I’ll start this post by saying that while I am definitely a VR fanatic and have been one ever since I read Snowcrash in High School, I’m definitely a complete beginner when it comes to building a PC. Still, when I pre-ordered the Oculus Rift I thought – I really want to do VR right and building my VR dream machine is part of that process.
Little did I know that this meant actually learning how to build a PC, which everyone says is easy, and while it’s definitely not rocket science, you can make mistakes, and I made three that I wish I didn’t make. For two of these mistakes I had the embarrassing experience of putting all the parts together, setting up lights, taking pictures, and then…finding out that the PC build was a no go.
That being said, I am really happy with my VR PC, it’s super crazy ridiculously fast, and there’s something satisfying about knowing that I picked each component myself and, errrr, screwed up a couple times along the way. I’ll chalk it up to battle scars, that sounds better then stupid mistakes right?
Here are the three mistakes I made while building my VR dream machine:
- Getting the wrong RAM for the motherboard – when you buy a motherboard, don’t just assume it will take a certain kind of memory, even if you think you’ve memorized what kind of ram each different motherboard you’ve looked at takes. After narrowing down my selection to two motherboards (and I looked at a ton) I somehow confused the RAM one board took with what another takes…and the wrong ram won’t fit. It can be easy to see a ton of boards that all take the same RAM and think, this other one I’m looking at will take the same…not always true.
- Not pushing the RAM in all the way – yes, two RAM problems. Once I did buy the right RAM I once again got everything together, took a bunch of pictures, even recorded a little video saying things like, “if at first you don’t succeed, try again, and here we – go!” only to have the computer start for an instance and shut down. This one was much harder to figure out and embarrassingly enough I ended-up going to Fry’s and waiting for hours to have someone look at it only to be told, “yeah man you just didn’t push the RAM in all the way.” I could swear I heard a click…but I learned you really have to push.
- Buying only one relatively small SSD drive – for some reason the idea of VR games and experiences taking up gigs upon gigs of storage space didn’t cross my mind. So I bought a 250GB SSD drive thinking, well that’s what my laptop has and I’ve got plenty of room left so that should cut it. Boom, I think I filled up the drive the first week I had it. Then I had to order a drive on Amazon (went with a 3TB non SSD but still super fast) and of course forget to buy the cables to connect it so then had to order the cables. I guess you could call this mistake three and four.
If you’ve built your own VR PC I’d love to hear some of the mistakes you made below…or you feel free to comment on any of my mistakes. The funny thing is, I feel like if I didn’t make all these mistakes I might not really appreciate my VR PC as much as I do, something about screwing things up every step of the way made me love my computer even more