DESKTOP I – Birth of a Machine

A couple of months ago when I purchased my Canon 500D I found that my 5 year old Dell Inspiron 1501 could not handle processing and moving .RAW files. I decided to spend some time and money building a custom Desktop for myself to last me for the next while. I wanted it to be top of the range but not top of the price, so naturally I went with reviewers value opinions. I wanted a machine that could handle multitasking, gaming, folding, 3d rendering, video and photo editing, mathematical computation and cryptographic computation. Quiet a long list as it were so I then spent several weeks learning as much as  I could about the current market and what the pro’s & con’s were to every part choice. Eventually I narrowed it down to a final list that underwent a total of seven revisions. It is for this reason the machine is called Ignea Machina VII. This largely occurred at the end of May so I am posting this here for completeness.

[Fig.1] Here is CPU cooler being installed. Click the image to view the rest of the galllery.

Now a machine like this is not mean’t to be left at stock settings, that would be travesty. So over the coming months expect to see a few posts covering the overclocking of this machine. For instance while I write this the processor is running at 4Ghz instead of the stock 3.2Ghz, but that is only the beginning. I will also dedicate posts to showing what to do with extra clock cycles should you have them. If I get chance I will cover some modifications I intend to make. Since I have had it photo-editing has certainly become much less of a chore, and that is part of the reason I pulled together this blog after talking about it for so long. For those interested in the details as to what went into the machine find the parts list below including the supplier I used.


3 x Bitfenix Spectre 120 mm black no LED Fans (they were meant to be Pro’s, Specialtech switched them straight away)

1 x Bitfenix Spectre Pro 200 mm Black Red LED Fan

32 x vibration reduction washers


4 x 4 GB of Samsung 30 nm 1.35v DDR3 RAM 1600 MHz 11,11,11,28

1 x ASUS DVD read/write SATA II Optical Drive


1 x Corsair Obsidian 650D case

1 x Intel Core i7 3930k C2 revision OEM

1 x EVGA GTX680 Superclocked+

1 x ASUS X79 Rampage IV Extreme

1 x Akasa Baymaster S

1 x ASUS PA238Q 23” IPS Monitor

1 x 2 TB Western Digital Caviar Black HDD

1 x Corsair AX850 Modular Power Supply

1 x Silverstone 5.25″ to 3.5″ Drive Bay Converter

1 x Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit OEM

1 x Microsoft Office 2010 Home & Student

1 x ASUS USB Wi-Fi Adapter

1 x Corsair H100 CPU Cooler

1 x 120 GB Corsair Force GT SSD

1 x MX-4 Thermal Paste

However this does not mean that I am finished with my lame mule of a Dell. I intend to upgrade it and turn it into my Linux test-bed  / Bitcoin Wallet / Whatever other interesting things I can do to it without worrying about breaking it machine. The development of that will also be in separate posts. I can say that the guys at SCAN are really helpful and they offer a great interest free 9 month finance option. When my original ASUS graphics card was delayed, they upgraded me to the EVGA Superclocked+ card which would normally be £60 more expensive but was given with compliments.

[Fig.2] A shot of the various lights at work – click to view larger image.

I cannot talk about this build without giving credit where credit it due. I had invaluable help from website and forum [HERE] (YouTube channel [HERE]). Those guys really helped me with RAM selection and in the end I went for quite the obscure choice but one that really allowed me to do some quirky experimental stuff. I have to mention the subreddits /buildapc [HERE] & /gamingpc [HERE]. Both groups offer really solid advice on your build and helped review the various iterations of my parts list. Tom’s Hardware [HERE] provides a great resource for those who want unbiased impartial and very well written comparisons. Anyone looking to build their own computer, I urge wholeheartedly to use those resources to help you decide what is best for you at your performance requirements and budget.

As always if you enjoyed the post please follow/subscribe to keep up to date or follow me on twitter @scientificmoust to see the latest.




One comment

  1. Reblogged this on Peace Computers.

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