Chan makes unorthodox art; Buying, using computer components in designs


Sam Chan

Chan’s computer contains the RTX 3090, and custom water cooling and cables. He custom painted the case and graphics card.

Ben Iampieri, Reporter

      Sophomore Sam Chan has been building computers for almost a year and wants to continue making new builds to eventually share with others.

     His favorite build is the one with the NVIDIA 3090, a graphics processing unit (GPU). He describes it as “a blue and white color scheme, and a custom water-cooled loop.”

      Chan decided to get the new GPU because he “wanted titan class performance. I knew I had to get it to finally have my dream PC.”

      “Buying it posed a bigger challenge than I thought,” Chan starts. “With the production and stock being so limited due to the current situation, there were only so many cards available. Most of them were going to be taken by bots, where they would be scalped on the secondhand market for way more than what they were selling for.”

      The new card was to be released at 9 am on September 24, 2020. “I had all the websites open that offered them for sale,” Chan explains. “Newegg immediately labeled all their cards as out of stock, which made sense as they are very vulnerable to bots. However, Best Buy was a website that was a little better at dealing with them. It took me 40 minutes into the launch to finally buy one. It was worth every part of the effort I put into this.”

      “I cannot be happier with the results. It is everything I dreamed of, with every small detail filled in so that nothing [is] out of place,” he says.

      Chan first got into building computers, when he wanted to upgrade his current one in April 2020. “If I was going to learn, I needed to know the basics of everything. Whether it was connecting cables to certain components or knowing what to remove and where to place the new parts,” he says. “I watched many tutorials and investigated many websites about the basics.”

      “I didn’t only want to focus on the parts. I wanted to explore aesthetics.” Chan enjoys the aesthetics of computer builds the most, instead of power. “The best part of building computers is that you can truly make it your own. It is a type of art,” Chan explains. “The possibilities are almost endless, with different designs in many of the components that you can buy.”

      Chan believes that building computers is more than technology. “This is a skill that includes the passion and desire of art,” he explains. “You can go in any path you want to reach the finish line.”

      The more computers he built, “the more passion [he] had into building,” he says. “Every time I was done with a project, I would immediately want to start on the next one.”

      Chan wants to build computers for a living.  He hopes people will buy them, so he can keep making more. “Later in my life, I would love to continue building computers for a living,” Chan says. “I would love to… share them with the world and try to influence others to take on this skill and passion.”