Reasons to Build a Computer
by Jakob Saloner
When most people go to the store to buy a computer, they have no real idea about what they are looking for. They speak to the employee wandering about the aisles and you tell them their needs, and walk home with something that has most of the hardware they’ll need for the money they were willing to spend to get it. This seems simple, but to a growing community of people, this is out of the question. Some people want to build a PC. This has some drawbacks, however.
Coming into the community, most people will need hours of research, and will sometimes have to deal with high maintenance systems that can be faulty. With some custom built computers costing over three thousand dollars, the question arises, why do so many people go through so much trouble? A large part of the PC building community is gamers, as a nice PC will yield unrivaled gameplay with top of the line graphics, amazing frame rates, and an overall superior gaming experience than anything that could be found on a gaming console.
Another reason to build a PC is its customizability. If one wants a desktop with tons of fast storage, with but nothing else of note, you would either have to pay for a high end PC with more than you need with more than you would like to spend, or end up sacrificing on hardware that you really want. This is where PC building comes in. By choosing exactly what is wanted, one will find a PC that meets their specifications, and it will work well.
Some Apple users also build computers, and build what are called “Hackintosh” computers. The idea is simple: Build a tower with comparable hardware as a mac desktop, but with a fraction of the price. Similarly to hackintoshing, many build computers just because it can be better value for the parts they need. Some like building computers for what’s called futureproofing. Instead of getting a new computer once every three years or so, you can build a high end computer. Once the parts go out of date, one can simply upgrade the necessary part, and have a satisfactory experience.
Another, less utilitarian reason to build a computer, and the reason that I did, is for fun. Learning about how a computer works, choosing parts, managing specifications, and assembling the parts is, almost counterintuitively, fun. It is satisfying to boot a newly assembled computer, and it is gratifying to be part of a supportive and competitive community. Many love the challenge of liquid cooling their computer (See Photo) as well as the competitiveness of who, among your friends can build a better computer, are exciting. Like many hobbies, the community isn’t just a celebration of the platform but of a joint passion, fueled by excitement and by each other.