Seven years have passed since I built my last desktop PC and it's showing it's age. I've been surviving on a 32-bit CPU and 2GB ram for long enough - it's time for an upgrade!

The humble developer rig is a balance between form and function, price and power. It doesn't need to be the absolute best, but it does need to shine if it's going to be compiling code for at least the next 7 years.

Case NZXT H440 €112.80
CPU Intel Core i7-5820K 6-Core 3.3GHz €400.80
CPU Cooling NZXT Kraken X61 Liquid Cooling €132.80
Graphics Card EVGA 02G-P4-2966-KR GeForce GTX 960 €239.80
Memory Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB DDR4-2400mhz €209.80
Monitor Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved 21:9 Monitor (U3415W) €741.45
Motherboard Asus X99-DELUXE €359.20
Power Supply Corsair RM550 €108.90
Storage 120GB OCZ Agility 3 SDD re-used
500GB Western Digital Velociraptor HDD re-used
Total €2305.55

The storage drives are the only components being reused from the previous build. They will eventually be replaced with two 500GB Samsung 850 Evo's. I'm holding off until it's absolutely necessary so I can get more for my money.

The display is amazing for productivity. I wrote more about this in Large display paradox resolved. In short: I highly recommend a 21:9 aspect ratio monitor, especially for Mouseless programming.

Linux Support

Below is a table of the usual suspects when it comes to hardware support in Linux.

Device Chipset Supported Driver
Audio Realtek ALC1150
Bluetooth Broadcom BCM4360 wl
Graphics nVidia GTX960 346.47
LAN Intel I211 igb
Intel I218-V igb
WLAN Broadcom BCM4360 wl

The open source nouveau drivers work but could only manage 800x600 out-of-the-box. I found the following error in dmesg:

nouveau E[  DEVICE][0000:01:00.0] unknown chipset, 0x126010a1
nouveau E[     DRM] failed to create 0x80000080, -22

Perhaps it will work in a future release. For now, the proprietary nVidia driver provides the full 3440x1440, which I downloaded from the nVidia website because the debian repository only has version 340.65.

Sadly, I've been unable to get sound through the monitor speakers via the display port. I can get sound using headphones, but the speakers are silent. The nVidia output ports in pavucontrol are all marked as unplugged, so I suspect it's a driver issue. I've emailed nVidia for support.


The build is super-quick, compiling the 3.18-rc6 linux kernel using the Phoronix Test Suite in 77.21 seconds. And that's without overclocking. But numbers are half the story. It looks great, and is a joy to develop on, which is what I spend most of my time doing.