The Build

I finally got around to building a new workstation which I hope should be future-proof for the next 10 years, at least. It’s actually not yet complete, as I plan to upgrade the RAM to 96GB. I went with 32GB in the mean time since the Crucial kit I went with was dirt-cheap during the 2023 Black Friday sales. I am happy with the outcome so far though.


CPUIntel Core i7-14700K 3.4GHz
MotherboardASRock Z790M-ITX WiFi
RAM32GB (2 x 16GB) Crucial Pro RAM @ 5600MT/s
GPUPowerColor AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT 16GB
Storage1x WD_BLACK SN850X 2TB (Windows drive)
1x WD_BLACK SN850X 1TB (macOS drive)

This also happens to be my first small form factor (SFF) build, and it was surprisingly fairly straightforward, even with the tricky cable management. I opted for the Lian Li Dan A4-H2O case, which is a sleek 11L SFF case. Still get decent CPU and GPU temperatures with air cooling, although the case supports AIOs with liquid cooling. For some reason, I just can’t get comfortable with the thought of any liquid in the same vicinity as expensive computer components. The CPU and GPU temperatures are pretty decent, ~60ºC and ~76ºC respectively when gaming at 1080p (spent the latter part of December playing through Phantom Liberty).

Although I successfully got macOS running on my 5+-year old AMD machine, I was unable to run the Android emulator in macOS, which I need for streamlining my development work and productivity. That was probably the major factor which motivated me to switch to Intel. I’m currently running macOS Sonoma 14.2.1 with no headaches, and it’s smooth as butter. I’ve published the OpenCore EFI on Github for anyone interested.