Asrock X570D4U-2L2T Build

Shadowsong

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Dec 3, 2019
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Wanted to share my work in progress server build, i'm making 3 x 2U High Performance Game Servers. Open to any feedback and ideas for further improvement/optimization. However some parts such as the Case, Motherboard and Memory i already have :)

Operating System/ Storage Platform: Windows Server 2019
CPU: AMD 5950x
Motherboard: X570D4U-2L2T
Chassis: X-Case X235L2
Drives: WD Black SN850 500GB M.2 (OS) / WD Black SN850 1TB (Data)
RAM: 4x 32GB KSM32ED8/32ME
Cooler:
Dynatron A24 (165w)
Power Supply: Seasonic PX 750W
Other Bits: Noctura Fans
Usage Profile: Game Server

Notes:
CPU: Ryzen 5000 support requires a beta BIOS for this board
Cooler: I will likely consider swapping the built in fan with a push/pull Noctua fan setup to keep noise down.
PSU: Seasonic confirmed to me that a desktop class CPU should be fine in 2U so long as it was a higher wattage as it will run in fanless mode.
 
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csp-guy

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Jun 26, 2019
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Good motherboard. Can you tell me please about the price of the motherboard?

I would like to buy, too the 10GBE port is nice feature, 2 M.2 slot is great.
 

EffrafaxOfWug

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Feb 12, 2015
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Notes:
CPU: Asrock confirmed to me that the board will likely support the AMD 5000 series, so will aim for that if I can get my hands on 3 of them. If not I will settle for the 3950X.
Cooler: I will likely consider swapping the built in fan with a push/pull Noctua fan setup to keep noise down.
PSU: Seasonic confirmed to me that a desktop class CPU should be fine in 2U so long as it was a higher wattage as it will run in fanless mode.
Drives: Would ideally like to get 2 x 1TB M.2 Drives and run them in raid, but cannot see if this is supported. Will try to power up the MB with no CPU and see if i can enter BIOS to verify.
I'd be wary of expecting a quick BIOS update from ASRR - they're notoriously slow in getting them out of the door (I'm an X470D4U user and whilst I think it's a great board I'm still waiting for a release post 3.30). Depending on how long you have to wait, you might want to see if they have a beta BIOS available before you splurge on the CPUs.

Wait....where is the GPU?
Does it need one...? For a game server you're likely going to only need lots of nice high-clocked cores (depending on the game obviously) and the [3|5]950X has those in spades.
 

Shadowsong

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Dec 3, 2019
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Good motherboard. Can you tell me please about the price of the motherboard?

I would like to buy, too the 10GBE port is nice feature, 2 M.2 slot is great.
Yea it's a very well spec'd board, I picked up 3 for £425 each here in the UK.


Wait....where is the GPU?
No need for a GPU, game servers don't require it. The specific game i'm hosting needs high clocked cores, which the 5000 series will certainly manage.

@EffrafaxOfWug - I've pre-ordered 3 x 5950X chips so will give it ago, likely won't get them until early December I imagine so hopefully Asrock will have sorted it by then. They were not too slow with the 3000 series support at least and did assure me they were working on it. Normally i'd have just taken a 3950x and call it a day, but the 5000 series single thread performance is just too good to pass up!

Out of curiosity does your X470D4U support M.2 in Raid 1/0? Having thought on it, I likely won't use either now but it would be great to know.
 
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EffrafaxOfWug

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Feb 12, 2015
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@EffrafaxOfWug - I've pre-ordered 3 x 5950X chips so will give it ago, likely won't get them until early December I imagine so hopefully Asrock will have sorted it by then. They were not too slow with the 3000 series support at least and did assure me they were working on it. Normally i'd have just taken a 3950x and call it a day, but the 5000 series single thread performance is just too good to pass up!

Out of curiosity does your X470D4U support M.2 in Raid 1/0? Having thought on it, I likely won't use either now but it would be great to know.
I'm booting off two M2 drives in RAID1 but I'm using linux md softraid, no idea what the windows support is for anything similar.

I would love to pick up a 5000 series for my own X470D4U but with only a 16MB BIOS ROM I don't think it's on the cards; I'll consider an X570D4U at some point perhaps. I'll certainly be picking up a 5000 series for my X470 workstation as soon as the BIOS becomes available (waiting until january at least the availability might have improved and early bugs fixed) - as you say, the single thread gains (given that it's the same socket, same fab, same power envelope) are nothing short of spectacular.
 

Shadowsong

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Dec 3, 2019
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I'm booting off two M2 drives in RAID1 but I'm using linux md softraid, no idea what the windows support is for anything similar.

I would love to pick up a 5000 series for my own X470D4U but with only a 16MB BIOS ROM I don't think it's on the cards; I'll consider an X570D4U at some point perhaps. I'll certainly be picking up a 5000 series for my X470 workstation as soon as the BIOS becomes available (waiting until january at least the availability might have improved and early bugs fixed) - as you say, the single thread gains (given that it's the same socket, same fab, same power envelope) are nothing short of spectacular.
Yea that's a shame about the 16MB BIOS ROM on the X470D4U but it might be they will try to make it work hence the delay. I know with the EPYC processors at least (7002) series it had a hard limit so needed the 32MB BIOS.

Is your X470D4U in a rack? Curious to know what cooling people use in 1 or 2U AM4 systems. Going to have to do a fair amount of testing to ensure my little Dynatron cooler manages to keep the temps under control. In a worse case, i'm going to look at using their undervolting which they suggest will be even better than what comes with the 3000 series. Got to wait on the release for that one though - AMD Robert Hallock promises Ryzen 5000 undervolting with new functionality - VideoCardz.com
 

EffrafaxOfWug

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Feb 12, 2015
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Mine's in a tower case (cheap'n'cheerful 8 core server), I believe there's a thread about 1U cooling for AM4 chips somewhere on the boards but IIRC there wasn't much in the way of variety in that regard.

Edit: https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/1u-heatsink-for-am4-and-x470d4u.28190/

Ultimately power/cooling depends on how hard you end up pushing your servers, which may or may not be a known quantity. In a rack server scenario, the case fans/fan wall are generally more important that the HSF unit on top of the CPU; however the BIOS should give you enough rope to enforce strict power limits if need be. Undervolting my 3950X got me both higher performance and less power usage but this'll be entirely dependant on the quality of the chips you end up with; whether the same is true for the 5000's remains to be seen. Going to be an interesting couple of months watching the more detailed tests come out.

Were you planning on using ECC memory or is that of lesser importance for this sort of workload?
 
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Shadowsong

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Thanks for the link, useful discussion to read through.

I’m hope that to be the case with the thermals, doing as much as possible in the case to ensure good airflow.

On the memory front I’ve gone with the ECC 3200mhz from the QVL, it’s not a massive requirement for my workload but it can still help to eliminate some game server crashes. I hasn’t actually realised the non pro Ruben actually were able to use ECC until I spotted it here. What memory do you use in your system?

Do you manually under volt your processor or do you step down the TDP to 65w or what ever options are provided in the BIOS?
 

williedee

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Jan 25, 2016
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Cool project, will these be colocated? What games will they be serving?

I've been out of the game server world for so long, last clan I helped run we were maxing out old Intel x3440 dedicated servers with 100+ user Minecraft servers and tons of call of duty MW2 AlterIWNet. Those were the days..
 

EffrafaxOfWug

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Feb 12, 2015
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On the memory front I’ve gone with the ECC 3200mhz from the QVL, it’s not a massive requirement for my workload but it can still help to eliminate some game server crashes. I hasn’t actually realised the non pro Ruben actually were able to use ECC until I spotted it here. What memory do you use in your system?

Do you manually under volt your processor or do you step down the TDP to 65w or what ever options are provided in the BIOS?
I'm using two of the 32GB 2666MHz Samsung M391A4G43MB1-CTDQ modules, they were the only 32GB ECC UDIMMs available at the time. I think now there's 3200MHz modules out from Samsung and Micron.

My server has the 3700X capped at 65W, my workstation I think I manually configured a voltage offset after testing (been a while now though).
 

Shadowsong

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Dec 3, 2019
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Cool project, will these be colocated? What games will they be serving?

I've been out of the game server world for so long, last clan I helped run we were maxing out old Intel x3440 dedicated servers with 100+ user Minecraft servers and tons of call of duty MW2 AlterIWNet. Those were the days..
The servers will be hosted locally in my small rack cabinet, i'm fortunate enough to have FTTP so have a dedicated line for my servers and things. They will primarily be hosting Ark Survival Evolved, but will likely be other games too depending on what my community wants to play.

I'm using two of the 32GB 2666MHz Samsung M391A4G43MB1-CTDQ modules, they were the only 32GB ECC UDIMMs available at the time. I think now there's 3200MHz modules out from Samsung and Micron.

My server has the 3700X capped at 65W, my workstation I think I manually configured a voltage offset after testing (been a while now though).
That's good to know, i'd have to check but I think i'm using those exact modules in another server I have. But yea wanted to go for the 3200Mhz to get the best infinity fabric clock I could with the new chips.

Nice to hear someone using the TDP downstepping, really like the feature and from what i've heard it's marginal performance drop for massive gains in temps, power draw etc
 

EffrafaxOfWug

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Feb 12, 2015
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That's good to know, i'd have to check but I think i'm using those exact modules in another server I have. But yea wanted to go for the 3200Mhz to get the best infinity fabric clock I could with the new chips.
Indeed, I'm still waiting on the results of various memory scaling tests to come out in the coming weeks (TPU did a great one for Zen2 and have another in the pipes currently) but I might pick up a couple of sticks of the Micron 3200 ECC UDIMMs for my workstation build if and when the Zen3 BIOS becomes available. When I tested with the 3700X a year or so back there was no appreciable difference in most of my workloads between 2666 ECC and 3200 non-ECC but some workloads (mostly gmaing) under Zen3 are once again showing substantial gains from higher clocked/lower latency memory.

Nice to hear someone using the TDP downstepping, really like the feature and from what i've heard it's marginal performance drop for massive gains in temps, power draw etc
Yup, it's one of the neatest features of the 1.0.0.4 AGESA or whatever it was (and why I'm getting impatient for ASRR to release it for the X470D4U officially!); still allows high boost clocks for single threads but keeps the CPU in the high efficiency goldilocks zone for highly threaded workloads - ideal for my home server. I haven't done detailed speed vs. power draw on it like I did with my (much more power hungry) workstation since it's only used as overflow for my 3950X, but it definitely uses less power and isn't noticeably slower.
 

ramblinreck47

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Aug 3, 2019
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Anywhere selling this motherboard in the US now? Looks like Provantage took down their listing.

Still debating whether I go with this or a C422 build. It’s going to depend whether this thing is even able to be purchased in the next month or two.
 

Shadowsong

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Dec 3, 2019
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Small update, switched out the M.2 drives from Samsung 980 Pro to WD Black SN850's as their performance is far better in most workloads.

Also for those interested, ASRock Rack have released a beta BIOS for Ryzen 5000 support on this board. Obviously use at your own risk. ASRock Rack > X570D4U-2L2T
 

Shadowsong

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Dec 3, 2019
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First 5950X has arrived and has been fitted, all seems to be working well and pretty reasonable thermals considering it's 2U!

@EffrafaxOfWug Quick questions about the memory on your X470 board, what BIOS settings did you need to change to get it to run above the default DDR4 rates? Did you have to set any specific settings, voltages etc etc?

I've not spent much time looking at mine yet, but I did try just setting the memory frequency to 3200Mhz and it wouldn't post, had to remove CMOS and short the jumpers.
 

ramblinreck47

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Aug 3, 2019
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First 5950X has arrived and has been fitted, all seems to be working well and pretty reasonable thermals considering it's 2U!

@EffrafaxOfWug Quick questions about the memory on your X470 board, what BIOS settings did you need to change to get it to run above the default DDR4 rates? Did you have to set any specific settings, voltages etc etc?

I've not spent much time looking at mine yet, but I did try just setting the memory frequency to 3200Mhz and it wouldn't post, had to remove CMOS and short the jumpers.
What exact memory are you using? I was going to get some of the Kingston 3200mhz ECC ram that was on the QVL.
 

Shadowsong

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Dec 3, 2019
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@ramblinreck47
I have 128GB for each server of that exact Kingston memory from the QVL. Just wasn't super obviously when I briefly looked earlier at what I need to change to get it to run at the rated speed. I am also using the beta BIOS so I guess that could play a part with possible issues for the short term.
 

ramblinreck47

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Aug 3, 2019
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@ramblinreck47
I have 128GB for each server of that exact Kingston memory from the QVL. Just wasn't super obviously when I briefly looked earlier at what I need to change to get it to run at the rated speed. I am also using the beta BIOS so I guess that could play a part with possible issues for the short term.
What speed is it running at?