New Build for a linux server - have I got this about right?

It's my first build in over 10 years. I decided to build a nice server/desktop

I plan on using the build as an Arch Linux Home server and Dev machine with dual boot into Windows. When time allows I will experiment in adding a second video card in to try to use the IOMMU feature to pass through the more powerful video card to windows for gaming while leaving the Linux host running largely uninterrupted. I loved the video and advice on how to do it -

I am thinking that with the separation of the USB controllers I should be able to dedicate a USB Controller with a keyboard and mouse to the Windows instance and have usb device input working simultaneously across both the windows split across the 38 inch screen. It might take a bit of experimentation to get it working nicely with devices and drivers across 2 systems etc - or it might just not work. The vision and the reality are likely to be a little different.

Key gotchas I have been working through is memory compatibility for the Ryzen and the best motherboard for Linux. I found Level 1 forums - to be good on Linux, Ryzen and Ryzen motherboards. While this list on memory was invaluable to sanity check what how the memory should perform with Ryzen -

Since I have not built a box for a decade or more I have gone with the 'Magnificient build' with some small changes based on what is available in New Zealand or on what should work well with Linux. If you have any ideas on what I should change, add or make better please let me know. I might be a bit of a power user, but I am a novice when it comes to understanding 2017 components for desktops/servers.

Things I am not sure on

  • R7 700 - is that the processor to buy?
  • Is the Phanteks - ECLIPSE P400 TEMPERED GLASS ATX Mid Tower Case good? Is there something better I should be going for?
  • Should I go straight for 2x16GB? (I think so, but I want it to be 3200MHz and Dual Rank and Double sided)
  • If the 1080TI is dedicated to Windows, what is a reasonably priced card that works well in Linux that will drive a 3840x1660 60Hz Ultrawide?
  • Should I get any additional fans etc.?
  • Am I missing anything?

Any help is appreciated Many thanks!, Stu

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
Type Item Price - New Zealand Dollars USD0.73c = NZD1.00
CPU AMD - Ryzen 7 1700 3.0GHz 8-Core Processor $468.00 @ 1stWave Technologies
CPU Cooler Cooler Master - MasterLiquid 240 66.7 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $139.00 @ DTC Systems
Motherboard ASRock - X370 Taichi ATX AM4 Motherboard $366.85 @ PB Technologies
Memory \*G.Skill - Trident Z RGB 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory $277.00 @ 1stWave Technologies
Storage Samsung - 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $269.00 @ 1stWave Technologies
Storage Samsung - 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $269.00 @ 1stWave Technologies
Storage Western Digital - Blue 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $156.00 @ 1stWave Technologies
Video Card \*EVGA - GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB SC Black Edition Video Card $1174.00 @ Paradigm PCs
Case Phanteks - ECLIPSE P400 TEMPERED GLASS ATX Mid Tower Case $99.94 @ PB Technologies
Power Supply EVGA - SuperNOVA G3 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $209.00 @ PC Force
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $3427.79
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-08-20 22:00 NZST+1200
  • CPU: The R7 1700 is a good choice.
  • CASE: No idea.
  • RAM: Depends on your budget and use case. The current prices are rising. But it is a gamble anyway. Here in Germany the price of 16GB (3200) modules increased by 60-90% (depends on the product) in the last year and there is no decrease in sight.
  • GPU for Linux: For desktop and video only or gaming? The small option is a RX460 or RX560, these cards shouldn’t be affected by the mining prices as much. For Gaming i recommend a RX580 for MSRP. Vega is to expensive, mining prices make no sense. And nvidia might be faster at the moment, but you have Windows for gaming anyway and the FOSS AMD drivers are just much less of a hassleÂą
  • Fans: For the CPU? No. The stock cooler is great. You can get another one latter after some testing with noise and temps. As for the case if nothing is included get two huge silent fansthat pull the air from the front to the back or the other way round.
  • You already have the USB part right.

1: Audio via HDMI and FreeSync is a bit of a hassle, that will be fixed in the next 5 months and easily worked around at the moment.

1 Like

Doesn’t really sound like a server in any way, but as a gaming build sounds fine other than the HDD (I don’t recommend 3TB disks, 2 or 4 are both more reliable), however its on the high side of the ideal price to performance ratio everywhere but the CPU, so consider if you may be fine with the current performance results of spending less, as if you put the same cash towards upgrading slightly sooner you will get better average performance

If you do plan to add a second GPU, and won’t leave all the clock speeds stock, consider a bigger PSU, the gtx1080ti’s are 250w in founders trim, but can be up to 300w average (absolute peaks being up to 360w in very short timescales) with the factory overclock and 340w average with user overclock on aftermarket coolers. The 1700 is another 80w average in a max load test (only like 45w average during gaming), but will skyrocket to as much as twice that if you OC. You probably have a peak of somewhere under 50w of other stuff in an average system, so overclocked you currently have like 550w of load, which is perfectly fine on a 650w PSU to run constantly (and on a gold rating will still be pretty reasonable on efficiency curve even), but it doesn’t leave enough to add a 2nd GPU, even a 1050ti type card, although a non GTX card like the GT 1030 would be totally possible if there are linux drivers for that. None the less if that is your plan, I’d go a 750w PSU for extra safety, it’ll also often increase your fanless power throughput, which can be awesome if you care about noise.

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Great advice, I will make some changes tomorrow to increase the PSU and I didn’t realise there would be more reliability in evens vs. odds on the hdds - so I will take that to 4TB as well. You are right in that the parts list is not too indicative of being a server - I guess I kind of want it to do everything.

In regards to the pricing, I should have noted it was all NZD - vs. USD - so the prices will appear about 25% higher if you rightfully thought you were looking at USD. I have updated the posting to reflect that it is in NZD.

Thanks again - great advice!

Its not so much evens vs odds on the HDD, its just 3tb disks, a 1tb tends to be just as good as a 2tb.

As for pricing, yeah, NZ is pretty raw deal on PC parts, currently in Australia so conversion rate is pretty similar, although local retailers here are a bit bigger so better priced. I’ve bought from Canada in the past, big items like a case\monitor is too much shipping, but a order like graphics card, ram, CPU ect can be bought for far less than locally.


I have not been following memory prices - I will make sure I check what has happened in my local market, something for me to think about.

The GPU on the Linux side is unlikely to be used for much gaming, I will do some research into the three cards you noted - and I might fall towards the middle RX560 option as a safe middle ground choice.

Oh, thanks for the voice of confidence on the R7 1700 selection.



I found the NZ island tax (literal and figurative) to be a little out of control in NZ when comparing against the price of most things I used to get when I lived in Japan. This time round I did end up importing the monitor from the States to save $800 after costs. For the parts list I did some calculations against the US shops and it would have only ended up marginally better - which surprised me. For piece of mind I might just double-check with the parts list calculations against the US sites on the final parts list.

I was surprised you sourced from Canada versus the US. I wouldn’t have thought of checking Canadian pricing for anything.