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Computers & Hardware => PC Hardware => Topic started by: broadstairs on September 13, 2020, 05:37:38 PM

Title: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: broadstairs on September 13, 2020, 05:37:38 PM
Anyone here used a UK supplier for a custom built PC? I am thinking of updating my current desktop and have looked at component prices but seems like they have gone up somewhat! The issue I have with custom build suppliers I've found so far is they all want to supply an OS and I don't want that since I run Linux. I'm looking at another AMD processor probably a Ryzen 5 and either integrated graphics or an AMD card (wont touch Nvidia with the proverbial barge pole!).

So has anyone here had successful dealings with any UK company, either custom build or component supplier (as I am quite capable of building it myself if required)?

Stuart
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: vic0239 on September 13, 2020, 06:02:38 PM
Have you looked at Ebuyer (https://www.ebuyer.com/)? I've bought a few components from them recently including an Intel NUC (which came sans OS), memory etc. They do next day delivery and their returns service is very easy to use (and works). I also found their customer service responsive.

Andy.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: licquorice on September 13, 2020, 06:19:20 PM
Second that, I've always used Ebuyer to build PCs. Get a bare bones system as a starter and add whatever you need.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: petef on September 13, 2020, 06:30:44 PM
Have a look at PC Specialist (https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/amd-computers/). I have just bought a second computer from them. This was entry entry level. The gaming machine I bought four years ago is still going strong though I upgraded the HDD to a bigger hybrid a little while back.

They have a good range of configuration options including no OS (saving ~£70).

Pete
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: parkdale on September 13, 2020, 07:16:47 PM
www.Novatech.co.uk will supply hardware with or without a Windows license, prices are pretty keen as well :fingers:
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: banger on September 13, 2020, 09:29:11 PM
I've gone for novatech barebones twice. Reasonably priced my first lasted 11 years and is still going.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: broadstairs on September 13, 2020, 10:39:22 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions.

The problem with all these is that its not a true custom build, they all start from a base and so far none of them allow for an AMD processor with integrated graphics, some don't allow for mid or full towers either. None of the barebones are suitable starting places either. I do have fairly specific requirements as I need space for 5 3.5 HDDs and 1 DVD writer internally, plus firewire would be good as I need that to connect one video camera in order to edit some old videos. Not bothered about high end graphics as I never play games.

I'm starting to think I need to go the complete self build route.

Stuart
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on September 13, 2020, 10:47:17 PM
Sounds like you wont have much choice but to build yourself with such specific requirements.  Even finding a case that can fit an optical drive can be a chore these days.  I wanted one myself but settled for running it externally over USB instead as I hated the cases I could find with one.

Firewire is almost certainly a no-go without an addon card, its an outdated technology.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: broadstairs on September 13, 2020, 10:50:56 PM
I can find cases which will work and have 5.25 bay(s) but not as part of most of the customised builds and those which do don't have CPUs with integrated graphics!

Stuart
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Ronski on September 14, 2020, 10:27:27 AM
My own PCs I've always self built, much better choice and you can take advantage of the much better hardware warranty, most PC builders only offer one year on hardware, subsequent years are labour only, but a lot of hardware comes with much longer warranties.

I've used all the above mentioned companies, along with many others, this website is an excellent resource for spec-ing a system and checking compatibility.

https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/

Just double check prices separately as it does occasionally get it wrong.

I may also have a firewire card you can have, although I suspect it may be PCI and therefore not compatible with recent motherboards, I'll have look if I remember when I get home.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: parkdale on September 14, 2020, 10:48:24 AM
https://www.awd-it.co.uk/amd-ryzen-5-3400g-quad-core-4.2ghz-vega-11-graphics-asus-a320m-k-motherboard-cpu-bundle.html £
https://www.awd-it.co.uk/amd-ryzen-3-3200g-quad-core-4.0ghz-vega-8-graphics-asus-rog-strix-b550-e-gaming-motherboard-cpu-bundle.html £££ but more sata sockets

I have this case https://www.novatech.co.uk/products/phanteks-enthoo-pro-m-tempered-glass-mid-tower/ph-es515ptg_swt.html it can hold 5x 3.5" hd plus 2x ssd/2.5" hd and 1x 5.25 DVD drive
case is great to work on as it all modular, easy to keep clean.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: broadstairs on September 14, 2020, 10:52:39 AM
Thanks Ronski but I do have a couple of Firewire cards but as you say they are PCI  :( my current m/b has it on anyway ;).

I'll take a look at that stuff Parkdale - thanks.

Stuart
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: parkdale on September 14, 2020, 11:05:24 AM
The case can hold 11 hd in total but I think you would struggle to get it off the floor ;D
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on September 14, 2020, 07:08:28 PM
https://www.awd-it.co.uk/amd-ryzen-5-3400g-quad-core-4.2ghz-vega-11-graphics-asus-a320m-k-motherboard-cpu-bundle.html £
https://www.awd-it.co.uk/amd-ryzen-3-3200g-quad-core-4.0ghz-vega-8-graphics-asus-rog-strix-b550-e-gaming-motherboard-cpu-bundle.html £££ but more sata sockets

I have this case https://www.novatech.co.uk/products/phanteks-enthoo-pro-m-tempered-glass-mid-tower/ph-es515ptg_swt.html it can hold 5x 3.5" hd plus 2x ssd/2.5" hd and 1x 5.25 DVD drive
case is great to work on as it all modular, easy to keep clean.

Seems there's a full tower version with even more drive bays which strangely is cheaper:
https://www.ebuyer.com/819527-phanteks-enthoo-pro-mid-tower-case-with-window-ph-es614p-bk

The midi can also be found for less (£106.09 inc shipping):
https://www.overclockers.co.uk/phanteks-enthoo-pro-m-glass-midi-tower-case-black-ca-063-pt.html
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: broadstairs on October 01, 2020, 09:35:52 AM
Well finally I've got there, the build is complete and I'm very happy with it - and its fast! The hardware I got was:-

Corsair Carbide Series 200R ATX Case Black w/ USB 3.0
MSI AMD Ryzen B450-A PRO MAX AM4 ATX Motherboard
AMD Ryzen 5 3400G AM4 Processor with Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics including AMD cooler (a PWM mode fan)
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz C16 Memory Kit - Black (might add another 16GB later)
Kingston 250GB A2000 M2 NVMe SSD
StarTech 120x25mm Computer Case Fan with PWM Pulse Width Modulation Connector x2
Startech 2 Port Pci Express Sata 6 Gbps Esata Controller Card - Dual Port Pcie Sata Iii Card (needed as the SSD disables 2 of the Sata ports on MB)
Adata XPG CORE REACTOR 650W Modular 80+ Gold PSU

In the end I used EBuyer for all of this.

I used my existing 4 SATA HDDs and SATA DVD/RW. The whole thing runs quite quiet as well as fast. I have yet to correctly identify the sensor ports but looks like the processor runs around 28įC at idle, I've yet to wind it up doing video editing etc but so far I'm happy with the PWM fans as they are managed in auto mode by the motherboard and currently are very quiet. I have the system installed on the SSD (Linux openSUSE Tumbleweed) and the home directory etc on one of the HDDs.

Stuart
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Ronski on October 01, 2020, 10:20:46 AM
Very nice, the Ryzen chips are very impressive, I recently built a 3900X system, that coupled with my i7-5930K @4.5Ghz really chews through H265 transcoding.

Have you checked the memory and infinity fabric are running at the correct speeds? You want the IF at half the memory speed, so if the memory is running at effective speed of 3200 then the IF needs to be 1600, otherwise memory latency is really bad - it's never that good on Ryzen anyway.

I've got mine running at 3800/1900 with much tighter memory timings and GDM disabled which made a huge difference from how it was when I built it.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Chrysalis on October 01, 2020, 10:47:11 AM
scan - use DPD
overclockers uk, - use DPD, free next day for forum members.
ebuyer - use yodel
amazon - use amazon logistics, free next day for prime members, best returns policy
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: broadstairs on October 01, 2020, 10:58:37 AM
scan - use DPD
overclockers uk, - use DPD, free next day for forum members.
ebuyer - use yodel
amazon - use amazon logistics, free next day for prime members, best returns policy

Yes I'm an Amazon Prime member but I was not confident of getting all that I wanted from them but EBuyer had it all at competitive prices but of course I had to pay delivery, still the main stuff came on a Saturday morning even though it was scheduled for the Monday.

Stuart
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Chrysalis on October 01, 2020, 12:39:32 PM
For some reason right now amazon have massive stock issues, had to order new UPS from ebuyer.  Also a mini UPS for modem as well.  They sent both separately in same dispatch, and they with 2 different yodel couriers.  The first had ancient tracking a 9am to 7pm deal but luckily it came early.  The second has a driver tracker but no 2 hour window given.  Given speed of deliveries I think it will be in about 2 hours.

Another site I forgot to mention is ccl.

Yesterday when my current UPS did battery test the 6 second test drained about 40% of battery.  I did a 2nd manual test which drained another 15%.  I wanted a newer UPS anyway so used that as excuse to replace it, instead of new battery.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Weaver on October 01, 2020, 01:24:23 PM
Nice.  :)
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on October 02, 2020, 08:32:23 AM
For some reason right now amazon have massive stock issues, had to order new UPS from ebuyer.  Also a mini UPS for modem as well.  They sent both separately in same dispatch, and they with 2 different yodel couriers.  The first had ancient tracking a 9am to 7pm deal but luckily it came early.  The second has a driver tracker but no 2 hour window given.  Given speed of deliveries I think it will be in about 2 hours.

Another site I forgot to mention is ccl.

Yesterday when my current UPS did battery test the 6 second test drained about 40% of battery.  I did a 2nd manual test which drained another 15%.  I wanted a newer UPS anyway so used that as excuse to replace it, instead of new battery.

I've never seen a UPS show more than 60% when it actually kicks in. :/  They all suck?

Everything I've read suggests battery tests are kinda a bad idea as these batteries survive longer if they're kept at 100%.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Weaver on October 02, 2020, 09:11:13 AM
[I donít intend to hijack this thread, so we should split it off if necessary.]

Is it possible to get a small box that will take a top-end AMD Ryzen CPU ? Something like an ultra high powered Raspberry Pi, with just some very fast RAM and an SSD in it?

I suspect that this is self-contradictory nonsense.  ???  [A bit like the fool who wrote a letter to us when I worked at Psion complaining that our handheld 8-bit ĎOrganiser (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psion_Organiser)í computer was no good because it didnít fit in his pocket and also it needed a built-in printer that could print on A4 paper.]
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: broadstairs on October 02, 2020, 09:23:15 AM
Is it possible to get a small box that will take a top-end AMD Ryzen CPU ? Something like an ultra high powered Raspberry Pi, with just some very fast RAM and an SSD in it?

Frankly I doubt it as the cooling  and power requirements would not allow it to fit, however there are small ATX motherboards and smaller boxes than I've used. All the barebones PCs I've seen are intel based.

Stuart
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: parkdale on October 02, 2020, 10:58:22 AM
AMD make IOT devices for industrial applications https://www.amd.com/en/products/embedded-minipc-solutions

But can be quite pricey! https://hackaday.com/2019/12/24/amd-introduces-new-ryzen-mini-pcs-to-challenge-intel/ $250 :-X not really a challenger for PI's starting at $50
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on October 02, 2020, 03:46:49 PM
[I donít intend to hijack this thread, so we should split it off if necessary.]

Is it possible to get a small box that will take a top-end AMD Ryzen CPU ? Something like an ultra high powered Raspberry Pi, with just some very fast RAM and an SSD in it?

I suspect that this is self-contradictory nonsense.  ???  [A bit like the fool who wrote a letter to us when I worked at Psion complaining that our handheld 8-bit ĎOrganiser (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psion_Organiser)í computer was no good because it didnít fit in his pocket and also it needed a built-in printer that could print on A4 paper.]

A mid-range CPU will need a cooler about as big as the RPi itself, a high-end needs a cooler the size of a small car.  ;)  (possibly a slight exaggeration)

I think my pfSense box is one of the smallest fairly powerful compact PCs you can get, and its slower than a Ryzen 3 2200U (so very low-end by todays standard, but not super low-end) and hits 94C if I max out the CPU.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Weaver on October 02, 2020, 05:08:36 PM
Reading some of the blurb on the AMD website, one of their PRO processors has a mere 35W TDP which is pretty impressive. Iíd like to read up on the new Zen 3 microarchitecture, rumours sound interesting, but no detail. Agner Fogís write up on the earlier RyZen processors is very impressive, especially regarding their ILP with 5 micro-ops per clock [!] compared with Intelís 4. (I wrote something about this in an earlier thread (https://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,24955.msg419503.html#msg419503).) All Iím interested in is how fast the thing will compile code; so basic meat and two veg instructions, no graphics, memory i/o and possibly only single threading counts, but Iím not sure about that. If a parallel make (https://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,24955.msg419510.html#msg419510) is in use then I reverse that completely and core count then becomes really important.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Browni on October 02, 2020, 05:31:16 PM

Another site I forgot to mention is ccl.

I can recommend CCL.

Back when the Ryzen CPU's were first released I bought a Ryzen motherboard bundle from them (still using it!)

I managed to brick the mobo during a BIOS flash upgrade and they replaced it under warranty without question.

Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on October 03, 2020, 12:36:13 AM
Reading some of the blurb on the AMD website, one of their PRO processors has a mere 35W TDP which is pretty impressive. Iíd like to read up on the new Zen 3 microarchitecture, rumours sound interesting, but no detail. Agner Fogís write up on the earlier RyZen processors is very impressive, especially regarding their ILP with 5 micro-ops per clock [!] compared with Intelís 4. (I wrote something about this in an earlier thread (https://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,24955.msg419503.html#msg419503).) All Iím interested in is how fast the thing will compile code; so basic meat and two veg instructions, no graphics, memory i/o and possibly only single threading counts, but Iím not sure about that. If a parallel make (https://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,24955.msg419510.html#msg419510) is in use then I reverse that completely and core count then becomes really important.

When it comes to low-power, its the laptop SoCs and chipset that really benefit.  Low power desktop chips will generally use more as the rest of the chipset is not as efficient, particularly as the motherboards will be designed to handle up to the top-end.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Weaver on October 03, 2020, 01:46:22 AM
Maybe servers now like low power consumption given the charges for data centre power. I seem to remember many years back reading something about how Google had put in an enormous order for vast quantities of AMD-powered boxes because of their high bang per Watt.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on October 03, 2020, 05:51:59 AM
Its more than Intel are hugely inefficient at the high-end compared to AMD as their manufacturing process is far behind.  At the low-end, they're both pretty efficient as I mentioned before how low my 9900K goes when idle, but its a hog when loaded.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Chrysalis on October 03, 2020, 11:07:34 AM
[I donít intend to hijack this thread, so we should split it off if necessary.]

Is it possible to get a small box that will take a top-end AMD Ryzen CPU ? Something like an ultra high powered Raspberry Pi, with just some very fast RAM and an SSD in it?

I suspect that this is self-contradictory nonsense.  ???  [A bit like the fool who wrote a letter to us when I worked at Psion complaining that our handheld 8-bit ĎOrganiser (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psion_Organiser)í computer was no good because it didnít fit in his pocket and also it needed a built-in printer that could print on A4 paper.]

PI's you cant interchange CPU's plus they use different cpu architecture.  So no.

Smallest device you may get a ryzen in is maybe a NUC, never seen one been sold anywhere though.  I use an Intel NCU for my firewall with a m.sata SSD.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: sevenlayermuddle on October 03, 2020, 12:24:15 PM
@Weaver, have you thought about Mini-ITX?

I built a couple of Mini-ITX chassis as Myth TV frontends, about 10 years ago, grew to like it - good choice of cases sufficiently compact to blend in with the furniture under the TV, and easy to choose bits that are energy efficient, hence less need for noisy fans.

This is the site I used as reference and inspiration for my own Mini-ITX builds, as well as source of most of the bits.   I know nothing about Ryzens, my build were ION boards, popular at the time.   But if you click on ĎBoard Finderí it does seem to suggest that Ryzen boards exist.  You might be a bit restricted in choice of cases, but some seem to be available...

https://www.mini-itx.com/

My only regret was building one that had an internal PSU.   When the PSU eventually failed I was unable to source a replacement as the PSU turned out to be non-standard dimensions, I donít think Mini-ITX actually specifies a PSU form factor.  I was able to repair it, but would have preferred to replace it.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: parkdale on October 03, 2020, 04:18:19 PM
[I donít intend to hijack this thread, so we should split it off if necessary.]

Is it possible to get a small box that will take a top-end AMD Ryzen CPU ? Something like an ultra high powered Raspberry Pi, with just some very fast RAM and an SSD in it?

I suspect that this is self-contradictory nonsense.  ???  [A bit like the fool who wrote a letter to us when I worked at Psion complaining that our handheld 8-bit ĎOrganiser (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psion_Organiser)í computer was no good because it didnít fit in his pocket and also it needed a built-in printer that could print on A4 paper.]

Try this http://www.makerspace-uk.co.uk/setting-diy-pi-desktop-kit/   :)
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: displaced on October 05, 2020, 10:55:44 AM
Redditís PC building groups are surprisingly friendly and aggro-free. 

Browsing through the Small Form Factor PC (https://www.reddit.com/r/sffpc/) and Build A PC (https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc) pages might be of some use!
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Weaver on October 05, 2020, 04:48:43 PM
Thank you for all the links reading matter, brilliant.
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Chrysalis on October 08, 2020, 06:11:55 AM
Perfect timing, simply NUC product launch announced for Ryzen Weaver.

https://www.techpowerup.com/273096/simply-nuc-introduces-a-new-product-line-of-amd-ryzen-mini-pcs
Title: Re: Custom/home build PCs
Post by: Weaver on October 08, 2020, 09:31:40 AM
Wow, thanks!