I have been doing some research, both on PI's site, and here, and really appreciated this thread. I'm not in a position to go full-on optimized build, but I do feel the need to upgrade from my 2012 Mac Pro, running the Xeon processors that are not AVX-capable CPUs. (I do feel the need for *SOME* speed...lol ) So that means no Starnet++ module in PI (or most of the EZ Processing Suite) for me. So instead I'm going to build a budget Linux PC just for running PI. Here's what I've got so far on the list (* = already have)
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X with included Wraith Cooler*
MSI B450M PRO-VDH MAX Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard*
GeIL ORION AMD Edition 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3000 32GB (2 x 16GB)
Intel 665p Series M.2 2280 1TB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4
_________ graphics card (I do have an ASUS GeForce GT 1030 2GB in my cart)
EVGA BQ 500 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply*
Thermaltake Versa H15 Black SPCC Micro ATX Tower Computer Case
As you can see, I don't have a graphics card definitively listed; my understanding is that as of now, PI isn't leveraging GPUs, and while StarNet++ may be able to, it is only configurable in Windows, not in Linux. I'm ok with that for now, and eventually will likely upgrade components in a couple years. I'm wondering what basic graphics card y'all would recommend. My understanding is I really just need something to drive my current monitor (a Dell U2415). I may upgrade the monitor, but that's not in the cards right now (pun intended... ).
I do want to emphasize that I am trying to keep overall cost under $700, and I've already got the mobo and CPU ($336, shipped). I'm ok going with a more affordable case, PSU, etc. since a) I'm not going to be streaming any Steam sessions, b) I'm not really worried about the fancy-schmancy RGB capabilities, and c) I will *only* be running PI on this PC, likely in Kubuntu 20.04 w/ KDE Plasma desktop. Right now, with the above listed components and a ASUS GeForce GT 1030 2GB graphics card, I'm at about $675, which I'm very comfortable with. Is there another card that I could save some more money with (for the eventual upgrade of GPUs later if/when PI is upgraded to use them)?
My current machine Benchmarks at 7690 on PI 1.8.8-6 (after I built a RAM disk for Swap folders). I'm hoping I can exceed that with the new build, including gaining the capability to run StarNet++ and the full EZ Processing suite.