Jay Parker builds his own computer


Parker is halfway through the process of building his computer. The hard drive is in the cage at the bottom right; the video card is in the center with green writing on it; the power supply is silver with platinum writing in the bottom left, and the ram is the red cards next to the big metal block in center, which acts as a heatsink and a fan for the processor. The motherboard is behind it all.

Sophomore Jay Parker dove into the files of the internet in search of information on how to build a computer – from scratch.

Parker wanted a computer that could run intense graphic settings and high definition gaming systems to elevate his gaming experience and allow him to purchase a wider variety of video games. For his Personal Project, Parker chose to build his own computer that would have the characteristics he desired.

“I could buy a Mac, but they are overpriced, and if I were to buy a PC, it would be underpowered,” Parker said. “I could find a fairly good PC, but then I am just paying extra money to have a fancy name on the box. I’d much rather make my own.”

In order for Parker to even consider accomplishing his goal, he spent more than five months researching the mechanics behind computers.

“You have the processor, video card, ram hard drive, power supplier and a lot of other components,” Parker said. “It’s really just about buying the parts and learning how they fit together. It’s one big jigsaw puzzle, except shinier.”

Parker is currently in the process of ordering the different parts for his computer. Buying all of this will weigh heavily on his wallet. Although Parker alone saved up $800, his estimated cost for the whole computer is $2,000.

The intimidating appraisal was not completely left on Jay’s shoulder, his parents agreed to help financially.

“We offered to match the money Jay earned and saved for computer components. His commitment, through his own work and saving, gave him ownership,” Dick Parker, Jay’s father, said. “The experience of accepting the risk of designing and building the computer himself and then realizing the reward, will have an impact on future decisions he faces.”

Since Parker’s computer will be made of parts from all over the world, it will not resemble a conventional computer, and will also be more challenging to create.

“It is extremely difficult to create a computer from scratch because getting parts from different companies to work together is time-consuming and not very promising,” Geek Squad Agent Michael said.

Despite the challenges Parker knows he will face, he is ambitious about building his computer.

“Of course it’s going to be challenging. I mean, I’m not a tech wizard, but it will all be worth it when I can play my video games at a higher level of enjoyment,” Parker said.