Leen's Mean Dream Machine: Recipe for a Delightful Desktop

Nutrition Facts Label of My Personal Computer

For as long as I can remember, my exclusive association with computers and technology has been my big brother Atif. When I was 9 years old drawing janky flowers in Photoshop 5.0 (does anyone remember the creepy blue eyeball and orange birds?) my brother was hard at work building his own PCs and skillfully testing/reviewing hardware components for his website. I very much enjoyed pretending to listen to him express the challenges of overclocking while I eagerly Googled tutorials on “how to create glittery text GIFs.” He generously built my first PC and has installed every upgrade since. Upon graduating college in 2013, my loving family gifted me Microsoft’s just-released, first ever Surface Pro, and my desktop-use steadily declined.

Fast forward to last year right around when I started my food blog, my old PC did not perform to the level necessary to carry out my vision for the Hungry Hijabi. I found myself dreading video editing because Adobe Premiere would require all the patience in the world. I even found myself editing images on my phone for quick-sharing just to avoid turning on my PC. Running away wasn’t the solution to my problem though. So I reached out to consult with Atif regarding a beastly upgrade of my old PC. As always, he was more than happy to help and generously gave my new machine lots of his time and even more of his attention (seriously, I’m talking multiple daily email updates).

The more we discussed the machine—what I needed vs. wanted, etc.—the clearer he pictured my vision. Blessed as I am, Atif did not stick to my vision and instead chose to surpass all of my expressed needs and built what I now call…my Mean Dream Machine.

Now this is not by any means a typical recipe, but for the sake of consistency, I will present to you the “recipe” to create my deliciously-designed desktop!


Over the years, I’ve learned quite a bit from Atif regarding computers, their components, and how they all work together systematically. However, I’ve cooked up my own unique understanding of exactly how everything works together—

The Thermaltake case is like my kitchen in which all the magic happens. Keep it neat and clean, and it’s a beauty. Leave your mess for everyone to see? You’ll have no friends. Contrary to popular belief (or mine, anyway) the flashy RGB-light fans don’t have to be tacky. The included Thermaltake Riing RGB fans let you customize the look of your machine by changing the light-mode (static, breathing, etc) or color. My favorite part about the case is the tempered glass on all 4 sides. It’s similar to the genius idea of restaurants having big glass windows looking into their kitchens both for the sake of transparency and fascination. The glass doesn’t sit flush against the edge of the case, so there’s room for air (which keeps the contents that much cooler!). I love that the two doors on the sides have hinges which makes them very easy to open to make any adjustments or take photos (ahem). Lastly, the case is compatible and even built for water-cooling systems which is very convenient because what kitchen doesn’t need water?!?!

Then there’s the ASRock motherboard, which is basically the Le Creuset dutch oven of motherboards.

PC Build ASRock X399 Taichi AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X

And the beast of a processor: AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 1950X with 16 cores and 32 threads which may or may not be named the Threadripper as a warning to The Hungry Hijabi’s hijab…

Next up are the silent Noctua cooler system and fans. The cooler system is like the yin to the Threadripper’s yang. Tailored specifically for the TR4 processor, it’s a giant beast of a heatsink with many fins and heat pipes. And these fans are so quiet you don’t realize they’re on. This is because Noctua emphasizes quiet high performance and air movement and even includes rubber mounts to minimize vibration and, consequently, noise.

PC Build ASRock Taichi AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X

I think of these three (processor, heatsink, fan) working together to cook steak. The processor is a beast of a grill, cooking your steak. The heatsink allows your steak to cool and set before the fan slices it up for you. Make sense? Am I just hungry?

Next we have 64gb of G.SKILL RAM with Samsung B-Die. The RAM is like a fully stocked pantry (think MasterChef!), always ready for quick visits and last minute seasoning.

Then there’s the graphics card by MSI, literally silent but very impactful, like artistic plating. Plate your food terribly and it’ll still provide sustenance, but with beautiful plating your potential soars!

We have the ADATA 1TB SSD XPG NVMe, faster than a traditional SSD, which is more akin to a fully stocked fridge. Not as quick as accessing your pantry (or RAM), but still very accessible right there in your kitchen!

Last but certainly not least, we have the Corsair power supply unit. This provides your stove or grill with power. Try cooking on a stove without gas or electricity! This power supply is great at its job so, like with sous-vide cooking, you won’t burn your “steak.”

And that, my friends, is how to create Leen’s Mean Dream Machine. Powerful, fast, quiet, and beautiful.

In short, get your genius older brother to do it for you.

Now please excuse me while I feed my hungry Dream Machine with many more scrumptious video projects and halal recipes to come!