I'm a college student and I play a good amount of pc games (mostly Fortnite right now). I have been using a ~$500 Acer laptop for all my gaming needs for the past three years. On my laptop I would only get 30-50 fps while playing Fortnite on low settings and it would occasionally freeze for a few seconds during a game. I've won a few duo and squad matches in Fortnite but it has always...been my dream...that one day...I would win a solo match on my own.
I earned some money working at a summer camp this summer and decided it was finally time for an upgrade. I considered buying a prebuilt pc but ended up deciding to build my own because I was going for a high-end build and I think that most high-end pcs are generally overpriced, and building a pc was something that interested me. I was tired of playing on my cruddy laptop and spared no expense on my new rig. I went for the RGB CPU cooler, RAM, case fans, and the 1080 Ti of course came with RGB, and opted for the mATX case for a slightly more compact build - ITX seemed a little too daunting for my first time building. I don't have any branding preferences but since I picked out an MSI motherboard I went for the MSI 1080 Ti to match it (same with the Deepcool CPU cooler and case fans). I bought all the parts new except for the GTX 1080 Ti because while buying other components used will only save you some dollars and is generally not worth it considering no warranty/more risky/missing packaging, buying a used 1080 Ti saved me $200 plus not having to pay tax. I ordered my parts mid August and they started trickling in over the next two weeks. The original plan was to have all the parts a week before I would have to go back to college which would give me plenty of time to build the pc and deal with any unexpected problems, but there was some issues processing my order with one of the retailers and I didn't get everything in time. So instead of transporting one compact pc back to college I had to take the case and all the parts in their separate packaging with me in case something went wrong with them and I had to return them (luckily I was driving back to college so space wasn't that big of a problem). The last component I was waiting for, the sticks of RAM, arrived in my P.O. box a few days later. I finished building my pc on the floor of my dorm room. I had already installed most of the parts beforehand so all that was left was adding in the RAM (I had to move my radiator for it to fit), the graphics card, the case fans, and doing some cable management. Even after I finished I was hesitant to turn on the pc and kept racking my head for anything that I could be forgetting. I decided to go for it: I plugged in the PSU and turned on the power and then sat there for a minute wondering why nothing was happening before I realized that I had to press the power button on the front of the pc. I pressed it and much to my delight the pc turned on, fans started spinning, and a flood of colors lit up inside.
I thought that the hardest part of the build was over, but the hardest challenge I had was actually installing Windows 10 on a USB drive to boot up the computer. I spent at least two hours on and off trying to use the Windows media creation tool. It would get to 100% and then it would report this error code: 0x80042405 - 0xA001A, saying it had failed. I tried restarting my computer and running it again, reformating the USB, running the program from the USB, and switching the which USB it was connected to. I finally got it after I think the 5th try, but the thing that really pisses me off is that this is a well-known and common issue (see here) and Microsoft has done nothing to fix this so it falls on the users to come together and figure it out on their own. About the pc itself: it's super fast. It loads Windows in a second and I get 200+ fps on Fortnite (I'll be testing it on other games later). One day after setting it up I finally got my first solo dub in Fornite :') One minor caveat of this rig is even with the mATX form factor you can see that it still takes up most of my small dorm room desk, but I could of expected this going in. I placed it sideways facing so that I would still have room for books and papers on the left side of my desk. If I really wanted to I could place the pc on the ground beside the desk if I ever got tired of looking at all the flashy colors, but I don't see that happening very soon.