Build Advice Advices on my first system

HisDudeness

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May 1, 2016
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Hello there! I'm wishing to build my first PC from scratch. I have a little experience in assembling computers and tinkering with spare parts, but I haven't come near any up-to-date part in ages, mostly sticking to laptops and abandonware as of late. I need some guidance here.

First of all, I'm planning to build a PC instead of buying a pre-assembled one mostly for the fun of it than to get a gaming beast or to save money. I'll bullet my main targets:

  • I want a small machine, without sacrificing too much its calculating power or the possibility to update with newer parts in the future.
  • I don't have a lot of time for gaming, but I wouldn't want to close any door before starting. I'm not buying a video card right now, but I don't like the idea of having to change case should I get one in the future.
  • I'm not big on chasing the latest trend just to find it surpassed after little time. I'd prefer to get a previous gen CPU whose price got lowered by the release of an updated model and maybe change it in a long time. I'd love to keep my motherboard when doing that but there's no foretelling how backwards compatibility will work. If that means buying the latest chipset that I'd say forget about it
  • After only bad experiences with nVidia and not bad nor good with Intel, I'm decided to try AMD, also because I use GNU/Linux and I've read Advanced Micro Devices are maybe the most collaborative company for what concerns F(L)OSS.
So, now for my first question: I've decided Ryzen 5 2600 is good enough for me. As I want the resulting machine to be very little and I don't plan on expanding too much, I'm looking at Mini-ITX motherboards. This means i won't be able to connect both video and sound cards, which are the only expansion cards I'm interested in. To try and have a worthy source for lossless music I'll opt for an external DAC and amp instead. I haven't read many positive opinions about B450 though, so I'm looking at X470 mobos. Is it worth the expense, given the enthusiast setup I'm pondering? How likely it is that they won't be compatible with future 4th gen Ryzens I may get when gen5 is out? X570 would be wasted on me as I've got no need for PCIe 4.0, with a gen2 mid-tier CPU I won't surely get a bleeding edge top tier graphic card. What do you think about the ASUS ROG Strix X470i for a small pc which will mainly do consumer-level CPU demanding processes like encoding and compressing, no streaming, little gaming and no graphic demanding tasks like CAD modeling?
 
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menlui

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Jul 18, 2018
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Hi HisDudeness,

First off you will need a GPU with the 2600 as it has no integrated graphics only the 2400g or 2200g do, secondly unless you're a audiophile on board audio is more than capable so there is little need for a sound card nowadays and finally unless going for mid-heavy overclocking a ROG board is a waste, a B450 mobo will be fine.
 

HisDudeness

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May 1, 2016
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Thanks for your reply, menlui. And thank you for pointing out that the CPU I've chosen does not have integrated graphics, I've completely missed that part. I will look for a low profile graphic card as well. I'm already asking in the Amazon page of a few cases I'm considering if they can house them.
How limiting/bad is B450? After all, I'm intentioned to build a PC to have fun and as an introduction to everything related to it. So, if right now I'm not likely to do any overclocking, my next steps will probably be doing this and other things, and I wouldn't want to have to change mobo lest I find myself locked in my possibilities. And is it possible to know if the various architectures are likely to support future Ryzens? Is there a clear LTS policy by AMD?
Lastly, sound card won't be a problem to me as to get audiophile-grade system it appears it is not the best idea either, as you would introduce some electrical noise to your analog signal. I'd rather opt for an external DAC.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
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How much are you looking to spend? You could build a decent mini-ITX tower or a ITX desktop for around the $1000 mark.

B450 will be viable for a long time, it will support the Ryzen 3000 and eventually 4000 with BIOS updates.
 

HisDudeness

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May 1, 2016
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I haven't thought about a price target, actually. Right now, I'm looking at around €560 and I would just have to add a PSU and a RAM. And I haven't done any research, just took the current prices on Amazon, which is not probably what I'll do when actually buying. Did you mean $1000 comprehensive of I/O as well, or just the PC? I already have monitor, mouse, keayboard and speakers to use.

As for the graphic, I'm considering the MSI RX 550 LP OC. Is it overkill for my setup/target, or once I buy it it's a good idea to just get a good one to avoid having to upgrade anytime soon? Would have even considered the 560, but I can't find it here in Europe.

I need advice on which RAM to look for. Are specs enough? Or do brand and model actually make a difference? Do I need to look for low profile memories, or is low profile VGA already as tall as normal SDRAMs?
 

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