Before I go ahead and don my flame suit, let me preface this by saying that I totally get the appeal of PC DIY. I’ve been around in this industry long enough to recognize that tons of people are really passionate about this kind of stuff. But I grew up as a console gamer and even though I do play Street Fighter V on my PC today, I still don’t really see myself as much of a PC gamer. Apparently, I’m not alone.
Emanuel Maiberg from Vice Motherboard has come to the conclusion that “PC gaming is still way too hard.” Back in the early days, you really did have to bumble your way through the process yourself. You had to source your own components, struggle with compatibility, and keep your fingers crossed that the machine would boot up when you pressed the power button.
But PC DIY is supposed to be easier these days. There are tons of YouTube tutorials and retailers are quick to bundle together compatible parts for your build. Companies like Gigabyte, Corsair and Intel provide infinite customization while trying to lower the barrier to entry for people new to building their own computers.
But Maiberg has still determined that if you want to really enjoy PC gaming, you need to have an “unreasonable amount” of both disposable income and time. Maybe it’s better to pick up a pre-built gaming PC instead, except that runs into the trouble of constantly playing catch-up. It’ll never be good enough, because there are always new requirements to kick those new titles into the highest gear possible.
In his essay, Maiberg points out several points of frustration for people who are genuinely interested in PC DIY and PC gaming. For starters, figuring out all those numbers can be awfully confusing. It’s obvious enough that a GTX 1080 is better than a GTX 1070, which is better than the GTX 1060, but how much better? Is the higher model worth the upgrade? And let’s not forget about the infinite variations on each series between and within each vendor. And that’s all before you touch your first screwdriver.
I’m not sure if building my own PC will ever really be for me, but I could be barking up the wrong Futurelooks tree. What do you think? Is PC DIY still too hard for newbies? Or is it a lot easier once you get elbow deep in all them GPUs, SSDs, Mobos, and RAMs?