CIS 12: Custom PC for University

Scenario: Your cousin has just moved out to study Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He asks you to purchase parts for a custom-built computer for his school work but he can only spend $650 (before tax).

He already has a base model of the newest iPhone and a small HDTV (with only HDMI outputs) that he plans to take with him to his campus dorm. The room includes both LAN and Wi-Fi connection to the internet. He will need the computer to meet his programming, online research and entertainment needs.

Task: You need to buy the parts for his custom-built computer that meet his needs.

  1. Identify his needs. If you are unsure of his needs, you can ask his best friend (i.e. the teacher).
  2. Browse online for desktop computers from different retailers and select the best one he can buy under $650.
  3. Go to PC Part Picker (or a similar site) and select the best PC parts that his budget can buy. Make sure the parts are compatible with each other (i.e. motherboard, CPU, RAM, etc. must all be compatible). In addition, make sure the performance does not bottleneck, meaning the PC does not slow down to its worse part. You still need to purchase some parts such as the tower, the keyboard and the mouse that are not listed on the website.
  4. Price out each part online. You may use eBay and Craigslist but make sure you include shipping in your total. Avoid purchase from the US due to customs that are not included.
  5. Prepare a slideshow presentation on Google Drive that answers the questions:
    1. What is the scenario?
    2. What are your cousin’s needs?
    3. Which desktop computer have you chosen from a store? Why is this one the best one you can buy within the budget.
    4. How does your custom PC compare to the one from stores? Organize and list your custom PC parts side by side with the store one. Include the price and vendor.
    5. What are the benefits and drawbacks? Compare the two computers.
    6. If you can only recommend one, which one will you recommend? Why?

There is no limit to the number of slides, as long as you can get your point across in 6 minutes or less. Make your slides concise but elaborate when you present (i.e. don’t just read your slides). The slides should be legible from the back row of the class, using high contrast and big fonts (larger than 24-pt). Be sure to include visuals and animations to make your presentation more engaging.

Evaluation: Click here to view the evaluation rubric for the PC for University presentation.