Mid-range Gaming and Linux Workstation PC

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scolby33
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Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:28 pm

Mid-range Gaming and Linux Workstation PC

Post by scolby33 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:52 pm

It's time for a new PC, and I'm tired of loud computers that live in my bedroom. I'm looking for a mid-range computer that can do some moderate gaming under Windows and can dual-boot into Ubuntu without much trouble.

I've based this build on the SPCR 4K Gaming PC with some influence taken from the Logical Increments "Outstanding" level.
  • CPU: Intel i5-6600K
  • CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen Max
  • Mobo: Asus Z170-A
  • RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-2666 2x8GB
  • SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB
  • GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070
  • Case: Fractal Design Define S
  • PSU: SilverStone Strider Platinum 750W
  • Case Fans: 2x Phanteks PH-F140HP and Scythe SY1225DB12M
So, my questions about this build:
  1. I never overclock, but the 6600 is <$20 different from the 6600K. Is there any reason I shouldn't go for the unlocked version?
  2. Does anyone know of any Linux compatibility issues with the Z170-A?
  3. I've never used G.Skill memory before. Would Crucial be a better choice? My general impression is that the brand of memory doesn't matter too much.
  4. The GPU is my main alteration from the 4K gaming build and the 750W PSU seems a bit beefy now. What's a good 600W supply that's quiet?
  5. Is the Scythe I listed the GlideStream mentioned in the 4K build? I couldn't find the exact name on PC Part Picker. Are there other suggestions for 2 140mm and 1 120mm case fans?
  6. I'll probably add a spinning drive at some point...it's unfortunate that I can't do the suspended mounting like is possible in the R5 :cry:
Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

CA_Steve
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Re: Mid-range Gaming and Linux Workstation PC

Post by CA_Steve » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:12 pm

Welcome to SPCR.
1. I never overclock, but the 6600 is <$20 different from the 6600K. Is there any reason I shouldn't go for the unlocked version?
Nope.
2. Does anyone know of any Linux compatibility issues with the Z170-A?
Not a Linux guy, no info to add other than you might scour phoronix.com. An alternative part is the Asus Z170 Pro Gaming. It has a better audio chain.
3. My general impression is that the brand of memory doesn't matter too much.
Not too much as long as you stick with a known mfgr. G.Skill is fine.
4. The GPU is my main alteration from the 4K gaming build and the 750W PSU seems a bit beefy now. What's a good 600W supply that's quiet?
- I'd shy away from the Silverstone as it's fan profile isn't great - goes to fairly high rpm pretty quickly. Your stressed load is in the 300-320W range with high load gaming around 270W. So, a 550W class is fine. What's your country so we can narrow down to available parts?
- Which Gigabyte model?
5. Is the Scythe I listed the GlideStream mentioned in the 4K build? I couldn't find the exact name on PC Part Picker. Are there other suggestions for 2 140mm and 1 120mm case fans?
Not sure what you are going for in fan locations...I'd aim for two 140mm in front and one 140mm in rear. You might try the stock 140's and see if you like the performance/noise.

quest_for_silence
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Re: Mid-range Gaming and Linux Workstation PC

Post by quest_for_silence » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:36 am

scolby33 wrote:
  • RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-2666 2x8GB

Pointlessly tall.

scolby33 wrote:
  • Case: Fractal Design Define S

Better than the R5 for watercooling support, but not better than the R5: you don't need watercooling support, do you?

scolby33 wrote:
  • PSU: SilverStone Strider Platinum 750W

Not a good pick, expensive, mediocre unit.

scolby33 wrote:
  • Case Fans: 2x Phanteks PH-F140HP and Scythe SY1225DB12M

The Phanteks fans are discontinued and no more available all over the world, the quoted Scythe is a ball bearing fan, not exactly the quietest one (albeit not that bad).

scolby33 wrote:So, my questions about this build:
  • I never overclock, but the 6600 is <$20 different from the 6600K. Is there any reason I shouldn't go for the unlocked version?

The ~20 USD difference is all and may be enough.

scolby33 wrote:
  • Does anyone know of any Linux compatibility issues with the Z170-A?

Sorry, I can't hep, but you might check on Phoronix, I guess it may be a good place to look around or ask to the staff/forum.

scolby33 wrote:
  • The GPU is my main alteration from the 4K gaming build and the 750W PSU seems a bit beefy now. What's a good 600W supply that's quiet?

You need a 400W unit, not a 600W.

scolby33 wrote:
  • Is the Scythe I listed the GlideStream mentioned in the 4K build? I couldn't find the exact name on PC Part Picker. Are there other suggestions for 2 140mm and 1 120mm case fans?

No, as said above it isn't a GlideStream, it's a SlipStream DB, a different, ball bearing fan. The stock Fractal Design GP14 140mm worth to be heard before any swap (see the SPCR test of it in the R5 revision of the gaming build).
Suitable Scythe 120mm PWM replacements are SY1225HB12MS-RKP , SY1225HB12M-P and SY1225SL12LM-P (albeit it's not clear why you need a PWM fan as a case fan).
Take also note that those fans were tested/thought for the Corsair 600Q case, not the Fractal Design Define S.

scolby33 wrote:
  • I'll probably add a spinning drive at some point...it's unfortunate that I can't do the suspended mounting like is possible in the R5 :cry:
[/list]

Then don't buy the Define S, and pick another case with 5,25 bays.

scolby33 wrote:Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

You're welcome!

mikeb
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Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:23 pm

Re: Mid-range Gaming and Linux Workstation PC

Post by mikeb » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:47 pm

scolby33 wrote: [*]Does anyone know of any Linux compatibility issues with the Z170-A?
I can't say specifically for this board, but I can say that Asus is FAR better with linux and they regularly update their bios, and I currently have an Asus board running solus linux. Based on personal experience earlier this year with an AsRock Z170 board with a bios that had serious linux issues which were left purposely ignored for 10 months when I ran into them and had to return the board. Overall I'd avoid AsRock because linux is a second class citizen to them.

quest_for_silence
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Re: Mid-range Gaming and Linux Workstation PC

Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:41 am

mikeb wrote:
scolby33 wrote: [*]Does anyone know of any Linux compatibility issues with the Z170-A?
I can't say specifically for this board, but I can say that Asus is FAR better with linux and they regularly update their bios, and I currently have an Asus board running solus linux. Based on personal experience earlier this year with an AsRock Z170 board with a bios that had serious linux issues which were left purposely ignored for 10 months when I ran into them and had to return the board. Overall I'd avoid AsRock because linux is a second class citizen to them.
?????????????????????????

He IS talking about an ASUS board, and no one ever quoted any ASRock one.

edh
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Location: UK

Re: Mid-range Gaming and Linux Workstation PC

Post by edh » Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:15 am

Something I ran into with Linux compatibility on Z170 boards is that lm-sensors won't pick up fan speeds readily. I did find a solution to it though:
viewtopic.php?p=603520#p603520

lm-sensors doesn't seem to be getting much development at the moment which explains this, nothing wrong with the board itself.

entreri
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Re: Mid-range Gaming and Linux Workstation PC

Post by entreri » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:42 pm

If you end up with the Qualcom QCA61x4A wifi board and not the broadcom, you will need to tinker with it a bit:

https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2323812

On newer releases of the MB you get a broadcom

scolby33
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:28 pm

Re: Mid-range Gaming and Linux Workstation PC

Post by scolby33 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:00 am

Based on your suggestions, here's the changes I've made.
  • CPU: gonna go with the i5-6600, I won't ever use the K and saving money is always good!
  • Mobo: switch to the Asus Z170 Pro Gaming...the price difference is immaterial, and I'm a fan of the extra USB 3.0 on the back panel. Also, the pro gaming is certified by Asus to work with Ubuntu 14.04, which is promising for overall Linux support
  • RAM: agreed that the G.Skill is a larger shape than necessary. How about the Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x8GB.
  • GPU: Gigabyte model GV-N1070WF2OC-8GD
  • Case: I'm torn on the Define S vs. R5 vs. another case (idk which, though). I won't need water cooling, but I do like the amount of extra space available for airflow in the S
  • PSU: Something 400W and fanless (SeaSonic SS-400FL2)?
  • Case Fans: I'll stick with stock to start and see if I want to upgrade.

quest_for_silence
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Location: ITALY

Re: Mid-range Gaming and Linux Workstation PC

Post by quest_for_silence » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:40 am

scolby33 wrote:
  • RAM: agreed that the G.Skill is a larger shape than necessary. How about the Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x8GB.

Those shouldn't bee too shabby: if you can't decide, just pick something which is on the relevant ASUS QVL.

scolby33 wrote:
  • GPU: Gigabyte model GV-N1070WF2OC-8GD

Didn't find any serious info about it: probably it should be passive at low temps, but being not granted, and being the load temp/noise unknown, *personally* I'd stick with a proven (tested) card, like a MSI Gaming (whichever the flavour).

scolby33 wrote:
  • Case: I'm torn on the Define S vs. R5 vs. another case (idk which, though). I won't need water cooling, but I do like the amount of extra space available for airflow in the S

Rationally speaking that space likely won't bring you anything sizeable. BTW, it's up to your call.

scolby33 wrote:
  • PSU: Something 400W and fanless (SeaSonic SS-400FL2)?

In North America it's one of the few viable options at lower capacities: be aware that it may suffer of some electronic noise (it's not certain, it's just an higher probability than with not-XP/FL PSUs), but all in all it's an excellent pick.
Alternatively you may look at some semi-passive PSUs, like the Corsair RM550x or EVGA SuperNOVA P2 650. They are not correctly-sized for your needs, but OTOH they offer more quietness and a better value than the proposed Strider Platinum.

scolby33
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:28 pm

Re: Mid-range Gaming and Linux Workstation PC

Post by scolby33 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:23 pm

Thanks to everyone for their comments--I think I have a good parts list assembled! With the holidays coming up and travel on the horizon, I'm not planning to order anything for this build until January. When it comes, I'll return with build pictures and let you know how it worked out.

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