The Xeon was feeling lonely and needed help mining so I decided to see how cheaply a decent machine could be built these days. Turns out not very! Still a fun project though. I usually do these built reports as blog entries and link them here, but trying this the other way this time:
– Case: SilverStone SG11 – $59 – typical SilverStone which means solid construction with some rough edges (literally… there will be blood!). Micro ATX cube form factor means some weirdness as well. In this case the overhead PSU bay which leaves very tight clearance for the CPU HSF. Overall decent bang for the buck though and doesn’t look too horrible
– PSU: Antec VP550F – $59 – power supplies aren’t very exciting, but for a 24×7 machine durability and efficiency matter a bit. The Antec is in the “good enough” category at 87% efficiency and decent power delivery performance for $60. 550 is overkill for this build, but headroom isn’t a bad thing
– Mobo: ASRock AB350 gaming ITX – $109 – this mini ITX is a pretty impressive little AM4 board. It carries the f@7/\L17y brand, which is unfortunate, but makes up for that with a very nice design and solid build quality. It’s feature packed for this chipset (alas no TB3!), and is only limited by form factor in sporting 1 PCIE 3 x16 and 2 DIMM slots
– CPU: Ryzen 7 1700 – $285 – I really believe that the 8c/16t 1700, with a respectable 3.7Ghz boost clock, is the smart money in the Ryzen 7 line. This part should definitely give Intel some indigestion. Especially in a post Meltdown world. It’s no Threadripper, but it’s also comfortably sub $300.
– RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4 2133 – $185 – ugh. Don’t get me started on RAM prices! It is what it is and mining isn’t RAM intensive, but $/GB makes me feel like I should have bought DRAM futures!
– GPU: XFX RX560D – $129 – if RAM is giving you a headache, the state of GPUs will escalate that to an aneurysm! The 560D was originally made for the Chinese mining market and has only 896 Polaris 21 cores, but it’s cheap, available, power efficient ish, and cheap and available 😂
– SSD: Micron 500 120GB – free! – Jihye Shin gets huge kudos and also partial blame for this project by gifting me an extra SSD that was then left sitting around desperately in need of a system 😉
TOTAL PRICE: ~$850 for an 8c, 16/120GB, 896 GPU core machine. Not horrible! Next entry we’ll see how mining perf holds up on this thing. It would also probably make a *passable*(ish) 1080P gaming box