Workstation advice much needed!

It is finally time for me to get a new PC!

Many things have changed in the half-decade since my first (and last) build so I'd really appreciate some advice before I draft specs. My general criteria are as follows:

  • Flexible budget of £600-800 ($750-1,000)
  • Small form factor (already considering the Corsair 240 Air)
  • Linux as a primary OS and Windows as a secondary
  • Quiet (not looking to overclock or water-cool)

I play CSGO here and there but I mainly want this PC for:

  • Programming (lots of C++ and OpenGL)
  • Video editing and rendering (seen lots of new Linux NLEs which I'm ready to learn)
  • Other general tasks and procrastination

So what do I want to know?

  • What sort of CPU should I get? Ryzen looks amazing value but there might still be issues as its so new?
  • Is it too much to ask for a PC to be good for programming+video editing, small factor and quiet in my budget?
  • What's new in the range of GPUs? I have vaguely followed CPU news but am completely out of date with graphics cards.

I will update later with a PcPartPicker list and probably more questions.


1 Like

YES. Dive in at the deep end, you will learn how to swim. This Intel guy has seen the Ryzen sun.

YES. Video Editing, Small and Quiet? On your budget? Pick 2 out of 3.

RX 580 or GTX 1070. DO NOT wait for VEGA.
But you can get AMAZING deals now, on new cards from the previous generation that still kick ass.

Full Disclaimers for all the haters:
This is a quick and dirty parts list done to meet the OP's $1,000 budget.
My first try was $1,300, so a few corners had to be cut.

PCPartPicker part list:
Price breakdown by merchant:

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 1600 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($195.88 @ OutletPC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master - Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.88 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock - X370 KILLER SLI/ac ATX AM4 Motherboard ($126.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($107.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung - SM951 256GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Toshiba - 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($62.88 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB GAMING Video Card ($229.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: be quiet! - Silent Base 600 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: EVGA - 650W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($72.49 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1031.07
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-06-11 09:32 EDT-0400

I chose the GPU as a price placeholder. AMD GPU's are currently in short supply and there are better deals out there, new and used. Like new $200 GTX 980Ti's.

I chose the be quiet! case because I own a different one and can verify the quality. It may seem expensive but remember, it comes with expensive be quiet! silent wings fans.

I also considered the $70 Corsair 100R Silent case, but it looks as cheap as it is.


Sounds like a six to eight core machine to me. Ryzen is awesome and keeps getting better and better. I am running a 1700 at 3.8GHz, 32GB (4x8) at 2666 with manjaro XFCE and it runs perfectly. At this point I don't see any drawbacks using this platform.

Small form factor ..... I mean my full ATX system is stuffed into a Corsair carbide 400Q and that is really not a huge case. If you can live with something like that I would say go for it. Don't make it too small, you are only driving up heat, noise or price or all of those things.

GPU is hard at the moment. If you can find one the RX580 would be perfect but ... not easy right now.

Here is a shot from when I put it together. I really like that case.
Good amount of space for full size GPU and everything but really efficient in design.


Thank you @Positron and @noenken for the advice and suggestions!

The aims of quietness, power and small form factor definitely seem too ambitious (and unnecessary with the latter) so mid form factor will suffice. I drafted (mostly copied) a part list here:

Hopefully the price can be cut a bit with some changes I have in mind, not sure if they're wise though...

  • I have a spare 1TB hdd for storage so I included an M.2 SSD to run the operating system on
  • I didn't add a CPU cooler to cut costs as the 1600 box fan is apparently decent?
  • The ASRock X370 Killer is almost double the price of the ASRock AB350M Pro4 - both have 4 memory slots, USB3 headers and enough SATA slots so what are the advantages to paying extra for the X370 Killer? I don't plan on crossfire/sli so it seems like a good area to go budget on
  • I know this isn't helpful early on but I may also skimp back on the GPU in order to afford a mech keyboard (gaming and video editing are less important to me)

Any glaring issues with my plan (or hints in general) greatly appreciated

Only thing I would recommend here is try to go for faster memory, 2666MHz should be minimum. I don't know if the Ryzen memory controller can handle 2400. There is a multiplier thing... might be fixed with coming firmware but I'm not 100%. 2666 works on everything, next reasonable step would be 3200 in my mind and there are still some issues. Like my kit is 3200 but only running 2666 for now because... early adopter. 16GB on two sticks has way better chances of running at high speeds, even today.

Good advice, I didn't notice the G.Skill Ripjaws V I added were different speeds to the what @Positron suggested so I've changed to Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16GB which are the next cheapest 2666 sticks

On graphics cards it seems like AMD ages well, Nvidia not so much. If you can find an RX 580 for the same or similar price as the GTX 1060 I'd go for the RX 580. Performance between the two seem to be about the same either way.

A nice case is the Phanteks P400S. It has sound dampening panels so it should theoretically be quieter than many, and it's also a reasonably sized ATX case. Compared to the be quiet! Silent Base 600 the Phanteks P400S is smaller, cheaper, and even has a tempered glass side window.

Motherboard depends. Compared to B350, X370 has the capability for SLI, more USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, and more SATA ports. Certain X370 boards seem to have better VRM implementation as well. Having said that, if a cheaper board has all of the ports you need and you don't plan to overclock balls-to-the-walls then there's no reason to not get a cheaper board.