Written by @Rye_Bread with a background music recommendation: for that soft podcast vibe, play Cécile Chaminade’s “Thème Varié, Op.89" while reading
Today, I sat down with my good friend and colleague Cesar G. for an impromptu interview.
Cesar is one of our skilled technicians here at the Chicago Micro Center. He specializes in custom PC builds, bringing his own passion and personal experience to the table in order to give our customers the best possible experience. Cesar has been with Micro Center since 2020 and had experience in multiple departments before finding his place as a service technician. He takes pride in all the work he does, treating each and every build he does as if it were his own.
Cesar has always had an interest in electronics. From an early age, he would collect old electronic devices and take them apart, challenging himself to rebuild them. His family couldn’t afford to have the latest technology so he made do with what he could find. At one point, he was gifted an OG Xbox by his family, which eventually malfunctioned due to thermal issues. Cesar joked about how, after taking it apart, he learned that it was his fault that the Xbox broke because he didn’t realize how much ventilation it needed.
During high school, he worked after class to save up for his first custom build. Cesar fondly remembers the components he used: An AMD FX 6300, Nvidia GTX 1050ti, 16GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3, an MSI 970 Gaming motherboard, paired with a 500 Watt EVGA power supply, all tucked into a Rosewill Redbone case. It was then that he found his love for building PCs, and started building for friends and family.
R: Tell me about your favorite build for a customer, one you enjoyed the most.
C: The current one I’m doing would have to be my favorite. But, I really like all of my custom water builds. It gives you an opportunity to add a little bit of “you” to it. So many other people have the same motherboards, cases, and GPUs, but a custom water loop lets you make it personal. Everyone does something a little different.
R: What was the hardest build you’ve ever done, and what troubles did it give you?
C: I really haven’t had any really hard ones… Oh, my build, in the DK-05. The case was so massive that it was just tedious to build in. Putting the case together took a few hours, and I just spent a lot of time leaning over it. I had a lot of fun, it just took forever.
R: Tell me about the build you’re working on now. I can’t say I’ve seen anything like this in person before. What case is that?
C: The Singularity Specter 3.
R: Looks pretty cool, how is it to build in?
C: I’m enjoying building in it, but it’s been quite a long process. There were some complications due to the rarity of the case and availability of the parts. It required a few parts specific to this type of case that needed to be specially ordered.
R: As a technician, what are your favorite cases to work in?
C: The Lian Li cases are some of my favorite cases to work in, they’re very, very easy. My top three to work in would be the Lancool III, Lian Li 216, and 011 lineup.
R: What are your favorite cases aesthetically?
C: The ROG Hyperion is by far one of the coolest cases I’ve ever seen, and I really want to do a build in it. I haven’t seen one yet. The GT502 looks pretty cool as well. There’s one more I really like…the Meshlicious.
R: What case do you use for your PC?
C: [laughter] I have the Lian Li DK-05F.
R: Which one is that? I can’t seem to recall that one.
C: [pulls it up in our inventory]
R: Oh! It’s the table case!
R: If you had to come up tips for an ideal build, what would that be?
C: What kind of build?
R: Let’s go with bang-for-the-buck
C: Well, I would start out with picking a basic motherboard, doesn’t have to be fancy. Just make sure you have the features you need, like WiFi, number of USB ports, M.2 slots, etcetera. Then go with a 5 series processor, whether it’s an i5 or a Ryzen 5. No less than 16GB of RAM, ideally do the jump to DDR5 but you can get killer deals on DDR4 so don’t overlook it. Start with a 1TB SSD. Then, put the remainder of your budget into the best GPU you can get.
R: Do you have any tips for folks looking to build their own PCs at home?
C: For people building at home: Take your time, look up as much information as you need, and everything should go pretty smoothly. For my builds, I connect everything together outside the case before transferring it in, just to make sure all of the parts work properly. You don’t have to, but it’s better than installing everything in the case and realizing something is wrong and you have to take it all apart again. Make sure you have a long screwdriver and a skinny screwdriver. [Cesar holds up an iFixit driver and a 6-inch Phillips screwdriver] It’s also really handy to have one of these [holds up pliers]. Make sure you also spend time on cable management.
R: If there was one piece of equipment you couldn’t live without, what would it be?
C: My mini electric screwdriver. Ever since I started using it…if I don’t have it with me, it feels like I’m wasting time.
R: How many do you own?
C: [looks down and whispers under his breath] Three…
C: I love that thing man.
R: To close off, how would you describe your experience as a technician here at Micro Center?
C: I really do enjoy helping people here. Especially when you get some folks who don’t know much about computers, and I can make sure they get the help they need and leave happy, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. Plus, I’m building computers most of the day. It’s one of my favorite hobbies, there’s not much more I could ask for.
If you're ready to upgrade your PC, stop by your Local Micro Center or view our services online!
our service team is awesome!
Interesting insight into what goes on with the service team in-store!
Here are a few other pictures from the singularity build! It turned out super nice.
The table case is a neat computer case. I build a demo for my store in there as well. It was really neat to see it in person! I really enjoyed the ability to frost and unfrost the glass panel.
Great looking build! Super clean and elegant. Good job Cesar!
Speaking of mini screwdrivers, have you checked this one out? https://www.microcenter.com/product/667846/xiaomi-mi-cordless-screwdriver
everything from the pictures, the visuals, and the writing, *chefs kiss*, thank you so much for sharing!
Oh man, I remember when we carried the table case! It could house 2 pcs if i recall correctly! It was awesome
The music recommendation is now one of my favorites. Thank you!
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