With the holiday season in full swing, there’s nothing better than giving back to the community. That’s why PCWorld teamed up with Travis Peacock from Shellback Tech to surprise a disabled veteran with a free, custom PC build. The PC parts were anonymously donated by a longtime fan and community member, then personally assembled by Adam Patrick Murray, PCWorld’s lead video director. But the most rewarding part about this whole process was the Zoom call to the lucky veteran, as his reaction was worth its weight in gold.
You can watch the whole thing in the video below. Read on to learn more about the donated parts, the non-profit that gave us a helping hand, and much more.
It started a couple of months ago when a fan of PCWorld and The Full Nerd podcast offered to anonymously donate PC parts to someone in need. It’s an incredibly kind gesture and the folks here at PCWorld were absolutely thrilled to participate. Given how difficult it is to currently acquire graphic cards and other computing parts due to supply chain issues, we wanted to help out in whatever way we could. Not only were were the PC components donated, so were most of the peripherals (mouse, keyboard, monitor, etc) to get the lucky recipient up and running. A big thanks also goes to Creative for providing a high-end DAC (digital-to-analog converter), a mic, and a webcam.
Adam Murray / PCWorld
The person who donated the parts wanted a PC that could handle 1440p gaming and some streaming. For the overall aesthetic, the idea was a futuristic-looking monochrome build. It’s sleek, modern, and definitely eye-catching. As for the internals, the PC is armed with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X processor and a Gigabyte Vision RTX 3070 graphics card. It’s also packing two RAM sticks with 32GB of memory, a 360mm AIO liquid cooler, two M.2 NVMe drives totaling 3TB of SSD storage, and a 4TB hard drive. One of the M.2 NVMe SSD’s was provided by the folks at Crucial, so thanks to them for that. All of these parts are housed inside a white Be Quiet Silent Base 802. It’s spacious enough inside to allow for upgrading and the case itself keeps everything both quiet and cool. For a full parts list of the PC, head over to PCPartPicker.
With the PC built, we turned to Shellback Tech for help. Honestly? We couldn’t think of a better charity to link up with. Founded by Travis Peacock, a disabled Iraq veteran, Shellback Tech is a 501c3 non-profit that builds and donates custom gaming and streaming PCs to disabled veterans and first responders. The aim is to provide an outlet for disabled people who are struggling with their mental and physical health. The charity also gives away desks, monitors, chairs, and other peripherals. It’s a worthwhile cause, that’s for sure.
So, who’s the lucky recipient? Drum roll please. We gifted the custom gaming PC to Sam Burt, a disabled veteran who served in the navy with Peacock. We called him on Zoom pretending to interview him about Shellback Tech. Sneaky, I know. But when we informed Burt that the swanky PC in the background was in fact his, he began tearing up. His reaction made it all worth it. PCWorld is so honored to have been a part of this process and no one’s more deserving than Burt.
Ashley is a professional writer and editor with a strong background in tech and pop culture. She has written for high traffic websites such as Polygon, Kotaku, StarWars.com, and Nerdist. In her off time, she enjoys playing video games, reading science fiction novels, and hanging out with her rescue greyhound.