My adventures in building a gaming PC for the first time

If you’re familiar with my adventures in computers, you probably know that they usually have…interesting endings, to say the least. A year and a half ago, it started with a misadventure in upgrading my video card, only to discover after a jarringly unpleasant game of League that it wasn’t compatible with the rest of my PC (despite being the supposedly included card). And not long after that, there was a keyboard that had a deathwish for my character in FFXIV.

I can’t really blame the computer, because both of those are avoidable situations. 

However, when my poor old PC Tony started dying about six months ago, it wasn’t really an avoidable situation. It started bluescreening multiple times a day with no apparent explanation, only deigning to tell me that the hardware was just old.


Now, when this started, I was perfectly happy just carrying on. I was sure it would stop, that it was just a bad patch or something. It wasn’t.

So after three more months of near-constant bluescreening, knowing that we wouldn’t really be able to replace parts in it after what happened last time, I finally listened to Shane and decided it was time to look into getting a new PC.

The hunt for a new computer

The biggest issue I had with looking for a new computer, and the biggest reason why I had happily been turning the other cheek to Tony’s mini heart attacks, was that they are expensive. I learned my lesson years ago about buying a standard-issue gaming computer from a box store, and I wasn’t keen to repeat the experience.

So I had a few options. I could look into a place that would build gaming PCs and offer financing, or we could buy the pieces ourselves and let Shane’s computer-building expertise come to the rescue.

We did look pretty seriously into one place in the States that would do financing for gaming PCs, almost ordering one before realizing that the financing wasn’t available for Canada. So we didn’t do that. Instead, we headed to a local computer parts store and started stocking up.

Piece by piece, as things went on sale, Shane and I started collecting what we’d need to build me a tower. And last week, just in time for Shadowbringers, we picked up the last piece.

Baby's first PC build

When I bought my first gaming tower, I distinctly remember not wanting to build because I wouldn’t know where to begin, and I wasn’t willing to spend that much money and have it all go sideways.

After building my PC with Shane, I am glad I made that decision, because I would not have known where to start.

Shane, as an actual PC gamer and not just someone who’s happy if it boots when they press the button (not a specific example), knows a lot about how to put together a computer that works incredibly well, from picking the right parts to creating good air flow and everything in between. He was really patient with me through the whole process of building my new computer, hereafter referred to as Veronica in honour of the Hulkbuster suit, showing me exactly how to put it all together and what I’d need to do to take care of it.

He also rescues me very regularly from inadvertently murdering houseplants, but that’s a story for another day. Suffice it to say he’s good at taking care of things.

Now that I’ve learned the finer points of how not to mess up things like installing a CPU, building a computer doesn’t seem so bad. But don’t test me on it!

Putting it to t​​​​he test

When we started building Veronica, the hope was that we could have it done in time for Shadowbringers. And once we’d put it all together, I naturally needed to boot up the benchmark, just to see how it would do. 

It doubled Tony’s score.

Unfortunately, though, after what’s a bit of a long story involving a petty person intentionally rubbing Shane the wrong way in FFXIV and getting him a 10-day suspension, I’ll have to wait a few more days to see how it does with the new worlds. Main story has been something he and I do together in that game since Day 1, and I’m not about to change that now.

In the meantime, I’ll try to figure out where to stash all my Sims 4 CC and other files. And hopefully next week, I’ll be able to do a review on all things Shadowbringers!


Have you ever tried building a PC? Would you?

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