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My PC Specifics - Part 2.5 of 4 on How to Build a Computer: Advice from a Local Big Sister

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend checking out my last post on Planning and Buying Parts for your pc build where I give more detailed advice on the what, where, when, and why of pc part research.

This is going to be a breakdown/introduction to my computer build as an example for you to use for your build. As an FYI, my budget was $1,000 so the parts you are looking at may be more or less expensive depending on what you are willing to spend. This build was also a combination of a gaming build merged with a graphic design build. I’ll be sure to call out which parts were nicer quality for which build below.

 This is a photo of my computer’s guts

This is a photo of my computer’s guts

So without further ado, it’s time to meet my technological daughter! <3

After all the work, research, and money I’ve put into her, she feels a bit like what I assume Doctor Frankenstein felt when his creation first came to life. And as an added bonus, my computer can’t attack local villagers like his creation did.

I built her with function over form in mind - meaning that I didn’t focus on all the parts being similar colors or getting LEDs to show off the guts. I just focused on getting good quality parts that were within my $1,000 budget. I could definitely see myself getting into the design and coloring of my pc later in life, but for my first build I wasn’t too concerned with that.

Her Specs/Guts

Processor (CPU): Intel 8th Gen Core i5-8400 ($170) -- I opted for a nicer CPU due to graphic design programs tending to be harder on CPUs. If you were going for a straight gaming build with the same budget, you could opt for a cheaper CPU.

Graphics Card (GPU): MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti ($200) -- Better quality GPU since I use this computer for gaming. If this were a graphic design only build, a simpler GPU would be fine.

Motherboard: MSI ATX Z370-A Pro ($100)

Memory (Ram): 8GB DDR4 ($87)

Solid State Drive (SSD): Crucial MX300 275GB ($110)

Power Supply (PSU): EVGA 500 B1 ($50)

Case: Fractal Design Focus G ATX Mid Tower ($50)

Fans: Set of Two 120mm Case Fans ($6) -- Two nice fans already came in my case so I only bought two more.

WiFi Adapter: Netgear Wireless AC Adapter ($60) -- I actually forgot to buy this until after I built the whole machine so it technically wasn’t in my budget, but seeing as you’ll probably also use one, I added it to the total cost below.

Monitor: Acer 23.8 inch Monitor ($130) -- I already had this to use with my laptop so I didn’t have to add this into my budget, but I will add it into the total for this exercise.

Keyboard and Mouse: Logitech MK520 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo ($30)

DVD/CD Drive: Asus DVD-RW Drive ($20)

Operating System (OS): Windows 10 ($100)

Total Cost: $1,113 (without monitor, $983)

Remember to add in the cost of your security system, design programs, and anything else you know you will need to get your computer build set up. I didn’t add them here because those will differ from person to person and can vastly change your total cost. And another reminder, I got these parts during Amazon Prime Day 2018 so they were likely cheaper than they are now.

In the next part of this series I’ll go into Building Your PC, such as where parts should go, fan set up, and in depth tutorials that I recommend. That’s coming out on Nov. 26th, around when your purchases will probably be arriving from Amazon and Newegg, so stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed meeting my computer! What kind of setup are planning to build? Have you giving your computer a name?

Until next time,

Caitlin