HomeTechnologyNewsPC Builders Are Like Gear Enthusiasts, Here's Why – Review Geek

PC Builders Are Like Gear Enthusiasts, Here’s Why – Review Geek

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -



At first glance, PC building culture and car culture are two very different things. One group can fix things with a hammer, while the other only reaches for the hammer when they finally give up. But scratch the surface, and in reality everything is remarkably similar.

Although stereotypes come to mind, people involved in both hobbies also come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some people may even enjoy both building PCs and being enthusiastic about motorsports, which means they go bankrupt on two fronts. Real life racers are expensive enough to spend hundreds of dollars on parts for a virtual racing rig as well. Even if you are only involved in one of the hobbies, the similarities between the two are very apparent.

Both spend a lot to increase power

An exposed hot rod engine

Performance is an important aspect of both car culture and PC culture. One group might put a new engine in their vehicle to improve their 0-60 times; the other spends a month’s salary on a new GPU so they can get over 60 FPS while roaming around assassin’s Creed. And the best part is that everything is much more complicated than that.

In terms of budget and effort, enthusiasts tend to take things to the extreme. Yes, you can buy the best CPU and GPU on the market, but all your friends have them too. So to get better, design a complex water cooling system and overclock those components to Hades and vice versa. There is also a vehicle equivalent to this, and that is engine tuning. Just as you can play excessively with your clock speeds to find the balance between peak performance and whether your hardware is performing strangely or just plain fried, you can play with things like power-on timing and on timing engines. naturally aspirated, air/fuel mixture.

In extreme cases, nitrogen can be used to push everything beyond its usual limits. Overclockers have used liquid nitrogen to cool down a CPU while increasing its clock speed beyond what was previously possible. NOS increases engine efficiency by cooling the cylinder, which means denser, oxygen-rich air can enter, and by supplying oxygen directly as the gas breaks down from the heat of combustion. In both cases, there’s a huge performance boost for those who want to spend money on specialized equipment.

Beyond that, there are challenges and limits that people can place on themselves and their platforms. Interestingly, these also overlap. Want to see how far you can go with an air-cooled PC? Congratulations, you are working on the computer equivalent of a naturally aspirated engine*. Both can work very well if you have the budget to buy a high-end cooling system.

*Yes, the actual direct equivalent would be an air-cooled engine like you used to see in certain Volkswagens and Porsches. However, in terms of its impact on performance, I would say that air cooling is to liquid cooling what the carburetor is to the turbocharger.

You have the same extreme level of customization.

The inside of a PC showing an extensive water cooling system

Just as a stripe down the side won’t make a car go faster, RGB lighting doesn’t help PC performance, as much as it hurts to hear that. Still, people like their rigs and cars to look good. And looking good can cost a pretty penny.

Again, it’s a cultural thing. A custom paint job and some bodywork offer absolutely nothing more than visual appeal, but they can end up costing much more than a complete engine replacement. Likewise, RBG lighting, for the most part, makes a PC look terribly migraine-inducing, and can eat up money that could have been spent on performance. People like to decorate things they take pride in, and half the time, they waste a small fortune and end up with something absolutely horrible.

Personalization also goes beyond the heart of the machine itself. Want to put bucket seats in your car and trade comfort for that race car feeling? Well, PC builders too can pretend to be professionals by spending thousands of dollars on a specialized gaming chair. Is a normal mouse not good enough? Enjoy an overly complicated custom mouse, drawing parallels with a custom gear shift.

Some players even go further and build entire racing rigs. This is where there’s a real overlap, as people who enjoy racing games to that degree also virtually tune up their machines. You could even have a conversation about complex topics like injector angle timing with someone who tunes real life engines. Or, at the very least, talk about steering wheel preferences.

There are shows and there is an element of competition

A row of classic cars at a car show
Johnnie Rik/Shutterstock.com

While most of this article involves making comparisons between building and maintaining vehicles and computers, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Where you really see similarities is in the cultures that have sprung up around both hobbies.

You can have a car without being a “car guy” and you can have a computer without being a “computer guy.” When real enthusiasm kicks in, both areas overlap a lot. Visit any forum, meeting, or even listen to two people chatting about any topic in a cafe, and you’ll enjoy what is basically the same conversation. Phones will come out and photos will be displayed. The specifications will be discussed and questioned. Each participant’s dream unit will be described, along with their future plans regarding their current pride and joy.

Things can also get more serious. You know about car shows, but computer geeks also have plenty of opportunities to show off their personal kits or construction prowess. Organizations like TeamGroup run competitions to see who can design the best gear. There are Facebook groups and Discord servers focused on people showing off their hardware. There’s also the overclocking community, which prides itself on figuring out how to push processors and GPUs beyond their limits without starting a fire.

We all spend too much time and money on our pride and joy.

There is an argument that building a PC is a cheap option. You can skimp on the parts you don’t really need and put the savings toward the parts you do need or just cut overall costs. The problem is that it’s hard to do that. You are in a situation where you can get a lot more for an extra $20 in some cases. The few extra bucks here and there eventually add up when you want to get “a lot more” out of a number of components.

When your build is completed massively over budget, things don’t really end there. There are adjustments and updates you can do. No one is really happy with their fan setup, so maybe you need some new fans, a new setup, or a fancy controller to balance performance with noise levels. Did they skimp on the case during the initial build? You might find yourself looking for a new one on Black Friday, Cyber ​​Monday, or one of those bi-weekly Amazon sales ads.

Cars are no different, really. A restoration job could take years of hard work, with the reward being a beautiful machine with which you can enjoy the warm summer days. But when it’s all over, you realize that you really enjoy suffering and continue to play with it. Find new parts you couldn’t initially afford, repeatedly polish components unnecessarily, and perform routine maintenance more often than you should. We are made to suffer.

something is going to break

Whether it’s a car or a computer, we all know how it feels to turn it on for the first time. No matter how experienced you are, something that works right from the start creates a special feeling. But there’s always the chance that it simply refuses to come to life, and you’ll be doomed to recheck every connection and component to find out what silly trivial thing you missed.

Then when it’s working, there’s a chance that something will break somewhere down the line and you’ll have to spend even more time working on it. With classics, it’s usually down to the design of the vehicle itself. Manufacturing methods weren’t that good back in the day, and you’ll probably spend a fair amount of time sitting on the roadside in a steamy six-cylinder. PCs are somewhat different. If it boots up and nothing goes catastrophically wrong in the first few minutes, it’s probably a very stable machine, at least in terms of components.

The chances of a quality part fresh from the factory to develop problems are very slim and are usually covered by a warranty. The only way you’ll really get into trouble is if you take a chance on a used graphics card or really skimp on something like a power supply. Most of the problems you’ll run into with a PC are software related, and fixing them can be as annoying as skinning your knuckles in your engine bay.

So what’s the point in all this?

On the surface, they might seem like two very different hobbies that are enjoyed by two very different groups of people, but zoom out a bit and it turns out they’re not. There are many of the same motives, goals, frustrations, and crippling financial costs involved. And there are similar communities behind both cultures, even if one group ends up with industrial dermatitis while the other simply develops an irrational fear of static electricity.

The general point, as anyone with a fake psychology degree will tell you, is that humans are basically all the same, and we just paint things different colors to try and look a bit unique. So the next time someone starts talking to you about upgrading to a 4090 or why they need new shocks on their race car, keep the conversation going. Tell them how it’s a bit like your favorite hobby.

Maybe you’ll make a new friend who’ll pass you some precision screwdrivers on a Monday if you agree to throw them some wrenches on a Thursday.


- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
Stay Connected
[td_block_social_counter facebook="#" manual_count_facebook="16985" manual_count_twitter="2458" twitter="#" youtube="#" manual_count_youtube="61453" style="style3 td-social-colored" f_counters_font_family="450" f_network_font_family="450" f_network_font_weight="700" f_btn_font_family="450" f_btn_font_weight="700" tdc_css="eyJhbGwiOnsibWFyZ2luLWJvdHRvbSI6IjMwIiwiZGlzcGxheSI6IiJ9fQ=="]
Must Read
- Advertisement -
Related News
- Advertisement -