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Building your own gaming PC is pretty easy and it’s simpler than ever, especially with services like PC Part Picker helping you figure out whether that CPU will work with your motherboard’s chosen chipset and so on.
But a lot of sim racers don’t want to build their own PC. And especially if you’re looking to max out your iRacing FPS with a 3080 RTX equipped PC it might be easier to find stock from pre-built gaming PC vendors. In fact, it’s the larger PC builders who can get the stock and funnily enough they want to sell GPUs as part of a ready-built package.
It’s simpler, easier and faster to go down the prebuilt route. Lots of people opt simply to buy a prebuilt gaming PC for these reasons.
But, is it cheaper? There are lots of reasons to opt to buy a ready-built gaming PC instead of buying one, and cost is definitely a factor if you just want to get going:
Firstly, there are lots of really good prebuilt gaming PC options that have more than enough power for sim software like iRacing and Asetto Corsa priced between $1000 and $2000 just like the Skytech Archangel 3.0 above. The NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU is an outstanding GPU and won’t be troubled by the power requirements of modern sim racing for years to come.
Secondly, you might not be that interested in all of the technical terms and instructions or you’re too worried about making a mistake. If that’s the case, turning to the pros to build one is an excellent idea:
Finally, availability. There are now NVIDIA 3090 / 3080 and 3070 rtx equipped prebuilt PC’s on the market while individually stocked items are far harder to come by. The larger PC builders are buying up a lot of the stock straight from the manufacturers for their ready-built gaming PC packages. So if you want to own the latest GPU, it’s currently economically viable and more sensible just to buy prebuilt!
A PC builder who also happens to be an experienced sim racer can prebuild you a PC and possibly install it in your home and get you running with the right sim software with no fuss.
There are also lots of ways to just buy a ready built gaming PC if that’s what you want.
Critically though, I’ve often wondered, is it actually cheaper to buy a ready built PC?
Is it cheaper to buy a custom made games PC?
Let’s challenge the convention for a moment. Buyers buy either a prebuilt games PC or, build their own from separate components.
Either is fine. But I was always under the impression that building your own is cheaper. Perhaps if you’re willing to give up half a day or so to unbox everything and assemble it, and add another half a day to install the OS and simulation software? Let’s find out.
Here’s the ready-built gaming desktop PC from ASUS, the ROG Strix GA15, rated by Gamesradar as “the best ready-built gaming PC desktop of 2020”.
So the version acquired in component form is a cool $300 more expensive. And, there’s no general warranty on the completed item, or technical / driver support.
This leaves the layman in a bit of a pickle. Buy all the component parts, arguably have more control over the build or, buy a complete system (with mouse and keyboard included I might add!) and feel safer in the knowledge you have support and a warranty.
What are my options?
And there are lots of really nice pre-built machines for sim racing. Scan.co.uk (in the UK) have a series called 3XS – already built machines with customization options.
Newegg.com in the US have a vast range or ready made games PCs – again built to any budget.
We mentioned the ASUS ROG Strix GA15 PC earlier, which can be purchased on Amazon.com for $1130.00.
NVIDIA 3090 / 3080 and 3070 rtx equipped PCs you can buy now
There has been a serious shortage of the latest NVIDIA GPUs, especially the very popular NVIDIA 3080.
The Alienware R11 with a brand new RTX 3080 GPU installed, is one of the higher budget 2020 pre-built gaming PCs to buy. Priced at just less than $2000, it’s a great deal.
If you want a PC delivered that’s actually in stock, here are the PCs we recommend:
This Chronos desktop gaming PC from Skytech features an AMD Ryzen 9 3900 3.1GHz CPU, a NVIDIA RTX 3080 10GB, 16GB of DDR4 memory, a super fast Seagate Firecuda 520 1TB PCIe Gen4 NVMe on an X570 Motherboard.
It’s a really nicely presented prebuilt gaming PC and, unlike the likes of Alienware and Dell would be very easy to upgrade in a few years with new components owing to the ATX case it’s supplied in. At $2,399.99, this is probably one of the best PCs for sim racing you can buy at the moment.
MSI Aegis RS Desktop Gaming PC RTX 3080
This offering from MSI comes with an i7-10700K Intel CPU, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512GB NVMe SSD with a 1TB SATA SSD and a 2TB backup HDD. Of course it comes with the all important NVIDIA RTX 3080 10GB GPU:
OMEN – GT13-0090 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 prebuilt
While it doesn’t look particularly special at first glance (we’ve been spoiled by RGB lighting), this PC from OMEN is about as high-end as a prebuilt gaming PC can get. It comes with a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Graphics Card, the faster 10th Generation Intel Core i9-10850K Processor, 32 GB RAM and a 1 TB SSD:
OMEN are the gaming arm of HP, so you know it’ll have a warranty that covers everything. OK, it’s priced at just over $4000 but, with a 3090 installed, it’ll even run Crysis…
What if I just want to upgrade my GPU later?
But the lower-priced ROG Strix G15CK Gaming Desktop PC comes equipped with the extremely impressive Intel Core i7-10700KF and a GeForce RTX 2070 Super GPU, 16GB DDR4 RAM a fast 512GB SSD, Wi-Fi 6, and ROG’s Strix Flare Keyboard & Gladius II Mouse included for $1700. Given the price of a 3080 RTX upgrade is probably going to cost $700 a year or so down the road, a buy like the ROG is a really safe bet for now.
So as you can see, prebuilt PC’s for between $1000 and $2000 are a really solid option if you don’t feel like going through the trouble of sourcing individual components and just want a warranted, all-round games PC with good manufacturer support.
Naturally, half the room will disagree with me and that’s fine – if you want a seriously high-end gaming PC customised to your exact requirements, building your own PC is the best way to go.