All things @ home
If it’s not already obvious, I enjoy computers. Everything about them from the hardware up to achieving higher performance benchmarks from overclocking. I find the hardware and software sides equally as enticing.
My current rig / battlestation — built in Winter of 2015 (occasionally upgraded over the past 2 years):
- Core-i7 4770k (OC’d to 4.8ghz on air)
- In my opinion, Intel has had a monopoly over the consumer desktop chip industry since they released the Intel i5 750. The first generation of i3/i5/i7 just completely dominated the market and secured Intel’s performance lead over the next eight years of consumer grade chips. I have bought Intel simply because the single core performance has been ludicrously better.
- It was until this month of this year (August of 2017) that AMD has started to make a comeback. With the release of the Ryzen chipset AMD is finally started to compete with Intel as it had back in the early 2000’s.
- Noctua NH-D14 CPU Heatsink
- This thing is a beast! It’s massive and is extremely efficient beating out several ‘water cooling’ options.
- The only downside is that it cost $75 when I bought it.
- 256gig OS SSD, 500 gig application SSD, two 1TB internal HDD’s.
- These have been added over time, SSD is essential for the OS and large applications.
- Dual MSI GTX 980’s in SLI
- Got these puppies used from a friend (UG’d from a single GTX 780) friend was upgrading to the GTX 1080TI.
- Rendering graphics in Adobe applications has never been smoother.
- Amazing frame rates in everything and allowing applications to keep up with my 144hz Acer monitor.
- 16GB of DDR4
- RAM speed doesn’t matter, but 16GB is plenty to run Oracle’s VM Virtual Box Manager along with several ‘host’ applications.
- Corsair PSU 750w.
- Great for the dual 980’s and the OC on CPU.
- Corsair Obsidian 750D Full Tower Case
- With the dual GPU and 4 hard disks, I’m glad I have the space.
- Acer GN246HL (144hz) — this sits in the middle and is my primary media display.
- Acer P235H monitor — for multi screen development
- Solid core door desk (yes, I built it!) with a dark mahogany like stain. Legs I got from Ikea.
My current Linux Server (20k passmark!) — Built in January of 2017
- Dual E5-2660 (8 core / 16 thread 2.2ghz) xeons for a total of 16 cores / 32 threads.
- Got these on Ebay for ~$60 each (MSRP ~$1,900 each), it was right around the time Facebook upgraded from the V1 chips to V3 or V4 and flooded the market with cheap V1 Xeons.
- Running them for now over 8 months with zero issues. INCREDIBLE bang for your buck (20k worth of passmark for $120)!
- 6x 3TB WD reds running in RAID-5 for a total of 15TB of usable storage (before ext4 formatting)
- Initially running a personal cloud service (owncloud), but swapped it out for a personal media server.
- Want to upgrade it to a RAID-6 for the double disk redundancy, will need to purchase another drive and ‘grow’ the mdadm RAID.
- 1x 480gb SSD for OS
- Here I run the web server that’s delivering this website!
- 32GB RAM
- Don’t come close to using this much RAM, but I wasn’t sure when I built the server how much I would need.
- Currently running non-ecc ram, however haven’t had any system fault issues yet.
- EVGA 210 Passive GPU
- Xeons don’t have onboard graphics and my server’s running Ubuntu with a GUI due to some browser based apps I run. CPU rendered graphics were pretty horrible so this card smooths the OS out a bit.
- ASRock EP2C602 SSI EEB Dual Socket 2011 Motherboard
- So this was the more ‘expensive’ part of the build. The mobo was ~$300, that plus the dual Xeons and some heatsinks it was ~$460 for the CPU / mobo setup.
- This motherboard is MASSIVE. It doesn’t fit in your normal ATX case, so I had to get a SSI EEB compatible case.
- Panteks Enthoo Pro Series
- The motherboard fits! Not a bad looking case, and pretty easy cable management.
- Acer P235H monitor
After getting fat (went up to 240 lbs), the decision was made to finally get back into shape. Since January of 2017 it’s been a slow and steady process of getting back to my ‘fit’ status that I had in college. Over the past several months I’ve dropped nearly 40 lbs through strict diet, and then started weightlifting again. Currently around ~200lbs I’m steadily putting on muscle while maintaining around the same weight. Although this isn’t my most interesting hobby, it’s quite important and occupies nearly 8 hours of free time a week.
Amateur Theoretical Physicist
Some of the most exciting math and science are taking place in the realm of quantum mechanics. When you look over the math and sciences it’s often difficult to find new material since, math isn’t typically a field that goes through significant changes. However, at the quantum level there are some very interesting concepts taking place that are extremely fascinating.
The double-slit experiment is one of those that greatly defies everything we think is logical in our world. It raises many questions, one of which is typically “what if the act of observing the particle is what causes the wave function to collapse out of superposition?” However, they repeated the same experiment with the observers turned on, but didn’t actually log any of the information and it once again behaved like an interference pattern.
Higgs Boson (discovered July 4th 2012):
The Higgs Boson, which was the gap in the “standard model” of elementary particles was finally discovered in 2012 while smashing particles at extremely high velocities at the largest particle accelerator in the world the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This completed the standard model in explaining why elementary particles have mass.
Quantum Field Theory:
“Confined energy is the origin of mass” where the quarks in a proton only account for ~1% of its mass. Bridging classical physics with quantum mechanics today has opened our eyes to how the molecular forces we were taught as kids actually work. We now know that fields are actually quantized and empty space isn’t really empty. The sheer scientific achievement of the Large Hadron Collider, pushing protons up to 99.999% of the speed of light and getting these extremely small particles to collide is simply incredible. Then observing these collisions with special attention on decay signatures we can deduce the existence of these elementary particles.