When I originally designed Centauri: it was with the spec that it should last at least five years before it would be cost effective to replace it. By that, I mean it has to take so long to do shit that it’s worth money not to have to wait on it. Dear Centauri made it to eight years with most of its bottle necks only showing up in the last couple. I’d say that’s pretty good.
Enter the new generation: Rimuru is
Since my 5 year design ended up pulling 8 years of duty, I opted for the biggest influencer of that spec. Centauri rocked a Core i5-3570K based on the assumption that it would retire by the time it became the problem, and lo and behold it really was the main bottle neck. As such, Rimuru rocks a Core i7-10700K because I’ve specified parts based on a 10 year service life.
One of the primary goals aside from that was the modernization of technology. Two pieces of tech have been on my mind as possible final retro fits for a few years now.
I’ve reached a point where USB-A only exists for old technology and existing peripherals that have nigh indefinite life span relative to their host computer. Things like my web cam and mouse.
Rimuru sports a snazzy front panel USB-C port perfect for the fact that most of what I want to connect now functions through USB-C. Likewise the motherboard rather resolves one of my gripes with its predecessor. My old Z77 chipset was a superb motherboard but it sadly was a bridge chipset, literally. Coming from the era in which USB 3.0 became standard only two rear ports and the two front ports were 3.0 with the otherwise ample ports in back being 2.0s. On the H570M the only 2.0 ports are header; all rear ports are USB-A, and two of them are rated for 10 Gbit/s. A perfect solution to having to be careful which USB goes where in the back.
Second temptation was the insane speed of NVMe drives. It’s been on my mind the last few years that there is no point in buying SATA drives anymore, except as external SSDs and use cases where big, cheap HDDs are the win. While I could retrofit an M.2 slot to my old Z77 it wouldn’t be capable of booting from the drive.
While I was at it: I decided on a fairly future proof power supply. My GTX 780 was the root cause of my last power supply upgrade, but is so powerful that it’s not typically the bottleneck Centauri experienced.
Opting to take advantage of the situation: I picked up an affordable power supply off a list of PSUs capable of driving an RTX 3080. In terms of PCI-E power connectors I could run two 780s. It’s also a semi modular—meaning everything but the ATX power cables “Plug” into the power supply rather than having to be tied off and routed. Since Rimuru is operating M.2 NVMe only, and has 2.5″ SSD mounts on the side panel: there is nothing in the drive cages below. As such I tossed the power supply’s remaining cables in there, so I don’t scratch my head in the years to come wondering which box in the closet they landed in.
Somehow it does seem ironic that the first live fire test of Rimuru’s capabilities was playing a DOOM (1993) 😁.
Raw performance testing in more interesting vectors has also been promising. Tested one of my projects that takes Stark about 15 minutes to compile from scratch, and Centauri pulled it off in about 7½ minutes to compile. Rimuru did it in 3 minutes. Bare in mind, Stark is the development system in the family and a laptop of similar vintage to Centauri.
Like her predecessor, Rimuru gets a nice “Assembling” album that tracks and marks things as part of the build. Centauri was the first PC that I built in the era of phones and cameras everywhere, and that really worked out. In a similar lesson from Stark, she also gets her own entry in y note system to serve as a log book of major changes and configuration. I’ve actually got pretty good at coping with that puzzle over the years.
Wait, no wonder my beard is turning grey…lol