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Saved up for a really long time & utterly confused first build!


#1

Hi All,

I'm pretty confused trying to narrow down a new system build. I'm a complete noob and this is my first build ever after saving up for a long time.

I do apologize for the lengthy post and offer my appreciation to members for taking the time to read this through and possibly help me out with comments/observations.

Moderators: I was not sure where to post this as my issue entails both software & hardware questions. Please move my post to a more appropriate section if you deem fit.

My objectives for this build: General use (browsing, documentation and spreadsheet applications), playing Steam games (mostly strategy & simulation) not high on FPS titles, most likely will not be heading towards DX 12 titles, strive to be proficient in creating a VM using KVM with a suitable GNU Linux distro for the same purposes stated earlier. I'm a complete novice on anything other than Windows (I'm trying to change)

My confusion: I will try to word it as best as possible but please bear with me.
1. Will the new 'Kaby Lake' processor support only Windows 10 going forward ? I'm not very keen on adopting Windows 10 Home (Pro or LTSB is out of my budget) as I have my concerns regarding data usage (metered internet connection) & diminished user control over the OS. And don't agree with the 'walled garden' approach that it is heading towards.
2. My familiarity with GNU Linux (particularly using KVM) is negligible but I have started to learn by watching tutorials on the web and guides on the forum. That being said I do not want to end up with a 'Kaby Lake' or a Z270 mobo (Gigabyte or Asus) that restricts me heading the GNU Linux way.
3. I cannot postpone my build awaiting AMD or further information about Windows 10 as it keeps rolling out the builds. Due to this I need to finalize on an Intel processor but which one is more where the question is ? ( i7 7700K or i7 6600K) - keeping in mind concerns in point 2 above.

Configurations that I'm working to finalize are:

Based on i7 7700K and Windows 10 Home (retail FPP)

Processor: i7-7700K
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z270X-Gaming 5
Memory: G Skill Ripjaws V F4-2400C15D-16GVR
Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212X 82.9 CFM (using Artic Silver 5 thermal paste)
Storage 1: Samsung 250 GB SSD Evo Series (primarily for OS)
Storage 2: Seagate Barracuda 2TB SATA Internal Desktop Hard Drive
Graphics Card: Asus Turbo Geforce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5
PSU: Corsair RM850x 850W Fully Modular PSU (getting this on discount although it is an overkill)
Case: Corsair 750D Airflow Edition ATX Full Tower
OS: Windows 10 Home USB FPP - Full Version (32 & 64 Bit)
Productivity: Office Home & Student 2016 (without Media)
Security Software: Malwarebytes 3.0 & Sandboxie version 5.16 (only version 5 and above work with Windows 10)
Monitor: Samsung S24F350FHW (budget constraints)

Based on i7 6700K and Windows 8.1 Pro OEM 64 bit (the only pre Windows 10 OS available in the markets at my location) - the changes below are for - processor, motherboard, memory and OS. Rest all are the same but have copy pasted the rest for ease of reading/reviewing

Processor: i7-6700K
Motherboard: Still searching for the exact model (defined by availability) but it will be one of Gigabyte Z170 series
Memory: G Skill Ripjaws V F4-2133C15D-16GVR
Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212X 82.9 CFM (using Artic Silver 5 thermal paste)
Storage 1: Samsung 250 GB SSD Evo Series (primarily for OS)
Storage 2: Seagate Barracuda 2TB SATA Internal Desktop Hard Drive
Graphics Card: Asus Turbo Geforce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5
PSU: Corsair RM850x 850W Fully Modular PSU (getting this on discount although it is an overkill)
Case: Corsair 750D Airflow Edition ATX Full Tower
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro - 64 bit (OEM)
Productivity: Office Home & Student 2016 (without Media)
Security Software: Malwarebytes 3.0 & Sandboxie version 5.16
Monitor: Samsung S24F350FHW (budget constraints)

Please help me out. The more I read about Windows 10 and 'Kaby Lake' processors the more confused I get. I do not want to end up with something that will lock me out of the GNU Linux path either by hardware based restrictions (processor or mobo) or some 'updates' by OS or something I don't know or end up with a processor or an OS I don't need.

If this helps: Steam titles that am aiming for - Civilization 5 & all extension maps, Shogun Total War 2 - Fall of Smaurai, Kerbal Space Program, Command: Modern Air / Naval Operations, Spintires, Euro Truck Simulator 2 & American Truck Simulator.


#2

So as for your fist question microsoft will be providing drivers for windows 7 through 10, but some features will not work. (I am sorry I don't actually remember which ones.) Also for your second question: Linux is community supported so it will work there, and should work quite well considering everything is just minor improvements over skylake. As for your builds, the first looks best, feel free to swap out Windows 10 for 8.1 or 7. The one thing I might change is swapping the gtx 1060 for the rx480, I think it will age better and if you are saving up for a long time between upgrades that is something to think about. Here is a vid that does a good job of explaining why I think this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGXVMJztK4w

other than that I would say check out kinguin.net for cheep windows keys. Looks like you are off to good start.


#3

The processor limitation is the other way around. It's purely the OS requiring specific processors. When they say Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel's upcoming 'Kaby Lake' silicon, Qualcomm's upcoming '8996' silicon, and AMD's upcoming 'Bristol Ridge' silicon, they mean they won't be updating Win 7, 8.1 etc to work with the newer platforms. No doubt you'll get a blue screen of death on boot.

Linux kernels will still support the new processors, unless I am grossly misinformed! It is sort of hard for a CPU manufacturer to restrict what OS can run on their chips.


#4

jayz to the rescue.

Turns out you might not be able to oc as much, but other than that it doesn't seem too bad.


#5

so if i understand correctly you want to use linux with windows in a virtual machine. first off what is your budget? second are you deadset on your parts? i personally would go zen since virtual machines need a lot of cores and games generally need 2-4, meaning if you run a quad core you have 3 cores for gaming in windows, but if you have a 6-8 core you have 5-7 cores for windows. also i believe a rx 480 would be easier to passthrough, and since it and the 1060 came out the 480 pulled way ahead in the benchmarks with it's many updates.
really need that budget thou


#6

GrayBoltWolf did a write up on KVM, link HERE

As @Tex & @fredrich_nietze suggested allready, swap the GTX 1060 for the RX 480. Long term, you will see better results that way.

PS: Moved your topic to "Hardware - Build a PC", fits better imo.


#7

Builds in the op basicly look good to me.
PSU is a bit overkill, but if its on sale then why not.
However a decent 650W psu would be more then fine.
Maybe you could the spend the money you save on the psu towards a better gpu.

I would go with the Kabylake build.

If you are a student, you could probably get Office student and Windows for pretty cheap via school maybe?


#8

Though the PSU is overkill they should get a benefit of higher output without less fan noise? Not sure what the curve is for that specific model, though I've noticed the fan turns on much later with higher power PSUs


#9

Yeah of course an overkill psu will get less hot.
So the fan will kick in later.


#10

Yeah I'd drop the Corsair 850W down to a nice Seagate 650W, gives you plenty of power to play with and that Seagate quality (really the gold standard when it comes to PSUs).

Additionally I'd swap out that 1060 for a 480. In the most recent testing the 480 is beating the 1060 in dx11 and has always been beating the 1060 in dx12 and vulkan, the APIs of the future.

Personally though, I'd wait for Ryzen and Vega to drop, you've waited this long already, waiting just a couple more months can only be to your benefit as both of those launches should help out prices in their respective areas and they should last a good long while for gaming at your preferred settings.


#11

I have found the rx 480 to be possibly the best card I've ever used (I do use it for Linux which it works flawlessly as well as windows)


#12

Wow ! Amazed at the responses !
I thought my questions would be irksome !!! But no, not at all.
My thanks to all of the 'first responders' :-)
@Tex @ArgGrr @fredrich_nietze @CrossCarbon @MisteryAngel @Eden @ThatBootsGuy

A few more details that were not included (sorry kind of new here)
Location: India || Currency: INR || Vendor: A local reseller (they are sometimes a tad cheaper than online ones due to many variables - tax structures / delivery etc.) Budget - 150000 INR which would be $ 2250 or € 2110 give or take (but please bear in mind the customs and local taxes structures in this part of the world sometimes add a good 30 to 40 % to standard US prices for some components. And my budget does includes the tax.

With that out of the way - here's a bit of good news from my end: The vendor has agreed to hold the order as I sort out the configuration and best of all - AMD processors are expected to hit in around a fortnight. So I'm relieved ! I thought it would be April or July by the time they arrive. So am switching my build to AMD. This had a big impact on my approach -

And sold on the rx 480 too !!! Vendor is willing to exchange the existing nVIDIA GPU to
AMD (MSI Radeon RX 480 Gaming X 8GB GDDR5 ATI PCI E) and of course the main reason as highlighted by @Tex, @ThatBootsGuy & @Eden

As regards PSU...

Yes indeed there is a discount at play here.
The PSU is being given a hefty discount along with the Corsair case. Although I agree on the overkill part.

And it is a pleasant surprise for a noob like me for the benefit mentioned -

And...

Need to keep the temperatures down especially the hot summers already rolling in slowly. And no, Indian summers are no fun :-)

And finally to the elephant in the room - or at least the elephant in my noob universe - Windows 10 !!!

I had already reviewed the video suggested by @Tex

And another one here -

But yes, the question remains that it is difficult to point out how Windows 8.1 will pan out on Kaby Lake or Ryzen with all the language coming out from MS, Intel and AMD. (Kaby Lake is out of the picture for me now) so I have give into opting for an OS that I will have to keep fighting with.
Disclaimer : No pun intended for those who love Windows 10 and it's features. To each his own IMO. Peace !
To address my needs for a user to have more control over the system - KVM is the way for me. This is gonna take some time for me cause my learning curve for KVM is still in it's toddler stages forget adolescence or adulthood for that matter. Focussing my learning curve on this - (can't thank you enough for this @CrossCarbon )

So Windows 10 Home it is ! Pro and LTSB remain a no go for me and I would like a Windows OS on USB instead of an OEM (convenience if motherboards needs to be changed etc.)
I just hope it doesn't brick Steam or GOG with 'updates' or 'UWP'...

A big shout out to @Tex for pointing towards kinguin.net. It is quite helpful, although I have not logged any purchases so far...

So now, I need to start studying up on which AMD processor and motherboard ?
I believe all other components will not be impacted. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Never dealt with AMD processors or motherboards (last I heard of them when people used to talk about 'heating issues' many eons ago - pretty old and possibly completely untrue)

Here I go copy pasting again - (Ok this is the last time I do it)

Processor: Researching...need all the help I can get
Motherboard: Researching...need all the help I can get (keeping the scope to Gigabyte boards)
Memory: G Skill Ripjaws V F4-2400C15D-16GVR
Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212X 82.9 CFM (using Artic Silver 5 thermal paste)
Storage 1: Samsung 250 GB SSD Evo Series (primarily for OS)
Storage 2: Seagate Barracuda 2TB SATA Internal Desktop Hard Drive
Graphics Card: MSI Radeon RX 480 Gaming X 8GB GDDR5 ATI PCI E
PSU: Corsair RM850x 850W Fully Modular PSU (getting this on discount although it is an overkill)
Case: Corsair 750D Airflow Edition ATX Full Tower
OS: Windows 10 Home USB FPP - Full Version (32 & 64 Bit)
Productivity: Office Home & Student 2016 (without Media)
Security Software: Malwarebytes 3.0 & Sandboxie version 5.16 (only version 5 and above work with Windows 10)
Monitor: Samsung S24F350FHW (budget constraints)

Lastly, do let me know if my responses are helpful to outline my issues clearly. I will try and shorten it going forward considering the discussion has started funnelling a bit. My technical competency is limited so still learning to explain point of view in a concise and compact form. The length of the original topic and responses is not meant to annoy anyone or waste anyone's time.

I have been scouring the internet for a month for the answers and very useful pointers
that you guys are giving me. Thanks a ton !


#13

Is there any real reason you need to use MS office instead of an open source alternative such as LibreOffice?


#14

I will add that fedora is going have a push button solution for gpu pass through in Gnome Boxes when fedora 26 launches. However there won't be in Zen APUs until later this year, so I am not sure how much good that will do you.


#15

I highly recommend avoiding this place. @Tex we don't allow grey market sites to be posted here.

The issue is you may get a key that works for now, but Microsoft has and continues to make grey market keys invalid when they find them. A key you buy there may not be legitimate and may deactivate at any time.


I agree with @ThatBootsGuy comment on office. Is there a specific reason you need MS office? Otherwise, LibreOffice is very good.

If your going with Windows 10, you may want to consider just getting the pro version. It allows for group policy editing (you can have a bit more control how the system works, including more control over update scheduling, and telemetry), and bitlocker encryption among other things. You may find you can get a reasonable price for it on amazon and will get a boxed usb installer rather than dodgy key.


#16

Kinguin has a service that if you pay them $1 extra they will refund you if the key ends up being invalid. This is key resale and is a completely legal option. A lot of my friends and myself have used them and never had a problem.


#17

This isn't the thread for it. But the "guarantee" isn't a guarantee, they have no obligation to honour it and haven't in the past. There's no guarantee of a legitimate key despite anyone's success up until now. Its just not something that's up for debate, they're not allowed on this site.


#18

I am very sure MS Office somewhere in the EULA has a line that forbids key-reselling making the Kinguin-thing illegal.

^this


#19

Well I hate to drag this on, but I was talking about Windows keys not Offices keys, as I have never bought a key for office.


#20

If he is a student he might be able to get a copy of Windows10 Enterprise and Office student for cheap at school.