Part 2 out of 3: To buy or build a VR Ready PC?
Now that you know from the previous article about the spec required and why it is needed, we come to the next question: To buy or to custom-build a VR Ready PC?
It is up to the personal preference of the buyer as there is no real difference in terms of meeting the spec requirements for virtual reality.
The different customer types: which are you?
For those who are not familiar about the two types, they are:
- Pre-built PC
- PCs that has already been assembled and you can simply buy off the shelf. Some have brands like Dell, HP, Lenovo whereas there are others with no brand that you can purchase from shops at Sim Lim Square.
- Convenient as you do not have to go through the trouble of comparing the parts to see if they are compatible. There are also options available overseas where the VR headsets are bundled together with the PC.
- Aesthetic wise, many prebuilt PCs especially the branded ones come with very nicely designed casing like the HP Envy, Dell Alienware Area 51, Asus ROG G20CB, etc.
- Type A customer who will be interested in getting a pre-built PC are those who just want a VR Ready PC to play VR and cannot be bothered to spend a lot of time researching the different parts and assemble the PC themselves just to save some money or to get the best parts. As long as it meets the recommended specs, that is what the Type A customer is happy to get.
- Custom build PC
- PC is bought part by part and assembled together. All the parts can be bought at different locations or all at the same place and you can pay the store a workmanship fee (about $20) to assemble it for you if you do not want to assemble it yourself.
- Get the exact specifications that you want.
- Cost savings from assembling yourself and also from sourcing from cheaper parts from online or different shops.
- Warranty from parts are normally longer ( up to 5 years) compared to a all-in-one warranty for pre-built PC.
- Type B customer who will be interested in getting a custom build PC are those that do not mind spending time (a few days to a month) to research about the components and go from shop to shop (including online shops like amazon and ebay) to get the best price. They are very knowledgeable (compared to the Type A customers) about what the fine details of the component specs mean and probably have read reviews on the components to choose the best components that suit their purpose and budget (either highest performance or cheapest VR Ready PC)
So simply put, the more effort you put in, the more bang-for-buck you will get for your VR Ready PC.
Price range for Prebuilt VS Custom Build
Most people assume that given the high specs for VR Ready PC, the cost of it will be very high in the $2000 and more price range. However, they are dead wrong. No matter whether it is prebuilt or custom build, VR Ready are *surprise* actually quite affordable. In fact, most people are more used to owning a laptop nowadays and the price of a decent laptop is enough to buy a VR Ready PC.
Prebuilt will cost upwards of $1500 depending on the model, brand and the specs of the computer whereas custom build are slightly cheaper from $1300 onwards.
Its cheaper than Macbooks which I see so many people carrying around, so there is no reason why most people in Singapore cannot afford one if they want to experience VR.
In the next article, we will go through a step by step guide of building our own IGNITE-VR PC that we think is the most bang-for-buck right now.