Scrolling through photo after photo, I see mastery. Every angle shows weaves of paracord snaking around acrylic tubes and liquid-filled reservoirs. I’m looking at computers, but not just any computers. These PCs are hand-crafted with love and care and a fastidious attention to detail over dozens of hours. These are the works of professional PC builders, one-time hobbyists who’ve turned a passion for rig-building into a way to make money on the side, or even launch a business. In some corners of the Internet, they’re minor celebrities, famous for the care and creativity they put into their builds. But taking the leap from community hero to true professional, making a living building custom PCs, is challenging.
I wanted to know what that struggle has been like for professional builders. How did they start building PCs for clients? How did they make names for themselves? And how do they hope to spin success into a full-time business?
Building towards something bigger
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