IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BUILD YOUR OWN PC
SOMETHING STRANGE has just happened in the PC market. Something that bucks the trend. The decline in PC sales that we’ve seen since 2011 has experienced a hiccup. Just for a change, we saw a small increase for the second quarter of 2018 compared to the previous year. It’s subtle, and it may not signify a major shift, but it could turn out to be the start of something bigger.
To throw some figures behind this, according to Gartner, the second quarter of 2018 saw the likes of HP, Dell, and Lenovo ship 14.51 million PCs across the United States. Compare that with the 14.26 million for the same time frame the previous year, and you’re looking at growth of 1.7 percent. This is echoed to a lesser extent by the global market, which saw a 1.4 percent rise from 2Q17’s 61.3m shipments up to 62.1m for 2Q18.
While this is good news for the health of the PC as a whole—and should help keep pricing in check, among other things—there’s a few important things that these figures don’t capture. They don’t include anyone upgrading their systems, the growth in relatively niche areas—such as high-end systems and gaming PCs—and, importantly for this month’s intro, machines that users have built themselves.
Building your own machine is a rite of passage for many users. Even if you later return to whole system purchases, the process of building your own rig is an invaluable exercise in terms of understanding how machines are put together. It shows you what your money actually buys, where the extra time and effort needs to be spent to turn a perfectly functional system into something you can cherish, and puts value behind any component you use. We heartily recommend building a PC at least once in your life.
This issue, we show you how to build a budget gaming system that punches well above its weight. And we do so in a level of detail that we haven’t done before: Every connection, every screw, every decision, and every process is covered in intricate detail, to make sure nothing can go wrong. If you’ve never undertaken a system build before, this guide is for you. Alternatively, if you have a friend who could benefit from such a guide, please pass this issue on to them (once you’ve finished reading it yourself, of course), and see what they can produce.
The final machine is an impressive system in its own right, more than capable of handling the vast majority of common tasks. With a few choice upgrades as you go, there’s no reason that it couldn’t stay with you for years to come. Or, if you need more power right now, you can tweak the specification from the start, and build a PC that hits your sweet spot straight away.
On a final note, if you have any tips or experiences you’d like to share with your fellow readers, please drop us a line to the email address below, and we’ll share them on our letters page. Happy building!