Where to begin on this mega monster?? Threads? Did someone order some threads?? The last time I built a custom PC it was also a Threadripper; however, it was the 1950x. This was already a massive processor that was damn near the size of a baseball card 🙂 It had 16 cores with 32 threads and was a beast in its own right. I started having cooling issue with the last build, and as it turned out, my AIO (all-in-one) water cooler had a known issue where it would deteriorate inside the plumbing and cause inefficient cooling. I decided to just sell this custom rig and jump back into the Mac world with a fully spec’d out Mac Mini + a BlackMagic eGPU Pro to handle the video editing & rendering that I do. The Mini did many things well; however, handling heat was NOT one of them! This thing would literally heat up to the point of crashing the kernel and shutting down. The issue was Adobe Premiere, even with the powerful eGPU attached, it is still quite CPU intensive for encoding, which seems like a massive design flaw. Perhaps have an automatic detection mechanism to determine whether or not the GPU or CPU would be best suited for exporting, instead of forcing the CPU to handle the load. Perhaps leverage both concurrently? Currently, it only leverages GPU for transitions & effects on the timeline playback, not importing (creating proxy media) or exporting.. …but, I digress on my disdain for Adobe Premiere lol. For the Mac peeps, Final Cut wasn’t any better at this.
So, this go around, I sold the Mac Mini and set out to build a future-proof mega rig that would essentially serve 3 functions: video editing/rendering, home LAB, and finally perhaps a little gaming down the road. Threadripper was the obvious choice, primarily for the sheer core count when it comes to LAB usage. I decided to go all in this time, and upgrade the Threadripper from the 1950x to the newest generation three 3970x! This behemoth even has a new socket based on the original Threadripper, TRX40, although the chip is the same size as the original. This sucker is packing 32 actual cores with SMT, 64 threads!
RAM: I wanted a ton, for multiple reasons (future proof, VM’s, etc..), so I went with a 256GB kit from Corsair. RAM shortage? Me thinks not..
GPU’s: (catch that, plural lol), I did some research and ultimately wanted to keep with the AMD theme and landed on the Radeon vII’s (2 of them), each with 16GB of vRAM, so 32GB of combined video RAM 🙂
Motherboard: I landed on the MSI TRX40 Creator, for a few reasons, one being it comes complete with a PCIe 4-slot M.2 NVMe card with a full cooling fan 🙂 This board is simply amazing with 3 M.2 NVMe slots on board, plus the expansion card giving me 4 more slots. Hello flash, I see you!
Cooling: This time I wanted to do it RIGHT, a full water cooled custom loop, the full monty! This is probably where I did my most research. I did not want flexible tubing, that’s too easy right, so I went with PETG acrylic tubing with a bend kit. This was both fun and terrifying all at the same time.. What if I sprung a leak on all my expensive gear?! Let’s just say when I first fired it up on the jumper, I had more paper towels stuffed in it than Publix sells a day 🙂 Luckily, no leaks, thanks to Thermaltake’s high quality fittings! I swapped out the standard heatsinks on the two Radeon GPU’s to nice waterblocks with integrated LED’s to match the rig (Veeam Green of course!).
Radiators are also extremely critical when it comes to the efficiency of the cooling loop, so I went with not one, but two 360mm radiators! One is thicker than the other to allow more surface area for cooling, coupled with bearing-free maglev fans (high tech fans right there!) for silent operation &, hopefully, longevity!
Case: I wanted open air to help with efficiency. I hit it every few days with compressed air to keep the dust at bay, and the Antec Torque case was just so sexy 🙂 I decided to change the color scheme on it though, so I painted the red portions black, creating a black & gray theme that blends well with the green accent lighting. If you went with red accent lighting, the OEM theme would be perfect!
So far, I have a full VMware LAB up and running on a 4 virtual-node cluster complete with vSAN. It can browse the internet like a bauce too HA!
How about this for a Cinebench score!!
This was a fun project, and so far, I am LOVING it!! When I export a video now in Premiere, it spikes to over 1 kilowatt and kicks in the APC fans to keep from overheating my battery backup lol! Luckily, that’s short lived because export times are a thing of the past, as you might imagine 🙂
…until my next crazy project, stay tuned 🙂