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Have You Played... Building Your Own PC?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

OK it's not a game, but I make the rules here, dammit.

If you haven't ever built your own gaming PC, you're selling yourself short.

I've just been talking John through what parts he should pick for a new system, and he's going for the pre-fab option rather than DIY option. I feel frustrated, even though it's not my money or my challenge, because I feel as though it's wasteful. Granted, shop-built PCs - if you pick a sensible site such as PC Specialist - do not necessarily involve the vast markup they once did, but you're still going to spend at least a couple of hundred quid more than you would if you price-checked every part and put it all together yourself.

It's not just about money, though. It's about challenge, and understanding. The game of research, the game of construction, the game of holding your breath when you hit the power button for the first time and pray that this thing you've cobbled together really does spring to life. What a wonderful feeling when it does; a mini-miracle, as though some arcane heart surgery has been survived.

And, of course, doing it once results in a flood of understanding, and the certainty that you will be able to do it again. It is not hard, especially not in an age where full-motion, fully-narrated reference materials are available on every corner of YouTube, but I appreciate that is does seem galling to hold the fate of so much expensive circuitry in one's uncertain hands. Do it once, and that fear dissipates. The knowledge will never leave you. Any future upgrade will be a cakewalk.

It's like learning to ride a bike, only with more PCI slots and thermal paste.

Do it, just once. It'll change your whole relationship with your PC.

Image credit - sgtspike on Reddit.

About the Author

Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

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