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The 2022 Studio Computer Upgrade

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

Happy New Year!

A lot of thought, anxiety, research and planning went into this upgrade. I chose to purchase a custom build that I designed myself. It will be built, tested and shipped from a system integration company here in California. It will probably be several months before the computer actually arrives and after it does, then will come the nerve-racking excitement of testing it here in the studio.

I always used to build my own computers (Pentiums mostly). But as I got older and lazier I began purchasing Dell computers, mainly because I worked with them in Silicon Valley and they always worked relatively well (unlike HP). The last one for my studio was purchased 4 years ago, an XPS 8920 with an Intel i7 4 Core/3.60GHz chip, 16 Gigs of RAM. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 1 Gig of Adaptive RAM, 1 TB HDD.

I began having heat issues with it when working with 3D or complex graphics projects and have been running it with the side case panel removed and the power supply swing-out assembly fully opened. Living with 4 cats in a house on a dusty rural road - THIS is truly not an optimal situation.

When I called Dell 2 years ago and asked about upgrading to a larger, improved airflow case or more powerful graphics card I was told - "nope - no upgrade path exists." What I've since learned is that Dell, HP and Lenovo purposely build their computers this way so that the unwitting consumer is forced to buy new computers from them over and over. Filling landfills with junk computers on a continual basis due to corporate greed and a complete lack of ethics.

When it came to research, I relied heavily on some serious testing and review sites on the internet. Gamers Nexus (below) was one I enjoyed, (for Steve's dark, snarky humor) and I really learned so much from them about component value and technical build specs.

I am not a gamer, but many of the *prosumer computer specs for working with 3D and CGI (Computer-generated imagery) are similar to what high-end gaming computers contain. (*Prosumer - an amateur who purchases equipment with quality or features suitable for professional use.)

My new computer's basic specs - (everything is upgradable too - YAY!)

Intel Core i7- 12 core 3.6GHz [Turbo 5.mGHz] 240 mm Liquid Cooled CPU

Motherboard - ASUS Prime Z690 DDR4 ATX

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070Ti, 8 Gigs RAM Ampere GPU

1 TB Solid State Western Digital Drive (with room for more later)

32 Gigs of DDR4 3600Mhz Dual Channel RAM

Power Supply V2 80 Plus Gold 750 Watt Ultra Quiet CoolerMaster

OS - Windows 10 - (Win 11 is a train wreck)

Case - Corsair 4000D Series AIRFLOW (mesh front /back, tempered glass side panel) with 6ea 120MM fans

It's no joke that Ehterium Crypto miners have devastated the high-end GPU market, which is one of the reasons my build will take longer because the system integrator has to wait to purchase their next lot of RTX 3070Ti's. The good news is that by using the services of an integrator I am spared the excessive black-market scalping prices of this GPU.

So - now we wait. (Still - this is very exciting!) I am making the most of my wait time learning a couple new software programs for use on this new machine. More on that later.

Until next time ...

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