This build was inspired by a number of things related to the Star Wars franchise, as well as my own personal preferences and circumstances.
To start, I had always wanted a BitFenix Prodigy M case since I first built Lacedaemon's Blade in January 2013. Not only was it reminiscent of the Apple Mac Pro design, which was appealing to me because of my endeavors with Hackintosh, but it also came in my favorite element/color--Fire Red. I had always envisioned a HEDT build for myself utilizing this case, and certain circumstances prompted me into action to make that vision a reality.
The Prodigy M was not actually what spawned this build, however; in fact, it was added on rather late in the process. Aside from increased financial flexibility from new career advancements, this build was first conceived with the acquisition of a Z270 motherboard and 16GB DDR4-3200 RAM. Both were acquired at the behest of a $169 i7-7700K deal at Monoprice, which for the time was definitely a steal.
My i7 order never seemed to go through however, but I had already ordered the motherboard & RAM concurrently, leaving me stuck with both. Not wanting to sell either, especially the RAM (which was considered expensive for the time because of supply shortages), I set out with critical levels of salt in my blood stream to get revenge for the i7 that was, I felt, stolen from me.
My fleet, aka wallet, jumped out of lightspeed on eBay, bidding on at least 3 different types of i7's (7700K, 6800K, 7800X to name a few). Anything that could utilize the DDR4 RAM was bid on, in a frenzy to take advantage of it. I was outbid on all but the i7-7800X, and with that, committed to winning the bid. In the pouring rain and howling winds in the streets of Bremen, Germany, during my semester abroad, I won the bid, and would soon after win the mATX X299 motherboard.
Running Off The Rails
At this point I was over the moon, having scored both HEDT components at pretty good prices, especially the i7-7800X which had been delidded by the previous owner. The sky was the limit, I thought, and began to ponder all the other possibilities that were out there. What was supposed to be a simple upgrade for Lacedaemon's Blade gradually cascaded into an entirely new build; below is a rough reconstruction of the thought train behind the subsequent decisions:
- I'm going to need a beefier cooler to keep this hexa-core CPU nice and icy. Even with the delid, I'm afraid my current Arctic Liquid Freezer 120 won't cut it for 4.5GHz+.
- I've acquired an mATX motherboard and I've always wanted to downsize. After looking at various mATX cases, I remembered my long-buried aspiration for the BitFenix Prodigy M. I found it for a good price @ Newegg, and promptly purchased it.
- I've already purchased at least one 480-512GB SSD over the course of the semester. I could clone my Windows OS to the bigger SSD, retain a 120GB for macOS, and use the newly freed 120GB SSD for a Linux distro.
- If I'm really going through with this, I don't want to use my mismatching 120mm fans. They should match with each other and the AIO.
- Man, a generous overclock setting on PC wattage calculators puts me over-capacity on my current 620W PSU. I'm gonna need more juice, and a fully modular design to maximize space.
Unidentified Object Emerging from Hyperspace - 'Jedi Order' Titan Xp
I knew the thing existed. I had seen it launch during my first 6 weeks abroad in Paris. And I thought to myself back then that it was so ridiculously expensive [for me] that even though it was Star Wars-branded, it was just too far out of range.
But by the last 6 weeks in Berlin, circumstances had changed. I was now immersed [at least partially] in the HEDT realm, and there was no going back. A post on /r/hardwareswap of a user selling his Jedi Order Titan Xp put the card back on the radar for me, and for the first time I actually seriously considered it. It was going to be tough; I had spent a lot of my money during the other 6 weeks in Rome, and I was in a very precarious position to be dropping ~$1K on a single GPU, let alone anything else.
However I needed this card, or so I told myself, and I once again logged onto eBay to see what I could find. Sorted by ending soonest, there was one ending in an hour or so of finding it; I was definitely intrigued by this, but decided to let it go because it was upwards of $1.2K+, and come on--that would've been crazy to buy it.
And then the seller reposted the card at $1K. The price was still crazy, but this little drop was all I needed to justify an impulse bid on the new listing. At this point my entire plan had to be shifted shifted:
- The GTX 1080 from Lacedaemon's Blade that at first would be retained, would instead go to my little brother's build.
- Another R9 390 was originally acquired from /r/hardwareswap to make Lacedaemon's Blade the new Oculus machine (replacing my ASUS FX502VM-AH51 laptop); with my little brother's R9 390 now free, this extra R9 390 would go to my twin brother.
I've always thought that codenames and the like are cool, so I wanted to come up with a name of significance for this milestone build. After thinking for a bit, I came up with True Jedi.
- 'True Jedi' was a level achievement in the LEGO Star Wars video games. This reference has nothing to do with the build, but having played those games in my childhood, it definitely brought the name to the forefront.
- Without paying attention, one would more likely assume, based purely on the color scheme of the case, that this was a Dark Side-oriented build. However, upon closer inspection, the presence of the Jedi insignia reveals that this is, truly, a Jedi build.
- What really drove the name home for me was the following quote by Snoke:
[...] still that fiery spit of hope. You have the spirit of a true Jedi. [...]
The case color is Fire Red, and the component at the center of it all? The Jedi Order Titan Xp.
Maybe I'm grasping at straws, but from my point of view, it most certainly is a fitting name for the build.