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My wife ordered a new computer. She told me it's assembled by a local company near Seattle. I could not believe people still assemble computers as in the eighties. When I was student back in 1985, I could not afford a brand name (I was living in Belgium), so we all purchased clones. The only brand name (IBM, Digital, Olivetti  at that time) were in the university labs.

Curiously, I asked my wife about the cost of her new  machine. Her reply was evasive and she just said "it's not the cheap stuff" - kind of scary. So it is a custom-built machine, and the funny thing, they send you a video of what's inside the computer's belly (even a heat map) before they ship it to you.

Enjoy the video!

And here's the heat map, showing where most of the heat is generated:

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Really cool video. I love it when businesses do a customized run-through of the product you bought, especially when it has a heatmap that shows actual heat!

The physical hardware looks pretty similar to other custom builds. Surprisingly enough, you can actually get quite a bit of a discount (~30%) by building it yourself, and you can make sure that it's designed specifically for your needs. I've built a few computers for my family and friends, and they've really simplified the process -- it's about as complicated as building a Lego set, only the pieces are $100 apiece.

Would highly recommend it for data scientists and serious number crunchers. Really easy to add insane amounts of memory (48 GB of RAM seems to be the feasible upper limit) and storage (e.g. a RAID array with 20 TB of hard drive space) for those who *really* need it. Having plunked around with stats processors on a 4 GB RAM computer with 120 GB of hard drive space, I really appreciate being able to spread out my data analysis and pump out multiple programs threaded across separate CPU cores.


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