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

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

- 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

- 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

- 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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- 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

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 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:

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.)

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