Behold, the New Computer, Late 2022 Edition

John Scalzi

My 2018 vintage desktop was beginning to show its age in various ways, including having an OS I could no longer update and which thus became a non-trivial security hazard, and by requiring increasingly byzantine rituals to open and operate different games and productivity apps. Also, the latest generation of CPUs and GPUs are out, which means that, computationally if not financially, it’s a really good time for me to upgrade.

So I did: Meet the new computer, an Origin Neutron, with an Intel Core i9-13900K, 64GB DDR5 (2x32GB) 5600MHz RAM, an NVIDIA 24GB GeForce RTX 4090, 2 4TB SSDs, and all the other various bells and whistles. Yes, I use it to type into Microsoft Word, and it’s a little overspecced for that. But also, I will use it for gaming (obviously) and also for photo, audio and video processing, for which the aforementioned CPU and GPU will be extremely useful. I already notice a substantial speed and ease-of-use difference with Photoshop and in the couple of games I have run. It’s a decent enough investment for me.

One thing I’m not 100% in love with about it is its size; the previous desktop, a Corsair One, was a small form-factor PC, and could easily sit underneath my desk without me much noticing it. This one can’t, nor can it sit on my desk itself, thanks to my monitor’s somewhat obnoxious tripod base. Anywhere I place it on the floor has my desk chair bumping up against it. Currently I have it up on my side table, cords dangling unattractively from it, which is probably better for this monster computer from an airflow point of view, but not so much aesthetically. I’ll figure it out eventually.

Bulk aside, I am pleased so far, which makes me glad; I hope to keep this computer until 2027ish. If I’m keeping it that long, I better be pleased.

— JS

30 Comments on “Behold, the New Computer, Late 2022 Edition”

  1. How was a computer from just 4 years ago already having update issues?

    Did you foolishly cling to an already obsolete version of Windows when you got it, rather than updating?

  2. Trust Scalzi to hide a flex like this with the fact that it does not fit under or on the desk.

    A little overspec’d for Word, indeed.

  3. It looks like a miniature semi-conductore. I’m not sure I spelled that right. Been out of that sector way too long.

    Anyways, shiny. At least you’re allowed near computers. Between my brain starts and drowning my last computer I’m not allowed to have my own computer.

  4. I just upgraded my desktop, which was a stopgap, as I now have the terminal chip for my motherboard.

    But I’ll probably be able to keep it until I’m forced to leave windows 10.

  5. Looks nice!

    I probably need to get my computer replaced myself. I have fond memories of my daughter playing in the boxes eight or nine years ago after I had put it together – the case arrived in a box, in a box. laugh

    I just… am reluctant to replace a computer that mostly just works fine!

  6. I had a vintage 2016 pc that I specced and assembled myself that couldn’t upgrade to Win 11. I decided, eff it, if I’m going to pay $2500 every 5 years I’m getting a Mac. So I got the Mac Studio which is great, and isn’t overloaded with crapware. But I’m not a gamer.

  7. have you thought about a monitor arm? frees up a ton of space on the desktop if you want the computer up there.

    also: have you already written about why you don’t use macs for work?

  8. The (airline standard) flight simulators on which I used to train years ago had crappy wireframe visuals (actually more like just dots to simulate airport lights) and ran–when they were working at all–on a freaking mainframe in an adjacent room.

    Today’s vastly superior simulators–again, airline standard–run on computers like John’s, have the same stunning visuals as those on programs you can buy for $60, and only crash when the pilot does (the old mainframe ones crashed on their own all the time).

    Of course, when Microsoft came out with the current version of Flight Simulator, they predicted hardware sales of $2B (that’s a Carl Sagan Beelyun!) to home users who needed to upgrade to get it to run half decently. “Overspecc’d for Word” indeed.

  9. As someone with a similar setup (case design, power button on top, sitting next to desk, level with it, but running more than word) & a cat in the house, I am going to suggest you find some way to protect/cover that power button! ;-)
    Unless felines are banned from the space of course.
    In the afternoons my cat would come sauntering along across my desk and power me down before I even knew it.
    The trick is to find something that doesn’t rest on the button and can be opened/moved easily, especially if you don’t leave it running all the time.

  10. It might be worth considering longer cables so the huge box can be placed a bit further away, which might in turn reduce the cluttered feeling. And indeed, make it easier to protect that cat-friendly power button.
    With three big fans in the case I’d be looking to put it in a different room…

  11. Love the specs and that GPU, May I ask what may sound silly, but what does it weigh? Some of the newer full tower systems come in heavy. I do move my system to another location when I air-dust it out. It has heft.

    My current gaming rig is 6 years old and I’m thinking maybe next Christmas a new PC would be a great gift. Though as I’m so behind on my games, my PC still plays what I want, including some newer ones still well. (Current addiction is Grounded. Survival game of being very small and trying to stay alive in a large backyard.)

    I second the one commenter that pointed out the power button and the issues with a cat. I had my system shutting down as my cat decided to lay on the top of my tower. A small altoids tin open and taped over the button solved that for me. (I usually put my system to sleep each night via the Windows menu. So a mouse click in the morning wakes it up quite nicely.)

    Congratulations on the new PC!

  12. Lord, what a beast! I bought a new PC a month or so back, nothing like this but still a huge step up for me, with a new big monitor and, best of all, got rid of almost all the cables. And then finalized it with a Logitech Lightspeed RGB mechanical gaming keyboard. And I’m not a gamer but it feels so good to type on this!

  13. @ Louis Sivo

    With this machine if a cat lay down on top of it there could be bigger problems if it didn’t turn it off. That top mesh most likely covers the outflow from the CPU cooler’s radiator. A cat on it would cause severe overheating.

  14. I was psyching myself up for a new PC because the old one was randomly putting itself to bed when I was working, and one of the drives had failed in a very attention-getting way, but ended up just upgrading the one I had — which meant I got to keep the tower with the DVD drive. Apparently you can’t get those now, at least not at the local place.

  15. I feel for you, John. Glad you got the upgrade.

    I am in exactly the same situation and need to get a new computer. I do hate the forced obsolesce that makes us retire computers that are working just fine.

  16. Monster is right. Those are very high-end specs. A bigger case means better airflow, which is much better for your computer.

    Did you get any water cooling for it? That would have been a good thing to consider, otherwise, what a nice PC!

    I’ll be curious to see what you think of Windows 11.

  17. @Guillaume I can answer the noise question (most likely).

    It shouldn’t be noisy. Those are big fans. Big fans run more slowly and move more air which means less noise. It’s a smart way to go (after water cooled).

  18. Q: data back up & planning for disaster?

    Q: what will you do with the old computer?

    FYI: extension cords are available for keyboard, monitor, USB, et al… if you cannot locate send me list of plus/cables/ports and I’ll dig up links

  19. I had to upgrade my old computer in the height of the GPU shortage. At the time mine was almost 10 years old, and it just couldn’t run windows 10, so I had to do something when win7 cut off the security updates. The worst part was it was the first time I had the disposable income to buy a top of the line GPU. And yet I couldn’t because I also refused to pay the crazy over MSRP prices for GPUs.

  20. Woo, that looks like a big one. My desktop is (was?) a similar size, but I’ve pretty much switched over to using a laptop these days so I can bring it to the room where my family spends their time. I’m waiting for the 4080-ish equivalents before my next upgrade. My enormous desktop, on the other hand, has been repurposed to run a digital pinball table :D

    I’m going to second the recommendation for a monitor arm. I also have a monitor issued with a gigantic tripod of a stand, and replacing it with an arm has made my desk significantly more usable. I’m using this one: . The only catch is your desk needs to either have enough of a lip in the back to let a clamp attach to the top, or you need to have a hole in the top (one of those cable runs will work, if you can also access the bottom of the hole).

    I don’t think swapping to an arm is going to make you want that beast on your desk, but you might appreciate the room for everything else.

  21. I’m giggling a bit at 2018 being considered ‘vintage’, as someone typing this on a (perfectly functional) 2015 MacBook Air.

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