When you're deployed to the Middle East working 12 hour minimum shifts and stuck with the same routine everyday for months you need an escape. This Command Center was mine. My inspiration was drawn from a content creator on YouTube by the handle of Silenced Tech, his unparalleled dedication to cable management with a overall minimalist vibe provided me with some much needed motivation to make this build epic.
There were only two boxes that had to be checked.
I wanted RGB, and I wanted it all. Every component must be controllable via a singular interface. Thankfully Corsair had designed the all in one solution for total RGB mastery, with their Commander & Lightning Node Pro my needs were more then met. The only pieces lacking were the motherboard and graphics card. I would just have to settle with mediocrity until some creative APIs solve the inter-connectivity puzzle that is RGB.
On top of a PC that could be seen and controlled from space I wanted a powerhouse which would be able to not only handle triple A titles at 1440p 144Hz but encode a 1080p 60FPS live stream simultaneously as well. That's where the selection of the top of the line consumer grade processor and graphics card came in. The Intel i7 8700k and EVGA 1080ti FTW3 Hybrid were the only real options. Unless of course I wanted to go after a true prosumer option with the Intel i9 product series and a Titan. But even coming off a deployment with cash to spend I couldn't justify the costs of either of those options. The 8700k and 1080ti would just have to do.
With the components for the PC ordered and safely awaiting my homecoming I just had to plan the live stream of the entire build process. My desk was left decorated from a Halloween style stream I did before I left so I knew I would have to clean that up. But what about audio and video for the stream? I didn't want to just use a Logitech C920 webcam and call it good. This was my "Welcome Home" stream after all.
I needed to go all in.
My Panasonic GH4 camera with its 12-35mm lens would be able to handle anything on the video front and armed with a freshly acquired Rode Lavalier Mic the audio was going to sound crisp. With a quick configuration of OBS on my spare laptop, I plugged in the camera and was ready to go live.
This being my first live stream in four months I was more then just a little nervous. After all, this moment had been my biggest escape throughout all those stressful shifts and long days. Falling asleep I would count the rows of RGB and pray to the Overclocking God's for their grace. It had to be perfect.
On the technical side of the house the stream worked reasonably well. The audio sounded balanced with the new lavalier mic doing its job and a nice mix of the streamer friendly Monstercat Podcast playing in the background. And even with my amateurish handling of the multiple C920s and GH4 they provided a nice variety of clean looking viewing angles.
The build process on the other hand was a total **** show. Everything I could do wrong I did. Radiators were mounted the wrong way, screws dropped in the least convenient places,
thermal paste was applied to the CPU pins, and I almost cut my finger off.
With the help of Twitch chat I was able to overcome a slew of self induced problems. The end result was exactly what I hoped it would be. A RGB, cable managed behemoth that would be able power through anything I would throw at it.
It was worth it.