Custom PC Build

Building my own PC, who would have thought! With my Lenovo ideacentre not pulling its weight anymore and not finding any prebuilds that had everything I wanted kind of forced me down this route. I’m not averse to a challenge and usually if someone says ‘ I bet you..’ then it just has to be done. That is how I found myself staring into the black depths of Hell or a terrifying and very expensive mistake!

The reasons behind a new computer land solely on buying a new camera, a Nikon Z7 who’s file sizes my Lenovo just couldn’t handle and if your taking the photos you at least want to see them and it just wasn’t happening. In my previous post there is a list of everything I bought, this is how I built it.

Unboxing was so traumatic as I have never even seen the inside of a computer before, starting with the motherboard and you dont want static when your touching this or its toast. How interesting, all of the connection points and stuff, I took a really hard look at it and in its own way it is a thing of beauty. I chose AMD Ryzen 7 for my CPU and that was a trauma to fit, dont touch the pins, fit it in the right way or else, find the triangles, which are SO small you need a magnifying glass to see! Next i fitted the Corsair SSD and there were NO additional screws in the box, the case anywhere, thank heavens for computer geeks who live near by. The Ryzen & comes with an RGB cooling fan so that went on next which was so fiddly trying to get the arms locked in place without pulling anything off or bumping anything but this was my first achievement, go me! The second was getting the motherboard into the case.

Several YouTube videos later, a replacement part and several days I managed the 16GB memory, which was 2 x 8GB Corsair DDR4 memory, which was a snap to fit, as long as they are in the correct slots! Cooling was something I had to research as the kids always say their computers are running hot when they game and I wanted to avoid this if I could so I chose Corsairs Elite performance triple fan pack and put two on the front and one above the CPU, with an integrated fan at the back of the case, one on the CPU, two on the Graphics card and one on the power supply, I think there is enough. I then fitted the Nvidea Geforce RTX3050 graphics card, the hardest part to that was screwing the plate back in at the side, three hands needed! Seagate Barracuda HDD and a 750W MSI power supply went in, I turned it on and ….. nothing. Say what! Confusion, I’m sat there scratching my head wondering and hoping i’d not just blown £1.500 when my daughter came in and saw me and my puzzled face, SHE was the one to figure out that just because its turned on at the back doesn’t mean you don’t have to turn it on in the front too! BINGO, it worked!!!! Definitely a sweaty palms moment and it is soooo pretty.

I had a moment as I couldn’t get the PC to recognise the monitor but hey kids don’t know everything, my son had plugged it into the wrong port and when plugged in properly opened up the Bios, a scary place if you get it wrong, I then tried to install Windows 11. So let me tell you a story, when purchasing your PC operating system bare in mind whether you want to install it from a CD or as a download, I bought a CD! It has no CD player! Off to buy a 32GB memory stick so I can use a kids PC to download it and put it on my computer. Windows 11 is brand new, so new that my computer kept telling me that it was not compatible, pull hair out in big clumps, so Windows 10 it had to be which I downloaded off the internet where I should have got Windows 11 from anyway. The install went so fast and after installing a few driver updates I was finally able to install Windows 11 and Adobe Cloud and Lightroom and PhotoShop and the photos that had caused the trauma in the first place! Opening LR was such a SHOCK, seconds instead of minutes, have you seen the Sky advert for internet with the minions, they open the laptop and all of a sudden are airborne because of the speed? That was me!

Apart from one or two hiccups I now have a lovely new computer, I’m not too sure about the monitor as I’m used to the glass screen on my Lenovo, I may add it as a second monitor just to check picture quality though I have been reassured I will get used to it, there are several persons who would gladly take the monitor off my hands if I don’t. I purchased a wifi keyboard and mouse too, the keyboard is fine but the mouse is rubbish so I will once again head over to Amazon and see what I can find/afford, I’m not paying stupid money if I can help it.

So that’s it, I’ve built my own computer and it works! GO ME!

Challenging Yourself

Have you seen the photos on my website? They are beautiful, colourful, moody, photos of the Wirral in all of its glory. I’ve processed them in Adobe PS and LR on my Lenovo ideacentre, Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6400T CPU with 8GB of RAM with a beautiful glass touchscreen and it has served me well. Until I bought a Nikon Z7 (cough) and now, well to say that it just doesn’t like the size of the files is an understatement. Luckily I’ve had enough money put by to buy myself a new computer and after arguing with my children, who seem to know everything about computers and what I need (lol) trying to tell me an all in one computer isn’t worth my time and I should get a tower and having looked at SO many on the internet, ‘I decided to build my own!’ 😲 Yeah I had a brain fart and decided I was perfectly capable to do it myself.

This year, 2022, has been all about things I can do for myself, that stretch me, take me out of my comfort zone and I think everyone should try it at least once. Anyway, everyone knows by now how computers work, what they need in them to work and there is so much on the internet these days that you can find out whats necessary at the click of a few buttons. So me being me I just jumped in and after a few conversations with those in the know ( the kids) and went onto the corsair website. It has its own build your pc page, you choose what you need and buy it, my first effort came to nearly £5000 😂 Yeah, so I went back and chose some different stuff, ordered it and when it arrived, well, there was only half of the things I’d ordered, then I realised, I’d only bought the Corsair stuff, no Windows etc 😢 for £1.400, erm NO. So I sent it all back and went onto Amazon. Three weeks later and a few phone calls to America I had my refund.

Part 2. After that disaster of a start and the feeling that certain young people were laughing at me I tried again only this time I googled EVERYTHING. 🤓 ‘Best Graphics Card for photography,’ ‘best cpu’ etc and in the end and not too painfully came up with the following; an AMD Ryzen 7 Processor , AMD as it is slightly faster than Intel, a Nvidia Geforce RTX 3050 graphics card, I weighed up between the 3050 and the 3090 and found there wasn’t a significant difference for my needs apart from cost, an MSI MPG B550 motherboard, a Seagate Barracuda 4 TB internal Hard Drive HDD, 16 gig of memory, 1TB SSD, an MSI MPG A750GF power supply, Corsair RGB triple fan kit, an MSI Vampiric 010 tower, Windows 11. I chose a BenQ monitor as I have had several in the past and know they have a good build quality and they have a great image quality too. Wireless keyboard and mouse but I have to say I am disappointing in the mouse and will be replacing it. Phew, then it all has to be put together!

So I Googled it! 😉 and watched MANY YT videos and when Amazon had finished delivering all of the parts I set out to begin the build. There is a video of Henry Cavill on instagram showing him building his monster computer, it took him several days to get everything installed and running and I kind of thought that he took too long, I thought it could be built in a day and that I would be zooming around Adobe LR like no ones business, oh how wrong I was!

Time is very important when your doing something like this and to get time when there are no expectations of yourself was difficult. I think in all it took me a week, maybe more as I had to return a part I’d ordered by mistake, swap it out for what I really wanted then had a part that was broken and had to be replaced but all in all, I did it with a little help from the kids. I haven’t named it yet and wish I had been recording myself when I opened Adobe LR for the first time because that was a moment, it was so fast! Now I have a shiny, super fast computer, bring on the editing!