ThreadRipper!!!! AMD has finally gone big instead of going under! The initial results are in and ... they are not perfect.
The chips appear to have circuitry that limits current draw to the designed TDP, Good spin, your expensive HEDT CPU cannot damage itself if you have adequate cooling. Bad spin, your CPU may have a lower turbo mode clock speed when high speed (like PC 3200) memory is making the CPU's memory controller draw more current than slower memory (like PC 2400). From the AnandTech Threadripper review, the last part of "Power Consumption and Distribution".
I may be wrong; but, I interpret this to mean that more is more if you really need a massively multithreaded system. And, less is more when dropping a few cores means things can process faster.
A 1900X will definitely suffice for my build. It is intended more for flash than for data crunching. Ron Howard may need a full power 1950X Threadripper, or possibly even a dual processor EPYC system, to edit and compile today's video production; but all I wanna do is brag, a little.
Further lack of perfection, SLI/Crossfire x16 is limited to two GPUs. All current X399 chipset motherboards offer just two x16 slots, two x8 slots, and some utility x4 or x1 slots. Check the MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon and Gigabyte X399 Aorus Gaming 7 manuals to confirm. It won't be any where near the front pages. Aorus, page 7; Pro Carbon, page 32.
Threadrippers have 60 PCIe lanes open for GPUs and peripherals; BUT, nobody can configure a motherboard to support three-way x16 SLI/Crossfire??? Four-way is not workable because 4 x16 = 64 and only 60 PCIe lanes are available for direct links. But three-way SLI/Crossfire should be a done deal. 48 lanes for your pixel pumping pleasure!!! Sorry bud, we can't do that here.
Next flaw, no NVME RAID!?!? And why is that? My understanding is that content creators are the real target audience for Threadrippers. Especially people rendering video compositions. I don't know what is entailed today; but, it used to be that video editing used the fastest bulk storage available. Capturing, editing and rendering video required moving so much data that speed saved time and time saved money because the final product needed to ship and get out of the way for the next scheduled delivery.
I was imagining how fast two Samsung 960 Pro drives in a RAID striped array could move. And then I stumbled across this disturbing revelation. Threadrippers/X399 (?) do not support NVME RAID. Tom's Hardware is just one of many Cassandra's breaking little geek dreams with this news item. Google it yourself, maybe we'll get a retraction or an amendment, if we're lucky and dream really really hard.
Please, do not misunderstand me. Threadripper is AWESOME!!! BUT, it is not perfect.
I strongly suggest checking out every feature you intend to install on your future system. The time to give up unworkable configurations is before you have spent the money.
So, what will work well for someone just showing off a little.
I'm thinking ...
CPU 1900X, a Threadripper with an X. It should be way over-qualified for my purposes.
Cooler; A 360mm system designed for the Threadripper series with a full coverage water-block. Not generally available at this time. And neither is the 1900X for that matter.
Motherboard: MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon. Not cheap, but a lot less expensive than the ASUS alternative. And, it has an x4 slot and no x1 slots.
GPU a single 1080 Ti class card. Vega FE is too work oriented for me. And, this build won't start for a few months. My old rig isn't dead yet; but, it coughs regularly. Maybr Vega will be ready when I am, maybe it won't.
Power Supply any highly rated well built 1,000 watt class power supply. You have to wonder whether the units in stock are as good as the ones that Howling Wolf tested for Jonny Guru. I mean some of those reviews are more than four years old.
My corporate leadership's constant efforts to move everything into shareholder value by cutting costs make my working life suck. I wonder what keeps the financial buzzards from screwing up good hardware products in their constant pursuit of profits. I wish there were a way to be assured that I would get the same awesome build that Howling Wolf tested.
System Memory four 4GB PC 3200 memory sticks from MSI's current QVL. I liked HyperX Predator before it went out of stock. I hope it comes back or something better becomes available.
Active storage; one Samsung 960 Pro 512GB drive. Bigger would be nice but 512GB should be enough for files that are in relatively constant use
That completes my core list. The case, optical drive(s) and good old fashioned hard drives can wait until things get serious.
I realize that a Ryzen 7 system would support everything on my list. BUT, the second x16 GPU option would not be available.
Ryzen 7s only support 24 direct PCIe lanes. The Threadripper appeals to my vanity and actually does offer more than a Ryzen 7.