What is barebones PC? Should you buy a barebones PC? Where to buy a barebones PC? How to buy a right barebones PC? In this post, MiniTool Partition Wizard mainly answers these questions to you.

What Does Barebones PC Mean?

What is barebones PC? When you buy a PC, you will get a complete PC with all components including shells, motherboards, CPUs, RAMs, GPUs, hard drives, and peripheral devices. However, a barebones PC is a semi-finished computer, generally without CPU, memory and hard disk.

In other word, barebones PC refers to a machine with a motherboard that integrates the basic display, sound system and common interfaces. As for other accessories, users need to purchase them separately.

Barebones PCs usually do not come preassembled and have no operating system. Therefore, if you don't know how to build a PC and install operating system, barebones PCs may be not suitable for you. The advantage is that you can choose what OS you want to use and they haven't preinstalled some unnecessary programs.

There are barebones PCs for both laptop and desktop PCs. In general, barebones PCs have the following advantages:

  • Small form factor.
  • Easy to carry.
  • Cool appearance.

Their disadvantages are as follows:

  • High price.
  • Poor heat dissipation.
  • PC upgradeability and expandability are not as good as desktops but better than laptops.
  • Troublesome after-sales.
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Is Barebones Good for Gaming?

Whether barebones PCs are good for gaming or not depends on what barebones PC you choose and how to build it. In general, barebones PCs are not as good as desktops PCs, but they are better than laptops.

In addition, there are many excellent barebones gaming PCs like Intel NUC8 NUC8i7HVK, ZOTAC ZBOX-EN1060K-U-W2B MAGNUS Gaming Mini PC, GIGABYTE GB-BRI5H-8250, and Alienware Alpha ASM100-1580.

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Where to Buy Barebones PCs?

Barebones PCs are usually produced by Original Design Manufacturers (ODM) like Quanta, Compal, Wistron, Inventec, Pegatron, ECS, FIC, ARIMA, Mitac, Clevo, MSI, etc. These ODM companies produce PCs for many famous PC brands (OEM) like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Mac, etc. Then, these products will be sold to users as OEM products.

Here are some examples of the relationship between ODM and brands (OEM):

  • Quanta: Dell, HP, Lenovo, Hasee, Apple, Thunderobot, etc.
  • Compal: HP, Toshiba, Lenovo, Dell, etc.
  • Wistron: Acer, Lenovo, Dell, HP, etc.
  • Clevo: Hasee, Terrans Force, Thunderobot, Sager, etc.
  • MSI: MSI, HIPAA, RaBook, etc.

Therefore, you don't need to worry about the quality of barebones PCs, because the quality of the barebones computer and the brand machine is almost the same. But please note that don't buy barebones from unknown stores or unreliable online shops. You can buy these PCs from Alibaba, eBay, R&J Tech, or ODM vendor's official websites.

How to Choose a Right Barebones PC?

After choosing a reliable store, you can then choose which barebones PC to buy. In general, you should pay attention to the following aspects:

  • Whether the CPU and the graphics card are replaceable. Some barebones PCs have CPU and GPU soldered, which is not good for future PC upgrade.
  • The maximum number and capacity of memory it supports. It determines how much GB of RAM you can use.
  • The number of hard disk interfaces, the types of hard disk it supports, the screen interface, etc. This determines what hard drives and display screens you can use, affecting the speed of hard drives and resolution/screen quality of the PC.

In a word, if the barebones laptop has enough interfaces or its hardware is replaceable, you have the opportunity to increase its performance again, just by spending money on the replacement of partial hardware. For machines whose interfaces are few or hardware is soldered, you can only replace the entire machine.

Apart from the above factors, some users may also pay attention to the cooling system or its external features like external multi-screen interconnection, external graphics card, virtual reality, etc.

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