By Donovan Floyd
When I was a kid, all I ever knew was consoles. PlayStation, Xbox, Game Boy, that was the extent of my knowledge. I was made aware of the PC gaming community as a teenager, but I didn’t care enough to get a PC of my own until a few months ago when I decided it was finally my time to evolve and achieve the ultimate power that I so deserved as a hardcore gamer. Although it was expensive, building my computer is probably the single most rewarding thing someone like me could do (besides the ultimate feeling when you get that triple 360 no-scope killcam on that scrub talking about your mom).
My journey begins on PCPartPicker.com. The name pretty much speaks for itself, but it’s a website where you can pick out all the components needed to build a PC. I, and pretty much every other PC enthusiast out there, love it so much because it goes the extra mile to let you know whether all of the parts you picked out are fully compatible with each other, exactly where you can buy each part, and even how much power your rig (the system) draws so you can pick out the right power supply. It effectively takes care of the hardest part of building a PC for you. Of course, you still can’t just jump in as a complete newb with no technical knowledge. You need to do some research to understand what all the components do and which ones you really need. I recommend using the r/buildapc subreddit community to help you with the planning phase. Once I found all the parts I needed, I ordered them. I also marveled at how light my pockets were feeling afterward.
With all the parts ordered and in my home, it was finally time to get to work. I chose to make my rig a mini-itx (small form factor) build to keep it as portable as possible. The building phase itself was relatively simple. Until then, I had seen about a million build logs from Linus Tech Tips. Even with all that “training,” nothing prepared me for the intimidating number of wires coming from the power supply. The hardest part of the build was figuring out which wires went into which port on the motherboard. The easiest was the ram: two clicks and it’s done. The processor was pretty easy to place as well, but I can’t lie and say I didn’t feel like I was holding the Tesseract from The Avengers as I was installing it. The graphics card was something else entirely. As I held that behemoth of a “card” in my hand, I swear I could hear angels singing from above. The planets aligned, and the world was at peace… Just kidding, but it felt great to be able to hold a GTX 1080 let alone install it. After that, all there was left to do was hook up the SSD drive and manage the cables.
The Awesome Results
In the end, I had a beautiful little machine that somewhat resembled an Xbox One and PS4 mixed together. But it was much more powerful than both of them. I felt a strong sense of pride. I also felt a Dr. Frankenstein-like moment when the BIOS screen popped up and showed all of the devices worked together in sync.
If you’re considering joining this elite club of PC makers, I strongly consider save up your cash and then join using whatever your budget allows. The amazing customizability of PC building allows for many different types of gaming rigs for many different budgets. Still, it’s no secret that building a high-end PC comes with a pretty large price tag. It’s the main reason many hardcore console gamers refuse to switch over, but what they don’t realize is that they aren’t just paying for the ability to play games, they’re paying for… well… a computer.
Donovan Floyd is one of the Circle’s intrepid interns. This is his first story for our website.