"Linus Torvalds' Edition" Build - Modified?

@wendell loved your “TR 2990WX Programmers Workstation: Linus Torvalds’ Edition” You really did great.

I’m not so concerned about noise (quiet is nice, but I already have 4 other computers running around me), but I’d really like to reproduce your build for the most part. I might want to save a little money, but I’m going for the gold here to build a Proxmox server that’s going to run 2 guest workstations for game development, 3D modeling and video editing with passthrough RX 580 video cards (one each).

I’m planning on running a ASRock Fatality X399 due to better RAM support. I want to run 128 GB RAM so I found a good deal for 128 GB of (2x 64 GB DIMMS) 2933MHz ECC. This way I can push up to 256 or 512 GB RAM when I’m ready.

Can you please share the specs and profile arrangement on the two best cooling units you showcased?

I also might want to have some discussion about various parts and options as I go through this… I’m trying to pull a shopping list together right now so I can watch a few prices and then pull the trigger on them over the next two weeks to get this together.

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Make sure the ecc is unregistered. Registered won’t work. Afaik only up to 32gb dimms exist in unregistered varieties.

Enermax liqtech ii for tr4 360mm for that case and the Noctua high pressure fans are pretty much the best . Noctua tr4 tower cooler is also great but you won’t be able to push the 2990 too much

You want to always run 4 sticks of memory on threadripper because of the controller config. Or 8 for capacity.


Oh wow @wendell I thought the Fatality supported REGISTERED ECC and not UN-REGISTERED… I’m glad you caught that. Strange Im finding registered to be cheaper than UN.

Can you point me to the difference between registered and unregistered ECC? Or are we talking about registered vs unbuffered (being a synonym)?

Unbuffered ECC is pretty much the same thing as regular memory, all memory chips are directly wired up to the memory controller in the CPU, you just have 9 ICs per rank instead of 8. (the 9th stores the parity bits)

With server memory, you have things like registered and load reduced RAM, that has additional buffer chips on every stick to reduce the load on the IMC, and the memory chips are wired into the buffer chips, or something like that.

Not “ze best”.

One of the quietest below the 2K rpm range, sure.
On a par in performance with fans costing less than half their price, again sure.
Hyped to death, oh again sure.
But not the “best”. Just to keep our facts straight.

As to the OP, unless you need the Fatality’s extras, the Taichi would give you exactly the same, only cost you less.
Have fun and welcome to the Threaddie club :slight_smile:

Well kinda depends on what your goals are with the system.
The 2990WX 250w tdp cpu needs allot of power if you wanne squeeze it up to its max potential.
Although the Asrock X399 Taichi and Fatalitiy professional,
do have a good vrm for the 180W tdp cpu’s up till a 2950X.
But if you want to go thinkering with a 2990WX and overclocking,
then vrm’s on those Asrock boards will get pretty toasty.
Its better go with a gen2 board with an beefier vrm for the 250w tdp sku’s.

Gen 2 boards:

  • Asus Zenith Extreme Alpa.
  • Msi X399 MEG.
  • Gigabyte X399 Aorus Extreme.

Gen 1 boards with a great vrm:

  • Asus Zenith Extreme. <-- allthough this board has the same Vcore vrm as the Asrock Taichi and Fatality.
    But you can get an active cooling kit for this particular board.
    This helps improving vrm thermals significantly.

  • Msi X399 Gaming pro Carbon AC. This is a 5 phase doubled 10 phases, with IR3555 60A powerstages.

On a side note Msi recently has added offset voltage settings to their newest AM4 bioses.
So i guess that TR will get this feature enabled soon aswell.

Of course this does not mean that you couldn’t run a 2990WX on a Asrock Taichi.
But make sure you go a decent airflow arround the vrm area.
Because it will get hot.

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The basic difference is that memory commands in unbuffered memory configurations go directly from the controller to the memory module, while in registered memory configurations the commands are sent first to the memory banks’ registers prior to being sent to the memory modules.

The pros and cons of registered ECC are twofold. First, on a negative side, instructions take approximately one CPU cycle longer due to the intermediary of the bank register. On the positive side, this buffering reduces the strain on the CPU’s memory controller because it points to the dedicated intermediary register versus accessing the DRAM directly thus the memory controller has to deal with a fewer number of targets making it more reliable.

Also after reading the replies. I would definitely follow @MisteryAngel’s suggestions m8. The VRMs are pretty essential parts of your board when it comes to doing the things she spoke about. I would recommend top exit fans to boost cooling capabilities.

That’s because those modules are specifically designed for certain cases. You have to know that they will work in your system to even be looking at them. Unregistered doesn’t have that limitation.

This has become a really interesting discussion and has lead me down the path in terms of various considerations. Maybe I can enhance this build a bit, but I would also like to save money where possible.

This system is going to act as a virtual machine host system (Proxmox/Linux Debian) for 2 host systems that will be for software development, 3D modeling, and video production. I will thus have 2 or 3 video cards (passed through) and I want (need; eventually, probably in 6 months) 10 GbE (perhaps fibre instead if cheaper). I’m guessing I need an additional slow low profile video card for the Linux OS as well just for sanity.

My goal is to be able to ultimately have 256-512 GB of memory. Someone suggested that I could run 8 fastish nvme drives in a raid 0 storage array (using 2x quad adapter cards) for swap to make up for RAM deficiencies, which could be perhaps less costly (maybe $600-800).

I suppose this all means to me that I need to be looking at the most robust motherboard as far as PCIe slots go or some kind of an expansion option to allow for more cards.

I’m not committed to OC’ing the **** out of this thing, but I might tweak it a little - I could go either way, but I’d prefer stability and longevity with cost a close second vs “bat outta hell” speed.

What are your thoughts with relation to this additional info?

256gb is possible now. For more you might wait for Rome, or possibly go epyc. Amd is upping clock speed of epyc parts so that’s nice. Tr is still king for single thread. Though.


They have identical VRMs… identical :slight_smile:
And why mix gen1 and gen2 boards and all this additional stuff, irrelevant as it is? He’s set on the 399 Fatal1ty… all i said was that unless he really needs any one of its extras, the Taichi is literally identical in everything else, same exact PCB, only cheaper. Simple stuff.

Anyway, carry on i guess.

OP plans to run it. There may be good reasons to choose another mainboard over the X399 Professional Gaming. Bring on more option until OP wants them to narrow down.

Strangely enough, I have an old server that can hold 288 GB of RAM maximum and yet Threadripper goes up to 256 GB despite being newer.

I suppose beyond 256 GB is overkill, but when I think of Threadripper I think of overkill. Plus if you can even afford that much RAM, Epyc is not out of the question anyways.

I’ve been told that the Asrock handles RAM much better than other mfgs - or is much more forgiving of various types so less problems down road.

Threadripper 3k should be insane.

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The fatality pro and Taichi are identical vrm wise.
I don’t think that i have claimed other wise.
Still same issue counts for the Fatality, unless you have a very decent airflow arround the vrm area.
The vrm will run pretty toasty on those boards.
So since op allready settles with the Fatality, my advice is to not overclock the system.
Then its probably fine.

Msi, Gigabyte and Asus didn’t upgrade their vrm implementations,
on their highest end TR gen 2 boards for lols.
They did cause the 2970WX and 2990WX use allot of power.
Unfortunately Asrock still has not presented new X399 board revisions.
I assume that they hold off for the new TR sku’s that will come this year.

The only new board that Asrock has presented is the X399 Phantom Gaming 6.
Which is not really a great board to say the least.

I did not say that the Asrock X399 Taichi and Fatality pro are bad boards.
In fact they are great boards actually.
But more geared towards the 180W tdp cpu’s basically.
Like i said you can run a 2990WX on it, but make sure there is some decent airflow arround the vrm area.
Because the vrm will generate allot of heat.


Curious @MisteryAngel, are there liquid cooling options that would integrate with CPU cooling for the vrm in order to reduce airflow necessity?

Well you probably can get custom vrm cooling blocks.
But i’m not sure if Asrock has anything like that.
But i guess that you can get something like that from a custom manufacturer.
But i would suggest to just run the system firstly, and do a test drive and,
monitor the vrm temps.
As long as the vrm temps stay below 105C then you should be fine.
If you get close to 115C / 120C the board will most likely shut down.
The IR3555 powerstage can handle 60A at a package temp up to 125C.
At that critical temp point they will drop rapidly.
Best is to keep the vrm under 100C if you can.

The Asus Zenith Extreme for example also has the same vcore vrm as the Taichi and Fatality.
But with Asus you can get an active cooling kit for the vrm.
This improves vrm temps significantly.

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