Why you can trust ZDNet
Our recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We may earn a commission when you purchase a product through our links. This helps support our work but does not influence what we write about or the price you pay. Our editors thoroughly review and fact check every article. Our process

‘ZDNet Recommends’ What exactly does that mean?

ZDNet’s recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNet nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNet's editorial team writes on behalf of YOU, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form

Close

You can build Linus Torvalds' PC: Here's all the hardware and where to buy it

Normally, Torvalds would pop into his local Fry's. But in these pandemic times, he ordered everything from Amazon. Here's the complete list of parts.

Linus Torvalds is the most famous programmer in the world, father of the Linux operating system, and maker of the near-universal Git distributed version control system. He also builds his own developer workstation and recently upgraded his PC to a speedy AMD Threadripper 3970x-based processor. But a computer is more than a CPU. 

In an exclusive conversation, Torvalds revealed what he used in his latest programming PC. Total price? About $3,500, which, for a high-end desktop computer, is darn cheap. 

CPU

Ryzen Threadripper 3970X

linus-list.jpg

Why not the best? Ryzen Threadripper 3970X isn't cheap, but it's the fastest CPU out there.

Motherboard

Gigabyte Aorus TRX40 Master

linus-list2.jpg

For a top-of-the-line CPU, you need a best of breed motherboard, the Gigabyte Aorus RX40 Master.

CPU cooler

Noctua NF-A14 PWM

2020-05-28-at-9-14-38-am.jpg

Noise is a big issue for Torvalds -- he cares deeply about it. And he says he's had good experiences with Noctua before.

Case

Be Quiet Dark Base 700

linus-list3.jpg

Torvalds values quiet while he's working, and that's what the Be Quiet Dark Base 700 PC case delivers.

Extra fan

Silent Wings 3

linus-list4.jpg

Fast PCs require a lot of power, which, in turn, means they generate a lot of heat. At the same time, Torvalds values quiet, and that's what he gets from the Silent Wings 3 fan. 

Power Supply Unit

Seasonic Focus GX-850

linus-list6.jpg

Fast CPUs also require a lot of power, and the Seasonic Focus GX-850 delivers that in spades. 

Storage

SSD: 1TB Samsung EVO 970

linus-list5.jpg

Torvalds has found Samsung SSD to be reliable and fast. What more could you want?

Memory

4x16GB DDR4-2666

Computer memory closeup
Getty Images/iStockphoto

In an ideal world, Torvalds wanted 64GBs of error-correcting code (ECC) memory. He settled for a high-quality generic DDR RAM.

Linux

Fedora 32

2020-05-27-at-9-45-19-am.jpg

Torvalds has long been fond of the Red Hat community Linux Fedora for development. And, to no surprise, that's what he's using on his latest system.

Show Comments