Description

Use

This computer is used for statistical modeling and code development. It can easily run several VMs for testing, and several instances of code at the same time for model comparison. My code usually does not involve GPU, but CPU only.

Building

Note: The Noctua NF-A20 PWM will fit the Commander C32 case, however, you need to cut a tiny bit of plastic out of the front cover around the mounting clips. A small sharp kitchen knife will do. Replacing the font fans means losing RGB, but with the Noctua fans it is super silent.

The black Noctua NH-D15 CPU cooler would look quite consistent with the other components, however, I like the classic Noctua look.

The case is relatively easy to work in, no sharp edges, but the board sits relatively tight on the top and bottom. Cable management is excellent, since the case is wide. The Noctua NH-D15 has tons of room in this case.

Memory runs fine at 2800-16, but the XMP/DOCP profile doesn't work reliably. It's dirt cheap memory, and can be replaced once 3600-16 memory becomes affordable.

Notes

GPU is actually an MSI RX570, which I wasn't able to find on pcpartpicker. Since this workstation is really about CPU not GPU, it really does not matter to me.

Also, vertical mounting a large GPU is not an option, since the Noctua cooler does not leave enough space for that (maybe if turned by 90 degrees).

Updates

I did replace the Ripjaws V memory modules. They were 3200 modules, but manually or via DOCP they wouldn't go past 2800. I replaced them with Trident Z Neos (AMD Edition, 3600 Mhz, 16-19 timing). I applied a very, very slight overclock: FCLK 1833, memory 3666) and the system is running fine. Just to provide one reference, I booted win10 and ran geekbench. It improved from 13500 to 14700. So is an extra ~1000 points worth ~150 dollars? Everyone need to decide for themselves. If you need 64GB RAM (or more), it may be better to choose a 3950x with slower memory than a 3900x with faster memory on the same budget.

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Comments

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build and components for these apps. Congratulations. I'm glad to see a 16 core CPU build on this site for around $1,500. All others are much more $. I would consider returning that memory soon as some day you will re-sell it and the buyer will not be fully satisfied w/ it. Please add some more pics and enjoy!

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for the kind words! Yes, memory swap is coming soon, it's a significant bottleneck. It will still be one of the most affordable builds for 16 core workstations.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build for someone with computational requirements. I will be working with MATLAB/Mathematica/Python most of the times for code development. I think this build will workout very nicely.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. Note on the memory, as it has been suggested to upgrade: Going from Ripjaws@2800 to Neos@3600 meant going from 13770 to 14527 in Geekbench. However, is userbenchmark, the score is even slighly lower. For my computational tasks, I don't really notice the difference. So if you have big datasets, I suggest more memory instead of more expensive, faster memory.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Do you use one single center cooler fan after replacing your memory w/ Trident Z Neos? AFAIK, the Trident is too tall to fit under the 2nd fan. If that's the case, what is your loaded CPU's temp w/ one fan? Thanks

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Lanny: I am still using both fans. You are right, the Trident Zs are indeed a little bit higher than the Ripjaws. However, this is the advantage of the Thermaltake C32 case: there is just so much space because the case is so wide. I just moved the fan up by a little bit. It still covers the fins of the Noctual cooler just fine. Consider this pic (it's the black edition, but same design): https://noctua.at/media/catalog/product/cache/2/image/450x300/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/n/h/nh_d15_chromax_black_3_1_1.jpg. The fins start pretty high up, so moving the fan up by .3in or so doesn't really change anything. Temps under full load are in the mid/high 60s - depending on how aggressive I set the fans.

If I did care about looks, I'd probably try to go with one fan, because the RGB lights are partly obstructed by the fan. However, I don't care about the looks.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the reply. I'm in the process of building a new computer for futures trading. It's both CPU & GPU drawing intensive. And some decent gaming too. Your reply helps to set my mind on the Noctua chromax black & the Trident Z. The case is set for now on the Phanteks because I need the external drive space to build a hot swap storage & it also has 194mm CPU cooler clearance. I read elsewhere that w/ the AMD 3900 & 1 center fan in push configuration, the full load temp is in the mid 60s so there's the answer for aesthetic if I want it. I currently have an extra RX580 to use as place holder. Here is my build template and I probably will go for black & white halo image.

https://pcpartpicker.com/user/LannyNugen/saved/h6Hf99

and really thank you for your answer.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Sure thing, glad I could help. A few more notes/hints: (1) Under full load, the Noctua fans become audible. This is no issue for me. Under light load, the system is super silent, more silent than an AIO watercooler (because of the pump). So this is perfect for me. While I code, the system is silent. When I compile a lot of code or run an analysis, I usually sit back for a while, and I don't mind an audible fan. However, If you have extended periods of time with 100% all core load AND you want it to be silent under full load, then AIO cooling might be a better choice.

regarding your build/comments: (2) The Aorus Master is a nice board, but probably overkill. I picked the much cheaper Asus board because it benchmarked really well in the OC community, and they liked the VRM performance. The Asus Strix board would be a nice compromise. However, if money no object, the Master is obviously great. (3) The PSU really is a steal, isn't it? Mine is hardly audible, and it's competitively priced. (4) If you can do with just 32 GB of RAM (I couldn't for my application), then consider faster RAM timings. I believe there are Neos with slightly faster CAS. (5) Any thoughts on what your future GPU will be? Anything that would require additional airflow in your case? (6) Case-wise: Check out the Antec P7. I personally don't own it, but I came across it while researching. Not sure if everything fits, but it's a good candidate.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Sorry for the late reply. Mother in law in town for inspection.

Yeah, I picked the Aorus over the Asus due to the possible future need for another m2 drive. The ASRock Taichi also fits my requirement & cheaper so it's a possible replacement. My application draws thousands of 2D lines & fill rectangles in every horizontal retraces (3-4 4K monitors) and at the moment, my current GTX1060 w/ Open GL performs adequately so I won't look for another GPU for a while.