Updating Desktop Hardware

Out of the desktop hardware loop

Old Specs:

  • Motherboard: ASRock z77 Extreme4 (LGA 1155)
  • RAM: Corsair Vengence 4GB (x4) 1600 MHz DDR3
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k 3.7 GHz
  • GPU: Gigabyte GTX 970 WF3
  • Cooling: Noctua NH-D14

Motherboard died (tried multiple power supplies and removal of hardware to troubleshoot, wont post at all).
So I am salvaging what I can and looking to upgrade.
I have been out of the PC hardware market for so long that it was kind of
intimidating to look at what was out there. I decided it was time to review what
my requirements looking forward for new hardware would be and what might meet my needs.

What am I doing?

Besides games, which I am not really playing that much in the past few years
most of my issues were with RAM and CPU speed. Running multiple VMs for school
is quite common and I have had a few sticks of RAM go bad over the years, I have
been running on 8GB for a few years and it has been painful.


  • Virtual Machines (Windows Server, Kali, Ubuntu)
  • Application and Web Development: Android Studio, Jetbrains IDEs etc
  • Firefox with tons of tabs open

Aiming for 16GB of RAM


I dont need a new GPU, case, PSU, SSDs etc. I just need: motherboard, cpu, ram

Budgeting $700

WTF is a ryzen/threadripper/coffee lake

AMD has apparently become relevant again which makes this decision much harder.
Intel is traditionally more expensive and I would like to support more competition
in this market so lets take a look at what AMD is offering these days.

Ryzen 5 seems to be the competitor for the 7th gen Intel core i5 so lets check it out.


From reading these two appear to be what I am looking for:

  • X370 (Enthusiast)
  • B350 (Mainstream)

I think pretty much everything now has UEFI BIOS so that is good

First Pass:


  • CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 1600X 3.6GHz 6-Core Processor $283.99 Amazon Canada
  • Motherboard: Asus - STRIX B350-F GAMING ATX AM4 Motherboard $145.00 Vuugo ($20.00 mail-in rebate)
  • Memory: Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory $219.99

Total: $648.98

Still on budget