What I use

PC

Recently, I migrated my PC into a small form factor case, the Silverstone SG13. It is really small and weighs only 5.4kg. It is not shabby at all when it comes to its performance, with its overclocked quad core Haswell chip and GTX 970 card, although there is more room for improvement without putting on weight. (eg: upgrade the GTX 970 to a GTX 1080 FE)

The main reason why I wanted to make it smaller is so that I can carry it inside the checked in baggage when flying back to my country. Or maybe even in carry on luggage, because it is well below the 7kg limit, though I have to count the weight of the bag and might have to get rid of the all-in-one water cooler. Checked in baggage it is then.

This is my first PC without any internal mechanical hard drive. And I do not plan on installing any in the future. This does not mean that I do not have mechanical hard drives. I do, 2x4TB drives in fact, but they are in a separate NAS.

The following are the specs of the PC.

CPUCore i7 4790K @4.5GHz
CPU coolerAntec Kuhler 620
MotherboardAsus Z97i Plus
RAMA-DATA XPG 16GB DDR3-2400
Video CardMSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G
SSDSamsung 850 Evo 500GB
DisplayQnix QX2710 Evolution II
CaseSilverstone SG13
PSUSilverstone SX500L-G
KeyboardCorsair K70 Lux Cherry MX Brown/Red LED backlit
MouseLogitech G602
HeadsetAudiotechnica ATH-AD500X
SpeakersEdifier Exclaim E10BT
WebcamLogitech C910

You can also check the build out at PCPartPicker.

Laptop

Recently I bought a new laptop. Surprise!!!! I will update this page once I write a new post about it.

Mobile Phone

When Optus dropped a $20 discount on their standard $85 per month plan, I took the plunge and bought a Samsung Galaxy S7 Onyx Black model on a 2 year contract. I don't know how practical it would be to be stuck with a Samsung device for 2 years because Samsung is known for being reluctant to update their older devices, but at least with this plan, I can return the phone and get a brand new model for $99 after 12 years. It probably isn't straight forward as it may seem, but at least the option is there if I need to use it.

I have had the phone for less than 1 week and I haven't had to test it properly. But it feels very snappy. It does reload the apps once in a while, but less often than on the Nexus 5, but it hasn't bothered me much because the reload is pretty fast. Reloading was very slow on the Nexus 5 which is why I was in the opinion that an Android phone needs more than 4GB RAM for my usage patterns.

I am using the Google Now launcher because I have gotten used to it. And it is simple. But Google hasn't updated it in a long time and I wish they would make it more functional. But TouchWiz isn't unusable either. The other thing I thought I would hate is the hardware shortcut buttons (Back and Recent apps) being on the wrong side, but the transition wasn't hard. Now I cannot use my Nexus 5 anymore. That phone is with my father and he seems to be enjoying it a lot.

But there has already been a problem but it is more of a network issue than an issue with the phone. I still haven't had a chance to test GPS with it because I did not want to mount it in the car without a case.

Camera

I recently bought a Canon EOS 70D-W DSLR with the 18-135mm IS STM lens kit. I used to have a Canon PowerShot S95 camera and loved it for the compactness, but it wasn't doing anymore.

For me, there have been two issues with DSLRs. First one is the size and the second one is the need for change lenses. The first one is pretty hard to avoid. There are a lot of compact DSLRs coming out, but they are not as good as the big guys when it comes to the feature set and the image quality. But I could avoid the second issue by going with a zoom lens that has decent range. Eventually I might want to get another lens or two. But I don't see that happening anytime soon. I can manage with this 18-135mm lens.

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