I haven’t posted in a little while, and thought an update was due, so today I am posting two blog posts with similar content. This post will be about something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now - build my own desktop.
Starting last summer, I’ve been planning out a desktop, and in the fall semester my roommate and I were going to build one for the room and split the cost. We ended up never doing it, but since I’ll be in a single next year with a TV to myself, I figure now was a good time to do it. I also have the money, so I spent a week carefully choosing parts, and spent the majority of a paycheck on a new computer. When I move in to my dorm room in August, I plan on hooking it up to my TV for gaming sessions, using its processing power to compile code, and using its GPU to play around with neural networks. Here’s a video on the TV it will be driving:
I decided to go with the Ryzen 5 1600, as it offers a lot of value for its price, and it does really well in non-gaming tasks, such as file compression. It also does well enough in gaming, which matters to me. Its stock cooler is more than sufficient, saving me about $30 over getting, say, the 1600X or an i5, and I can overclock it to just about match the 1600X whenever I feel like it. I paired the CPU with two 8GB DDR4 DIMMs, each running at 2933MHz. They live happily on a Gigabyte motherboard, one of those gimmicky ones with an RGB LED light bar (which should go great with the TV!).
The case is red-themed, and boasts 3 red LED fans. The appearance of the
machine directly led to me titling this post after a line from
Avatar: The Last Airbender. Because of its glowing red on black appearance,
I figured the machine was very fire-nation themed. I noticed that
my gaming laptop, a Lenovo Y40, was also black with red key accents. My
little ThinkPad x201 is also black, but with fewer bits of red plastic.
So, I decided to change the hostname of my machines to all follow a Fire Nation
theme. My desktop is
ozai, the Y40 is
zuko, and because I run archlinux
with a blue-themed i3wm on it, the ThinkPad is
After basically everyone I knew failed to talk me out of building a desktop at
all, they failed once more when I tried getting people to talk me out of a
GTX 1080. I was already perfectly happy with the GTX 960 we had in my family
computer at home, but once the idea of a 1080 was in my head in wouldn’t leave.
Because the build is named
ozai, my good friend Emil suggested that I name
Sozin's Comet - which I rather like.
All in all I am very happy with the build. Right now it is running with a 7200 RPM hard drive, but once I get back to my dorm I’ll have a spare SSD ready for it. I was debating getting an M.2 NVMe drive, but for the money it doesn’t seem worth it right now. I do, however, have something else in mind for it…