For those that know me well, they’ll tell you that “Charlie is the Mac guy” or “Charlie’s the iPhone dude. He knows Apple stuff.” For the most part, they’re right. I know a TON about that company, their products, their culture, their design philosophy. I could tell you, with fair accuracy I claim honestly, why they do most of the things they do with their devices. The experiences they provide are great to most that try it, whether it’s on an iPhone or a Mac. I’ve owned four different MacBook Pros in my lifetime, and they’ve always been the perfect tool for my daily life, in school and work.

From 2006 to four weeks ago, I’ve been a Mac user 100%. Ever since I got out of high school, and discovered what I considered to be the best possible thing in personal computing, a Mac with an intel processor, I fell in love with the platform, and I say that literally. There are different degrees of love in this world, and in many ways the love you have for your significant other isn’t all that different from the love you have with the technology in your life. We smile as we enjoy our favorite apps just as much sometimes as we smile enjoying the company of a handsome man or a beautiful woman (depending on your preference, of course). We have relationships with people, built upon mutual understanding and trust, just as we develop an understanding with our smartphones and computers, and trust they are secure with our data. This was me before, but it went even further than that, because I didn’t just utilize the computers myself, but I also recommended and supported them for others. Regarding laptops, I still do. Macbook Pros are still in my opinion the best possible laptops money can buy. Do NOT buy the Macbook Air, or anything in their lineup that is so thin that you cannot even put a USB drive into it. So silly. That thing doesn’t even have a fan, and it’s less powerful than a phone. Just… just don’t.

Desktops, however… well that’s an animal I had never had the pleasure of working with before, and Apple’s iMac became more attractive to me as a full-blown power machine for my workflow in 2014 with the Retina Display, at an aggressive 5K resolution (5120 x 2880).

A “stunning” turn of opinion

When the Mac was introduced with a retina display in late 2014, I was super excited to finally see such a magical display reach the big time. It has been an incredible machine for me in my pursuits to finish my film, and it has aided me to do things within my business that I just don’t think I would have been able to do without it. The larger screen is simply stunning. Unfortunately, for me at least, the screen has been about the only part that is “stunning.”

Don’t misread me here, I love this computer. It’s awesome. I have no complaints about it, as a unit, for what I like to do. It does it’s job, and it does it really well. However, there’s something missing for me. Something that’s been ‘inside me’ for years that I just haven’t been able to satisfy. At my core, I’ve always been a fan of easy, and “it just works” has been ultimately the backbone of my purchasing decisions with Apple. Indeed, for those of us in the world who want to rely on the tech to always be there, reliably working, and something we can depend on, a Mac is a great fit. But for me – I want something more, at least from a desktop PC. I want something that’s a bit more risky, a bit more fun, and a whole lot faster and more effective at its job, for less money. Yes, I know… I want the world.

Actually no, not the world. I just want to sacrifice a bit of the “easy” for a bit more of the experience. The experience I’m referring to, of course, is building my own computer. Choosing my components, getting what I want, and experience putting it all together. I want to build my own custom PC. I’m transforming (at least on the desktop, my primary workstation), from Mac to a Custom-built PC. Not only am I doing that though… I’m doing it BIG!

My goal here with this PC build contains three parts, two of which will be easier than the third.

The goals/rules are as follows:

  1. The PC I build must be within the same amount of money as my existing iMac is worth. This means, when I sell the iMac I currently have, I break even, or have money left over from the sale, after building the PC. I may buy as much as I want, and as high-priced stuff as I want, so long as that goal is in mind. The ultimate idea here, is that the switch costs me nothing out-of-pocket after selling my iMac.
  2. The PC I build must be faster, and more powerful than the iMac for tasks related to work, such as video production. In other words, moving to PC shouldn’t slow my work down. It should speed it up.
  3. This PC is also a ‘powerhouse’ Gaming PC, and it must perform as such. When built, this PC will be capable of playing AAA titles in 4K resolution, with a minimum of 30 frames per second – with the desired goal of 60+ frames per second. This goal is here to encourage a mindset that makes this PC “future ready” (not ‘future proof,’ as there is no such thing).

I’ll be showing you the parts I’ve chosen to build with shortly. For now, here’s a preview to get you into the attitude that I’m going to be implementing. For those familiar with this stuff… this photo should pretty much explain how I’m budgeting this beast of a machine….


I don’t have all of my parts fully shipped to me yet, but that’s a preview. If you want to follow my progress with this PC build, stay tuned to HotTips! I’m going to go in-depth into every decision I make in terms of parts, and I’m super excited to share this experience with others :)

LEAVE ME A COMMENT DOWN BELOW if you’re happy to see my move to PC instead of MAC!  – Also, what do you think of the parts I’ve teased so far, and what do you predict it’ll cost me, based on seeing these things? Let me know in the comments below! There might be a special prize for whoever guesses closest to the final cost of the machine.

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