The gaming industry is gaining traction globally as the newest form of entertainment and East Africa has also not been left behind. Image Credit: The Guardian Nigeria
The gaming industry is gaining traction globally as the newest form of entertainment and East Africa has also not been left behind. (Image Credit: The Guardian Nigeria)

Building a bespoke, high-performance computer is a dream for many an avid gamer. DIY PC builders enjoy the ongoing challenge of creating the ultimate gaming machine; it is easy to improve a ‘self-build’s’ performance over time by installing different components. And the process of building a computer can feel like a game in itself!

Unfortunately, self-build computers are becoming more expensive, but what is the reason for this?

Why Have Self Build Computer Components Risen in Price?
Computer components have risen in price over recent years thanks to the advent of cryptocurrencies. But where is the link between the two? People are investing heavily in technology to create cryptocurrency ‘mining farms’. Mining farms are large data centres, designed to solve complicated mathematical problems in exchange for digital currencies.

However, in order to operate successfully, mining farms use the processing power of many powerful computers. Mining farms are popping up in vast quantities in response to the increasing popularity (and value) of digital currencies. This means GPUs (Graphic Processing Units) in particular are in huge demand. The resulting (and ongoing) scarcity of GPUs is leading retailers to inflate their prices.

Are Self-Builds Still Affordable?
Yes! Ultimately you can build a computer to your own budget. One of the major advantages of self-building is that you are able to improve your machine over time; therefore you can simply install new components when you are able to afford them!

So What Do I Need to Build My Own Gaming Computer? What Do The Individual Components Do?

  • Motherboard – The motherboard essentially brings the key electronic elements of the computer together. It is the main circuitboard and controls the flow of digital information.
  • CPU / GPU – The brains of the computer, CPUs or Central Processing Units perform the instructions of computer software. This is in contrast to GPUs which offer enhanced processing performance, and are able to handle fast streams of rich data (such as graphics – hence the name!). GPUs are usually the choice for people building a gaming computer. However, due to their relatively high cost, some people start with a CPU and install a GPU at a later date.
  • Memory – Memory stores information for immediate use within the computer system. The faster the processing unit, the bigger the memory needs to be.
  • SSD – A Solid State Drive exists as your computer’s permanent store of data – like a Hard Disk Drive but much faster!
  • Power Supply – A faster computer will usually require a stronger power supply.
  • Case – The perfect opportunity to personalise your computer! There are lots of cool designs available.

What Tools Do I Need?
Here are the tools you will need to build your own computer. Always ensure you work with non-magnetised tools and beware of static electricity build up.

  • Screwdrivers – You can usually find out exactly what kind of screwdrivers you will need when buying the individual components, but usually you’ll only need one or two.
  • Torx keys – You’re likely to need a number of different sized Torx keys. RS sets are popular with computer builders.
  • Needle-Nosed Pliers – You’ll need these to handle and manipulate tiny components and screws.
  • Canned Air – Use canned air to remove dust as you build your PC!

Is it Worth the Effort?
If your expectations are aligned with your budget – most definitely! The process of building your own PC can be both enjoyable and incredibly rewarding; you can enjoy tweaking over the months and years ahead too!

Are you considering building your own computer?