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 azula.

Ozai lost so he's on his side. But mostly I'm afraid of GPU sag.

Ozai lost so he's on his side. But mostly I'm afraid of GPU sag.

The side window, showing off the red-ness of the lights. It also shows off the crown jewel of the build, which is detailed below.

The side window, showing off the red-ness of the lights. It also shows off the crown jewel of the build, which is detailed below.

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 the GPU 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…

Not tagged with anything yet.
Part of a series on The Fire Nation.