About 2 months ago, Logical Increments reader Eric decided it was time to build his first PC. He had wanted to build his own gaming PC for years, but he didn’t have the funds until getting his first job out of college. With the job secured, he said he finally felt confident to build a PC for himself after researching online and talking with other Logical Increments readers in the Disqus comments section on our homepage.
“For five long years, I have only had a medium-end Dell laptop, which was a present from my parents,” Eric said. “It was only suitable for lightweight gaming (my Skyrim experience was disappointing) and has been getting more obsolete over time.”
To replace the aging laptop, he put together the following build:
- GPU: Gigabyte GTX 970 Gaming G1
- CPU: Intel Core i5-4460
- Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97P-D3
- RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3
- PSU: Seasonic S12II 620W
- SSD: Mushkin Chronos 120GB
- HDD: Seagate 1TB
- Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer
- Monitor: ASUS VX229H
- Keyboard: G.Skill Ripjaws KM780 Cherry Red
- Mouse: G.Skill Ripjaws MX780
The first component Eric acquired was the GTX 970 graphics card. He was originally planning to get a GTX 960 because of the large cost difference, but then he found a used GTX 970 on a second-hand marketplace for the price of a GTX 960, and decided to take a leap of faith and buy it. Thankfully, the 970 worked without any problems, and it’s running games incredibly well at 1080p resolution. (Buying hardware second-hand often works out just fine, though we at Logical Increments do not officially recommend used components because of the heightened risk of failure.)
Eric purchased the rest of the components through a mix of online and physical retailers. He’s especially happy about investing in the G.Skill mechanical keyboard.
Eric said that figuring out the right balance between price and performance for the components was the most difficult part.
“I definitely didn’t want to regret the premium for overkill gadgets, nor did I want a machine that would turn out to be less powerful than expected,” he said.
Thankfully, everything turned on with his first attempt. The total build time was just over 2 hours.
Eric says his plan is to continue gaming with his new build for the next few years, and then upgrade to a build that’s capable of 1440p or 4K gaming.
His biggest piece of advice for first-time builders is to be very sure of the components you want before you buy anything. Watch and read reviews (“especially negative ones”), follow some build guides, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
All photos by Eric Olmedo. We’d like to thank Eric for sharing his story and photos with us. If you’ve recently built a PC and would like to share your experience, we’d enjoy talking to you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.