Though I've always been much more of a software guy, hardware definitely intrigues me. I've been fascinated with computers since I was a young boy, when I first started playing computer games and using the computer. I love to learn about how things work, so I have in the past been known to take things apart to see what makes them tick so to speak, which in turn then allows me to learn and then hopefully put it back together. So naturally that means I have taken apart a few computers in my day. I am definitely no engineer, but I have a deep enough understanding to be able to tell what is going on, and can usually tell in most cases what needs to happen to fix something that's not functioning properly.
Because of this knowledge though, I have on a few occasions built some desktop gaming computers for friends and family (and myself of course). In addition, I have fixed up a few desktops and many laptops as well, giving me even more knowledge in computer building and repair. While it's not my main line of work, it's something I like to do on the side, and presents a fun challenge when it comes up.
Below are some pictures and a bit of information of the more major builds I have worked on/put together. Click on the images below to see a larger version of it, or read the system build specs and information if you're interested in what the end-result was.
My first official desktop gaming computer was built in 2015. This one was one I built for myself, as at the time I was just starting to get into building computers and more graphic-intensive gaming. I wasn't doing computer repairs on the side yet at the time. I don't have a lot of pictures of this one, but here are a couple pictures of the completed build internals, one with the LED lights on and one without. The cable management in this build could have been a bit better, but for my first build it wasn't too bad.
Between the years 2015 and 2018 I worked on a couple smaller projects that I didn't think to document. However in 2018 I worked on another major project. This one I worked on for a former co-worker who hired me to build his son a computer. At the time, prices for pre-builts were pretty expensive (it was the holiday season) and I was able to source some parts for a great price and save him a lot of money. I only have a couple photos of this project as well, but overall this one turned out great. Red is my favorite color, so I definitely like the lighting in this one!
Between the years 2018 and 2020 I worked on a few smaller projects that I didn't document. The next major project came in 2020 though, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. My cousin wanted to build a gaming computer, so he saved up some money and worked hard over the course of many months, and eventually had enough to pay for the parts to build a computer. So he paid me to find the parts, which this was right before the graphics card shortage hit, so I was able to source a graphics card relatively cheap and some other parts, then I went over to his house one Saturday and we started on his PC build together. Not only was this a fun build for myself, but I was able to help teach my cousin about desktop computers and he was able to learn about them more. Here are a few photos of this project, including one of the completed build, monitor and all. I love the blue case he picked out, and the white fans on the front were a nice aesthetic touch!
My latest project is a new computer for myself, which was a full upgrade. I got a new motherboard, processor, everything. This build was actually completed in two phases, the first part was everything except the graphics card which I built in March of 2021. The rest however was finished in August of 2021 when I was finally able to get my hands on an NVIDA RTX-3080 Ti. It took me almost 6 months to get it and although it was not at MSRP, it was pretty close so I made a bit of a compromise there. This build was made with the intent of replacing my old build (SOL). I chose this specific motherboard and processor combination however because while I wanted an upgrade generally, one of the things that I knew going into it was that I wanted to be able to play my 4K Blu-ray discs on my PC, which in order to do so requires an Intel CPU with SGX (Software Guard Extensions). My last build did not have this so I couldn't play my 4K Blu-ray discs on my computer. I was lucky enough to come across the right combination though and got that working. I also went full RGB with this build, though I like to switch up the colors from time to time. I also did a nice cable management job in this build if I do say so myself...