There was a time when building your own bare bones computer was a great way to save a bit of money. Not only did you save money, but you also ended up with a more impressive computer. With the cost of computers so much lower than they once were, it is important to take a step back in order to determine if it's really worth it to build a bare bones computer today.
One of the most important reasons to build your own bare bones computer is scalability. If you buy a computer from one of the popular manufacturers, chances are you may be limited in what you can upgrade in the computer. While some manufactures are worse than others, it is not uncommon to find proprietary parts inside of the case. Do not be surprised if you find your peripheral cards integrated together or no additional room to house an extra optical drive.
By building a bare bones computer you can completely avoid these proprietary annoyances. If for budgetary reasons you need to use an old graphics card to get started, you can go back at a later date and replace it with a superior one. You can add several drives to the computer without having to worry about running out to space.
Before you get too excited about a bare bones computer, keep in mind that there are many different options to choose from. Many people choose the extremely portable bare bones computers manufactured by Shuttle. They are inexpensive to purchase and their small size is appealing to many people. If you are looking for scalability, this is really not your best option. You will be limited to what you can install in this type of computer. If scalability is your priority, choose a bare bones computer that comes in a larger tower!
Aside from scalability, a bare bones computer offers another major advantage. If you are particular about the components in your computer, this is probably the path you want to take. A bare bones computer will allow you to install the precise components that you want to utilize. By purchasing a manufactured computer, you may not have this same type of luxury. While you may find yourself with a short list of options for a few components, the majority of components are selected by the manufacturer.
Putting together a bare bones computer may end up being fairly affordable, but there is one element of the process that is commonly overlooked. The cost of software is likely to be one of the most expensive parts of your computer. In many cases, this cost is often a deal breaker in the decision to build your own or buy a preassembled computer.