Dell Computer Parts
Dell Computer Parts

Whenever you try to upgrade or repair a PC – this question does pop up – do name brand computers, like Dell, HP, or Lenovo, use the same components as those in custom-built PCs? Let’s boot up this topic and explore the intricacies of computer hardware!

name brand computer

Understanding the Basics

Firstly, it’s essential to differentiate between the two primary categories of PCs:

  1. Name Brand or Pre-Built PCs: These are machines manufactured by established companies and sold as complete systems. Think of your typical Dell Inspiron or HP Pavilion.
  2. Custom-Built PCs: These are assembled by individuals or specialized shops from individually purchased components, tailored to specific needs or preferences.

Components: Brand vs. Custom

  • Central Processing Unit (CPU): Both name brand and custom-built PCs often use CPUs from major manufacturers like Intel or AMD. So, whether you buy a Dell laptop or build a PC yourself, the chances are that you could be using an Intel Core or AMD Ryzen processor.
  • Graphics Processing Unit (GPU): Similarly, for graphics cards, big names like NVIDIA and AMD dominate the market. Both pre-built and custom systems frequently sport GPUs from these manufacturers.
  • Memory (RAM): Brands like Kingston, Corsair, and Crucial provide RAM modules for a wide range of PCs. Name brand computers might use these, or they might have their own contracts with specific manufacturers.
  • Storage: Whether it’s a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or a Solid State Drive (SSD), brands like Seagate, Western Digital, and Samsung are common suppliers for both categories of PCs.
  • Motherboards: This is where some differentiation can occur. While name brand PCs often use proprietary motherboards designed for their specific models, custom-built PCs use motherboards from brands like ASUS, MSI, or Gigabyte.
  • Power Supply Unit (PSU) and Cooling: Name brand PCs typically have proprietary PSUs and cooling solutions. In contrast, custom-built PCs offer a broader range of choices, often leaning towards aftermarket cooling solutions and PSUs from brands like Corsair, Cooler Master, or EVGA.

So, Are They the Same?

While many internal components, like CPUs, GPUs, RAM, and storage, can be the same across both categories, there are notable differences. Pre-built PCs from major brands might have proprietary parts, especially when it comes to motherboards, PSUs, and cooling solutions. These proprietary components can sometimes make future upgrades or repairs a tad more challenging compared to custom-built systems.


In essence, while there’s overlap in the components used in name brand and custom-built PCs, there are also distinct differences, especially concerning adaptability and upgradability. Whether you opt for a name brand or a custom rig, the key is understanding your needs and ensuring the components align with your tech aspirations.


  1. Is it cheaper to buy a name brand PC or build one? It depends on the specifications and use-case. For high-end gaming or professional workstations, custom-built might offer better value. However, for general use, name brand PCs often provide competitive pricing with good specs.
  2. Are name brand PCs less powerful than custom-built ones? Not necessarily. The power depends on the specifications chosen. Both categories can range from entry-level to high-performance systems.
  3. Is it hard to build a custom PC? With the right resources and some research, most individuals can successfully build a PC. There’s a plethora of online tutorials and communities to assist newcomers.
  4. Are custom-built PCs more prone to issues? If assembled correctly with compatible components, custom PCs are as reliable as name brand ones. However, building requires careful attention to detail.
  5. Can I customize a name brand PC? To some extent, yes. Components like RAM and storage are often upgradable. However, proprietary parts in some name brand PCs might limit extensive customization.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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