the compier

my main computer

My main PC is an ever-shifting, questionably arranged agglomeration of components selected as if at random, designed and assembled by yours truly circa March of '22. Apparently, I have a lot to say about it.


CPU - AMD Ryzen 7 5700G

I chose the 5700G mainly for its inclusion of an integrated GPU, not because I wanted to use it, but because I wanted it as a fallback in case my dedicated GPU failed. In fact, I tested and Blender renders perform worse when I use both GPUs in parallel instead of just the one.

This chip was also cheaper than the 5800 with the same number of cores and, presumably, similar performance by all other metrics. It took me until after the system was built to realize that its other significant difference from the 5800 is that it lacks PCIe 4 support and is bottlenecking every other PCIe device in my machine.

CPU Cooler - Noctua NH-U12A

Admittedly, a bit overkill for the 65-watt chip it's attached to. I bought it because I was getting thermal throttling with the stock cooler, but when I took it off to put the new cooler on I discovered I hadn't mounted the stock cooler properly to begin with. The stock cooler, mounted correctly, would probably have sufficed, but frankly that mounting system was dogshit anyway. SecuFirm™ gang 4 lyfe.

Now that I have it, this cooler is great. Nothing specific to say, it just works and works very well. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the first and last CPU cooler I ever buy. My one complaint is that the fan clips are kind of annoying to deal with.

Motherboard - Gigabyte B550 AORUS PRO AC

Nothing much to say here that you couldn't get from the product page on Newegg. Plenty of I/O and has yet to cause any problems with operation. I chose it partly for the included wireless functionality, which now mostly gets used for my bluetooth Xbox controller ever since I upgraded to a wired connection.

I recommend this motherboard if for some reason you're building an AM4 system in $CURRENT_YEAR, but be warned that the screws holding the M.2 heatsinks down are made of cheese and will snap off if over-torqued. Don't ask me how I know. Also, the included Wi-Fi antenna is fugly and has an absolutely pathetic mounting magnet.

RAM - G.Skill Ripjaws V 2x16GB DDR4-3600 CL18

Good RAM. No complaints. I thought for a while that the XMP profiles weren't compatible with my CPU or something, but an update to my motherboard's BIOS solved that.

Boot SSD - Samsung 980 500GB (NVMe)

Used solely to store my OS and programs. Far bigger than necessary for that purpose, but no issues so far. Plenty fast and all that. I initially assumed it had DRAM, then I learned it didn't, then I learned that it's one of those drives that leeches off of your system memory instead of having an onboard cache, so make of that what you will.

Secondary SSD - WD Blue 2TB (NVMe)

This drive is mounted as /home, for convenient OS reinstalls and such-like. It's a fairly new addition, so I can't remark on its performance, but it certainly wasn't DOA. This one also uses your system memory as a cache, but that's fine. I've got plenty to go around.

The drive that used to fill this role was a WD Blue 1TB SATA SSD that started off serving the same purpose as an aftermarket upgrade to my old laptop, but got transplanted wholesale when I upgraded to the new system. That drive still functions, but since it holds all my most sensitive and irreplacable files, I elected to replace it for Peace Of Mind™ after my PSU exploded, and opted for a cheeky capacity upgrade while I was at it. Plus, this one was on sale for like, $90 off!

HDD - WD Black 4TB (7200RPM)

This drive was purchased pursuant to the goal of never running out of storage on my computer again, following an upbringing spent gaming on laptops with tiny little SSDs in them. I mostly fill it with Legally Obtained™ movies and Steam games I don't play very often. Absolutely no complaints thus far.

GPU - ASUS Dual Radeon RX 6600 XT

Fine, enough edging. I know this is the part everyone cares about. It's a fine GPU, it performs admirably at 1080p in all my favourite games but can get a little overwhelmed at 1440p with all the shaders on in Minecraft, the encoder is what you'd expect from AMD and the Blender performance leaves something to be desired. I've had some odd stability issues with it in the past but that might have been due to the apparently faulty power supply I was running. It certainly isn't a thermal issue.

I want it on record here that if I ever buy a 3090 or whatever the biggest baddest new $1000+ AAA-cruncher is and I haven't won the lottery, I am to be taken out back and shot like a lame horse. Frankly, I probably need some sense beaten into me if I'm buying lottery tickets to begin with.

Case - Corsair Carbide Series 110R

A decent enough mid-tower case, chosen primarily for the inclusion of a 5.25" bay for an internal optical drive. Good airflow characteristics and adequate cable management, but it can be a little cramped to build in, especially if you're running an exotic setup like a modular PSU with a 3.5" HDD at the same time. I realized after buying it that the glass side panel is tinted, necessitating the use of internal lighting, which I initially elected not to buy, to see inside at all.

Power Supply - EVGA SuperNOVA G6 1000W

This power supply is, bluntly, comically over-spec'd for the system it's in. I could run two graphics cards off of this thing if I wanted. I could run two of my entire computer off of this thing, it even has a second CPU power connector.

This turbo level of overkill-itude is (mostly) intentional. My last PSU was a much more sensible Seasonic Focus GX-650 rated for 650 watts, but despite being, by all accounts, the correct power supply for my use case, it still died suddenly with a loud POP two and a half years into Seasonic's 10-year Worry-Free Warranty™. The RMA process was good, at least.

I wanted to get something less likely to suffer the same fate this time around, but having just lost a well-reviewed unit from a reputable brand with a good efficiency rating and a generous yet sensible rated wattage to nothing but bad luck, the only thing I could really do to maybe accomplish this other than just getting luckier was to buy something so overbuilt that it no longer regards my machine running at full bore as a significant load, hence this absolute goliath of a PSU. The original plan was to get a slightly more reasonable 850 watt unit instead, but this one was on a really good sale. I basically paid 850-watt money for it.

As of writing, the day after installing it in my system, my plan has yet to backfire. Time will tell if I made the right call.

Optical Drive - LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray Burner

It was really important to me that my computer have a disc drive, and this was the cheapest unit on PCPartPicker that supported all the major formats. Like most of the parts in my computer, it functions reliably as advertised without significant issue and I don't have much to say on the matter. I've gotten plenty of use out of it - I have a decently large collection of CDs that I've ripped using this drive.


Mouse - Logitech G602

I've had this mouse for something like six years. I've had it for so long I've forgotten how long it's been. High-quality, long-lasting, and it probably helps that it takes AAs. I wish the software for it worked on Linux, though.

I generally prefer wired peripherals where possible, but the RF dongle this mouse uses has been rock-solid for me, as long as I don't keep it behind a bunch of EMI-blocking metal panels.

Keyboard - Keychron V3 and Q0

I would have just gotten a 100% keyboard, but they didn't have it in the chassis colour I wanted so I ended up with a TKL and separate numpad instead. I'm a huge fan of both, what with the open-source firmware and hot-swappable switches and all. I especially like the extra included keycaps for use with a Mac, not because I intend to use it with a mac, but because it lets me finally get rid of the fucking Windows logo on my keyboard.

Unless I lose them in a house fire or something, I think these units probably constitute my "endgame", as keyboard enthusiasts say. They have every feature I care about and every upgrade or change I can see myself caring to make is maximally easy. This is one of those things that I shelled out for with the intent of never, ever replacing it.

Gamepad - Xbox One wireless controller

I bought this several years ago when I was still running Windows because I wanted maximum compatibility for minimum effort. It still works now that I'm on Linux, using bluetooth and with xpadneo installed. It's decent, no complaints, I'm sure it could be better but I don't use it enough to justify caring.

Monitors - MSI MAG274QRFW 27" 1440p 180Hz (2x)

Another "endgame" purchase. Very good monitors, if I replace them it'll be because they broke. I truly don't care for OLEDs - they get burn-in, for god's sake, I thought we moved on from that in the early 2000's when LCDs became commonplace.

These are mounted on a cheap, AmazonBasics-tier VESA monitor stand that came with a huge metal foot that kind of defeated the purpose, but that I have since replaced with a much more compact combination of 3D-printed brackets and wood screws.

Webcam - Logitech C925e

It's a USB webcam. The picture is good enough - better than most laptops - but it does some annoying auto-adjustment stuff that makes chroma-key shenanigans difficult at times. Standout features are the privacy shutter, indicator light when the camera is in use, and screw mount. I'm sure the microphone is adequate in a pinch, but I have no reason to use it.

Microphone - Audio-Technica AT2020 USB+

Very good microphone. Probably as good as I'll ever need. Superb sound quality; my friends in voice chat complain whenever they hear me on anything else. I'd have gotten the XLR version but I did not yet own an audio interface and didn't want to shell out just for this.

In what is becoming a running theme, it sits on a perhaps unbefitting $20 no-name mic arm from Amazon, with matching cheap shock mount and pop filter. They work, though. The springs on the arm are loud and, as my friends are keen to point out every time, quite audible through the mic.

Audio Interface - Arturia Minifuse 2

Bought to accompany a synthesizer, I have also used this interface to great effect for the purpose of digitizing cassette tapes. I only learned after buying it that both analog inputs are mono, which kind of makes sense and I assume is normal, but it would have been nice to know beforehand.


My computer tower. The CPU heatsink, graphics card, and RAM are prominently visible through the glass side panel. An optical drive is also visible on the front. Closer shot of the inside of my compter with the glass side panel removed. My shoddy cable management is on full display.