My Custom Computer is finished. Whew!

After waiting 16 years since my last brand-new computer, I decided to build, rather than buy one. I searched YouTube for budget builds. There were several in the $500 budget build range. You might buy the parts for $500 if you’re lucky to get them at the price when the video was made, but they leave out the fact that if you want warranty protection on some components, that can run you another $50-$100. Not to mention the budget builds use the very small cases, and bare components. I needed a mid-sized case, so I could get my big hands in there to work. Plus, larger case, more air, cooler components.

Using the list from a budget build, I upgraded some of the items (most) and began building. I won’t go into detail of where and how much, as the prices change, and even many components get discontinued. I found this out, trying to follow many parts lists.

In the picture below, I had just installed the motherboard, power supply and routing cables. Yes, the label looks upside down on the power supply, the label on the other side is right side up, that is so you can install it either way and the label appear correct through the window on the other side.

The case came with three led fans pre-installed in the front, and one plain fan in the back. There is a tempered glass pane covering the other side of the case. This is a view of the cabling cavity (opposite side from window) of the case. I will install two more led fans in the top, and replace the plain one in the rear with a led fan. Sorry, I like my bling at times. 🙂

Just getting started

Finished at Last!

I installed led light strips, recessed out of sight, and behind the white foam strip I added (to diffuse the light), to illuminate the main component area behind the glass. 

There is a mesh air filter over the top fans
A mesh air filter is located at the bottom of case for power supply air intake
Front view

I LOVE this keyboard! It clicks/clacks like the old keyboards in bygone days. It is preferred by gamers (which I am not) The body is made of steel, so it has weight and feels sturdy. Slender and so easy to type on. The colors being the constant rainbow, seem to help focus quickly if I need to glance at the keyboard. Three levels of brightness, 9 modes of light movement if you’re into that. The grandkids love watching it when I put one of the modes active. 

Red Dragon Rainbow keyboard

Components were picked for what I needed and budget. Not for highest performance. :)

  • Motherboard: ASRock B450M PRO4 AM4 AMD Promontory B450 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600 6-Core, 12-Thread Unlocked 65W Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
  • Ram: 16 GB GeIL 16GB (2 x 8GB) EVO Potenza DDR4 PC4-24000 3000MHz 288-Pin Desktop Memory
  • GPU: Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GDDR5 128 Bit PCI-E Graphic Card (I have wanted a 1050ti for years).
  • Main Drive (Boot/OS): Crucial BX500 240GB 3D NAND SATA 2.5-Inch Internal SSD
  • Storage Drives: 1TB Seagate HDD 5900 rpm  /  Hitachi Deskstar 3TB 32MB Cache CoolSpin SATAIII 6.0Gb/s 3.5″
  • Power Supply: ThermalTake Smart 500Watt
  • Keyboard: Redragon K551-R Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Cherry MX Blue Switches “Vara” 104 Keys USB Wired  Steel Construction.
  • Operating System: Linux of course! It’s free!

Have questions about choices of components, please feel free to ask that is how we all learn.

Now, it’s time to enjoy it.
Comments always welcome,

33 thoughts on “My Custom Computer is finished. Whew!

  1. Well done Ron! I am no techie, but I do know a little and your CPU, RAM, HD and Graphics specs would suggest a very good PC! Presumably the end cost was close to $1000.00 … so you just saved yourself around $1000 – $1500?. Congratulations 🙂

    1. Yes Colin. I think I have right at $825 in it, I think. It should have been close to $1500. I got warranties on the motherboard, CPU, GPU,
      keyboard and memory. I’ve wanted a decent graphics card for a long time. Thanks for the comment.

      1. That is a very good graphics card Ron. I create railway routes for an Australian train simulator (game) company as a hobby, and love playing with the simulator. I quickly learned just how demanding on pc resources those programs can be, and your setup/rig would work fine with it.

  2. That looks like a great setup, Ron, and i am suitably impressed by your skills. I have a Ryzen 5 on the new HP PC I bought.
    The keyboard looks smart, even though I don’t do any gaming. That one isn’t sold by Amazon here, but I can get a similar (Identical-looking) one made by ADX here for £34. Next time I need a keyboard, I will deinitely try one of those.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Thanks, Pete. Just remember, it is a mechanical keyboard and isn’t quiet, but I like the clicking keys, notstalgia.
      I think this one was $47 here on Amazon when I ordered it. But things are a bit higher here.
      Thanks for the comment.

  3. Impressive and quite futuristic looking. That’s a long way from the old Heathkit builds.

    Hubby bought an Asus gaming laptop just for the speed. He is in no way a gamer.

    1. I’m certainly not a gamer either. I’m 68 years old this year. I tried an online tank battle game two days ago. I couldn’t drive a straight line in that tank if it killed me, which it did. Too long in the tooth, and much slower in the reflexes now. I built it for comfort and speed. The best machines you get have gaming capability.

      One of my regular projects, is crunching numbers. What used to take me 9 hours, now takes 46 minutes. I enjoy that improvement.

      1. I attempt to play games with my grandchildren sometimes, Ron, much to their amusement. No, the games in my opinion are for those a little younger.

    1. Thanks, Anne. I enjoyed the building of it. I can turn off all the bling If I want, but it’s kind of soothing with the colors changing slowly.
      Thank you, for the comment.

  4. Wow – you will need to insure it now after all that work. That keyboard is unique. I remember pounding on a keyboard of a manual typewriter back in the day.

    1. This one reminds me of the old IBM keyboards that had a distinctive “click/clack” sound. It’s just slimmer.
      I, too, remember typing up reports on a old electric typewriter that didn’t have correction ribbon.had to use whiteout and do a lot of retyping.

      1. I used those IBM correcting and non-correcting Selectrics for years. They came in colorful models – like blue and red and beige too. And in school, writing a report with footnotes or references, you had to guess the amount of room to leave at the bottom of the page. I used my mom’s old Royal typewriter in a little suitcase-like carrier. It bounced on the suitcase when you typed and was loud and echoed. When you got to the end of the spool of ink ribbon, you took it out and turned it upside down. I had these chalky-looking pieces of paper that you put over the typo then struck the key a couple of times to white it out – very ineffective though. You learned how to type better that way! 🙂

        1. Typing, was my foray into computing. I needed to type reports, and had office personnel available to do it for me, but there were some reports too sensitive to entrust to the rank and file typing pool. So I learned to type, then bought me a computer and printer, so I could do corrections easier. I think my first was a Commodore SX-64. It was one of the first portable computers with a tiny screen and a handle to carry it. That was in 1983 I think.

          1. Ron – I always have said that my 9th grade typing class was probably the information/class I have benefited from the most during my school years. That made sense for you to transition to typing yourself for privileged and/or sensitive info for your job and computers were a blessing after using typewriters. I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven when I used an IBM Wheelwriter with four pages of storage – as a legal secretary you could store addresses, signature blocks, even case captions. We only got Windows at our Firm, just before Y2K and before that were on a Unix-based system which crashed all the time, so they were afraid it would not survive Y2K … I did not get my first home computer until after January 2000, also buying into the theory that Y2K might wreak havoc with all computers. Before Windows, we had an antiquated intra-office e-mail system called “Pine E-mail” and it could not be used with the outside world. We were really behind the times.

            1. I remember Pine. They used it in the offices where I worked. I can still hear my 10th grade teacher repeating
              s, space, d, space. f, space over and over.

              1. Pine was our first foray into e-mail and we saved a lot of paper on interoffice memos after we got it, especially memos to all employees (we had 75 altogether of attorneys, paralegals and administrative support). We had “dummy terminals” and we were able to access anyone’s personal computer files as well as all computer files for the entire office, but nothing from the outside world. When I took typing in 9th grade, huge and gawdy-looking rings were all the style. Our teacher would say “girls, remove those rings and set them to the side – they’ll mess up your typing speed!” She was a stickler for that and would walk around to check each of us out to ensure we were not breaking her rules. (Ahh, the olden days – I just turned 64 and this would have been around 1969 for this typing class.)

      1. That would be very helpful to many people! A long time ago with my first computer I had to take it apart to install more memory. I was scared to remove the cover! Thankfully a kind tech support person walked me through the process. 🙂

  5. Congratulations Ron- would you be able to patent the design, perhaps we have a new type of computer and keyboard in the making here? I love it.

    1. Unfortunately not, Electronics, can be fickle. In four to six months the keyboard will probably no longer be made etc. I do like building one that I like and know I will enjoy. Sort of like picking out your new car, and all the options.
      Thanks for the nice comment Susie, I appreciate it.

  6. Good for you, Ron! Kudos!! That keyboard, my my! Looks so impressive. The way you describe it – solid, heavy, defined clacking sounds, reminds me of – a typewriter!!! 😀 Did you used to type on one? I’m thinking yes.
    BTW just out of curiosity, can any software run on a Mac OS also run on Linux? e.g. Word? Or would you have to buy software specially made to run on Linux? Thanx!

    1. You’re right, I have typed on some ancient ones, the type that the keys were forever jamming if you typed too fast. Or hit more than one key at the same time.

      I’m sorry, no. Mac software won’t run on Linux. I use Linux, as it is totally free. It has Libre Office which is a clone of Word or Microsoft Office. Most of the software for Linux is free, unless you want some highly specialized commercial software, but in four years, I haven’t had to buy any for my computer.

  7. That is completely impressive and a great use of your time(when you aren’t out collecting trailer park stories for me!) Enjoy the use and the time it saves you on large calculations.

    1. Well, with the restrictions being lifted as of today. There may be some activity around here. The town next to us had 7 separate shootings in 12 hours with 8 victims this Wednesday. Gang and drug related. So it may get interesting if it spills over towards us.

        1. You want it, you can find it. Sadly, it’s mostly black on black crime. All the shootings and victims were African American. There was one white guy that day, that stole a police car, but he didn’t hurt anyone. My brother lives there (retired cop after 34 years) and in his normal neighborhood, there was a shootout on his corner. 70 rounds were fired, and his vehicle was struck 4 times in his driveway. Naturally no one was caught.

          Big town? It’s the capital of Alabama. Third largest city, 2010 census was 205,764 but that has declined by 4.1% since then. People are fleeing the area, you can buy property and homes CHEAP!

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