Bloomin ‘eck, who turned up the thermostat?
Britain is currently basking in the glory of a bit of a heat wave, with temperatures reaching as high as 30 degrees in some parts of the country. We’ve had nothing but blue skies and sweaty foreheads for two full days now and according to those fine weathermen who pop up at the end of the news, with their funky ties and “just be glad it’s not pissing it down” smile, the festivities are set to continue for at least a few days longer yet. I believe this is what people in other countries call summer. Next week, it’ll probably start snowing again.
Rather than head to the beach or plunge my face into tubs of ice cream however, I’ve been doing something far more exciting. I’ve been stuck inside with the curtains closed building my own PC. Under the glow of low level artificial lighting and surrounded by parts I don’t even know the names of, I somehow managed to construct my own rig. Best of all, I managed to do so without setting fire to the cat or blowing all the household electrics.
Why is this news? Well, it isn’t really. People build working PCs all the time. The difference here however is that those people aren’t idiots, whereas when it comes to computers (and a host of other things) I most certainly am. I used to think a motherboard was just a woman who had nothing to do while the kids were at school, and over the past five years or so of Mac use I forgot that the right mouse button ever existed. I’m the one who puts both zeroes in n00b and the one currently ruining everybody else’s Team Fortress 2 matches. Or at least, I was that guy. Five hours of relatively straightforward PC installation later and I feel like a pro. Not only do I know where each component lives, I know what they do and what they’re contributing to the overall war effort that is maintaining a working computer.
As anyone who has built their own rig can attest to, it’s an immensely satisfying feeling. Especially for those of you who like me are doing it for the first time and with absolutely no prior experience. I’ll forgive Mr. Sakey and both Lewis and Gregg Burnell for shutting off at this point, as I’ve spoken about little else for the best part of a fortnight, but it’s incredibly exciting stuff.
In case you’re wondering, I’ve finally decided to take the plunge mostly in the name of PC gaming. Or becoming a member of the Master Race, if you prefer. Having initially asked Gregg B for assistance and then later stealing pretty much his entire build, I’ve managed to put together a nice looking rig at a decent price. Powered by a 3.3ghz i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 1TB Hard Drive and a 1GB GeForce GTX 560, I’ve finally got my hands on a system capable of running modern games at high specs and decent frame rates. Feels good, man.
This is a particularly bold step for a man who has spent the last fifteen years of his gaming life as an almost exclusively console gamer. I’ve played football management sims since what feels like the dawn of time and have distinct memories of struggling to get the likes of Doom 3 and Far Cry running on an old system a few years ago, but other than that it’s been Dual Shocks and Dreamcasts all the way. To be fair console gaming has always treated me pretty well, and even now I’m getting plenty of positive milage out of my PlayStation 3, but the jump to PC has been an itch I’ve wanted to scratch more and more as time has gone on. Without wanting to fan the flames of fanboy wars, the likes of Steam sales, emulation, digital distribution, the flexibility of mouse and keyboard OR a pad and simply the raw performance boost have proved too much for me to resist any longer. The seed was planted some time ago, but the idea sprouted into a major Oak at the mere mention of Battlefield 3.
So here I am. Well, almost. I’m still waiting for my monitor and a new desk to be delivered before I can properly get started. In the meantime however I’ll continue to bask in the self satisfaction of building my own rig and wait for those all conquering summer Steam sales. The heat might be making me a sweaty mess at the moment, but my PC gaming future is bright, and I can’t wait to get stuck in. Feel free to welcome me to the PC gaming fold with some starter tips or game recommendations in the comments.
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