aldiantoro nugroho on random stuff
Wed 17 September 2014

Building a PC


It was fun, mini ITX case rocks! Check flickr for photos.

the long story

It's been a while since I built my own PC. It was 2007 IIRC. Then I bought laptops, becase my need was simple and portable device. I didn't need powerful machine because I only play Football Manager series.

But then, I got a job developing stuff around edX. At first, I assumed my MacBook Air could handle the job. And it did. Barely. The edX Developer Stack requires vagrant (with virtualbox) with 2GB RAM. And the MBA struggled to survive. So I decided it's time for me to build another PC that will run linux.

Of course, being a mac user for last few years, I should check the mac option first. The most important thing for the build is the RAM. I need at least 8GB of RAM. The best option is of course to go for the retina MacBook Pro. But that thing is out of budget for now, as my MBA still runs well without problem. The better way is buying Mac mini then upgrade the RAM to 8GB.

Unfortunately we can't buy custom build mac in Indonesia. We could buy from Apple Store SG and send it to Indonesia (and hope it could pass the customs without problem), or build the base model and upgrade it immediately. Both options take times and I didn't have that.

So here's my PC spec:

Originally I went without the GPU (using onboard instead - intel HD 4600). It was fine until I played the application. It ran well, but not at the level I want it to run. So I bought the GPU a month later.

I also didn't use the water cooling system when I built the PC. It was after I added the GPU, the temperature started to raise. As I'm using mini ITX case, using large heatsink is not an option.

I chose mini ITX because of the size. I could put it on top of the table. And usually the mini ITX case design is good enough to be displayed.

Building PC is fun, and building a mini ITX one is even more fun. You couldn't just drop everything and hoping it'll be ok. You'll need to manage the cables well so you could use the space optimally. Because temperature matters.

So here I am. Using ubuntu again for working (and occasional StarCraft II — on windows — for fun).

Also, check flickr for photos.

If you have any comment, mention me @kriwil.