Richard Craver

Thoughts, Musings And The Occasional Rant

How A Geek Builds A Computer – Part 3

Written By: richardwcraver - Aug• 03•17

So my wife’s computer is up and running, now to building MY computer. Her computer was for practice, now I get serious.

Actually, it was quite similar, same case, motherboard, spinning drive. Where it differs is I got an 8 core AMD processor, the previous generation FX series, not the Ryzen, I may regret this later, I hope not. Double the RAM at 16 GB and a 240 GB M.2 SSD drive that attaches by means of a PCIe card, it promises to be able to run at near PCIe bus speed, considerably faster than a SATA 3 connected SSD; we’ll see.

I’ll be dual booting Windows 10 and Ubuntu Mate Linux, so I split the M.2 drive into two 120 GB partitions, partition 1 has a Windows NT filesystem, the second has an EXT4 Linux partition. I mentioned a spinning drive, it is a 1 TB SATA 3. I partitioned an 8 GB NT filesystem, an 8 GB Linux Swap partition, and two 490-ish GB partitions; one is NT the other EXT4.

Here’s the reasoning, I installed Windows 10 to the first M.2 partition. After installation I moved the Documents, Downloads, Pictures and Videos storage location to the 490 GB drive. Then I moved the Windows pagefile, the equivalent of Linux Swap to the 8 GB partition. Now only the operating system is on the SSD for performance reasons. Yes storage is slower, but system performance is faster and the SSDs memory cells are not being thrashed with paging.

The same thing happens when I install Linux, except that I can specify the M.2 as / , the 8 GB EXT4 as swap and the 490 GB EXT4 as /home during installation.

I changed up and got a ATI video card, hoping to get storage controller drivers installed, which was an issue on my wife’s computer. The AMD installer completed this time, but I still had generic Microsoft storage drivers. I was puzzled. After some Googling I came to realize that the Windows 10 DVDs I had purchased were the just released Creators Edition. The reason the AMD driver installer did not install their drivers was that it saw Windows 10 Creators Edition as a not newer OS, and let Windows drivers, which are ‘newer’ remain. So for now I will run generic Microsoft drivers for storage controllers until AMD updates their drivers.

So, is it fast? Yes, it is quite snappy, but where it seems to shine is running a bunch of stuff simultaneously and NOT slowing down. I can have a virtual machine running and still have the native OS running without grinding to a hat.

Am I happy with it? Definitely, so I call that a success.

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