WEIRD WEDNESDAY: Redefining The Computer Desk

Photograph: by J Muckle
Photograph: by J Muckle

With the holiday season just around the corner, many folks are struggling to come up with the perfect gift for the geek who has everything. In the June 2009 issue of Popular Mechanics, Glenn Derene explores the ideal toy (uh, I mean tool) for those with a passion for the latest gadgets and gizmos: the Quad-Core, 1-kW, Liquid-Cooled Desk.

So how does it work? Here’s the explanation, broken down into 10 (not so simple) steps (see diagram below):

  1. The desk surface was constructed by DangerDen of two sandwiched, laser-cut layers of clear acrylic bolted to an aluminum frame.
  2. A half-gallon of glycol runs through 15 feet of Tygon tubing and a radiator, cooling the processors.
  3. To support our Times Square lighting, we used an Antec TruePower Quattro kilowatt power supply.
  4. Two 300-GB 10,000-rpm VelociRaptor hard drives handle storage.
  5. Synaptics engineered us this one-of-a-kind, flush-mounted touchpad with an integrated proximity sensor and light.
  6. At the heart of our system is XFX’s 790i Ultra SLI motherboard, outfitted with 4 GB of Kingston HyperX DDR3 RAM and a 3.0-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad processor.
  7. This worthless 15-inch custom PCI-E cable did not work—so we replaced it.
  8. We cooled our PaLit GeForce GTX 280 graphics card with Danger Den’s Tieton water block.
  9. Seven fans circulate air within the desk—and 13 bright-blue neon lights blind the user at the desk.
  10. Ejecting up from the desk surface is a Sony BDU-X10S Blu-ray drive.
Photograph: by J Muckle
Photograph: by J Muckle