The Killer AMD Threadripper Build You'll Love To Hate
We recently had the chance to spend some time with the folks at Maingear HQ and built a beautiful, water-cooled AMD Rzyen 3000-based rig. That system was destined for Dave’s lab and has become his daily workhorse – in fact, that rig produced the video you’ll see below. Not long after we took that trip to Maingear though, my personal rig started acting up. I have been rocking an Ivy Bridge-based system for about 7 years now that has made it through multiple OS upgrades and served me quite well. I had been planning to build a new rig for many months, but my current rig had been so reliable, and my personal and professional workloads so intense, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. Well, my old rig decided to start randomly crashing and making some funky sounds (I think some caps need replacing on the mobo), and I’ve got a severe case of Maingear-envy, so the time for a new system was now. Here’s what I built...
- AMD Threadripper 2990WX
- MSI MEG X399 Creation
- Enermax Liqtech TR4 OC2
- PowerColor Red Devil RX 5700 XT
- 32GB Kingston HyperX RGB
- Intel Optane SSD 905P
- Samsung SSD 970 EVO
- Pioneer Blu-Ray Burner
- Aquanita AQ-107
- SoundBlaster AE-5
- Fractal Design R5
- EVGA SuperNova 1200P
As you’ll see in the video above, I hit a few snags during the build. A few parts were a tight fit or couldn’t be used at all. And one major component – the AIO liquid cooler – actually blew up on first boot (make sure you stick around after the slam-close on the video). I had a few mother minor quibbles as well that are covered before the big reveal at the end.
Although there are new Threadrippers inbound, there are multiple reasons a beast like the current 2990WX makes sense for me today. For one, since this system will be used daily, I kind of like the idea of using hardware that’s been on the market for a while and had the chance to mature a bit – there are typically few issues to contend with when using mature hardware. I also plan to dabble a bit more with virtualization, video production, and 3D rendering, so having 32-cores at my disposal will provide plenty of horsepower.
I do also game when I have the chance, so the Radeon and SoundBlaster made sense. I had been getting by with 16GB of RAM and a Radeon Fury Nano in the old rig, so 32GB and a Radeon RX 5700 XT should serve me well for the time being. As for storage, there really is no better option than a top-end Optane drive paired to one of Samsung’s beefy 2TB 970 EVO SSDs. And the optical drive is there out of necessity for a handful of reasons explained in the video.
The system’s performance is nothing short of impressive. Right out of the gate, with not tweaking, the system broke 11.3K in Cinebench R20 AFTER being thermally saturated for a bit (you can also see that in the video). The BMW Blender GPU benchmark finished is 1:12, versus 1:34 in our original Threadripper 2990WX review. Graphics and storage performance are top notch as well, as you can see here...
The system is also cool and quiet. Despite the significant horsepower, the full-contact waterblock and 280MM radiator do a good job keeping CPU temperatures in check and the fan configuration and unobstructed ventilation in the Fractal Design R5 are more than up to the task of cooling the rest of the hardware. I guess it helps that there are nine fans whirring away in the rig too. :)
This wasn’t meant to be a full-blown, deep dive or review of this build, but we figured you’d like see what will be used to produce some of the content featured here. If you have any input or opinions on the rig, be sure to let us know in the comments. Heck, if you just want to show off your rigs, post those too – we’d all love to see them.