Barebone-PCWhen it comes to buying a computer, there are many different alternatives to choose between.

You could opt for a desktop PC or a laptop, while tablet PCs are also becoming increasingly popular – and there are more choices besides these. One option which not many people even know about is the barebones PC.

Generally more commonly chosen by experienced users with some technological know-how, barebones PCs are often considerably cheaper than pre-assembled devices – so it’s not hard to see why many people prefer them. However, before you rush out and buy that barebones kit, it’s well worth getting acquainted with what barebones PCs actually offer.

Barebones PCs – what you need to know

In a nutshell, a barebones PC is – as the name might suggest – an either partly assembled or unassembled kit which comes with some of the basic components a functioning computer needs. Barebones are also called base systems. Barebones PCs often include pre-used computer parts and sometimes come with the tower unit. Although additional components are required on top of what’s included in the barebones package in order to get the computer up and running, barebones PCs often come at least partially assembled. Barebones units can often be purchased either directly from manufacturers or from private individuals – usually hobbyists who take some interest in home computer assembly.

There are a number of components which are commonly found in barebones computer units. These include the motherboard, power supply, optical drive and cooling apparatus. There may, of course, be more included in the kit – this may depend on how much you’re prepared to pay. A hard drive may also be included, for example, as might a central processing unit, adapters and RAM.

Is a barebones PC suitable?

Just looking at the price tag, a barebones PC might well sound like a tempting option – particularly if you’re looking to save money, as many of us no doubt are at the moment. However, it is important to remember that if you’re going to assemble a barebones PC successfully, then you will at least need to have some technical know-how as well as a not-inconsiderable supply of patience in order to get the job done properly. Assembling a barebones PC isn’t something that anyone should go into without knowing that they’re going to be able to complete the task. There is, after all, a reason why barebones kits are cheaper than ready-assembled computers.

The internal architecture of a typical barebone desktop system you can see on the image below.

Typical barebone desktop system

However, there are other advantages to opting for a barebones PC kit. For one thing, barebones kits allow users to upgrade old computer devices with relative ease – so if you have a computer which is showing signs of wear and tear or is slower than you’d like it to be, a barebones kit could be ideal in helping you to bring your computer back up to date. This is also a good way of recycling old computer parts, rather than simply sending them off to landfill – in fact, you’d be surprised just how many components of old computers can be salvaged and used again.

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Louise Clarke is a freelance writer that has an interest in technology she is currently curating articles with –