All my life I have been a console gamer, starting on the PlayStation 1, all the way up to the PlayStation 4. The closest I got to PC gaming was either playing on my mate’s gaming PC or playing Football Manger on my laptop. I was quite happy as a console gamer, until the recent events regarding PS4 Pro and Project Scorpio came to light.
The idea of having mid-generation console upgrades, that would mean I would no longer have the best experience possible unless I upgraded, caused me to reconsider my position as a console gamer. I had always looked enviously at PC gamers who are able to play games with a better performance than their console counterpart, and the fact that PC gamers got to experience lots of indie games that never come to console.
The cost of a good enough PC was the only thing that put me off. Having to pay for a new console every couple of years or so made PC gaming look cheaper in the long run, as I would only need to make incremental upgrades to my PC every few years.
I began to thoroughly research good gaming PC deals, but I was advised to seriously consider building it myself as it would turn out cheaper. At first I scoffed at the idea of me building a PC, but further research and talking on forums led me to believe that it wouldn’t be as difficult as I expected.
A couple of weeks later I had got together a list of components that would be compatible with each other using the great website PCPartPicker. My main aim was to build a PC powerful enough to run a game I’m eagerly anticipating called Planet Coaster, however I then found that I would be within budget to build a PC more powerful than needed just for that game. I decided to spend that bit extra so that I could have a PC that was a bit more futureproof.
So then I went to order all the parts listed below:
Motherboard: ASRock H110M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1151 motherboard – £51.99
CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz quad-core processor – £181.90
Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 memory – £66.92
SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5″ solid state drive – £39.99
HDD: Samsung 2TB – £79.99 (This was actually a hard drive I bought a while ago to put into my PlayStation 4 but never got around to putting in.)
Graphics card: Asus GeForce GTX 970 4GB STRIX video card – £199.99
Case: Thermaltake Versa H21 ATX mid-tower case – £30.99
Power supply: Deepcool 750W 80+ Gold Certified ATX power supply – £59.99
Monitor: Samsung 24 inch 1080p monitor – £119.99
Gaming keyboard and mouse – £29.99
Operating system: Windows 10 – £79.99
Wireless USB: £4.99
Altogether this came to a total of £946.72 (I have included delivery costs in this as I signed up for a month’s free trial on Amazon Prime, so got free delivery on everything).
Once everything had arrived I set upon putting it together. There are lots of useful guides out there on the Internet in written and video form. I actually preferred the written guides by PC Gamer, as then I was able to look for certain things on the motherboard they were describing – rather than watching a video of a different motherboard to mine.
Following the step-by-step guides for each component was very easy to do, and the only thing I found to be fiddly was trying to connect the power cables for different components onto the motherboard, due to the pins being extremely small.
The biggest tip I would give to anyone building their first PC would be to use the cable management system of the case as you are doing the build, otherwise things can get very messy cable-wise later on, which will make the build much harder.
I went to push the power button with trepidation, but was delighted when I saw the boot screen come on with no errors. All I then had to do was put in the Windows 10 USB and follow the simple install process until I had my own fully working PC.
It was a daunting prospect at first, but I would fully recommend doing it if you are sitting on the fence regarding building a PC. I was a complete novice and I found it much easier than I thought I would. I am committed to the cause now too, as I starting to read about all things PC gaming related, so that I can keep my PC in the best shape possible now and in future. And so that I am ready for any future upgrades I may decide to do.
Now just counting down the days until the next Steam sale!