My Home Workstation & Workbench

I thought I’d share details of my home workstation and workbench with you good folk. I call it ”workstation” and ”workbench” just to sound fancy. In reality, it is just a section of my dingy old garage. No mod cons here.

Here is my workstation where I sit and type articles such as this one:

In the center is my main machine — Intel i5 CPU, 8 GB RAM, GeForce GT740 GPU (I am not a gamer), 250 GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, plus 1 TB HDD — all hooked up to an Asus MX27AQ 27″ 2K WQHD IPS monitor (very nice). This machine would be around 6-7 years old now. My mate and fellow DCT author, Richard (Pedersen), has been showing me benchmark speeds for his new 500 GB Samsung 970 EVO970 NVMe M.2 SSD, which are off the chart. So, I’m already planning my new machine. Gotta catch up, don’t ya know.

On the left is my basic ”spare” machine — HP Compaq with Intel Pentium G2020 CPU, 4 GB RAM, 120 GB SanDisk Plus SSD, and integrated graphics — hooked up to a Phillips 247E 24″ IPS FHD monitor. This machine is goodness knows how old. There is still a ”Vista” sticker on the tower, which will give you some indication. All I did to it was replace the old HDD with a new (el cheapo) SSD and, once again, that upgrade worked wonders. The old thing is still running fine (touch wood) and as fast as, if not faster than, it ever was.

On the right is my little 2-in-1 laptop that I take with me on my travels (which are few and far between these days). A Lenovo Miix with Intel i5 CPU, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, integrated graphics, and 11.6″ FHD IPS touchscreen display. Sitting just above the Lenovo is my Pioneer amplifier, which is hooked up to 4 high-end speakers and is what I use for audio from my main machine, plus a very nice vinyl record player… love my vinyl.

Here is my workbench where I build, work on, and repair computers:

As you can see, I am a tad short on bench space. What you can see on the bench at the moment is an old HP DC5800 SFF running an Intel E5300 dual-core CPU (which wasn’t a bad processor in its day), just 2 GB RAM, and with integrated graphics. This old machine (circa 2008) was running XP, I upgraded it to Windows 10 via a Windows 7 product key but it was slow and unresponsive. So, I took a peek in Task Manager > Performance, and saw that disk activity for the old 160 GB HDD was constantly around 98-100%, CPU hovering around 60% and memory around 80%. I had a new SanDisk Plus 240 GB SSD lying about that I had picked up from somewhere when on special, so connected that and installed Windows 10 again. And now, it runs really well. Post startup, disk activity is almost instantly down to near zero, CPU and memory back to what you’d expect. Once again, the el cheapo SSD upgrade option has worked wonders.

Sitting on the floor, at the far right end of the bench, is a very old Dell Optiplex SFF, so underpowered that it won’t run Windows 10 properly so is running Linux Mint Cinnamon. Still going strong. I tell ya, Dell built those old Optiplex machines to last.

Anyway, hope I haven’t bored you to death with my ramblings. Just wanted to give you a glimpse into how us crazy gadget geeks operate. đŸ™‚

Cheers… Jim

13 thoughts on “My Home Workstation & Workbench”

  1. Thanks Jim. I enjoyed your ramblings. Ramble on…
    I have the same 27″ monitor – good for aging eyes. My PC is an older HP Pavilion circa 2008 – upgraded to an SSD awhile ago – turned the beast into a teenager again.
    Regards,
    Randy

  2. Thanks Jim,

    Very interesting indeed, I trust that you have an air conditioner in use in 30+ deg
    in QLD summers.
    However, the control station is definitely the king’s domain… đŸ˜‰

    Regards,
    JD

  3. Being an old timer as well, I repair desktops and laptops, for friends and friends of friends. I have an old tower which I rebuilt with an Asus mobo when the i5 first came out. About two years ago I put an ssd in and was amazed at the speed both at start-up and using. My monitor is a 23 inch viewsonic which has been great. I like your setup, mine is in the spare bedroom, and I have a shed with a bench for rebuilds etc.

  4. Hi im, I also enjoyed the rambling. Seems like you and I have a lot in common, but most of my machines are modified with upgrades gleaned from making computer repars for seniors in my area. (They trust and old lady to enter their homes.) Two of my machines are pretty much self built and none are newer than maybe 5 or so years. My monitor is a lovely Vizio TV-Monitor. I could not afford such a large screen as a stand alone monitor. I have half a room in my place occupied by one table, one desk, two smaller desks and two large bookshelves for equipment. st rebuilding my min machine after the mobo started to die. I found an ASUS Maximum V never used in Hong Kong and all my other stuff, including the 0 GPU will fit it. 32 GIG RAM. I have lots of storage and 16T backup thingy from Netgear, as I create content, and am now learning animation and 3D modeling. I do not game either, but I am creating some. I do not need speed, just power. That’s why all the RAM, renders go faster. I am going to try to find a 500G plus SSD after reading this. I think it will help out. I still have Win 7 installed, but I may try 10 0n this and see how it does. 7 just seems to get in my way less. Really like you newsletter. I am the only geek around here, so need to know somebody that knows more than I do.

    1. Hello Karena,

      I used to do a lot of video encoding/rendering myself so know exactly where you are coming from. Not so much these days though. Please do go for the SSD, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Best bang for the buck upgrade ever.

      Enjoyed hearing about your setup, thanks for sharing.

      Cheers… Jim

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