If you are into online gaming but way past those you can play on your smart phone from Virgin Mobile USA, then you have to consider either a desktop PC or a laptop. In general, desktop PCs are the best when it comes to gaming. It can match the performance of any gaming laptop with similar specs at a fraction of the price. Laptops are just clunkier than desktops. When something major goes bust, you can simply replace the offending part (which is more easily accessible than laptop parts, another major plus) instead of ditching the whole caboodle. However, the flexibility of desktop PCs makes it hard for new gamers make the decision to buy a branded computer or build one to specs. Here are some things you have to consider.
Branded desktop PCs, i.e. packaged as a single cohesive unit by the manufacturer such as Compaq or Dell, are usually more expensive than an assembled one with the same specs. If you want to spend less, you should just build one to specs. Most computer shops selling the components will advice you based on the game you want and even assemble it for you. You do not need to have any technical know-how to build one.
There may be a problem with component compatibility, however, especially if compatible third-party parts are not available from your supplier. Some built systems with compatibility issues can conflict, lag, or crash. When one component goes berserk, it can damage other components, as well.
There is also the issue of software. Most branded computers are bundled with an operating system, so you will not have to buy it separately.
There is also the question of the warranty. Branded computers usually come with a one-year warranty on parts and services in case one or more parts turn out to be defective. The components of built computers may also come with a warranty. However, this may be void if the damage is because of another part from a different company.
Whether you choose to buy a package or build your desktop PC will ultimately depend on your personal preferences. Overall, however, branded computers are the better choice especially for a newbie.