Gaming (until Zen 3) + Small server (Zoneminder) + Router (pfsense) recommendations

vrvon

n00b
Joined
Jun 21, 2020
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2
Hello, first time poster, long time lurker here.

As the title says I wanted to ask for some advise regarding three builds, compatibility and component recommendations. Have been out of the PC building for a long time now (last PC around the Core 2 Duo).

1. Gaming.
Want to buy a build that would last longer (~5-7 years). For some perspective right now I'm gaming on Lenovo Y580 laptop (i5, GTX 660M), seven years now.
This new build would serve as a transition until Zen 3 sees the light of the day, GTX 3xxx or new AMD GPUs as well, hence the choice of components below (not too expensive CPU and GPU but enough for new titles I guess).
Gaming in 1080p only, got a 240Hz Alienware monitor for that.
I already have the NCASE M1 and this I don't intend to change. Space saving is the priority in my situation.
64 GB of ram as in the nearest future will be modelling some physical experiments (work/hobby related).
Not interested in RGBs.
Would also be easier to use compnents from as few companies as possible - easier to deal with if problems arise (that's why Corsair appears many times here).
Components:
CPUAMD Ryzen 9 3600 (~£153)
GPUEVGA GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB KO ULTRA GAMING Video Card (~£320)
MOBOAsus ROG Crosshair VIII Impact (~£350)
RAM (2x32 GB)Corsair Vengeance LPX 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR4-4000 CL18 Memory (~£605)Couldn't find any other memory kit with 4000 MHz and 32 GB per one module.
SDD M.2 (1 TB)Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 (2280) Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (MZ-V7S1T0) (~£182)Advise needed on that, which SSDs would be better than this one? Earlier thought about gettting: Corsair Force MP600 series 1TB NVMe PCIe Gen4 M.2 Solid State Drive (CSSD-F1000GBMP600)
PSUCorsair SF 750 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular SFX Power Supply (~£150)Not available atm. Any Platinum level alternatives? I'd expect it to be able to power 2080 Ti with 3950x (just for reference)
CPU coolerNoctua NH-U9S (~£69)Any better one that would fit NCASE M1?
Additional fansNoctua NF-A12X15 PWM (~£42)Lower thickness because of mDTX MOBO and small case. Any better alternatives?
PSU cablesNeed to look closer at making custom ones (smaller length for better management - the only design related thing here).
CaseNCASE M1 (V6)

2. Small server.

Zoneminder surveillence (max 2 cameras), some experimenting with Linux. No need to go big, space saving and low power requirements are prioritised.
Components:
CPUAthlon 3000G Dual Core 3.5GHz (~£40)
MOBOB450-I AORUS PRO WIFI (Socket AM4) Mini-ITX Motherboard (~£120)No cheaper alternative atm.
RAM (1x8 GB)???ECC would be nice, can't find any.
SDD M.2 (256 GB)WD Blue 3D NAND 250GB M.2 2280 Solid State Drive (S250G2B0B) (~£46)
PSUSFX Power 2 300W '80 Plus Bronze' SFX Power Supply (~£57)Compatible with the case?
Network cardDell Intel I350-T4 Quad Port Gigabit Ethernet (~£40)Is this compatible with the MOBO? (Despite the x4 here and x16 on the MOBO)
CaseSST-SG05BB-Lite Sugo USB 3.0 - Black (~£40)

3. Router (pfsense).
Routing traffic for the server, two PCs, one WiFi device (through access point). VPN traffic routing. Firewall rules and adblocking (similar to pihole).
Components:
The same as for the server except the CPU: AMD Athlon 200GE (~£40).
 

rhansen5_99

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 12, 2001
Messages
2,111
So quick suggestion, I would virtualize server into you gaming rig just to save on total cost. Also missing storage for your nvr unless doing cloud? Maybe bump up to a 3700x if you need the extra cores, but prob not as the 3600 is a monster. For pfsense I would really look at a board with dual nic, which at this point is basically intel. Honestly pfsense is fairly lightweight unless you need crazy vpn encryption and even the j series have hardware acceleration, or plugins. If you look you might be able to find refurb zotac mini pc that would suit your needs for sub $100.

To other questions the sf are being recalled so probably fixes in production. The phision gen 4 ssd's are nice but next gen Samsung's are almost out. also would look at 2070 supers in mini form to try to hit monitor refresh.
 
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Gaming build:

If you're looking to put together a system with Zen3 + a GPU that's expected to be announced around the same time, why are you building a system now? On the other hand, if you're gaming at 1080p, why are you looking to replace what you buy today with whatever comes out late this year? Today's components can easily handle that at high refresh. Buy now and be happy, or wait a bit.

There's probably no sense in paying for RAM that's clocked so high. Going above 3733 MHz knocks the infinity fabric timing ratio from 1:1 to 2:1, so performance can actually be worse. Gaming isn't that sensitive to RAM timing anyways. Examples.

The Evo 970+ is still the best mainstream NVMe SSD, even considering the PCIe4 models. However, you'd never notice scaling back a bit to something a little more affordable, such as the original 970 Evo (non-plus), WD Black, etc. The Corsair referenced is probably fine, but the heatsink is kinda ridiculous.

That mainboard seems crazy expensive.

Generally, gold-rated PSUs are just fine, and Platinum/titanium are generally not worth the price premium. Have you checked the math vs. your energy rates?

Unless the case selected specifies otherwise just use standard 25mm-thick fans.


Server:

Better to run dual-channel. RAM is relatively cheap right now, I'd do 2x8 GB.

There's no need for the quad-port NIC. A 4x PCIe card will work fine in a larger slot.

While ECC is technically supported by AMD CPUs, it seems mainboard support is hit or miss until you get up into the workstation/server systems.


Router:

Generally pfSense doesn't take a lot of CPU, even with firewall rules and some basic services such as DNS/etc. One of those little Pentium/Celeron boxes available on Amaozn/etc. might be more than enough. VPN can hammer a CPU, however, especially if the server can't use the AES CPU extensions. What protocol is being used, and what is your internet bandwidth (does pfSense/OpnSense support Wireguard yet?)?
 

Keljian

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
1,143
I personally would go intel for the server, lower idle consumption.

I would also roll the pfsense into the server (virtualise). So you don’t need two boxes.

i3-10320, 16 gig ram, s55F-pt psu, your choice of motherboard. Make sure that the motherboard has VT-D support for pass through of your nic

Probably would use proxmox for virtualisation, but lots of options. Heck I'd run pihole in a VM (I do), as pfsense is first and foremost a router ad firewall, not an ad blocker

Make sure you enable speedshift(HWP) and Hardware Duty cycling (HDC) on the platform.
 
Last edited:

vrvon

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Jun 21, 2020
Messages
2
Thank you for the replies guys.

Also missing storage for your nvr unless doing cloud?
You're quite right, however, this was intended as a testing rig - something I want to develop further for my father who needs it in the future.

If you look you might be able to find refurb zotac mini pc that would suit your needs for sub $100.
I would but at this point I would be very tempted to by some equipment from Netgear directly (I saw the prices but I wouldn't mind spending a little bit more for quality).
I just don't quite believe their power consumption figures but that's another matter.
Another argument: where's fun in buying preloaded hardware? xd

The phision gen 4 ssd's are nice but next gen Samsung's are almost out.
Do you know the timeframe for that?

If you're looking to put together a system with Zen3 + a GPU that's expected to be announced around the same time, why are you building a system now?
Good question. My reasons are simple: I didn't have a good gaming system for quite a while now and more importantly I need something to distract me from the current situation (I'm stuck at work for the next three months and can't see my family).
Netflix isn't enough anymore + plenty of games on my accounts that I wanted to play for ages and can't.

if you're gaming at 1080p, why are you looking to replace what you buy today with whatever comes out late this year?
The future intended use would be VR when I have enough money or just higher resolution (like the OLED monitor from Alienware or the curved screens). Definitely want to do one of those in the future.

The Corsair referenced is probably fine, but the heatsink is kinda ridiculous.
Agreed, I don't get it either...

Have you checked the math vs. your energy rates?
I can't definitely say 'I must have it' but I'm not afraid to spend that much, given my circumstances it will be valuable to have it though.

What protocol is being used, and what is your internet bandwidth (does pfSense/OpnSense support Wireguard yet?)?
From what I've found online Wireguard is being implemented but not yet officially supported.
https://redmine.pfsense.org/issues/8786
https://old.reddit.com/r/PFSENSE/comments/f5hpb1/netgate_sponsoring_freebsd_inkernel_wireguard_work/
https://forum.netgate.com/topic/150943/i-made-a-wireguard-package-for-pfsense
As for the bandwidth it should be ~50 mbps down and ~5 mbps up, I'm yet to see (just moved to a new flat and setting everything up).
Had OpenVPN configured ona VPS a year ago, it would be my first time with Wireguard.

I would also roll the pfsense into the server (virtualise). So you don’t need two boxes.
Very tempted although not yet decided.
 

Keljian

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
1,143
Having run pfsense on physical hardware as well as virtualised, I recommend the latter. If you are paranoid about security then hardware is technically better, but the chances of being attacked as a “home” user are low.

Almost any hardware from the last decade (except maybe the earlier atoms) will run pfsense adequately for your needs, remember though, it is a router, not a switch, if you need a switch as well, get a switch. I recommend the cheap and cheerful dlink 8 port desktop models.

As mentioned above, pfsense is a firewall/router, if you want ad blocking, I would run a vm or container on linux
 

rhansen5_99

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 12, 2001
Messages
2,111
FYI not sure on release date for the Samsung ssd's but probably close according to Guru3d: Guru3d. Also if you are targeting VR I would say from my experience you can get away with something in the RTX2060 class as I used a 980ti with Oculus Rrift, but as you get to more complex games and higher resolutions in the device you might need to up the gpu especially if you are sensitive to the reprojection stuff the headset will do.
 
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