Gotta Workstation, checkout mine!

I have been using ultrabook(s) from last 3-4 years, mainly MacBook Pro (provided by employer(s)) and my personal ASUS UX305CA. Things with these machines are sleekness and ultra-portability. But it lags in performance if we compare it from desktop perspective. This Diwali I made a decision to setup a high-end gaming workstation, which can satisfy my computational as well as gaming needs. From last one month I have been looking for options and finally stumbled upon customized laptops provided by Azom in India. For US folks, this is a something similar to machines provided by Sager globally. They uses Clevo as barebone and integrates resources (viz CPU, GPU, RAM, SSD, HDD, etc) from different providers. Let me describe the complete setup one by one:

Desk

In Delhi’s local market you will find a lot of computer desks. From my past experiences I had learned one thing that your desk should be spacious enough, at least to keep two monitors, plus we developers hate anything right below the main desk, because while coding we love to drag our chairs and slid down under table, comfort matters a lot. Hence I went for a 4×2 feet wooden base placed on metallic frame.

Chair

Gone those days of heavy cushioned chairs, comes ergonomic one!
I went for one with height adjustable hand rest & head rest, bought from a furniture vendor near by. Its very helpful when you have a habit to code 3-4 hrs straight. Helps is keeping your spinal-cord straight plus its spacious as well, so you can sit on them with crossed legs, like me 😉

Mechanical Keyboard

Whether you are a programmer or a hardcore gamer, you must have a soft corner for a mechanical keyboard. I had went for this one over Amazon India.

Mouse & Mouse Pad

With additional two buttons to browse hence forth, on browser or code in IDE like PHPStorm, a good gaming mouse rocks. Now a days I am not into gaming much, since wont get time for that, but found very useful while debugging some code flow or navigating between classes, methods or definitions, etc. I went for this mouse & mouse pad, provided by RedGear

Cooling Pad

If you are going for a gaming beast then you have to buy a cooling pad as well. Now a days we have options to buy a height adjustable stand, remember Ergonomics! So I went for this one, provided by Quantum.

Bigger Additional Display

Love terminals, tmux? Then you might find this useful as well. While working on stuffs, developers usually have tons of open sessions on tmux, like one running docker-compose with logs in standard output, one for code versioning (usually GIT), tailed logs from session sshed into production/stage machines, etc. A bigger screen makes thing more clear and visible. I thought of buying a new 4k display for this, but my parents demanded a new TV for home, so settled for the old FHD TV by Samsung, and bought a 4K UV 50″ TV from flipkart (Off-course not part of my workstation).

Laptop, “heart of workstation”!

As mentioned earlier, a customized laptop is one in which you can select resources wise configuration you want. Its similar to desktop assembly. I went for Azom Exigo with following configuration:
  • Clevo Barebone – P750DM2
  • Display – 15.6” IPS Full-HD 1920×1080 60Hz Matte (anti-glare)
  • CPU – Intel Kabylake Desktop Grade i7-7700
  • GPU – NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5
  • RAM – G.Skill 16GB (2 8GB 2400MHz DDR4)
  • Storage1 – Hgst SATA 2.5” 1TB 7200rpm HDD
  • Storage2 – Empty (SATA 2.5″ HDD/SSD)
  • Storage3 – Plextor M.2 2280 120GB SATA SSD
  • Storage4 – Plextor M.2 2280 120GB SATA SSD
  • Wireless – Intel Wireless-AC 8260, dual band, 2×2 + Bluetooth 4.2
  • Wired – Killer Ethernet
  • Sound – Sound Blaster X-FI MB5, ESS SABRE Hi-Fi DAC headphone audio, 2 x Speakers
  • Trackpad – Synaptics SecurePad, Integrated Fingerprint Sensor
  • Card Reader – 6-in-1 Push-Push Card reader
  • Keyboard – Customizable backlit RGB, anti-ghost keys
  • Camera – 2.0M FHD Video camera
  • Optical Drive – None
  • Battery – 8 cell (82Wh)
  • Operating System – N/A

Total Cost -> Rs 1.40 lakhs

Yes, I went for two SSDs, one for Windows (Gaming) and one for Linux (Development). I had seen problems with dual boot on single SSD. My ASUS ultrabook’s SSD got crashed, which caused loss of code came out of long productive weekends, though its under guarantee so didn’t caused me any monetic problem but a severe headache and frustration, YES! It actually hurts when your hard work wipes out like this, just because you wanna push the complete feature under a single commit. Now a days I commit & pushes everything before shutting down my machine. “Its better to squash multiple commits into one rather then loosing them”Tushar!

Coming back to Exigo, many users from India had already given review on Amazon, tumbler, etc. Its actually upto the mark. In terms of gaming, till now I had played Tekken 7 & GTA V. Both worked smoothly on ultra high settings. FHD display works well, crisp & clear. Absolutely zero lags while playing. We even got option to overclock CPU & GPU separately. You can also download Azom Exigo windows drivers from here as well, select => Model :P7xxDM2/P7xxDM3 & Driver Type : ALL. For NVIDIA GTA 1060, install GeForce Experience first and then download the suggested driver by it.

In terms of development, on Linux Mint Sonya, Cinnamon edition, no problems at all. Though on linux we don’t have option to customize RGB keyboard & driver for finger print sensor is also missing. I had tested this with multiple open IDE, like PHPStorm, RubyMine, PyCharm & Eclipse, docker running 8 parallel containers with one running image processing tools like tesseract, etc, one running python based backend API (built on Falcon) used for video asset manipulations (basically running ffmpeg on multiple threads), one running elastic-search, one running PHP NGINX based webfront, one running java program for generating recommendations (entity-to-entity map, entity-to-user map, etc), and so on.

  • Pros

    • Machine with this configuration can obviously last for more than 3-4 upcoming years. And its scalable! so you can simply plug-in or out resources you want.
    • Highly configurable in terms of hardware.
    • Great cooling system for such high power computational stuffs inside.
    • Desktop grade Core I7 7700 (7th Generation)
    • Open socket MXM design GPU card, upgradeable as well.
    • Bigger display & RGB backlit keyboard, made my Diwali even more colorful!
    • Tight body, zero flex in keyboard region and minimal flex in display, makes it more durable!
    • Quality customer support
  • Cons

    • Bulky! yes around 3.5 kgs
    • Body attracts finger prints, hence I got it laminated with custom decals from Nehru Place 😉

Final conclusion, happy and satisfied, plus productive ofcourse!

Some clicks of complete setup:

DSC_0262 DSC_0273 DSC_0277 DSC_0280 DSC_0282 GamingMechanicalKeyBoard GamingMouse SpeakerNAmplifier DSC_0270

  • Vikas

    I just love your passion for computers and coding. Kind of motivates me…!!
    Very well done Tushar. Keep it up.

    Vikas Sharma.

    • Tushar Kant Verma

      Thanks bhiya :)