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Time for a new build - Advise needed

GuilleAcoustic

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I'm on the new-rig train and I must admit that I'm pretty lost.

Intel: LGA1200 do not seem to be very futur proof and looks more like an attempt to counter AMD, while going the Pentium4 route (TDP and power draw is insane). Z490 motherboard are also outrageously pricey

AMD: The current state of B450/X470 being or not compatible with upcoming Zen3 is confusing. Rumours says a Ryzen 7 is coming ... but those are rumours ...

My needs:

I won't game much, some Minecraft or other light games (mostly 2D indie games). It's not that I do no like to game, it's more that my hands won't allow it. Didn't play in like 2 years and spent 2h on SFFn Minecraft server yesterday .... had to stop because of the pain in my hands (RSI and CTS, thank you ... or not).

I'll mostly do programming on it (C, C++, Arduino and other controllers), digital painting (Krita), 2D animation (Krita), some DAW and music recording (guitar and keyboard). I'd like to experiment with making an old school game (2D pixel, hand animated, retro style music) ... and keep converting / repurposing old stuff with micro-controllers.

I keep my rigs for at least 5 years and it must be dead silent (tinnitus and hyperacousia inside) ... I know, I'm a broken guy :|.

My GPU need is very limited, so I'd prefer a solution with an iGPU to keep the PCIe slot for something else, should I need it (storage, networking, etc.)

Budget is around 1500€, but if less I could invest it in something else :D (better soldering station for example) ... and I only use Linux (Archlinux).

My current rig:

Asus Q87T thin mini-ITX, Intel i7-4785T, 16GB DDR3L, 500GB mSATA SSD, Tt engine27 cooler, no chassis (open air on 4 stand-offs ... le sight).

My current considerations:

AsrockInd IMB-1213 thin mini-ITX, Intel i7-9700T (or i9-9900T if I can find one), 32GB DDR4, 1TB m.2 (no idea which one to get), heatsink ... no idea.

My fear is that a 35W CPU might not be enough in a few years. The IMB-1213 ca provide up to 65W to the CPU, but I'd like to keep my rig silent and power draw as low as possible.

I'm pretty sold on the Lone L5 chassis, when it'll be available... It has that perfect industrial look that I love and it would blend really well with my daily drivers ...

 

ignsvn

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Apr 4, 2016
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Let's see..

Get a 65W CPU with integrated GPU, undervolt, and slap Noctua NH-L12, or Shuriken BS3, or Thermalright AXP90? These are very capable CPU coolers & the fan can run at low RPM. IIRC they should fit in Lone L5..

As a comparison, I use i5-4670 (84W CPU) with NH-L12 non-s, with only the 92mm fan underneath.

During office work + coding + 20 tabs browsing then fan is very silent at 800 RPM. And my ambient temp is around 26-27C, mind you.
 

GuilleAcoustic

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Let's see..

Get a 65W CPU with integrated GPU, undervolt, and slap Noctua NH-L12, or Shuriken BS3, or Thermalright AXP90? These are very capable CPU coolers & the fan can run at low RPM. IIRC they should fit in Lone L5..

As a comparison, I use i5-4670 (84W CPU) with NH-L12 non-s, with only the 92mm fan underneath.

During office work + coding + 20 tabs browsing then fan is very silent at 800 RPM. And my ambient temp is around 26-27C, mind you.
I have zero experience with undervolting. Do you need K series CPU or Z series chipset for that ?
 

ignsvn

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From what I remember, overclock on Intel needs those unlocked K CPU, but undervolt can be done on any CPU. It depends more on the motherboard instead. And no it doesn't need Z series chipset IIRC.

For my case, simply turning off the CPU turbo in BIOS helps a lot. Default max speed is 3.4ghz, turbo can bring it to 3.8ghz but with much additional heat I don't need.

I think Google is your best friend. This is an undervolting example on Ryzen https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/3494-amd-ryzen-3000-undervolting-offset-override.

And yes on certain rare cases you can undervolt AND overclock a bit. I did it on my GTX 950 GPU LOL. But don't expect much, probably only 2% fps increment.
 

GuilleAcoustic

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From what I remember, overclock on Intel needs those unlocked K CPU, but undervolt can be done on any CPU. It depends more on the motherboard instead. And no it doesn't need Z series chipset IIRC.

For my case, simply turning off the CPU turbo in BIOS helps a lot. Default max speed is 3.4ghz, turbo can bring it to 3.8ghz but with much additional heat I don't need.

I think Google is your best friend. This is an undervolting example on Ryzen https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/3494-amd-ryzen-3000-undervolting-offset-override.

And yes on certain rare cases you can undervolt AND overclock a bit. I did it on my GTX 950 GPU LOL. But don't expect much, probably only 2% fps increment.
Disabling turbo was something I had in mind in fact. Will look into that, might be a good way to keep it cool while being able to enable it should I need it for some reason.
 
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neilhart

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Apr 18, 2017
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Hummm, in my current project I am using an ASUS PRIME H310T (thin motherboard) with a engineering sample i9-9900T and 16 GB (2x8) SODIMMs. I am using the on board Intel HD 630 video and have WiFi/BT and Gigabit Ethernet and running Apple macOS 10.15.4. The low power draw CPU with 8 cores and 16 threads does very well. The system runs from a Dell 95W laptop power brick. More detail if interested.
 
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ffs_whatever

Cable Smoosher
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May 20, 2020
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I feel you, I'm in your same exact situation.
The main use is programming, audio, and some OpenGL/WebGL at most.
Very little gaming, has to last at least 5yrs, I also primarily run ArchLinux.

1500€ is almost twice my budget. IMHO you shouldn't jump on the hype train.
You'll be able to buy yourself a PC, 2x soldering stations, a lifetime supply of solder, and a pizza every day for 2 months.

That's what I'll do:
Mini ITX B450 + 3200g — Maybe I'll upgrade to B550 MB + 4000 Series APU. If I really feel the urge to...
16GB RAM @ 3773Hz — I run many containers at once for development and have never used 16GB. I'd rather pick faster over bigger (but you can afford both).
Sabrent PCIe3 M.2 SSD — Cheap and reliable. I'll never use PCIe4's 8GB/s bandwidth. Coming from mSATA SSDs it's already a big (4x!) improvement.
For cooling, I'll stick to the stock CPU cooler + the quietest fans I can find (likely, Noctua).
This can be powered by virtually any PSU, I'll go for a 300W TFX.

Ofc that's just my two cents,
I've replied because your situation looks the same as mine.
 

GuilleAcoustic

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Your advises are all legit. Part of why I'm hesitant: reason vs hype.

I never upgrade motherboard, as it would feel like building a new rig for me. RAM and storage, I always did ... CPU rarely.

I read you on the RAM and that's a real hesitation here too. I had 8GB on my previous build at the begining and had to get a 16GB kit in the end coz' I was swapping.

With ITX, you only have 2 slots and upgrading the RAM always cost your more than going safe (Linux is less RAM hungry than Windows though).

I try to avoid the hype train like plague. 1500€ is a very comfy budget Indeed, but if it can stay below 1000€ it's better.

I'll need an USB audio card at some point too, to record acoustic guitar and electric bass. But that's a futur project.

Speaking of USB audio, I have no experience with Linux. My previous card was a PCI based m-audio 2496 that worked flawlessly. I also run an Audio-gd R2R-11 DAC/headamp without issue.

Any recommandation on that topic ? I've read that Focusrite 2nd gen are plug ans play .... But 3rd gen are quite a PITA. I only need 2 inputs, idealy both being able to record instrument or mic (for acoustic instruments).

I plan to get an USB keyboard later, like the Akai MPK mini MK2, so no need for midi port.
 
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Arboreal

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Oct 11, 2015
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Not sure what to say about the general PC requirements, but over on Bit-Tech we were discussing what 1TB NVMe M.2 drives to buy a while back, and the recommendation was the Corsair Force MP510 960GB as it had such a huge write longevity.
Looking on Scan UK, there seems to be a cheaper version that is less durable, so be careful if you go that way.

If you're not in a hurry, wait for the the B550 boards to land, there may be something there that fits the bill.

That said, I am trying to buy used these days other than PSUs and critical storage.

On the subject of Q87Ts; I have one on the way, as there were some cheap ones on ebay UK this week. A number of us on B-T (a couple of the guys are on here too) bought one to satisfy out ongoing SFF addictions.
I reisted buying an ECS H110 STX mobo lso on ebay this week, which I didn't even know existed... I DO know it was snapped up by one of the others who is strong in the ways of small stuff.
 

GuilleAcoustic

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I have a Behringer UMC404HD, looks like it's plug & play (USB class compliant).
I'll give it a try on my ThinkPad and let you know!
That would be of great help ! Thank you Sir !

Not sure what to say about the general PC requirements, but over on Bit-Tech we were discussing what 1TB NVMe M.2 drives to buy a while back, and the recommendation was the Corsair Force MP510 960GB as it had such a huge write longevity.
Thanks for the tips, it's indeed a good information. I didn't look too much into SSD at the moment. I'll try to not overthink everything as I'll end up procrastitating (again).

f you're not in a hurry, wait for the the B550 boards to land, there may be something there that fits the bill.
Been digging that B550 route based on your advise and it looks like it'll be released quite soon (16th of June). I can wait 'til then and the Asus B550-I might be what I need (2.5G eth, Wifi 6, TB3 header). Could start with an affordable Ryzen 5 3600 and get a nice Zen 3 once they are available.

That said, I am trying to buy used these days other than PSUs and critical storage.
I did exactly that for my current rig. Q87T was brand new, but on sale for very cheap price. Bought the i7-4785T, 500GB mSATA and 16GB SO-DIMM used for a great price. PSU is a Dell AC-DC a friend gave me. The whole rig costed me less than 400€.

On the subject of Q87Ts; I have one on the way, as there were some cheap ones on ebay UK this week. A number of us on B-T (a couple of the guys are on here too) bought one to satisfy out ongoing SFF addictions.
Q87T is a lovely board, works great, is stable and supports 84W CPU.
 
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Arboreal

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Guillle, I am ashamed to say that i ignored the good advice about the 1TB M.2 and ended up buying a SATA 1TB M.2 used from a friend on the B-T marketplace... 85 GBP instead of 155 GBP. It's my secondary drive, I am already booting from a 512 GB NVMe M.2 and running the important software on it.

My bargain Q87T arrived this afternoon, so it's quick build time... The i3 4130 needs to be moved from my new work PC, (i5 4690 going in), and into the 'Q'.

4GB RAM is here and I'll get another 4 from a work PC when I go in next, it can be happily swapped for a 2GB SODIMM, 2 PSUs here and a WiFi card too

I have no mSATA drives at the moment, so am scanning ebay for a couple; one for the 'Q' and one for the (oh so cute) NUC.

So it'll be Win 10 on the 128GB SATA M.2 in a SATA adaptor board to get up & running.

Looks like there's some 2.5G etc incoming on B550 ITX, which is good news for your deliberations.

A lot of enjoyment to be had in working out your optimal and favourite build combo, keep us in the loop
 

Windfall

kiwi birds are nice :D
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Nov 14, 2017
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I'm on the new-rig train and I must admit that I'm pretty lost.

Intel: LGA1200 do not seem to be very futur proof and looks more like an attempt to counter AMD, while going the Pentium4 route (TDP and power draw is insane). Z490 motherboard are also outrageously pricey

AMD: The current state of B450/X470 being or not compatible with upcoming Zen3 is confusing. Rumours says a Ryzen 7 is coming ... but those are rumours ...

My needs:

I won't game much, some Minecraft or other light games (mostly 2D indie games). It's not that I do no like to game, it's more that my hands won't allow it. Didn't play in like 2 years and spent 2h on SFFn Minecraft server yesterday .... had to stop because of the pain in my hands (RSI and CTS, thank you ... or not).

I'll mostly do programming on it (C, C++, Arduino and other controllers), digital painting (Krita), 2D animation (Krita), some DAW and music recording (guitar and keyboard). I'd like to experiment with making an old school game (2D pixel, hand animated, retro style music) ... and keep converting / repurposing old stuff with micro-controllers.

I keep my rigs for at least 5 years and it must be dead silent (tinnitus and hyperacousia inside) ... I know, I'm a broken guy :|.

My GPU need is very limited, so I'd prefer a solution with an iGPU to keep the PCIe slot for something else, should I need it (storage, networking, etc.)

Budget is around 1500€, but if less I could invest it in something else :D (better soldering station for example) ... and I only use Linux (Archlinux).

My current rig:

Asus Q87T thin mini-ITX, Intel i7-4785T, 16GB DDR3L, 500GB mSATA SSD, Tt engine27 cooler, no chassis (open air on 4 stand-offs ... le sight).

My current considerations:

AsrockInd IMB-1213 thin mini-ITX, Intel i7-9700T (or i9-9900T if I can find one), 32GB DDR4, 1TB m.2 (no idea which one to get), heatsink ... no idea.

My fear is that a 35W CPU might not be enough in a few years. The IMB-1213 ca provide up to 65W to the CPU, but I'd like to keep my rig silent and power draw as low as possible.

I'm pretty sold on the Lone L5 chassis, when it'll be available... It has that perfect industrial look that I love and it would blend really well with my daily drivers ...

How do you connect the keyboard, out of curiosity?
 

GuilleAcoustic

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How do you connect the keyboard, out of curiosity?
I made an inline converter using a Teensy++ 2.0 and Hasu's TMK firmware (there's a version for that keyboard).


The only "physical" modification I did was to "remove" the locking mechanism from the Capslock key Switch (physical lock switch) to use or as a Control Key.

 
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ffs_whatever

Cable Smoosher
New User
May 20, 2020
10
2
Hi there!

I've just plugged in my Behringer DAC in my TP420 running Archlinux.

The card shows up correctly in lsusb.
I just went to Alsamixer and switched the active soundcard.

Both sound coming from the PC (Youtube video) and Audio input (External Synth on CH1) work out of the box.
So I'd say, you're good to go :D

Just out of curiosity, which audio programs do you use in Linux? I only use VCVRack there.
 

GuilleAcoustic

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Jun 29, 2015
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guilleacoustic.wordpress.com
Hi there!

I've just plugged in my Behringer DAC in my TP420 running Archlinux.

The card shows up correctly in lsusb.
I just went to Alsamixer and switched the active soundcard.

Both sound coming from the PC (Youtube video) and Audio input (External Synth on CH1) work out of the box.
So I'd say, you're good to go :D
Thanks a lot, that's very much appreciated !

Just out of curiosity, which audio programs do you use in Linux? I only use VCVRack there.
None at the moment, but I planned on using Ardour (free if built from source if I'm right). I'll look into VCVRack though, as I do not know it (been looking at Linux Music channels on YT for popular softwares).
 

ffs_whatever

Cable Smoosher
New User
May 20, 2020
10
2
Ok, I'm going OT, but...

Check this out :)

If you want we can talk about this stuff in PM
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
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May 9, 2015
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Rumours are circulating that AMD is close to releasing the 4000 series APUs, with some leaks happening with the recently released B550 boards. That rumored 8-core Ryzen 7 4700G sure does seem tasty !
 

GuilleAcoustic

Chief Procrastination Officer
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Jun 29, 2015
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Ok, I'm going OT, but...

Check this out :)

If you want we can talk about this stuff in PM
Not OT at all, don't worry. There's a lot of material in the linked channel ! I'm perfectly fine to continue here ... Or better, it's a good opportunity to start a a thread dedicated to DAW.

Rumours are circulating that AMD is close to releasing the 4000 series APUs, with some leaks happening with the recently released B550 boards. That rumored 8-core Ryzen 7 4700G sure does seem tasty !
That's where my digging lead me. I've settled on the components below:
  • Asus B550-I Gaming
  • AMD Ryzen 7 4700G
  • 32GB DDR4 (3600MHz looks like the sweet spot with Zen2)
  • 960GB Corsair MP510 V2
  • HDPlex 200W
  • Lone L5 or custom built
  • NH-L9a Chromax or NH-L12
 
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ignsvn

Member of the Order of the SFF.N Empire
Moderator
Apr 4, 2016
994
808
Not OT at all, don't worry. There's a lot of material in the linked channel ! I'm perfectly fine to continue here ... Or better, it's a good opportunity to start a a thread dedicated to DAW.



That's where my digging lead me. I've settled on the components below:
  • Asus B550-I Gaming
  • AMD Ryzen 7 4700G
  • 32GB DDR4 (3600MHz looks like the sweet spot with Zen2)
  • 960GB Corsair MP510 V2
  • HDPlex 200W
  • Lone L5 or custom built
  • NH-L9a Chromax or NH-L12
That's more like it 👍