My First Linux PC!


tigerroast

YOUNG VORHEES
Joined
Apr 22, 2016
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258
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Big Bertha, LA.
I made the host name juice-runner, but some on here would tell me to call it systemd-box because it's the definition of scope creep. I originally wanted a PS2/Wii/Gamecube emulation box, but I ended up with a mid-range 1080p sleeper.

TOTAL COST: ~$405 (Original budget: $550; Revised budget: $300)

Hardware for those who care:
CASE: Rosewill FBM-01
WHY:
I had the "cheapness" motif in my head as I was making this, so I managed to get one off of eBay for $20+free shipping. It's probably even cheaper now. This case is ugly, the front panel is piano black so it can attract even more ugly, and it does nothing for cable management, but who am I to complain over a $20 case?

PSU: Corsair CX550 80+ Bronze, Semi-Modular
WHY:
I read that Corsair power supplies give a very stable output (idk how true that is, but it's worked so far) and this particular one was on sale at Best Buy. Not bad. I didn't feel the need to get a more efficient PSU because I'm not leaving this computer on if I'm not playing games. The semi-modular aspect saves me somewhat, but the cables aren't great.

CPU COOLER: Corsair H60 AIO 120MM RAD
WHY:
I needed better case airflow, not a water cooler. I couldn't help myself after browsing Best Buy and just saw it sitting there. The idea popped into my head and never left until the funds from my wallet did. Having it almost makes me want to replace the MB with something to push the CPU higher.

CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 @ 4.4GHz OC
WHY:
Pretty much the star of the show. Won it on an eBay auction for $40 shipped. Does everything I need since this thing is relegated to video game duties. So far, it handles everything I throw at it, so long as I don't throw more than 1 thing at it. With the water cooler, I hit 45C only after gaming for a long time.

GPU: Asus RX 560 w/ 4GB RAM
WHY:
After fighting with my old HD 7850, trying to make it fit into the case (honestly, I just wanted an excuse to use this card), I cracked and decided to use this one. Night and day. No cables to manage, and it doesn't even come close to touching the H60's hoses. It also runs much cooler.

RAM: 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600
WHY:
Cheap RAM. Just enough of it for the latest games.

MB: Asrock H81M-HDS R2.0
WHY:
One of the least straightforward parts of the build and a great case of first-world problems. I was shopping around for a mATX board that handles OC, and I went with this one. Much to my surprise, it only has 2 fucking fan headers. Even better, the cooler I bought needs BOTH! Basically, I'm crusty for making both of those decisions and I need to spend more money to correct them. Other than that, it has everything needed, handles dual-channel memory, and it works. No heat issues yet.

STORAGE: 1 Silicon Power 60GB SATA3 SSD, 2 Seagate 500GB SATA2 5400RPM HDD (BTRFS RAID 0)
WHY:
I only spent $35 on the SSD for better system responsiveness. I have 3 laptop hard drives laying around and 1 not even in my possession, and I wanted to put them to good use. Once I can get my friend to bring my 4th one, then I'll likely rebalance to RAID 10 for some online self-healing action.

PERIPHERALS (not incl. in cost): Redragon Perdition, Velocfire TKL-01 Mechanical Keyboard (brown switches), HDE DUALSHOCK2 Controller adapter
WHY:
I like this mouse a lot, even though the 12 side-buttons are kind of small. The keyboard is excellent for the price and I much prefer Browns to Blues. As for the adapter, I thought I was gonna use my beloved Cyber Gadget PS2 controller, but 3 of the 4 face-buttons don't register. They work fine on the PS2 though. Guess I'll stick to the PS4 controller (works out-of-the-box in Linux btw).

Software (hint: OS starts with A- and ends with -rch):
OS+DE: Arch + MATE

WHY: I came pretty close to choosing Solus after testing it on my laptop. At the end of the day, my experience was generally positive, but package management left a lot to be desired (e.g.: installations would fail and only succeed after multiple attempts). I ended up sticking to what I know and installed Arch. I don't even have Chromium installed!

It wasn't as difficult as the first time, but figuring out the storage deal wasn't straightforward at first. I thought I wanted to have /home on RAID 0, but I scrapped that idea and decided to put the entire / filesystem, including /home, on the SSD and use the combined storage for games by creating a mountpoint. I didn't even have the HDDs plugged in until I finished installing Arch. After booting, it was as simple as:

1) mkfs.btrfs -d raid0 -m raid1 /dev/sdx /dev/sdy
2) sudo mkdir /games
3) sudo nano /etc/fstab
4) *add block device fluff, mount on /games, options should be defaults,nouser,rw so Steam can actually use it*
5) You could sudo mount, but I rebooted just to make sure everything was fine. Everything was fine.
6) open Caja (as root if necessary) and make sure permissions are correct

Literally 4 CLI lines (5 if using sudo Caja) and a reboot. FSM bless the Arch Wiki.

As for MATE, I always thought it looked old and crusty, even with a nice theme, so I decided to use that as the DE. As someone who never uses MATE, I can say it's very simple and gets me from login to games without hassle.

Conclusion:

Other than needing a cheap-looking fan controller, this PC exceeded my expectations like I exceeded my budget. I'm not exactly pushing the computer to its limits just yet, but it j u s t w o r k s and is already taking hours from me.
 

Wally

I am a banana!
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NnoGhN1.gif
 

rygD

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Based on the title I figured it was a box for toddlers so they could learn to use a real OS. I suppose it could be, but not at all what I had in mind.

If I was going cheap...nevermind. Did you put a massive spoiler on it yet?

Edit: I meant the other kind of spoiler. Ya know what, fuck it, I am going to bed.
 

benoitb

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Cool story. Not sure about the CPU+Mobo+ram choice however.
If emulation is the #1 usage and PC gaming is an afterthought then it makes sense.

If it's emulation + gaming, wouldn't the kaby lake pentium with DDR4 and 4 threads make more sense ?
 

ThinkPad

Very Active Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
447
You should get an AMD Ryzen 3/5 instead of this Pentium, then call it a sleeper.
 
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tigerroast

YOUNG VORHEES
Joined
Apr 22, 2016
Messages
258
Location
Big Bertha, LA.
Y'all are more liable to commit scope-creep than I am lol.

Based on the title I figured it was a box for toddlers so they could learn to use a real OS. I suppose it could be, but not at all what I had in mind.

I...I can see that. Never even occurred to me when I made the title.

If I was going cheap...nevermind. Did you put a massive spoiler on it yet?

Edit: I meant the other kind of spoiler. Ya know what, fuck it, I am going to bed.

Intentional or not, I see what you did there. I like the way you think.



Cool story. Not sure about the CPU+Mobo+ram choice however.
If emulation is the #1 usage and PC gaming is an afterthought then it makes sense.

Exactly. I didn't even think about how Steam games would perform when I made my choices. I could've made better choices and kept the price down, but the specs wouldn't look much different. I'd probably wouldn't have even bothered getting the extra 4GB RAM.

If it's emulation + gaming, wouldn't the kaby lake pentium with DDR4 and 4 threads make more sense ?

RAM speed really doesn't matter for emulation and dual-channel RAM will suffice regardless. For emulation, I couldn't use more than 2 cores anyway. Also, since most developers can't find it in their hearts to make a game the Core 2 Duo couldn't play, the Pentium just so happens to be a decent choice by consequence...at least for non-multithreaded games.

Also, ~$90 + more expensive MB+RAM vs. $40 for similar performance with the same games. I'm not complaining.




You should get an AMD Ryzen 3/5 instead of this Pentium, then call it a sleeper.

I wanted a Ryzen chip worse than anyone (still do), but for emulation, a Ryzen 3 1300x gives similar performance at the same clock speed as this Pentium for ~$90 more than I paid. For a $40 chip to outperform non-x Ryzens and hang with $250 Core i5's, I'm calling this machine a sleeper and I mean it.
 

ThinkPad

Very Active Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
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I wanted a Ryzen chip worse than anyone (still do), but for emulation, a Ryzen 3 1300x gives similar performance at the same clock speed as this Pentium for ~$90 more than I paid. For a $40 chip to outperform non-x Ryzens and hang with $250 Core i5's, I'm calling this machine a sleeper and I mean it.

IMO: R3 1300X+B350 MoBo > The AIO, The Penium, and The H81M Mobo.

It is more future proof and you have more headroom for upgrades.
I guess the single tread performance and the cheap price of this Pentium was the deal braker for you.

You can even overclock 1800X at 4.0Ghz with ~100$ B350 Motherboard
(as far as I can remember, MSI should have Motherboard in this price range with decent enough VRM, Chokes, and Phases for this job).
 
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tigerroast

YOUNG VORHEES
Joined
Apr 22, 2016
Messages
258
Location
Big Bertha, LA.
IMO: R3 1300X+B350 MoBo > The AIO, The Penium, and The H81M Mobo.

It is more future proof and you have more headroom for upgrades.

I completely agree with you, but an upgrade path wasn't in the cards for this machine, should all work as planned. All worked as planned.

I guess the single tread performance and the cheap price of this Pentium was the deal braker for you.

The single-thread performance is the one thing I was after, seeing as to how this is an emulation machine. And yes, it was nice to get it on the cheap.

You can even overclock 1800X at 4.0Ghz with ~100$ B350 Motherboard
(as far as I can remember, MSI should have Motherboard in this price range with decent enough VRM, Chokes, and Phases for this job).

Even though I can get similar single-thread performance without having to spend ~$550 on just CPU and MB alone. Also, I don't need the extra threads.
 

benoitb

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Sounds good. Is PS2 emulation good then with that PC ?
Are there still games taht might require more power ?
 

tigerroast

YOUNG VORHEES
Joined
Apr 22, 2016
Messages
258
Location
Big Bertha, LA.
Sounds good. Is PS2 emulation good then with that PC ?
Are there still games taht might require more power ?

Just from what I've tested, DBZ: Budokai Tenkaichi 2, MGS3: Subsistence, and Gran Turismo 4 all run flawlessly w/ 4x native resolution, MSAA x8, and no speedhacks. Metal Arms (GC) had lag spikes, but OC seemed to resolve that issue.
 

Alperoot

Welcome! Welcome to Airstrip 17.
Joined
Apr 11, 2015
Messages
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Hello, fellow user! I would like to inform you that I use Arch Linux as well!
/s
 

levi

Still fresh, damnit!
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Arch will have two sentient AI systems in the repo, and five in AUR, and it'll be up to you to install them after the traditional process of bringing a system up from a live terminal DVD and base package set.
 
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