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How to Build Your First Gaming PC With a PC Game – The New York Times

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Published July 5, 2021
Haley Perry
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I’ve always dreamed of building my own gaming PC, hoping to end a desktop-gaming existence of painfully long loading screens, laggy gameplay, and dated graphics. I’ve also made every excuse in the book not to do it, instead jumping over to consoles to get my fix of newly released, big-budget games. But as I learned firsthand, there’s no secret entrance to the world of PC building, no black door with a gold star on it guarding an exclusive club for hobbyists and tech gurus. Anyone can build a PC from scratch with a bit of patience and the right guide. For me, that guide was a video game.

By the end of last year, my boredom during the pandemic had hit its peak, and after spending dozens of hours researching—and agonizing for weeks over which parts to buy that would best fit my unreal standards and my very-real savings account—I realized that the most helpful tool was a game called PC Building Simulator.
The internet is brimming with great resources and guides for enthusiasts, but if you’re brand-new to the world of PC building, the sheer amount of information can be overwhelming. It’s hard to anticipate the questions or issues you might come across once you begin.
I set a budget cap that let me splurge on certain components without getting too out of control.
PC Building Simulator is designed for just such novices. Literally a game about fixing and building personal computers, it presents a catalog of real-life parts from manufacturers like Asus and MSI and accurately reproduces them on a workbench. You can pick out components such as cases or motherboards you’ve had your eye on and inspect them up close with the camera or click around to plug them together.
For total beginners, there’s a tutorial mode that plops you in front of a workbench and has you build a PC from scratch. You start by holding the mouse down over the side panels of the case to remove them, after which you unscrew the power supply’s mounting bracket. Then, you reach into a pile of parts and pick out, say, the motherboard, where text bubbles appear to point out features such as the hard disk drive’s SATA ports or the chipset. If you click on a bubble, you get a summary for that part: For example, it explains that SATA ports are where hard drives are connected, and that I/O (input/output) ports are where peripherals such as keyboards and mice are plugged in. If you know nothing about PCs, the tutorial is a foolproof way to get familiar quickly.
Before trying the game, I had narrowed down which parts to get. (My approach of shopping first and learning how to build second was a bit foolish, but it all worked out in the end.) I wanted a small PC that was light and compact enough to easily move around, but I also wanted power. Despite a deep longing for the best graphics and the fastest performance unlimited money could buy, I couldn’t justify spending many thousands of dollars on this particular project. Instead, I set a budget to splurge on certain components without getting too out of control.
The GPU market has been dramatically impacted by global component shortages and manufacturing issues, and as a result even mid-tier and lower-end cards have inflated in price or disappeared entirely. That made availability an important variable in my decision making. I elected to use the graphics card from my old computer, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti—a solid card that met my needs well enough to orient my build around it. More important, I already had it.
With my GPU as a base, I started putting together ideas for potential parts using a website called PCPartPicker. You can research and shop for parts on PCPartPicker, and you can use the site’s filters to find options that work with your existing or planned parts, budget, or other needs. Once I finally felt confident in the choices I had made for my dream build, one looming question remained: Would they all fit?
Although it’s easy enough to find size measurements for each part, mapping out the physical placement and clearance for everything is a different challenge if you’ve never gone under the hood of a PC before. That’s where PC Building Simulator saved the day.
Nothing had really prepared me for the difficulty of connecting wires to tiny ports on the motherboard or screwing in the world’s smallest screws on the heatsink, where my hands all but covered everything in view.
The game’s Free Build mode grants open access to the full catalog of parts and doesn’t interrupt you with any challenges or scenarios to play through. I easily found almost every piece of hardware I wanted to buy in the catalog, and after finishing the game’s tutorial for a basic explanation of each component, I graduated to Career Mode.
There, you operate a PC repair shop and use the parts in the catalog to fix computers with a variety of issues. Customers come to you for help with problems such as recently upgraded PCs that keep crashing, and the game guides you through identifying and fixing them—in one case, it prompted me to install a new power supply capable of supporting the upgraded parts. After a couple of hours, I’d disassembled so many customers’ computers that I felt like I could do it in my sleep.
Then it was time to practice in Free Build mode, where I virtually built my PC at least three or four times until I felt comfortable tackling the project for real. Of course, I encountered hiccups when I built the computer in real life. The game had simulated the building process accurately, but nothing had prepared me for the difficulty of connecting wires to tiny ports on the motherboard or screwing in the world’s smallest screws on the heatsink, where my hands all but covered everything in view. When you’re simply clicking around in a game, the challenge of these tasks is downplayed immensely.
I hit snags—most user manuals that come with the parts are generally unhelpful—but I built with far more confidence than before PC Building Simulator. I knew where each part should go, the role each one played, and most important, that everything would fit and be compatible.
Spending a few hours with PC Building Simulator can be instrumental if you’re new to understanding computers, overwhelmed by the sheer amount of unfamiliar vocabulary, or turned off entirely because you’re unsure about where to start. I still take the time to play certain games or genres on my PlayStation or Nintendo Switch, but after a few months with my new PC, I’m spending a lot more time at my desk for long sessions of World War Z, Valheim, and Dead by Daylight.
by Haley Perry
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Target is selling PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles right now (update: sold out) – The Verge

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Target has just restocked Sony and Microsoft’s consoles
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Update 8:23AM ET, January 21st: Target has sold out of consoles for now. We hope you had some luck on your side today.
Target restocked the $499.99 standard PS5 console, and the $399.99 Digital Edition but both are sold out, and now the $499.99 Xbox Series X is available (depending on location, and possible only via the $34.99 per month All Access subscription package). Unlike other retailers, Target doesn’t require an account or special subscription to access these restocks, so they’ll be dished out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Additionally, there is no queue system in place on the Target store, so your best best is to continually attempt to add the console to your cart and head to checkout as quickly as you can.
Another potential avenue you could explore is downloading the Target app on your mobile device, which might just give you the edge you need to snag a console.
Don’t stress if you happen to miss out, as retailers generally restock at least once a week. We’re always on the lookout for the best deals, so make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for bi-weekly highlights of all the best discounts.

Sony’s flagship next-gen console, which includes a disc drive, allows you to play both digital and physical games for the PS4 and PS5.

The PS5 Digital Edition costs $400. Compared to the standard PS5, this console is $100 less and does not include a Blu-ray disc drive.
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The midnight black DualSense controller sports the same hardware as the original — haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, etc. — only with a two-tone black design reminiscent of PS2, PS3, and PS4 consoles.

Sony’s Pulse 3D wireless gaming headset is worth the roughly $100 price tag if you want a wireless model that allows the audio to shine in select PS5 exclusives. It sounds fantastic with titles like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls, as well as more recent hits like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Like the console, this headset has been a little tough to find, but it’s coming back in stock more frequently these days. Sony also released a midnight black version of the headset for $100, however, it’s slightly more difficult to find in stock.

The latest release from Arcane Studios — the team behind Prey and Dishonored — is a masterpiece in many ways, an open-ended mystery that’s thrilling, action-packed, and just the right amount of weird.

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It's Happening! Anticipated PS5, PS4 Action RPG Elden Ring Goes Gold – Push Square

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Be one with the ring
Shelve your cynicism: Elden Ring will release on 25th February for PlayStation 5 and PS4. The game had originally been scheduled to launch last year, but was pushed back into 2022 to allow a little more time for polish. Now the hotly anticipated action RPG is locked in, as developer FromSoftware has confirmed that the game has gone gold.
For those unfamiliar with industry lingo, going gold is an important milestone in game development, because it essentially means that a master version has been rendered and will now be printed on Blu-ray discs and submitted to platform holders like Sony for publishing on the PS Store. Historically, this meant development was over, but in this modern era teams typically continue work on a day one patch.
That’s exactly what’s happening with Elden Ring: “Please be assured, the title will be ready for sale on 25th February,” FromSoftware’s Yasuhiro Kitao said as part of a Taipei Game Show presentation, as reported by Gematsu. “The master version has already been submitted, and right now, the team is working on a day one patch to make sure everything in the game is just so.”
With Horizon Forbidden West also due out in a matter of weeks, it’s going to be a big February for PlayStation. Where’s your money being spent?
[source youtube.com, via gematsu.com]
About Sammy Barker
Sammy Barker
A true PlayStation veteran, Sammy’s covered the world of PS gaming for years, with an enormous Trophy count to prove it. He also likes tennis games way more than you.
Comments (55)
Northern_munkey
Elden ring..horizon in a few months probably..
Voltan
Already got Horizon pre-ordered. From Soft isn’t really my jam unfortunately.
colonelkilgore
… and it’ll be going Platinum not long after the 25th of Feb 😎
Athrum
"Where’s your money being spent?"
Both.
kyleforrester87
Niceeee! Doesn’t seem like 10 minutes ago that this game was shrouded in mystery and now it’s just around the corner. This takes priority over Horizon 2 for me.
playstation1995
God of war.horizon forbidden west.dying light 2 stay human.and elden ring so far are gonna battle for game of the year.elden ring is gonna be amazing.word up son
themightyant
Horizon first as more worried about spoilers there than in Elden Ring.
ORO_ERICIUS
@Voltan same boat. I think I am not bad at these kind of games but horizon is much more to me than this. Additionally I don´t like the graphics from Eldenring. It looks worse than DemonsSouls imo. Yes its open world but common… seems the art style is not my thing.
Don_Corleone
Got the deluxe version of Horizon Forbidden West preordered. Preordered Sifu. I will wait on Elden Ring because I was hyped for it but it was buggy in the test beta I heard.
Don_Corleone
@ORO_ERICIUS Graphics seem like they got lazy. It definitely doesn’t look as good as Demon Souls remake.
mariomaster96
@Don_Corleone Because the Demon Souls remake was made by Bluepoint Games but more importantly all they had to focus on were the graphics. As far as I know gameplay, combat, story etc weren’t changed that much
From Software on the other side had to built everything from scratch (more or less): the open world, combat, lore, graphics etc
Throb
This game looks good but is it one where you die a lot, respawn miles away and have to redo everything to get one more step further than last time? Like the Soul’s games
kyleforrester87
@Don_Corleone those lazy damn devs!!!
ORO_ERICIUS
@Don_Corleone it is looking okay and maybe there are some compromises because of the older gen versions… but common look at Horizon. HOLY COW it is cleaning the floor with Eldenring. I don´t deny that the machanics and playstyle of Eldenring are awesome no word against that. I watched all about the beta and this is my problem. I have seen it all before it comes out. Why are they doing this??? Would be too boring for me atm. I want to explore the forbidden west with its shiny graphics now.
FinneasGH
The words ‘Day 1 patch’ always make me cringe. So much so that the term ‘gold’ doesn’t mean anything to me now. I’ll consider this ‘gold’ when it’s been out 6 months and patched to a decent state. Not to say that this won’t be decent when it’s out, but I’ve been burned before so I’ll wait and see.
jFug
I royally suck at FromSoft games, so I will be getting Horizon, but Elden Ring looks really cool and I might pick it up later in the year.
Kidfunkadelic83
Think i will wait on Elden ring too. I always jump in to these games and have never beat one. Got Demons souls sitting there not even half done. Saying that, im yet to start Horizon and im getting forbidden west day one but thats a birthday gift so it doesnt count 🤔😂
ORO_ERICIUS
@mariomaster96 from scratch??? Common if you knew about how much is recylcled in the game from Souls games… why then not waiting and working another year on it to make it NEXTGEN? Right, not neccessary because all the From Software fans will buy it now.
Kidfunkadelic83
@ORO_ERICIUS i kinda agree. I think it will still be amazing and still looks amazing…. From a last gen point of view.Imo they should have just gone next gen and missed out last gen like Demons souls did. Guess with the lack of next gen consoles on the shelf they knew they would have lost out big time on sales tho.
Intr1n5ic
I preordered both a while back, gives me a week to complete Horizon before this drops and consumes the majority of my free time.
@mariomaster96 Bluepoint actually made quite a few changes, mostly quality of life but some combat specific stuff as well like omnidirectional rolling and new weapon animations and finishers.
Westernwolf4
I always play just one game at a time and take my time, so I had to pick one of the big February games to order. For me that is Horizon FW; the first entry is one of my favorite games of last generation.
But eventually, I am going to play Dying Light 2, Elden Ring, and Sifu. I am excited about all of them, 2/22 is just an embarrassment of gaming riches.
Grimwood
Wootwoot. Finally the most repetitive gameplay ever!
mariomaster96
@Intr1n5ic Ok fair enough but it still makes a big difference if you don’t have to worry about level design, designing boss battles, enemies etc
R1spam
I’ve never been there for day one for a fromsoft game but I will be with this one! Can’t bloody wait! I really liked HZD but it will have to wait
xRetrox
Great timing! I’m almost done beating Dark Soul 3.
SAMTYLER1974
Quite enjoyed Bloodborne but Sekiro was awful. Boring world design, too repetitive and hideously overrated. And no, 8m not trying to be controversial I’m just being honest. I know people loved it but I thought it was pretty garbage. So no, Elden Ring isn’t on my radar at all. Just in case you wanted to know ….
Zephyr200
@Don_Corleone no such thing, the CNT was pretty good.
Jimmer-jammer
I am so very ready for this.
Zephyr200
@ORO_ERICIUS yeah, elden ring isn’t your thing & horizon ain’t it for me, I bought the first one but I quit after a hour or two.
lolwhatno
@Throb Yes, and I am here for it.
P.s: I would love to just reply with this, but I gotta say the truth, otherwise I will hate myself. They added a respawn area near difficult places (as seen in the beta). I can’t tell you if they will be for every bosses or for selected ones.
Also, don’t judge the games before playing them, (if you can OFC) buy ds3 for a few bucks and try it out. But before that, mentally tell yourself that you’re gonna commit to beating the game, don’t expect a walk in the park
Zephyr200
@Intr1n5ic Well, blue point didn’t need to design every mob from scratch & environment but they did a amazing job making a remake imo
Zephyr200
@lolwhatno yeah they are called graces of maria or something?
lolwhatno
@Grimwood Yeah, I know the feeling lol. I told this to myself every time a boss turned me into dust. "I hate this game" "can’t get over why people enjoy this" "Stupid masochists’ with their chist game" lol, yet here I am beating 3 bosses (in the weekend) in around 10 minutes.
JJ2
Awesome!
It also means that’s the first version of retail discs and It would be a shame if everything went digital only.
Zephyr200
@ORO_ERICIUS I also heard that elden ring will have many new animations and re-using assets is completely fine, many games do it, why change something that is great.
lolwhatno
@Zephyr200 Ye, something like that.
P.s: googled it, it’s "stakes of marika"
Zephyr200
@lolwhatno oh I see, thank you!
Zephyr200
@ORO_ERICIUS also most importantly, I am not hating on horizon btw, I am sure it’s a good game but unfortunately I didn’t like it.
BrockSmith
Horizon first to shield myself from spoilers and then Elden Ring. Also Elden Ring looks massive and replayable so need to allow for more time on that one.
Intr1n5ic
@mariomaster96 100%, I wasn’t trying to dispute that, just pointing out a few things that often get overlooked with the fantastic job Bluepoint did on that game.
Intr1n5ic
@Zephyr200 I’m not sure why you’re stating the obvious to me, I made no mention of those things. I was just highlighting the fact that they did quite a bit more than just a graphics overhaul.
EquiinoxGII
Loved my first game in this genre of demon souls, however Horizon is definitely first as it’s more of my type of game. If I see more of Elden ring and like it, I may pick it up in the future. I’ve managed to plat demons so hopefully this won’t be a frustrating game for me.
JJ2
@Intr1n5ic
@mariomaster96
It’s true guys but it’s amazing how people pretend ER should look like DS. It’s ridiculous.
I think the argument is completely pointless and it’s too bad if they focus on the graphics fidelity. 🤷🏼‍♂️
I can wait for this open world wonder.
Kidfunkadelic83
Elden ring could have looked every bit as good as Demons had they been making it solely for the next gen systems and not been hampered by last gen hardware they are bringing it to. Regardless im sure it will still be great.
Shepherd_Tallon
I went a little bit nuts and pre-ordered the Collector’s Editions for both (Regalla Edition for Horizon).
Horizon arrives on Friday the 18th.
I’ve a week off work to play that.
Then Elden Ring on Friday the 25th.
Another week off work for that.
Gonna be a good time.
LightningLeader
Both Forbidden West and Elden Ring are pre-ordered.
Throb
@lolwhatno I wasn’t judging the game at all. I’d love to play it. I’ve played two of the Soul’s games and Bloodborne but the repetition did my nut in. I was wondering if anyone knew if they had made it more accessible to people who don’t have the time to ‘git gud’
Don_Corleone
@Zephyr200 https://www.dexerto.com/gaming/elden-ring-multiplayer-deemed-not-ready-following-network-test-1699064/?amp
Just because you might not have any issues doesn’t mean others haven’t. I don’t make up lies. It came from a tech website from user feedback.
Don_Corleone
@ORO_ERICIUS Agreed!
Col_McCafferty
@Shepherd_Tallon what did you tell your boss?
😉
Play a FromSoft game? I’m having trouble beating some of the bosses in Kena so shudder to think how poorly I’d do with something like Elden Ring.
What a great month Feb promises to be. Truly something for everyone!
Don_Corleone
@mariomaster96 Makes sense.
lolwhatno
@Throb Oh that’s fair really. Thought you were the type of people hating on the series without having ever played the games (you can dislike the game without playing it, but some people straight up hate on it lol).
To answer your question, if you didn’t continue reading the comments, there is a new system to avoid this, google "stakes of marika".
Anyways, sorry for jumping to conclusions, have a great rest of your day.
Nepp67
@ORO_ERICIUS Them "recycling" lets them focus on other more important stuff. Similar to how Capcom reuses animations to also work on other things in the game. It is not a bad thing to do this.
Blacksmith1985
My money is on Elden Ring.
Horizon will be purcased few months later, I believe.
If I will not lost myself in Elden Ring for a year, ofcourse.
BamBamBaklava89
Dying Light 2 and Horizon are the two I’m grabbing.
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How to Watch NFL Games Online Without Cable – Hollywood Reporter

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Ahead of the Super Bowl LVI, here’s how to livestream every upcoming NFL matchup on CBS, Fox and NBC.
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If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, The Hollywood Reporter may receive an affiliate commission. Note that prices and deals are accurate as of press time but may be subject to change.
The 2022 NFL playoffs kicked off Jan. 15 and continue with four divisional-round games and two championship matchups ahead of the Super Bowl 56. In the AFC bracket, the Cincinnati Bengals will play at the Tennessee Titans and the San Francisco 49ers will play at the Green Bay Packers. The NFC bracket is the Los Angeles Rams vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Buffalo Bills vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. Here’s how to watch every upcoming NFL playoff game online with or without cable.
Before the Super Bowl LVI takes place Feb. 13, here’s the postseason schedule leading up to the big game, including NFL playoff game dates, times, TV channels and livestream details.

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Channels: CBS, NBC, ESPN, Fox; plus Disney+ and ESPN+
Watch CBS, NBC Sports, ESPN, Fox and more than 75 other major cable news, entertainment and sports channels on-demand with a Hulu with Live TV subscription, which is $70 per month and comes bundled with Disney+ and ESPN+. That means you can watch Monday, Thursday and Sunday night football online and record games to watch later. The Hulu with Live TV, Disney+ and ESPN+ bundle also lets you watch thousands of popular TV shows, movies and original content, and you can add Cinemax, HBO Max, Showtime, Starz and other channels for an extra monthly fee.

Hulu with Live TV, Disney+ and ESPN+ Subscription $70 and up monthly


NBC Sports
You can watch Sunday night football online on NBC Sports, which is available with and without cable. Cable TV account holders can log into their account to watch NFL games on NBCSports.com. If you don’t have cable, you can watch NBC Sports on live TV streaming services including DirecTV Stream, FuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling (in select markets) or YouTube TV. See the full NFL schedule on NBC Sports here.

Watch NBC Sports with Cable Account

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Price: $10 monthly
The ultimate app for football fans, NFL’s official Game Pass app gives you access to live game audio and replays of games right after the final whistle, or you can watch condensed games in under 45 minutes. NFL Game Pass also lets you watch behind-the-scenes access to the NFL Scouting Combine and NFL Draft, football news, NFL Network shows, exclusive offseason content, live coach and player reactions, ad-free highlights and more. A seven-day free trial is available for new subscribers.

NFL Game Pass Membership $10 monthly

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Price: $5 to $10 monthly or $50 to $100 annually
Channels: CBS, CBSN
A monthly subscription to Paramount+ lets you watch CBS NFL games live online on both its Essential and Premium plans, which also offer 24/7 live news with CBSN and tens of thousands of TV show episodes and movies. The Essential package is $5 monthly (or $50 annually) and includes limited ads, while the Premium package is $10 per month (or $100 annually) and has no ads except for a few shows, plus your local CBS station live, digital recording and more live sports. New customers get a free one-week trial.

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Paramount+ Subscription $5 and up monthly

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Price: $5 monthly for Premium, $10 monthly for Premium Plus
Channels: NBC; Sports add-on includes NFL RedZone and other channels
Livestream NBC and watch Peacock network TV shows and movies on demand when you subscribe to Peacock‘s ad-supported Premium plan ($5 monthly) or the ad-free Premium Plus package ($10 monthly).

Peacock Subscription $5 to $10 monthly

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Price: $35 monthly for the Orange Plan, $50 monthly for the Orange & Blue plan
Channels (varies by plan and area): ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, Fox, NBC, NFL Network and FS1
Live TV streaming platform Sling has two monthly subscription options that let you watch NFL games online: the Orange plan ($35 monthly), which gives you access to over 30 channels including ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3; and the Orange & Blue package ($50 monthly), which includes all three ESPN channels as well as NBC and Fox (in select markets), NFL Network and FS1.
Both plans also come with other news, entertainment and sports channels, such as A&E, AMC, CNN, Food Network, Freeform, HGTV, History, Lifetime and others. You can customize your Sling TV subscription and add the Sports Extra mini-channel for an extra $11 per month. However, CBS is not available on Sling.
Note that you’ll need to connect an HD antenna and an AirTV device if you want to watch local channels with your Sling service; get more details here.

Sling TV Subscription $50 monthly

Buy now

Price: $65 per month; limited-time rate of $55 monthly for the first three months
Channels: CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC and NFL Network; Sports Plus add-on includes NFL RedZone and 17 more channels
For $65 per month, YouTube’s live TV streaming subscription includes CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC and NFL Network; get 18 more channels (including NFL RedZone) with the Sports Plus add-on for an extra $11 monthly.

YouTube TV Subscription $65 and up monthly

Buy now

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