Looking for an AM4 motherboard and ram

I purchased a 5950X and now looking for a mother board and ram.

I don’t plan to overclock the cpu or ram

Features:

Price not an issue

64+ gigs of ram - The more ram the more Chrome tabs I can have open :laughing:

Enough PCIE slots to support one graphics card and a 10gig network card

Multiple sticks of NVME at PCIE 4.0 speeds. I plan to use all NVME in RAID(Not sure which version to use for speed). I don’t really care about losing SATA ports.

RAM features:
I don’t know enough about ram to make a wise decision.

Hmm, then we’re talking enthusiast-grade.

The Aorus X570S Master got pretty much everything you want with 4 PCIE Gen 4 m.2 drives; Only bad thing is the 4x 16x PCIe slot at the bottom.

Raiding the NVMes for extra speed is just… Why? All slots will run faster than your NIC anyway with 4.0. Only reason would be for mirroring.

If you need more PCIe lanes for a 3x8 setup, I have seen one such card. Unfortunately I lost the name of it, did that research 12 months ago now. IIRC it only had 2 m.2 slots though.

As for RAM, anything running at 3600 MHz and up will be just fine. Try to get 18 CL latency; other than that, don’t buy the absolutely dirt cheapest you can find.

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If you’re going to use 4 4.0 m.2 SSDs a GPU and a 10g nic you might want to consider threadripper because you simply do not have enough lanes to run the SSDs with full lanes

Something to note about 4.0 SSDs and raid cards is that not many will support 4.0 speeds and ones that do usually don’t do it very well and you get errors

Many threadripper boards will include a raid card for m.2 but only use these for 3.0 ssds

Also true

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If money isn’t an issue…

Maybe the Asus Pro Art X570 Creator with a onboard 10Gbit nic might be an option.
Then you could use the second pci-e slot for a m.2 addin card,
not sure if that would work well with raid.
But in the end on main stream platforms you are pci-e lane limited like,
@GigaBusterEXE already mentioned.

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Yep the 5950X honestly is kinda too big for the AM4 platform; I get that it is a halo product, and yes 16 cores is nice, but over 8 cores the limiting factor of the platform becomes the amount of PCIe lanes.

I found the x8/x8/x8 board, the Asus Pro WS X570-ACE:

Short gist of it:

  • 3 PCIe 4.0 x16 ports (Either x16/x0/x8 or x8/x8/x8)
  • 1 PCIe 4.0 x1 port (x1)
  • 2 PCIe 4.0 m.2 port (x4/x2)

For reference, the Pro Art X570 Creator has:

  • 3 PCIe 4.0 x16 ports (Either x16/x0/x4, x8/x8/x4 or x8/x4*/x4)
  • 3 PCIe 4.0 m.2 (x4/x4*/x4)

Note that M2_2 steals 4 lanes from the x16_2 slot when active.

And the Aorus X570S Master has:

  • 3 PCIe 4.0 x16 ports (Either x16/x0 or x8/x8, third slot is either x4 or x0)
  • 4 PCIe 4.0 m.2 ports (x4/x0/x4/x0 or x2/x2/x4/x0 or x2/x2/x2/x2)

Again, the third/fourth m.2 steals the lanes from the third PCIe 16x port.

At the end of the day it’s simply a question of which tradeoff is better here. There are unfortunately no perfect solutions, since the PCIe lanes are simply too few.

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The prices being charged for some of these “high end” x570 boards, you think they would include a PLX switch to give users more lanes to work with, in a workstation configuration.

I’m confused why AMD offers the 5900x and 5950x but has them severely hamstrung with so few pcie lanes. The price jump to Threadripper is enormous, compared to the olden days for example jumping from a 2700x to a 2920x wasn’t thousands of dollars.

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As-is, you’d be already allocating ALL 24 CPU lanes, between your RAW critical [M.2-CPU direct, GPU, Chipset communication]. The Chipset would account for whatever PCIe balance applicable - Mainboard options needing own investigation, on how PCIe divvying occurs between various add-on arrangements [PCIe slot or SATA clusters disabling, when adding larger components or multiple small components…]

Currently, you’re talking 28 lanes will be gone, off the cuff, once adding the 10GbE
At VERY best, 2 addtl. NVMes, would be the theoretical [x570 board = 36 PCIe lanes]

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I’m tempted to sell my 5950x for a Threadripper pro series cpu/motherboard. Otherwise I will need to limit my m.2 ssd to probably 1 and forget about raid.

I would personally go towards am4 and keep a single large SSD

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IF you’re really looking to spam PCIe M.2, for a more elaborate RAID [like RAID 5+], then sure
Do know you’re talking bigg cost, on that kinda move [ WRX80 mainboard be pushing 1k]

Otherwise, 1 Boot+Programs and 2 bulk drives [for RAID 1?] could suffice on AM4
…Or just spamming a bunch of SATA SSDs, for bulk [RAID] storage?

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Sure, this is possible to do. The question is though, do you really need to?

m.2 PCIe 4.0 carry a bus rate of 16 Gigabit per lane e.g. a 10GE card would be fine with a single PCIe lane. This is not strictly true, since there are also collisions and random seek times to consider, so real-world would be maybe 5-6 GBit/s per lane?

My point is your 10GE would probably max out with at most 2 lanes of PCIe 4.0. So, it isn’t just about the number of lanes but also the bandwidth. Of course, a gen 3.0 card or 2.0 card would be a different story.

So, what do you really need from this computer? Is your use case that starved that you must max out your 4.0 lanes on everything? Then yes, go Threadripper. If it’s just a nice-to-have though, maybe better to make the best of what you already have? :slight_smile:

At the end of the day, only you can decide what is right for you. Just making sure you consider all aspects instead of just thinking you are leaving performance on the table.

The 5950X is for those people that want to max the AM4 platform. Not a bad purchase, but there’s nowhere to go after that either. 5950X reached the top, maaaaaybe there will be a 5950XT 3D-stacked CPU coming out in 2022 but otherwise…

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I gave more thought to my next build. I will stick with the AM4 platform and keep the 5950x cpu. I now plan to use one large capacity nvme ssd, 10gig card and graphics card. Will I need to use an enthusiast motherboard with that setup? I’m still kind of stump on the whole pcie lanes situation…

Future setup:
5950x
Large capacity nvme SSD
10gig card
GPU(I can’t decide on: 6800xt, 6900xt, 3070 or 3080)

Well, that depends. Do you need some wiggle room in terms of upgrades or not, and how important is PCIe 4.0 on everything?

The main choice is X570 or B550. The difference is whether or not you can live with PCIe 3.0 and whether or not you care about VFIO (GPU passthrough in Linux, mainly). Also, X570 has more chipset lanes, and as a result usually has more m.2 drives than their counterparts - though B550 typically supports bigger and faster RAM.

Most X570 and B550 boards use the same PCIe 4.0 Lane setup, which is 8+8+4+4 from the CPU and then additional lanes from the chipset (16 for X570, 10 for B550). That is,

  • 8 CPU lanes to slot 1
  • 8 CPU lanes to slot 2, or 1 if 2 is inactive
  • 4 CPU lanes to first m.2 slot
  • 4 CPU lanes to chipset
  • 16/10 Chipset lanes set up specifically for that motherboard

As for your personal setup, 8x would be enough for both cards so only question you need to answer is whether or not you want 4.0 for any potential upgrades.

If yes, go X570. If no, go B550.

I will be back for a couple of suggestions later, but hope that clears up some things. :slightly_smiling_face:

[edit]Updated with GoldenAngel1997s additions[/edit]

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X570 advantages are more PCIe lanes off chipset [16 vs 10] and typically more onboard m.2 slots
B550 advantage are greater memory support and nearly all boards don’t require a chipset fan

… Do study up mainboard layouts, for PCIe slot / m.2 arrangements and component clearances

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Ok, now sitting on a proper desktop, so here are my recommendations, three for each, budget is around $200-$300 as any lower would not be worth it for your particular computer. Here are three options from each chipset that could work for your usecase. I am only willing to consider boards that have a decent VRM. Feature wise these all should have equivalent functionality though you’d have to deep-dive to see what exactly differs them, one might have only 4 SATA ports while another got 6, one has USB-C and the other does not and so on.

If it were me I would be very tempted to go with the B550 Taichi, but then I would build the computer to not be fiddled with except for maybe a GPU upgrade and drive replacement/upgrade. Would otherwise expect it to last at least five years until AMD releases AM6.

Any of these boards are a fine pick though!

X570

Asus ROG Strix X570-E Gaming - $319

Pros: Great VRMs, offers the usual 4.0x8/x8/x4 combo, three m.2 slots
Cons: Price

Gigabyte X570 Aorus Pro - $279

Pros: Good VRMs, offers the usual 4.0x8/x8/x4 combo, Price
Cons: Only 2 m.2 connectors

MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk WiFi - $249

Pros: Great VRMs, bargain price for X570
Cons: Only one PCIe x16 (the others are x4), only two m.2 slots

B550

Gigabyte Aorus B550 Master - $254

Pros: Godlike VRMs, good price, three m.2 slots
Cons: Only one PCIe 4.0x16 and one m.2 4.0x4 (other two are 3.0x4 and 3.0x4/x0 or 3.0x2/x2)

Asrock B550 Taichi - $219

Pros: Great VRMs, offers the usual 4.0x8/x8/x4 combo, nice price
Cons: Only 2 m.2 slots, the distinct appearance may not be aesthetically pleasing in some builds

MSI MPG B550 Gaming Carbon Pro WiFi - $209

Pros: Great VRMs, really great price
Cons: Only one PCIe 4.0x16 and one m.2 4.0x4, only two m.2 slots

Thanks, edited for clarity above :slight_smile:

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I plan to run linux on this new build. I also plan to use this build as a learning experience by updated hardware in the future and whatever else.

Thank you ALL for explaining this to me. I will have to read and reread everything to make a decision.

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