Planning a new XEON-W workstation build

Waterkippie

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Oct 12, 2017
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Hi,

I'm planning a new workstation based on the new XEON-W platform, currently i'm running a X99 with i7-5820k (6C/12T 3.30 - 3.8) and 16G of ram (which im running out of all the time):

Build’s Name: Workstation
Operating System / Storage Platform: Windows 10 x64 Enterprise
CPU: LGA2066 Intel Xeon W-2155 10C/20T 3.30GHZ - 4.50GHZ
Motherboard: SuperMicro X11SRA-F with IPMI / Audio
Chassis: Fractal Design Define R5 Titanium
Drives: Intel DC P3700 1.6TB PCIe Card
RAM: 8x16GB DDR4-2666 ECC Kingston KSM26RD8/16HAI 2Rx8
Add-in Cards: MSI NVIDIA GTX970 (probably upgrade to 1080TI later)
Add-in Cards: Uptimed 10G X540 Server Dual Port Copper RJ45
Power Supply: Corsair AX760
Other Bits: CPU cooling with AIO NZXT Kraken X62, 280mm radiator
Other Bits: Horizontal TPM 2.0 with Infineon 9665,RoHS/REACH,PBF AOM-TPM-9665H (for encrypted disk)

Usage Profile: Using it as a remote workstation via RDP for programming (on 24/7) , running virtual machines (entire testing clusters of servers), occasional game (local).

Questions:
1) I'm looking for 128GB RAM, going to experiment with RAM disks and many vms, is it wise to go for 4x32 allowing for expansion later, or 8x16 filling all slots for 2 dimms per channel?
2) Is the IPMI usable without an igpu? I know the mobo has the onboard chip, but i will be using the geforce for graphics. Will i be able to take over the console?
3) Any other advice, thoughts?
 
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Patrick

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First off, I am very excited about this build.

1) Get 4x 32GB so you can expand later if you want.
2) Depends on how you configure this. For example, I will IPMI into the 8x and 10x GPU deep learning servers. Once you are in Windows, use Remote Desktop if you can. It is much better to use in an OS. IPMI is more for troubleshooting.
3) Likely an opportunity to use a different SSD and save some money there. Also, if you can, get Samsung, Micron or SK.Hynix. Kingston is not on the Supermicro Qualified Memory List.
 

Waterkippie

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Oct 12, 2017
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Alright, so using 2DPC doesn't really matter much speed wise? Great.

Yea i know IPMI is only for management, but since im working remote alot, i need it for when the PC becomes unstable or crashes, had it a few times now and i need a way to reboot it and operate the bios screens. For Windows i'll be using RDP only.

I was able to buy the SSD relatively cheap a while ago, so i already have it in my current build :)

For the RAM, yea i'll be looking at the vendor list soon, but it's not up yet for this motherboard, it appears this mobo is now in beta testing and will be available around the end of this month. (supermicro distributor said this)

I was looking into going LGA3647 for this since i just love those big CPU's. Motherboards, even dual socket ones, arent even that expensive. Trouble appears with the CPU's, if you want a decent amount of cores and high clock speeds, (single thread perf is important to me) the prices are through the roof!
For example the Gold 6146 would be great, but $3286, wow..

Also silent cooling is super important to me, which may be a problem with LGA3647, although i did have an interesting find tho, SuperMicro makes a 240mm AIO water cooling solution for LGA3647, but it's not for sale seperately, look at this:
https://www.supermicro.com/a_images/products/views/5038K-i_side.jpg
 

sushanth

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Nov 6, 2017
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I Am actually more or less looking to build the workstation with same kind of hardware.Can you suggest me a a place where i can buy the Xeon-W Processors and also motherboards with Xeon-W support.This is my first PC build and am very naive with all this .

Appreciate your response.

Hi,

I'm planning a new workstation based on the new XEON-W platform, currently i'm running a X99 with i7-5820k (6C/12T 3.30 - 3.8) and 16G of ram (which im running out of all the time):

Build’s Name: Workstation
Operating System / Storage Platform: Windows 10 x64 Enterprise
CPU: LGA2066 Intel Xeon W-2155 10C/20T 3.30GHZ - 4.50GHZ
Motherboard: SuperMicro X11SRA-F with IPMI / Audio
Chassis: Fractal Design Define R5 Titanium
Drives: Intel DC P3700 1.6TB PCIe Card
RAM: 8x16GB DDR4-2666 ECC Kingston KSM26RD8/16HAI 2Rx8
Add-in Cards: MSI NVIDIA GTX970 (probably upgrade to 1080TI later)
Add-in Cards: Uptimed 10G X540 Server Dual Port Copper RJ45
Power Supply: Corsair AX760
Other Bits: CPU cooling with AIO NZXT Kraken X62, 280mm radiator
Other Bits: Horizontal TPM 2.0 with Infineon 9665,RoHS/REACH,PBF AOM-TPM-9665H (for encrypted disk)

Usage Profile: Using it as a remote workstation via RDP for programming (on 24/7) , running virtual machines (entire testing clusters of servers), occasional game (local).

Questions:
1) I'm looking for 128GB RAM, going to experiment with RAM disks and many vms, is it wise to go for 4x32 allowing for expansion later, or 8x16 filling all slots for 2 dimms per channel?
2) Is the IPMI usable without an igpu? I know the mobo has the onboard chip, but i will be using the geforce for graphics. Will i be able to take over the console?
3) Any other advice, thoughts?
 

Evan

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2016
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I don’t believe the Xeon phi version of heatsinks work on the other Xeon types ? I could be wrong but I thought I remember reading that.

And get 4 x 32gb if you can, allows expansion.
 

Waterkippie

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Oct 12, 2017
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Well the update is, this stuff still isnt available anywhere, the motherboards, the CPU's, it's almost impossible to purchase.

So i figured going for a consumer x299 CPU, but i need IPMI so the motherboard would be the ASUS WS X299 Pro/SE. But again, not in stock anywhere.
 

sushanth

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AJXCR

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Jan 20, 2017
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Well the update is, this stuff still isnt available anywhere, the motherboards, the CPU's, it's almost impossible to purchase.

So i figured going for a consumer x299 CPU, but i need IPMI so the motherboard would be the ASUS WS X299 Pro/SE. But again, not in stock anywhere.
What specifically are you wanting to purchase? Most of the items on your list appear to be fairly easily sourced with a little digging around..

An Supermicro makes a few boards that will run the W's no problem. X10DRU-i+ for instance will cover you @160W TDP/socket for 2687Wv4's, but the OEM ultra chassis is tough to come by.

With a little work, however, the board can be put in an Intel S2600W chassis. I managed to get one into a SM 847 chassis as well..
 

alex_stief

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May 31, 2016
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@AJXCR
Xeon W is the new line of Intel Xeon Processors with Skylake architecture for Socket 2066. The older Broadwell-EP Xeons with a "W" suffix have nothing to do with it.
 

AJXCR

Active Member
Jan 20, 2017
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@AJXCR
Xeon W is the new line of Intel Xeon Processors with Skylake architecture for Socket 2066. The older Broadwell-EP Xeons with a "W" suffix have nothing to do with it.

Ah... Completely glazed over that. I'm familiar with the 3647 socket P processors as I've now accumulated a number of them and am on the hunt for boards. It seems I've been hiding under a rock :eek:
 

Waterkippie

Member
Oct 12, 2017
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A little update, because the XEON-W parts were so hard to find find and expensive, i went for this:

ASUS WS X299 Pro/SE (Workstation X299 board with IPMI)
Intel i9-7900X
64GB DDR4 8x8GB 4200MHZ CMK64GX4M8X4200
Intel P3700 1.6TB NVME SSD
Gigabyte 1070TI
Corsair AX760
Kraken X62 AIO
Fractal Design R6 Case

Unfortunately the RAM isnt stable on XMP settings @ 4200 mhz, even though they say they tested it on this mobo.
So i'm running it at the same timings just on 4000MHZ, seems ok. They do get very hot at 1.45v, ah well, maybe it was a mistake to buy this expensive ram, but it seems to work for now. Maybe i should just have gone for stable 2666.

Having some issues with the IPMI module, some sensor values are bad and when taking over console i have no output, but it seems thats because im also using a 1070TI with 3 monitors, and the KVM has its own VGA chip (ASPEED 2500) and the output is displayed there. Still working on it.

Pics soon.
 

Waterkippie

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Oct 12, 2017
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Just a short update, everything works fine except the motherboard, i really don't like it.

It often has trouble booting, needs some resets before it works, maybe because of USB controller.
IPMI doesnt work with a discrete graphics card,
IPMI sensors do not work, everything monitors criticial, asus knows about it and says just to wait for the next update.
Also no way to manually set fan profiles, the option just isnt there.

Conclusion: Dont buy the ASUS WS X299 Pro/SE for your workstation. Thinking about switching it for the Supermicro
C9X299-PG300F but its not available yet.

C9X299-PG300F | Motherboards | Products - Super Micro Computer, Inc.
 
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Waterkippie

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Just a short update, the booting problem seems to have gone away with BIOS updates. IPMI still not functioning properly. Fan profiles can be set now though with the latest IPMI firmware.

One of the 8 corsair sticks failed a while ago and i got a full refund, replaced them with 4x8GB 3600 MHZ sticks.

CPU is running at 4.5GHZ Turbo on all cores.

Also upgraded the GPU to a RTX2080S with an AIO. (Inno3d), works great, very silent even under load and low temperatures!
INNO3D GEFORCE RTX 2080 SUPER ICHILL BLACK

Also a 10G NBASE-T NIC was installed from Uptimed (Aquantia chipset)
10G Workstation RJ45 Netwerkkaart | Uptimed®

IMG_9075-s.jpg

Also a Samsung PM1735 3.2TB is on the way..hope it'll work in a PCI-E 3.0 x8 slot, if not, well i'm gonna need some upgrades later this year :)
MZPLJ3T2HBJR-00007 | Samsung Enterprise SSD | Samsung Semiconductor
 
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