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BadSweetums
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Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:54 pm

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.
 
MOSFET
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:45 pm

I think you mean OklahomaWolf. Pretty sure today's kilowatt PSUs are just as good as 4 years ago.

IIRC, Nvidia no longer supports more than two-way SLI in the gamer GPU section that you're choosing from. That way be why you only see 2x full x16 slots on new X399 boards. Crossfire is less restrictive. Also, I think many of us underestimate just how many lanes are needed for the onboard features, such as multiple x4 m.2 slots plus 8x SATA, NICs, WLAN, USB 3.1, etc.

As for NVMe RAID, apparently it's just hard to implement in a chipset, partly because there is the option to connect the lanes to CPU-connected PCIe lanes. I just read a couple of days ago that Intel was also having trouble with NVMe RAID.

I'm excited about the existence of a 1900X as well.
 
whm1974
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:12 am

Looks like I was right, the 1900 is more suitable for most users then the the 1920X and 1950X due to the high number of PCIe lanes and Quad Channel memory.
 
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:21 pm

BIOS fakeraid is for suckers anyways, I thought everyone learned this by the early days of SATA at least. There is nothing stopping you from building your own NVMe drive array with the 3 direct cpu x4 m2 slots and/or addon cards.

As for sli/cf, even though they are being killed off (3x/4x long gone) x8 3.0 slots are really not a bottleneck for gpus. For non-sli uses (compute) often even less so. A really nice workstation build can be stuffed with dual gpus, really fast NIC, spinning rust controller and still have room 3 dedicated nvme ssds all fed from the cpu.

The high end guys are definitely taking a look at epyc, 32 cores on 1P (no I/O benefit for 2P) and a whole crapload of lanes for drives. Even with x16 for a dual port 100Gbit or whatever NIC still has enough lanes for 2 dozen pci-e ssds, IOPS galore.
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Vhalidictes
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:58 pm

FakeRAID is an artifact of Windows 7->10 support, or lack thereof. Various RAID modes are even listed (and in some cases, not greyed-out) in Disk Administrator, but the messages you get when trying to enable them are interesting but mostly boil down to "use a different OS".

Product segmentation FTW!
 
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:01 pm

I think you're confusing OS software RAID with FakeRAID.
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:22 pm

just brew it! wrote:
I think you're confusing OS software RAID with FakeRAID.


If the OS won't give you RAID 5/6, what alternative do you have except FakeRAID? That's mostly what my post was about, FakeRAID is an alternative to... nothing, at least in the Windows world.
 
just brew it!
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:48 pm

Vhalidictes wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
I think you're confusing OS software RAID with FakeRAID.

If the OS won't give you RAID 5/6, what alternative do you have except FakeRAID? That's mostly what my post was about, FakeRAID is an alternative to... nothing, at least in the Windows world.

Ahh, OK. Never mind. I misunderstood the point you were trying to make.
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MOSFET
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:21 pm

whm1974 wrote:
Looks like I was right, the 1900 is more suitable for most users then the the 1920X and 1950X due to the high number of PCIe lanes and Quad Channel memory.


Actually it's the lowest price, which I believe is best for most of us.
 
whm1974
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:30 pm

MOSFET wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Looks like I was right, the 1900 is more suitable for most users then the the 1920X and 1950X due to the high number of PCIe lanes and Quad Channel memory.


Actually it's the lowest price, which I believe is best for most of us.

Well that too. I was just saying that 8c/16t would be enough for most people who need lots of I/O but not more cores/threads.
 
chuckula
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:38 pm

My only recommendation is to look at the total system cost and see what that marginal $250 jump from $550 to $800 does to the total system cost when considering the 1920X vs. the 1900X.
Then compare that marginal jump in price to the performance delta after TR & other websites finish their 1900X reviews to figure out what the impact of that performance drop actually is.

Of course, if your bosses just want to be cheap then this cute analysis becomes moot, but sometimes looking at total system price gives a better picture than merely the individual components.
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DPete27
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:58 pm

BadSweetums wrote:
four 4GB PC 3200 memory sticks

That's a typo...right?
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, MSI RX480 8G, 500GB Crucial BX100, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 16GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, EVGA 550-G2, Silverstone PS07B
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whm1974
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:51 pm

DPete27 wrote:
BadSweetums wrote:
four 4GB PC 3200 memory sticks

That's a typo...right?

Yeah really. The OP should go for 8GB or 16GB memory sticks instead.
 
BadSweetums
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:42 pm

Think of this system as a stripped down proof of concept. It has no great purpose to serve beyond being powerful and fast.

16 GB of system memory is enough for a speed run. Or, to cache a DVD, Four sticks to fully enable 4-channel memory.

I'm good with 16GB of working high speed system memory until I start doing something that makes my system stutter.

My intentions are idiotic and moderately decadent; like mixing 12 year old single malt scotch with 7up and ice cubes. Soooo smooth, soooo sweeet. Such a huuge waste of good liquor.
 
whm1974
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:44 pm

BadSweetums wrote:
Think of this system as a stripped down proof of concept. It has no great purpose to serve beyond being powerful and fast.

16 GB of system memory is enough for a speed run. Or, to cache a DVD, Four sticks to fully enable 4-channel memory.

I'm good with 16GB of working high speed system memory until I start doing something that makes my system stutter.

My intentions are idiotic and moderately decadent; like mixing 12 year old single malt scotch with 7up and ice cubes. Soooo smooth, soooo sweeet. Such a huuge waste of good liquor.

I would still go with 4 8GB memory sticks instead of 4 4GB ones if I was going to do a Threadripper build, even if it's just the 1900X.
 
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:25 pm

If you're serious about dropping four figures on a HEDT system--which you are if Threadripper is involved--don't cheap out on memory. You'll just wish you had more later on, and it may not be available in the speed/timing that matches what you already have. I went light with my 6900K build, but this being HEDT land "going light" meant only getting 32GB, not the usual 64 or 128.
 
DPete27
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:02 am

I've come to the conclusion that you won't be best served by a Threadripper CPU.
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, MSI RX480 8G, 500GB Crucial BX100, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 16GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, EVGA 550-G2, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Seagate SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Crosley D-25 Case Mod
 
chuckula
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Re: Threadripper HEDT System Build Idea

Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:04 am

DPete27 wrote:
I've come to the conclusion that you won't be best served by a Threadripper CPU.


DON'T MAKE HIM RIP OUT YOUR THREADS!

Or maybe overstarch your shirt.
4770K @ 4.7 GHz; 32GB DDR3-2133; GTX-1080; 512GB 840 Pro (2x); Fractal Define XL-R2; NZXT Kraken-X60
--Many thanks to the TR Forum for advice in getting it built.

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