Posted on Sun 26 January 2020

two new Debian installs on Ryzen

One of my kids wanted a new computer badly enough to pay for most of it, and I have been wanting to upgrade the main house server for a year or so. Parts for both arrived this week.

Let’s start with the kid’s machine. For some reason, he thinks esthetics matter to the outside of a computer. That translates into an awful lot of pain working inside a mini-ITX case, the NZXT H210. On the other hand, he correctly recognized that previous-generation components are cost-effective: he selected a Ryzen 2700 (8 cores, 16 threads) and an X470 motherboard; 16GB of RAM and an AMD RX5700 graphics card.

After the physical pains of getting everything into the case and plugged in, the software pains were minor. The kernel needed to be brought in from backports and the firmware pulled from the kernel git repo. Everything else was a perfectly normal Debian Stable (Buster) setup.

Over on the house server front, I replaced the 8 year old AMD Athlon FX-4130 (4 cores, 4MB L1 Cache, 125W) with a Ryzen 3600 (6 cores, 32MB L1, 65W) and an X570 motherboard. I also swapped case and motherboard out; or if you prefer, I moved the disks over to a new computer. The only thing I had to change in the OS was to redetect the motherboard sensors.

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