New Rig 2023

I quit my job recently to spend a bit of time funemployed before looking for a new role and finally pulled the trigger on buying a new PC. Given a decent portion of it is tax deductible, I tend to hold onto my desktops for a long time, and I want to be able to use it for gaming, rendering, and some ML experiments I decided to spend pretty decently on it. With this in mind I went to my favourite local PC parts supplier (PLE) and put in an order for:

  • AMD Ryzen 9 7950X CPU
  • Corsair Vengeance 64GB (2x 32GB) RAM
  • Nvidia RTX 4090 24GB GPU
  • Gigabyte B650M motherboard
  • Corsair MP600 2TB PCIe M.2 SSD
  • Fractal Design Define 7 case
  • Cooler Master ML240L AIO CPU cooler
  • Thermaltake 1200W PSU

It was definitely overkill, but I had saved up for a long while and it was a huge treat to myself.

Three boxes, one containing an AMD Ryzen 9 CPU, one containing 64GB of Corsair RAM, and another showing the label for a GeForce RTX 4090 GPU.

When the parts finally arrived I spent the customary evening setting it up and testing it out, making sure everything worked alright, ending up with a beautiful new main rig.

Love Letter To Modern Cases

I was surprised at how much easier assembling a PC was with a modern case; I’ve been using an Antec Twelve Hundred case for about 14 years now and it seems PC cases have gotten so much better in terms of design and usability since those heavy, laceration-prone days.

Side note: I tried looking up the release date for the Antec Twelve Hundred and the first hit was a YouTube video titled “Retro Unboxing | Antec Twelve Hundred” so I’m just going to crumble into dust.

I was amazed at the amount of options for hard drive mounting and cable management in particular. Havine so many rear channels with ties already in place made it a dream, with rubber-lined pass-throughs to bring stuff forward at the right place over the motherboard. Also worth noting that so much of the case is lined with rubber matting to reduce noise and everything slots together quite firmly to reduce vibration. The overall build quality feels incredibly functional, solid, and well-designed, rather than gimmicky capabilities loosely held together.

It also feels like care was taken in the manufacture of all the separate components. Every piece of black metal is completely painted black! I’m not sure if that’s a surprise to people but I’ve got four other cases sitting around my house that all are black externally and the inside is unpainted steel with the smattering of black pain overspray.

Almost everything was completely tool-less, and in a much easier manner than bygone eras which made it really enjoyable to set up. Given the lack of 2.5"/3.5"/5.25" devices it also meant the cable management was a breeze and the whole inside looks really nice.

The inside of a computer case with good cable management. Everything is in blacks and silvers and all lit by a green glow from fans and coolers and all the other funky RGB lights that gaming computers now have.

Other Thoughts

Fitting an AIO cooler is much more of a pain in the arse than I realised, the thick pipes really love to try bending the radiator or heatsink in the opposite direction to where you’re trying to afix it. But after finally acquiescing to my pleading I’m really happy with it’s performance and low noise. Plus the RGB lighting really does make the interior of the case look nice through the tempered glass window.

The RTX 4090 is a beast of a card. Just an absolute behemoth of device that if it had crashed to Earth 66 million years ago I’m sure would have also been able to create the Chicxulub crater and subsequent dinosaur extinction event. If you want to get one of these you will need anti-sag brackets and mounts. Unfortunately the one it arrived with doesn’t mesh well with my case and motherboard choice so I’ve also jerry-rigged some other supports for it which do the job admirably.

I also ended up with one minor scratch and a few bruises from the motherboard and case. I consider this a good omen - I’m very superstitious about building computers and feel that a small blood sacrifice is important in ensuring a well-running machine. It’s worked for me the last five times I’ve assembled computers/servers.