A few years ago, Logical Increments reader Harley was surfing the internet on a Toshiba Windows XP laptop when he decided he needed a new computer. The laptop was the first computer Harley had ever owned, but by early 2013, he knew he wanted something a little more powerful.
At first, he started researching a laptop to buy for himself. But as he started reading deeper, he came across videos on YouTube about how to build your own desktop. And then he found Logical Increments, and saw our spreadsheet of PC hardware choices.
Once he realized that regular people build their own computers all the time, Harley was hooked on the idea.
“At first I thought you’d have to take a few years of electrical engineering, but no — you don’t,” he said.
Eventually, Harley ordered a computer case, the white Cooler Master Storm Stryker. And with that, he was committed to building his own PC.
As more parts started to arrive, the excitement grew. Soon, he had all the necessary parts sitting in boxes in his living room. It was time to put them together — something he had never conceived of doing less than a year earlier.
Researching hardware and deciding on parts was the most challenging aspect of the build, but Harley said he felt confident relying on the Logical Increments parts list as a rough guide. Here’s his current setup:
- GPU: EVGA GTX 980 Ti
- CPU: Intel i5-3570K
- Motherboard: MSI MPower Z77
- RAM: 16GB G.Skill DDR3-2133
- SSD: 250GB (plus an extra 230GB drive)
- HDD: 2TB & 3TB
- PSU: Corsair CX750
- Cooler: CM Hyper 212 Evo
- Fans: CM Silent 120mm Red LED Fans
- LEDs: NZXT Sleeved LED Kit
- Mouse: Anker 8200 DPI Gaming Mouse
- Keyboard: Microsoft Sidewinder X4
- Monitor: ASUS PB287Q 4K LED
- 2x Xbox 360 Controllers
- Hyper X Cloud headset
Harley used the Toshiba laptop to watch “How to Build a PC” videos as he assembled his new desktop, which is a very dependable way to build a PC for the first time. (We recommend this high-quality video series by Newegg.)
When Harley wrote to us, he already had about 45 games installed on his PC. Some of his favorites are the Dead Space series, Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid V, the Battlefield series, and the Far Cry series.
When we first heard Harley’s story, we were impressed by how quickly he decided to take the leap and build his own computer after becoming acquainted with the world of custom PCs. In response, he had some simple advice for other aspiring PC builders:
“Just don’t think about it — do it!”
All photos courtesy of Harley Walter. We’d like to thank Harley 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.