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The Et Cetera

Building a personal computer is better than buying

Illustration by Alice McCallie/The Et Cetera

People have become more interested in online activities during the pandemic such as streaming and gaming, but some are limited by sluggish technology. 

If you are looking to upgrade your computer, you should consider building one rather than buying. 

Why? Because it is more budget friendly, can save you time and is more personalized and upgradable.

There is a lot of freedom with customizing your computer setup.

You could tailor your computer toward specific needs such as workstations, gaming or streaming. Not to mention you could pick up a new skill as you put electronic components together and build something you will ultimately enjoy using over any standard PC.

Many game console enthusiasts have shifted to gaming via PC because most of the game title exclusives are offered on PC. Musicians have also switched to composing and producing digitally via PC as well.

PCs are extremely versatile and serve multiple purposes, not just gaming. Building a customized PC will grant you more opportunities to be able to do new things that interest you.

People may feel intimidated by the complexity of how computers work, but with a little bit of research and time, you can create something that will be worth it in the long run.

My suggestion for starting is PCPartPicker, a website that allows you to build a PC around a certain budget.

In order to have a functional computer you usually need to have these essential components: a motherboard, central processing unit, graphics processing unit, memory, storage, power supply, case and PC peripherals.

Once you have obtained your PC parts, you can use YouTube to help put the computer together.

I was 16 when I first built a PC. I followed tutorials on YouTube and read building guides, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for you. Think of it as Legos for grownups.

Parts can be purchased through online retailers like Amazon and Newegg or electronic stores. PC parts always go on sale around the holidays, which will ensure you a cheaper deal on the parts you need.

I have seen countless people tossing out computers because something was not working or was too slow. Some gutted PCs can easily be revived by using spare parts and PC building knowledge, which can save you money and eliminates the visits to the repair shop.

Building a PC is not for everyone, but if you are interested in fulfilling your online hobbies, or if you are just a tech savvy person or want to experience something new and hands on, invest your time in a little bit of research and planning before you get to the fun part.

Building opens new doors for things you might be interested in. Although it has a small learning curve, once you get over that bump it becomes a really rewarding experience and gives you a decent piece of technology with minimal stress and spending.

—Johnson Tran is a contributor and an advertising major.

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