I’ve been off the PC hardware game for a while now, with my current machine edging close to it’s fifth birthday, bar the GPU.
By no means was it slowing down, and it was handling every task and game at 1200P I threw at it. It sported an i7 3820, GTX970 and 16GB of memory.
I was tempted by Ryzen when it came out, however I decided that I would keep my current machine for a little while longer, but a 20% off computer components sale on eBay coupled with helping a friend build a new rig for themselves got me over the line and convinced me that it was time to build a new rig.
After a little bit of research and much consultation, I settled on the following.
- AMD Ryzen 1700
- Gigabyte GTX1070 WindForce
- Asus Crosshair VI Hero
- G.Skill Flare-X F4-3200C14D 16GB
- BeQuiet! Silent Loop 280
- Seasonic SS-660XPII
- Crucial MX300 525GB
- Samsung 850 EVO m2 500GB
- Fractal Design Define R5
- Dell U2717D
My main aim was silence, so I went with the WindForce 1070, as the Gigabyte cards have served me well in the past. I’ve been using ROG boards for a long time now, so I just went with what is familiar. Several reviews said the Silent Loop 280 was the quietest of the AIO offerings. I’ve been a big fan of Lian Li cases for many years, but they aren’t as prevalent in the market anymore. After looking around for a nice simple case, I settled on the R5. I would have liked to have gone for the C, but I doubt I could have made the GPU and the radiator fit.
I did not need to update my current peripherals, but decided it was time to move to 2560 * 1440 and picked up the Dell. Unfortunately there is a small high pitched noise coming from the monitor that is slightly annoying. It only happens when something is displayed. I will contact Dell and organise a replacement.
The build went quite well, and the R5 has a great layout and smart cable management. Removing the HDD and CD bays is a really nifty feature, which increases airflow and allows mounting of a front radiator. I only require two SSDs, and the rear mounting slots are fantastic.
There was however, one small hiccup. Either the mounting holes on the radiator, or on the front of the case were not drilled properly, and they did not line up perfectly. I could not determine if it was either, and instead of sending the components back interstate, I just filed out four of the case holes ever so slightly, and mounted it perfectly.
It wasn’t a concious decision to have everything black, but it does look quite good, albeit it did make installing some things difficult when the lighting wasn’t the best.
I have been tinkering with Linux for several years now, and have been edging to move to it as my main OS. A major factor holding me back from it is gaming, which Windows still beats all platforms by a long shot. I decided that I was going to move to it on my old machine, and was waiting for Ubuntu 17.10 for gnome support.
Recently at work I have begun using Red Hat and CentOS quite regularly, and am very much enjoying the environment. It puts me much more on the bleeding edge compared to Ubuntu, removes a lot of the things I don’t need, whilst being quite stable and requiring less maintenance than Arch. I’ve been using it daily for nearly a month now at home, and am loving it. Whilst slightly heavier than KDE and XFCE, Gnome is a really great DE.
My only gripe is that even with the nouveau open source drivers (Nvidia Property drivers only support X11), Wayland is extremely slow and unusable as a window manager.
I am not into benchmarking or pushing my systems to the extreme, but Ryzen really seems to shine when you push it a little. Many 1700 owners report stable clocks from 3.8-4ghz, but I decided to be a little more conservative than that. I kept the voltages on auto and moved the multiplier to x37 and the ram to 3066, which gives me a little bit more performance whilst keeping the system stable and the temperature down.
I’ve been building computers for over ten years now, and this is the first time I’ve built an AMD PC. I’m quite impressed with it, and it performs very well. The machine is dead quiet, which I’m really happy about, as that is a huge priority for me. Moving to Fedora has been a huge boost in productivity, and I much prefer programming in it. Whilst I didn’t really need to upgrade, it has been a very pleasant experience, and having a new PC is always fantastic.