June 1, 2016 by Thad Allen
A few months ago, I was in the market for a new computer. I was ready to move on from an older laptop to something with a little more power for all my gaming, editing, and rendering. Since I use my computer so often, I wanted to make sure I had one that really met my needs. I was going to build a new computer!
But why build a computer? Although I could probably find a computer online or off the shelf that would work out fine, the two big reasons I was looking to build my own were price and precision. Building my own computer ended up saving me hundreds, and because I customized each facet of it I was certain that all the parts would meet my needs. Plus, I was able to leverage past CS classes as I planned out the build. From knowing the difference between data memory and data storage to terms like POST, all those hours spent studying were finally paying off.
Because I was making such a big investment of time and money, I figured it would really pay off to do my research and get advice from people who had more experience than me. I posted on forums, consulted sites like PC Part Picker, watched tutorial videos, and spoke with experienced friends. I also looked for sales and rebates to make sure I could save money wherever possible – I even ended up cancelling an order that was about to ship because I found a slightly better deal elsewhere!
Once everything had arrived and I started the build, I found that putting all those expensive parts carefully into the case wasn’t as big of a hassle as I had expected. One friend had reassuringly described it to me as no harder than “putting together a LEGO set”, and he wasn’t too far off. Each part came with instructions of where and how to connect them, with each cable and slot clearly labeled. After several hours of steady hands and careful connections, it was an amazing feeling when I was finally able to hit the power button and watch it boot up.
I’ve been using my new computer for several months now, and so far it’s been excellent. Games I could barely run on my old machine I can now turn up to maximum settings with ease. Videos play and render far more smoothly. But the best part is that I can take pride in having researched, planned, and built something that is uniquely mine.
At the 2A office, there have been sounds of construction as we expand and rearrange our office space. It’s an exciting time of transition as we continue building and advancing our unique consulting business. Just like the parts in a computer, the members of our close-knit team all play a part in shaping the course of the business. And like building a computer, the process of getting there can be a lot of fun too.