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Planning New AMD Threadripper Build

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JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I'm tired of waiting for the unobtainium Intel HEDT chips, so I'm planning a new AMD Threadripper build (about 60% through saving $$ for it) and wanted some feedback:

CPU:
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X (32 core, 64 thread)

Motherboard:
- Asus ROG Strix TRX40-E Gaming

CPU Cooler:
- Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3
- Will substitute Noctua NF-A14 PWM Chromax Black to replace ugly Noctua colors
- Special Noctua Air Cooler for Threadripper CPU...cools 300W +

NVME SSD:
- 2 x Sabrent 1TB Rocket NVMe 4.0 Gen4

Network Card:
- Intel X550-T1 10 Gbs Ethernet Converged Network Card
- I am SOOOO addicted to 10 Gbps networking!!!!

DRAM:
- Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 64GB (4x16GB) DDR4 3200 (PC4-25600) C16 (64 GB)
- I ended up going with the Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 64 GB (4x16) DDR4 3600 (PC4-28800) C18 RAM
--- From what I have read online, 3600 MHz is the sweet spot for RAM speed on these Threadripper chips
--- I am hoping I can overclock this to C16
- I like the "pretty" LED colors on this RAM

PSU:
- EVGA SuperNOVA 1200 P2, 1200W Platinum
- Planning on a NVIDIA 3090 when they come out
- Estimate peak power usage of around 850 W with CPU overclock

CASE:
- Crystal Series 680X RGB ATX High Airflow


I'll be putting one of my 2080 Ti graphics cards in this system until I can get a 3090. I have a plan for water cooling, but we will see how well the air cooler does.

For the record, I did research on many AIOs and none of them appear to be able to effectively cool the power YUGE beast of the 3970x CPU. I do have my eye on this as the prototypes have gotten RAVE reviews:

https://www.icegiantcooling.com/


For usage of the machine, it will do the following:
- Half the cores (16) running [email protected]
- 2 VMs using 4 more cores total
- The remaining 12 cores will be for general usage and gaming


Any thoughts?

Anything I am missing?

Anyone else do a Threadripper build with this generation of CPUs and have any adivce/feedback?

I will have a RED and GREEN PC as an early Christmas present!!!


Thanks!



Edit: Updated memory purchased



Edit 09/29/2020: Got my case yesterday, and did some building before the hockey game

The parts (minus the case, and minus the 2080 Ti I am pulling from another computer):

IMG_2448.JPG


The case is a Corsair Crystal Series 680X RGB. It's similar in design to the case I use on "The Sith", but has the RGB hub and lighting hub built in. The side, top, and front are 100% glass...and that glass makes it heavy compared to to a normal case. The build quality is spectacular...everything is solid. The front, top, and bottom fan assemblies disconnect from the main case...making working on them pretty easy. Here is a shot looking down into the case before I put in the motherboard:

IMG_2449.JPG


A closeup shot of the ROG Strix TRX-40 Gaming Motherboard package. I was disappointed in the cheap interior packaging for a motherboard of this price (forgot to take a picture):

IMG_2450.JPG


Motherboard is all mounted in the case. The biggest pain here is that I had to remove the cover on the top VRM heat sink to get at the middle motherboard mounting screw:

IMG_2451.JPG



Dang, that's a HUGE chip socket! Here we are with everything opened up and waiting for the CPU:

IMG_2452.JPG



CPU is and memory now mounted in place. The Threadripper CPU comes with a Torx screwdriver that is also a torque wrench to make sure you don't overtighten the mounting plate:

IMG_2453.JPG



Next step was to drop in the 2 PCI 4.0 NVME drives. You have to remove the heat sink cover under where the GPU would go. The cover has thermal tape on the underside to help heat sink the drives. The cover was a pain to realign when putting back on as there were not any guide holes...and the screws are the "captive" type and not meant to be removed:

IMG_2454.JPG


I connected up some power cables and called it a night. I am hoping to finish tonight and see if this bad boy will post!!!!



Edit 09/30/2020:

My objective for last night was to get the system to post, activate the memory XMP profile (3600 MHz and CAS 18), and install Windows. This was a successful night!


I had to get the Noctua air cooler mounted on the CPU. This cooler is tall and heavy (about 3 pounds.) Remember that this cooler is specifically designed for the Threadripper CPUs and their large IHS. Here is a picture of the nice and smooth heat sink mounting surface...it's amazing that Noctua can get this finish on a volume product:

IMG_2465.JPG



Normally when I do the TIM, I use the "blob" method...putting a single blob of thermal compound in the center of the CPU. The directions for the cooler recommended doing it this way:

IMG_2466.JPG

As my objective was to get it to post, I followed the directions...and will pull off the cooler later and see how good the coverage was and if this was too much thermal compound.



Here is a picture of the cooler mounted:

IMG_2467.JPG

I had originally purchased a black fan to replace the ugly Noctua fan...but I ordered the wrong kind...the correct one comes in today.

While I don't have the video card mounted in this picture, I will note that this is a BIG heat sink. But what is cool is that you can adjust the main fins to slide them up or down (in the attached picture) up to 6 mm...this is to allow for clearance of the first PCIe slot. I had to adjust it "up" the full 6 mm.



And LOOK...we have it POSTING!!!!

IMG_2468.JPG

As you can see form this picture, I just slapped the GPU AIO cooler into the case...my objective was to get the system to post and install Windows. I'll be doing some more surgery later.

What you can barely see in this photo is the really cool OLED display that is on the motherboard. It's under the pretty lights on the back I/O shroud, and to the left of the pretty lit up memory.

This display is pretty cool...and shows actual WORDS (gasp) during the bootup process as to what is going on. It also plays a pretty cool ROG logo that bounces around when the PC is turned off (but the power supply is switched on).

The default (after boot) is that this display shows CPU temperature (it says "CPU Temperature", an icon for the CPU, and the temperature in °C). If I knew how cool it was going to be, I would have taken a better picture. Once I figure out how to change the info on here, I will put up a better picture.



While I haven't benchmarked the PCIe 4.0 NVME SSDs yet, I will tell you that the "seem" fast. Powering on the PC, it takes about 20 seconds to complete tests to post...and then you are at the Windows log in screen in the blink of an eye (and this is with the Windows FAST BOOT turned off...hate the FAST BOOT...hate it.)

This CPU is a beast...and I will leave today's thread comments with this picture from the Windows Task Manager:

IMG_2469.JPG


More to come soon!!!!



Edit: 10/01/2020

Did some more tweaking...about ready to put the sides on the case and seeing what sort of performance I can get out of the system. I did snap a couple of pictures while playing last night:


Did a quick speed test on the NVME 4.0 SSD drives....WOWOWOWOWOW:

Performance peaks out at 4,250 MB/sec write and 5,600 MB/sec read...WOWOW - that's MEGA BYTES per second!

The heat sink cover for the motherboard (shown in the pictures above) does an excellent job of keeping the NVME SSD cool...the maximum temperature stabilzed at 60 °C...so no thermal throttling in this benchmark. This runs a number of different block sizes write/read from the disk...just incredible performance!

IMG_2473.JPG


The next picture is a closeup from "Open Hardware Monitor"...a free program that monitors "everything" in your system...has a nice gadget window (closeup screenshot) and graphs things for you over a 24 hour period...pretty cool. In this screenshot, I had the system running [email protected] on 31 cores, and running the graphics card on another core (i.e. 32 threads, but all cores getting hit):

IMG_2474.JPG

As you can see, this processor was pulling a WOPPING 280 watts of power. The air cooler handled this, and the CPU temperature maxed out at 75 °C. I still haven't done any tweaking...and all voltages are on their default values loaded into BIOS. I believe the chip was thermal throttling as the CPU frequency stayed at 3900 MHz.

280 watts...WOWOWOWOW

I'll be moving this over to it's UPS soon, so I can get actual system power draw...stand by...



Edcit 10/03/2020:

OK - did some more playing around. I currently have a stable overclock to 4150 MHz on a CPU core voltage of 1.200 V. Earlier, I just had everything on auto, and the core voltage was 1.400-ish. So, this new setting saves A LOT of power. Here is a picture of the system running the same load as above (31 cores Folding @ home, 1 GPU folding @ home) with the CPU "only" drawing 235-ish watts versus the maxed 280 Watts from before...with my overclock:

Desktop.jpg

CPU-Z 1.jpg

CPU-Z 2.jpg



Did some Cinibench before and after...

Before overclock at 3.7 GHz, Score: 16,596
After overclock at 4.15 GHz, Score: 17.931

So, 8% increase in score for 12% increase in clock. I did have more "junk" running in the background when I did the second run...and Cinibench can vary run to run...but not too bad for a few hours work!

Cinibench.jpg



Edit: 10/06/2020

Got the second Noctua Chromax fan in for the CPU Heat sink...here is a picture of the inside of the build.

IMG_2478.JPG

The only bummer with the Noctua fans is that the serial number is on the top...so you can see it.

I'll take some final pictures with all the pretty lights and post later!


Edit 10/07/2020:

I have 2 VMs running now...consuming 2 cores...CPU usage stays at about 6% constant usage.

The number of cores on this Threadripper is obscene...this makes everything buttery smooth!


Here are a couple of pictures with everything lit up...it's so pretty!

Of course, all colors (including motherboard) change to Red when I log in...like a good Sith...


Side View:

IMG_2484.JPG


Front View:

IMG_2485.JPG
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Oct 9th is an announcement date for Zen 3 so maybe hold off to see what that holds. Also maybe hold off on the PSU until they come with the new 12pin cable standard since you are going for the 3090 eventually. Threadripper isn't the best for gaming, but at the 4k resolution your sig has it will be mostly on the GPU so you shouldn't be leaving too much performance on the table.

Send pics once you get it underway!
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Thanks for the feedback.

The Threadripper 3960x, 3970x, and 3990x are recent releases...so I think I'll be good. I really like the LARGE number of PCI Gen 4 lanes.

Thanks for power supply...EVGA recently released a cable for their standard supplies that goes to the new 12 pin format...so I'll do that to support the 3090.
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Parts are all on order...they will be arriving throughout the week.

The longest lead is the case and the power supply.

I ended up going with the Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 64 GB (4x16) DDR4 3600 (PC4-28800) C18 RAM
- From what I have read online, 3600 MHz is the sweet spot for RAM speed on these Threadripper chips
- I am hoping I can overclock this to C16
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Build part 1 completed before the hockey game!!!

Hoping to finish tonight.
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
What cooler are you going to use?

edit nm, saw it in top post

Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3

It's a special cooler designed by Noctua for the sTRX4 platform. This Threadripper chip is HUGE with an equally HUGE IHS.

I did a lot of research on this one, and this cooler appears to beat out even the 360 mm AIO coolers...with the only thing currently better being a custom loop.

I'm waiting on the ProShiphon Elite from IceGiant (https://www.icegiantcooling.com/)...it's still not fully released, but Linus RAVED over the prototype:

 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Update to first thread.

Did some more building, got system to post, and got Windows installed.

Getting close to entering the "tweaking" phase!
 

WhitehawkEQ

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2010
Thanks for the feedback.

The Threadripper 3960x, 3970x, and 3990x are recent releases...so I think I'll be good. I really like the LARGE number of PCI Gen 4 lanes.

Thanks for power supply...EVGA recently released a cable for their standard supplies that goes to the new 12 pin format...so I'll do that to support the 3090.

Question: What part of the PCIe power cable is the 12 pin connector on? Of all the 3090 cards I looked at on Newegg, they ether have 2 or 3 8 pin connectors on the GPU card, only place I can see the 12 pin connector going to is where it connects to the PSU. post pic so I can understand what is going on here :)
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Question: What part of the PCIe power cable is the 12 pin connector on? Of all the 3090 cards I looked at on Newegg, they ether have 2 or 3 8 pin connectors on the GPU card, only place I can see the 12 pin connector going to is where it connects to the PSU. post pic so I can understand what is going on here :)

From what I can tell, it looks like the 12 pin is NVIDIA reference cards only...I could be wrong here.

The EVGA Kingpin cards draw MASSIVE amounts of power, and they traditionally use 3 of the 8-pin connectors.
 

WhitehawkEQ

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2010
From what I can tell, it looks like the 12 pin is NVIDIA reference cards only...I could be wrong here.

The EVGA Kingpin cards draw MASSIVE amounts of power, and they traditionally use 3 of the 8-pin connectors.

All of the EVGA 3090 cards use 2 8 pin connectors, up to you but if I had the money I would go with a card with 2 8 pin connectors :)
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Added some quick NVME PCIe 4.0 SSD benchmarks (wowowow) and some CPU power data pics
 

Nebulous

Señor Senior, Senior
Joined
Oct 11, 2002
Location
The Empire State
Super sweet build JR!! What, no push/pull on that sink? Wuzzup wit dat yo?! ;) A very impressive rig ya gots there! I wanted to build a TR rig, but everyone was like "If you're not going to use all the cores it going to be a waste" blah blah. Now I regret building one.

Still tho my current museum piece still rocks the games and all that jazz. I will, however, do a complete update. Possibly with an AMD, but I am sticking with nvidia for the vid card.

Enjoy that monster!
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Super sweet build JR!! What, no push/pull on that sink? Wuzzup wit dat yo?! ;) A very impressive rig ya gots there! I wanted to build a TR rig, but everyone was like "If you're not going to use all the cores it going to be a waste" blah blah. Now I regret building one.

Still tho my current museum piece still rocks the games and all that jazz. I will, however, do a complete update. Possibly with an AMD, but I am sticking with nvidia for the vid card.

Enjoy that monster!


From what I have read, push/pull makes little difference with this heat sink. Not sure if this is going to be permanent or if I will go to something else...just playing right now.

I really doubt I will ever tap the full performance of this chip or the hardware...but hey, we are "The Performance Computing Community"...and it's all about pushing the edge...just saying! :)
 

WhitehawkEQ

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2010
From what I have read, push/pull makes little difference with this heat sink. Not sure if this is going to be permanent or if I will go to something else...just playing right now.

I really doubt I will ever tap the full performance of this chip or the hardware...but hey, we are "The Performance Computing Community"...and it's all about pushing the edge...just saying! :)

If I ever do a 3970 or 3990 build I'll get the Cooler Master Wraith Ripper for my build.
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Update today posted above:

- Did some initial overclock work...improve from 3.7 GHz stock to 4.15 GHz on all cores
- Posted some Cinibench runs
----> Stock: 16,596
----> Overclock: 17931

My current 5820K runs at 4.3 GHz...so this is pretty close. With the improvement in CPU instruction efficiency, this Threadripper most likely outperforms single core my old 5820K single core, even though the clock frequency is less...not to mention the memory is running at 3,600 MHz.
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
A quick update today...did some tweaking with fans:

- I will start out by saying that the fans which come with the Crystal 680X case ("Three award-winning LL series fans")...suck
----> And when I say "suck" I mean that they don't blow much air
----> At full speed, they are quiet...can barely hear them...but they only ramp up to 1500 RPM
----> At full speed, these 120 mm fans only push 43.25 CFM at 1.61 mm-H2O pressure
--------> It's funny that these are listed as "good" fans by Corsair for going through a radiator
--------> I had one of these pushing through my GPU AIO radiator...GPU got to 63 °C max
--------> Running just the stock EVGA fan (which, again, you can't hear at full speed) GPU got to 56 °C max
--------> Running the LL and stock EVGA fan in push pull (both at max speed) GPU gets to 52 °C max
--------> Don't believe the press...these cannot drive through a radiator...you need to push/pull these for even a remote chance
----> But, they are very pretty with each having "48 individually addressable RGB LEDs"
----> I think they have too many LEDs on these...and have to limit the RPM to keep the current down
----> I will be replacing these with HD120...when they come back in stock (54.4 CFM, 2.25 mm-H2O, 1725 RPM)

The case comes with one of these as a rear exhaust fan...what a joke.
- I went to dual Noctua NF-A15 HS Chromax Black for the air cooler (push/pull) and the CPU temp dropped by 2 °C at full load
- I replaced the back exhaust "pretty LED" fan with a Noctua NF-A14 PWM Chromax Black fan, and the CPU temp dropped by another 6 °C at full load
----> The Noctua Chromax fans are SWEET!!!
----> First, they are not the ugly Noctua colors...they are jet black...and come with red, blue, green, yellow, white, and black vibration bumper corners
----> These fans just look nice
----> And, VERY quiet...at full speed I can barely hear it, but it's moving a lot of air
----> The 140 mm fan rated at 82.5 cfm and 2.08 mm-H2O pressure
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Got the second Noctua Chromax fan for the CPU heat sink push/pull setup.


ARISE Darth Threadius and take your place at my side!!!!



IMG_2478.JPG