As much as I want to see you become a part of the Desk PC tribe, I will acknowledge that building a desk PC is not for everyone. I’ve already outlined the reasons you should build your very own custom desk PC case, but it’s only fair to put forward the reasons you may not want to build one.
Simply put, the reasons for not building a desk PC are:
- lack of portability
- the effort required
- space it takes up
- the brain power needed to design it, and frankly
- the time invested.
Let’s explore each of these and see if building a desk PC is or is not the best solution for you.
Lack of Portability
Face it, you aren’t going to be hauling your fancy new desk PC to LAN parties. If you are more of a mobile PC user then maybe you should just invest in a gaming or video editing laptop. A desk PC is intended to be a permanent showcase for your system, a way of displaying all of your PC goodness in the grandest and most awe-inspiring way possible. If your aspirations are to lug a system from location to location then you will not want to invest the time and effort into building a system showcase. All you need is a laptop or maybe a small form factor desktop PC. There are some really great cases on the market that would meet this need for you.
There’s Effort Required to Build a Desk PC
Designing and building a custom Desk PC case takes real effort. It’s easy to scroll photos on Google and watch builds on YouTube but when it comes to actually building one yourself it means getting off the couch and actually going to work. It’s actually an exciting and rewarding journey if you are committed to becoming a Desk PC owner but if you are not ready to put forth the effort to build it then this may not be an undertaking that you need to embark on.
Here’s a quick and easy checklist for you to determine whether or not you are prepared to put forth the effort to build a desk PC case.
- Are you drooling over photos and videos of builds that others have posted?
- Do you own (or plan to buy) PC components that you want to put on display?
- Does the idea of building and owning a custom desk PC appeal to you more than a manufactured PC case?
- Can you follow simple directions precisely and take the time to do a job right?
- Are you ready to up and go outside and get to work?
If you can answer yes to most of these, particularly the last question, then there is no reason that you cannot build a desk PC for yourself. If, however, your answer to the above questions are “No”, then you are better off with either an out of the box pre-built system or building in a manufactured PC case.
Space Needed for a Desk PC
We have some flexibility here because when you are designing your own desk PC case you can custom build it to the dimensions that fit your workspace. Still, it’s a foregone conclusion that a desk PC will take up more space than a laptop or traditional Desktop PC. Of course you still need a desk to work at and you will have to put the desktop case somewhere, either on the floor or on the desk so it could be argued that you are actually saving space by putting the PC components into the desk but its still fair to say that overall you will need more space for a desk PC than you will for a simple setup.
My Brain Hurts from Thinking!!!
No matter how you approach it, there’s some thinking and planning required in taking on a project like this. What will the dimensions be? What theme will you go with? What material will you use? Will it be painted or stained? How will the PC components be laid out? How will cable management be handled?
Without question, just buying a prebuilt PC at Best Buy is easier but even then you are going to have to put in some research and thought. What processor speed do you want? How much RAM? What size hard drive? Will it have a platter hard drive or an SSD or both?
On the building side, I have tried to do as much of the research for you as possible but there will still be decisions that you’ll need to make especially in the planning stages. I’m going to be posting a video series soon that will walk you through each stage of the process from designing to completion but even with that level of guidance this is still an undertaking and you will have to be committed to seeing it through. If you are not ready to delve into this level of planning and decision making then maybe you should just buy a laptop or desktop PC.
Something Worth Having Takes Time But I Don’t Like Waiting!!!
I’ll be straightforward with this. You are probably looking at between one to three weeks to build a Desk PC case. This depends on the amount of time each day or weekend you are able to commit to your project. If you commit a weekend to this you can get the project cut and sanded in a day but you’ll need to give it time for the paint to dry before you begin installing components once it’s assembled. This is the fun part so it’s less a chore than the cutting and sanding but it does take time. If you are not willing to commit a weekend to this and plan to work on it an hour here and there then it’s going to take you quite a bit longer. So this one comes down to whether or not you are willing to play the long game.
So it comes down to this. If all you want is a ready-to-go PC that you can start playing games on today then building a desk PC is probably not the right approach. You can run to Best Buy and buy a ready to go system and have it up and running within a couple of hours. On the other hand, if the idea of a showcase display for your computer is worth the time, brain power, and effort for you, if you have space and don’t mind giving up the portability of a box system, then you can absolutely do this.
I’d love to see you join the Desk PC Revolution. Our tribe is growing every day and you can be a part of it. We want to showcase your build on our website and interview you to discuss your design, the decisions you made along the way, and what you are most proud of about your new custom build. We’ve told you the reasons why you might not want to build a desk PC case but if you are still committed then have a look at my post on how to design a desk PC and get your project started. And if you are still on the fence and haven’t read it yet, take a look at the reasons why you should build a desk PC.