How to pick good desktop CPU for Qubes?

I want to go the PC way with my next hardware for Qubes, but I’m not sure regarding the CPU.
I’m aware of HCL, but how can I tell if, for example i7 14700K will run smoothly with Qubes? Or 14900K / 14900KF for that matter?
Or do I just buy&pray?

There doesn’t seem to be any issues with the standard SKU Intel CPUs, it’s more the motherboard you need to worry about.

The certified desktop system is using the MSI Z690-A motherboard with the open source Dasharo firmware, but it only works with 12th and 13th Intel CPUs.

If you just want the smoothest experience possible, building a system with one of the 3mdeb motherboards is probably your best option. There might also be a release of the Heads firmware for the MSI boards in the future.


Thanks, but this doesn’t really help or even related

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Avoid a very last gen CPU, you won’t have any guarantee it will work (Ryzen 7xxx doesn’t seem to work at all :frowning: )

As for Intel VS AMD, they both work well, but new Intel CPU have Efficient and Performance cores, this requires tweaks if you want to get the most out of your CPU because you may want to manually assign cores to different qubes depending on their workload, whereas Ryzen cores are all identical.

I have both an i7 and a ryzen 5 on my Qubes OS computer, I have a preference for the Ryzen one because it just works great and it’s cheaper than Intel.

Don’t forget to pick a CPU with integrated graphics, that’s enough for Qubes OS usage and this allows you to add a dedicated GPU if you ever need it for a qube. And it will save watts as even a minimal GPU will draw an extra 15 or 20 watts even doing nothing.


The SKU is the “700” or “900” of the “13700/13900”? So the most important thing is to know either this line of CPU is supported by Qubes or not, am I right?

What is there I need to worry about in motherboards? Wireless card, what else?

@solene AMD is no go for me sadly, it has very pure support at my place. So Raptor Lake 14th gen(14xxx) isn’t a good choice… what about the 13th gen, i7 13700 for example?
And thanks for bringing the integrated GPU up, I almost selected without one

This HCL reports with a i7-13700HX say it works fine HCL - NovaCustom PD50 , so I guess the 13th Gen is working fine :slight_smile:

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You may be interested by this desktop computer certified Qubes OS The NitroPC Pro is Qubes-certified!

I calculated that its price is fair as its price is approximately the price of the sum of its components, except you get dasharo coreboot + the guarantee it will work on Qubes OS.

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NovaCustom looks tempting :slight_smile: That laptop btw isn’t supported by them for Qubes… not sure regarding the CPU, because obviously the link you provided does say it works.

BTW, you said some important thing before that regarding efficient and performance cores by intel… how do you tell what is what and how do you select them for some qube, for example? you have indications to that?

I don’t really like the idea of buying predefined PC, but I would consider NitroPC if they would go the same way as Nova in terms of delivery and taxes, because this thing is going to cost me more than double than I would pay for the superduper high-end hardware at my place. Not mentioning that I’m paying that for old CPU, that just makes me cringe.

btw thanks for helping out guys

Oh, and I actually didn’t find 13700 when I looked for it at HCL page, so forum search is also a good idea :slight_smile:

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Yes, they only certify the NV41 :smiley: I thought you were looking for a desktop computer though?

Yeah, yeah, I was just saying that even though it(the CPU) works, Nova doesn’t let you choose Qubes to be installed on that thing.

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