This is My Home Office

Monitors

As a remote consultant, my home office is a very important part of what I do. Without the necessary space and equipment, I cannot do my job. Below is an overview of the important aspects of my workspace.

Furniture

Never do anything standing that you can do sitting, or anything sitting that you can do lying down. – Chinese Proverb

Office-7

Until I find a way to work while lying down, I am forced to sit or stand for most of the day. There is a ton of information out there about the dangers of sitting too much, and standing all day isn’t a great option either. When I began working from home, I spent the first few years with a conventional desk and chair. While this served me well, I couldn’t ignore the potential side effects of a long-term, sedentary work life. The solution, for me, has been to introduce a mix of sitting and standing throughout my day, along with regular breaks to incorporate movement.

Desk

I’m currently using a GeekDesk Max and have only good things to say about it. Along with the adjustable height, the large surface area is important for my display configuration. I’m able to program various heights as presets and switch back and forth with the push of a button. This desk doesn’t have any cable management features, but modifying it for this purpose was simple enough.

Chair

I’ve owned a Herman Miller Aeron for over three years now and I’m perfectly happy with it. I’ve already had the base replaced through the outstanding 12 year warranty. Investing in a quality chair is a must for so many reasons; make it a priority.Office-8

Workstation

If I had eight hours to chop down a tree,
I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax. – Abraham Lincoln

Office-3

I have always built my own machines. My unique requirements make it difficult to purchase a pre-built PC, and I (mostly) enjoy the process of part selection and assembly. My latest build was a bold undertaking that had more than a few serious challenges.

Requirements

My daily workstation has to be fast, stable, and it has to have ample screen real estate. The nature of my work is such that I am often juggling multiple roles on multiple projects and I can’t afford to have a technology bottleneck.

In order to power eight (8) 1920×1080 monitors (16,588,800 pixels total), I needed some powerful graphics cards with loads of video outputs. Enter the HD 7970 DirectCU II, by ASUS. These cards are huge. They take up three PCI slots each and generate enough heat to keep my office cozy in the winter. With these cards I’m able to power my monitor array using the eight (8) DisplayPort outs, and I still have four (4) DVI ports available for future expansion if needed.

Office-2

Specifications

  • Processor– Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition
  • Motherboard – ASUS Rampage IV Extreme LGA 2011 Intel X79
  • RAM– Corsair Vengeance 64GB (8 x 8GB) DDR3 1866
  • PSU– Corsair Professional Series Gold AX1200 1200W
  • GPU– 2x ASUS HD 7970 DirectCU II
  • Storage
    • 240GB OCZ RevoDrive 3 PCI-E (OS / Applications)
    • 480GB Corsair Force Series GT SATA III (Storage)
    • 24GB RamDisk (Some applications, browser caches, temp files, etc.)
  • Case– Corsair Obsidian Series 800D
  • Displays
    • Samsung MD230X6
    • 2x Samsung 650 Series 27” (Portrait)

WEI

Office-4  Office-6

Photos provided by Kacey Elmore.

20 thoughts on “This is My Home Office

  1. I would go for Xeon configuration, double. I like the graphics setup though !

  2. Very nice setup. I echo @TexData regarding Xeon x 2 though.

    I’m interested to know how long you’ve owned the Samsung monitors for and how they’ve performed for you. I’ve had so many issues with Samsung monitors now that I’ve vowed never to buy one again!

  3. cool setup, surprised that the desk is really clean. I really admire the monitor setup, i have a similar machine not the same spec(3930 instead of 3960), always in two minds about multiple monitors vs one large one

  4. Wow, and I thought the machine I just built was slick. Very envious of this setup. I also have the Herman Miller Aeron chair, and cannot live without it anymore. Good idea using the RamDisk for temp files. I am interested in the desk too. We have desks at work that you can manually crank up and down, but I think I’d be more willing try standing sometimes if I could program a few positions in. Very nice setup!

  5. TexData – I remember looking into dual Xeon motherboards and having a hard time finding what I needed. I built this machine back in February, but it does look like there are a few more options available now.

    Adam – I’ve owned the Samsung monitors for about six months now. These replaced four other Samsung monitors that I was using previously. I’ve never had any issues with them. My father had a Samsung TV break down rather quickly, though.

  6. This CPU has only 7.8? My i5 2600k@3,3GHz has 7.6? How is it possible?

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  8. How noisy is this setup?

  9. Hey, I just wanted to know, where were you able to find a wallpaper for your setup? I have a hard time finding a decent one for a dual setup, and you have 8 monitors haha.

  10. Very nice setup!!! I wanted to know if you had issues withe th AeroPeek being disabled if you run anything graphic intensive on the monitors connected to your second graphic card. I have 4 x Dell u2410 running off of 2 x HD 6970′s and anytime I run VLC media player, Photoshop on the monitors connected to the second card Aero Peek is disabled and Winows 7 says it had to revert to the basic scheme become of low VRAM. The primary graphic card running the primary window and another monitor are just fine when doing similar tasks. Just wanted to know if you had similar issues and how if any solutions you applied. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thx in advance.

  11. Freggeln – It isn’t terribly noisy, but I also haven’t focused on noise output all that much. I do spend a fair amount of time on the phone, but my Jabra noise canceling is sufficient.

    Edgar – I did Google Image search and set size filters.

    RJ – I disabled Aero after running into the issues you’re referring to. I fully expect Windows 8 will iron out any remaining quirks.

  12. Very nice! You should post it on http://battlestations.reddit.com if you have an account. You are sitting on a karma gold mine :-P

    Also, is the MD230X6 worth the $3000 price tag? It ends up costing $500 for each of the 23in monitors, where it seems like you could get a 6x stand and some decent monitors for much less. Curious what your thoughts were on it.

  13. That’s about as impressive as my shed – all kinds of expensive equipment but the ambiance of doctors waiting room…

  14. Nice setup. A couple more monitors than I need for my website development work but still very nice.

  15. Nice setup!

    Surprising to see only one taskbar – I’m guessing you have most apps running full screen then.

    What type of bracket have you used for the 6 landscape monitors? And what’s that joystick-like device on your desk?

    @Rocco actually, green is supposed to be much easier on the eyes.

    I’ve seen a good few sites that recommend setting the background of your text editor to a very pale green for that reason.

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  17. I’d love to hear the full justification for the monitor setup. I’ve been considering an Aeron myself for a while now, just haven’t taken the leap yet. Nice setup.

  18. Hey Adam, It is a shame that that you are selling that rig, I stumbled on to your site just but checking out some craigslist listings. As it happens I am happy to see that my machine can almost hold a candle to your’s only .1 behind as far as windows indexing is concerned!
    Regards,
    Adam N. Carter
    A+ |ce, Network+ |ce,
    MCTS: Windows 7 Configuration

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