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new year, new PC
Purple Pudding commented on 24 December 2019 at 1:35 pm UTC

So, with the new year I finally managed to save enough money for a new PC, my old laptop is slowly dying sadly.

I'm totally new in the world of building computers, I've never built one let alone purchased the pieces separately, so I need some advice.

I want an easy "plug & play" build and my budget is around 1000€, and I also have to buy a monitor and some mice & keyboards.
My focus is on the hardware, I don't want to spend more than what I need for monitor and devices, so I do not need 4K or super powered mice & keyboard, let alone leds and fancy effects.

About the OS since I want some "plug & play" I'll probably use Ubuntu and similar distributions.

My aim is a good PC for both gaming and VMs, I do not need the Top range but something that can be used for some years with minimal (and easy) change.
For example I'm going to play Monster Hunter, Witcher 3, Shadow of Mordor, Mad Max, Deus Ex Mankind Divided, Crusaders Kings 2, Doom (2016), Tomb Rider, Alien etc. Long live to Proton & Feral+Aspyr!

I asked some friends and these are my notes:
- check PCPartPicker site
- AMD CPU, I Heard it's better and/or cheaper than Intel
- GPU: AMD or NVidia? What do you suggest that "just work"
- 16GB RAM ddr4
- SSD nvme PCI 250GB for /
- ssd without dram or SSD samsung or hard disk
- no cheap Power supply --> I have to check GPU --> check constant 12V

Any advice is appreciated, I'll probably get all the things with Amazon Italy.

Thank you for your time and kind advice,
Merry Christmas

Shmerl commented on 24 December 2019 at 6:42 pm UTC

For CPU, get Zen 2 in your pricing range. They are great.

For GPU, AMD is also good these days, but if you want to get the latest line (Navi cards), you should try to use latest kernel (5.5) and and latest Mesa as well. I recommend Sapphire models for any AMD cards, they are very good (Sapphire Pulse is more balanced and cheaper than Sapphire Nitro line). Exact model of the GPU would mostly depend on your monitor resolution and refresh rate. You didn't specify that, so it's hard to recommend the level of the GPU.

For the PSU, I can recommend Seasonic Prime series, they are very well made. Get something like 750 W one to have enough room for things.

For storage, I'd recommend getting both SSD and HDD. Put the system installation on the SSD, and store your massive archives and games on the HDD (use some filesystem with compression, like BTRFS for the later). I'm using Samsung for NVMe SSD and Toshiba for HDD, but other HDDs are roughly comparable.

Last edited by Shmerl on 25 December 2019 at 8:00 am UTC

razing32 commented on 25 December 2019 at 7:58 am UTC

My two cents here
AMD is the cheaper option for CPU. Decent performance. (beware Intel did pull a dirty move where they launched some CPU hours before AMD so the reviews would compare it to old AMD generation)
For stuff that just "works" Nvidia is more ok as a graphic card. All i have to do on Arch is install "nvidia" package and i am done. (think i did it on Debian/derivative and it was equally easy)
Power supply -look for GOLD rating.

When you say VM - do you want PCI passthrough ? OR just simple VM ? For the latter you might need to look into hardware combos that work.

And for SSD not sure as I had some issues in the past. Look into TRIM support on the disk itself.

Merry XMAS to you as well.

Get higher tier thermal paste for CPU
Some comes with it usually , but best to get something higher end.

For hardware vendor (motherboard/grahpic card) i have had good experience with ASUS
For case Thermaltake makes decent stuff.
Just from personal limited experience.

Also if first pc , make sure you check Motherboard type (ATX , miniATX etc)

Last edited by razing32 on 25 December 2019 at 8:01 am UTC

Dedale commented on 25 December 2019 at 12:11 pm UTC

Ok, we will contradict each other and purple pudding won't know what to do !

DOOM 2016 works ok on my 970. So my guess is it should work even better with a 1660 super. Last time i checked 1660's were not sold much cheaper than 1660's super so get a "super" one. If you want a plug and pray play experience, a recent AMD card might be trouble.

I concur with the AMD CPU's, they have a good reputation. From reading many posts it seems people choose motherboards with a B450 chipset. You need an up to date BIOS that recognizes the Ryzen CPU's. I have heard that anything "MAX" will do but it is second hand information and you need better advice than mine on that. X570 chipsets are expensive and they come with a motherboard fan, which may shorten the lifespan of the motherboard.

Edit: A card i heard a lot about is the MSI tomahawk.

With an ubuntu distro and a nvidia card it just works. It might even install the proprietary driver automatically, like it was the case when i installed Kubuntu 19.10 a few days ago.

Seasonic makes superb PSU's It is an overlooked part of a PC but is important. I would say 500 watts-ish is well enough, your rig will probably draw half of that at the power outlet. My Corsair 650TX is still serving me well after more than 10 years !

Unless you want something specific like a very small PC case, you are fine with an ATX motherboard and a compatible case. I have a soft spot for Fractal Design but there are so many brands...

Be patient while assembling the stuff. All you need is a good screwdriver. The part i find annoying is when connecting the case cables (Power LED, switches, etc...) The metal contacts are so small !

Last edited by Dedale on 25 December 2019 at 1:59 pm UTC

barotto commented on 25 December 2019 at 5:58 pm UTC

Quote- AMD CPU, I Heard it's better and/or cheaper than Intel
Yes, a Ryzen 3600 should be fine. It's a 6 core / 12 thread CPU, a good gaming performer and 6 cores come in handy for VMs. Pair it with a B450 motherboard, maybe MSI Tomahawk MAX.
And, if AMD is to be believed, the AM4 platform will support the next Ryzen 4000 series so you have an upgrade path.

QuoteGPU: AMD or NVidia? What do you suggest that "just work"
The "just works" experience depends on which distro you plan to use:
any rolling: AMD with open drivers
Ubuntu: maybe Nvidia is easier, because with AMD you should really use Linux 5.4.2+ (5.5 would be best) and Mesa 19.3.1, and the only practical way would be installing from PPAs, which is not an ideal solution (albeit a working one). Otherwise wait for Ubuntu 20.04.

Anyway I would wait until the AMD RX 5600 is released and reviewed, and then make a decision upon price and availability.

Quote- 16GB RAM ddr4
See if you can afford 32GB, with VMs should be better, but that depends on your workloads.

Quote- SSD nvme PCI 250GB for /
- ssd without dram or SSD samsung or hard disk
I'm not sure what you mean by "ssd without dram", but I would avoid hard disk drives if possible, especially if you're going to install Windows VMs on them.
Maybe consider the Intel 660p as your main drive, which is nvme, cheap-ish, and plenty fast.

Quote- no cheap Power supply --> I have to check GPU --> check constant 12V
Yes, avoid cheap power supplies if you value stability and you wish to keep your system for many years.

Last edited by barotto on 25 December 2019 at 5:58 pm UTC

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