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Researching parts for a PC-build… just totally escalates because I don‘t want to spend a lot of money. Yet I want something that can last for a while.

For me this is a rather absurd conundrum. I‘ll probably procrastinate this by spending 100% project time on picking parts instead of building.

To make things easier, I don‘t have a timeframe within this has to be finished. So there‘s plenty of time available for researching parts.

Since people asked the obvious and sensible question:

“What‘s the goal?”
Here‘s a few thoughts…

MUST be able to run all of these operating systems natively:
- FreeBSD (12.1 or higher)
- Some Desktop Linux
- Windows 10
- macOS 10.15 (Catalina) Hackintosh

SHOULD be able to run these hypervisors (learning/evaluation)
- Proxmox
- ESXi

@luricaun @skyr @franzt

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Here‘s what I would *like* to do with that machine:

FreeBSD:
- Evaluate and test desktop environments
- Building packages (poudriere) faster than on my home server VMs (at least for testing)
- Use JohnTheRipper/(OCL)Hashcat/Vanity Onion name generation

Linux:
- Test and evaluate Linux distros and desktop environments
- evaluate KVM as Type2 Hypervisor for running Hackintosh guests
- some light gaming (1080p)
- Use JohnTheRipper/(OCL)Hashcat/Vanity Onion name generation

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Windows 10:
- some light gaming (1080p, probably mostly Steam)
- testing if the occasional Windows application

macOS/Hackintosh:
- All things macOS, which is what I‘ve been using since the 80s as a desktop/laptop/client environment.

What I don‘t care about:
- Brand names of components as long as it‘s a quality part
- looks
- RGB lighting/bling/custom cabling
- water cooling
- Having a separate storage device per OS to reduce problems/conflict potential with multiboot environments is fine

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…continued
- motherboard dimensions
- using proprietary/binary blob drivers
- amount of local storage (I do have a storage server available)
- WiFi (this machine will use Ethernet)
- various display sync capabilities (60Hz is fine)

What I do care about:
- Low noise levels
- 32GB of RAM (SHOULD be expandable to at least 64GB)
- Bluetooth (for use with a game controller in Windows/Linux, maybe macOS)
- At least one HDMI output on the dedicated graphics (for existing FullHD projector)

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What I already have:
- a basic case with 350W PSU, if I can use it it‘s OK, if I need something else to fit the parts, I‘ll get something else
- storage
- wired network
- sound
- projector (FullHD, for gaming)
- 17“ display (1280x1024), is enough for testing
- Mac keyboard/trackpad (for Hackintosh)
- tools, ESD safe workspace, experience working with computer hardware

What I don‘t have:
- OK-ish PC mouse/keyboard
- Game controller
- Windows 10 license

Caveat:
I never ever had a Windows PC.

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Trying to build a Quad-OS (Hackintosh, Win10, Linux, FreeBSD) PC is complex regarding parts compatibility and OS support

intel's artificial limitation to not-use ECC RAM in their i5/i7/i9 CPU lineup is enough reason to recheck AMDs offerings with Ryzen/Zen2.

I'm targeting at least 32GB and in my opinion it's not acceptable to use that amount without ECC in 2020. You wouldn't run a server without ECC RAM why should I accept that in a client machine?
But is even more troublesome…

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@MacLemon what is the goal? that ist currently the most important question.

@MacLemon I'm interested in your verdict (plus the original goals)!

@MacLemon worst thing nowadays: all parts are black. With black screws. I almost lost a screw between the parts and had to shake it out, because i couldn't see it anymore.

@Konfusius I don‘t mind the black and I had to shake out screws from time to time on many computers. No matter what make, model or colour they were.
For me it‘s just part of occasionally being clumsy. And yes, one actually can shake a Mac Pro cheesegrater if need be. :-)

@MacLemon I'd be also interested in goals and what you came up with.

On a different note: I feel you.

@MacLemon
Good Planning (picking parts) is not wasted time 😁 at the very least it's the most fun part.

@MacLemon I don't know how deep you are in this topic...
- Bluetooth is mostly done with an USB dongle
- Recent dedicated gpus have usually 3 DisplayPort and one HDMI sockets.
DP can be converted to HDMI or DVI with an passive Adapter/Cable
- Proxmox is a debian and runs on nearly everything

I think your hardest constraint is the Hackintosh

@joman How deep… hmm, I‘ve never built a non-server PC before but I do have decades of experience working with computer hardware.

Bluetooth via USB dongle, internal header, or M.2 card, either is fine for me. Compatibility is a question of chipset.

Having one HDMI port on the dedicated graphics is purely a convenience factor. I‘m aware of the conversion possibilities between HDMI/DVI-D/DP. I don‘t expect problems with this signal path.

I‘m aware Proxmox is Debian. Don‘t know about its

@joman capabilities to map and route PCI devices, USB controllers or even just single ports into VMs. Nothing mission critical, just an area of interest.

I also do expect the Hackintosh part to be complex. Especially since macOS makes using AMD graphics easy opposed to nVidia.
I expect Linux to have better support for nVidia though.

FreeBSD is able to use intel iGPU and nVidia via Linux/kMod. Dunno about support for Ryzen (Zen2 architecture) iGPU graphics.

@MacLemon The "new" Linux amdgpu driver is much better than the old Radeon drivers. I don't think that there is a big difference between those und Nouveau.
The proprietary Nvidia driver works better with the hardware, but it is still a big hazzle with kernel and Xorg

@MacLemon amdgpu was also ported to freeBSD, maybe you are lucky:
wiki.freebsd.org/Graphics/AMD-

CPU: AMD CPUs are currently more powerful than Intel CPUs while still being cheaper ;)

@MacLemon @joman the Linux amd drivers are certainly better than the Nvidia ones. They are probably only slightly worse than the proprietary ones from Nvidia but without the hassle

@sandzwerg What is the metric you use to measure “better” and to which Linux Distro does that apply? @joman

@MacLemon @joman AMDs drivers are open source by default and are part of the kernel. So it should work well for all distributions but for newer hardware you might need a distribution with a relatively current kernel. Personally I use AMD and Fedora since years without bigger issues including for gaming.

@MacLemon Depending how old the PSU is, I would consider to replace it. The case should be reusable. Modern graphic cards are smaller than 4 years ago and the ATX standard did not encounter larger changes

@joman I don‘t expect a 350W PSU to be sufficient anyway.
I need to check if the case could fit an ATX board. (It may be μATX only.)

@MacLemon Can't really give you a complete setup with everything matching your demands. In fact I only have a recommendation for fans. I love Noctua fans and would always go for those. Absolutely genius even though they are expensive. I have a system with Noctua chassis fans and it's barely noticeable.

In case you haven't heard of those and if interested check them out at: noctua.at/

@luricaun I know that brown, for sure. I'm running a Noctua fan on my printer (a black one though).
I've also had quite a good experience with the stock Nanoxia case fans bundled with the Deep Silence case of my Homelab Server. 2x 120mm intake, 1 140mm exhaust.
I've also heard good things about Fractal Design fans being on the silent side.

TIL: Noctua is from Austria, wasn't aware of that piece of trivia.

@MacLemon I have seen two people build things based on the recommendation from heise heise.de/ct/artikel/Der-optima might fit your needs as well

@sandzwerg Thanks for pointing me to that article, hadn't though of consulting the obvious sources yet. :-)

@MacLemon there's also an "ideal gaming pc" article in some forums that might give you some hints: computerbase.de/forum/threads/
It's of course aimed at Windows users but might still be useful

@MacLemon I have a spare pc I'll sell ya. Hope shipping isn't too much. I can part it out

@Tlacaelel Thanks, but I'm not really looking to buy used. Also I highly doubt it will match my complex compatibility requirements.

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