Upgrading hardware, which route to take?

My current hardware is old, but at last there’s a prospect of upgrading stuff in the near future as a new job means some disposable income instead of making do on a welfare-level income.

TL;DR: I’m looking for opinions/advice/experiences on which upgrade path to take. Or rather, in which order I upgrade my setup. Details below.

  • Storage: my file server runs a RAID6. One of the drives is about to cross the 30k hr threshold, and that’s the youngest of the lot :open_mouth: Another drive has 66k+ hrs on it, the remaining pair are well into the 67k hr range. Surprisingly, none of the drives show signs of failure in SMART. As the array is now over 50% full, I need to expand but first safeguard my data by adding a new 8TB drive, to copy the existing 8TB RAID over. That’ll set me back some 250-300 USD. (being in euro-land, I’ve roughly converted our currency into yours, to give you an idea of costs here)

  • File server, new jobs: the current file server runs on an AMD A6-3650 APU, 32GB RAM and the aforementioned 8TB RAID6 (4x4TB drives). I’d like to give it a new (additional) task, a build server. One of the distro’s I use (Funtoo) is a source based distro where packages are rebuild virtually every upgrade. On older hardware, like the current system, this takes forever. So the plan is to upgrade the file server with a Gigabyte MJ11-EC0 AMD Epyc 3151 SoC mainboard and some DDR4 RAM in order to speed up the building process of these packages. As I already build them, I may as well make these packages available to other Funtoo users, so it’ll house a web-server for these packages as well. The board, less the RAM, is about 500USD.

  • Desktop: the current desktop chip is an AMD PRO A10-8750B, I recently (May) acquired it used via Aliexpress. I’m now considering upgrading the system with an Asrock B450 board, Ryzen 1700 and 2x4GB RAM. This would cost me some 250-ish USD, less then an 8TB drive.

So, the question I’ve been pondering over for the last weeks is in which order I upgrade stuff. Your thoughts, opinions, advice is appreciated, as well as the rationale behind it :slight_smile:


I would probably upgrade the desktop first.
Because i assume that is what you are mostly depending on on a daily base.
Unless you really don´t trust the disks in your storage server anymore.
Then it might be a better idea to firstly copy and saving the data firstly.


Quick note that I’ve indeed taken that route. Mainboard and RAM purchased locally, CPU and cooler come in 2 weeks or so (Aliexpress).

I did spend more then I’d liked to, but the originally planned mainboard was suddenly “reserved” so I bought another from another vendor, who also supplied a pair of 8GB RAM sticks instead of the planned 2x 4GB. I did get me the Ryzen 1700 (I know… :roll_eyes: ) but the mainboard supports it (Asus B450) so I’m good. CPU didn’t come with a cooler, so I got not one but 2 AMD coolers from another Aliexpress vendor. Just in case and probably just as a spare for future upgrades. For an extra tenner really a no-brainer, isn’t it? :wink:

Thx for the interest!


Good that you got yourself some parts.
Keep us updated how the upgrade process goes haha.

I totally forgot to recommend you to look at upgrade kits,
at several Dutch webshops.
But the 1700X is still a very decent cpu to buy of course even today. :slight_smile:

Upgrade kits here are a bit hit 'n miss and usually not (really) cheaper then ordering the parts separately. As I’m on a budget, these “packages” are not actually competitive. I’ve got an Asus Prime B450M-A from the outlet store of a large Dutch component supplier, 2x 8GB Transcend RAM sticks who are on sale from the same supplier, the aforementioned Ryzen 1700 (tray version, thus no cooler) and from a separate vendor an AMD stock cooler (actually a pair, as alluded to earlier) for a total of 250-ish euro. (some 300-odd USD)

So, I already have the mainboard and RAM, CPU and coolers are on route from China. Hopefully they get here before the end of the month as new tax rules come into effect in the EU, basically screwing tax-free shopping abroad.

(FYI: so far, EU tax laws allowed purchases from outside the EU below 22 euro to pass untaxed, from July 1 next, non-EU webshops need to be registered for EU VAT/tax or have the 21% VAT/tax applied at the point of delivery. For instance Aliexpress registered themselves so apply the 21% EU VAT/tax automagically when you pay your order. So there’s no way around it. If a webshop doesn’t register itself to the EU program, goods, regardless of value, will be charged at the point of entry and additional charges are levied by the delivery company. The same goes for orders made before July 1, but delivered after that date. This change in regulations was pushed, strongly, by EU based webshops “to level out the playing field” (in normal person speak: make more money) :roll_eyes: )


I don’t want to get political but the only reason why they were able to ship cheap goods around the globe was because they exploit their workers and have a subsidized postal system. That is something I don’t like, even if it means I have to pay a little more.

Glad you found something for a reasonable price. The 1700X is a perfectly fine CPU! I have one myself. Per Core they are not as fast as the new generations, but given that this CPU has 8 Cores it has plenty of power!

Hold it folks, this is the 1700 non-X! :shushing_face: Still 8 cores, 16 threads, 65W TDP. But, first gen Ryzen so not optimised as much as later models. Still, only cost me 100 euro.

@anon86748826 Yes, I’m aware of the abusive nature of the regime the CCP imposes as well as the impact on workers and environment and such. But buying a product from a “reputable” Western source does not change the actual source of these products, which is China. Where workers are still exploited and environmental concerns non-existent, no matter what. Buying from a 3rd party in the West only gives those companies profit, while at the same time not one iota changes for those actually doing the work. So, I choose to purchase directly from China to save me money as otherwise it makes no difference at all to workers in China. The CCP makes sure it won’t. But that discussion is for another thread :slight_smile:


Given that it has a 65W TDP it is not worse than the X variant. It is a nice CPU and will be able to last many more years without much effort. I mean I have a 6 year old quad core processor in my laptop and if I am being honest this is fine for most things. So with 8 Cores you can do pretty much anything.

@Dutch_Master I am just hoping that it would make sense, in the long run, to produce some good more locally. Maybe in Bulgaria or Greece, one of the EU countries where labor is also not as expensive. Maybe you’re still right and I am too hopeful in this regard.

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Yeah i know importing goods from outside the EU kinda sucks haha.
A 1700 cpu for just €100,- is a good price.


When hope dies, all is lost :footprints:

Realistically, in some industries there is already a tendency to get production out of China for other cheap labour countries (Philippines, Malaya, several Eastern European countries also benefit) but it’s not making a real dent in the Chinese economy just yet. As for the IT industry, both the US and EU have announced initiatives to ramp up chip production outside China in their respective territories and be less dependent on a communist dictatorship. It’s probably not well known, but China took note of what happened to their frenemy, the USSR, and how effectively it got destroyed economically by the US. China vowed then to make the US, and the rest of the Western world they despise so much, completely dependent on Chinese goods so Beijing could dictate conditions and effectively gain real world domination via economics.

Mind, it helps that the leading (sole!) manufacturer of highly sophisticated chip-making machines (ASML) is actually Dutch. This means the technology to create these machines is not controlled by China (don’t worry, they have spies everywhere and employ large numbers of Gov’t hackers to obtain the required industrial secrets) so the West does have a slight advantage here.

Quick note that both CPU and the coolers now have arrived here. The 1700 was here Saturday already and has been tested with an AM2 cooler (take that Intel!! :stuck_out_tongue: ) so I’d just have to swap the coolers. Easy, 5 mins should suffice. I did run into some issues regarding USB-related lockups in graphics mode, but I assume that’ll pass once the entire system is installed (Funtoo, so fairly cutting edge) If not, I’ll upgrade the server instead :nerd_face:

So, quick recap of the new (-ish) system:

  • Asus Prime B450M-A mainboard
  • AMD Ryzen 1700 (non-X!) CPU
  • 2x 8GB Transcend DDR4-2666 RAM
  • Asus GT710 GPU (re-used)
  • 256Gb NVMe drive of Chinese origin (Weijinto)
  • box-standard 350-400W PSU (re-used)
  • Cooler Master Elite 342 case (re-used)

That is, it will be mounted in said case after the Funtoo install issues are sorted.

Yeah yeah, I know it’s an ancient topic. But it’s mine :stuck_out_tongue:

As time passes, I’m now in a position to buy me another upgrade. Once again I’d value your opinions what to purchase first and why you’d recommend it. This time it’s the file server. What it needs is a full overhaul, but that’s waaaay out of my budget for now. The options are:

  • one 16TB HDD ($$$)
  • two 8TB HDD ($$+$$)
  • EPYC 3151 mainboard, needs extras like RAM and SlimSAS->SATA adapter, preferably also an NVMe SSD ($$$$+$$$)

Current storage is a 4x4TB RAID6 and I’ve recently swapped out a drive for one I had lying around and had forgotten about. Like the drive it replaced it’s probably about 7 yrs old, but was still wrapped in its sealed anti-static sleeve, so essentially it’s a new drive. This means half of my array is under 40k running hours, the remaining drives are close to 70k hours now.

So, what’s your recommendation and why? (please include options I didn’t mention!)


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