Star's Portal
Review of my Workstation
A rewritten blog post explaing the different components in my workstation and why I chose them.
A while ago when I was first starting development on this website, I finished the blog section on the site and wrote my first serious blog post following the building of my first workstation. However, I then had the problem with php-fpm which I posted about here. I really wanted to redo this post because I was quite excited about it at the time, and I haven't made a post ever since. Now that I have gotten more work done on the website I have also completely finished my personal workstation computer, and setup!

But first, a little background,
Growing up I played a lot of computer games, it was truly what got me interested into computers in the first place. Unfortunately, I didn't have a powerful computer, and most games that I really wanted to play lagged way too much to be enjoyable. But being a kid I had next to no money to buy a brand new computer from the store, so I was stuck trying to figure out ways to improve the computer that I had at the time. This included going to out local computer shop and getting scammed trying to "upgrade" the computer (adding 2GB of RAM.) Because I was always trying different things to increase the computers speed, this would sometimes end up with me tinkering with settings I had no knowledge of, in turn, messing up the computer which was shared by my whole family. Through this common occurrence, I would find out how to install my first operating system! At this turning point in my life, I increasingly became more and more interested in the software that ran on the computer, than what games I could play. This would eventually lead to me installing Linux for the first time, and since then I have been working with it ever since! Now I find more enjoyment in programming than I do playing games.

I am going to list off all the components first starting from the motherboard to the case. Although before we start listing off anything, let me explain what I want to use the computer for so it will make sense why I chose certain parts.
The primary use of this computer is a fast Linux workstation that I can program, listen to music, and tinker on without having any road blocks. The secondary use is of course, playing games!

Motherboard:
For the motherboard I chose the MSI Z370 PC PRO Pro I was able to pick up this motherboard refurbished for almost half price! At the time, the LGA 1151 chipset seemed like the best overall option for price, performance, and support.

CPU:
Intel i7-8700K (12) @ 4.7GHz
As I already chose the motherboard with an Intel Chipset it was predetermined that I chose an Intel CPU to go with it! This was a very easy choice all I had was to look at a couple benchmarks, and check the price tag and I was set. I decided on the unlocked version so if I want to push more power for a specific program I have the option. Also the single core performance was the best out of the bin.

GPU:
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
I got this graphics card for two reasons: I want to have zero lag while using multiple monitors and be able to multitask as fast as possible even with a huge workload. Second, it's RTX so it has support for all newer games that have ray-tracing. For the price this seemed like the best option considering I don't really play a lot of games, and anything more would just be wasted processing power. The one downside is that it is RGB and the only way to control it is to download NVIDIA's propitiatory software made for windows which hasn't been ported to Linux as of yet. I would prefer to not have to open up the case and press a hardware button to disable the lights, but what can you do.

Memory:
CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 32GB (4 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM
Realistically, I only really need 16GB but my motherboard looked a little bare with two missing ram slots so I just had to throw another 16 gigs in there! I have yet to get close to using all 32GB at the same time, but it's still nice to have. One of the main reasons why I went with Corsair is the reviews, and it goes well with the black-grey color scheme of my motherboard.

PSU:
Generic 600W PSU
This was the one thing that I didn't have to buy for this build. I bought some generic gaming power supply a couple years prior. It came with a blue 120mm fan with a hardware button to turn it off, it's all black and the cables are braided so it goes well with the color scheme. I have plans on upgrading it to a Thermaltake Toughpower RGB 850W PSU, although it is missing the 24-pin modular cable for it so I have been trying to reach out to Thermaltake to get a replacement. However, they have yet to get back to me so I am going to have to look for the part myself.

Storage:
OS Drive - SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS 500GB
Storage Drive - 2 x Seagate Barracuda 4TB 3.5" HDD
I remember when SSD's where just coming out it was crazy how fast they where compared to the now old mechanical HDD's. But now with the M.2 NVME drives the speeds are ludicrous! When I saw the read/write speeds of Samsungs NVME I just needed to get one. With this thing installed opening programs, file managers, or literally anything is instant. I no longer have to wait to log in and get working because all my auto started programs are open by the time my monitor refreshes.

Water Cooler
Corsair Hydro Series H115i PRO RGB 280mm
Now, I am aware that there is a huge debate whether or not water cooling is better than air cooling, and $250 is a lot to spend on cooling. Although, I notice I get a lot more stable temperatures, and the interior of my computer looks cleaner then having a huge metal block in the middle. A plus side of this coolers is that the drivers are ported to Linux so I can choose to shut off the light's on startup as I am not a huge fan of flashy lights in a computer.

Case
Corsair Obsidian Series 450D
Last but not least is the case, this is what actually holds all the parts together and protects them against dust (and my cat.) I chose this case because there are magnetic dust covers on the top, bottom, and front to maintain the cleanliness of the computer. I wanted to keep with the theme of the motherboard, and choose a simple looking case design to give the "get the job done" type look without breaking the bank.

Originally when I first put this computer together I was ecstatic! Finally after a long awaited time, I have a computer that can actually run games, and that is stress free to work on. And that is even more prominent now, months later. After using this computer for a long time I really don't have any complaints, most, if not all the hardware works great with my distribution of Linux. The startup time is phenomenal, and I am never inconvenienced when it comes to rebooting my computer anymore! Every game I have played to far has been capped at 120fps on the highest settings, all while listening to music on YouTube, and running my base programs.

If you are reading this, I appreciate you viewing my website and reading my whole blog post! That does it for my workstation review. I will be making two more blog posts, in the near future including a review of my room setup, along with some photo's. I will also be going over my home network because that is also something I have been meaning to go over such as what routers I am using, and how my servers communicate with each other.

Please stay tuned!
~Starscript
Corsair
Intel
NVIDIA
Linux
Workstation
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Review of my Workstation
Posted On: 2020-07-20
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Posted On: 2018-12-06
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