Dream machine build

I’m planning my next PC and using https://pcpartpicker.com to do it. I got some great comments from @jlpell in the Pre-Dev-Update thread, but I’ll start a new thread here.

Here is a link to my current thoughts: https://fi.pcpartpicker.com/list/NRdhnL

Honestly, the only reason is I couldn’t find any on https://pcpartpicker.com. I’m also not sure about the need for heat spreaders on the memory sticks. I’m trying to build a completely fanless PC, even if I eventually put it inside a case.

Why would I need that much power?

This is a good point, considering Qubes OS. Like I said, I’ll try waiting for AM5, and by that time there will probably be more cores on the CPU’s. I would really like to have powerful integrated graphics (APU) and the most powerful one seems to be 8-core for now.

What is the reasoning behind that?

Do you have use for X570 motherboard features? I would go for much cheaper B550 motherboard.

Also 700+W PSU makes sense only if you plan to go crazy with GPU in future, Ryzen 5700G with Nvidia 2060 will be perfectly fine with 500W PSU.

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I don’t plan on going crazy with a GPU in the future. I do occasionally play some games like Civilization VI, but an APU, especially a future one, should be able to handle that. I guess the main issue is with VM’s and how they will get their graphics processing done. I think this is where I would need the most advice. I’m very much an amateur when it comes to hardware.

Fanlessness is something that fascinates me and, if at all possible, I would like to be able to skip a separate GPU altogether. Noise is one issue, but also dirt. My house tends to be dusty. I smoke cigarettes, cook food, and use a wood-burning fireplace for heating in the same space. I guess what i really need is an “industrial” computer, but I haven’t seen any that are powerful enough.

I’m not sure about what special features the X570 brings. I’d like to have two Ethernet ports and at least a couple of M.2 slots, as well as built in wifi. Judging by the Pcpartpicker site X570 is the way to go for that. I’m thinking, the fewer separate parts/cards the better.

I run QubesOS on a USB stick plugged into a PC with 24G RAM and it’s mostly fine. A bit slow sometimes when updating, but other than that it’s good.

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I’ve not used QubesOS but @Sascha I think you mentioned perhaps needing 64 GB RAM?

Recommend RAM per Qubes is 16 GB or 6 GB min?

They do warn against Nvidia though.

Link.

  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Storage: 128 GB free space
    • High-speed solid-state drive strongly recommended
  • Graphics: Intel integrated graphics processor (IGP) strongly recommended
    • Nvidia GPUs may require significant troubleshooting
    • AMD GPUs have not been formally tested, but Radeons (especially RX580 and earlier) generally work well

Yeah - anything that’s not bog standard will trip it up.

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This is only for Qubes itself, though. The VM’s may require more.

What does “bog” mean?

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It means basic, BOG-STANDARD | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

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The x570 mobo have a fan. You need to set it to silent mode in bios or else it is loud and annoying. Some of the more recent models may have eliminated this snafu.

To handle a GPU or two or an HDD array. Also I’ve found that I get best long term reliability by derating the stated power rating. So a 700 psu for a 350 to 500watt load. You can look at the listed efficiency curve and plan based on that too sometimes for a cheaper psu. Last, the seasonic titaniums should last for multiple pc builds, so a higher rating now also gives some flexibility for your future unknown build too. Ex. maybe you will want a decent gpu and higher power cpu 3 years from now.

Unless you want to design for low power and cost (or an industrial pc) I wouldn’t do this. The system specs you mentioned are not a typical low-power/cost setup. Instead, you could get an equivalent or slightly better performing “non-crazy” dedicated gpu and a silent pc case. Also, the APU chips can’t do ECC ram. The ECC doesn’t matter if this is just a gaming pc, but helps with reliability for other/business use cases (like a safe network node).

Here’s an example of a decent industrial setup, but low power and a lot of COM ports you don’t need:

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It is something like the Holy Grail in PC building, right on the edge of impossible for a PC with some performance.

Be carefull that most components expect at least some air moving around them and with fanless setup you can get overheating problems in some places of the motherboard, also RAM or SSDs can get too hot sometimes.

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I’m under the impression this MB doesn’t have a fan:

Thanks! I didn’t know that. Do you think they ever will? I do believe ECC could be important. Maybe I’ll have to rethink the whole thing. I just really like the idea of gaming and all on a fanless PC.

This seems to be pretty much what I’m looking for.

But the production of their next version seems to be a bit stuck.

There is also e.g. this case:

Ryzen pro does. Available only to oem.

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So there is hope for the future on AM5.

When running a power supply towards its rated power the efficiency reduces. Generally you look towards running your PSU at 60-70% of rated power as a max when building a system. This allows power up potentially drawing more and USB peripherals drawing power. (EG if it has USB charging then upto 60 watts when fast charging a phone for that hour or two)

Also it allows for future additions.

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I realized that if I start by selecting ECC memory in Pcpartpicker everything changes, and the motherboard I thought about isn’t compatible either. It would be great if @jlpell or @neo or somebody else with some understanding of these things could propose a build for me on Pcpartpicker. I’m in no great hurry. I’m just reading and trying to learn stuff before I put a couple thousand of Euros on my next machine. Only do it if you think it’s a bit of fun, though. No pressure.

I personally see no need for ECC ram. It is wholly unnecessary for any consumer, and will slow down your system by a percent or two.

I also disagree that you need a 700w PSU. I’d save some $$$ and get a 500w. Your system, as currently configured, will not come close to even 500w.

Your mobo is also extremely pricey, and I’m curious what benefit this is getting you that you want.

I would personally get 2x 1TB SSDs and RAID 0 them, but that will lower your reliability some. Still, SSDs are extremely reliable, so it’s unlikely you would have issues. You could also always get a 2TB NAS quality HDD and run weekly backups to it to maintain reliability, or if you have gigabit internet, you could probably just do differential or incremental cloud backups.

As to your case, given your habits of smoking, etc., I would definitely not get a test bench case. I would also strongly recommend against a fanless case with a performance GPU. You can get “silent” cases that are in the 20-30dB range, which would be extremely quiet. You can also get filters for some of them so you aren’t getting smoke in your system.

You will probably want to get an aftermarket silent fan and replace your GPU fan with it if that is something you are comfortable with if the most quiet system possible is your goal.

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Somebody more knowledgeable will have to answer that. Suffice it to say that I’m not primarily trying to save money, and certainly not on old tech HDD’s with moving parts. I have a few 2.5" SSD’s lying around. What I’m after is pretty much laid out above.

Be it a boat, a gun or a PC, I don’t buy cheap stuff. I’m not really your typical “consumer”, and I seldom replace the stuff I have. I try to get quality and stick with it for many years. I’m considering a NAS, but I think that’s a different project.

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I mean, sure, I’m all for buying quality stuff, but there is a difference between buying quality and wasting money. You could easily cut $200 off your build, still have quality parts, and put that money into a Ryzen 9 5900X, which would give a big boost to your system as a whole.

You seem to be equating expensive with quality. I don’t think they are equivalent, especially when it comes to your mobo.

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This is what I would build if I were going for a “silent” PC:
https://fi.pcpartpicker.com/list/9ZnxDc

It’s essentially equivalent to yours, pricewise, give or take a few euros. It has a bunch of fans, but they are 8dB, so, more or less silent.

Performance wise, this has the next step up in CPU, offering 12 cores, which would add a lot to a system running Qubes. It also has the next step up in RAM, DDR4-4000, which would add a slight improvement. The RAM would likely be unnoticeable in the real world, so you could save some money by just leaving it at the 3600.

If you were looking for the next real step up, upgrading to the Samsung 980 Pro would be a noticeable change for a pretty high premium.

Not as sexy as that “Airtop3” you linked to:

specs

Looks like a lot of your list, maybe all of it is available for configuration. Although you probable have to insist on the Fujitsu mainboard, seems to be missing in the final options. In my case they did honor it. Then again, kept ordering a new machine from them at least 5 times for I don’t remember how many years.

Link: www.deltatronic.de