A few months ago, AMD released a new series of CPU processors, the Ryzen series. The first processors launched were the 8 Core, 16 thread Ryzen 7. Since then the, ecosystem around this family of processors has grown significantly. The hardware and software ecosystem has matured to the point where we can now start in recommend them as viable for everyday business use.
In this short article, we will outline the components required to make a reasonably fast and performance Ryzen build.
All the components listed below can be used in a mix and match manner, depending upon your individual needs.
In this article, we will list the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) this is the price AMD initially decided to sell the processors. They will be cheaper than this, but as always, the prices are set in US Dollars and then converted by the shops into UK Sterling. This has the effect of prices changing with the exchange rate. The choice of RRP means that you can see the relationship between the components and then decide from there.
Before we get started, there are a few things that need to be covered.
No components are guaranteed to run beyond their rated speed. This means the idea of overclocking is purely hit and miss. Statistically you might get lucky or unlucky and it work or not. There is no guarantee and nobody will take the parts back if it fails. The parts are only rated to the speed officially printed in the specification.
When building your own PC in a DIY manner, you are saving money, but spending time. You are also taking on all the risk that they system will work as intended. It might, but it might not. You are also assuming the warrantee risk and the downtime risk. This explains why commercial PCs are always more expensive than the cost of the parts, plus someone needs to find all the parts and build the system.
It is uncommon for parts to be Dead-on-Arrival (DoA) but it does happen. It is much more common for Electro Static Discharge (ESD) to zap your component and kill them there and then. To this end, it is important to always use an ESD protected environment, with the correct mats and wrist straps. None of the component part in these builds are cheap and losing one to ESD will cost a lot. You will be hard pressed to get a refund or exchange due to ESD damage.
In this article, we will be using Amazon.co.uk as the source for the parts, as this makes our life easy, where possible we also use the Prime options even though these might not be the cheapest. Our preference is to buy from Amazon, rather than a market place seller, when possible. There are many other online and off-line resellers who will gladly sell you the parts, some offer insurance against ESD and other breakages. If this is of value to you, use these other shops instead.
The first thing to choose, is the CPU or Processor. With the Ryzen 7 line, there are only three options to choose from.
Note: Only the 1700 comes with a heatsink and fan cooler (Wraith Aspire). The 1700X and 1800X must have an aftermarket heatsink and fan or water cooling system (some options will be included).
All the Ryzen 7 Processors have some things in common, 8 cores, 16 threads and 16MB of Level 3 cache. Where they differ is in the power needed (i.e. cooling requirements) and in the standard and boost speeds.
Currently, the 1700 is offering the best value. This is because you get all 8 cores, a good speed at a reasonable price, compared to speed boost of the other options.
There are a wide range of options for the Motherboard. However, when looking at a Processor of the cost of the Ryzen 7 Processors, it makes sense to match the performance, to that end, we recommend the middle of the road X370 boards. In truth, it is very hard to go wrong with any of the X370 motherboards. Remember, this is going to be a high-end system, so all the components will be high-end too. The options below are in alphabetical order:
Each of these motherboards will allow for a second Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) or Compute Card, such as an NVidia Tesla card. They will take the full 64GB of RAM (memory) and have a wide range of storage options. These are the high-end motherboards.
The storage options are now fairly straightforward, a fast M.2 card is required to the largest size that makes sense for your needs.
The decision here is purely based on Capacity and speed. The SM961 if very fast, the EVO a little faster and the PRO faster still. These are the most suitable for a high-end system.
One thing of interest with the Ryzen 7 Processors is that they are sensitive to memory speed. From a practical perspective, this means faster memory will give us generally better performance. The motherboards we’re looking at have the capability of utilizing faster and overclocked memory. Please see the note above about overclocking. With that in mind, we’re going to give it a whirl and go with a couple of safe options and a couple of take a chance, but they almost always work. Obviously, the faster overclocked memory will be more expensive.
All the graphics cards shown below are from NVidia, because currently, the AMD cards are not generally available or have long shipping delays. As and when this situation changes, the list will get updated.
The choice of which case to choose is perhaps the hardest part. Depending upon your aesthetic needs, you might want something fancy. The intent here is to provide options to make a fairly quiet, reliable PC. As we’re using a full sized ATX Motherboard, we need a case that can house that Motherboard. In general, we are going to assume that you don’t need the maximum amount of storage, since we’re making a workstation/PC system.
The Motherboards listed above can all run with two (or in some cases 3) graphics cards. This means, the power supply must have the connectors you need to run the Processor, Memory, Storage and Graphics Processor(s) needed. We like low noise when the system is idle, so the power supplies need to be quiet, or even better, silent when possible.
To this end, we have two sections to power supplies, the first for one graphics card and the second for two. Very few people run 3 graphics cards and only AMD support this and we don’t have any cards available currently.
Both the 1700X and 1800X need a heatsink and fan. This can be achieved with either an air based cooler or with a water based cooler. The water tends to perform better, but also can have a continual pump noise, as would be expected from running a pump and fans continually. The air based systems, are generally more quiet, but don’t perform quite as well. We’ve included both here. The preference would be for a Noctura air cooler, as it is just easier and quiet. The use of custom water loops and systems is beyond the scope of most DIY builders and is deliberately not included.
To be added as needed.
Please note that DVANA are not and will not be responsible for any of the components on this page and are not responsible for any system integration (build) issues which might occur. This information is provided to you, to simply the buying process for you. Any incompatibility issues are for you to resolve yourself, by thoroughly checking the compatibility of all the components before purchase.
We will be happy to answer questions you might have on a Ryzen 7 build via email.
DVANA provide a range of custom built systems, utilizing both AMD and Intel components. Each system is designed specifically for your exact needs, utilizing the best components for the job. Contact us today to get the best, more productive and cost effective solutions.