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Workstation build for experimental software

Hello all. I’m planning a developer workstation build to work on my own software to push the boundaries of personal computing. I run Guix System with non-libre kernel as my OS.

CPU: AMD Threadripper Pro 3975WX
I considered the 16 core variant (because cost), but I imagine being limited by core count for what I have in mind. The 64 core is prohibitively expensive.

Motherboard: Asus WRX80E-SAGE
Gigabyte is dead to me as a brand. The Asus seems like a nicer board than the Supermicro, with dual 10 gig network ports for one.

Memory: 16GBx8 Registered ECC
I’d like more capacity, but I’m balancing cost. Primarily I want to maximize memory bandwidth. Is this my optimal configuration?

Storage: P5800X and ??? (see next post in thread)

GPU: Radeon HD 6870
Sort of don’t care for now, this is not a gaming rig. I have an old Radeon HD 6870 that I plan to throw in here. If this card is too old, I do want perfect Linux compatibility and reasonable cost, please advise.

Something high quality, reliable, and quiet! I had good luck with Seasonic. I’d like to leave headroom for a decent GPU. 850W should be about right?

It is very important to me that the machine is quiet, yet can go 10 years with minimal maintenance. I suspect air cooling and some sort of Noctua?

Something with room to throw in old rust and quiet! I have no interest in rgb, something classy.

I’ll edit the post as I do my research. Thanks for reading and please share your suggestions!

[edited for brevity]

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I put together the 16 core model on the Asus WRX80 Sage using this memory kit:


Booted up straight away, no problems at all. Ran memtest64+ for 24 hours, no errors. The ASUS m/b is quite amazing. Loaded w/ features, looks and feels like premium quality gear no doubt about it. I can also say it is the best m/b I have ever owned.

I used the Fractal Meshify 2 XL case as Wendell. No issue with cable management but I got custom cables from TitanRig. Side note, amazing cables with zero issues. I picked up a Seasonic TX 850 p/s.

Just installed the P5800x so not sure yet regarding performance but I am sure it will be amazing… again as per Wendell.

Using a Noctua 140mm fan for this socket. Can’t remember the name but its for Threadripper/Pro. Added a second fan. Performs great. This is the first system in decades that I didnt use watercooling on for various reasons. It is a workstation platform, watercooling is too much maintenance and worries for me at least. Set it and forget it equals Noctua cooling.

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Thank you for sharing the details of your build. We think alike it seems.

I ended up going with the Fractal Torrent because I really liked it aesthetically and the huuuge fans are right for this air cooled build. Me thought “surely it will be big enough”. And you know what… it fits, barely. I had to take out all the rubber grommets (trimmed one). I imagine this case would not be good for water cooling, the airflow/layout doesn’t make sense to me for where you would need to put the radiator, since all fans are intake. I would probably go with the 2 XL if I was to do it again.

Went air cooled for the same reason as you, however unlike you I’ve never done a water cooled build. It does sound like hassle though.

The P5800X is giving me correctable pcie errors in dmesg using the StarTek U.2 to PCIe adapter. How did you hook up yours?

Do check your kernel messages, system installed and works fine on the surface, but this is a nasty issue to keep around… and easy to miss. Wendel just did a video about this!