Personal

Life Lessons: Building A PC Befitting A Princess

My setup vs. my husband’s setup… why are we basic.

I have never built a PC in my life, nor had I ever entertained or even researched the idea. I had no idea where to start, what to get, how to put it together, etc. I was resigned to buying pre-made towers or laptops for the rest of my ignorant life. Luckily, I married a man who will only ever build his PC, and insisted it was like assembling Lego sets – and I do love Legos! He also recently built his, and when he showed me his 5-second startup time, I was astonished. You mean not all computers have to take a minute or five to boot up? WHAT? I had seen the light.

So, with Black Friday approaching quickly (the best time to buy parts!!), I started poking around, checking what I should get. Thinking about it now, I’m pretty sure Kal picked all my pieces for me except for an integral part of my setup – the casing, tower, housing, what-have-you. The big box that all the hardware sits in. At the beginning of this endeavor I had no idea what each piece was called nor its purpose. SSD, RAM, motherboard, cooling (OK OK, that one is pretty self-explanatory). But now I kinda know what’s what, thankfully! She can be taught!

[ From here, I’ll link all the major stuff I bought for my build from the retailers I bought them from. ]

The insides are the easy part. Since you don’t really see them, it doesn’t really matter what they look like, right?* Only how they function. The hardest part was finding a case that I wanted. Pink cases are far and few, and on top of that most of them aren’t really my style. If it looks like it belongs in a spaceship or a Sci-fi movie, I absolutely do not want it. What’s wrong with simple! If it’s simple, I can play it up in my own way, right!

*I know a lot of cases have a window wherein you can see the insides, but I’m not a huge fan of it, HAHA. I’m not sure why I’d wanna see my computer guts. I don’t really care about showing off what’s in there.

So I thought my search was over after I found this beautiful thing:

Image result for enermax ostrog pink

The Enermax Ostrog Limited Edition Pink tower! But I searched high and low and could not find it for sale anywhere. It had a shade of pink that was just right (not too purple-learning, but not too orange-leaning! That’s very important) and the overall look was rather old-fashioned instead of the sci-fi aesthetic I couldn’t get behind. Someone on PCPartPicker had made a Sonico build with this case and I was super jealous. *__*

Researching it again now, I’m seeing it’s a midi tower (smaller, not what we want) and not a full tower so maybe it’s a good thing I couldn’t find it. LOL

In the end, I just decided to buy a white tower and bust out the spray paint. I don’t consider myself traditionally crafty at all (friends who cosplay, I salute you), but if I wanted a proper ME tower, I would have to get my hands dirty! My mom is pretty crafty though, so maybe that’s where I got this mindset. I have to do everything myself, don’t I!

I ended up purchasing the Phanteks Eclipse P400S Silent Edition in Glacier White, because white is way easier to paint over than black. I knew this since I bleach my hair to dye it pink/red. Thank you again, my dedication to an aesthetic. You have taught me much.

Also, this case is very paint-friendly in that all the outside walls can be removed separately (for ease of cleaning). If you’re interested in painting your own case, I highly recommend finding a case that does this. As you can see I got a very simple one ๐Ÿ™‚

It has a tempered glass window on one side (can’t escape them at this point ig) but I just decided I’d face that side towards a wall until I bought a decal to cover it up with.

Morris… don’t smell that… you’ll get high…

The TintIT (in Strawberry) was supposed to be used to give the tempered glass a pinkish tint but I ended up not using it since I found out you can make custom static clings for like $30. I’ll just draw one for myself and throw it on there. ;D

For the case itself I got Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover in Satin Sweet Pea. This doubled as a primer and paint! (If you can do less work with the same result then why the hell not?) I just took it onto my outside patio, put some gloves on, and went to town. I think for my first time spray-painting it went just fine!

I don’t have a picture of it but I used a lot of painters tape and newspaper on the backsides (i.e. the parts that face the inside of the PC) because I didn’t want or need those painted. Painters tape is your best friend for clean lines! I also don’t know how the paint would handle or react with potential heat, so I didn’t want to risk anything.

Drying in the bathroom, because I didn’t trust outside… it was a super windy day lol.

You’re also not supposed to spray paint in certain humidities. (I think it’s over 80%?) Please read your can and check your weather before starting. ๐Ÿ™‚

After drying for 24+ hours in my bathroom I took the big panel out for wet sanding, which I would recommend for this kind of project since you want a scratch-free finish. Feel free to google the difference in wet vs. dry sanding if you are not sure.

The reason only the big panel needed it was because (!!) it was the first piece. With some spray paints, the first minute or so of paint comes out way more, hm, beady? Thicker? It put little bumps of paint on that piece. I even shook it as best as I could (which is supposed to negate it), but it still did that. Think of it as when you open a bottle of ketchup and the consistency is wack for like the first 10 seconds.

The other pieces were sprayed after this initial piece so the paint on those pieces went on all smoothly! You could also avoid this by spraying like a piece of paper for a minute first, but I didn’t wanna waste paint. :’D I only bought one can! Note the paint I bought is pretty matte. If you want a shinier look, you can probably go over with some gloss. Finally, seal that shit so it doesn’t chip or scrape.

While most of these pieces I worked with were metal, there were some plastic pieces (the two on our white scale in the picture above). Paint doesn’t adhere as well to plastic (kinda slippery) so those two got several coats of paint.

Henry was curious about this box.

I also bought some pink glitter spray paint for some accent pieces. I used it on the top panels and the power button. For the power button, I sprayed some pink electrical tape then used an X-acto knife to cut it out to the same shape, stuck it on there. You can see a video here. I think if I had a cute stencil I’d spray some more glittery shapes on the body or front, but I couldn’t find any good cute stencils, so for now it’s just plain. (Actually now that I think about it I could easily make my own stencils… I have a Cricut… rip I’m lazy)

But that’s the nice thing about all the removable panels! If I want to add something to the front or side, we just have to pop it off real quick. No disassembling the whole thing.

Most if this post is about the casing, huh? Because it’s the most important! >:T

Here are the guts though if you’re really curious.

I don’t have much to say about the insides other than wow, shiny lights. (That I never use, because LEDs are always bright neon colors. Where are the pastels!!)

Kal and I put this build together in PCPartPicker before buying everything and we were gonna use his old 850W power supply, because I don’t believe in wasting such expensive-ass parts lol. Except PCP lied to us and told us this setup would use way less power than it actually needed, so I had to go out and buy the big guns anyway lol :’)

Please remember you can bring old electronic waste to Best Buy as they do electronic recycling. Don’t just throw shit out you’re killing the environment bro wtf

I’m not sure if it was because of Black Friday or what but everywhere was also sold of out OS installation discs… and also I didn’t have an optical drive, so I was going to have to buy an external one. So I did some research and did my best to try and install Windows via external hard drive! It was long and tedious and I don’t remember a thing but somehow I got it on my first try… wow… it was so scary…

After that, it was done! ๐Ÿ™‚ Please ignore my lack of wire control!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am lazy! ๐Ÿ™‚

As you can see, I shoved the glass side to the wall.

I also got new peripherals babey!!!

Yeah yeah yeah basic gamer girl etc. etc. etc. etc. I don’t care. Laying my headphones down on my desk is such a waste of good desk space so the headset stand is a godsend, especially since it comes with extra USB ports. My old pair of headphones were also squeezing my head too tight constantly so I could never wear them for more than an hour or so. These are better ๐Ÿ™‚ And everything matches!

Though T B H I’m just now finding out there’s a Razer Quartz headset that comes with the kitty ears attached and that they light up so I may have to sell this set again anyway LOL o)-< Because… I want the one where the ears light up.. I am a simple girl who likes shiny things. The quartz set actually lets you set pastel lighting too (I have it set to a pink-purple sparkly effect on the headphone stand) unlike the rest of my peripherals so I’m JUST! Tempted. Hmm. You can see my mouse and the headset stand both have nicer, more pastel, LED colors (below).

Also new:

Needed a new pen tablet because the installation driver to my old one had been lost and obviously the tablet wouldn’t be usable on my new computer without it. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’d heard good things about XP-Pen and their customer service on twitter seems top-notch! I also like that the pen holder makes me feel like I’m dipping my pen back into an inkwell like if I lived in the 1800s or something. The vintage grandma in me really appreciates that. The buttons are really handy but I’m too used to CRTL+Z to remember to use them >__>

(Fun fact: During our move I found aforementioned lost driver, so now I have two monitor pen tablets T__T… I don’t know what I’ll do with my old one. I keep trying to convince Kal he needs it for 3D modeling LOL I feel bad it’s just going unused)

New monitor ’cause I wanted something a liiiittle bigger and a little more graphically advanced? Like my old one was kind of just whatever I found at Best Buy for a decent price point (as all my previous computer purchases have been, I am my mother’s daughter >__>), so Kal taught me about refresh rate and response times and helped me pick out a nice one!

  • 20″ screen โ†’ 27″ screen … so big.. I am going blind
  • 7 ms response time โ†’ 4 ms response time
  • 75Hz refresh rate โ†’ 144Hz refresh rate

The difference was so staggering LOL technology has come so far. I think the only computers that offer like a 1ms refresh rate are $400 gaming monitors (like Kal has) and I am too cheap to invest more in a monitor LOL. MY response time is very slow anyway so I don’t think it makes a difference.

The one I bought was also really appealing to me because it doesn’t have a base – it’s actually clamped onto the back of the desk, and therefore doesn’t take up any desk space whatsoever. It’s really amazing! You can also tilt it ๐Ÿ™‚

I think since my monitor and tablet are so… black… I will try and sew/craft/whatever some cozies I can slip on them so they don’t contradict my aesthetic so much :’D Things like this already exist but not for the size screens I have, so I’ll have to once again take matters into my own hands… how hard can it be! (Famous last words)

My google chrome theme is pink too. It’s not just an aesthetic, it’s a lifestyle.

Some people on twitter were curious about by not-new peripherals (’cause they’re still cute!), so here they are!

Varmilo Gaming 108 Key Cherry Silent Red Gaming Keyboard | Unavailable, but I remember this company making a handful of variants of this keyboard, so I’m sure you can find this pattern again somewhere online. Kal and I need to figure out how to install backlighting on it, but I’m SUPER not good with mechanical handiwork so I’m gonna leave it to him when he feels like it. He basically did all the installation and assembly of my computer I just painted it lol.

I’ve never had a mechanical keyboard and don’t usually like the clicky noises but Kal found one that had silent switches? He said sometimes a silent red switch is called a pink switch. Wow!! Meant to be!! This was my Christmas present from him I think iiiin… 2017. Still cute as hell! Wow. It does a great job of staying clean, looking at it. All the buttons are as white as they were when I opened the box. (And yes, I eat at my desk constantly)

Pink USB Optical Silent Gaming Mouse, 7 Backlit Colors | After my fancy Logit*ch gaming mouse ™ gave up after only like a year I said fine I’m not paying $50 for a mouse again and bought this about a year ago. This is obviously like a super cheap mouse from China but I love it so much lol. It has a silhouette of Sailor Moon, cute pastel back light colors and is silent on top of being pink? When I do mad clicking for various reasons (convention artist alley sign-ups, concert tickets, gaming, etc), it’s so quiet… it makes me glad because I hate feeling like I’m being noisy. And it’s so simple and not mechanical looking, which is A Look. It has side buttons which can be configured but I am too lazy to do so.

Since it was so cheap I’m scared it’ll break easily so I might just buy a second one to keep as a backup. It’s like $9 so I mean. Nothing to lose!

If you ever buy this mouse please laugh at the box with me. I remember the box having some hilarious English on it.

I still need to buy a mousepad but I’m being really picky about it, so I haven’t decided on one yet. I have a bunch of not-boob mousepads (Isabelle with apples, Fatter Cat, etc.) but I think I want just a simpler one for this setup. Maybe I can design one myself! Who knows! I have that power.

P.S.! The cute pen/phone holder crabby is from @ahnitol on twitter.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far! I hope you too can build the magical girl PC of your dreams :3 Good luck!

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