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Build

fn.sable()

by fn230

25
26 Comments

Details

Date Published

Sept. 7, 2017

Date Built

Sept. 6, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

3.2 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.176 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

5.4 GHz

Description

Update (12/18/2017): Updated parts list. Added a 320 GB WD hard drive for extra storage, and installed Fedora 27 across the SSD and hard drive as an LVM.


Update (10/30/2017): Upgraded memory from 8 GB to 12 GB, but had to downclock memory to 2666. Somewhere along the line, I also made one last ditch effort to resurrect the old board and succeeded, so stay tuned, because I have some weird plans for it.


Update (9/30/2017): Swapped motherboard for the ASRock AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac. Sleep bug disappeared. I'm chalking this up to a BIOS problem on the old board.


Update (9/22/2017): Motherboard died, RIP.


Update (9/21/2017): Set the RAM back down to 2933 due to stability issues. I never quite figured out what was causing the sleep bug on Fedora, but it seems that Xubuntu 17.04 doesn't exhibit any issues. Weird.


Update (9/18/2017): Pushed the RAM up to 3200. For some reason, it appears that they can only achieve this speed on stock voltages when I have the DIMMs inserted one way - if I switch them, they won't pass 2933. I'm confused by this. Also still haven't got the sleep bug fixed.


Old Sylvie - now a nine year old machine - was pretty long in the tooth even from day one. I wanted something with more multitasking power, so I could take full advantage of my three monitors. Had to be good at CPU-bound games as well, in particular Cities: Skylines. So I present to you Sable, the replacement for Sylvie. Far from being made of the best deals, but I don't mind that terribly. And what's this - an fn230 build that's not an old pile of junk? Hell hath frozen over!

Part choices

As is increasingly common these days, Sable is a "Christmas tree" build with an AMD CPU and Nvidia GPU.

The R5 1600 was a no-brainer for me, outgunning its Intel rivals by a long shot in multitasking. Sure, it's a bit worse at gaming, but it can game and do other things all at once, which is more important to me. The motherboard is also gutsier than what I had originally planned on, but it wasn't much pricier either, so I decided to just go for it. Never know when that extra I/O will come in handy.

While CPU power was a major consideration in this build, the same can't be said of GPU power. Call me a heathen, but I'm okay with frames as low as 20 FPS. So the venerable SuperClocked 750 Ti, a carryover from early versions of Sylvie, makes its triumphant return. Remember kids, it's not bottlenecking if it performs well enough for you.

Not much RAM going on here - that's because the things I do aren't very heavy on memory. I've managed to make do with 4 GB of RAM for years, so I figured that 8 GB would suffice. A similar story goes for storage, with the lone 120 GB SSD being recycled from a laptop.

I'm a Linux person, so I selected Fedora 26 for the OS, reasoning in part that the newer kernel version would play more nicely with the fancy new Ryzen platform.

The build

I've built ITX a couple of times before, but that was always with SoC boards and "micro" cases. So Sable is my first "traditional" ITX build. I originally considered using a Silverstone Sugo for the case, but ended up using the Cooler Master Elite 110 instead. Not much to speak of - the case is very cramped, and I now feel entirely justified in having selected a fully modular SFX PSU. If you're considering the E110 for your build, I highly encourage going this route as well.

In hindsight, I should've inserted the cables into the motherboard before putting the motherboard into the case. I ended up pushing the 24-pin connector all the way down with a screwdriver, being very careful not to slip and hit the motherboard. Lesson learned. I also realized the following day that I'd installed the I/O shield incorrectly and had to disassemble the computer to bend the metal tabs back. The tab covering the USB-C port was especially problematic and I ended up using pliers to bring it back almost 180 degrees for clearance.

After powering the computer on and checking that all was well, I delved into the BIOS and changed the fan profile to "Quiet". Also overclocked the memory from 2400 to 2933 since I could, and haven't had any problems with it yet.

Thoughts

From the look of things, Sable accomplishes everything that I set out to achieve. The R5 1600 can run Cities: Skylines with headroom to spare, leaving the other two monitors free for other tasks - exactly the kind of multitasking power I was aiming for. With this, I think I'm hopefully set for at least another 5 years without further upgrades.

There's a bit of a bug going on right now where the system takes a slight performance hit after waking from sleep, but is otherwise apparently fine. Rebooting clears the problem right up. My guess is either a GPU driver issue or a kernel bug - I'll have to check.

Part Reviews

CPU

Fantastic value CPU, even though I definitely didn't get it for the best price. Cities: Skylines, a virtual machine, Discord, and some browser windows running all at once only put it at 50% load. With so much power to spare, my multiple monitor setup can be leveraged to the fullest.

Motherboard

Got this as a replacement for the Biostar X370GTN. Looks a bit more toughly-built than the Biostar and has a full 8-pin connector for the CPU auxiliary cable. The I/O shield is of good quality but looks pretty gaudy, and the audio outputs are marked properly.

Does its job so far, no complaints... yet.

Storage

It works and it's much faster than any HDD. Fortunately, I got it before the NAND shortage.

Video Card

Still chugging along - a carryover from previous machines. Does all that I need it to. Linux drivers can be iffy sometimes.

Case

Cheap and small. No cable management, but that's to be expected for an ITX case. Plastic feet, USB ports are upside down, included front fan is 3-pin only. Power LED is bright, so heads up if you keep this in your bedroom or want to use it for an HTPC.

Not complaining for this price point, and you can't get much smaller than this without sacking a GPU.

Power Supply

Cables are really short, which works out for my use case, but definitely won't for some others. Includes an SFX-to-ATX bracket.

Case Fan

Used it because I had it lying around, and it has 4 pins. Cheap, but works.

Comments Sorted by:

tomtomj2 9 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

Inb4 "why the 750 Ti when there's blah blah blah" comments lol

Looks great, you have Ryzen to the top now! +1

Speaking of Sables, you're now part of the Ford Family!

I'm just going to leave now, too many puns :P

fn230 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Aaaa, the pun. And yeah, the 750 Ti still does its job for me - no need to replace it yet. Thank you! :D

HamFather 5 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

Been a long time fan of your scrapyard builds, I even have your profile page bookmarked to stay updated on all the latest ancient mashups! Hope you're enjoying parts from this decade, great job btw, and I'll agree, the 750 Ti still kicks ***! Looking forward to see more ancient build from that parts graveyard of yours! +1

fn230 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Thanks for the upvote, and I'm enjoying it greatly so far. Let's hope it lasts me a good few years or so. :D

Cicero_ 4 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

Shoulda got a 460 smh

fn230 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Good grief, man. Hahaha. :P

Drente 2 points 17 months ago

You shouldn't start your description with that kind of attitude, even if someone asks about that.

fn230 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Was a bit grouchy when I wrote it, edited and thanks for the heads-up.

FlyinToasteronie 2 points 17 months ago

What a beautiful build! Awesome description and pictures!

fn230 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Thank you, I'm glad you appreciate it.

Eltech 20 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

I enjoyed your description very much. You also have a great computer for your intended purpose. Well done, despite the hicups you had through the process. It should serve you well for many years.

I am curious about your experience with City: Skylines with your processor and GTX 750 Ti... what graphic settings and what is the FPS range you maintain? I am certain your CPU has a lot of headroom with its usage. Likewise with what usage it is for your GTX 750 Ti as I haven't touched my GTX 750 Ti for a while. I haven't poked the game yet, but will soon when I have more time.

Again, you have a great build and thank you for sharing all the good and the minor difficulties that occured. Including the I/O shield incident, though I am sorry you had to pull the metal tabs with pilers. You have my one and support.

fn230 submitter 7 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

Thank you, I usually try to put some effort into my descriptions. Same as always here.

For Cities: Skylines, I've left the graphical settings untouched (i.e. they're at their defaults), and I'll have to check my FPS range - I can get back to you on that later, if you want. The lazy answer for FPS is that it's "good enough." It probably helps that my monitors are very low-resolution (1280x1024).

GPU utilization on Sylvie never came close to maxing out while playing Cities: Skylines, and I can't imagine that the situation has changed, seeing that it's the same GPU. I'll keep an eye on that the next time I fire up the game.

Eltech 20 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

Thank you, I usually try to put some effort into my descriptions. Same as always here.

You are most welcome.

For Cities: Skylines, I've left the graphical settings untouched (i.e. they're at their defaults), and I'll have to check my FPS range - I can get back to you on that later, if you want. The lazy answer for FPS is that it's "good enough." It probably helps that my monitors are very low-resolution (1280x1024).

No worries, as long it's meeting to your statisfactory which is what matters most. No rush nor have to figure it out either. ;)

GPU utilization on Sylvie never came close to maxing out while playing Cities: Skylines, and I can't imagine that the situation has changed, seeing that it's the same GPU. I'll keep an eye on that the next time I fire up the game.

Aha, and thanks! More curious how it's doing so far with that game. Even if it's 720p or 1280x1024. Of course, no hurry. Enjoy fn!

fn230 submitter 7 Builds 2 points 16 months ago

Alright, finally have numbers, about a month later. I'm pulling 25-ish FPS minimum, going as high as 60 FPS, at 1280x1024. Usually I'm pulling around 40-55. The game sometimes seems to cap itself at 30 FPS.

bengy22 4 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

After building in a Elite 110 with a non-modular atx psu i can say wouldn't be a deal breaker but if you have the budget get at least a modular psu.

fn230 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

This is fair, not everyone's going to have the budget for a modular SFX.

Bronstet 4 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

Nice kitbashed PC. I got criticized for pairing GTX 1080 with an AMD 8350 FX CPU and here we have the reverse with a 750Ti paired with a Ryzen 5 1600. I would go a little higher on the graphics card myself but as you say, it boils down to what the individual user does with their PC.

If I may I would also recommend shooting for 30 FPS minimum as that looks like normal speed to the human eye.

fn230 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Thanks. And yeah, all depends on the user and the requirements.

Also depends on the game - if it's turn based, you can go however low on FPS and not really hurt anything playability-wise, though it may look bad visually.

Fraglepuss 2 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

Great build, I love that the gpu is the bottle neck, best way round

fn230 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Nah, not a bottleneck. It's good enough for my use case and achieves the performance I need. I'm sure it wouldn't be enough for some people, but it's fine for me.

Yognaught_Ace 2 Builds 2 points 15 months ago

lol when your motherboard only lasts 17 days but really though, that suck, sorry that happend to you.

Still a nice build though +1

fn230 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

It happens. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Yognaught_Ace 2 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

so true, can't tell you how much of my stuff that has just randomly broken, lol

tymf1st 2 points 15 months ago

how is the memory? after your over clock?

fn230 submitter 7 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Doing OK at 2666. Eventually, I'll probably take another crack at pushing it up to 2933 or 3200. But at the moment, it works and it's stable, and I'd rather keep it that way for the time being.

tymf1st 1 point 15 months ago

Ok thx for your input. Ill take that into account for my build