As we have available funds, more parts are now available for the 2019 machine. We are now simply awaiting the chassis to begin the build.
The Corsair Carbide is still the best bet for most users. They are low cost and well designed. We will need to buy some fans but otherwise the chassis is adequate. So far not many chassis have USB type C headers on them.
The motherboard has USB 3.1 which is the fastest speed at present. This makes USB SATA cables run at full speed when a bare SSD is attached. Hard disks are slower but they are good for backups. Cables for USB type A to type C available for charging mobile devices.
The IO shield has mostly USB 3.1 type A as well which affords lots of bandwidth for peripherals. Our old Canon MB2320 is fine with USB 2.0 as printers do not need that much bandwidth. Out Razer keyboard is also USB. We have both USB and Bluetooth mice depending on the needs.
The R5 2400G is AMD’s best APU. We wanted a 4 core 8 thread CPU and the Vega 11 is a bonus. Integrated graphics have generally been poor but the R5 2000G changes that perception. The Vega 11 can actually play some older games.
We have a GTX 1060 video card which is powerful enough to play contemporary games. We have many 8th generation games are the GTX 1060 can handle them all.
We are placing a lot of faith on the Intel 660p SSD. This new QLC model has not been in consumer hands for long. The lower cost and bigger capacity make it attractive but the question is how will it last in a gaming box. We suspect it will last far longer than the 5 year warranty but we expect to replace it long before it expires with a larger capacity model.
We have a USB DVD drive so we can import music easily. USB devices seem to be better off with the higher power of USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 which have more current for hard disks etc.
We tested the CPU on the MSI B350M Bazooka and we noticed the our G.Skill F4-2400C15S-4GNT RAM was running at DDR4-2133 in the BIOS. We then overclocked the RAM to DDR4-2400 and the CPU was raised to 3.85 GHz stable. This means we can squeeze some extra speed out of the CPU which will perk up Windows a bit.
The M.2 PCIe SSD eliminates the system disk. The motherboard only has the one M.2 slot so it’s not possible to use an Intel Optane drive beside the flash memory. The upcoming X570 motherboards may offer more options.
We use the OEM Wraith cooler which came with the R5 2400G. This cooler is adequate for the CPU and there is no pressing need for a larger cooler.
With 2 empty memory slots, we are focused on that problem before we consider other improvements. 8GB DDR4 sticks have softened considerably which makes it possible to install 32GB of RAM. Even 16GB sticks are not a premium item anymore.
The front USB box will provide more ports and it has a USB 3.1 type C connector so the machine can be used for charging any phone. More devices with type C are coming to market every week.