The buying behaviors of avid gamers are influenced by the types of games they play, design preferences, and performance capabilities when considering whether to buy a pre-made computer or build their own. Those who want the comfort of technical support, warranties, or lack the time or knowledge will likely choose a pre-made computer, while more serious gamers and those with more specific needs and expectations may prefer to customize their own.
- Avid gamers initially check the system specification requirements of the game(s) when choosing whether to buy a pre-made computer or build one.
- Research of the pre-made computers and different processors and components are conducted to ensure compatibility and performance capabilities with the desired games. They always start with the processor and motherboard (e.g. at least 2GB of memory for displays of 1080p and RAM of 16 GB), choose the solid-state drive that is the size needed, and decide on a chassis.
- Various resources for research, reviews, and pricing of the considered products are checked.
- They also consider the budget, purpose(s), individual computer experience, and the specific games to be played before making a decision.
Building a computer
- Building a computer gives a gamer the ability to handpick every component in the system customized for their exact budget and performance requirements.
- It can also give a sense of pride and a sense of satisfaction.
- An avid gamer chooses a processor depending on its intended purpose, price, performance, and features. One example is the Core i9-9900K which may be too much for pure gaming but has plenty of cores to also do other tasks like live streaming, video editing, and other content creation work. The Intel Core i7-9700K has great gaming performance that rivals that of the core i9 but at a lower price.
- When choosing a processor, a gamer's behavior is influenced by the compatibility it has with their games, and they choose the cores and components based on that primarily.
- Buying behaviors regarding motherboards are strongly linked to the type of processor they have chosen as they must be compatible. One factor that influences whether a gamer buys a pre-made computer is the ability to choose the motherboard instead of one that was purchased and installed in bulk without the buyer's individual preference in mind.
- Overly-expensive pre-made processors sometimes use sub-quality, discount components such as the motherboard and power supply which can severely affect the performance and place the system in jeopardy.
- Gamers consider saving a lot of money by building their own computer as it enables them to put the extra money towards better parts.
- They also consider the importance of getting warranties on the individual components and parts, which can be handy when individual parts need to be replaced.
- There are a lot of places where avid gamers get information that influences their buying decisions such as Newb Computer Build, which provides information on how to get hardware, prices, trends, reviews and research, game-specific building tips, and support.
Buying pre-made computers
- Warranties and technical support influence some gamers to buy a pre-made computer. Buying pre-made computers can provide a level of comfort that comes with knowing it was put together by professionals and comes with warranty services and technical support should something go wrong.
- Warranties may require the whole computer be replaced when certain components may need to be updated, and the timing of the replacement process can take up to a month, longer than when replacing components on a built one. Building a PC provides better warranties, and these differences may influence whether they buy a pre-made or build a computer. One example of pre-built computers is Alienware's Aurora R7 which uses unique designs and chassis that cannot be purchased when building one.
- An avid gamer who lacks the time or knowledge will likely choose a pre-made computer because it will be quicker and easier.
- Some pre-made companies offer unique features such as NZXT's BLD program that uses smart data to guarantee game-specific performance in their pre-made systems as an alternative to building a computer.
We searched electronic, technology, and gaming news sources with a target audience of gamers for reasons that would contribute to the decisions to buy a pre-made computer or build one. We then identified products of each and looked at the consumer reviews to further investigate the reasons for their behaviors regarding their purchase or building a new one. Next, we identified and explored blogs and posts for specific mention of purchasing such that of Alienware, a top name in gaming, instead of building a computer to try to identify behavioral trends. Additionally, we expanded the search for consumer surveys and studies of gamers and their purchasing preferences and behaviors regarding computers, pre-made computers, and built computers, but the information returned only regarded online purchasing behaviors and not the purchasing behaviors of pre-made or built computers.
Numerous searches for information regarding the purchasing behaviors of gamers for pre-made and for building computers reveal there is not a lot of information. One source that seems promising with regard to this topic is the 2018 Gamer Report Segmentation Syndicated Report that provides information on motivations, behaviors, and preferences of gamers; however, it is not free but it is available for a discount if pre-ordered before July 31. We expanded the scope of the search to include resources that gamers use that would inform their decisions and ultimately their purchasing behaviors.