Oscar Lavitt ’23
First and foremost, the title; no, I never have built my own PC. Am I qualified to tell you how to? Probably not, but the multitude of YouTube videos I have watched on the subject probably qualifies me to at least talk about them.
In any case, a PC (personal computer) is a great device to have. From video editing to gaming, a PC can have many applications. Of course, if you are in the market for a PC, you must be aware of a few things.
Firstl, PCs are expensive, really expensive. If you are in the market for a good gaming rig, be prepared to drop at least a thousand dollars to get your money’s worth on the games you may have bought. Add on peripherals such as a good monitor, a headset, a gaming mouse and a keyboard, and this purchase can easily exceed 2000 CAD.
On top of this cost, if you purchased a prebuilt PC, oftentimes the companies that sell them will cheap out on some of the parts to save money. Companies exist solely to make money, so it is of little consequence to them if the included power supply is terribly inefficient. Of course, there are exceptions. Prebuilt computers are often filled with bloat-ware (the term used for random programs that consume large amounts of storage and potentially expose data).
Some companies will make wonderful prebuilt rigs, but these are few and far between. Prebuilt computers may have hardware that is years old or not as well made. The final nail in the coffin is the fact that much of the time, a prebuilt computer is more expensive than one you could build yourself.
There is an alternative to solve the slew of problems that can come with a prebuilt computer, and this comes in the form of building one yourself. “Building” a PC may sound intimidating, but nowadays, it is considered by many to be simple as assembling Lego bricks. All one must do is purchase parts, and then assemble them. This opens a whole new world of options to customize your gaming rig, as well as making it easier to upgrade.
A computer that you build yourself is the best way to ensure you have what you want. You can choose from a wide range of parts and price ranges. For example, you can choose your CPU (essentially the main “brain” of the PC) and your GPU (a bit like the CPU but more graphics oriented), finding the best prices and parts for your personal rig.
Lastly, you can customize how it looks. You don’t have to settle for the designs sold at Best Buy, as there are a multitude of different case types, RGB options (the type of lighting found in PCs), and many other factors that can make your PC look the way you want it to look.
If you are committed to getting a PC, building one yourself is definitely a good option. It teaches you about the computer itself, while also opening a near-infinite number of possibilities going towards customization and upgrading. I have one word of advice to those who want to a good PC, however: build one instead of writing about one.
Photo Credit: Rolling Stone/Joshua Kanter