I need some perspective for a Ryzen/Threadripper choice

Hello, and thank you for considering reading the following. Hopefully it is understandable.

Intended Usage For New System:
I currently am a programmer. Just php with Laravel so far. I’m interested in JavaScript frameworks that can be coded via TypeScript. I also do database work. I’m interested in ML. I was planning to do some exploration with virtual machines. Finally, I do game. I would even like to try VR. I’m not a maximum FPS person, I just want it to run smoothly and look nice.

The Problem:
The most basic issue is PCIe lanes. The mainstream platforms are anemic. If I put in a thunderbolt card I’ve used up all my lanes. I had hoped that AMD would create an X680 or something that has more PCIe lanes to fill in the gap between mainstream and TR Pro, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. 44 or 48 would have been enough to keep me relatively happy.

Currently I am using an X58 and an intel i7-960. Over the years I’ve managed to fill it up with AICs to maintain its relevance. It is time to retire the work horse. I’m hoping that my new system can last me a long time, and PCIe lanes are crucial to that happening.

The Asus Sage board is very appealing to me as all the expansion slots have full 16 lanes dedicated to them, it seems to “fit the bill”.

Unfortunately, it seems that WRX80 is a dead platform. (No new processors after the 5000WX due to a socket change.)

I also honestly do not need the Pro features, but there are no 5000 series non-pro CPUs. (I could find another acceptable board if there was.)

So I need to get something up and running. I am on something of a budget, however this is in my pricing range. Unfortunately, I cannot find the 5945WX or 5955WX for sale on the DIY market. I thought I could get a more inexpensive chip now, then change it out as my need goes up, and hopefully prices come down. I was considering getting a 3000 series for now, but a new 3955WX will still set you back $1300. Someone commented that the new ThreadRippers are approximately 100 for the package and 100 for each core, So if the 5945 and 5955 are coming,
soon, waiting would seem to be the best answer since the pricing would be so close. If the CPUs aren’t, well I wasn’t planning on dropping 2500ish for the CPU alone so I need to really think this over.

Questions:

  1. Does anyone have any clues on if the lower core WX chips are coming to the DIY market? Is buying a 3000 just financially dumb?

  2. Does this plan for a machine make any sense?

Random Aside with bonus question:
I am acquiring an EVGA 3080 new, but have no way to test it really once I have it, until I have a new computer.

I know EVGA is exiting the market, but based on my good experiences with EVGA, over the last 20 years, and terrible experiences with other vendors, I’m choosing to believe their CEO about future support.

That being said does anyone know of any other GPU vendor that is extremely responsive. I’ve had issues with ASUS before, it was like having my teeth pulled. I’m aware of the irony that I may buy their mother board. But I’m hoping that as a serious workstation board they might take better care of it.

I’ve heard that there aren’t any other vendors that have customer service as good as EVGA. Does anyone have suggestions?

What are your peripheral and storage requirements? e.g. two GPUs, three NVMe drives, TB4.

Thanks for getting back to me.

I am honestly not entirely sure as of yet. I’m a fan of future flexibility and keeping options open. I know I’ll be running multiple NVMe drives (for virtualization, I get very compulsive about keeping storage drives separate as much as possible, Additionally, I’ll have some spinning rust. Then a TB and or USB4 AIC card will be needed relatively soon.

Additional, I’ve been looking at those Google Corral TPUs. I’m interested in seeing how they work with running ZoneMinder or Blue Iris as proof of concepts, also home assistant. (These are all VM experiments). These would be for proof of concept experiments.

The IPMI will be very useful for when I’m remotely connecting over VPN. Finally, I’m very interested in trying something similar to the notorious “7 gamers 1 CPU” experience. I’ve been led to believe multiple expansion slots is important for that since you may need multiple controllers. There just are not many expansion slots on an a mainstream board.

I tend to collect cast off parts when I upgrade or build new systems for friends. So I will have multiple mid range video cards kicking around.

I heard that the non pro 5000 ThreadRippers were officially canceled despite the fact that they did exist, as seen with the 5990X overclocking with an engineering sample on a Zenith II Extreme. (Look up ScatterBencher if you want to see it)

Thanks again for your help.

It sounds like you need two or three different machines. :slight_smile: I understand the temptation to build one machine to rule them all—and Wendell’s videos can be quite coercive—but another option might be to build a server with a BMC that hosts your development and ML environments, virtual machines, etc.; a desktop system for gaming and remoting into the server to do work; and perhaps later down the line a “7 gamers 1 CPU” system.

This is more-or-less the approach I’ve taken with a fileserver and a VM host in my basement and a VFIO workstation in my office that runs Linux and Windows side-by-side. I ran fiber from the basement to the office for 10GbE. I know not everybody has the space and time to host and manage multiple physical machines, but I like keeping the noisy stuff out of my office (and away from my kids). This allowed me to “downsize” to a more affordable X570/5950X build for my workstation with two GPUs, a whole mess of Gen4 NVMe drives, and on-board 10GbE, WiFi 6E, TB4, etc.

Your server can be as humble (and as inexpensive) as a single-socket Xeon E5 v4 system with 40 lanes (like my fileserver), all the way up to dual-socket EPYC. Or you can re-purpose a second-hand X399 board and a 1950X or 2970WX or what have you. Any system is viable, really—as long as it meets your primary requirements—because you can always slap on a Pi-KVM.

Anyway, just my two cents.

Sounds like someone is in the market for one of these:
https://www.asrockrack.com/general/productdetail.asp?Model=EPYC3451D4U-2L2T2O8R

Mind, I found a price of 2k USD :exploding_head: on Newegg a few weeks ago. Less expensive options exist, search the aforementioned Asrock site for suitable spec’s then the web for prices and availability.

HTH!

I have some old servers now actually. The power efficiency is horrible (Dual L5640s or 30s I think. I can get in trouble leaving those running.) I’m also looking for a C2000 atom, used, so that my router is running on an efficient server, but all the used resellers never know if the board they have is of the later revision, or has the fix applied.

I have a 1u (I think it is a 1230v3) but there is something wrong with either the front panel IO (SuperMicro uses a single cable connector but I have not easily found a way to see where it connects to the bezel) or power supply.

One part of my virtual machine push needs to be local because I would like to begin evaluating Linux as a full time OS. Something like UnRaid and the addition of dedicated video and USB cards would allow me to utilize a KVM switch between the two.

My list of functions is overly large, Self reflection (Thanks for triggering it) loops me back to the PCIe lanes. as well as the number of available PCIe slots. After the addition of a TB card, NVMe and GPU, I’m down to (I think based on the generic block diagrams I have seen) having 1x PCIe X4 slot sharing bandwidth with everything moving through the PCH (SATA, additional NVMe, Network, Onboard USB, sound card.

Additionally to add a secondary video card I’ll also have to cut both cards down to x8/x8. If I recall correctly using separate dedicated IO cards/drives can make setting up the simultaneous systems easier.

In summation, it is a case flexibility, now and in the future, that gives me pause on purchasing mainstream. The limited number of slots and PCIe lanes is hard for me to get past.

If AMD had made an intermediate chipset with more PCIe slots and lanes as part of killing off non-pro Threadripper I would be happy. I could work with perhaps as few as 48, like x299 had. They have not, and I have heard no whispers of one coming.

So back to my original question.

Do we know if the 5945WX or 5955WX are coming to the DIY market?
Is buying a 3955WX now for 1500 a waste of money and I should wait until I can get the 5965WX (if the above chips are not coming)?

How much will having a Threadripper hurt gaming over a 5950?

I guess I could look at a dual system case, but that will make the water loop very tricky. I’d rather put this entire thing into a O11D-XL and call it a day.

Thanks for your further time.

NVIDIA just announced the new 4000 series. If you really want to get into machine learning you would wait 1-2 months. The 4080 comes with 16GB, 60% more than a 3080. For deep learning this really matters.

In terms of PCIe bandwidth the new X670E and Z790 chipsets should have enough, but I don’t know if there will be motherboards capable to spit it between many different devices.

NVIDIA just announced the new 4000 series. If you really want to get into machine learning you would wait 1-2 months. The 4080 comes with 16GB, 60% more than a 3080. For deep learning this really matters.

One in the hand is worth two in the bush. Would you take a 4080 founders edition (16GB GDDR6X, 256-bit memory bus, 9728 CUDA cores) at a MSRP of $900, over a brand new EVGA FTW 3 Ultra 3090 (24GB, 384 bit bus, 10496 CUDA ) @ $1,000? Also the 12GB only has a 192-bit bus and even less cores. (As someone said it seems like a 3070TI in disguise)

Also, unless you have a different source, the x670E has the same amount of lanes and slots sadly. The E just uses all PCIe5 lanes, while the non E only uses PCIe 5 to the GPU and “storage”.

AM5 provides 28 lanes: 4 for the chipset, 4 for the primary M.2 slot, 4 general purpose lanes (second M.2 slot or USB4 controller), and 16 PEG lanes.

Yes I should have said 28, thank you for correcting me and being more explicit. Sadly my expansion slots issue isn’t solved. Supposedly intel’s Xeon-W got pushed back again also so that isn’t much help. Thank you for your help. I guess I should cross my fingers and hold off a little longer. At the very least until the Ryzen 7000 finally hit retail.

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None of the vscode work stuff, or home assistant stuff, or ML stuff requires a Linux desktop strictly speaking… you could get on well with a windows gamestation pulling double duty as your terminal towards your Linux stuff…

or do a pair of GPUs in x8x8 and PCIe passthrough GPU to Windows.

I think a Ryzen 9 7950X + 128G + 4090 would feel like a good start, and then from whatever budget you have leftover in a couple of years, take the future old 4090 GPU into a new build for work, put a new GPU next to future old 7950x for gaming… and get a decent KVM to switch between the two boxes.

Going with Genoa (AMD epyc) just so you could get 4 GPUs 5 thunderbolts and 5 to 7 random nvme somewhere down the line sounds like a bad investment.

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Do not talk yourself out of a ThreadRipper Pro if you can afford one. It has been a true game changer for me, I too struggled with PCIE lanes for years.

It has turned my world around and wait for nothing.

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