Hardware specifically for OS development. Need advice

Hey guys, I’m skymage23. I’m new to this board and this forum in general, but I have been following Level1Techs for some time.

I recently posted this topic in the Hardware forum, but since this involves a use case specifically for software development, I want to collect opinions from other software professionals on this forum as well.

I want to hear your opinions. What hardware would you choose for a remotely accessed workstation geared towards OS development? Keep in mind that such involves a lot of highly independent, parallelizable C/C++/Rust/Go compilation, which, to me, is a strange beast in terms of how to optimize it. It hits every part of the computer except the GPU, so any improvement you can think of (SSD latency/size, CPU core count, CPU single thread performance, RAM speed) will improve the performance.

The build I have in mind at the moment is:
Motherboard: ASUS Pro WS WRX80E-SAGE (gloriously big VRM heatsink and a BMC)

CPU: Threadripper Pro 5955WX
RAM: 64 GB of Kingston Hyper-X Fury DDR4
Heatsink: Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3
—Good cooling is important to me, especially because I recently had another computer start overheating.
GPU: AMD Radeon 6600XT ( I game a little)
SSD1: Samsong 970 Pro 500GB (boot drive)
SSD2: Intel Optane 906p (Codebase storage and build systems and SDKs host drive).
PSU: Corsair RM1000X (1000 Watt PSU, 80 plus Platinum)
Case fans: 3 120mm Cooler Master fans (reusing old stock).
1 120mm Corsair fan (reusing old stock).

Operating System: Either RHEL 9 or Ubuntu (haven’t decided).

I will be reusing an older EATX case of mine.

For my wants, this machine needs to hold for 24/7 runtime, possibly firing on all cores for 2- 4 hours at a time, but as for needs, I do need out-of-band management.

Given all this, what would you change? What should be better, or, where can one save a buck on a machine like this?

EDIT: I made the purchase.

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I’m no OS developer, but you can’t go wrong with the build Wendell did for Greg Kroah-Hartman for Linux kernel development, or emulate it with newer hardware, like that TR Pro 5000 series you chose. Also, Linus Torvalds moved to a Macbook M1 running Asahi Linux, if that holds any teeth for you (it doesn’t for me, I’m not gonna buy Apple products, but good for him).

Hope you got plenty of cooling, those high-end TRs don’t like having low airflow. Wendell used a Fractal Torrent case.

I’d say you did a good choice with the Noctua, I’m no fan of water coolers, due to their maintenance requirements (even AIOs, which are arguably worse, because you can’t really tell when they fail and maintenance is non-existent, besides the same de-dusting from time to time, like any other cooling).


I think I should be fine with cooling. The case isn’t THAT old (one of Cooler Master’s larger builds with a lot of open mesh), and I think the 120mm fans should be enough.

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At first i thought more ram might be nice, but then I saw optane, which is a good tradeoff IMO.

Threadripper is the way to go, unless you want to do distributed building, in which case high core count - dual socket EPYC or second-hand high core count dual-socket Intel are more cost effective (you’ll be paying through the nose for storage and ram anyway).