Will A New PC Be Worth It?

Hello everyone, I am wondering if I should refurbish my old gaming PC with a new SSD (it currently has no storage devices installed) or build a new one with the latest hardware installed? Would prefer my PC to be future proof for upcoming releases of Qubes.

Gaming PC Hardware:

CPU: Intel Core i5-7600K
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 DDR4
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 WINDFORCE OC 8G

New PC Hardware:

CPU: Intel Core i5-12600K
MOBO: Gigabyte B660M DS3H DDR4
RAM: Install old PC RAM into new build OR install G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 DDR4
GPU: No GPU or install my GTX 1080 from my gaming PC

My questions are:

  • Will a new PC be necessary to run Qubes well, or should I just refurbish my gaming PC?
  • Will 32GB of RAM be unnecessary for only running 1-3 VMs for minimal tasks?
  • Will 1TB storage be enough for installing a few virtual machines on with minimal software on each of them?

If I can refurbish my gaming PC that would be great as I can use the rest of my budget to buy new peripherals, or should I use my entire budget to buy a new PC? I am okay with doing whatever is necessary.

Thank you for reading, any suggestions will be appreciated :slight_smile:

Your old pc still good, newer hardware might give you some trouble, a trouble that would lead you to give up installing qubes.

after some time using qubes you’ll learn ram management, i run at least 6 - 10 vm in my 16gb laptop without any trouble.

my laptop has 1tb storage and never hit 80gb in total :joy:
I don’t like saving file in my laptop, so it’s depend on what you want save.

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I agree with @51lieal. I would totally use existing hardware laying around. The most I would consider is 32gb of RAM, but I do a lot of web development and Chrome is a memory hog. (I saw this only running 16GB just fine, just 32GB would give me more breathing room.)

  1. Older hardware generally suits Qubes OS better. If you run Qubes OS on too new PC, many problems may occur.

  2. If you have ever felt uncomfortable with small memory size, get a bigger one. I assume that you know when your Qubes OS is short of memory.

  3. It all depends on how you are using the storage. A student major in CS that keeps compiling different versions of linux kernel and plays with docker containers uses up storage way faster than a normal user who is browsing internet and using libreoffice for daily work.

Anyway, considering that your memory is DDR4, I would suggest old hardware - just boost your memory up to 32GB or 64GB (boost your memory if you ever felt short of memory) and that should help a great deal. Aside from that, a new machine improve quality of life only if your brand new CPU cost less electricity; however:
(1) new Intel CPU support S3 sleep poorly, so if you are user of “suspend” then think twice before choosing very new Intel CPU;
(2) new hardware brings new hardware issues; it takes at least around 2 years to make Qubes OS support one set of new hardware well.

Get a M.2 SSD and double your RAM. Sorted.

So that’s why even when AORUS Ultra x470 is listed there, it doesn’t necessarily mean x570 is listed.

What do you mean with this?

Except for maybe the motherboard, in this case what would take 2 years or more to get supported?

It takes half a year to support the hardware installing Qubes OS, but 2 years to support Qubes OS well. Your CPU, your graphical, your wifi card, your usb, your audio, and your power management may fail despite the fact that you have installed Qubes OS successfully.

If you have average tinkering skill and does not want to tolerate the glitches of new hardware, 2 years is a very good estimate. Using common hardware (for example thinkpad) could shorten the period, though.

Not every Qubes OS user is good at firmware troubleshooting, kernel debugging and hypervisor hacking.


But isn’t that as simple as confirming that the Gigabyte B660M DS3H is working or not?

The HCL gives you a list of motherboards that have been tested, you should pick one that is known to work, and avoid picking one that is known to have issues. There really only are 3 components, CPU, RAM and the motherboard, and it’s very likely the RAM and CPU will work if you are using standard consumer components.

@renehoj wrote:

What do you mean with this?

For most hardware components this is determined by the Fedora version in dom0, which almost always is already EOL when Qubes OS get’s released. The reasons for this are well documented both on the website and in countless discussions in this forum. I am confident you will find them.

When it comes to your CPU and virtualization it is also important that Xen supports them. This generally lacks a bit behind.

Finally and most importantly: it’s just what you know to be true if you are part of the Qubes OS community for a while and you see all the new users struggle and many give up trying to get their shiny new hardware to run Qubes OS.

One anecdotal example from my own experience: when I first got my ThinkPad P51 it took several workarounds just to get Qubes OS installed and some more tricks to get WiFi working. Today, R4.0.4 as well as R4.1 just install and everything just works on the very same machine. The only difference is time.

There are hundreds of stories like this. Also lots of folks think the CPU would be the most important component when running Qubes OS, which rationales involving software rendering of the graphics etc. While it does play a role certainly, in my experience again the presence of a high quality SSD makes far bigger an impact and older CPUs tend to be a lot smoother (think integrated graphics support).

So in the context of this thread, it appears to me the OP is already running Qubes OS successfully on his existing PC and asks about future proofing. In that case my recommendation would always be: 32 GB RAM and spend the rest of your budget on the best SSD you can buy (not size, but speed and reliability/write cycles). Do some research, don’t just by the first SSD you see that fits your budget.


So it worked the first time, then stopped working the next, thus making the workarounds a necessity?

So it’s not just the core count, but the SSD as well.

No. It required lots of workaround in the beginning when it wasn’t well supported and now is perfectly supported and even on the “community recommended list”.

I have no idea why you posted that screenshot.


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Just wondering if getting QubesOS to work the first time then failing the next is an uncommon or rare story.

I am not sure of the context, why are you posting to this thread?

On the same hardware using the same release it would be very rare and uncommon … and also kind of weird. Why would it work and then fail if nothing changed?

If you change the hardware all bets are off. If you change the release it will most likely work, but there are no guarantees except with certified hardware.

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If you’re current machine works on Qubes I’d just upgrade the RAM and put the money way until your setup breaks.
Savings are the best way to ‘future proof’ almost anything :slight_smile: