I have few articles coming up and those are mainly related to my current PC hardware and future hardware so I thought it's a good idea to reveal my current setup and planned future hardware because some of the projects are mainly oriented to the future hardware.

At the moment I have 2 desktop PCs and 2 laptops which were provided by my current employer.

This is my temporary PC setup which I use until I have my home office workbench finished. It consists of the cheapest IKEA table and foldable chair.

Monitors

Before moving to Japan I had only 2 LG 27UK650 monitors. They are 27" 4K with IPS sRGB 99% panel typical 60Hz and 5ms specs. I got these two when my old Apple 27" Cinema Display died.

Before moving I was arguing with myself is it worth selling those monitors and buy new ones here in Japan or try to somehow ship those monitors to Japan. After doing some calculation I realized I would be able to sell those 2 monitors for only a single monitor price but shipping should be cheaper than the loss of one monitor price if I went with selling it.

The biggest problem was that I have already threw out monitor boxes away which meant I needed somehow to pack monitors to survive the shipping companies

So I planned to get styrofoam sheets of 50mm thicc and make an enclosure out of it.

After packing monitors only (I ditched the monitor stands as they weigh a ton and would increase shipping price by a lot) I shipped to Japan using UPS together with my computer parts box at on same time but somehow my monitors get lost for almost a month and I was desperate to use my computers.

So I thought that my monitors are gone and I decided to buy a monitor. I went to a store in Akihabara (the best place to get PC hardware imho). I managed to find the same model I had but the Japanese version LG 27UL650 which had almost everything the same just there was no Game menu option on the bottom part of the quick menu but that's not important for me.

That's how I ended up with 3 x LG 27" 4K monitors. In my opinion, a 27" sized monitor with 4K resolution is a bit too small. If I had a choice to go back in time I would have chosen 27" 1440p resolution as I am using now these monitors with scaled graphics around 150%.

Peripherals

For my keyboard, I am using Corsair K70 Silver with Cherry MX Speed switches. I have plans for a project to make a DIY keyboard with multi-computer support but it does have low priority in my project list.

For the mouse, I am using Logitech G900 in wired mode but I am not sure if I am going to use it in the future as I  will try to make multiple computer support but not sure how yet.

My microphone is Audio-Technica AT2020 USB version, Webcam is Logitech C920

To switch between 2 desktops I am using multiple input sources and this small device which has a remote button to switch USB ports between two PCs

I use 3 of them. One for the keyboard/mouse switch, another for the microphone (I use its headphone plug for audio output), and the last one for the Webcam switch.

Desktop #1 (overpowered Hackintosh)

My first desktop is overpowered Hackintosh build based on this guide as a guideline.

Specifications (pcpartpicker.com)

  • Intel® Core™ i9-9900K Processor (Overclocked to 5Ghz)
  • Gigabyte Designare Z390 Motherboard
  • Corsair H115i RGB PLATINUM 280mm Liquid CPU Cooler
  • Asus ROG Strix RX580-O8G-GAMINGOC Edition GDDR5 8GB
  • Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO Black 64GB 3200 MHz DDR4 Dual Channel Memory Kit
  • Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO Light Enhancement Kit
  • Samsung 970 PRO SSD 512GB - M.2 NVMe
  • Crucial P1 1TB 3D NAND NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
  • Corsair HX850i PSU
  • Corsair Carbide Series 175R RGB Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX Case

This is my main machine which I use mainly for daily use and programming/working with many things.

Desktop #2 (Windows machine)

I have a lot of programs which require to have windows to be able to use and also I love to play some video games so I finally went for a dedicated windows machine compared to running windows via BootCamp.

Specifications (pcpartpicker.com)

  • Intel Core i9-9960X Skylake X 16-Core 3.1 GHz (overclocked to 4Ghz) 165W
  • ASUS TUF X299 Mark 1 LGA2066 ATX Motherboard
  • Corsair H115i RGB PLATINUM 280mm Liquid CPU Cooler
  • ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti OC Edition 11 GB Graphic Card
  • Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4 3200 MHz
  • Samsung 970 ECO Plus SSD 1TB - M.2 NVMe
  • Samsung 860 EVO 250GB
  • WD Black 2TB 3.5" HDD
  • Corsair HX1200i PSU
  • Corsair Carbide Series 175R RGB Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX Case

This is a machine I use for my CAD/Electronics and video games oriented machine. At first, I was planning to make this into Hackintosh but it was too complicated and I decided to go with someone proofed build instead.

One negative thing about this build is that the Corsair H115i 280mm AIO cooler is struggling to keep this CPU cool and fans running almost 70% speed non-stop which is pretty loud and annoying.

Future

At the moment, I have plans for 2 additional machines. One is a home server to host all my monitoring/automation software and the other is to use it as a network router.

Home Server

I want to use this machine to run all monitoring, logging, automation, control software which should be running 24/7 and managing everything in my home.

Preliminary Specification (pcpartpicker.com)

  • Intel Core i5-10600K Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.8 GHz
  • Asus ROG STRIX Z490-I GAMING Mini ITX LGA1200 Motherboard
  • Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory
  • Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
  • Western Digital Red Pro 12 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
  • Corsair RMi 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply

At the moment this is the specification I am considering to use for the home server but it can change in the end when I decided to build it.

It will run Ubuntu Server with microk8s setup to run, Elasticsearch, InfluxDB, MySQL, RabbitMQ, Redis, Kibana, Grafana, OpenHAB/Hass, HomeBridge, and all my control projects like Echonet Lite, all control modules of workbench and etc.

My goals for this machine is to:

  • Log all machine important logs (Especially for Hackintosh to know what happened because sometimes it can stop working)
  • Monitor all machine metrics
  • Manage home automation

Network Router

I want to build a separate x86 machine to run it as a network router because the internet in Japan is pretty sketchy. I have a 1Gbit FTTH internet connection that uses GPON technology.

Because NTT uses PPPoE technology for IPv4 traffic it gets pretty congested and speeds can be as low as 20-30Mbit which is basically unusable but IPv6 is pretty. So I am using the VPS server as an IPv4 tunnel over IPv6 using the OpenVPN server which works wonders right now it's running on each machine, but I want to have it on the whole network + with separate routing to exclude some websites from the tunnel because VPS IP range is blacklisted.

That's why I am looking forward to making my own network router but that's for the future when I am going to upgrade my home network which I am going to discuss in a future article.

The network router does not require an amazing processor or other components so it's pretty flexible with what I can use. But I would like to make it into a mini-ITX sized computer.

Preliminary Specification (pcpartpicker.com)

  • Intel Core i3-10100 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • Asus ROG STRIX B460-I GAMING Mini ITX LGA1200 Motherboard
  • Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 CL16 Memory
  • Samsung 970 Evo Plus 250 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
  • Corsair SF 450 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply
  • Cooler Master MasterBox NR200 Mini ITX Desktop Case

I am planning to use VyOS as an operating system for it.

Now that I mentioned all my current and future PC hardware I can start making future articles that would involve my current/future PCs and home server.