I have a history of eschewing giant full towers, even back in my 486 days in college, but even for me, this is the smallest gaming PC I’ve ever built.

My previous gaming rig is only two years old, but it’s loud and hot (and thus, even louder), and it’s now summer in New York. I needed a rig that could comfortably fit in a Brooklyn apartment-sized bedroom, and would not only be quiet, but be unable to literally heat my room by itself come winter.

Six-core Intel Core-i7, Asus workstation motherboard, 2 SSDs and RAID array for the near-ultimate Photoshop-Lightroom PC

In ExtremeTech’s latest This is My Rig build, we run through Rich Ackermann’s liquid-cooled hexa-core workstation. This 75-pound monster runs 64GB of RAM, dual 120mm radiators, over 6TB of storage, and still looks better than any computer you’ve ever built.

With each successive microarchitecture release from Intel since I built my Nehalem-based PC at the beginning of 2010, I kept asking myself, “is it time to upgrade?” Sandy Bridge was nice, but it wasn’t worth upgrading for a paltry 15% performance boost. Likewise, another 10% from Ivy Bridge just wasn’t enough. I had already decided…

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve had to build my own rig. I last built a rig from scratch long before I moved to Mississippi in 2004. However, I finally decided to build a new AMD FX Linux gaming rig, due to all the improvements to the Linux gaming scene over the last few years.

Having built my previous desktop in October 2008, I’ve been long overdue for a new system. I had delayed the build a number of times, usually waiting for the next cool thing in the pipeline — an occupational hazard when you look at technology news all day long — but with the release of Intel’s Ivy Bridge and Microsoft’s Windows 8, it was clearly time to put together my next PC.

One of ExtremeTech’s writers, Ray Walters, outlines the components used in his latest custom computer build. He spent a little bit over $1200 on a dual-video card, Core i7 rig with 16GB of RAM.