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Threadripper & Ryzen only builds (3rd Gen starts on page 50)

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I just bought the Silverstone IceGem 360 TR4, now I see the Alphacool Eisbaer Pro Aurora 360 for TR4.  I haven't installed the Silverstone yet. What do you guys think, should I return the Silverstone for the Alphacool?  I would put links to both, but I'm not sure if I'm allowed too in the forums.

Nejc Kilar:

Looking at those specs I think generally speaking you're good. The only thing that I would reconsider in your place is that 850W PSU for the 3970x and a 3090. AFAIK you are going to be pushing close to its limits if you'll be running the 3970x AND the 3090 full speed so I'd personally feel quite a bit more comfortable with 1000W+ there. Especially if you'll enable PBO.

Memory wise, I dunno, what you've listed seems great. Running a couple of different rendering benchmarks I can't really notice a difference between 3200mhz and 3600mhz (on a 3970x) and the timings on those modules you've selected seems tight enough. To be 99% sure whether that memory is going to work you can check the motherboards QVL list (on their website) but from what I'm seeing on the forums, most non QVL stuff typically works anyway.

Cooling wise, the 3970x does get toasty with the U14s but it is still within spec. If you can splurge extra I'd consider the Thermal Syphon IceGiant but since you're within spec with the U14s I wouldn't prioritize it. The 3990x appears to be easier to cool so the U14s supposedly does an even better job there.,

As for storage, well, 1TB seems a bit on the low side but I reckon you'll be shuffling projects to the HDD once you've completed them. It really depends on how big your projects get too but I'm thinking you've probably taken all that into the account already. Besides, want more space? You can always plug in another SSD later :)

All of the above is of course just my humble opinion :)

Thanks so much for your answer @Necj Kilar,

All of what you're saying makes perfect sense, and yes you're right about the PSU being a bit weak to run both a 3970X and a 3090, but I will probably go for a cheaper GPU afterall: a 3060 should be enough. In that case, do you still think 850W is too low then?

Also I don't know that much about PBO: it looks like a kind of automatic OC isn't it? Is PBO available both on 3070X and 3090X? Are there any prerequisites to enable it?
Any useful links are much appreciated.

About the CPU, I'm still not really decided if I go for a 3070X or a 3090X, but I will probably go for a 3090X even if it's way more costly: I know I could also build a render node with the money I'd save if I go for a 3070X instead, but my office is pretty tiny so I will save space if I have only one 3090X machine instead of a 3070X + one render node (or two?), not to mention I will also save time by not choosing components, building the node, configuring the network, deploying software and plugins updates ... And in the case I have to render very complex scenes and/or very high resolution images, I will hire an online render farm. What's your advice?

Thanks again guys, I do value your help a lot,

Nejc Kilar:
You are welcome! I mean I'm just thinking out loud here so don't take everything I say as fact. Truth is, I'm a little new to Zen as the 3970x is my first Zen workstation since... Well, since I was a kid sporting an AMD Athlon. Not that I didn't like Zen or Zen+, on the contrary really but at that point in time I already owned a server grade WS  that was and still is speedy :)

850W for a 3970x or a 3990x with a 3060 should be good enough in my opinion. If you aren't doing a lot of GPGPU stuff then going with a lower tier GPU makes perfect sense imho because it won't help you render faster with Corona at all and the Nvidia AI denoiser will work really fast on the 3060 too. Save some cash and buy an extra SSD or something :)

You can think of PBO as sort of an automatic OC yeah. AFAIK there aren't any prerequisites but lower temps and a thing you can't control anyway - power consumption of the chip. To enable it you basically turn it on in the BIOS and that's it. On my ASUS STRIX XE GAMING motherboard it actually came set to AUTO which I think just means ON - as evident by the CPU boosting up to 90c when it ain't explicitly disabled. Not quite sure how it works honestly because I was under the impression that the CPU's wattage should skyrocket with PBO being on but from what I can tell that didn't really happen. The boost clocks are a nice addition although I can't quite see them making a huge impact either. Honestly, somebody who knows more about PBO should probably speak up :)

As for tiny spaces and multiple nodes... Well, the more rendering power you cram into a single package the less heat output you'll have in that room plus it'll be one less machine to mess around with - so just like you said, less worrying about the different updates and all that stuff. If you can splurge for the 3990x and it makes business sense to do so I think that's the way I'd go. It'll last you longer because it is faster for rendering (not so much for other stuff though) and you'll have less machines to tend to.

Thank you for your advice @Nejc Kilar, always good to have the point of view of somebody else :)

I found a really good article about the Threadripper 3990X and the PBO feature:
It's worth having both a strong cooling system and PSU also: the store I will buy the workstation at is running out of Corsair PSUs at the moment, so I'd have to go for a 1200W FSP 80+ Platinum - Modular instead. As I didn't care too much about hardware stuff until very recently, I've never heard of that brand before. Is FSP good?


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