I built a PC back in September of 2020. Prices for components weren’t massively inflated like they are nowadays, and I was able to build a solid system with the money I saved up from my first job. It took a lot of help from my knowledgeable friends, but I got everything assembled in just a few hours.
I’d always liked playing video games, but until I had a computer to play them on, I used an Xbox. I didn’t know anything about the hardware inside of my console, and I would be hard-pressed to even tell you what a USB port looked like. But, after building my computer about a year ago, I’ve become much more technologically literate. I’ve learned more and more about computer hardware, and I feel much more confident working with any type of hardware.
I get a ton of enjoyment out of the time I spend using my computer. Since last September, I’ve poured hundreds of hours into playing games I love with my friends. Despite the trouble I had with initially learning to use a keyboard and mouse to play games, I’ve had amazing times playing games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Portal and Minecraft: Java Edition. In addition to almost all of the games that are out on consoles, there are games that are exclusive to PCs. On a computer, Valorant, League of Legends, Dota 2 and many other titles are available, often for free.
One of the best parts about gaming on a PC instead of a console is the long-term savings. You don’t need to pay for online services for a console, and you can get hundreds of games for no cost at all. Plus, building a solid gaming computer can actually cost much less than a new console. PS5s and Xbox Series Xs are going for around $1,000, while a gaming PC with similar power could normally be had for $700 or less (if there wasn’t a graphics card shortage).
Then there’s the intangible gain from building your own computer. Personally, I feel happy every time I see my monitor light up because I know that I assembled all the parts to make it happen. It’s a classic case of effort justification, where the end result feels better because of all of the effort I put in. Even though my system may not have the newest hardware, it’s able to play the games I want at stable frame rates, and it gives me satisfaction knowing that I pieced it all together.
Building a computer can seem like a daunting task at first, but by making smart choices with your budget and following a few guides online, you can have your own system set up quickly and at a good price point. If you’re looking to get started, I recommend checking out Linus Tech Tips’ build guides, the guys over there do a great job making PC building simple and understandable for beginners. If you need any in-person tips, I’ll be around to help. Happy building!