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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It works and it's much faster than any HDD. Fortunately, I got it before the NAND shortage.
Still chugging along - a carryover from previous machines. Does all that I need it to. Linux drivers can be iffy sometimes.
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.
Cables are really short, which works out for my use case, but definitely won't for some others. Includes an SFX-to-ATX bracket.
Used it because I had it lying around, and it has 4 pins. Cheap, but works.