Hey PCPP! This is a mini-refresh of the Octoclock build I did back in May. I had a couple of problems along the way that I addressed, plus I have revamped my office space (kinda?) to make it a better habitat.
Problem 1: Audio. For a long, long while (up until this week), I was running a bluetooth speaker for all audio, and only when I needed it (such as playing games). This didn't strike me as being that bad of a situation as I previously did all of my gaming on my laptop (which has... laptop speakers). I was digging around in my storage and found an old Sony receiver and a handful of surround sound speakers. A little background on this setup: I got it for free, from a customer ten years ago who had it sitting in their [outdoor] shed for a couple of years. Needless to say it isn't the youngest girl at the ball, but she definitely still has some fire in the furnace. When I saw the old girl in storage I knew exactly what her fate would be: surround sound for my PC. Long story short, I hook this thing up and BOOM... terrible whine and no left/center/subwoofer audio. Well crap. Another long story short, it turned up to be nothing some fresh speaker wire, a few inches of solder, and some isopropyl alcohol couldn't fix. I used a rubber band, a corkscrew, and a clothespin in the process so I felt like it was a properly executed MacGyver fix.
Really the issue with the audio didn't make itself apparent until GTA V came into my life (on PC)... whenever the game started up I had about a 50/50 chance of the bluetooth getting disconnected. This would cause me to tab out of the game, remove the speaker from the device manager, reset bluetooth, and reconnect. I would repeat this process until the speaker worked. Needless to say, I was beginning to pull my hair out. Let me tell you though, the surround sound is like ear sex compared to that bluetooth speaker.
Problem 2: Visibility. I put a lot of time into cable management and picking semi-coordinating components for this machine-- for it to be relegated to a dark corner of my desk with little light was a travesty. When friends came over, I'd have to pull out the flashlight on my phone to show of the components. How embarrassing. Instead of immediately splurging for the Hue+ (which is still on my to-do list), I just dealt with the shame, until this week a co-worker of mine walked up with a roll of ultra-white LED's and said "hey, you want these?" after the initial shock, I snatched them from his hand and began to dream of the possibilities. My days of darkness were over. As you can see from the updated pictures, it didn't turn out too bad. I kinda like the white.
Problem 3: Keyboard. I had a nasty old $2 keyboard that came with a Dell-in-a-box from my XP days. I heard rumors of keyboards that could actually be typed on, and perhaps had features such as "backlighting" and "n-key rollover". I began shopping and landed on a Das Keyboard (I have expensive-ish taste?) gaming edition. I simply didn't like the almost-click of the Mx-Brown switches, so I sent that back and ended up buying an Azio mechanical with Cherry Mx-Blue switches (added the closest thing I could find to the parts list). The clicky is real with this thing, plus it has a nauseating array of configurable RGB backlighting. Now that is my kind of gaudy, and I won't go back to a membrane keyboard. Ever.
For the mouse, I use a trackball. Even for gaming. I know this is an oddity - or even shunned in some circles - but my thumb moves faster and is more accurate than your entire arm. I'm not a pro, but I've used it in FPS's where every millisecond counts and have been consistently competitive. It just works for me.
Problem 4: Disk space. I started out with a Transcend 256GB SSD for my OS, with plans to extend that 'at a later date'. Well, the later date has arrived and Amazon had a sale on WD Blue 1TB drives for $50. I put that bad boy in, formatted it up, and I now have some elbow room in the disk space department. Currently my SSD has my OS and GTA V on it, with the HDD having everything else. I've been really happy with the transfer speeds, and you can't get much better (consumer grade) than a WD Blue when it comes to reliability and lifespan.
Ok fam I believe that's all for now... until next time, where hopefully the title will include the word "Ryzen".