It is often said that it is far better to build your own desktop PC by buying your own parts and putting them all together in one case. However, does the same apply to laptops? If you can build your own desktop PC for a price that’s cheaper, does it also follow that building a laptop is cheaper compared to buying a proprietary laptop?
It isn’t cheaper to build your own laptop. That’s because, due to the low demand for them, some laptop parts are more expensive when sold separately. On top of that, it is extremely difficult to find laptop parts that are in good condition. That’s why building your own laptop can even be more expensive.
It may sound surprising to know that building your own laptop is going to be more expensive than buying a pre-made laptop. After all, we are often told that building a desktop computer is much more affordable. But, then again, laptops and desktops are different from one another. As such, it would be interesting to discuss why building your own laptop doesn’t sound as nice as building your own desktop.
Is it cheaper to build your own laptop?
One of the things you will instantly notice about laptops is that they are actually quite expensive such that laptops that have the same specs as a desktop will be more expensive. Unlike desktops, you will mostly see different laptops that come branded by different laptop manufacturers.
The reason why these OEM laptops are actually quite expensive is that what the manufacturers do is that they buy the parts from the different parts manufacturers such as Intel or Nvidia. From there, what they do is that they use these parts on pre-made motherboards that were made specifically for the manufacturer’s laptops. Of course, to make a profit, the manufacturers put a premium on the prices of the parts and materials they used for their laptops.
So, what if you were to buy these laptop parts instead and then put them all together in one laptop case? Does it mean that you will end up with a laptop with a price that’s lower than the selling price that OEM laptops come with?
Basically, the assumption that it is cheaper to build your own laptop is actually an incorrect one. Even though it may sound like building your own laptop is just simply similar to building your own desktop, they really aren’t the same.
In fact, it might even be more expensive for you to build your own laptop instead of simply buying a pre-made laptop from the manufacturer’s retail partner. So, in a sense, you are not only going to end up wasting money but also time because you would be spending time and effort looking for different laptop parts and then putting them all together.
Why is it cheaper to build your own desktop?
When you are looking to buy a new computer, one of the things that most people tell you is that you should start out by building your own desktop computer. While this may sound like a lot of effort to do, the reason why some computer enthusiasts recommend that you do so is due to how building your own desktop is actually going to help save you money. But why is it that it is cheaper to build your own desktop?
The reason why building a desktop is cheaper than buying a pre-made one is that it is cheaper to buy the different parts that you need for a desktop computer. Desktops parts are made and sold separately by their manufacturers through retailers. So, in short, you can go into a computer parts store and see different computer parts being sold.
This is technically what retailers do when they sell pre-made computers. They simply use the parts they already have and then put a premium on top of the price of the pre-made computers so that they could essentially make a bigger profit out of the suggested retail price of the parts that they used. Of course, they also add a few dollars to the price for the assembly costs.
In comparison, you could just simply buy the parts at their suggested retail price and then put them all together yourself. By doing so, you can avoid the premium price that retailers put on their pre-assembled desktops. This is essentially the reason why it is cheaper to build your own desktop. You might need to learn how to put the parts together, which you can do by watching video guides on Youtube or following guides online, but, once you do, the effort will save you money and you can develop a new skill.
Why is it more expensive to build your own laptop?
As mentioned, it can actually be more expensive to build your own laptop instead of buying one that’s already pre-made. This isn’t the same as when you’re building a desktop because doing so is much cheaper. Then why is it that it can be more expensive to build your own laptop?
For starters, you need to know that buying laptop parts isn’t as easy as buying desktop parts. There is hardly any retail market for laptop parts such as the different chips that laptops use. This means that you probably won’t even find laptop parts that are sold in retail stores.
In most cases, laptop parts come straight from the manufacturers as they are hardly sold in retail. Again, what the OEM laptop manufacturers do is that they purchase the parts straight from the manufacturers so that they can build the laptops. These manufacturers rarely sell the parts on retail.
As such, if you do find laptop parts that are sold on retail, the most likely reason why these are sold on retail is that they come from disassembled laptops that were salvaged for parts. These laptop parts may either be used or brand new but it is more likely that these are second-hand parts because of how rare it is to find brand new laptop parts. And even if the parts are brand new, you would instantly realize that they are sold at premium prices due to their rarity.
There are barebone laptop cases that already come with a monitor, keyboard, trackpad, and motherboard. Again, laptop motherboards are designed for specific laptops and are not sold as one-size-fits-all motherboards, unlike the ones that are used for desktop computers.
While it might sound like you are going to save money because barebone laptop cases look like they are much cheaper than laptops, they don’t come with the components that you have to buy yourself. This includes the CPU, GPU (if applicable), RAM, and hard drive.
So, when you go out to buy these laptop parts, which tend to be rare and probably expensive, you will eventually realize that the total price you paid for the barebone case and the individual parts has already exceeded what you would have paid for if you had decided to buy an OEM laptop instead.
There might be a chance that you would end up with a cheaper laptop if you do find parts that are sold at affordable prices. The problem is that the difference between the total price of the custom-built laptop and the price of an OEM laptop might be negligible at best. Of course, you’d also have to factor in the time and effort you had to use to find the parts and put them together. And let’s not even talk about the quality of the build because there is no assurance that the parts are actually good.
In conclusion, the novelty of the laptop parts makes them expensive. Also, when you add the price of these parts to the time and effort you have to use to put a laptop together, it doesn’t seem like it’s a fair price to pay in comparison to the price that OEM laptops come with. That’s why it is better to buy a pre-made laptop instead of trying to build your own laptop.