Can You Improve a Prebuilt PC?

Can You Improve a Prebuilt PC?

Can You Improve a Prebuilt PC?
Lia Sanz/

Though it is not all the time cost-effective and typically proprietary connectors make it a trouble, you may improve practically all elements on all prebuilt desktop computer systems.

Prebuilt computer systems can provide a fairly stable worth, particularly when components are scarce. However are you able to improve them like you could possibly with a pc you constructed your self?

You Can Improve Something, At a Price

Earlier than we dig into the specifics, let’s get one thing out of the way in which proper out of the gate. You’ll be able to improve any prebuilt desktop PC if you’re keen to throw sufficient cash at it.

You’ll be able to swap the case, purchase new followers, put a unique exhausting drive in, swap the PSU, purchase extra RAM, swap out the CPU, and even exchange your entire motherboard. If you happen to’re keen to spend, there’s no actual restrict to what you may swap out or improve. Even for machines which have proprietary connectors or components, you may virtually all the time work round that by changing items, shopping for adapters, and so forth.

Realistically, nonetheless, you’re in all probability not going to such lengths with a prebuilt PC just because when you get into swapping out main elements, the elevated expense wipes out the largest factor prebuilt PCs have going for them: price financial savings.

Nonetheless, whether or not you will have a prebuilt PC you’d wish to improve, otherwise you’re contemplating upgrading the one you have already got, right here’s a breakdown of what you may improve and a few issues to pay attention to whereas planning your improve path.

Upgrading a Prebuilt PC, Half by Half

Whether or not or not a specific improve is well worth the trouble largely relies on your finances, how a lot you need what the improve provides, and your willingness to fuss round with rebuilding your machine.

We are able to’t offer you particular recommendation as each machine is totally different, however what we are able to do is spotlight how simple or tough a specific improve is and whether or not or not it’s usually value it or not.


Including extra RAM to a prebuilt PC is actually easy and, of all pc upgrades, about as plug-and-play because it will get.

With a RAM improve, the largest factor to recollect is that you just’re restricted to the technology and magnificence of RAM your prebuilt PC’s motherboard helps. For instance, you may’t put DDR5 RAM sticks in a motherboard that solely helps DDR4.

In case your prebuilt PC is a bit mild on RAM that is usually a quite simple and cheap improve.

Arduous Drives

Arduous drive connections are standardized, and also you gained’t discover prebuilt computer systems with bizarre drive connectors. Swapping out a mechanical HDD for an SSD is a unbelievable improve we incessantly advocate.

The one exhausting drive improve difficulty you’ll possible run into is a scarcity of extra superior exhausting drive connectors like an M.2 slot. That can restrict you to utilizing common SSD drives as a substitute of the extra superior NVME drives.

Total upgrading the exhausting drive is an easy operation, though you’ll need to clone the disk if you wish to copy every little thing, together with the OEM-licensed copy of Home windows, from the outdated construct to the brand new construct.


The motherboard interface for GPUs is standardized. You’ll be able to drop any card from as we speak and even older playing cards into the PCIe x16 slot with none difficulty.

If you happen to run into points upgrading the GPU of your prebuilt, it gained’t be the PCIe x16 slot, it’ll possible be the case, the PSU, or a mix thereof.

In case your prebuilt PC is utilizing the processor’s iGPU or a smaller video card, then it’s attainable the case merely isn’t large enough to simply accept the scale of cumbersome fashionable playing cards. A few of the playing cards in the marketplace now are so lengthy that they require you to buy circumstances with sufficient depth to accommodate them.

Additional, the facility calls for of GPUs hold rising, so the PSU included together with your prebuilt might not have the ability to deal with a GPU improve. On the actually skimpy aspect, the PSU may not even have the right energy connections mandatory for the beefier GPU.


If you happen to improve your prebuilt PC and discover that the prevailing PSU is underwhelming otherwise you’re simply not impressed with the standard of the PSU that got here with it, you may improve it. On condition that the PSU is the inspiration of the construct, it’s all the time good to have a high quality one.

Swapping one PSU for an additional is trivial if the motherboard has commonplace energy connectors. If in case you have a prebuilt from an organization that makes use of proprietary connectors—like Dell and HP do on a lot of their machines—it’s a bit trickier.

With proprietary connections, you’ll both discover you’re locked into a specific PSU otherwise you’ll have to hunt for adapters for that particular prebuilt PC line to can help you use a normal off-the-shelf PSU with that motherboard.

CPU and CPU Cooler

CPU sockets are standardized, and you may often, with ease, improve a CPU so long as it makes use of the identical socket and the board helps the chip. You’ll have to take away the cooler, paste the brand new CPU with new thermal paste, and exchange the cooler, but it surely’s not that large of a trouble.

One factor to pay attention to if you wish to improve the cooler as a substitute of merely changing the outdated one is that some prebuilt producers use non-standard cooler mounting holes and plates. In that case, you may’t simply drop in an off-the-shelf choice for that specific socket sort.


Upgrading the motherboard is an enormous improve as a result of it’s a must to dissemble your prebuilt pc to swap out the motherboard, and you could want further components if a number of the elements of your outdated construct (just like the RAM) aren’t suitable with the brand new motherboard.

On the whole, we’d advise in opposition to it because it hardly ever brings any actual efficiency enhancements except you’re upgrading to a greater processor, higher RAM, or each.

When you’ve reached the mother-board-replacement stage, it’s much less like upgrading a prebuilt PC and extra like constructing a brand-new one with cannibalized components.

Pc Case

For probably the most half, prebuilt computer systems are likely to have both boring circumstances or circumstances which are so colourful and loaded with that gamer RGB flashiness that you just is perhaps inclined to swap them out.

And even when the boring design or extra RGB results don’t hassle you, oftentimes prebuilt machines have horrible airflow and cooling.

So long as your prebuilt pc has a normal motherboard (or at the very least commonplace board standoff spacing, even when the board has proprietary connections) it is best to have the ability to pull it from the outdated case and drop it proper into the brand new case.

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