Diesen Artikel zum Zusammenbau meines neuen PCs hatte ich im Dezember 2019 ursprünglich auf der englischsprachigen Plattform PCPartPicker veröffentlicht. Er ist daher auf Englisch verfasst.

Most parts of my new desktop PC based on AMD Ryzen 3700X and Radeon 5700XT

New PC in Fractal Design case

Close-up look into new PC

Corsair RGB K70 MK.2 Low Profile Rapidfire

Finalmouse Starlight ST-12

I replaced my 10 year old Dell Latitude E6400 notebook with a new desktop system. I mainly use Gentoo Linux for daily stuff like web surfing, programming, remote system administration. Yes, my good old notebook was and is still good enough for these tasks....

However, a few months ago I tried out a cloud gaming platform and played DOOM (2016) for the first time - and was blown away by the graphics and speed! I have to admit that the last time I played computer games is more than 15 years ago, playing the original Doom games, QuakeWorld, etc. at LAN parties. Anyway, finishing Doom on this cloud service was great, but because of the lag, the relatively high monthly costs (at that time), my desire to play games again more regulary and to replace my old notebook anyway, I decided to build a new desktop computer (instead of getting a new notebook as originally planned).

My build is based on a recent recommendation by german computer magazine c't (Ryzen Allrounder 2020) but I changed some components:

  • CPU: Ryzen 3700X instead of Ryzen 3600: Probably the 3600 would be fast enough for my use cases, but I don't plan to upgrade again during the next 5-10 years, so I guess 2 more cores won't hurt ...
  • CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 5 Rev. B instead of Alpenföhn Ben Nevis Advanced, because I got the Scythe for only 10 bucks more and even though it might be oversized for a 65W CPU, it looks great, is widely recommended by people and seems to be a future proof choice - just in case I'll upgrade to an even more powerful CPU.
  • Video Card: Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 5700 XT instead of recommended Nvidia and Powercolor cards, since AMD has better Linux support and the Sapphire Nitro+ is said to be the best 5700 XT custom design according to several other online sources.
  • Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury 32GB instead of Crucial 16GB RAM, simply because the recommended Crucial RAM was not available at the time of assembly. Both run at DDR4-3200 speed in compliance with JEDEC specifications and don't need overclocking settings or higher voltage to reach this speed (according to the german c't magazine, using "OC RAM" and overclocking bios settings can have several undocumented side effects). 32GB instead of 16GB for the same reason as the CPU upgrade. In comparison HyperX has quite a price premium, but looks way better! And Crucial wasn't available anyway.
  • Storage: Mushkin Pilot-E 2 TB instead of Kingston A2000 1TB because I needed a bit more space and don't want to install hard drives in this build. Case: Fractal Design Define Mini C TG instead of be quiet! Pure Base 600, because I wanted a more compact case and this one really looks sexy!

I also added a third case fan to support the two fans which where included with the case. The two original fans are now blowing in cool air from the front and the added NoiseBlocker NB-eLoop is blowing the hot air out in the back.

Unfortunately I have no LAN cables in my apartment. I tried PowerLAN but the adapters made some strange noises in standby mode and both transfer rate and ping where slower than using a 802.11ac wifi adapter, >so I decided for the Netgear A6210, which also works in Linux.

The monitor was a difficult choice. I wanted an 27" IPS panel type with WQHD resolution which has good color calibration, is OK for casual gaming and doesn't cost a fortune. I came to the conclusion that the Acer XV272U would be a good choice - and my first impression is positive.

For audio I use the fantastic Bose Quietcomfort QC35 bluetooth headset. However, using the integrated microphone degrades audio output quality a lot (different bluetooth profile), therefore I combined it with a cheap standalone USB microphone (Tonor).

Update February 2020: I finally found a keyboard to match my taste. Being a former notebook user, I really wanted a low profile keyboard. And I wanted a mechanical keyboard. Given these specs, there is not much choice on the market. I tried the "Sharkoon Puremaster RGB" and the "Corsair RGB K70 MK.2 Low Profile Rapidfire" and the latter one - even though quite expensive - convinced me and will be kept!

Update March 2020: I added another Mushkin Pilot-E 2 TB M.2-2280 NVME SSD. 2 TB of space were just a bit too tight for my dual-boot Linux / Windows setup.

Update May 2020: I replaced the USB WIFI dongle Netgear A6210 with the standalone AVM FRITZ!Repeater 3000, which I use in so-called WLAN-Bridge mode. This means I connect my computer build to the repeater device via ethernet, while the repeater itself is connected via wifi to the main router. I get a connection speed of (gross) 1300mbit/s between router and repeater, resulting in a real life speed of about (net) 400mbit/s. I chosed such a pricey and complicated setup because it turned out that the USB dongle Netgear A6210 does not work as well as expected in Linux (in Windows it works fine). I gave up my attempts to get this running at high speed and researched for alternative USB dongles, but came to the conclusion, that there is no 802.11ac 5Ghz high speed USB dongle which will run without problems in my Windows/Linux dual boot setup at this point of time. It seems this new setup finally solved my connection speed problems. Additionally, I managed to set up hardware encryption using the Mushkin Pilot-E's OPAL capability and the tools provided by Sedutil.com

Update April 2021: I bought a simple USB Condenser Microphone (TONOR TC30) to combine it with my bluetooth headphones (Bose Quiet Comfort QC35), because using the built-in microphone of the Bose headphones will force a change of the bluetooth connection to a low-quality 'phone audio' profile and ruin the listening experience. This combination works quite well.

Update June 2021: This build still works without problem. And I finally got the last missing piece to complete my setup: the new Starlight-12 mouse by finalmouse. I was happy to get one of the first batch, which was limited to only 10.000 pieces. This mouse does not only look great, it also has a great small size for me as a fingertip grip user. Premium mice such as Logitech G Pro X Wireless or Razer Viper Ultimate Wireless were just too big for my style. Unfortunately it is very difficult to get this mouse. But they announced that there will be more batches in the future.