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The Setup 2

image of the desk and monitors

Quick update on the state of my computers, following a large purchase and a Twitch build stream.



Component Model Price
motherboard ASUS PRIME B660M-A D4 MICRO ATX $137.71
CPU Intel Core i5-12400F $175.95
Graphics Card EVGA GeForce 3060Ti FTW3 Ultra $699.95
Power Supply EVGA 750W 220-GT-0750 SuperNOVA $109.95
Hard Drive Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 1TB $129.99
RAM Crucial BL2K 2x16GB Ballistix DDR4-3200 $145.66
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S Redux (LGA 1700) $48.59
Case NZXT H510 Flow $98.83
OS Windows 10 Home $103.11
  tax 150.54
  total 1800.28

This was the first time I have ever done a full PC build from scratch using all new components. After working for about 6 months, the majority of my computing for personal reasons had shifted to taking place seated at my desk - and requiring much more graphical prowess. The amount of gaming, complex 3D modeling, and video editing had spiked. My laptop was really struggling to keep up, and performance was further degrading even with the thermal measures I had put in place.

The 3060Ti in the sun

This, and the recovery of the graphics card market, pointed me towards a new tower build. I would keep my Lenovo Flex in service as a mobile solution, as it is still perfectly functional - and aided by the use of my NAS for shared network storage. As for my ThinkPad, the keyboard seems to have mysteriously broken - a common mode of failure, but a replacement is around $30 (on, as you recall, a $100 purchase). As I don’t need to lean on it as a multimonitor solution, it will be closed, tethered to my router, and relegated to running VNC server or something.

Pic of r outside central computers

Parts selection was performed in this order:

  1. GPU: 3060Ti. I wanted 30-series capabilies, but didn’t need something flashy. It was just released and Central Computers had them in stock for only a bit above MSRP. The EVGA FTW 3 was specifically $160 above.
  2. CPU: I wanted something on a new socket, so I wouldn’t have to replace the motherboard on my next upgrade. Both Intel and AMD were neck and neck, so I was comparing some stats. The Intel i5 12400F ended up being a super good deal (due to no integrated graphics), and used the new Intel socket. Good AMD CPU’s were in high demand, as they might have had a bit of an edge - and were thus more expensive.
  3. RAM: 32 GB of DDR4. I didn’t really care other than having a reasonable clock speed, so I let my friend pick it out for me.
  4. Motherboard: Whatever. Something good enough.
  5. Power Supply: Needed to support the 150W TDP of the CPU and the 200W TDP of the GPU, with some overhead. I wanted to be able to expand (forseeing the first upgrade to probably be the CPU) so I shot for the 750W as a kind of upper-midrange solution.
  6. Case: Enough to fit everything and not too expensive.
  7. CPU cooler: reasonable and not too expensive.
  8. SSD: 1TB, reasonable.

The Build

The pile of parts

I decided to do a little build stream on Twitch. As a solution to see chat without having a laptop taking up table space, I used my projector to show text on the surface of the white table I was using. It was a fun little time :)

Stream screenshot

When I pressed the power button for the first time, it didn’t turn on - realized I had left the power supply switch off. It posted after that.

Post-stream shot

So far, the PC has worked great and really sped up my creative process in Premiere, Hydra, and Blender. As for games, I have finally been able to seriously play Cyberpunk 2077 and assorted VR games. If I see a usage, I might set up a remote desktop client (parsec to test, and maybe I’ll eventually get Windows Professional for native remote desktop) to have the desktop power from any computer. That, however, will be a different post.

Thanks for reading.