This article is the first in a series
following the 2018 build
A machine with a decent amount of power –
for use, at least in part,
in making music in her studio
As you’re probably aware, I; Sharron-Idol, sell myself as the tech-geek musician/entertainer;
which is what I am. As such I educate and entertain with music, and technology – such as this build – as well as other methods and subjects – such as internet marketing – to a lesser degree.
If you follow my personal feed on Facebook; you may have noticed that I’ve been talking about and planning for building a PC tower computer since around about Friday 13th April 2018. (Ominous for some.) That’s all a part of my entertainment, in addition to education and imparting knowledge.
I decided in April 2018 that I should seriously look at building my own tower PC again.
– But rather than renovating an old box that I got cheap on eBay or the like – as I’ve been doing at times in the past 8 years – I should instead do a totally new build with top-spec components.
I decided on using an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU, and, having looked at several Gigabyte and Asus motherboards, I eventually chose to use the Gigabyte AMD AB350-GAMING AM4 Socket ATX Motherboard. It’s a nice board, not too expensive, and, most of all, it’s roomy and easy to build on; which means I’ll have to be likewise with the case.
For the case I eventually chose to use an Aerocool 800 Black Midi Tower Gaming Case With Window: Again not too expensive, without being cheap crap, and large & roomy too.
I think I’ll be looking at using 16 gigabytes of good-quality DDR4 RAM. 32 gigs is overkill, and I’ll probably never use more than half that. Also I don’t want to spend an absolute fortune on this either.
What I’ll be doing is continually planning the design out in little written pieces on Facebook; all of which will include my choosing and changing my mind on the components that I’ll use, while also budgeting and adjusting finances accordingly.
As a bonus for your enlightenment; I’ll also be discussing computer parts, and more, in articles on Facebook;’ many of which will eventually possibly appear here on this website after editing into a suitable format.
Another thing I did was to set a build date – subject to planning completion and also subject to finances going as expected/planned: I’ll probably order the parts in the week of Monday 28th May 2018; and I should easily have the entire project completed by Monday 11th June 2018. This is a projected build-date and is speculative at time of going to press. I may well keep to it; but nothing is yet definite.
You may be asking “How does all this have anything to do with musicians/entertainers?”
A technically-informed musician/entertainer is far more self-reliant, and such a person knows a lot more of what’s going on. A technically-informed musician/entertainer doesn’t just sing and entertain, yet leave everything else to the roadies and sound/lighting engineers in blissful ignorance. A technically-informed musician/entertainer can join in and become one of the overall team; whether they are the star of the show or not.
– And guess what? Musicians/entertainers need not just an online presence and an online aspect to their business; they also need a computer or computers to get online with and to create music on or to help to create their music, as well as to operate the online aspect of their operations through.
By following the build on Facebook, as well as in more condensed form here on this website, and learning what parts go into building a computer and what they do + how they can help you. – You, as a musician/entertainer, or indeed a person of any other profession come to that, can become more tech-savvy as a result, and can also get some idea of how to put together your own custom-built machine that is tailored for your needs.
I’m not creating trained technicians here; I’m just giving those who aren’t in the know a little more idea of what goes on in the box that connects you to the internet. I will also hopefully give you at least some idea of how to create your own custom-built computer.
Yes I’m doing this as an educational exercise for those interested, as well as doing it for the purpose of my having a decent modern desktop computer.
Why do I want a new computer? I already have 4. – 2 of those are in constant use.
You see one of those 2 is used as a basic workstation that does light tasks. The other one is the central hub computer which is configured to be responsible for backing up and maintaining the ongoing backing up of, all of my terabytes of data.:
The workstation backs itself up to partition 3 of a 4 terabyte HDD. This website is backed up to Dropbox, as is some of the data from my setup in my studio, and the contents of my Dropbox account are synced together from my backup computer in the studio and the backups of my website in the cloud. The resultant mix is then copied in the cloud and on partition #2 of my 4TB HDD. Both the workstation and the backup computer keep up-to-date images of their C: drives on partition 3 of the 4TB HDD also, using Macrium Reflect to accomplish this. Windows File Backup also uses partition #3 to back up to. Partition #1 is a manual file store; to which I copy anything that I feel needs special attention and a dedicated backup.
The entire content of the 4TB HDD including the regularly automatically-updated C: drive images of both machines, plus the twice-daily backups of my website, + my manual backups, and the automated backups by Windows of the files on both machines, are then uploaded to Backblaze cloud backup service.
That way I have several backups of all of my data – from both my website, and from my local network – stored at several locations, locally and otherwise.
Too light for heavy work.
The backup computer can also act as a workstation just like the other workstation in the studio. (I sometimes watch TV on the other workstation while working on the backup computer.) – But it’s limited to office work and administration mainly. It has great sound, and can record vocal tracks… But it’s not really powerful enough for creating my music on:
Which is why I’m building the desktop tower; for that very purpose. I intend to add more components to the desktop tower as time goes by; but the parts I’ve listed are for the initial build. I can add a sound card, a graphics card, more RAM… at a later date if I feel the need to do so. The initial build will create an acceptable starting point which I can begin using for the heavier tasks straight away.
My initial build may appear to be a little basic; despite costing something approaching a grand in £UKP, and even more than that in $USD. – It’s only going to have a reasonable amount of the basics: A decent amount of RAM and a good processor on a reasonably good motherboard… And that can only be a good base from which to proceed and to build upon. I’ll be using the stock cooler that comes with the AMD Ryzen CPU to keep the heat from frying the processor… Because it’s an adequate cooler that is supplied packed with the component. – If it was substandard in any way then AMD wouldn’t include it. I’m not planning to overclock, so there’s no need for anything more.
The case-cooling will be handled by two 120mm fans: One of these with the eerie red glow of The Evil Dead is supplied with the case and fitted to the front panel. That will blow air into the case; as will the PSU, which will also heat it up before it does so. The CPU fan on the AMD cooler will intake this tepid mix and disperse its heat into the case on outflow. This is where the important rear-of-case exhaust-fan, which I plan to be festooned with white LEDs, comes into its own; sucking the hot air from the inside of the case and blowing it out into my studio: Causing it to be unbearably hot in the Summer, but preventing extreme cases of frostbite in the Winter.
Follow me and follow my build…
You may like to follow this build; either in real time or at a future date. You might find it interesting and/or informative; particularly if you’re planning to construct your first PC/computer. I do hope that you find it beneficial; even if only in terms of entertainment value. Most of all i hope that you acquire knowledge from it; even though these articles aren’t intending to train you to technician level.
Follow me why not? – Not just on social media such as Facebook and Twitter; but by joining my emailing list. – There’s some free music in it for you if you do: Music that I composed and created. You’ll get extra email containing useful information from time to time if you do; although I can’t guarantee you’ll turn out as an engineer or a famous musician/entertainer as a result.
Addition: ‘More on the above. – ‘Here’s the score as it stands right now: –
I have been working with a fairly small budget for the components I’m using/intending to use: While £800UKP – which my latest (Hitherto unpublished.) parts-list revision – has already exceeded budget if the truth be known, and is a fairly large amount of money; it doesn’t do justice to the build. I’m still a bit light on parts for a build utilising such a gargantuan processor…
Ideally, for this build, I require a budget of around £1600UKP. (Approx $2200USD.) I can, in time, achieve that – or something near that; but not yet, and not by or in June 2018.
The Next Generation
Also, if I build in June, I’ll have a huge task getting a hold of a 2nd generation Ryzen 2800… And, since the next generation Ryzens are already released – at least theorhetically – then why on earth not build using one of those?
The 2nd generation Ryzen processors are a little bit cheaper, and more powerful – utilising a 12nm fabrication technology, as opposed to 14nm in the case of first gen Ryzens. – That means more transistors and less power-requirement per chip.
There might well be teething-troubles of some sort; but probably not as bad as with the original chips…
…So I’m looking at September 2018: The 2nd generation Ryzens should be fairly readily available by then, and also by that time I should have been able to find more funds/funding for the project: Therefore I’ll be able to give it the full set of tech that I originally intended without making cuts in componentry to save the odd pound here and there.
Things certainly will take quite a while longer this way; but it’ll be worth the wait. – ‘Worth the wait both for me and for you: I’ll end up with a really good machine; several times better than if I’d built it in June, and you’ll be entertained with bonus geekery etc until then. – Everyone wins.
I have no specs…
Now I have no specs for the 2nd gen Ryzens; but I’m going to design the machine using the original Ryzen on a budget of £1500 GBP until such specs are available – at which point I’ll adjust the prospective build accordingly.
And so – for want of something less semi-meaningless to say – onward and upward: Forth we go… Fifth we come…
‘Latest Computer Build Parts List ( Revision 2.0 ) : –
That little lot comes to a total of around £950 GBP.
– That’s $1350 USD.
Notice I’ve swapped out the parts where I was using cheapo brands and replaced them with better quality.
I also added liquid cooling,
I changed the M.2 for a proper NVMe card, rather than a SATAIII card, (I’m definitely putting a go-faster sticker on that. 🙂 ).
I added proper wi-fi with a PCIe x 1 card – rather than a USB dongle.
I added a monitor because I don’t have any spares with a HDMI or DVI-D plug.
I also changed the mouse & keyboard to something I preferred.
All there is to do now is to get the finances in order, + pay off existing credit debts to a large degree… I want to use a card to finance this; but I want to take the balance down to zero before I use it to order the parts. I also want to get more funds in the petty cash just in case of emergency.
The other thing that will take time is for the second generation Ryzens to become available. If I use an AMD Ryzen 7 2800X Processor then it will make everything a little faster and more efficient. I should be able to run it on the same board.
You may have noticed that I’ve stuck with the Gigabyte AMD AB350-GAMING AM4 Socket ATX Motherboard. – It’s roomy, cheap, and cheerful. It utilities the B350 chipset rather than ther X370; but the X370 is really overkill for this project: I have no intention to overclock, I won’t be running a quad-SLI graphics card or 4+ monitors… So in effect an X370 is a waste of money in this case. – B350 it is. ‘Same motherboard stays.
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If you like my spiel, or my music, or both - even my geekiness; then I'd like you to come back some time. - In fact I'd like to stay in touch with you, and have you come back here to this site sometime.
The only way I can think of to achieve this is to ask you to leave me an email address on which I can contact you... So I'll tell you what I'll do: I'll give you almost 30 minutes of my self-composed mix in exchange for your email address. - 'Good deal yeah? - 'Great, we're singing from the same lyric-sheet here, as it were.
When you enter your email address below and click "Get It Now", you'll be taken to my "Thank You" page, where you can download your music, and click on links to more of my stuff if you're interested too.
Since I will then have your email address I'll send you email from time to time; like when I have something interesting to say, or when I release something, or even when I think there's something I've found that you'd be interested in.
You can unsubscribe from these emails at any time if you get fed up with getting them, and I won't complain about it. - And you won't hear from me again; unless you re-subscribe.
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'See you there.
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