So what the heck is “Project Drair”? It’s a desktop computer that can game and edit videos and photos.
Why did you build this computer?
Previously, I owned another computer that had a slightly weaker CPU and less RAM. Since then, I have sold that computer and used the money to build another one – albeit, I obviously had to ‘add’ to the budget for Project Drair.
As a video editor, photographer, and gamer, I need a reasonably powerful computer that can do all these things quickly. Furthermore, Project Drair is also a platform in which I can unleash my creativity and love for computers through upgrading, tweaking, and testing it.
How does it differ from a powerful laptop?
Well, Project Drair firstly runs Windows 10 instead of MacOS. Windows 10 has many more programs and games than MacOS or any other operating system; so MacOS can’t be compared in terms of versatility. Even a Windows Laptop of the same processing caliber as Project Drair would cost more! Take the Razer Blade and Dell XPS 15 as examples; these Laptops have 14 inch and 15 inch screens respectively. The Razer blade costs $1,799 for the base model and has a less powerful processor, less RAM, less storage (although faster), etc. Basically, it has less everything. The Dell XPS with similar specifications costs $1,699 and also has less RAM, less storage (although faster), weaker CPU, and a worse GPU. Okay, so how much does Project Drair cost? Less than $1,400 plus the price of an operating system (for $50 or so for Windows 10 if you don’t buy directly through Microsoft) and a monitor (another $100 or so). So the overall price of Project Drair with a monitor and operating system is $1,550 versus the higher price of the laptops mentioned above. Remember, Project Drair, although cheaper, is much more powerful than the Razer and Dell laptops.
And don’t get me started on comparing it with a MacBook Pro. If you want a MacBook Pro that is most similar equipped with Project Driar, it would cost you a whopping $3,099! Even though this is the most similarly configured MacBook Pro, it would still have much weaker processing power than Project Driar.
What is the hardware inside Project Drair? (Skip this if you don’t know anything about computer hardware and read “Noob’s Computer Hardware Guide” then come back)
Well, as I have mentioned earlier, I need a desktop computer to fulfill my need for video and photo editing as well as gaming. Therefore I need a powerful CPU and GPU in addition to an adequate amount of RAM.
CPU: Intel Core i7 7700K at 4.8GHz
GPU: MSI GTX 1060 6GB Gaming X
RAM (Memory): 32GB of DDR4 2666MHz Corsair Vengeance LPX
Motherboard: MSI Z270i Gaming Pro Carbon AC
PSU: EVGA 550GS
SSD: Adata Premier 240GB
HDD: Western Digital 1TB Blue
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv iTX (Black & Red)
CPU Cooler: Cryorig H7
Extra: some cheap-o LED light strip on Amazon
Were there any difficulties with Project Drair?
Yes, of course – as is with any project, computer based or not.
Because I wanted a small computer, the working space inside the computer case is very limited. It was hard to mount the CPU cooler on the computer and I made many attempts in trying to align the cooler correctly with the CPU.
Again, the small form factor case also made it difficult to add anything to the computer after it was assembled. As was the case when I decided to add another air intake fan to increase cooling performance.
Project Drair did not boot-up when I finished assembling it at first. There was a ‘click’ and zip – nothing. I was actually afraid I did something wrong and damaged a part or something had a defect when I received it. If this was the case, I would have to disassemble the computer and diagnose the broken part – which would have been a tremendous hassle.
Okay, so I’m hooked; I want to build my own. Where do I start?
Not to self-promote, but “Noob’s Computer Hardware Guide” written by me is a good place to start. The article will explain to you the different parts of a computer and their functions.
From there, you can choose parts that correspond to what you are looking from a desktop computer. Articles to help you choose parts will be written shortly so stay tuned.
So are you happy with Project Drair?
Yes! I am very pleased with the results. I love the aesthetics of the computer. Everything that you can see from the side window is very clean and tidy. LED lights inside can change color to fit whatever the atmosphere.
Running benchmarks and testing out the performance of the PC has been smooth so far. I have not experienced any major issues with the computer except a few glitches because I tweaked some performance settings – this is my fault (I just love to overclock the computer too much)!