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AMD Ryzen Threadripper CPU's

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The highest end socket 2066 i9 (10980xe) is currently out of stock across the entire US.

That was some of the impetus to try and get a Threadripper build that would be rock-solid and quiet enough.

 

Noise: 

I'm used to a machine that's near dead-silent.  

Moving to a machine with high-RPM small fan (high pitched whine) is not appealing.

On the 3950x build, I used a 120mm quiet fan  focused on the chipset (to keep the small fan from coming on).

That took care of the noise issue with Ryzen-9.

I was disappointed that using a quality 360mm water-cooler resulted in no appreciable performance increase.

 

Upon using the 3950x in my main studio DAW:

Working at ultra low latency (performance wise) was a step backward from the (less expensive) 9900k.

With the 9900k, I could do things like play DI guitar thru Helix Native (software plugin version of Line-6 Helix) at 96k using a 32-sample ASIO buffer size.

That's playing in realtime thru Helix Native at ~2ms total round-trip latency (equal to Helix hardware).

With the 9900k, it was a heavy load... but audio is glitch-free.

With the 3950x, audio would occasionally glitch.

Granted, this isn't something that everyone would be doing, but (for me) was a significant step backward.

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9 minutes ago, InstrEd said:

It is nice though that AMD does have some great chips out now and hopefully the next round of AMD CPU's will have some more head room in overclocking.  Us as consumers win.

Agreed.

I'm coming off sounding negative toward AMD.

I've used AMD in the past (many Athlon based machines)... and I'd do so again (if the circumstances were a good fit).

 

Things I'd like to see:

  • Clock-speed equal or better than Intel
  • TDP reduced to where noise is more manageable
  • Motherboard issues ironed out
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Jim, since you seem to be the resident computer building expert, I was wondering if you have any advice on sound dampening a computer case?

Is this something people even do or is it more common to buy a case that is made for that already? I would be concerned that any dampening material might act as heat insulation and trap more heat in the case. Thanks!

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4 hours ago, RSMcGuitar said:

Jim, since you seem to be the resident computer building expert, I was wondering if you have any advice on sound dampening a computer case?

Is this something people even do or is it more common to buy a case that is made for that already? I would be concerned that any dampening material might act as heat insulation and trap more heat in the case. Thanks!

Sound damping material in a case won't cause thermal issues.

Keep in mind that a "Silent" computer case isn't air-tight.

You've got intake and exhaust fans that keep air moving thru the case.

 

The sound-damping material in a case is really more for vibration and resonance type noise.

If you use noisy components in a "Silent" type case, it'll still be noisy.

A silent DAW is the sum of all components.  All components need to be quiet.

 

If you have proper intake/exhaust fans, acoustic damping material isn't a problem.

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Not sure if these have been mentioned already, but Noctua do some fans that are really quiet. Their choice of colours may be subjective, but I would imagine someone would typically spend more time looking at the music they're making, rather than their PC case.

https://noctua.at/en/products/fan

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, antler said:

Not sure if these have been mentioned already, but Noctua do some fans that are really quiet. Their choice of colours may be subjective, but I would imagine someone would typically spend more time looking at the music they're making, rather than their PC case.

https://noctua.at/en/products/fan

I just replaced the fans in my control room rig case with Noctua fans and they are quiet!!! Their color scheme is kinda groovy :)

Edited by Tommy Byrnes
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1 hour ago, antler said:

Not sure if these have been mentioned already, but Noctua do some fans that are really quiet. Their choice of colours may be subjective, but I would imagine someone would typically spend more time looking at the music they're making, rather than their PC case.

https://noctua.at/en/products/fan

Noctua is one of my favourite brands for cooling. I also like the bequiet! Silent Wings 3 High Speed fans. I find the both of the perform just as good as one other. The Noctua is a bit more higher pitched compared to the bequiet! in my experience though. 

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2 hours ago, antler said:

Not sure if these have been mentioned already, but Noctua do some fans that are really quiet. Their choice of colours may be subjective, but I would imagine someone would typically spend more time looking at the music they're making, rather than their PC case.

https://noctua.at/en/products/fan

Noctua came out with some black fans this year to address those complaints. I actually didn't mind their "trademark" look personally. Just make sure to check their motherboard compatibility list. I made the mistake of buying a fan that covered my first PCIe slot the first time. Luckily it fit my Intel computer just fine so I repurposed it and then bought the proper heatsink/fan the second time.

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23 hours ago, Jim Roseberry said:

Upon using the 3950x in my main studio DAW:

Working at ultra low latency (performance wise) was a step backward from the (less expensive) 9900k.

I wish I had a 9900k to compare to but this depends on your needs. For me, the more important rating was how things perform at high buffer settings.  I use Kontakt a lot and other ram intensive VSTi's  so I need things to run as smooth as possible with high track counts which is where Ryzen shines.  Based on DAWbench results, for high buffer settings, the 3950 outperforms the 9900k so as per usual one needs to look at what their priorities are. For example, if I was also doing a lot of video editing on my Music PC then I think Ryzen becomes the obvious choice, but even then I could see that if you were an avid guitar player (once again, your priorities) you might still want the low latency that Intel delivers at low buffer settings.

Keep in mind I have been an Intel only guy until the recent Ryzen 3 launch which finally persuaded me.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/24/2020 at 12:14 PM, Jim Roseberry said:

 

The 3970x (Threadripper) and 3950x (Ryzen 9) have very little OC headroom.

Little to none... (same with the 3960x)

If you get a Threadripper or Ryzen 9 with the idea of locking all cores at anywhere close to the maximum turbo frequency, you'll be disappointed.

Personally, I think think this is an apples to oranges debate. I get it though. For years we are used to focusing on overclocking capabilities of Intel vs AMD and making those head to head comparisons but I just think that the AMD architecture is just so different now that you have to look at AMD and Intel from their individual stand points. AMD's Performance Boost (not be confused with PBO) works in such a unique way that it gives the user the best "overall" performance one can possible get out of the cpu, along with the ability to maximize memory performance through the infinity fabric. The point being that there is no reason to overclock a Ryzen chip, and if you do the performance gains are negligible considering the loss of warranty that comes with it. Intel's 9th and 10th gen is not wired this way and is more "traditional" one might say and the speed of memory has very little impact on performance (which can also be a good thing). I'm not saying that higher clock speeds don't help Ryzen, but rather that it is only one component of the Performance Boost system that they've come up with.

A more suitable comparison is the one you did when you tested the low latency performance of your guitar playing.  Intel shines at low buffer settings where AMD does really well at high buffer and highly multi-threaded applications. Not one is the holy grail so one must look at their overall needs and choose what "fits".

Edited by Patrick Derbidge

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2 hours ago, Patrick Derbidge said:

Personally, I think think this is an apples to oranges debate. I get it though. For years we are used to focusing on overclocking capabilities of Intel vs AMD and making those head to head comparisons but I just think that the AMD architecture is just so different now that you have to look at AMD and Intel from their individual stand points. AMD's Performance Boost (not be confused with PBO) works in such a unique way that it gives the user the best "overall" performance one can possible get out of the cpu, along with the ability to maximize memory performance through the infinity fabric. The point being that there is no reason to overclock a Ryzen chip, and if you do the performance gains are negligible considering the loss of warranty that comes with it. Intel's 9th and 10th gen is not wired this way and is more "traditional" one might say and the speed of memory has very little impact on performance (which can also be a good thing). I'm not saying that higher clock speeds don't help Ryzen, but rather that it is only one component of the Performance Boost system that they've come up with.

The problem with Threadripper is the TDP is too high.

An ultra quiet 3970x build simply can't be done.  I know for sure (I've done everything possible to make it work). 

Way too noisy for myself and clients!

This is why Threadripper has little to no OC potential (why the clock-speed can't be ramped up); heat quickly gets out of control.

 

I've mentioned this many times... but I'll repeat (yet again).

Not every process in a DAW can be heavily multi-threaded.

In those processes, 3.5GHz clock-speed is a significant performance hit.

Highest clock-speed and more cores is the key to dominant performance in all DAW scenarios.

This is why I rail on about clock-speed.

If you're talking ultra low latency audio settings, any type of performance throttling is not desirable.

 

 

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This thread was aptly named "Threadripper" . You guys are tearing this one up🙃

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Jim Roseberry said:

The problem with Threadripper is the TDP is too high.

An ultra quiet 3970x build simply can't be done.  I know for sure (I've done everything possible to make it work). 

Way too noisy for myself and clients!

I can definitely believe that.  One of the main reasons I didn't consider AMD over Intel for many years was due to how hot they ran,. Having said that, wouldn't an Intel 9980xe be more of a comparison to the Thread ripper? I'm pretty sure a 9980xe would be a beast to try and cool as well.

That's why I prefer to stick with Ryzen's or a 9900k from Intel. If Intel wasn't so stingy and finally drop the price of the 9900k I'd probably pick one up for a second build. My order of preference, based on budget from least expensive to most expensive would look like this:

 

1. Ryzen 3600

2. Intel 9900k

3. Ryzen 3950x, although you bring up some good points about those who might want the best low buffer, low latency performance might need to look at 9900k regardless of price.

 

Also, if you can find some good deals on the Intel 8700k's then you could build a pretty nice system around that as well.

 

 

Edited by Patrick Derbidge

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11 hours ago, Patrick Derbidge said:

I can definitely believe that.  One of the main reasons I didn't consider AMD over Intel for many years was due to how hot they ran,. Having said that, wouldn't an Intel 9980xe be more of a comparison to the Thread ripper? I'm pretty sure a 9980xe would be a beast to try and cool as well.

  • Threadripper - TDP = 280w
  • i9-10980xe - TDP = 165w
  • i9-9980xe - TDP = 165w

Socket 2066-i9 requires water-cooling, but because the TDP is significantly lower, it can run quieter.  Also, the chipset is passive-cooled (no fan).

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1 hour ago, Jim Roseberry said:
  • Threadripper - TDP = 280w
  • i9-10980xe - TDP = 165w
  • i9-9980xe - TDP = 165w

280w!!! Wow, that's hot, although we are talking 32  cores vs 18. I wonder if Intel will find a way to do better when they get there.

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37 minutes ago, Patrick Derbidge said:

280w!!! Wow, that's hot, although we are talking 32  cores vs 18. I wonder if Intel will find a way to do better when they get there.

Intel is having a hard enough time getting the new 10980xe to distributors/vendors.   😉

 

Intel Xeon 8180 is 28 cores with super low clock-speed of 2.5GHz.

TDP is 205w

Terrible DAW performer... at a cost of ~$11k.   😃

You can project TDP at significantly higher clock-speed would be thru the roof.

 

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9 hours ago, Jim Roseberry said:

Intel is having a hard enough time getting the new 10980xe to distributors/vendors.   😉

 

Intel Xeon 8180 is 28 cores with super low clock-speed of 2.5GHz.

I am thinking that AMD is not really worried about single core performance. They are more concerned (to me at least) with getting the multicore thing down pat. And they are very close to exactly that. And it's surprising everyone that Intel has fallen behind in the 10nm race. Most of the new chips are still 14nm.

Why DAW devs ( I am including VST devs in this too) haven't programmed for multi-threaded multicore CPU's yet leaves me wondering why. I am sure that a lot has to do with the code of the older programs we use.  But at some point someone will make that leap. Just not in the foreseeable future. Things run good enough I guess!! LOL 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/27/2020 at 5:19 PM, Jim Roseberry said:

Intel is having a hard enough time getting the new 10980xe to distributors/vendors

Hi Jim!

We are a DAW System Builder in Berlin.

We are currently comparing AMD 3970X with Intel 10980XE on Cubendo and Pro Tools plattform.

I am looking for external sources to verify my results and experience, especially on other DAWs. So far there are not that much to find worldwide.

Have you been able to get hold of a 10980XE CPU to test and compare with AMD 3970X?

Edited by Digital AudionetworX

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13 hours ago, Digital AudionetworX said:

Have you been able to get hold of a 10980XE CPU

I haven't seen a single 10980xe actually in-stock anywhere in the US/Canada.

Distributors are saying it won't be available in 2020.

 

In heavily multi-threaded scenarios (and at higher ASIO buffer sizes), the 3970x will smoke the 10980xe.

When working at super small ASIO buffer sizes (or situations that aren't heavily multi-threaded), the 10980xe will best the 3970x.

 

AMD is winning IPC (instructions per clock).

Intel is winning "all core" clock-speed.

 

TDP for the 3970x is 280w.

There's no way to build a quiet Threadripper machine.  (Requires large AIC and the chipset is active-cooled via small high-RPM fan)

This is also partly why there virtually no OC headroom with Threadripper.

All core ratio is ~4GHz.  If you're hoping for anywhere close to 4.5GHz, you'll be disappointed.

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