I’m sticking with ASUS for now because other than being overpriced, I’ve had no issues with their products.


  • ASUS is overpriced but reliable. Tested: motherboard, displays. “Gamer” styling is atrocious. If I don’t have to look at them, their products seem solid. Have a bit of a bloatware problem.
  • Gigabyte has been nothing but issues. Mobo overclocking features are nice, but their software and QC is abysmal. They seem to, whenever they invent a new way to spy on their users and/or slow down their machines, rather than updating their existing bloatware, release an entirely new program—so you end up having to install three separate pieces of bloatware to control your RGB lighting, because only one of them can control RAM LEDs, but that one can’t control external RGB strips, and neither lets you set per-component lighting on the motherboard itself so you need a third one for that. Nightmare. One could fry eggs on my Z370 Aorus mobo’s VRMs, my Gigabyte 1080ti cooler’s coldplate was so uneven that it idled around 70C or higher and sounded like a jet engine non stop. I will not buy another Gigabyte product again.


  • ADATA drives are a bit of a meme but I’ve had both their 2.5“ and m.2 SSDs and have not had any issues with them so far.
  • Samsung SSDs are a bit overpriced but have not failed me yet.
  • Seagate HDDs have not failed me yet.
  • I run 16TB WD Red Pros in my NAS because I got them on a sale. They have
    not failed yet, but they are loud as hell.


Geekbench scores

I strongly believe in getting every bit of performance you pay for out of your components.

  • Zen 3 “overheats by design”. It will clock as high as it can until it hits one of its power or thermal limits, and adding more cooling will just make it clock higher while still running hot.

    This is not a concern, but if fan noise is a problem getting the PBO offsets as low as possible and lowering the power limits (my 5900x sits at 180W PPT, 130A TDC, 150A EDC at the moment) can lower temperatures by a lot and possibly even get extra performance.

  • Stick with AMD’s recommendations for RAM sweet spots, and rather than trying to run faster RAM than the memory controller/infinity fabric can handle, just grab the kit that has the tightest timings you can find for AMD’s recommended frequency. G.Skill’s 3800CL14 is the best consumer bin for Zen 3.

  • Zen gets a big boost to performance if you disable part of the cores. If running heavily singlecore tasks (Dwarf Fortress), consider temporarily disabling some of your cores for higher turbo clocks.

Other Components

  • NZXT has a big bloatware problem. Their coolers are nice otherwise. Solid third party Linux support. Cases are a dream to build in but pretty bad in terms of airflow. Tested: Kraken coolers, cases.



  • Roccat makes excellent peripherals, my Nyth is one of the best mice I’ve used. Solid third party Linux support.
  • Mionix makes absolutely wonderful mice… that die in a year. I’ve had the scroll wheel die after a year or two in three separate Mionix mice. Otherwise, no issues - if they fixed the scroll wheels, they’re great. If not, I wouldn’t throw away money for a moderately expensive mouse that I’d have to fix or replace soon after.
  • Logitech makes everything, but I personally hate their “normal” mice, and they have a horrible bloatware problem. OTOH, they make really nice webcams, and the MX Ergo and MX Vertical are both some of the most comfortable pointing devices I’ve used. Solid third party Linux support through logid.
    Their Windows bloatware is some of the worst garbage I’ve seen, calls home constantly and slows down the entire system.


  • The Ergodox is the most comfortable keyboard in existence as far as I’m concerned. Falbatech makes really nice ones but the adjustable legs on the wooden cases come loose with time. I wanna get an Ergodox EZ at some point.

    Update: I have since gotten an Ergodox EZ and am extremely happy with it.



  • I tried pretty much all major distros. I use EndeavourOS on my personal machines because Arch flavors are the only distros I’ve never had issues that required more than an hour to fix with, and they’ve been the most pleasant and easy to run out of anything I’ve tried. I run Fedora Server on my homeservers and Ubuntu Server in the cloud. I think Ubuntu is the worst thing that ever happened to Linux on desktop.

    Other distros I’ve tried that failed to meet my requirements and I have no interest in using again: Mint, Manjaro, NixOS, ElementaryOS, Debian, KDE neon, Garuda.

    Other distros I’ve tried that I can somewhat recommend: Pop!_OS, openSUSE.


  • I use GNOME as my desktop environment. It’s not great, but everything else I tried is worse. I don’t care about light weight, I care about being quick to set up on a new machine and just working out of the box, with an extensive number of third-party plugins and extensions in case I need it to do more. GNOME breaks minor things quite often, but I’ve never had it impede my work and on a new machine I can install pretty much everything I want from a complete desktop experience with just one package group. GVFS integrations are nice.


  • I’m a big fan of JetBrains IDEs for large projects. I use Neovim for editing anything that isn’t a large project.

Terminal, Shell:

  • fish is the best shell.
  • I use alacritty as my terminal, in large part because of its excellent support for bitmap fonts.


  • I use ansible for managing my dotfiles and configurations. It’s slow as hell, but I’ve found that anything short of a full infrastructure–as–code framework is insufficient for what I want out of a dotfiles manager—a one–command solution to set up a fresh machine.