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Seeking Advice on new AMD build


I am planning on building a new workstation/gaming build using AMD CPUs etc. some time this year. I am planning on either using the new Ryzen 9 CPUs when they are released or possibly a Treadripper. I would also like to set up the system to run Windows 10 in a VM using hardware pass through. I am actually planning on waiting to purchase anything until the new Ryzen 3000 series CPUs are available. Has anyone heard anything about new mother boards for Ryzen? I think that they would be X570 but since this will be my first AMD build in a number of years I am not real familiar with there new products. When it comes to doing the hardware pass through on Linux are there any brands of mother boards that are better than others? I was lucky to have purchased a new Radeon VII GPU a couple of weeks ago and I also have a new GeForce GTX 1080ti that I would use in the build. Currently the software I use is DaVinci Resolve 15 for video editing, Gimp, Inkscape, Blender and for 2D art Krita on both LInux and Win10 and Painter 2019 on Windows 10. I also have a Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 pen display. Do any of you have a suggestions on how much ram I should buy, do you think 64GBs would be enough or should I build a threadripper and use 128GBs of ram? Also for anyone who has experience with running Win10 in a VM with hardware pass through do you think I would be able to configure system to use the Cintiq display tablet on both OS’s? I can connect it via HDMI, Display Port or using Thunderbolt. If I connect it using anything other than Thunderbolt 3 I also need to use USB for the touch features of the tablet.


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Best of luck, I game on a Kavari APU so i won’t be much help other then a bump :slight_smile:


First off, some friendly advice when writing. Learn to divide your work between sentences and paragraphs.

A paragraph is a block of text that describes a single thing. A sentence should deal with a single statement within their paragraph. Knowing these two rules will take you far.

Onward to your question. So what I gather is your wants/needs are:

  • Ryzen 9 or Threadripper
  • Windows 10 VM with passthrough
  • 64GB to 128GB RAM
  • Ryzen VII and 1080 Ti GFX cards
  • Wacom tablet support
  • The best motherboard Linux can support.

So, to start with, 64GB to 128GB sounds like serious overkill. You’re welcome to it of course, but even 32GB is a bit too much except for the most diehard graphic artists. So unless you really need it, go with 32GB, it’s probably more than you will ever need until it’s time to upgrade.

Looking at the Motherboard, most if not all work with Linux, but be aware some of them may have proprietary bits that might require binary blob drivers to work 100%, some research is therefore required. As for the chipsets themselves all should have open drivers in the kernel.

I would probably invest in either an nVidia-only system or AMD-only system for graphics card. AMD is much less hassle on Linux, but nVidia still holds the performance crown. I’d go with your Ryzen VII and a $150-$200 card to run the other system on.

CPU isn’t that much of a difference in my experience. Pick the one most priceworthy of the two at the time of buying, though you may have to update your firmware on the motherboard if you go with the newer Ryzen 9.

As for wacom tablet support, I unfortunately have no idea there. I think they are supported with no problems, but do your research.


If you dont have something productive to say please refrain from commenting.


Wacom Tablets work well in my experience in Linux, having set up one recently for my Daughter on Debian using the KDE desktop.

I my case it was a simple matter of installing the appropriate packages, most of which were already installed.

After which the tablet worked flawlessly in the following programs, GIMP, Krita, Inkscape.

In order to ‘tweak’ the Wacom tablets settings in KDE all that was required was to install ‘kde-config-tablet’ which is a configuration module accessible via System Settings.

It may be worth your while checking your Distribution’s forums or wiki for any ‘specifics’, likewise for your preferred desktop environment.


I’m a casual video editor (I do work in 4k30 though) and I can take advantage of 64GB (I mean, Resolve uses 52GB, but you get the point)

Depends on what you’re doing and what distro. I’ve found that Nvidia is less of a hassle on Fedora with multiple GPUs and passthrough. Honestly, stay away from AMD for passthrough. Nvidia is easy enough to pass through. (I have a 1070Ti in a Windows VM right now)

It’s also critically important to get a motherboard that has good IOMMU groupings if OP wants to pass through PCIe devices.

Members here are able to help on that front.

The difference will be PCIe lanes and IOMMU grouping and Memory channels. These are huge in the prosumer space. I doubt Ryzen 9 will have quad channel memory. I doubt they’ll have more PCIe, and in the past Ryzen based motherboards have had mediocre at best IOMMU configuration. IOMMU config can be hacked, but if you don’t have to, it’s safer to not override it.

Overall good feedback, but I wanted to supplement it a bit.


Absolutely, you can never have enough RAM :slight_smile: I’m just saying make sure you really need it. I must confess I’m a more gamer/non-streaming oriented than true prosumer, so…

One option could be to start with a 4x slot motherboard, buy 2x16 GB and then if you need more RAM buy another 2x16 GB. Or do the same with 32GB sticks, of course.

A fair point. My experience running a *buntu based build is the exact opposite, but then I’m not running passthrough since there’s not a single Windows app I lack myself. :slight_smile: The AMD experience is only bound to get better however.

Of course, only way to get better is to know your gaps and work on them. That’s what I love about this forum, ppl aren’t afraid to post corrections to outdated / misguided advice :slight_smile:

Oh and the rest of your points I agree with 100%. One last bit of advice, make sure you really need the software you plan to use through passhtrough, because an even better setup would be to let those GFX cards power native applications. Like always though, you do you.


I’m not sure that AM4 supports 32GB dimms. Most AM4 boards I know if max at 64GB across 4 dimms.

So, the 'buntu experience is awful because they don’t properly install them. You have to go in and manually blacklist things. That’s something that’s done by the Fedora drivers in the post-install hook.

You need to consider that AMD GPUs are hit or miss for passthrough because they can suffer from the reset bug (meaning you have to shut down the system every time you reboot your VM). The Nvidia GPUs just need to be tricked, which boils down to 3 lines in your XML file.

Yeah, this is true, but I’m gonna be honest, there are lots of tools that Linux has no drop-in replacement for. If OP relies at all on Adobe stuff, it’s game over.


This is very, very, VERY true. OP mentioned the following programs though;

So from my understanding, Painter 2019 is the only thing holding this particular user back, aside from games. Krita does have Wacom board support though, and could be a full-on replacement to Painter.

My advice would be, if you earn your bread with Painter, stick to Windows. This is your primary reason to use Windows, therefore you should not change it just because some smelly nerd virgin at a web forum said so. :slight_smile:

If Painter isn’t a major source of income though… Then start to phase out Painter in favor of Krita, or some other Linux-friendly alternative. Or check out Wine compatibility. Proton could solve most of your remaining gaming needs as well. This will save you a lot of headache moving forward.

Best of luck to ya!


I will give you my opinion, which is worth about as much as you paid for it.

You seem to want a high end desktop and I would go for a Threadripper because that is the HEDT platform. You get the quad channel memory. You have PCIe 4 daze. Personally, I do Blender, gaming, and some rather boring esoteric bobby stuff. The responsiveness is noticeably different between my rig and my roommate’s Rysen rig. I was literally playing Dark Souls 3, streaming Amazon Prime to another room, and ran a benchmark run while doing all that. The video stream never stuttered. My game never stuttered. I was getting 6 GB/s read times on my NVMe RAID through that load. While you won’t have that ridiculous user case, doing graphics and video can apply demands across your system from RAM to disk and latency to bandwidth.

Something the ThreadRipper does offer on a good motherboard is four 16X PCIe lanes. Imagine having a scratch disk that is 8 or more NVMe in RAID 0.