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Upgrading Prebuilt PC: The Definitive Information

So, you’ve simply began stepping into gaming and are questioning whether or not you have to be upgrading your prebuilt PC or constructing a very new customized gaming PC from the bottom up. Or, possibly you suppose ranging from a prebuilt PC will prevent some cash. Whether or not you could have an present prebuilt PC otherwise you’re fully beginning off from scratch, comply with this information, and by the tip of it, you’ll have a formidable gaming PC to final for years to come back.

Associated: How Lengthy Does it Take to Construct A PC?

What’s a Prebuilt PC?  

To place it merely, a prebuilt PC is an entire system that comes with all elements required to run a PC. They don’t want the shoppers to assemble the PC elements by themselves. Prebuilt PCs could possibly be cheaper than shopping for customized elements individually and usually additionally provide a guaranty in case there are any defects with the interior elements.   

There are several types of prebuilt PCs. For instance, you may get retail employees to construct you a PC with the elements you’ve chosen totally free or further bills relying on the place you’re shopping for from. Retailers even have prebuilt PCs, that are constructed by gathering all of the elements at commonplace market charges. Furthermore, usually, they may be promoting factory-made prebuilt PCs that are made by respected producers.  

Most individuals don’t wish to spend hours in search of PC elements at the most effective charges, then anticipate the elements to reach, after which lastly construct a customized gaming PC. That is the place the prebuilt PC has its benefits as a result of it already has all of the capabilities you want from a PC. Easy upgrades to the reminiscence, energy provide, and graphics card can take its body output from barely playable to clean excessive FPS. 

Can You Improve a Prebuilt PC? 

Prebuilt PC
The Alienware PC’s are often Prebuilt. Right here is an instance.

Typically, sure, you may go about upgrading a prebuilt PC. These upgrades may imply changing elements of the graphics card, RAM, exhausting drive, SSD, energy provide, and peripherals.  

Motherboard compatibility is most necessary on the subject of upgrading prebuilt PCs. It’s the basis of the system, which encompasses all of the {hardware} required to run the PC, so if it’s incompatible with any PC part that you just want, you gained’t have the ability to improve that part.  

For instance, if the motherboard in your prebuilt PC doesn’t have a PCIe x16 slot, you gained’t have the ability to add a graphics card to the construct. So, when shopping for a prebuilt PC for future upgrades, at all times ensure that the motherboard is appropriate with future upgrades.  

How you can Improve a Prebuilt PC?  

On this part, we’ll take you thru the method of upgrading a prebuilt PC. It’s principally divided into just a few easy steps. First, examine the specs of your prebuilt PC to search out the weak hyperlinks. For instance, you may see if the RAM is just too little to fit your duties or if the graphics card is on the low-end aspect. By doing this, you’re discovering the elements which you’ll be upgrading in your PC. Subsequent, prioritize the elements that you just want essentially the most and manage your price range accordingly. And lastly, set up the upgrades to finish the method.    

Inspecting GPU  

So, you could be questioning what’s the most important factor holding your prebuilt PC from turning into a gaming one. Properly, the reply to that’s the graphics card. The GPU is a very powerful part that you just want for PC gaming. Most prebuilt PCs include both built-in graphics within the CPU or a low-end graphics card already preinstalled on the motherboard. 

Firstly, examine in case your prebuilt PC already comes with a graphics card put in. Whether it is, then which means it incorporates a PCIe x16 slot which lets you change your present GPU with a brand new one. That is additionally necessary because the PCIe x16 slot is definitely each backward and forwards appropriate, which lets you improve your GPU.  

In case your motherboard has an empty PCIe x16 slot, you should buy a brand new graphics card and simply put it in place. If it already had an previous GPU put in, you may in all probability promote it on-line because it’s of no use to you.  

Nevertheless, if the prebuilt PC that you’ve got doesn’t have a motherboard that helps a PCIe x16 slot, you may’t improve your graphics card, which is the principle part on the subject of gaming on a PC. It’s secure to say that your prebuilt might be too outdated for upgrades to have the ability to run any video games you want. 

 Associated: 6 BEST RTX 3060 Graphics Playing cards In 2022

Inspecting RAM  

The issue with RAM is that it’s not backward appropriate. So, if the motherboard you could have in your prebuilt PC solely has help for the DDR3 era of RAM modules, it might’t run DDR4 modules. Even when it may, there can be an enormous bottleneck that can cease the brand new RAM to perform at its finest frequencies. Sadly, there’s no repair for this downside.  

Nevertheless, you may nonetheless change RAM modules of the identical era. For instance, if the prebuilt PC has 2x 2GB DDR3 RAM preinstalled within the system, you may change these with 2x 4GB DDR3 RAM. This offers you a pleasant enhance in efficiency, however it’s unlucky that you just gained’t have the ability to improve  

In the event you’re shopping for a prebuilt PC for future upgrades in its reminiscence, then be sure the motherboard it makes use of helps the RAM era that you really want. In any other case, it’s principally unimaginable to improve it. 

Taken with shopping for DDR5 RAM? Learn our information for the Finest DDR5 RAM.

Inspecting HDD & SSD  

Relying on the prebuilt PC you could have, it could be a preinstalled HDD, as is the case with most prebuilt PCs. If this HDD has much less storage than 500GB, you may’t set up plenty of video games on it. Many standard titles that you just would possibly wish to play in your PC can’t be put in with out the required free disk area. For that, you’ll want to purchase one other exhausting drive.  

So, in case your exhausting drive has very small area obtainable, you may spend a couple of dollars to not less than get a 500GB 7200 RPM exhausting drive. You may also wish to improve your PC by including an SSD because it delivers a lot quicker learn/write speeds than HDDs that means you’ll have the ability to run packages a lot quicker and cargo video games that are put in on the SSD a lot faster. You have to to format your earlier exhausting drive and set up Home windows in your SSD. So earlier than putting in an SSD, be sure all the present information is saved in an exterior drive akin to a USB or cloud storage, and so on.   

You must also know that the majority prebuilt PCs don’t have motherboards that enable an NVMe SSD, so take that into consideration when shopping for a brand new SSD. Sometimes, you may get a brand new SATA SSD with a free SATA cable from a retail store which your motherboard will most likely help until it’s actually previous.  

Inspecting PSU  

The final step in upgrading a prebuilt PC is to examine the ability provide. In case your prebuilt PC doesn’t have a robust PSU, which is sufficient to help the ability necessities of your PC, it might get fairly harmful. Within the worst-case state of affairs, you add further elements to your PC; the ability provide can’t help the additional load and malfunctions whereas taking your different PC elements together with it. 

The simple repair to that is to calculate all the ability required out of your PC after the upgrades after which purchase a PSU that is sufficient to help these new energy necessities. You possibly can simply change your present energy provide with a brand new one, and at all times keep in mind to purchase from respected manufacturers akin to EVGA, Corsair, and Cooler Grasp.   

Prioritize Upgrades 

So when you’ve e found out how a lot that you must improve your prebuilt PC, you may go forward and assign priorities to the upgrades you want most. Basically, for gaming, you simply want a robust graphics card and a great CPU. Likely, the [rebuilt PC which you’ve bought already comes with a good CPU, meaning you just need to upgrade the graphics card. 

Now the graphics card uses up a lot of power, and you need a PSU to ensure it gets its share, so these two upgrades should be given the most priority. Preferably, assign the most value to your PSU and then to the graphics card since that will determine if the whole system can even function or not. It will be beneficial for you to get a powerful PSU in advance when buying a prebuilt PC as that’d save you the trouble of upgrading to a new one in the future.  

Now you’ll probably get a good enough boost for gaming just by adding the graphics card, but you should also upgrade the HDD, SSD, and RAM at your convenience, as they’re still important upgrades to consider.  

Is it worth upgrading a Prebuilt PC?  

Gaming on a PC is fun, but unfortunately, not a lot of people can spend huge amounts of time and money to build a custom gaming PC. It’s just way too complicated and time-consuming for the average person. So, this is where most people decide to get a prebuilt PC as it gives you a reliable foundation that you can upgrade in the future.  

Most of the prebuilt PCs are sold for usually very cheap as the only thing they’re carrying of decent value is the processor, at least in most cases. As mentioned before, you might need to upgrade its PSU, graphics card (if it has one beforehand), RAM, SSD, and HDD. You can either choose to upgrade all these PC parts in one go or build them up over time.  

But regardless, if you can get individual parts of the PC for cheap, you’ll be able to save money with a custom built. Even if the job is complicated, there are numerous guides and forums online that you can take advantage of. So, it can either be upgrading a prebuilt PC or making a custom build. It’s up to you to decide which option is cheaper and more suitable for your taste.  

It is also worth noting that with time, prebuilt PCs are becoming a thing of the past as some models don’t even allow for any upgrades. Most people would much rather build a gaming PC themselves as it is genuinely a fun process, albeit a bit daunting at first. 

Related: How Much Does it Cost to Build a Gaming PC?


In this article, we covered a lot of information about upgrading prebuilt PCs. By now, you should know whether your current workstation supports future upgrades or not. If it does, you should know how to go about upgrading it on your own, which upgrades should take the highest priority, and whether it is even a good idea. 

There are different types of prebuilt PCs out there, and some may not support future upgrades. If that’s the one you have on you, your best bet is to sell it online or to a retail store. After that, with the information you have now, you can decide whether you want a custom build PC or a pre-built one that can be upgraded in the future.   

If you decide on the latter, make sure the motherboard is compatible with any future upgrades and also check if the PSU has enough power to support them when buying a prebuilt PC. A quick rundown of how to upgrade a prebuilt PC is to first get a graphics card, then prioritize RAM, SSD, and HDD.  

Also read: How Long Does it Take to Build a Gaming PC?

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