PCs are Not Dead

With the industry going mobile, I figured that I could show my true loyalty to the desktop by building my own. I already own several laptops, tablets and phones. What I didn’t own was a very powerful PC.

Hardware

  • Corsair Carbide Series 200R Mid-Tower ATX Case
  • Samsung 120 GB SSD
  • Seagate 2TB SATA HD
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 1GB
  • Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H Motherboard
  • Intel i7 4770K
  • Kingston 8GB Memory
  • Corsair CX600 600W PSU
  • 2 120mm Side Fans
  • DVD/RW Drive

The final cost for all this hardware was about $1000 with rebates from the Micro Center in Tustin, CA. After 4 hours of tedious installation, my UEFI bios booted up just fine.

Boot Loader

Getting Windows 8 Pro and Linux to work together in UEFI environment was  actually very simple. Just install Windows 8 first, disable UEFI in the bios, then install Ubuntu as a second option. Now, I can dual boot into Linux and Windows.

I’m very happy that Windows boots to desktop in under 6 seconds (even when fast boot is disabled) and the case fans make hardly any noise.

The solid state drive is really amazing. I wish I could have gotten a bigger drive for my operating systems. Although almost all of my data resides in the 1 TB drive (I split the 2TB in half for each OS), some of my work relies on code in a source repository that assumes the repository is on the C:\ Drive. Therefore, I have to have a few gigs of data on the local drive.

Ideally, a 200+ GB SSD drive would have been better so that then I can have additional VMs on that drive, like a Mac OSX partion so that I can use XCode. Getting Mac OSX to boot legally inside of a virtual machine is another headache of its own.

Software

  • Tortoise SVN
  • SourceTree (Git Client)
  • VirtualBox
  • FileZilla FTP
  • Sublime Text
  • Notepad++
  • Start8 and Fences by StarDock
  • DropBox
  • Chrome
  • Paint.NET (with PSD plugin)
  • Fiddler
  • Beyond Compare
  • XAMP: for hosting LAMP on Windows
  • Visual Studio 2010, 2012
  • Intelli J
  • Aptana
  • Eclipse
  • iTunes
  • Steam

Gaming

I wouldn’t build such a fast computer without trying it on a few good classic games.
I’ve found that with a mid-level video card and a high-end CPU, all modern games play very well on high detail settings.

  • Half Life 2
  • Portal 2
  • Aliens vs. Predator
  • Far Cry 3
  • Diablo III
  • Starcraft 2
  • Hawken
  • Seious Sam 2
  • Quake 4
  • Doom 3
  • Fez

 

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