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Question Contemplating ThreadRipper. sTR4, or sTRX4?

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Mostly, because I saw an "OEM" sTR4 12C/24T CPU for a mere $200 (ships from China) on Newegg, then I went looking at sTR4 mobos, and they had some X399 Fatality Professional ones, with four evenly-spaced PCI-E x16 (physical) slots, x16/x8/x16/x8, and 3x NVMe x4 slots, 8 DDR4 DIMMs, and a 10GbE-T as well as 2x 1GbE-T ethernet ports, for under $450.

What got me intrigued, was a few recent YouTube videos elaborating on "unlocking" the NVidia RTX 3060 non-Ti for mining ETH. You need a dummy plug (HDMI), and a mobo capable of supplying at least PCI-E x8 3.0 to each card, as well as a certain development driver version, and Windows 10, and mining software.

So, in theory, IF I could get my hands on some RTX 3060 cards, I could, with this sTR4 combo, build me a decent all-around and mining rig, for around $1000, sans GPUs. Maybe a little more, if I went for a more deluxe 1200W or greater Seasonic Platinum PSU to power it all. (But I think that the RTX 3060 only utilizes a single 8-pin power connector, but I would like headroom for the future, at least 2x 8-pin per card, plus the 8+4 or 8+8 EPS12V connectors.)

But sTR4 is limited to 1st-gen (14nm) as well as 2nd-gen (12nm) TR CPUs.

If I wanted 7nm and PCI-E 4.0, I would have to move up to sTRX4.

Of which, there is an ASRock TRX40 Creator mobo, with even 4x PCI-E x16 spacing as well, for under $500, with current availability.

The only problem is, the smallest CPU for sTRX4 is a 24C/48T CPU for around $1500 it seems. Unfortunately, way out of my price range, CPU-wise. (Though, if I think about it enough, if a 12C/24T Zen2/Zen3 CPU is around $800, then the price actually makes sense, and perhaps I should consider it.)

I could still mine on the CPU, and probably make nearly $1 / day with it. Maybe more.
 
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B-Riz

Golden Member
Feb 15, 2011
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I would recommend neither TR systems unless you actually need to use them for workstation / server work.

I have an X399 AsRock board and 1900X that was surpassed by AM4 not too long after putting it together.

And it sits here, not doing anything because Zen2 for most everyday things is better. :confused:

If you have money to burn and want to do it, jump in!

But, there is nothing great / special about TR unless you are needing the threads or board features.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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unless you are needing the threads or board features.
I need four PCI-E x16 slots, evenly-spaced, with at least PCI-E 3.0 x8 to each of them. Seems like only Intel HEDT (X99, X299) with 40-lanes CPU, or TR4/TRX40 AMD platform will give that to me.

Edit: Plus, I wouldn't mind 64GB-128GB of RAM. Not that I can't get that with AM4 with 32GB DIMMs, I can, but ... it's the thought that counts.

I was going to emulate BrandonCoin[YT]'s rig. I think that he has X99. I don't want something that old, though maybe I could pick up a used Xeon 40-lane CPU for $50-100, and a Chinese X99 mobo with a bunch of slots for $100-200.

There's a video on YT, someone built a rig using similar parts, with PCI-E x16 risers (6x), and a 7-slot PCI-E x16 mobo, and has a 7-card RTX 3060 mining rig. Amazing!
 

B-Riz

Golden Member
Feb 15, 2011
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Soooo, all the money spent on a setup for the future of *maybe* getting some video cards to maybe mine crypto on to maybe make money?

I dunno, seems like a big cash burn project?

X99 or X299 with an Ali Express new board, if there is one that has the setup you want may be a cheaper option.
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
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If I understand mining correctly the CPU doesn't matter much. Just the ability to have a lot of video cards. So get whatever setup is cheaper.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,784
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Soooo, all the money spent on a setup for the future of *maybe* getting some video cards to maybe mine crypto on to maybe make money?
Well, I've already got some (non-Ampere) cards, and rigs mining. I am out of slots, pretty-much, so if I went the sTR4 or sTRX4 route, I could possibly sandwich 4x cards per gaming PC, rather than 2x. Of course, heat/power issues were bad enough with 2x cards, so maybe "There lies danger" with 4x cards. Especially with the PCs in desk cubbies.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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I used to run 4x PCIe cards (R9 290s) on old AM2+ hardware using 1x risers. Is there some reason why you aren't going that route?
To break the "ETH mining lock" on RTX 3060 cards, requires PCI-E 3.0 x8 slots or better for them.

I have an older AM2+ rig, with four PCI-E 2.0 x8 slots, evenly-spaced, but I don't believe that will work. Neither will risers, unless they are of the PCI-E x8 or x16 variety.
 

Bigos

Junior Member
Jun 2, 2019
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Be aware that sTRX4 platform uses quite a bit of power, even at idle (especially since most motherboards have a lot of "features" installed). It would probably make sense only if you were able to populate most of the PCIe slots on the board.
 

lightmanek

Senior member
Feb 19, 2017
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Be aware that sTRX4 platform uses quite a bit of power, even at idle (especially since most motherboards have a lot of "features" installed). It would probably make sense only if you were able to populate most of the PCIe slots on the board.
My 1920X on Taichi X399 was idling around 180W at the wall, 32GB RAM, overclocked uncore, 3xHDD and 2xSSD, so yes, more than my X570 with 5900X which idles around 95W with very similar spec. (more NVME, 1 less HDD).
 

zir_blazer

Golden Member
Jun 6, 2013
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Try looking for EPYC platforms. Entry level price is usually lower because there are 8C-16C Processors, you also get the full 128 PCIe Lanes instead of 64, and you can easily get Motherboards with BMCs for remote management. Due to the complexity of NUMA I wouldn't even consider pre-Rome ThreadRippers.
 

StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
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There are some boards which couple Intel's "small socket" with a PCIe switch, such that four 8-lane slots (4x8 electrically, 4x16 mechanically) are enabled. Examples: Super[micr]o C9Z490-PG (LGA 1200), Asus WS-Z390-PRO (LGA 1151 v2). These board's aren't cheap. But this way you avoid some other costs which are associated with a "big socket" solution.
 
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zir_blazer

Golden Member
Jun 6, 2013
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There are some boards which couple Intel's "small socket" with a PCIe switch, such that four 8-lane slots (4x8 electrically, 4x16 mechanically) are enabled. Examples: Super[micr]o C9Z490-PG (LGA 1200), Asus WS-Z390-PRO (LGA 1151 v2). These board's aren't cheap. But this way you avoid some other costs which are associated with a "big socket" solution.
PCIe Switches are so ridiculous expensive than they don't make sense. Besides, what would you prefer? 4 x 8 multiplexed onto 16 Processor PCIe Lanes, or an EPYC where you get 7 x 16 dedicated lanes for a reasonable amount of money?
 

StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
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Re #14 – when I saw this thread, I was about to suggest a low-core-count Rome + basic SP4 motherboard too. But then didn't because it was already suggested right before my answer. Still, I could have left a "What @zir_blazer said." in my post. :-)

BTW, for the use case described here, I wonder if one or two DIMMs would be enough in such a Rome based solution. If not, four should very likely be enough — in contrast to the full population with eight DIMMs = 1 per channel. Several of the smaller Epycs reach their peak bandwidth with 4 channels already anyway: 7282, 7272, 7252, 7232P.

I second that BMCs are good to have. I wish more of my home computers had one. [ -> use case ]
 
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Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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I don't think it makes sense to buy a new HEDT/server platform like this just for 3060 mining. I would be looking at used X79 or X99 combos though. These are nice platforms from Intel, especially since the Xeons can be had for them for quite cheap, AND can be overclocked. Just make sure the board is in decent condition and a decent price.
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
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I'm seeing 8 core Rome Epyc CPU's for under $200, and the motherboards starting at $350 or so. That would be a pretty cheap way to do it.
 
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Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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Hmm that isn't too bad actually. I was expecting both to be quite a bit more, especially for the CPUs.
 

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