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Planning my next build, input required


Hello good people!

This is my very first ever post on the Level1techs forum. I am looking to build my next system mid-2019 ish. I am now using Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and I plan the system for use with Ubuntu or similar distros (maybe I’ll try Manjaro at one point).

This is the type of system I am considering (in broad strokes):

Here is what I want to use it for:

  1. Media consumption
    One of the main reasons why I am very keen on an IPS (style) monitor.
  2. Gaming
    I am very keen on Linux gaming, even if I’m still pretty much a n00b at using Linux. I’d rather spend a week deep diving through forums to make a windows game work on Linux rather than installing windows or dual booting.
    I like what AMD is doing in conjecture with Linux, making more of their drivers open source. I appreciate the bang-for-the-buck aspect of Ryzen, which for me outweighs the limitations (lower IPC than Intel, less friendly to VM passthrough). I need a fairly beefy graphics card for the monitor I chose (+ Freesync), and it seems Vega cards can be a bit faster on Linux or “age better” ( Plus, again more open source drivers and mentality.
    I am aware that by mid-2019 the Ryzen 2 (3000 series) might be out and perhaps also either a Vega 7nm or a Navi 7nm high end card. If this is the case, I will likely include them into the build unless the price-to-performance sucks, or something else about them really sucks.
  3. Work
    I try to not need to use my personal system for work, but it’s necessary at times. I occasionally need to run demanding compute tasks, which I found work best (in matters of optimisation of the software I use) on an 8-core processor with decent IPC and frequency. Lower frequency and more cores (including dual xeon setups) or less cores and higher frequencies don’t work as well. Oh, and I need the system to be snappy enough to work with massive spreadsheets of data. The workstation with an E5-2667 v3 that I use at work does a splendid job for this.

I find that the 21:9 curved display monitor would be useful in all three categories, that’s why I chose the one I chose. I am well aware that I can find better models / deals if I just focus on one of the uses I intend it for and just convince myself that for the others it’s “good enough”.

What I am looking for is for you nice people to tell me what I overlooked for my use-case scenario, and if there’s anything that you would change/improve in the system to match my use-case scenario.

I am fully aware that I might not have the best overview regarding the facts and statements that I mentioned above. That’s why I need all of your inputs :slight_smile:

Oh, and the budget: I am planning to spend around 2500 euro on the system (including the monitor, but no other peripherals). That’s about 2900 USD for people across the pond.

All the best,

  1. I would go back and look at reliability of the AIO you selected before you buy in a 9 months or so. It released recently so who knows if there are any issues with it, and is one of the components that a can fry multiple things if it fails. I would say this advice goes for any AIO.

  2. For media consumption, if you like physical media, Linux support of Blu-ray playback is kind of iffy. Additionally, the case you have does not have an external 5.25in bay, so no internal optical drive. If you rip media, then you may want a drive that is bigger then 2tb, or multiple HDDs. If you have a NAS and or mainly stream your media then this is a non-issue.

  3. Absolutely go with AMD for your GPU on Linux. Nouveau performance sucks(due to lack of reclocking) on 900+ Nvidia cards, and the proprietary Nvidia driver has given me and plenty of other people fits, especially on debian based distros.

  1. It’s really good that you brought this up. I only used air cooling on my previous builds and all I know about AIOs is from reviews. I will monitor further reviews of this model. And if in doubt, I’ll probably go for a tried and true Corsair AIO :slight_smile:

  2. I tend to stream my media, but this is a good point for the future, because I am not super happy about Neflix removing some titles that I really liked, and I might go back to building my own media archive, sorted on directors like in the past. But if I go there I’ll probably get a NAS or maybe even a media server, from an older system that I just strap a bunch of extra HDDs to.

  3. My thoughts exactly :slight_smile:

Do you have any thoughts on the case? I never build in it, but chose it based on reviews and the fact that I want a case that has good airflow, is not super massive and looks decent, besides just accommodating the hardware I chose :slight_smile:

  1. If media consumption is very important to you, it might be worth considering an Intel CPU for 4K Netlix (I don’t think they made it available on AMD), especially that you chose a high-res display.
  2. The AiO is very overkill, there probably won’t be any temperature advantages when going with a triple rad on mainstream platforms.
  3. The motherboard is also quite expensive, of course if you want to do a lot of overclocking and are set for max performance, yeah it would be nice, but not worth the money for most people.
  4. Drives - again, do you really need the advantages that the PRO line gets you? I think you still have some headroom in the budget, if not - I just suggested places where you can go cheaper. You should consider buying a larger SSD, like a 2TB one instead of getting an HDD, which will be waaay slower and much noisier.
  5. Research how well the RAM you picked works with Ryzen - does it reach speeds on the spec?

Right, so I personally have a very “just get what you need” approach, and I’ve found it to be extremely efficient in my life. All of my points are not by any means “buy cheaper X”, but just “think if you need X which is quite expensive”. I’d get a 2TB SSD which most people don’t need, but this is my point of view, which I hope will give you something to think about :wink: You know best what’s good for you.


Forgot to mention that you also should keep looking at the AIO on the gpu you have picked out.

Sounds good, if you are going for a custom linux or bsd box for storage, you might as well have both network files shares and media server.

If it fits everything you want, go for it. I love my Define R5, and next time a buy a new case it probably will be from Fractal Design, whatever model has all the bays and features I need.

The advantage of a triple rad on AM4 is that you can have a decent OC and still be quiet and cool with low fan speed. Although that is another thing to check out, how good(noise vs airflow) are the fans on it at low speed?

  1. I was on the fence with going for a 4K monitor versus a 1440p ultrawide for a while actually. 4K would definitely provide a better image quality, but a Vega 64 might have some issues pushing the needed frame rates for 4K Freesync gaming.
    Having the extra screen space provided by the ultrawide will be be helpful in enjoying movies (21:9, thus no black bars; although most of youtube is 16:9), more immersion in some games (there’s more that support this aspect ration nowadays; not all, and some can be quite problematic, I know) and more similar to a 2-monitor setup, which is what I am used to now.

  2. AIO overkill, I entirely agree :slight_smile:
    I know that Ryzen processors can turbo at higher speeds if they have a good cooling solution, kind of like Pascal cards. And I do plan to run it overclocked. This and the fact that I though for a larger AIO, the fans would spin at lower RPM (so less noise), for the same cooling performance, were the main factors in choosing this type of AIO.

  3. Motherboard. I chose this more expensive model with overclocking in mind, and also because this being the flagship model from ASUS, it has good compatibility with a wide array of hardware and I assume gets more frequent bios updates, or for a more extended period of time. I am thinking of this motherboard as a base for future experimentation and development of the system. Maybe I’ll decide to try crossfire at one point, or maybe I’ll drop in a CPU of a later generation, with a higher power draw. Plus I really like the ASUS bios :slight_smile:

  4. That’s a very good point about the drives, thanks!

  5. Again, very good point. I chose this model knowing that G.Skill sticks have good compatibility with Ryzen 2xxx on Asus motherboards. The QVL lists state the for Ryzen 2nd gen, 3466 is the max frequency and for Vega 3200 is the max frequency.
    I might decide to go for the same type of memory, but 3200 frequency. But to be honest I am also considering sticking with the DDR4-4000 memory and run it at either 3466 / 3200, but tighten the latencies as much as possible to make the CPU even snappier. And who knows, maybe with a future update of the bios or for Ryzen 3rd gen, it will support DDR4-4000 :slight_smile:

Thanks for the input!


Thanks for the input, again!

That’s a good point about the fans. I didn’t have the best experiences with stock Cooler Master fans so far, they were generally quite noisy. But I didn’t see this style of fan like the one they have on the AIO yet. They look a little bit like Corsair ML fans, which sadly doesn’t mean that they have the same performance. I’ll be monitoring reviews to see what the tech community thinks about them.

I just now noticed the user name you chose, very nice! I’m starting to think I’m speaking to a fellow chemist :slight_smile:


:grinning: Thanks.

It is so nice when people notice.