Hello, everybody! Well, after years of dutiful service, my desktop - the Alienware X51 R2, went belly up. So, it was time for a new build, and this guide is about Pegaship. I have this weird obsession with naming everything in my life sigh.
I built it about a month ago now, but only recently handled cable management and properly put it on my desk. I still have to install an SSD and an HDD, but those aren't critical, so I will get to them eventually. The purpose of this build is software engineering, but also a lot of photography (think around 7TB of photos), video editing, as well as some graphic design and things like that. I want to get into CAD, hence my Quadro card. I also game a lot...gets called off-screen Wait, what do you mean Minesweeper doesn't count? Well I also play Solitai....still no? Fine. Yeah in all seriousness I don't game. :)
A good amount of cores (which Lightroom will ignore, because thanks Adobe), good speeds and the chance of overclocking it later made this an easy choice. I still don't know how I feel about AMD. Yes, the Ryzen CPUs are great and they have less issues with Meltdown and Spectre, but I'm not entirely sold on them just because I've been with Intel for ages (well all of us have). I may ease into the new CPUs with my new builds!
Aside from the fan speeds, idling temperatures, dimensions and mounting, the v1 and v2 H100i are identical. The newer one is cheaper, so I went with that. I am considering making a custom cooling loop way down the line though.
I originally decided on one of the Gigabyte boards and it did not have Wi-Fi. Upgraded to this one after a friend (thanks, Arthur!) pointed it out (my plan was to get a separate card for that, but this is much cleaner after all). Not sure I love the LEDs on it though (see my issues at the end), but otherwise - it's a great board with a lot of overclocking options. I know this is not recent by any means, but using a mouse in the BIOS settings still blows my mind.
This was actually a downgrade from the 64GB configuration I wanted, but I'll add the other 32GB later. It's memory, it works. I did, however, pay a bit of a premium for the 3200MHz speed.
Well I pulled the SSD from my Alienware, and that's going to be used as my scratch disc for all things Adobe. Naturally, the M.2 is the primary device. The HDD has my old projects and it'll be good to have a separate location for long-term storage. I have an external WD RED used for Lightroom catalogs and the like. With storage, much like with coffee, you can never have too much eye twitch.
As mentioned before, I don't game, and the prices for the GTX cards are only now starting to come down. Given my use cases and the market, I was able to save a bunch of money since I got a workstation-ready graphics card for almost half the inflated cost of a 1080Ti (I'm talking around the time the 1080s went for more than a grand). Long-term goal is to either upgrade to the next level of Quadro cards or to put another P4000 in.
I'm a big fan of Fractal Design's work - minimal cases, brushed aluminum, the tempered glass window is a nice touch. Initially, I bought the R5 equivalent of my current case, but ended up using that for another build. The R6 has a PSU shroud - it's really nice, everything looks clean. I would like them to install some more holes for cable management though.
Well I got a full modular one because it's easier to manage all of the cables. I am a big fan of the EVGA SuperNOVA series and so this was an easy choice as well.
I got custom cables! They are blue. They cable. Yes.
There were some annoyances that took place during the build. For one, I do like the pump placement up front, but my preference was to have it on the bottom to adjust how the cooling pipes are positioned. The pipes were just 1-2cm too short for this though. The case is missing a couple of cable holes below the motherboard, so the front-panel audio, USB, HDD LEDs, power switch cables stick out more than they should. The open layout is nice, but I'm struggling to see where to put an HDD. I think there is a way to put it in the front (think SSD gutter) since I took the drive array down. Finally, the RGBs are impossible to turn off. I want them on when the desktop is on, but they keep flashing a rainbow spectrum while the system is shut down. I've disabled the necessary power settings in the BIOS to no avail. I may just say "screw it" and shut them down all-together. Buy RGB, they said, easy to turn them off, they said...
Thanks for reading, let me know if you have any questions! :D