tailored to suit your specifications and enhanced high-quality customer service as well as overall value.

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