May 16, 2011 Leave a comment
You may have heard of the Ultimate Developer Machine competition between Scott Hanselman and Pete Brown in which they competed against each other to build a machine with a 7.9 Windows Experience Index score. I recently put together a new developer machine, a server and a Windows Home Server with decent results. I’m definitely a fan of building my own machines as I think it’s fun and it’s a nice way to customize for your specific needs.
However, I was absolutely thrilled that the CIO of the company I work for decided to host a work sponsored “Build the Ultimate Rig” contest. With a $1,500 budget, pizza party run-off, prizes and getting to use the machine when we’re done, it’s a great way to help foster a fun work environment. Plus, how many times have you complained about the standard piece of garbage companies hand out to their developers (if you’re like me, then the answer is “a lot”)? This is a chance for us to put our money where our mouth is and build something we really enjoy working with.
Here’s the part list I came up with (no over-clocking or water-cooling allowed):
* Images are courtesy of Newegg *
As you can see, I slid in right under the $1,500 limit. Like all things, I had to make some trade-offs to hit my budget but I tried to make good decisions based on what I learned from previous builds.
For instance, I wanted to get a second OCZ SSD (have you seen the read/write rates on this thing?!?) but couldn’t make that work so I settled for a slower second SSD that I will put my main applications on (like Visual Studio). I wanted to try RAID0 with SSDs but that was too expensive. I also wanted to get a third drive that was a large data drive, but again I’m right at the limit so it was one of the things to go. Same went for the i7-2600 instead of the i7-2600k (or even better the i7-980X for a mere $1k). I splurged on the case because if cases could look hot, this one would be smoking. I also upped the video card (even though the i7-2600 comes with built in HD) because I didn’t want the graphics to limit my WEI score.
I’m positive that this machine will be a blast to work with on a daily basis, and I’m hopeful that I’ll be respectable in the competition. Let me know what you think of the build or where you think I could have made better trade-offs.
If you’re interested in working at a company that has these kind of fun events and treats their developers like valued members of the organization, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (or tweet @seanbriscoe) as we are always looking for talented developers willing to work in Winston-Salem, NC.