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Old 07-22-2017, 10:40 PM   #1
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Default Building my New PC, Options...

Greetings all,

EDIT: I've added a few things that I must have accidentally deleted when I was "tweaking" the post.
Skybird's reply brought several of these to my attention.
See post #2 & #3 for clarification.

I've been considering building a new PC, and in my deliberations, I have run into several possible options of how to proceed.

These options aren't in the order that I considered them, plus there is another point that I will cover which is adding some additional "uncertainty" as to which way to go.

First, I should start off by saying, as I mentioned in another thread, is that I usually build a new PC every 3 years.
I was waiting on "whatever the successor to the AM3+ FX series is" before I replaced my old dual-core.
However "old-reliable" (EDIT: AMD 5600 x2 2.8ghz) was 9 years old when I built my current FX-8350.
So I'm sitting on a fairly new PC, but the CPU was originally released in 2011/2012.
So that still makes the System about 5/6 years old...

EDIT: I should also clarify, I usually gave my older PC to family if they didn't have the funds to build their own. For example, if they are too young to be working... END EDIT.

So Just so we know where I sit right now, I'll post the "current" specs, then post the possible routes that I might go...

"Current" PC:

Fedora 25 (26 within the month)

Corsair CX850M PSU
AMD FX-8350 8-core
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3
Gigabyte R9 380 2GB (slight factory overclock, 980mhz)
32 GB Corsair DDR3 (4x 8GB) 1600mhz (I think) 10CAS latency
4, 2TB Seagate drives in RAID 10 "far" config.
LG DVD/CD Burner
LG Blu-ray/DVD/CD Burner
Vizio 42" 1080P "dumb" LCD TV (2010), 60hz. Better sound, and the case is 47 total. (Older Vizio TVs measured the view-able area.)

This one is the main machine that I use now.

Before I built the "current" PC, I did want to wait until the Ryzen had been released (but I didn't know the name at the time), but the "old" wasn't going to be very useful for too much longer.

Also, I am wanting to build my mother a new PC, as she is currently running a AMD A8.
To say that the A8 is too slow for her would be an understatement.
My "old" PC will run circles around it.

Option 1: Build my mother a FX-8350... and postpone my Ryzen.

Last time I checked, I could build a new FX-8350 for about $500.
I already have:
4x 1TB WD Black 7200RPM drives. (Yes, they are new, just not in use.)
1 Gigabyte R9 380 2GB (the match to the one in my PC, just in case they got crossfire working. Again, new, just not in use.)

I would need to purchase:
AMD FX-8350
Motherboard, most likely would be: Gigabyte GA-970A-D3P, or an ASRock 970A. ASUS Sabertooth 990FX are still over $200. Can get an AM4 for less than that.
RAM, most likely would be 16GB.
PSU, Most likely: Corsair CX850M.
Case would depend on which she likes best.

EDIT: Motherboards are more expensive than what I spent on the one I have now, or not as good.
Also, DDR3 has jumped in price, I paid $100 (I think) for Corsair 2x8GB 10 Cas Latency RAM, last I checked it was almost $150. I can get DDR4 for that now.
That means 16GB for 75% of what I paid for 32GB about 2 years ago.

This would burn into my Ryzen budget enough to make it "not happen".

Option 2: Build Myself a Ryzen, and give my mother the "Current" PC.
Every where BUT the Mobo and CPU, I'm going to spend (roughly) the same on the Ryzen vs. the FX-8350.
The difference? I'm spending it on the "New" PC, and not just "another" PC, seems to make more sense -to me-.
Also, I know that this FX-8350 works, so I won't be running back to the store to return defective parts. It all works, and it all works together. No "teething troubles" for her.
Plus Spec-wise, for what I spent on the "Current", it's better than what I can build her now for the same $.

Specs of Ryzen system:

EDIT: Fedora Linux (26 most likely.)

Ryzen 1800X CPU 3.6ghz 8-core

Motherboard, one of the following 3:

ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Gaming K4 AM4 ATX AMD Motherboard
Gigabyte AORUS AX370-Gaming K5 AM4 ATX AMD Motherboard

I considered the following but price is a bit high:

ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero AM4 ATX AMD Motherboard

also high $, and too much junk I don't need:

ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Professional Gaming AM4 ATX AMD Motherboard

RAM: Initially 32 GB of DDR4, but I would increase it to 64GB asap. Possible initially if price is more favorable when I build it.

Case: Either another Corsair 750D, or a Corsair 900. IF it had a price drop AND was on sale. I like it, but I'm not spending $300 on a case!!!!!!!

GPU: Either a RX 580X, or a new Vega GPU card, IF they aren't too $$$.
Price for the non-gaming cards were ~$1K when they were released!
EDIT: I found a site suggesting that the Vega Gaming cards would be $600 for the top card. About $300 for the lower end... Not sure, as I haven't seen an "official" AMD announcement.

PSU: Corsair CX850M (it works....)

Optical: most likely will pull my Blu-ray out of the "current" PC if I build this one.

HDD: I looked at SSDs, and for the size, and speed, I will do better with a RAID with HDD. (current system is averaging 775MB/S read speed, about half that on write), Least expensive I can get a 1 TB SSD is $290 locally.
A Samsung 850 EVO-series is $390, and a 850 Pro Series is $490...
I can get 2TB Seagate Barracuda HDD for around $75. that's $300 for 8GB total, (halved for Raid10) 4TB usable, Plus redundancy.

Before anyone says "SSDs...." I talked with a friend who does IT work, and ran the numbers by him. His suggestion based on my plans to use RAID, and all his experience, plus all he has read, was to go with HDD.
Also note, when I priced this system out a few months ago it was around $1600 +drives. 4 850 Evo-series would be another $1600 on top of that. (I'm going to raid no matter what I use. Why? Because I can. What's better than a faster drive? 4 of them!
Plus I'm spoiled to the redundancy factor. And I need the space.)
However, I'm playing with the idea of a 8-drive Raid 10 f2 (far2) setup.

EDIT: Most of the things in "Option 2" have reduced in price since I added it all up.
That is everything from scratch.
And before the RX 480X dropped in price with the release of the RX 580X.
Minus another $50 if I use my Blu-ray burner from the "current" PC.

Option 3: Wait and build a AMD 16-core Thread-Ripper.

This PC would be identical to the Ryzen except for the CPU/MOBO, and I would definitely run a Vega GPU based card.

This initially sounds good... but I'm looking at a REALLY expensive option here.
Read somewhere that the price would be around $1K. The Vega Video cards have launched non-gaming versions at $1K (!). (EDIT see above about Vega.)
That's $2,000 just for the CPU/GPU... That's a $3,000+ system.

Plus it will be at least 6 months, probably a year before they are released, so there is the "wait" factor.

EDIT: I must have deleted this line when i was editing/spell checking this post...
Spending $3K is NOT an idea that I like... Which would incur more "waiting".

As far as SSDs are concerned, I'm not ready to take the plunge yet. They need to get MUCH cheaper, less prone to total failure do to power loss, and MUCH larger.

So thoughts? Ideas?


Last edited by BarracudaUAK; 07-25-2017 at 02:20 AM.
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Old 07-23-2017, 06:45 PM   #2
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Not claiming that I know all the device data you throw out there, I have just one question to raise for you.

Do you really actually need a new PC and invest money into it?

My W7 gaming platform is from 2010, and still runs every game smooth I launch on it.

Just to get rid of something because it has reached an arbitrary lifetime criterion, well, you are saure you need that?

Regarding your mother, I recommend a laptop with Linux on it, it must not even be a specially fast one if it is Linux, just maybe look out for a good display, I think that pays off. That is a very huge money-saving scenario! Assuming she does not need to run any professional or gaming software that depends on Windows being present, that is the way to go. I did that for my own mother over one year ago. Before she had a device with W7, I then installed Mint Cinnamon on it. She is happy, it does what it should, everything is faster and more easy. She is 69, and happier with Linux than with Windows before, everything is much faster and smoother, and she knows nothing about computers: and still she found the jump from W7 to Linux Mint Cinnamon easier. And me, I have almost zero maintencance to do now. Win-win. And Linux turned the laptop, low class, into a sprinter machine.

On running redundant HDs, keep on mind that only makes sense when you want a sefety against data droppings when one device brakes down. However, every installation messup by - I assume - Windows 10 will be present on the other drives as well. For that scenario these parallel drives do not provide you any security. Same is true if you get hit by malware. If it finds its way on one drive, all your parallel drives must be counted as compromised. To me, the conceot is pretty much pointless, when it comes to installation and malware security.

Thats why I - at the end of my Windows days - had come to no longer caring for image backups and the likes. I tried to use them several times over the past 17 years, and most of the times I did the attempts failed. Its not worth time and effort. Keep data and archives on USB sticks or DVDs, and in case of troubles simply install everything new, then copy data from these backups.

Your scenario 3, 3000 dollars? Well, of course everything is worth it to somebody as he sees fit, but I think 3000 bucks are a lot of money, and that ammount represents three 1-month budgets in complete living costs for me. I could afford more, but I simply do not need it. Just saying, my standards of course must not be your standards.

There are cheaper ways to kill some money, I think. And as I said, I run a seven years old system and it is still smooth with every sim and game I run on it. Fallout 4 with WOTC, Assetto Corsa, Steel Beasts 4, Arma 3 being the heavy spec killers here. Smooth frames, more I cannot want. A new gaming PC, tower format, imo must, could and should not cost more than 1000 bucks at max.

P.S. I stopped buying peripheral hardware that is Windows exclusively, but made it a criterion that it is also console or Linux compatabile, fully so. I recommend that because I plan and expect PCs to last longer than just three years , and Windows is in a death spiral all the way down. In some years I probably will not even run a Windows game machine anymore. And then all that peripheral hardware - which I used to run even longer in the past -, would have been wasted.

Last edited by Skybird; 07-23-2017 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:41 PM   #3
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I appreciate the input Skybird.

I knew I was a bit vague on a few points.

I'll edit the first post so that it is a bit clearer.

The new PC will run Linux. There was never any doubt of that.

Option 3 was just that... An option, I think I accidentally removed the line while editing were I had typed "I'm not spending $3k on a PC". Never have, never will.

Option 2 was the "original plan".

As far as the Laptop idea, her "desktop" is the only one we could find when she went looking for one several years ago, that wasn't "a laptop in a desktop case".
It was the only one with an actual internal PSU. All the others used a Laptop power cable.

A laptop, for her, is like asking one of us to play Crysis on a 486. Just too slow for what she does. Plus she still has a Win7 laptop.

My "old" dual core is still working, it's the network backup/extra game machine.
I actually bought a 40" Sanyo TV for the monitor... I don't "junk" my hardware until it's fried.

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Old 07-26-2017, 07:58 AM   #4
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I also do not "see" the SSD thing. A friend of mine has gone through 3 of them in less than two years. I go through hard drives entirely too fast, and don't need to accelerate the replacement process for a smaller, much more expensive drive. I also don't RAID, but that's a monetary decision. The idea of giving mom your old computer and doing Option 2 with its sub-options to-be-determined-later is good, but I wouldn't wait on the Vega. Besides, what's the "compatibility" factor like? Will it do Linux?? Allows you to fulfill that "I've gotta build something!" urge, and get to enjoy the results. In line with all of that, if you want to, you can adopt me into your family, and I'll take some of you old, unused gear off of your hands, including helping you out with disposing of old builds...

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Old 07-27-2017, 03:13 PM   #5
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Vega code was in the kernel before the cards launched, not all of it, but several things.

RX480X/580X are supported now, Vega last time I checked, was up to the level that all the other cards are.

When AMD scrapped FGLRX (Catalyst/Crimson) for Linux, to work on AMDGPU, they couldn't "open-source" the whole driver, as some functions were from 3rd-party software.
So they are working on AMDGPU a piece at a time.

For example, no HDMI audio right now. But that's ok, I'm running PC speakers through the Mother Boards on-board sound, so I can use my headphones.

Everything else is supported. Ryzen has a few issues with compiling under heavy workloads, but I've read of several updates to the compiler to fix the problem.

Not much to worry about, I very rarely compile anything. As I'm not running a Linux distro that I have to compile everything. Fedora does that for me.

Other than that, no issues to note, except $. But then again, that's always the issue.
Even if it's just "Renown" is SH3/SH4... Never enough 'money' for your toys!


Last edited by BarracudaUAK; 12-01-2017 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:33 PM   #6
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Ooohhhh... they'll be able to open-source vega eh?... noice... I have never understood the idea behind the HDMI "audio" on the video card, other than as a way to prevent the user (owner) of the computer from playing a BluRay disk on his computer, without OS intervention...

Some versions of Windows, of and on over the years, dependent upon updates, will absolutely lock the owner of the computer out of their own home recordings of their own "LIVE!!!" band, of which the owner of the computer is a member of the band - LOCK them out of their audio file, if they recorded above 48kHz and / or 24-bits. Not cool. Windows 10 was the worst for quite a while, but Win7 even did it. All because there is a video card that has an HDMI port on it in the computer. DRM... Doesn't matter that I've got a "professional" PCI multi-channel audio card able to do 192kHz recordings at 32-bit depth, can't play 'em back on my own computer. I no longer attempt to record at such high sample rates anymore, but 96k is not unusual anymore...

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Old 08-02-2017, 04:02 AM   #7
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I did some digging and I missed a few things...

No HDMI audio at this time with AMDGPU (i.e. GCN 1.2 cards, R9 285/380 and newer), but using the older Radeon Kernel driver (GCN 1.1 and older, my R7 370X can use either/or) can use HDMI audio....

As of Kernel 4.12, no video support (missing something to actually display), and no HDMI audio.

But other workloads that the GPU can perform do work... so I would have to wait a bit until the respective code is completed and "mainlined".

However, a few days ago, I checked the local prices again...

and the CPU has dropped $150 (now $350) since March when I priced everything...

BUT, 32GB (2x16GB sticks) DDR4 was $130, it's now $320!!!

And video cards have jumped from ~$240-300 for most brands of RX 580X, to $450-550!!!

Because of digital currency "mining". I'm still trying to find out what that is all about...
I still have not been able to find a clear explanation of what it is exactly.
But it has driven the price up substantially. All I can say is that I hope that it becomes MUCH less popular soon. So prices will get back to "normal".

But at this rate, it's only $50 difference between and RX 580X and a Vega 64.
So might as well wait...

Edit: I almost forgot the point of the prices, the total cost would be up from just under $1,500, to ~1,700. All due to the higher RAM and Video card prices...

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Old 08-02-2017, 07:52 AM   #8
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... and the vid cards are going up because they have RAM also...

That "mining" stuff sounds like a good way to get your computer into a "shared network" that you would have no idea what's going on, legal or otherwise... Sounds like a scam, though it might be legit. I don't like bitcoin, and now there's others?... hmmm...

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Old 11-29-2017, 03:27 AM   #9
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Well, since my last post here, several things have changed...

So my new PC will most likely be just a new video card.

With the recent price drops (down well below launch prices!), and the DC (formerly DAL) code getting mainlined in Linux 4.15, I'm thinking Vega 64 will be the card.

But now it comes down to 2 (or 3?) options.

1: Get the card now and use RC kernels (i.e. testing/alpha) until the kernel is "released" mid-January.

2: Wait a few months for the cards to drop down a bit more, and the code to be refined a bit further.


3: Wait until the replacement for the Vega launches, and get the Vega 64 dirt cheap.

Decisions, decisions...

But, I'm leaning toward "1". But the lack of cards in stock at most places means it will probably be either "2" or "3"...

ohh well.......

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Old 11-29-2017, 08:21 PM   #10
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Yeah, here's the deal on DDR4 PC3200 RAM. 16 GB over $200 right now. I just scored some for $157 and it was a great deal because the day after it was over $220. Yuk!

I considered going 8-core FX, but went Ryzen 3 because the single core speed was so much higher. And I went with the MSI B350 Gaming Pro for its Linux compatibility. That gives me a huge upgrade path in processors for the future, and a big choice on video cards.

But, like you, when I started this road I was looking FX 8-core because I built one for my son and it absolutely rocked. Since you already have the 8-core, the best bang for your buck is video card. Your 8-core is still rockin!
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:34 PM   #11
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At first I wasn't really considering a RX 480X/580X/Vega for this 8-core, mainly due to the differences in age/architecture.

But after thinking about it over the course of several weeks (never more than 30 seconds at a time), I finally decided "why not".

(Had to dig all this up on, and seems to be a pattern!)
My dual-core, and the X1000 were both 90nm (although my 2 X1650 pro were apparently 80nm).

I upgraded my video cards 3 times to a HD2600XT, a HD4850, and finally to dual HD6750.

Which were 65nm, 55nm, and 40nm. (hmm, it seems the 6750 was a slightly tweaked version the 5750...)

So I jumped 4 major architectures with the dual core (even tried to get the R7 370X and R9 380s to work on it).
Now I'm sitting on a 32nm CPU, so why not jump from 28nm (R7/R9) up to 14nm?
That's only 3 jumps if we count the 40nm HD7000 series as being the same "generation" as the CPU, vs 4 on the dual core...

Should note, I have a HD2400 AGP (65nm) for my old Athlon 2500xp, which was a 130nm CPU, with 9000 series running 110/130/150nm. Dropping it to a 65nm, jumping 3 series of cards...

So apparently, I like to build a PC every 3-4 years, and jump 3-5 series for video cards, while reducing the GPU architecture to less than half of the CPU size...

I think a Vega in this FX will fit right in with this!

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