Expired English

I took the IELTS exam a couple of years ago as part of my plans to apply for the Canadian Express Entry programme, and the results are about to expire. It is a weird concept that I have to re-take an exam to demonstrate my competence with a language that I have been speaking since I was born. Of course, it’s the same fee for admission, which is also just as frustrating. Then again, it is something that I have to do.

I’ve also spent the past few weeks trying to decide if I should just build a new desktop computer altogether (since my AMD Ryzen 7 2700 build is over 6 years old now), or build a separate Hackintosh machine. I managed to create a cheap build that’s a spec-to-spec match for the M2 Pro Mac mini which comes in at just about $850. A fully decked out desktop replacement that I liked would’ve been about $1600 (just $400 over my initial theory-crafted Hackintosh build). I could’ve pulled the trigger on that, but Intel’s next gen processors (Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake) which are around the corner will be using a new socket platform: LGA1851, instead of LGA1700. It doesn’t seem like a great idea to splurge on a new machine when there is no viable future upgrade path. And I do need Intel, so that I can run the Android simulator on the Hackintosh build. Virtualisation software do not like AMD processors in this scenario, unfortunately.

With my desktop replacement plans pushed further into the future, here’s the final cheap Hackintosh build I’ve arrived at. I already own a 1000W PSU back from my short-lived crypto mining days, and I purchased a RX 6600 just recently for my AMD build, for full graphics acceleration support. It can be $120 – $150 cheaper if I opt to go with DDR4 memory, but I think I like it this way. Sidenote: Why are DDR5 motherboards so goddamn expensive?!

PCPartPicker Part List

CPUIntel Core i7-13700 2.1 GHz 16-Core Processor $349.99 @ Amazon
CPU CoolerDeepcool AK400 ZERO DARK 66.47 CFM CPU Cooler $39.99 @ Amazon
MotherboardASRock Z790M-ITX WIFI Mini ITX LGA1700 Motherboard $209.99 @ Newegg
MemoryG.Skill Ripjaws S5 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR5-6000 CL36 Memory $99.99 @ Amazon
StorageWestern Digital Black SN850X 1 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive $84.99 @ Amazon
CaseMagniumGear Neo-G Mini V2 Mini ITX Tower Case $54.99 @ Newegg