As I indicated a couple posts ago, my 6-year-old model laptop finally gave up the ghost in early December after a traumatic plane ride to Las Vegas. That's not entirely true. Because of previous experience, I believe it is the trip through the airport luggage system that damages computers, not the flight itself. I did not own this particular ASUS G73 for 6 years, I've actually had a succession of three. The first was stolen in a home robbery forcing me to buy another. The second suffered motherboard issues after a different trip; and this most recent one, a Franken-puter of my old one and another sold to me by a good friend, was getting to be out of spec for modern games and expansions before its failure to boot. According to diagnostics, it's possible it only needed a recovery of Windows, but the DVD drive no longer worked, and I'd been wanting a new computer anyway. I'd started to save up a bit for a new rig already, but unexpected expenses in November threw me off my timeline. My sweet bride offered to use household funds to pay for the new computer, which I would then replenish after the fact.
In talking with a coworker who also travels frequently, I came up with a plan to build my own computer, a portable desktop rather than a laptop. I would be able to plug into hotel TVs using HDMI, and have a powerful computer for less money than a higher end gaming laptop. Plus, I had never built a computer from the ground up before, and I wondered if I was up to the challenge. Many of you fellow techies are probably laughing now, because it turns out not to have been particularly difficult at all, especially with Scooter's help. The part I was most nervous about was screwing up the thermal paste on the CPU cooling unit. However, in some ways, the hardest part was actually getting the necessary drivers to run the network interface card, so I could download the rest of the drivers, many of which updated automatically as soon as I had a connection.
[EDIT: Revised list, not all the components were correct. If anyone is interested, I can add links to Amazon]:
-Gigabyte Motherboard (GA-B150N)
-Intel Core i7 (BX80662I76700K)
-Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB RAM (PC4-21300)
-Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 Mini ITX (GV-N1070IXOC-8GD)
-Noctua CPU Cooler (NH-L9I)
-Intel 600p Series m.2 512GB SSD (SSDPEKKW512G7X1)
-HGST Travelstar 7k1000 SATA 1TB HDD (0J22423)
-SilverStone Milo Mini-ITX Computer Case (ML08B-H)
-SilverStone 500W SFX-L Power Supply (SX500-LG)
-ViewSonic 22" Gaming Monitor (VX2252MH)
-Logitech K350 Keyboard (to go with my M570 mouse)
I'll blurb a bit in a different post on my so-far limited gaming experience with this setup; I was downloading World of Warcraft as I typed the original draft. When all is said and done, the project has cost more than any other computer that I have owned. However, some of this is due to purchasing the new monitor and keyboard, and a really nice graphics card.
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In addition to providing computer construction expertise, Scooter proofreads almost all my articles before I post them, for which I am very grateful. However, any mistakes are mine and mine alone (unless otherwise noted). If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.