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What a $18K PC looks like
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What a $18K PC looks like:

PC

Yes, I know this HTPC is more HT than PC, dollar for dollar.

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor (Purchased For $330.00)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler (Purchased For $50.00)
Motherboard: ASRock Z170M Pro4S Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard (Purchased For $98.99)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 4 series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory (Purchased For $74.99)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 4 series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory (Purchased For $74.99)
Storage: Samsung 950 PRO 256GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive (Purchased For $179.00)
Storage: Toshiba 5TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (Purchased For $139.99)
Storage: Toshiba 5TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (Purchased For $139.99)
Storage: Toshiba 5TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (Purchased For $139.99)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 960 4GB FTW ACX 2.0+ Video Card (Purchased For $169.99)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 1250W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply (Purchased For $109.00)
Optical Drive: LG WH16NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer (Purchased For $65.00)
Monitor: Dell U3011 60Hz 30.0″ Monitor (Purchased For $1100.00)
Monitor: Dell U3011 60Hz 30.0″ Monitor (Purchased For $1100.00)
Monitor: Dell U3011 60Hz 30.0″ Monitor (Purchased For $1100.00)
Headphones: Sennheiser HD 380 Pro Headphones (Purchased For $150.00)
Other: Magneplanar 3.6R (Purchased For $6300.00)
Other: Onkyo TX-NR809 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver (Purchased For $800.00)
Other: Silentmaxx HD Silencer (Four) (Purchased For $200.00)
Other: Custom Desk (Purchased For $500.00)
Other: powercom KIN-2200AP 2200 VA 1320 Watts 6 Outlets UPS (Purchased For $250.00)
Other: ViewSonic PRO8200 Projector (Purchased For $700.00)
Other: HT Omega Fenix (Purchased For $100.00)
Other: Maestro XL Subwoofer (Stereo Pair) (Purchased For $4000.00)
Other: Nanoxia Deep Silence 4 Mini (Purchased For $59.99)
Other: SAMSUNG P3 4TB USB 3.0 2.5″ Portable External Hard Drive STSHX-MTD40EF (Purchased For $159.99)
Total: $18091.91

FAQ about my hardware:

Q. How fast have you got it?
A. No, I don’t overclock, silence is the name of my game.

Q. What are those monitors?
A. Yes, those are I have three flagship Dell 30" @ 2560 X 1600 @ 16:10 aspect ratio. You can call it 1600P, they are 4MP each. 12 Megapixels in all (7680 X 1600) or 50% more than 4K. You think it’s hard to get good frame rates @ 1080P? Try doing that over six equivalent 1080 monitors. So do I game? Sometimes @  5760×1200 for newer games. Medium settings.

ScreenShot096

Do the Bezels bother me? No, 3 monitor gaming is designed so that these 2 side monitors are designed to be angled a lot. so they are stretching out the view so make it more like your eyes. This means I can see a other targets MUCH more easily then bring them into the center monitor. This, combined with 7 channel surround sound is as close to real cheating as you can get. You can SO MUCH more easily locate threats with these 2 factors.

Old setup with only 1 monitor. 2 Monitors is too unbalanced, so 2 VERY quickly became 3.

2014-12-23 10_49_50-Picasa 3

 

Q. Seasonic 1250 Watt Hybrid PSU? Why the crap do you have a 1,250 watt PSU? That’s stupid! You don’t get anywhere near to needing it.
A. I know what you are thinking, overkill for my system.  Not so, it’s hybrid meaning it’s so well built with such big heat sinks and quality components that it doesn’t NEED to turn on a silent fan until it gets to about 40-50% load, which is what my system would max out on.  Thus I have a 100% passive PSU for all my needs.  It’s a $240 PSU cooler, but I got it on some killer Newegg ShellShocker deal with rebate and got it for $109, which is less than my Seasonic 750 PSU costs.  So if you are smart and hunt for deals, you can always get good flagship stuff for less than even high end stuff.  I told my old PSU for $80, which I got a new passivity cooled PSU for a mere $29 that will satisfy all my needs, especially if I get two high end SLR gaming cards one day. That’s smart.  This is an example of my philosophy for upgrades.

 

Q. Why does your video card suck?

A. I am 99% sure, if you are a gamer, you have a better video card than I do and have already scoffed at it’s age and weakness, but I am also 99% sure if someone played a game on my system verse your system, they would say that my system was a better experience. George Lucas says sound is 50% of the movie experience. So stereo speakers with a shoe-boxed sized "sub" is a laughable joke. Those giant six foot towers are ribbon speakers. I also have two 15″ music quality 500 Watts RMS subwoofers that I can easily go down to 85dB @ 15hz. I have clean crisp thundering terrifying bass, (it’s made little kids cry) enveloped in an ocean of sounds, across three beautiful screens. Gaming is about a fun experience not how many FPS your overclocked computer can get. Remember that. Put your money towards things that never get old, like good speakers and a receiver, monitors.

Q. Why such expensive monitors?

A. I know my three monitors are grossly overpriced (MSRP $1,500 each) You can get a 28" 4K/1440P monitor? for $600. Want a S-IPS 30"? That’ll be double. I want what I want. they are beautiful and fast, they are flagship for a reason.  The 32" 4K is too sharp for my needs. Maybe one day.

Q. That desk is awesome, how did you do it?

A. It’s custom, click here to read about how I did it and more.

Q. Who am I? why should I listen to you?

A. You shouldn’t! Yeah, I’ve been head of R&D for the largest PC manufacturer in my state. Yeah I was the head of 75 tech that I managed, Yeah I did all the buying of hardware at several millions. Yeah I’ve written articles for PC hardware website’s. Yeah, I’m a Newegg EggXpert reviewer, but really I don’t have many opinions, just facts. Facts should be your guide in all things except ascetics. Google is better than me.

Things I’ll pretend to be good at:

High-end home PCs

Silent Computers

Audio Related

So…. there is a lot of haters in PC building. I don’t know if it comes with console gaming trash talk.

Console_bc84ed_1580446

A lot of "Whatever I BUY/HAVE is awesome and whatever you have is crap." So be it.

In closing, don’t be haters. I know I have money. I am also 20 years ahead of you. If you had $20K to spend on a system, you’re would be just as awesome, if not more so. This isn’t a competition, life is about joy, we’re here to help each other. We each have personal tastes. Nobody is ever going to buy my speakers for "computer" speakers.

Philosophy for upgrades: 

Upgrade whenever you can. I believe that if you kick in a few bucks every once in a while, and sell the parts when their still is a market for them, you will always have a good machine. If you wait too long, your PC will will literally be worthless and you’ve lost 95-100% of the value. If you become "the computer guy" you will have many opportunities to sell your old parts, and get new ones, for free. I’ve upgraded my computer almost every single time for free, because I am the computer guy. I buy my new parts, they pay for them, I get a new computer for free, (except my time) they get a excellent computer for less cost that if they bought retail. Everyone wins.

Real world examples of my philosophy in action:

A drive in my RAID also died. I have 3TB x 4, and since the drives were 2.5 years old (out of warranty) it’s time to sell off the three remaining good ones (which I sold for $300) and I bought three 5TB drives for another RAID 5, but this time with 10TB (9 usable) for a net cost of $120, I have 9TB to use for the next 3 years, guaranteed. Little money, more storage, new faster drives. etc. I could have spent $85 and got another 3TB to rebuilt the RAID, but what if the other drives started failing? I could spend ~$340 to replace all these drives and have nothing to show for it. but instead I spend only $120 and upgraded.

 

Building computer for other people: 

Q. Should I become that "computer guy" and help everyone out?
A. I say yes. It’s a great place to sell your old parts. Also, follow these rules: I set them up right, good hardware. Install Remote software, I use Teamviewer. Never ever sell to old people.

Tools of the trade:

All you need is 1 Philips screwdriver, unless you want to be "the guy" who fixes everyone’s electronics, cell phones, laptops, and Mac’s, which has it’s advantages.

TL:DR: I’ve looked long and hard to find a single set of tools that will let you do everything including: replacing cell phone screens, opening HDD, opens laptops/Macs, and I found it here. Lifetime warranty too, not crap tools from ebay.

Long version:
Torx – Requires for opening some laptops, all hard drives, and many Mac all in one Desktops. (which I don’t recommend ever doing unless it’s all dead and you are just trying to save the hard drive).

8-in-1 Torx Screwdriver Set Double-Sided Bits T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T15 Hex Tip3 or This one looks good.

You want something down to T4 size. I have T15 (Generally hard drives are T8)

JIS Screwdrivers. No, they apparently are NOT the same as Phillips.

JIS

Leave it to the Japanese to improve the "philips". Here are some options: you NEED JIS size 000, 00, 00 and 1 for cell phones, macbooks and laptops, etc.

I use Moody Tools (click on the JIS-Type S Screwdrivers), they are NOT made in China and they have lifetime warranty. Here are some options:

Moody Tools 58-0219 Chromium Vanadium Steel JIS-type Screwdriver Set, 4-Piece21 ~$17

Moody Tools – Screwdriver, JIS Type S Set, 5Pc Steel – 58-0218` ~$22

There are a dozen other options, prices go up.

Electric Duster (Computer part blower outer)

Zip ties. Cable management, an evil we must deal with… neatly. Monoprice has the cheapest ones around. Get yourself a lifetime supply. I’ve noticed the larger ones break easily, so only get the smaller ones and use velcro for the larger ones.

 

For not particular reason, here is Libby the Llama, my hero.

Lama-Look

Other PC Tips: 

-Have a "Computer Parts Historical Journal" spreadsheet. Just a google spreadsheet that you list the item, date, cost, newest always on top. Very interesting in the future or for warranty info. (when did I buy this…."?) I look at mine and I can see every CPU and hard drive I’ve purchased since the mid 1990s. Can you believe I paid $265 for a 2.13GB HDD in 4/1/1997? Idiot! That was $124.41/GB (now it’s less than $0.03) How cool is that?

-KEEP your case/monitor boxes minimum. Want the perfect way to move your case and monitors? Use the boxes that took them half way around the world in perfect safety. I personally keep all boxes, easier to sell stuff.

-After copying it onto my RAID, I tape your motherboard CD and windows DVD to the inside bottom of your case (or case door, whatever). Because with very few exceptions, of the thousands of computers I’ve sold, almost everyone looses their windows/motherboard CD. If it’s taped in there where they can’t get to it, they can’t loose it.

Other random Links

There are dozens of Power Supply Calculators. Here is my favorite one. Use it.

Who REALLY makes your PSU?

Fantastic PC RF Remote – The cheap AirClick

Make your own font from your handwriting – free

BlueScreenView Will give you all the error logs in an easy readable, right-click GOOGLEable display.

Download MemTest86 for testing RAM