Custom PC Build – One Year Later

Just don’t be stupid on what you DL and you’re fine. – PC Guru Sean

That is valid advice in a day and age when being stupid is easy and celebrated. It was in direct response to a question I had about anti-virus software for my soon-to-be-built custom PC. I suggested Norton, the undisputed king of PC security in the 90’s. Sean reassured me computer security has come a long way since then. Using out-of-the-box iMacs and MacBook Pro’s for the better part of a decade has spoiled me rotten. The nature of my design profession informed my decision to upgrade from my late 90’s Dell to my budget Mac Mini way back in 2002.

The start of my journey back to PC

Let’s get started – Custom PC

For the past 4 years,

I have promised my PC buddy Sean (TempestBlayze on Twitch) that I would build a gaming computer. I strung him along, having him send me builds from PC Parts Picker. I even purchased a Samsung 500gb SSD (the very one in my new PC) 3 years ago just to prove to him I was serious. The custom build stalled as life got in the way. Moving and a new baby tends to drain your bank account and available time. The whole project was shelved. I continued feeding Sean the crumbs of hope that a PC build was around the corner.

A year ago, my original iMac gave out on me. The 11-year-old behemoth popped a white screen with the “fail folder” and left me scratching my head. I did 0 research on how to fix the problem. I simply took it as a sign. “Build that PC you keep talking about you lazy oaf!” said the voice in my head.

A voice that sounds a lot like Wilford Brimley.

I popped open my Google Hangouts and let Sean know. It was time.

 

It starts with the case…

Sean’s first reaction was to go quietly. He returned to the chat window with this response:

Step:1 http://www.pcgamer.com/the-nzxt-s340-case-is-down-to-55-on-newegg/?utm_content=buffera8a8f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=buffer-pcgamertw

What followed was a ridiculous purchasing spree from which there was no return. For a complete list of PC parts, you can view the build Sean specced for me here.

Or just scroll down:

Core i5 - My PC Essentials

Core i5 – My PC Essentials

Intel – Core i5-7600K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor

 

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - My PC Essentials

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – My PC Essentials

Cooler Master – Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler

 

MSI - Z270-A PRO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard

MSI – Z270-A PRO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard

MSI – Z270-A PRO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard

 

G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory - My PC Essentials

G.Skill – Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory

G.Skill – Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory

 

Gigabyte - GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Windforce OC Video Card - My PC Essentials

Gigabyte – GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Windforce OC Video Card – My PC Essentials

Gigabyte – GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Windforce OC Video Card

 

SeaSonic - 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply - My PC Essentials

SeaSonic – 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply – My PC Essentials

SeaSonic – 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply

 

Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit - My PC Essentials

Microsoft – Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit – My PC Essentials

Microsoft – Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit

The grind

It was a Sunday evening, and my resolve to put this beast together was strong. After cracking open the motherboard and various fans and doodads, I started assembly. Time seemed to melt away in my hot, airless office. I spent a good portion of 3 hours trying to solve a motherboard/fan issue. The problem was I was scared to screw anything up when connecting the heat sync so I was moving at a snail’s pace.

Umm…the hand bone’s connected to the…heat sync?

After getting over myself and connecting the fan, the rest was a breeze. The fittings and case connections took quite a bit of time since my hands are large and those motherboard connections are so very small. HDD’s, power supply, the graphics card and all the various cables got stuffed in and closed up. The moment of truth was upon me. I flipped the switch and SAMSON hummed to life.

 

No idea what any of that stuff means but it turned on!

The level of sweaty satisfaction I felt was amazing.

 

The Custom PC, A year later

My custom PC

My custom PC

For years I have been at peak work efficiency with my various Mac’s. To this day I use my 2012 Macbook on a daily basis. From time to time I will boot up SAMSON (Yes, I named my PC) and start creating, but the output is usually audio and production files for my production house, Big Large Huge. My web development, complex illustrations and a majority of my branding projects happen on a Mac. I simply refuse to break the cycle.

I need to find a solid workflow that will make me more at home with my PC.  The wonderful thing about a custom PC is you can make it into whatever you want. This one started as a gaming rig for 4k streaming but it is quickly morphing into a production computer for high-quality

podcasts like Super. Black. and future video ventures.

Does anyone have any ideas or advice on turning this puppy into a giant production rottweiler? Drop me a line and let me know.

 

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