AMD Linux Build?'s /Sounding-board

My every day rig at this time is a Thinkpad x200 tablet: specs include a Core 2 duo, 8gb of ram, 60gb SSD and duck-tape.
My goal is to build or upgrade to a desktop/workstation. It will need to dual boot Linux and Windows or Mac. The Linux partition would be the daily driver and would be mainly for Krita and web use. I would use the Mac/ Windows partition for Manga Studio (aka: Clip Studio Paint). If I could get Manga Studio running “stably” in a VM on a Linux (Fedora or another distro) I would gladly wash my hands of Windows and Mac. I am not an Linux elitist I just like it better. As much I want to claim that I need a powerful PC the truth is I will be running two different Art programs, LibreOffice and some web surfing. My last build was started with a AMD A8-7650K , MSI Grenade FM2+, 16gb of ram. I like AMD and I don’t have to have the newest and bluest to feel large and in charge.
What would be a good place to start for my new build? I was looking at the FX CPUs and then the Ryzen 5 CPUs but I’m getting lost in the hype trains. I’m not sold on anything yet.
Lastly I have no Motherboard experience other than MSI and I did not like the customer service department. Any suggestions other than MSI?

Lemme stop you right there. Dont do it brother. Just dont. Get ryzen.

As far as non MSI boards. My go to for cheaper stuff is usually always asrock. Even the high end asrock boards are nice.

Give us a price point and you’ll get pcpartpicker lists out the ass.


Already got the website up and waiting


I concur, go Ryzen.

It’s not so much a matter of having “the latest and greatest”, it just happens to be that AMD’s latest and greatest is so much better than their previous offerings, and it’s price competitive against Intel’s offerings. AMD’s older offerings had some pretty serious flaws, and Ryzen has essentially eliminated any value offered by AMD’s older lineup.

On Linux, AMD’s GPUs are also pretty kick ass, since AMD has been contributing quite a bit towards open source drivers that Just Work out of the box.

My goal is to build or upgrade to a desktop/workstation. It will need to dual boot Linux and Windows or Mac.

Every x86_64 processor since the Core2Duo supports virtualization natively. Don’t dual boot. It adds complication to the disk partitioning, Windows has a nasty habit of ignoring the existence of other operating systems and clobbering bootloaders, and you have to reboot to use apps from a different OS.

Dual boots suck. Full stop. With PCI and USB passthrough, there are almost no instances where a dual boot is superior, and the one (RAM constrained systems) isn’t relevant when you’re planning a new build. Build with virtualization in mind and keep your sanity. :slight_smile:


I’m gonna play devils advocate here because I would prefer a dual boot. VMs especially with passthrough are still a PITA to configure and use. While what you said is probably true about bootloaders (I dont know because I have no experience with 10 and linux together), I wouldnt even bother letting them see eachother during install. The bios is far easier to configure for this task. Each disk has its own bootloader (and they should absolutely, without a doubt, be on separate disks) and you use the bios to choose. One time boot menu to load windows or it defaults into linux. Plain and simple. Thats how I did it years ago and thats how I would do it today.

Of course there are some nice advantages to virtualizing. I wont knock anyone for doing it. I would consider doing it on my main machine if I ever really wanted to run linux on it, but I keep a headless ubuntu server at my desk and either ssh into it or kvm if I need to do a bunch of stuff on it. Not everyone has the real estate for 2 machines though.

Totally agree with everything else. Ryzen is to FX as pentium 4 is to core i series.

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I have to agree with @Adubs here, FX is simply not worth it. They were a questionable buy when they were new; they are completely outclassed by Ryzen or even Ivy Bridge and up Intel CPUs.

I am not the best system spec guy, but if you provide more info on exactly what your use case and budget are, you will get a lot of options from other folks here.

EDIT: Spelling

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The only thing I’m sold on on is the case being a Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C Blackout edition, My budget is around $1000 if I wait till the end of December. FX CPU’s are off the list for sure.
After watching YouTube computer builds all afternoon I have even played with idea of the Threadripper 1900x and Ryzen 7 in Parts picker but I think they are overkill in my build. I have some extra time so I can save more toward the build.
Thank you all for the responses.

I built a completely silent (passively cooled) Ryzen 5 1600 system earlier this year. It has an ASRock mITX motherboard with a GTX 1050 Ti and 240W PSU. Only had one issue with it and that was resolved with a BIOS update. Apart from that it’s been run ~16 hours daily with a third of that being computationally heavy loads (all 12 threads @ 100%). It’s rock-solid on Ubuntu 18.04.

I’m not sure how noisy the Thinkpad x200 is — or how much you care much about noise — but be aware that it is now possible to build quite a powerful system (the 1600 is over 4x the performance of your x200 and 2x that of the A8-7650K) that makes no audible sound whatsoever. It’s 2018 — daily drivers don’t need fans any more.

Haven’t had cause to use ASRock’s customer service department, so can’t comment on that front.

The 1st Gen Ryzen CPUs (e.g. 1600) were superseded by the 2nd Gen (e.g. 2600) a few months ago. The 2nd Gen are a little bit (about 8%) faster. There may still be stocks of the 1st Gen CPUs available, so if money is tight and you don’t need that 8%, then you can save a few bucks and go with 1st Gen.

The AM4 socket will be supported by AMD through to 2020, so if you want an easy/cheap speed bump you can pop in a 2020 Ryzen CPU at that time and keep the rest of your system.

Regardless, the upgrade from your Lenovo to Ryzen [anything] will be enormous.

PS: I would have liked to have gone with a 1st Gen APU (e.g. Ryzen 5 2400G) for my build, but they hadn’t been released yet and I knew that there would be months of teething issues whilst Linux kernels fleshed out support for the new architecture. Most of the issues have now been resolved, but I do still come across occasional reports (mainly from folk using the APU for gaming). Maybe by the time the 2nd Gen APUs are released, everything will be ironed out? Since the APUs also fit into the AM4 socket, providing you pick a motherboard with onboard video out, you not only have the CPU+discreteGPU option, but you can also drop in an APU (either now or later), do away with the dGPU completely, and still have a very functional system. The AM4 platform is awesome.

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Wendell tends to like the ASRock Taichi boards. The X470 seems to be no different and is currently on sale at “The Egg.”

I concur on Ryzen as well as AMD’s open source Linux GPU drivers.

Don’t know what your timetable is. The RX580 is a decent 1080p GPU, but it is due for a refresh in the next +/-30-60 days. So, at that time a slightly more powerful “RX680” may be available and/or the RX 580 may be slightly cheaper.

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I cant find the USB C version of that case on pcpartpicker. Instead I picked one with a similar price as newegg has it. You dont have to order everything from pcpartpicker, I wouldnt because I dont like the idea of multiple shipments, but it gives you a good idea of parts.

$1013 but all the parts are very good parts. You could go for cheaper stuff in some places. The RAM is key with ryzen so I went with CAS 15 3000mhz. You could swap it for a different brand as G.Skill is my personal pref. GPU is sapphire nitro because AFAIK they make some of the best AMD GPUs (I’m a filthy ASUS strix nvidia whore so I dont actually know 100%). You could cheap out a little there. The PSU is a seasonic gold, you could cheap out there as well.

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Wendell tends to like the ASRock Taichi boards.

I’m prett sure Wendell is too much of a geek to let this seep into his reviews, but keep in mind that Asrock is a frequent sponsor of Level1Techs. He reviews a lot of Asrock boards because they send them to him.

I’m currently using an Asrock board on Ryzen, and while it does work, I’m not really impressed. There are frequent glitches in the UEFI, it seems that firmware updates don’t seem to move through the pipeline very often, I still haven’t sorted out a SATA controller issue that appears to be board-specific, and their US support left me wanting more (unrecognized APU bug, yay!), especially under Linux.

It’s not so bad I’d say “Avoid them”, but I’ll definitely be looking at other vendors if I replace my current build server with a Ryzen system.


I have no experience with AM4 boards at all (I hope to change that soon), but I’ve had similar ‘annoyances’ with my gigabyte board on intel. I think across the board (pun not intended) theres good and bad from every manufacturer. Admittedly I wont be giving gigabyte any more of my money. Conversely cheap asrock boards always seem to ‘just work’ for me, I would happily give them my money. I have not bought any of their higher end boards so maybe my expectations would be different.

I would not doubt your experience at all. What specific board is it?

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Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac

I’m slightly amused that you mention Gigabyte on Intel. The build server I mentioned is a Sandy Bridge on a Gigabyte board, and it’s been so reliable for me that I replaced the board with the identical model rather than upgrade last time I had an issue with that system.

The wide variance in consumer-grade boards is irksome.

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Interesting feedback, thanks. Sorry to hear about your issues. It is a sad fact that too much consumer grade hardware is still only tested against Windows and Linux is frequently an afterthought, if, indeed, it is ever thought of at all.

My last ASRock board was a X99 model and I had just the opposite experience. ASRock literally released sixteen different UEFI updates for that board, which significantly improved both RAM and NVMe compatibility, as well as stability and performance. I’ve also never had a moment’s trouble running Linux on it and the IOMMU group granularity is awesome. Having had issues with Asus boards in the past, I would definitely ASRock again.

Wendell seems to also have good relationships with MSI, Sapphire and AMD. All of these companies seem to value his feedback on their products, particularly regarding AGESA issues and virtualization problems (IOMMU groups for example), so I think that explains the somewhat cozy relationship. The upside is that we get a better product at the end of the day, assuming, of course, that they act on his feedback. If these companies were not responsive and addressing the issues, I doubt that Wendell would be as forthcoming with his recommendations of their products.


Thanks for all the help. I have checked out the pc parts picker build and its nice. I’m going to let it all soak in and wait until blackfriday/cybermonday and try to get the most bang for my buck.

Happily running a 2700x with vega on an asrock x470 taichi.

it all works pretty well… if you’re running vega just be sure to add the relevant third party repositories to ubuntu if running that and update the kernel with ukuu…

concur. do not go socket AM3/FX under any circumstance. go AM4 even if it is a low end ryzen. they are so much faster and you’ll be on a board with actual current spec peripherals and memory support, m.2, etc.


i agree here dual boot is a pain editing grub or lilo files is you goof them up.
I am a linux only user myself but if you need the other os’s you can ge a hardware drive switch like this one.

they also have switches for ssd drives.

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Recent grub, at least under Ubuntu, and probably on others, detects windows dual boot, and adds a boot menu item for it.

Seems like for UEFI it also adds a menu entry to boot to UEFI/BIOS too, saves trying to remember which key to press in which time window.