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My Journey To Becoming A PC Gamer: Pt. 1 – Picking Parts

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I’ve been fortunate enough to own pretty much every game console released in the past 20 years, however I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never been interested in PC gaming. In fact, much to the chagrin of my Koalition colleagues I’ve actively spoken out against the notion of playing games on a Windows machine. “PC’s are for spreadsheets”, I’d ignorantly declare. “Why would I want to play a game at a desk when I could play from my couch instead?” As it turns out, I was wrong. And after witnessing the slew of awesome indie games which debuted on the PC last year, I’ve decided to atone for this sin by building my very own super-charged gaming rig.

As a parent and full-time worker I’m finding it increasing difficult to dedicate any of my spare time to gaming. My backlog currently consists of no less than one hundred titles and each month a handful of new games are added to that list thanks to Playstation Plus. As time is always of the essence whenever I sit down with a controller in my hand, I’ve inadvertently taken a shine to Indie games. After all, it’s better to spend 3 hours playing the likes of “Gone Home” to completion than it is playing through the first few chapters of Killzone: Shadowfall before moving on.

Entering the big, bad world of PC gaming without knowing your CPU’s from your GPU’s is an incredible daunting experience. Initially I planned to take the easy route by simply buying something with an Alienware logo on it but as my desire to obtain a PC heightened, it quickly became apparently that PC gaming is about much more than simply playing games at high spec. Hand-picking each component of your machine gives you a euphoric sense of ownership, this feeling simply cannot be replicated with consoles. I’ve spent over month researching, consulting with experts and obsessing over reviews all in effort of building the perfect PC for me.

Over the next few months (on a bi-weekly basis) I’ll be documenting my journey in great detail but for this first instalment I’ll briefly detail each of my chosen components and give you a bit of insight in to my sporadic thought process.

Monitor

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 21.13.54
Samsung S27C750PS

For my Monitor I decided to go with the “Samsung S27C750PS” for two reasons;

  1. It’s Samsung
  2. It allows you to twist the screen around 90 degrees, which may come in handy if I ever decide to get in to Zen Pinball or something.

Reviews also suggest that the image quality is pretty great and its sexy design doesn’t hurt either.

PC Case

Bitfenix Shinobi Midi-Tower Case
Bitfenix Shinobi Midi-Tower Case

Looks were of paramount importance to me when it came to building my PC.  I wanted something sleek and stylish, not something that appears to be harnessing the Aether from Thor. For that reason I went with the Bitfenix Shinobi with Gold Mesh trimmings (seen here). This case has an awesome “Zelda” vibe to it which subtly hints that it’s a gaming powerhouse without shouting it from the rooftop.

GRAPHICS CARD

Asus Nvidia GeForce GTX 780
Asus Nvidia GeForce GTX 780

The GPU is one of the most important components of a gaming PC so choosing the perfect card was extremely overwhelming. I first opted to go with Nvidia over AMD after learning that Nvidia cards are more “noob-friendly”. I then bounced between the GeForce “770” and “780” before settling on the higher end model in a bid to future-proof myself.

PROCESSOR

Intel Core i7 4770K
Intel Core i7 4770K

The general consensus on CPU’s seems to be; Intel has the superior product but AMD’s chips are better value for money. I’ve never been good with money so I snagged an Intel i7 4770k which supports overclocking. I’m not sure if I’ll find myself down the overclocking rabbit hole but I take comfort in knowing that I’ll at least have the option.

MEMORY

Corsair Vengeance 16GB
Corsair Vengeance 16GB

8GBs or 16GBs of RAM? That was the question which haunted me through-out this entire picking process. At the moment 8GBs is more than enough memory for anything outside of hijacking military bases, but at the very last moment before completing my order I decided on 16GBs. Why? See above where I said “I’ve never been good with money”.

STORAGE

Crucial M500 240GB SSD
Crucial M500 240GB SSD

One day we’ll live in a world where 1TB SSD’s grow on trees, but until then these fancy new hard drives are almost prohibitively expensive. The smartest solution for me was to purchase a relatively small SSD (240GB) for my computer’s OS and much beefier HHD (2TB) for my purchased iTunes content (*illegal downloads), Word documents (*N64 ROMs) and family photos (*porn collection).

Other Boring Stuff

Other items that will be forcefully crammed inside my PC include a Corsair RM750 PSU, a Gigabyte Z87-DS3H motherboard and some random Samsung DVD-RW drive that I may or may not use as the world’s worst cup holder. For my operating system I went with the award winning, universally-praised Windows 8 platform and my speakers came courtesy of Speedlink’s bass-heavy Gravity Wave 2.1 series.

So what’s next? In a few days The Koalition’s Gary Swaby will be putting this bad boy together and I’ll be documenting the process for the second part of my Journey To Becoming A PC Gamer.

Until then be sure to check out this semi-related article from our vault and if you have any advice or game recommendations for me please let your voice be heard via the comments section below.

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