The Birth Of Zeratul – My Fellowship Workstation

It’s been four years since Tassadar’s birth, but with fellowship fast approaching, I once again took advantage of Black Friday 2016 to assemble an updated rig. Say hello to Zeratul.

I had three goals with this build: quiet, compact, and powerful. I’ve transitioned from the classic gamer chassis with side windows and colorful LEDs in favor of a simple and compact Fractal Design Define Nano S ITX-case with sound dampening.

This is also the first time I’m delving into the realm of the M.2 PCI express specification. I have my boot drive going through this blazing fast interface, and have certainly noticed the speed! Otherwise, this build has less memory (16 GB), no optical drive (what’s a DVD/CD anyways?), and 1 terabyte less storage space compared to my previous build.

Here’s a rundown of the specifications and some pictures of the assembly process. 🙂

Name Zeratul
OS MacOS High Sierra and Microsoft Windows 10 Professional
Motherboard Gigabyte H170N-WiFi
CPU Intel Core i7-6700k LGA 1151
Memory Patriot Viper 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4
GPU Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti w/ 6GB GDDR5
M.2  250 GB Samsung 850 EVO M.2
SSD 250 GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD
HDD 2 x 2 TB WD Green drives in RAID 1 (storage)
PSU OCZ ZT Series 750 watts
CPU Cooler Corsair H80
GPU Cooler Corsair H90 on NZXT Kraken G10 bracket
Case Fractal Design Define Nano S ITX
Monitors Dual LG 27″ E2742V LED monitors
Mouse SteelSeries Rival 700 Gaming Mouse
Keyboard Logitech G413 Carbon Mechanical Keyboard
Webcam Logitech HD Pro
External Media Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2 TB USB 3
Chair Merax Gaming Chair
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  1. Jesse diaz says

    Big fan of your blog! I’m a MS4 who’s applying to Anesthesiology and your post have thought me a lot. I wanted to ask your opinion on studying on 27 inch monitors (versus 24 or 144hz vs 4k monitors for studying). Also I’m debating wether I get a Mac book pro 15 inch which would cost the same (1,999-2,499) or a window 10 desktop (cheaper and better specs), did you study more at your apartment or did you study most of the time at the hospital/while on call. Did you ever feel that gaming distracted you from studying or was it a much needed remedy/relaxing tool during medical school.

    1. Rishi says

      Thanks Jesse! Great choice with anesthesiology! 😉

      I’d say that if you want to any modern dual-monitor set up, you’ll need to invest in a decent graphics card to drive all those pixels. If you’re thinking dual 4K monitors, I’d go with at least a GTX 1060… especially with the way graphics cards are being increasingly leveraged for general computing processing power. You don’t need such high resolution or refresh rate monitors for the sole purpose of studying, but hey, they’re the future!

      As far as the computer, I’m definitely a fan of the MacBook line. Depending on what kind of computing you do, the 15 inch pro model might serve as a great laptop and power your desktop monitors when you get home for more screen real estate. If you really need a gaming computer, Windows is clearly the best platform though.

      I studied WAY more at my apartment, but occasionally got some reading done on quiet call shifts. As you mentioned, I use gaming to escape from the stresses of work and studying from time to time. 🙂

      So in short, analyze what your computer needs are. If you do just a little light gaming, perhaps the MacBook Pro with some sweet external monitors will do the trick. If you need more power, go with the Windows desktop. In either case, do NOT neglect purchasing an external hard drive to back up important files!

  2. Spencer says

    Nice component selection! I definitely came across some of those when researching for my own custom build. I’m sure the rig is humming along nicely.

    1. Rishi says

      Thanks man! I’ve been running some stress tests for stability, and its taking all of them without a hitch! Happy with my current configuration.

      I’ll be writing a blog post in the coming week or so about how I approach building a new computer. 🙂

  3. Adnane Lahlou says

    I guess these newborns of yours should definitely be called gaming stations instead of working stations. These are entertaining beasts pal… My workstation should lie in a museum should we ever compare the two…

    1. Rishi says

      Haha, they’re really not meant for gaming. I do a lot of computing which requires parallel processing, so I’m excited to see how far I can stretch my multi-tasking. 🙂