Now for Something Completely Different: Building a PC!

In a recent turn of events, I was allowed the money to buy a gaming PC for myself. Giddy and really excited, I quickly put together a list on PCPartPicker for a computer just over $600. And that money went a surprisingly long way. I might not be able to play Battlefield 3 at Ultra settings and get anything more than 20 FPS, but it’ll play most games on mid – high settings and get at least 40 FPS, so I’m happy.

With that being said, this post will be about the process of building a PC. There won’t be any in-depth analysis of anything, but rather a break from the usually serious tone of this blog. Hope you enjoy it!

 

Firstly, a list of the components in my build:

CPU: Intel Pentium G645 2.9GHz Dual-Core Processor
Motherboard: ASRock B75 PRO3-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory: Corsair XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 1GB Video Card
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply
Monitor: Asus VS228H-P 21.5″ Monitor
Keyboard: Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Wired Gaming Keyboard
Total: ~ $620 at the time of buying

This list was ripped almost straight out of the Logical Increments PC Buying Guide, which was very helpful. I used the Entry level list, with a few alterations, mainly the addition of a keyboard, monitor, and different RAM. Now, the build!

It's all here!

It’s all here!

I waited all Monday for the FedEx truck to arrive. I was playing piano, and every time a car sound passed by, I whipped my head to the window on my left until it arrived. I was very excited.

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The G645 with heatsink

I chose not to opt for an aftermarket heatsink because it would be an unnecessary cost and I wont even be overclocking this thing. I don’t even think you can overclock it.

In the socket

In the socket

Oh god, that crunching noise. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be, mainly because I was prepared for it.

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Heatsink on, RAM in

Nothing too exciting here. The RAM was surprisingly heavy, though.

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Video card in

Again, a fairly boring step. Even though I was expecting the card to be small, I didn’t know it would be so big.

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Outside-of-case POST

Heavy PSU. In fact, most of the parts were heavier than I imagined.

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Actual POST

Success! And relief!

Case, bare-boned

Case, bare-boned

This case is bottom of the line, as one would expect. It does the job sufficiently, though. It also has a filter under the PSU, which is a huge boon. I can put my computer on the floor with no worries!

Motherboard installed

Motherboard installed

Putting in the motherboard was mildly frustrating. The IO plate was wonky, and there was some funky maneuvering in order to get the motherboard in.

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Bottom-most standoff screw

The culprit, right here. Well, not this exact one, but it was finicky. Glad it’s over, though.

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Front panel headers

THESE CONFOUNDED THINGS! Putting these things in was a pain in the butt. Luckily, my brother was there to help me out. Thanks, bro!

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All wires plugged in

Cable management was not as difficult or abstract as I thought it would be. It was fairly simple, put the cord through the hole the connection is nearest. Try to make cables lie as flat as possible.

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The backside of the case

Not the prettiest thing, I know, but hey. It’s not like anyone’s going to be scrutinizing these things anyway.

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POST #2, in case

Another success. Good stuff.

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The battlestation

And everything in it’s proper place. The build is finally done.

 

Building the PC was really fun! It was a learning experience and a nice afternoon. The post-building phase, however, was nightmarish. Since I didn’t buy an optical drive (they’re becoming obsolete anyway, if not obsolete already), I couldn’t install the drivers from ASRock. I had to connect to the internet to download the drivers, but to connect to the internet, I needed to download the drivers. After some serious troubleshooting with nothing working, I finally resorted to scavenging my mother’s Legacy PCI wireless card from her computer and plugging it in mine. I managed connect that way, download all the drivers, including the Realtek LAN driver, and I was good to go. Moral of the story? Legacy PCI can save your ass, so it’s a good thing I got a low-end motherboard. That’s also why this post was so late, if you were wondering.

So now, as I write this post, I am downloading a list of selected games in my Steam library (under the title, “The Bibliotheca”) to play and enjoy in mind-boggling 1080p. It’s such a nice feeling knowing most any game I can just turn up to Max on everything and still get a nice framerate.

So, where can I get my Glorious PC Gaming Master Race membership card?

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