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I’m a tech nerd. I’ve been that way since my dad gave me his old work laptop for my 12th birthday. I almost instantly fell in love with the way computers work. I felt like the king of the world, with its resources at my fingertips. Maybe that’s why I decided to get into PC building. 

Over the years, I’ve followed the tech world with vigor. I have always wanted to build my own computer, but it always seemed just out of reach — the parts I wanted were too expensive, I had to focus on school, or I had other endeavors to focus my spending on.

Working from home presented the perfect storm to allow me to do something I’ve always wanted to do. So I carefully picked out my parts, and completed my first adult lego set!

Should you still build a PC in 2022?

Building a PC is starting to become a bit of a hobbyist ordeal. It used to be really easy to build a computer that could out-compute the latest console. But lately, the PS5 and XBOX Series One are offering amazing graphics capabilities for the average gamer. Plus the cost of a PC is becoming more and more expensive while the cost of a gaming console has stayed relatively the same. 

But there is still good reason to build your own PC. PC, or personal computers, are way more resourceful. On my own PC, I have taught myself the basics of HTML and CSS, started my career in Web Design, and use it every single semester for various different school projects. 

So to help you convince yourself or your parents that the money won’t be a waste, here are the specs of the computer I built in 2020 for less than $800 that is still amazing to this day. 

Great PC parts tend to last as long as you need them to. 

I built a computer in February 2020. It might have been the best time in the last 3 years to build a PC. It was right before lock down so the PC / work-from-home craze was not quite hitting store shelves yet. It was also right around the time the Nvidia 2000 series hadn’t been released but had been anounced. So panicked Geforce 1000 series owners were trying to sell their old GPU’s before they became “worthless.”

So I built a PC with the following parts 

  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600 
  • MSI b450 Tomahawk 
  • AMD radeon RX 580 
  • 2 500GB SSD’s 

As I wanted to get into more intense games, I sold my AMD RX 580 and bought a GTX 1080. I hit a lucky time in history and got a great PC put together for around  $950 total out of pocket. 

If you can find these parts and are wondering if they are worth it, this might actually be the best esports PC setup you can run and is even capable of running more intense games at 1080p 60 fps. Generally speaking you will be running games in medium settings but the combination is insanely good value if you can find the right prices. 

This isn’t just me trying to show off my first build (it is a little bit of that). I realized computer building was me achieving a goal I always had but never pursued.

I think there are a couple of ways you can look at self-quarantine. You can look at it as an unfortunate situation you just need to get through OR you can look at it as an opportunity to discover old ambitions and pursue those. This is as good a time as any to check in with yourself. What do you want in life? What are your passions? What did you want to do when you were a kid?

Now I don’t have to look back at quarantine as an unfortunate reality of life, but as the time I got to build my first computer.

This was my way of making the best of a bad situation. What are yours?

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