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super budget desktop PC build notes

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hitbyambulance
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super budget desktop PC build notes

Post by hitbyambulance » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:59 am

i'm helping my son build his first desktop computer. he chose the parts, and i only vetted them and suggested a few additions. this is decidedly a starter build and, you'll note, extremely constrained by financial considerations:

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/YW3vbX

his mom purchased the components (as his 18th birthday present) and is having them sent to me - about half of them just arrived today. he's visiting in a few weeks and i'll supervise his build as he does it himself, then when it's verified working i'll ship it halfway across the country to his house.

AMD - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor

ASRock - A320M-DGS Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard

G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory

Seagate - Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

Rosewill - FBM-X1 MicroATX Mini Tower Case

Corsair - CXM (2015) 450W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply

not on the list, but added later: wireless network card (PCIe) and DVD+-RW drive

now you may be asking 'but mr. ambulance, what is the use of a computer without dedicated graphics hardware?' to which i would immediately reply 'AMD Vega graphics are gonna suffice for Fortnite in low quality mode til kid gets a job to buy his own video card'. also there's no Win10 license - we're waiting til September when he can utilize his new .edu account for summadem student M$ discounts - so for now i'm installing Ubuntu on it and hoping that Linux Vega graphics drivers are good enough at this point.

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Zitterbacke
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Re: super budget desktop PC build notes

Post by Zitterbacke » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:50 pm

That looks like a smashing system given the pricetag. I have now clue about the Vega and Linux, but if I scan through my Steam Library, there are a few AAA games for Linux available. So even if he is going to buy a card (there is always donating blood, but I can only see vampire games being bought of such), he might not need to switch to Windows at all, at least for a couple of games.
Playing now: BF4, Insurgency, Supreme Commander - Forged Alliance, Factorio - Bobs and Angels

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Re: super budget desktop PC build notes

Post by hitbyambulance » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:13 pm

i would be ok if he stuck with Linux, but i don't think that's gonna happen.

motherboard and DVD-ROM drive just arrived. this might be the cheapest mobo i've ever seen. 2 RAM slots?? hahaha oh dear. it doesn't appear to have the latest BIOS for Ryzen 2200G, so i am going through the rigamarole of writing ASScrack customer support to tell me i need a boot kit, which i can send on to AMD.

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gameoverman
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Re: super budget desktop PC build notes

Post by gameoverman » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:59 pm

I think you can still install and use Win 10 without activating it, you'll just get that nag message in the corner of the desktop. Also I don't think you can personalize the desktop.

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Re: super budget desktop PC build notes

Post by hitbyambulance » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:16 pm

gameoverman wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:59 pm
I think you can still install and use Win 10 without activating it, you'll just get that nag message in the corner of the desktop. Also I don't think you can personalize the desktop.
i totally forgot about that...


i sent in a customer service ticket to AMD requesting a BIOS boot kit. they wanted photos of the AMD processor (with the serial number clearly visible), the motherboard, a summary of the correspondence i've already had with ASRock and copies of the purchase receipts. all that documentation was sent today - more info: https://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-articl ... ootup.aspx

my son arrives in a week, so we're cutting this close - hopefully the stopgap CPU gets here by next Wednesday.

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gameoverman
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Re: super budget desktop PC build notes

Post by gameoverman » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:51 pm

I think it's pretty cool of AMD to do that, although I also think it's a bit misleading when they say their AM4 will accept CPUs until 2020 at least. You will have to jump through some hoops to take advantage of that, as you are now. Maybe one day in the future when they come up with a new generation, each motherboard or CPU might come with some kind of cheap mini CPU whose sole purpose is to fire up the motherboard and update the bios.

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Re: super budget desktop PC build notes

Post by hitbyambulance » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:03 pm

we started building last night. all went well until the system power up - greeted by the ASRock UEFI screen (where you press various buttons to access different UEFI settings or boot) and it did nothing beyond that. Tried all the USB ports, and the system accepted no responses for any keys. Got a PS/2 keyboard, and that did not work either. Keyboard lights did come on, and CTRL-ALT-DEL does reboot the system, but that's it. Cleared CMOS settings (by leaving the mobo battery out and the CMOS jumpers on 'clear' for two hours) - didn't help. i checked the CPU for bent pins, looked fine. tried only one RAM module in both RAM slots - no go.

contacted ASRock and they said send it back to newegg. great quality control guys, WTG

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Zitterbacke
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Re: super budget desktop PC build notes

Post by Zitterbacke » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:51 am

Bummer, hope you get it replaced rather quickly.
Playing now: BF4, Insurgency, Supreme Commander - Forged Alliance, Factorio - Bobs and Angels

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Re: super budget desktop PC build notes

Post by hitbyambulance » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:55 pm

set up the RMA and shipped the mobo back to newegg. will update this thread once i start building the machine again.

i sent an email to AMD asking if i could hold onto their bootkit processor for a while longer - no response yet.

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Re: super budget desktop PC build notes

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:45 am

I would consider dual boot just to give him the experience.

Personally I'd also use a unlicensed copy of Windows to do the install and configuration. You can format the partition afterwards if you're worried about licensing.

It's about teaching him, not about not paying Microsoft.

Love that you're using Linux in the meantime. Like speaking languages, the more OS's you know, the easier they all get.

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Re: super budget desktop PC build notes

Post by hitbyambulance » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:53 pm

he's going to complain about the dual-boot i'm sure - but yes, it is about learning. (and he likes the GNU Robots game, so there's that). my plan was to also install an unlicensed Win10, then he can acquire a license from his school for cheap.

newegg wrote to say the motherboard really was broken and they're now sending me a new one... should be able to get this built next week, g-d willing

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Re: super budget desktop PC build notes

Post by Zitterbacke » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:42 am

You can tell GRUB to boot to Windows (or any of the available selections for that matter) by default and only to Linux if he choose to interrupt the countdown. In which case he probably would never use it :)
Playing now: BF4, Insurgency, Supreme Commander - Forged Alliance, Factorio - Bobs and Angels

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Re: super budget desktop PC build notes

Post by hitbyambulance » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:42 pm

replacement mobo arrived last night, and yay, it works. time for assembly tonight.

also, if anyone is in need of a heatsink/fan for an AMD A-series processor, let me know. AMD didn't want it back when i returned the bootkit CPU to them.

UPDATE: machine is built, works well. i tried installing Windows 10 Education version, but stopped when it required an MS account. i assume the OS is installed on the machine already, so i can just install Ubuntu now (dual-boot)

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Re: super budget desktop PC build notes

Post by hitbyambulance » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:19 pm

the build went very nicely (aside from the broken motherboard) - easiest PC i've ever put together. didn't even have to do much for cable routing, and there was even plenty of room for the optical drive and platter HDD. all ports work - tho i didn't try the microphone or subwoofer outputs, i doubt they'll ever be used. i decided to go with Fedora since the AMD Raven graphics drivers for Ubuntu weren't quite there yet (but i'm sure they will be with 18.10). it's weird putting together a PC where there's nothing in the PCI-e 3.0 graphics card slot, but does have a card in the tiny PCI port (a cheap wi-fi module).

there's a small 'waa-waah' moment where this mid-tower case has a side window, but there is not a single LED inside to light up anything.

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