[Build Log] Silent Minimalist - SMA8(a) WC'd Threadripper Build

IamSpartacus

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**Disclaimer** The above pic of the CaseLabs case is not my build. Though it is gorgeous.

First and foremost I want to acknowledge that this is not the typical STH build as this is really more of an enthusiast overclocker build but being that I'm an avid enthusiast of both home servers/networking and overclocking/watercooling I thought it might be fun to share this build here. This is as much of a hobby/artwork build as it is a productivity build. So with that out of the way, let's get started.


This is my first build since 2014 (see my Puff's Punisher S3 Build). I was forced to sell that build shortly after building it due to a sudden move and I've been itching for a new build ever since. Well, today (or in a month when my SMA8 rev. A arrives) is the day.
This build will be my daily workstation that focuses on VM's, video rendering, mining, and a little gaming on the side. So a little bit for everyone. For these purposes I've chosen to build around the Threadripper 1950x and x399 platform. Below is a list of components I've ordered/will be ordering and it will be updated regularly along with images as parts arrive. Feel free to chime in to discuss the physical components or the daily uses for this build as there are many. Links are to where I purchased these items though the prices have changed on some since I purchased them.

Workstation Components
WaterCooling

The goal of this water loop is to get as silent of cooling as possible. I'll be using ultra low speed fans and doing two loops.
Monitor

Dell U3818DW 38" Ultrawide 3840x1600 Monitor (yes not a gaming monitor, but then again I game maybe once/twice a month)
 
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IamSpartacus

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Here's a very elementary diagram of what I'm thinking for loop order/configuration. All tubes going to/from the reservoir/pump combos (besides the one tube coming from the bottom GPU) will be hidden by going through the backplate.

 

T_Minus

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Awesome build!

I'd ditch the Samsung and go with an Optane though ;) that's just me :)
 

T_Minus

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Why is that?
Because it's a much better drive.

Optane QD1 performance smokes pretty much everything.
Optane mixed workload, random read, random write, etc, all better than that Samsung.

If it's mostly 'art/hobby watercooling' build then that's not too important I guess, but then neither would be 2 video cards and a 16 core CPU ;) LOL!!
 

IamSpartacus

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Because it's a much better drive.

Optane QD1 performance smokes pretty much everything.
Optane mixed workload, random read, random write, etc, all better than that Samsung.

If it's mostly 'art/hobby watercooling' build then that's not too important I guess, but then neither would be 2 video cards and a 16 core CPU ;) LOL!!
I assume you are referring to the 900P? It's also about twice the price and I can't justify that when all that's going to be running on it for the most part is a Test VM environment.
 

T_Minus

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I assume you are referring to the 900P? It's also about twice the price and I can't justify that when all that's going to be running on it for the most part is a Test VM environment.
You don't have the $ for a drive that will surely improve VM performance but have the $ for all those other parts for _ART_ ??? WTF? I'll never understand that logic at all.
 
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IamSpartacus

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You don't have the $ for a drive that will surely improve VM performance but have the $ for all those other parts for _ART_ ??? WTF? I'll never understand that logic at all.
It's not that I don't have the money for it, it's just that I don't see the value in adding it. I honestly don't think I would at all notice the performance difference of the VM's I'll be running on the system between a Samsung Pro and an Optane 900P.

Honestly I don't even need the 960 Pro. I just chose it as a good option to throw in one of my M.2 slots.
 

T_Minus

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It sounded like based on your parts you're going after a badass custom build, and well, the Samsung doesn't fit IMO :) when you can go Optane that's multiples faster in workloads that DO matter for VMs and Windows.

If this is going to be a workstation + VM test station even more reason to go Optane.

I'll stop commenting on the drive choice and let you build now ;)
 

IamSpartacus

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It sounded like based on your parts you're going after a badass custom build, and well, the Samsung doesn't fit IMO :) when you can go Optane that's multiples faster in workloads that DO matter for VMs and Windows.

If this is going to be a workstation + VM test station even more reason to go Optane.

I'll stop commenting on the drive choice and let you build now ;)
You don't have to hold anything back, I appreciate the bluntness. I prefer to use the M.2 slots though as getting PCI AIC's in and out of my system once my water loop is configured will be all but impossible.
 
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T_Minus

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FWIW I'm using the m2 to 2.5" adapter for optane in my workstation/desktop build and it works great :)
 

T_Minus

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I learned the hard way that the m2 to u2 adapter is motherboard specific.
IE: ASUS Model Hyper Kit Expansion Card M.2 TO MINI SAS HD ADAPTER - Newegg.com will only work on the motherboard it was made to work with.

I purchased the m2 to u2 adapter for my specific motherboard from NewEgg or AMazon I can't recall, but that was after purchasing the other that didn't work, and another I had on hand that didn't work.

The cable is just your standard cable that other NVME drives use, it came with the Intel 750s. The cables are CHEAP now on Intel's website, I believe someone posted the link here someplace for ~$15. (Compared to the $40+ we've been paying for the amphenol cable.)
 

IamSpartacus

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I learned the hard way that the m2 to u2 adapter is motherboard specific.
IE: ASUS Model Hyper Kit Expansion Card M.2 TO MINI SAS HD ADAPTER - Newegg.com will only work on the motherboard it was made to work with.

I purchased the m2 to u2 adapter for my specific motherboard from NewEgg or AMazon I can't recall, but that was after purchasing the other that didn't work, and another I had on hand that didn't work.

The cable is just your standard cable that other NVME drives use, it came with the Intel 750s. The cables are CHEAP now on Intel's website, I believe someone posted the link here someplace for ~$15. (Compared to the $40+ we've been paying for the amphenol cable.)
That part I understand which I'll still need to look into. But the Optane drive itself...I only see the 280GB version that comes in U.2 format. I'd need at least 480GB.
 

T_Minus

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That part I understand which I'll still need to look into. But the Optane drive itself...I only see the 280GB version that comes in U.2 format. I'd need at least 480GB.
Sorry! My misunderstanding. That's strange, they must have pulled them for some reason.
I wonder if it's due to the larger capacity optane coming that the 480gb isn't available anymore?

Intel® Optane™ SSD 900P Series