It’s been a while since we’ve posted a consumer platform build for working with solvers. AMD’s Zen architecture was initially released in March of 2017, with Zen+ being released in April of 2018, so plenty of time has passed to allow people to figure out how to get the most out of AMD’s new platform.
Our aim with this build is to show you a current build that will get you the most performance out of your solver, whilst allowing for some future upgradeability with AMD’s new generation of Ryzen 3000 CPUs (Ryzen Matisse) that are anticipated to launch mid 2019, and rumoured to feature CPUs with up to 16 cores and 32 threads. AMD has guaranteed that this new platform will still be compatible with the current generation AM4 socket.
Previously we aimed for a build that would cost around 1,000 USD. We will not have a budget restriction for this build (and are therefore not labeling it as “budget”). Instead we will simply go with what we feel will deliver the currently best performance on the Zen+ platform. That being said, where applicable we will also show you some alternative configuration options that will offer more options for different budgets. The approximate price of this build at current market prices is 1675 USD.
For whom is this build?
I would recommend this build to anyone who is looking to build a multipurpose computer that will perform well as a general workhorse for grinding, and studying with different types of poker software beyond just solvers. If you are looking for a machine that you would want to purely solve poker simulations with 24/7, I’d recommend either building a machine dedicated to that using AMD’s or Intel’s HEDT (high end desktop) or server platforms or renting a server with a server hosting company. If you would like to know more about said builds, an example of a current HEDT build can be found here and a current server build here. For an entry level hosted server, we would recommend our Contabo Linux setup guide.
AMD’s current flagship on the consumer end. It features 8 cores and 16 Threads, with an out of the box boost clock of 4.3 GHz. It supports AMD’s new PBO (Precision Boost Overdrive) technology, which is a feature that helps automatically overclock your CPU for the best performance. This CPU is currently available for around 290 USD. The 2700x also comes with it’s own Wraith PRISM cooler, so you don’t need to purchase one additionaly. The noise levels the cooler produces under load may be too loud for some. If this applies to you, you may want to consider upgrading to a third party cooling solution like the NZXT Kraken X52 for example. A 3rd party cooling solution will also help you push the CPU a bit further through either manual overclocking or AMD’s aforementioned PBO technology.
Another, cheaper option for this build would be to pick up a last generation Ryzen 7 1700. These are currently available for roughly 160 USD. You will still get 8 cores and 16 threads, but with a lower boost clock of 3.7 GHz and no PBO.
A high-end motherboard that supports AMD’s precision boost overdrive overclocking technology. Relevant features include support for up to two NVMe drives that can be configured to run in a RAID configuration, which can be useful for usage with SQL databases, but also for load and save times when working with large solver files. This motherboard works well with the Ryzen 7 2700x thanks to it’s feature set. It’s large VRM (voltage regulator module) provides ample and will be useful when considering potentially upgrading to a 3rd generation Ryzen CPU later in the year. An additional bonus is that this motherboard comes with WIFI for those who need to use a wireless internet connection.
RAM is a very important part of this build. Not only will faster RAM improve the performance of any solver we use, but the Ryzen 7 2700x itself benefits from faster RAM and you’ll be able to eek out extra performance from your CPU with this DDR4 3200 MHz kit from Corsair. In terms of value for money, 3200 MHz kits are the sweet spot, but faster RAM kits may give you a small additional boost. When purchasing RAM kits, it’s important to know that both the frequency and the timings of the RAM affect the effective speed. Lower CAS latency will be preferable. This Corsair kit has a CAS latency of 15. Alternatively, you can start off with a 2×16 GB RAM kit of the same RAM and upgrade later if you prefer, but we would recommend using at least two RAM sticks to take advantage of the dual channel memory configuration option.
The 970 EVO Plus is one of the fastest consumer grade SSDs available and performs very well with 4K mixed read/write operations. This is useful for work in software like Poketracker and Holdemmanager. On top of that, you will see fast load and save speeds when working with large files with a solver. If you wanted to further up your SSD performance, you could purchase a second one of these M.2 Sata drives and run it in a RAID 0 configuration, which is supported by the x470 Taichi motherboard. For additional storage, you may want to consider also adding something like a Toshiba X300 hard disk drive.
The Ryzen 7 2700x doesn’t come with an integrated graphics card, so we will need to pick up a graphics card for this build. Keep in mind that this will not have any impact on the performance of your solver, so what graphics card you choose will depend on what other use cases you would like to cover with this build. For example, you may want to also use this machine for video editing, or gaming. In those cases you may decide to use something more powerful than what we have chosen here in accordance with your personal budget and preference. We’ve selected the Gigabyte GT 1050 since it can output to two 4K displays without effort (or one 8k display) and is reliable. For something more beefier that won’t break the bank, you may consider upgrading to Nvidia’s recently released GTX 1660 Ti, which is a very capable mid-range graphics card and currently available for around 280 USD.
For cases you will have multiple options, just keep in mind that the case has to be able to fit the x470 Taichi motheroard and any cooling solution you use. We are currently using this case for our in-house Ryzen consumer build and have found it easy to build in, as well as aesthetically pleasing. It is compatible with the ASRock x470 Taichi ATX motherboard, and also allows for easy installation of AIO water coolers should you choose to add that to your build. It is also available in different colours and accents according to your taste.
PSU (Power Supply)
High quality PSU by a trusted brand. Rated at 80+ Gold for high efficiency, which will save money over time.
This is the entire build as we would currently recommend it. If you have any suggestions or comments, please post below. We hope this was useful to you. Subscribe if you would like to be notified of future posts like these.