The idea of buying a prebuilt computer is excellent. You can buy it, plug it in and start using it to do whatever you want. But what if you need more power? What if you want more power and want to upgrade your prebuilt system?
Prebuilt PCs are most likely cheaper than buying all of the parts and building your PC, but they may not be as powerful as one with custom hardware inside. You cannot upgrade this kind of PC yourself (without voiding the warranty) because its components are included in the warranty.
As a general rule of thumb, You can upgrade your prebuilt PC if your motherboard and casing support your desired hardware. If yes, then you can upgrade your CPU, GPU, Storage devices, and RAMs. However, you’ll have to consider your PSU and Cooling system before proceeding to upgrades.
In this article, we will explore the idea of upgrade pre built pc. I have good experience in upgrading a prebuilt PC according to my desired performance needs. First, however, ensure that you know how to upgrade a prebuilt PC before jumping into the market for new hardware.
Can you Upgrade Graphics Card In Prebuilt PCs?
As a general rule of thumb, Yes, you can upgrade the graphics card on a prebuilt PC given that the PCIe slots support the GPU, PSU is powerful enough to run it, and it will make a great pair with your CPU.
In fact, I have bought Prebuilt PCs for many of my relatives and friends, and the first thing I do is change the graphics card. Most of the time, the prebuilt systems I bought were without a GPU, to begin with. Therefore, it was necessary to add a graphics card to play games or run graphics-heavy programs.
You can upgrade your Prebuilt PCs graphics card. However, you’ll have to consider a few things before buying a new card.
First, ensure that your PC has PCIe slots compatible with your desired GPU. Modern graphic cards require at least PCI-E 3.0 slots. Some high-end GPUs like RTX 3080 or 3080ti will require a PCI-E 4.0 slot.
If your motherboard does not support your desired graphics card, you’ll need to invest in a new motherboard (if compatible.) Moreover, you also have to check your current CPU and ensure it will not bottleneck the performance.
Moreover, you need to check the Power Supply Unit and ensure that it is enough to provide your desired GPU’s TDP (Thermal Design Power). You need at least a 500W PSU if your GPU requires a single additional PCI-E power connector.
If you want to get an SLI configuration, the minimum requirement is a 750W PSU (or even 1000W PSU in some cases) with two available six-pin PCIe connectors on each rail or one eight-pin and one six-pin PCIe connector per rail.
Is It Worth Upgrading a Prebuilt PC?
As a whole, Yes, upgrading your Prebuilt PC is worth it. However, if you want to stay relevant with the latest technology and get the utmost performance, then you can start upgrading your CPU, GPU, Motherboard, Storage Devices, and RAMs.
I have upgraded a few prebuilt systems to the point where the performance touched those of custom build systems. So, if your system allows maximum upgrading, you can get peak performance by adding SSDs, GPU, and more RAM. You can also upgrade your cooling system and proceed to overclock your hardware if your motherboard allows.
If you are looking for a new PC but don’t have the time or patience to build one, then prebuilt PCs are great options because they offer decent performance at an affordable price. However, if money is not an issue and you want the top-of-the-line hardware inside your machine, then it might be better to build your PC with high-quality parts that will last longer than those included in Prebuilt. Before upgrading always check you pc case support new upgrade or not.
With that being said, let’s discuss how much you can upgrade a prebuilt PC. It depends on what kind of processor (or CPU) comes with the computer and its platform (Intel LGA 115x vs. AMD AMx). If you want to upgrade the CPU in your PC, then I recommend checking how difficult it is (or instead, if it’s possible) to install a new one.
Also, newer CPUs require different sockets than older ones, so make sure that the motherboard has compatible slots before buying or building your computer.
Finally, when upgrading an old prebuilt systems graphics card (GPU), ensure that there is a PCIe x16 slot available on the motherboard and check its power requirements because some cards require up to 600W of power while others can run with just one six-pin connector.
If you don’t know what to upgrade on pc and what kind of GPU comes inside your machine, simply download GPUZ software, which will provide detailed information about all components installed inside your system.
What Should I upgrade First on my Prebuilt PC?
You can start as low as SSDs and upgrade your way up to more expensive hardware. First, you’ll have to make sure that your motherboard and PSU support further upgrades. If not, then upgrade them first. After that, you can upgrade your CPU then get a powerful GPU. However, powerful hardware tends to heat a lot, so consider your cooling system before upgrading.
It would help if you also considered upgrading your RAM to at least 16GB of DDR4 for peak performance when rendering HD videos, playing heavy games, working with CAD software, etc. Of course, you can also get the best laptops for CAD if you have the money. The good thing about this type of hardware is that it won’t cost a fortune to get extra GB’s (Gigabytes) and swap out those old DIMMs (Dual Inline Memory Modules.)
Then, you can proceed to upgrade your CPU. For example, I would opt to upgrade my CPU before getting my hands on a new graphics card because a new CPU will not bottleneck with a high-end GPU.
If you want the best possible experience when playing games or watching videos, upgrading your graphics card is necessary. You can either go for an SLI configuration (if your motherboard supports it) or buy another high-end GPU that will work great with heavy programs.
Well If money isn’t an issue and you are looking for peak performance, I recommend getting two GPUs instead of just one. And if you don’t have enough space in your case, opt for liquid cooling because water blocks make silent PCs even quieter than air coolers which tend to be noisier at higher RPM levels.
However, if you upgrade your CPU and GPU, you’ll have to ensure that your current Power Supply Unit is enough. If not, I recommend upgrading your PSU and getting a high wattage unit (750W or more) because it will run at total capacity with powerful hardware.
Finally, suppose you want to overclock the CPU inside your PC to get higher performance without spending too much money on fast RAMs/GPUs. In that case, you have to buy an unlocked motherboard that allows overclocking, which is only possible when replacing Intel stock coolers with aftermarket ones.
It is better to select prebuild pc with the smallest full ATX case, so in the future, you have more options to upgrade.
However, if you want to go with an overclock build, you need an extreme cooling system, so choose wisely between liquid or air solutions.
Can you Change the Power Supply on a Prebuilt PC?
You should be able to upgrade your Power Supply Unit if your casing supports the design of your desired power supply. In addition, you have to ensure that your motherboards will support your expected Power Supply’s pin connector.
Many users have questions like, are prebuilt PCs worth it? The answer is simple. If you don’t have enough time to build a PC, it’s better to purchase a prebuilt one. However, if you want the best possible performance for your money and are ready to learn how computers work (or at least read many tutorials), buy parts separately and assemble them yourself.
It would also help if you took some time learning about different hardware singular components before shopping around because there is no point in upgrading outdated hardware or purchasing an expensive PSU when using low-wattage CPUs. Finally, it would help if you always kept up with modern standards and never went backward.
Upgrading your prebuilt systems hardware will provide a whole new experience and ensure that you will not have to purchase another PC any time soon. However, make sure not to upgrade any component before checking if there is room inside the casing or motherboard. You can also choose between different cooling systems in liquid and air variants depending on how much noise they produce while performing heavy tasks such as gaming, rendering videos, etc.
And last but not least: buy suitable components because cheaper models tend to break down quickly when under stress for long periods. Finally, when shopping around, always remember that more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better quality.
Moreover, choose the CPU depending on your needs. For example, if you are a gamer, look for high clock speeds and multiple cores. For video rendering or other CPU-intensive tasks, choose an octa-core CPU with more processing power than its quad-core counterparts.
If you don’t want to purchase another PC shortly, then it’s worth buying computer parts separately instead of prebuilt models that come with limited upgradability options. You can upgrade most components like RAMs, storage drives, GPUs, whether they’re air cooling systems or liquid ones, as long as their motherboard supports them.
Uzair Khurshid is a tech geek and a student of Computer Sciences. His understanding and exposure to technology make him suitable for this type of content. He craves knowledge, and other than that, he plays either Dota 2, Skyrim, or Total War.