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 Post subject: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:59 pm 
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Is it possible to have build a workstation with a powerful CPU and top tier video card that is silent at idle and light loads? Consider a system that is powered on 24/7, and sleeping within 2m of it. As a compromise and to keep costs down, I can accept sounds under load. Also, I absolutely want to avoid coil whine and similar electronic noise.

For the CPU I'm interested in the Ryzen 7 1700, due to the 8 cores and 65W TDP.

The benchmark question is, can a PC be built that is at least as quiet as a desktop replacement (DTR) laptop, such as the Asus GL702ZC (Ryzen 7 1700 + RX580), at idle?

If not, it will make my decisions easy. If so, I would appreciate points on coolers, cases+fans, and PSUs, which can hopefully be passive at idle.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:03 pm 
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Welcome to SPCR.

The short answer is yes. A decent build will have:
- a PSU that's either passive, zero rpm at lower loads, silent fan at lower loads
- A Gfx card that has zero rpm fans at idle/2D loads
- CPU cooler and case fans that can be set in BIOS profile to vary speed with load and will be silent at idle/low loads.

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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:50 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Welcome to SPCR.

The short answer is yes. A decent build will have:
- a PSU that's either passive, zero rpm at lower loads, silent fan at lower loads
- A Gfx card that has zero rpm fans at idle/2D loads
- CPU cooler and case fans that can be set in BIOS profile to vary speed with load and will be silent at idle/low loads.


Thanks.

It's been a long time since I've thought about a desktop build so I could use suggestions especially in regards to silence. I'll start with those constraints and work backwards to generate a parts list.

What cooler(s) would be silent at idle and allow thermal headroom for possible upgrades later? With a high enough TDP rating could it be used passively? (eg. Cryorig H7 ?)

What case(s) would be silent and as compact as possible while allowing room for the cooler and possibly 1-2 full sized video cards later? Is there a recommended case layout (PSU location, etc) for silent PCs? Can case fans stay idle at low loads or would they end up pulsing on/off? (eg. Fractal Design R5 ?)

What PSU(s) can be passive at idle while, very importantly, not having any electrical whine? (Be Quiet! seemed interesting but difficult to find in Canada and really expensive!)


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:59 pm 
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Quote:
Is it possible to have build a workstation with a powerful CPU and top tier video card that is silent at idle and light loads?
At idle definitely, Steve already gave a lot of good advice into certain components that will allow you to reach this.

Now on light load, really depends on how the load is, atm im running a 1950X with Noctua NH-U14 TR4, and at idle i been able to drop all of the fans to inaudible levels on Fractal Design R4, and its a 140 TDP CPU, so you should be able to do it also, as long as you allow the CPU to downclock in windows your temperature should be very low even with the fans barely moving.

Get a good CPU cooler that allow the fan to be spin down to 300rpms or so, Thermalright Macho Revb would be my suggestion around $50, and the Le Grand Macho that will work slightly better on idle and very low rpms. Now on Scythe Mugen 5 RevB seems like a very good option, although im not sure how low the fan can get on this new iteration.

Try to get a motherboard that has good fan control, that dont have much restrictions into allowing to reach very low PWM %, MSI with swtichable headers would be my pic and close following AsRock as long as you chose PWM fans it would have very good bios fan control, Asus is good if you are into software fan control.

Test the included fans on the case, if you feel they are not good enough for the noise levels you wish to achieve, get some good quality PWM fans that can be drop very low, BeQuiet Silentwings 3 are very good, for 120mm go for BL066 and 140mm go with BL067. Now if you are on a budget with the fans, go with MSI mobo that has switchable headers on all slots, and for 140 i would go with Antec True Quiet 140 (3pin) and for 120 i would go with Nexus Real Silent 120mm (3pin).

For GPU, i would suggest to go with Nvidia, usually they run cooler and more efficient, but if you are set on AMD, try to find a MSI Radeon RX 580 GAMING X 8G Graphics Card, it will stop the fans at idle and should be quiet on load. Although the following review is not for the same card, is very similar (but 580 will run hotter with the higher clocks) but overall should be similar, TechPowerUp MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8 GB Review

For PSU really depends though, if you are on a budget the Corsar RM650x would be my pick, if you can allow a more into the PSU i would suggest Seasonic Flagship PRIME Titanium 600.

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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:43 pm 
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@Abula thanks so much for your ideas! It's great to know silence/quiet is possible even with Threadripper. I was thinking about a Threadripper build too for the possibility of more RAM (laptop mentality, not wanting to be limited in long term), but it makes the entire build so much more expensive for something I don't need now. At least with a desktop upgrades are possible/easier.

I should have mentioned, I'm in Canada and some of the items mentioned are hard to find and thus really expensive, such as the Macho and Mugen coolers.

The Corsair RMx 650 seems great and is priced reasonably. The Seasonic is incredibly expensive -- double the price of the Corsair. But that 12 year warranty is impressive and totally fanless... Tempting.

As for the GPU, I don't plan to get anything serious right now due to the prices. I might either get a used or minimal, possibly fanless, card. I want the powerful GPU will be for compute. NVIDIA is the default due to CUDA, but right now I prefer AMD due to open source drivers. We'll see, I haven't made that decision yet.

Another pain point with pricing is RAM. I currently have 32GB of DDR4 SODIMMs, and I've seen that SODIMM to DIMM adapters exist. Could that work? Between Ryzen being finicky with RAM and cooler clearance issues, it might be tricky, but maybe worth a shot?

Also, I'll be running linux 97% of the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:51 am 
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visper wrote:
...a system that is powered on 24/7, and sleeping within 2m of it. As a compromise and to keep costs down, I can accept sounds under load.
I'm not sure that even under idle/low system stress conditons any CPU cooler running fans at minimal levels would still be quiet enough in this scenario. You could consider the Arctic Cooling Freezer 33 Plus. This has twin fans that like the 0dB graphics cards stay off except when under system stress e.g. gaming. Specifically the fans don't run under 40% PWM duty cycle. With most modern motherboards simply selecting the Silent Profile or equivalent in the BIOS would be enough to remove CPU fan noise completely at idle. One potential option with the Freezer 33 Plus is to use one of the two supplied fans on the cooler and the other as a replacement for a 120mm exhaust fan. This would mean that at least one case fan could be kept off except when gaming.

That would only leave the other case fans to deal with, probably just the intake fan(s). One option to keep these off under idle would be to choose an Asus RX580 card such as the RX580 8GB ROG STRIX OC that has a feature called Fan Connect II. What this means is that there is fan header on the card which can be connected to the case fans (a PWM Y cable can be used to connect more than one fan). Under 0dB conditions, such as idle, the graphics card would keep its own fans off and also any case fans connected to its fan header. Only when gaming would it turn on both the graphics card fans and the connected case fans. These can be PWM fans, or 3 pin voltage fans such as those normally supplied with most cases. This approach, combined with the use of the Arctic Freezer 33 Plus, would achieve your objective of a completely passive system at idle.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:24 am 
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Just an FYI: pcpartpicker.com has a tab for Canada and lists prices from 5 or 6 etailers.

Also, you can throw quiet out the window if you opt for SLI/Crossfire cards..unless you are really careful with card selection, motherboard slot placement (airflow requires multiple slot spacing), and case selection. So, if you are planning a multi-card build, declare it now. Here's an older SLI build article that's worth reading.

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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:33 am 
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SODIMM to DIMM adapter:<shrugs> Electrically, they could work. I've seen a post elsewhere demonstrating it. My concern is the negative effect on timings. You are adding capacitance and wiring distance from the memory pins to the DIMM socket. So, maybe they'll work with Jedec and XMP timings, maybe you'll have to loosen them up.

Also, you'll need to look at the new total height of the memory and make sure it's compatible with whatever cooler you choose.

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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:11 am 
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lodestar wrote:
You could consider the Arctic Cooling Freezer 33 Plus. This has twin fans that like the 0dB graphics cards stay off except when under system stress

That is (silent) music to my ears. And at least this cooler is available and not too expensive.

I don't game, so if I don't find a cheap used GPU better than a Vega8, these crazy GPU prices might just tempt me to temporarily make do with a Ryzen APU to buy time until I find a reasonable deal to complete my build.

Is it not possible for the motherboard to turn case fans off completely at idle? I'm considering the Asus PRIME X370 PRO since it comes highly recommended apparently due to good VRMs and slot options while being relatively lower priced for an X370 board, but I still have more reading to do on motherboards.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:54 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Just an FYI: pcpartpicker.com has a tab for Canada and lists prices from 5 or 6 etailers.

Also, you can throw quiet out the window if you opt for SLI/Crossfire cards..unless you are really careful with card selection, motherboard slot placement (airflow requires multiple slot spacing), and case selection. So, if you are planning a multi-card build, declare it now. Here's an older SLI build article that's worth reading.


No SLI/Crossfire plans, I just want to keep the option open, but it is very unlikely. Even a single GTX 1060 would likely be quite sufficient for what I would use right now.

Is there a list of cards that do stop the fans at idle? I'd want to restrict myself to those. And also no coil whine. I positively loathe that. Hearing it in my mouse is bad enough that I want to replace it soon.

Yes, with the DIMM adapter, I wondered about the extra wire length and cooler clearance, not to mention the RAM compatibility. F4-2666C18S-16GRS So far I found only one maker of the adapters http://www.mfactors.com/ddr4-sodimm/ I'm not familiar with timings, so it'll be more for me to learn.

Here's the part selection so far, without a GPU: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/Kjp9J8

A few comments/questions:

- I could get the Fractal Design Define S second hand (but apparently new) locally. Ideally I'd want windowless and a more compact case. But this comes out cheaper, and reviews suggest the window doesn't make much if any difference for sound. What do you think? Alternatives?

- What is your take on buying a used PSU (3 months old)? I found someone selling a Corsair RM750X for less than the RM650X new. On one hand it's overkill and won't be at peak efficiency, on the other hand it might be quieter. The (big) downside is that Corsair's (7 year?) warranty is non-transferrable.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:37 am 
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graphic card review compilation
Coil whine is the roulette wheel of PC builds. It generally takes a combination of PSU, mobo, and gfx card to set it off.

One thing about Ryzen builds: they only like RAM with chips on one side of the RAM stick (single rank)..probably due to capacitive drive limitations. Check your SODIMMS.

Mobo looks nice.

Define S: decent case with good airflow. I found the stock fans (same as in my R4) to be a little rumbly at idle. May not be for you. Window doesn't make a difference.

Used PSU: the lack of warranty would kill the deal for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:40 am 
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visper wrote:
Another pain point with pricing is RAM. I currently have 32GB of DDR4 SODIMMs, and I've seen that SODIMM to DIMM adapters exist. Could that work? Between Ryzen being finicky with RAM and cooler clearance issues, it might be tricky, but maybe worth a shot?
I would sell it, AMD is picky with ram, given that bios have come a long way since release with memory compatibility, its best to use modules that have samsung memory (micron is alright also, hynix is not). Now you are adding a variable, into a memory that its more likely never tested with ryzen.... then again the worst that can happen is that you setup wont boot and you will have to get new memory. Also remember Ryzen do benefit from higher memeory, 2666-3000 is the ballpark i would look for, and from the QVL List of the motherboard you end up buying.

visper wrote:
Also, I'll be running linux 97% of the time.
I strongly suggest you get a motherboard that has good Bios fan control, Asus imo its good with Ai Suite / FanXpert, and still can work out fine with bios (sometimes), it can be picky with the fans, if i was you, i would go with MSI X370 GAMING PLUS, its even cheaper than the Asus PRIME X370-PRO and better user reviews on newegg. You could also wait for X470 is suppose to be released on april 18th, also the release of the 2700 which has a lot of people interested, even if you dont go for it, it should slightly drop prices on current hardware.

Quote:
You could consider the Arctic Cooling Freezer 33 Plus
Very interesting cheap CPU cooler for ryzen.

Quote:
- I could get the Fractal Design Define S second hand (but apparently new) locally. Ideally I'd want windowless and a more compact case. But this comes out cheaper, and reviews suggest the window doesn't make much if any difference for sound. What do you think? Alternatives?
If you want a more compact and like Fractal cases, look into Fractal Design Define C, its windowless (there is a window version), and its less deep than the standard as it takes off the hdd cage space of the usual define, it has a 2 slot hdds cage right next to psu if you wish to use 3.5 drives still.

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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:38 pm 
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The SODIMMs are double-sided. I know RAM was a headache for a while. If that's still true, then I'll just stick to the QVL of the eventual board. The Asus QVL doesn't show Ryzen working at high frequencies past 16GB+ RAM. Is that intrinsic to Ryzen or due to currently available RAM/boards?

For the used PSU, on one hand my thought is that the manufacturer has confidence in the product to give it a long warranty. On the other hand, is it worth the risk of getting caught out? I'll probably get new for peace of mind.

The Design C's dimensions are more appealing. A thought: since silencing is mostly about heat dissipation, fan control, HDDs... how much does the case even matter for silence?

I really need to read up on the motherboards. Working well with linux is key. Thanks for the MSI suggestion.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:24 pm 
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visper wrote:
The SODIMMs are double-sided. I know RAM was a headache for a while. If that's still true, then I'll just stick to the QVL of the eventual board. The Asus QVL doesn't show Ryzen working at high frequencies past 16GB+ RAM. Is that intrinsic to Ryzen or due to currently available RAM/boards?

At intro, there was a lot of quirkiness for RAM/RAM speeds with Ryzen leading to AMD and mobo mfgrs setting a lower bar for RAM speeds. With a lot of BIOS updates, this has improved. Don't know if vendors have updated the QVL to reflect this or not. Helpful, huh?

visper wrote:
The Design C's dimensions are more appealing. A thought: since silencing is mostly about heat dissipation, fan control, HDDs... how much does the case even matter for silence?

Mfgr to Mfgr, could be a lot. For cooling and noise purposes, here's some things to question:
- does the case have lots of low resistance airflow? (low impedance intakes, not blocked by drive cages, etc)
- is it solidly built (no induced vibration noise)?
- quality of fan (noise level and noise quality) over operating range?

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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:39 pm 
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visper wrote:
The Design C's dimensions are more appealing. A thought: since silencing is mostly about heat dissipation, fan control, HDDs... how much does the case even matter for silence?
Indirectly you are correct, but to build a quiet computer is more about chosing the right components that dont produce so much noise, i have build quiet setups on very open cases as with very closed up cases, its much more important to reserach the components you will place inside more than anything.

In some cases the more closed and the dampening material do help a little on not letting certain sounds be as apparent, kinda like masking a frequency, but in my experience its not a big deal, regardless Fractal makes some of the best cases in the market, specially how they think about the user into building, like the cablemanegment is really good, the side panels are very solid. And about the define C having smaller dimmensions, i dont think it would have impact vs normal define, probably it will have a positive impact as you dont have the hdd cages blocking air route so the frontal air fans might not need to work as hard to push the air inside, but dont think its a game changer. The define C is a very nice case, i would consider adding a fan to the front though, as you are behind a frontal door and a filter, i always try to have positive pressure and avoid as much as possible to have air enter through unfiltered openings. Since you are on a budget, i would consider adding a Fractal Design Silent Series R3 120mm, both Asus and MSI have switchable fan headers so you should be able to control 3pin or PWM fans on any header.

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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:13 pm 
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For RAM I'll keep it simple and choose according to QVL and other user reports with whatever motherboard I end up with. I would like an easy upgrade path to 64GB, so I would prefer 16GB modules. However those seem to run at slower frequencies (than even their rating) and it's harder to find user reports for them. Is this speed vs capacity issue a limitation of Ryzen or just the state of what memory is currently available? Is it likely to change?

Define C seems good. For the fans I might put both included case fans up front, and use one of Arctic Freezer 33's fans as a semi-passive exhaust. Then later I can decide whether it's quiet enough or get 2-3 Silent Wing 3s? Reasonable?

Is it possible (and advisable) to have the front case fans turn off completely under low load or idle?

Also, unfortunately I need wifi. Usb? PCIe? The latter could disable certain other slots/functions on the motherboard, correct?


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:36 pm 
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visper wrote:
For RAM I'll keep it simple and choose according to QVL and other user reports with whatever motherboard I end up with. I would like an easy upgrade path to 64GB, so I would prefer 16GB modules. However those seem to run at slower frequencies (than even their rating) and it's harder to find user reports for them. Is this speed vs capacity issue a limitation of Ryzen or just the state of what memory is currently available? Is it likely to change?
Again i would only go by the QVL List, as memory is still an issue with AMD, i think the route you want to go is fine, 16gb should run fine, just you will have less to chose from and with the pricing today it would be very expensive.

Lets check some QVL Lists, warning even if its on the QVL List, the only thing kinda guarantee is that it will run, the speed you might reach is also dependent on the memory controller on the cpu, some are lucky and can run higher others are unlucky and have to live with lower speeds, just the luck of the draw on silicone.

Asus PRIME X370 PRO - QVL List
G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3000 (PC4 24000) Intel Z170 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3000C15D-32GVR

MSI X370 Gaming Plus - Support Memory by 1XXX
really tough to find 16gb above 2400 with samsung die that is available on canada that doesnt cost you a kindey =P
Kingston ValueRAM 16GB (1 x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz DRAM (Desktop Memory) CL19 1.2V DIMM (288-pin) KVR26N19D8/16 (if you use 4, it might need to be drop down to 2400 or a voltage bump, again amd is really picky with memory).

AsRock X370 Pro4 - QVL List
The below, are only able to run 2933, even if they are rated higher. You might be lucky to be able to run the them higher or unlucky and run them slower.
G.SKILL TridentZ Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3333 (PC4 26600) Intel Z170 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3333C16D-32GTZSK
G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C14D-32GTZR
G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C15D-32GTZR

visper wrote:
Define C seems good. For the fans I might put both included case fans up front, and use one of Arctic Freezer 33's fans as a semi-passive exhaust. Then later I can decide whether it's quiet enough or get 2-3 Silent Wing 3s? Reasonable?
Sounds like a good plan. If after you test your config want to upgrade the fans, suggested you buy 2x be quiet! SILENTWINGS 3 PWM 140mm, i believe the Define C can run 2x 140s on the front without touching the bottom PSU cover and the 140 have a max rpms of 1k, they drop to 250rpms or so on PWM (the exhaust slot is only 120mm)

visper wrote:
Is it possible (and advisable) to have the front case fans turn off completely under low load or idle?
On Asus with FanXpert3 you can after you setup your graph you simply check silent profile on the FanXpert and it will allow the fans to turn off (only CHA_FAN headers, CPU_FAN header doesnt allow), with BIOS im not sure. With MSI you very likely can, as you are allowed to place the breakpoints of your graph below the starting voltage of the fans, on PWM depnds on the fan though, some fans like thermalright are design to run even at 0% PWM, noctua on the other hand can be stoped on PWM (only 1 fan in my testing behaves like thermalright, i think was a NF-S12 PWM), but more important for your case, not sure how are the Artic fans in PWM. One thing to mention here is on 3pin (voltage control), some fans have a higher starting voltage than the operational, for example Antec True Quiet 140 can run at 200rpms, but starts around 400rpms, this i mention for you test, not only go by what the rpms say, some bios push the fans 100% on startup to avoid this issue with certain fans and then drop down when the bios settings load, this is something to test on each motherboard and with the fans your case comes with. Now CPU fan on certain mobos it doesn't allow to be turn off, in some you cant boot if its off or you get an alarm or an error message, in some motherboards it can be disabled in others you cant.

visper wrote:
Also, unfortunately I need wifi.
My suggestion is to go with a higher board, that it will have it included, like ASRock X370 Taichi or MSI X370 GAMING M7 ACK or ASUS CROSSHAIR VI HERO. As an extra suggestion, check ASUS ROG STRIX X370-I GAMING, you could build around a NODE304 probably wont be as quiet but it should be even more compact, but you would have to live with only 2 ram slots.

visper wrote:
Usb? PCIe? The latter could disable certain other slots/functions on the motherboard, correct?
You can also go with PCIe or USB card if you wish, there are plently off options out there. Not sure what you mean of certain slot disabled? most of the WIFI cards are 1x, if you place it on a 16x (like the last or the mid one) it will drop the gpu to 8x, but if you use a 1x it shoudlnt do anything else to the motherboard. On an USB card really depends, but i doubt it could saturate a USB3 port even with AC. I still would prefer to have embed solution like the mobos above and not use a PCI slot, but thats just my preference.

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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:07 pm 
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Wow, Abula, you are amazing. Sincere thanks for putting so much effort to make a great reference. Hopefully others will benefit too.

So it seems the RAM and motherboard purchase need to be considered together. Surprising how different the QVL can be for motherboards with the same chipset. I'll be referring back to your links as I read up more on motherboards.

Does anyone know if the RAM speed issues when adding more modules is intrinsic to Ryzen? If so, there's little point in paying for higher specs if the intention is to eventually upgrade to 64GB.

Is FanXpert a Windows software? I presume those changes are not persistent without the software running. I don't plan to run Windows much if at all, so I really prefer "BIOS" control.

So it seems that motherboards can't turn off fans... and it depends on the fans themselves? After reading more carefully, the Arctic Freezer 33 mentions this about its fans: they do not spin at below 40% PWM. How is their startup though? And if the startup is much higher it defeats the purpose of having them off anyways. Hmm. Testing is something I can do only after buying! haha

https://youtu.be/hKwyIE5Fkog?t=5m20s This is what I mean by certain slots disabled: on that particular board if using the x4 slot, the x1 slots can't be used, and therefore using a x1 slot makes the x4 slot unusable. I'm guessing the details might change from board to board depending on design. But I thought it would be a "waste" to use up a slot for wifi. On the other hand I do have a spare Atheros AR5BXB112 AR9380 lying around. Not sure if integrated wifi on a motherboard is great since it costs so much more, and would require asking this same question again later if needing to upgrade wifi.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:54 pm 
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visper wrote:
https://youtu.be/hKwyIE5Fkog?t=5m20s This is what I mean by certain slots disabled: on that particular board if using the x4 slot, the x1 slots can't be used, and therefore using a x1 slot makes the x4 slot unusable. I'm guessing the details might change from board to board depending on design. But I thought it would be a "waste" to use up a slot for wifi. On the other hand I do have a spare Atheros AR5BXB112 AR9380 lying around. Not sure if integrated wifi on a motherboard is great since it costs so much more, and would require asking this same question again later if needing to upgrade wifi.
Very interesting info, i didn't check much on my threaripper as i supposed it had so many PCI lanes, but now im going to check =P. I do think you should check the motherboards manuals as he did on the video to see if you will have an issue. I do recommend to go wired regardless, it will be faster transfer even more stable, and if you are into work station the near future has 10ge in the horizon, so moving the hdds to a server would be very viable with editing.

visper wrote:
Does anyone know if the RAM speed issues when adding more modules is intrinsic to Ryzen? If so, there's little point in paying for higher specs if the intention is to eventually upgrade to 64GB.
Well most OCers usually run less memory modules than more, its simply more stable for them, and Ryzen still a child, its going to get better as times goes by, probably ryzen2 with the 2700 will be better with memory, and probably the X470 might also... i think this platform is here to stay and get better as times goes by, now about getting higher speed or if its worth it, its only up to you and your wallet. I would say don't buy ram right now, as its 3x more expensive than it was a couple of years ago, but at the same time doesn't seem to be getting any cheaper either, if so is still slowly climbing... i do think it will stop sometimes this year, but probably very late, and the drops will be slow, there is so much demand this days with phones. But remember, ram that its not used is a waste, so buy when you know you need it and that it would benefit your workflow.

visper wrote:
So it seems that motherboards can't turn off fans... and it depends on the fans themselves? After reading more carefully, the Arctic Freezer 33 mentions this about its fans: they do not spin at below 40% PWM. How is their startup though? And if the startup is much higher it defeats the purpose of having them off anyways. Hmm. Testing is something I can do only after buying! haha
This is very peculiar on each fan, and i dont own any Arctic fans, but in my experience PWM fans start and stop at the same place, not like 3pin fans (where in some) there is a starting voltage and operational voltage (usually the same but not always, in some cases the minimum operational is lower than the starting voltage), PWM fans operate at 12V always (unless you supply less voltage), the PWM signal is what modulates the motor to increase or decrease the rpms (the fan motor still runs at 12V regardless of the rpms). Now what i do have find is on PWM there are some fans that stop and others dont, even at 0%, but this is by design of the manufactures, so when trying to achieve stopping fans on PWM, its best to reserach that the fans are able to stop under PWM control.

visper wrote:
Is FanXpert a Windows software? I presume those changes are not persistent without the software running. I don't plan to run Windows much if at all, so I really prefer "BIOS" control.
asus do have something similar on their bios call Qtunning, is a striped down version of their windows fanxpert, but in my limited experience (with only one motherboard) i had issues with it, and still do with some fans, at the same time i seen other here that work well for them, so take my comments with a grain of salt. Still because of this and other choices asus has done over time, my mobos are AsRock and MSI, and seems it will be my brands to follow for some time. Now if you like Asus go for it, i still think they are very good overall, just not for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:36 am 
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Quote:
Does anyone know if the RAM speed issues when adding more modules is intrinsic to Ryzen?

Every memory controller ever made has limits on how much RAM it can drive at what speeds and this point is seldom optimized at the time of launch :)

Here's an upside - a couple of years from now, RAM capacities per chip will have doubled leading to higher capacity RAM modules w/o additional load on the controller. We'll probably see this in DDR4 as DDR5 won't hit the desktop market until ~2021.

The downside is mobo mfgrs seldom go back and update the QVLs a year after launch - they've moved onto the new poorly optimized products.

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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:34 am 
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visper wrote:
...After reading more carefully, the Arctic Freezer 33 mentions this about its fans: they do not spin at below 40% PWM. How is their startup though?
The startup speed is around 800 rpm. However with Asus BIOS fan control you do have some ability to influence the CPU temperature at which this point is reached, and the fans turn on. I use Asus BIOS fan control and my preferred method is to use the Manual setting. The best profile that can be created in terms of minimal fans speeds is one that locks the fan PWM duty cycle to 20% until the CPU temperature reaches 55C. This is the most that can set for 20% PWM duty cycle. For 40% it is 66C. So there is quite a sharp increase from 20% to 40% PWM duty cycle over the 55 to 66C temperature range. But I would not expect to see 55 to 66C CPU temperatures unless the system is under gaming stress. I think this explains why Artic have set the startup point for their semi-passive fan as high as they have.
visper wrote:
...And if the startup is much higher it defeats the purpose of having them off anyways.
Good point. An alternative to the Arctic Freezer 33 cooler for you could be the Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4. Now apart from being AM4 and Ryzen specific this cooler uses the Noctua NH-F12 fan. I also use the same fan for CPU cooling. If I set it up as described already I can run the Asus BIOS fan optimization. With this particular fan it lowers the minimum PWM setting from 20% to 18%. This gives an idle speed of 260 rpm but with higher ambient temperatures than 21C I would expect 300 to 350 rpm to be more typical. So the question is would you find a fan running at this speed disturbing. If so then the fan must be completely off in which case the Freezer 33 Plus becomes the best option.

That still leaves the issue of intake fans. You could certainly run the Freezer 33 Plus with one fan on the cooler and other as the rear exhaust, and have no intake fans. Depending on what could be done with Asus BIOS fan tuning you should not see the fans turn on except when gaming. When they do turn on you may get more CPU/exhaust fan noise than with a conventional non-passive setup. A graphics card is also likely to be noisier under load in the absence of intake fans.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:01 pm 
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Sorry, I'm still not clear on whether RAM of higher capacity (i.e. 64GB total) will ever be capable of higher frequencies. Perhaps the answer doesn't even exist yet.

Abula wrote:
asus do have something similar on their bios call Qtunning, is a striped down version of their windows fanxpert, but in my limited experience (with only one motherboard) i had issues with it, and still do with some fans [...] Still because of this and other choices asus has done over time, my mobos are AsRock and MSI, and seems it will be my brands to follow for some time. Now if you like Asus go for it, i still think they are very good overall, just not for me.

What kind of fan issues? And with which fans? That could be a big deal.

Asus has been irritating me too for the last while, so it's not that I'm insisting on any particular brand. The Asus Prime X370 Pro seems to have a lot of linux users reporting no issues, which is particularly appealing. I haven't fully evaluated reviews myself yet. Also I have a hard time finding reviews of the MSI X370 Gaming Plus, particularly from a linux perspective, and that makes me a bit nervous. In general I like MSI as a brand. Asrock also seems to have positive sentiment. I'm really not decided on the motherboard yet, and thus the RAM decision is also in limbo.

lodestar wrote:
The startup speed is around 800 rpm. However with Asus BIOS fan control you do have some ability to influence the CPU temperature at which this point is reached, and the fans turn on. I use Asus BIOS fan control and my preferred method is to use the Manual setting. The best profile that can be created in terms of minimal fans speeds is one that locks the fan PWM duty cycle to 20% until the CPU temperature reaches 55C. This is the most that can set for 20% PWM duty cycle. For 40% it is 66C.

Is my understanding correct? At <55C (or <66C) the CPU fan would receive 20% PWM (or 40%) from the motherboard. At the threshold, the fan would start at 800 rpm, slow to a lower rpm and ramp up from there until 100% PWM? In other words, it would be silent, then max on, then a gradual ramp? That seems ... not ideal. But I really don't know what any of this sounds like to my ears, so it's tough to judge.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:07 pm 
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visper wrote:
Sorry, I'm still not clear on whether RAM of higher capacity (i.e. 64GB total) will ever be capable of higher frequencies. Perhaps the answer doesn't even exist yet.
I'm sorry i havent been clear enough, the answer is its impossible to know, todays CPUs have the memory controller integrated on the CPU, so it might or not support the speeds you want to achieve, even if the memory can reach it. Now with more modules its suppose to put more load into the the controller, so this is the reason in some scenarios 2 slots they reach 2666 and 4 slots 2400, but again this is not a set to stone or a law, you might or not able to do it, it depends on your your luck and if the memory controller supports it. Now i do know also that higher capacity modules put more strain into the memory controller, and also less certain that you will reach higher, again its a luck thing here, its not like if you buy higher you wont be able to, its less likely but you could be lucky and be fine, just dont set your mind that you will, this is overclocking, not all reach the same speeds, the only thing you do know its garantee is that it should run with 4 slots on 2133, higher than that will depend, but AMD do benefit and need higher memory to be competitive, intel not so much.

visper wrote:
What kind of fan issues? And with which fans? That could be a big deal.
It is big deal for me, but again this is an issue that i seen on two persons (me and another forum member here), but there are tons of people that have had a fine experience, my guess is that its directly related to my motherboard. Now what kind of issues
1) The Qtunning didnt consistently read the min rpms correctly, for example for a noctua NF-P14R, one time it see 300rpms the next test 500rpms, next test 400rpms the next test 700rpms, and so on, never was consistent as it was with FanXpert. Not a big deal when you are trying to do 1 fan, but if you have 3 or more fans becomes a lot of combinations.
2) When the rpms where not read correctly, the graph doesnt allow you to go below what the bios stablished as the minimum, so thats why its important for it to recognized it right.
3) With a noctua and thermalright, when placing the graphs manually with in the limits that the bios said, and saving the preset, i had resets, like i did something that bios didnt understand and i get a reboot.

Now dont let my comments above worry too much, i seen users have a great experience, my mobo H170 Pro Gaming is now 2 gens old, asus tends to fix things and then forget it, i think my mobo reach that point and mine will never be fixed, but i do think they have learned a lot form that gen, i bet Z270 and X370 mobos are much better. I can tell u that Asus does read on ROG forums, and changes done to my mobo came from a lot of suggestions of users, the only thing is they didnt reach a good polish bios fan control. Again this is more a warning, not to deteur you from asus.

visper wrote:
Asus has been irritating me too for the last while, so it's not that I'm insisting on any particular brand. The Asus Prime X370 Pro seems to have a lot of linux users reporting no issues, which is particularly appealing. I haven't fully evaluated reviews myself yet. Also I have a hard time finding reviews of the MSI X370 Gaming Plus, particularly from a linux perspective, and that makes me a bit nervous. In general I like MSI as a brand. Asrock also seems to have positive sentiment. I'm really not decided on the motherboard yet, and thus the RAM decision is also in limbo.
Go with the mobo that has better support for linux and works well, fans is one small thing and you can get other lower rpms fans and even undervolt manually and even go with a fan controller, there are workarounds for fans and control, but to be unstable or even not recognize certain things on your mobo would be much worst. If you dont see MSI to have good experiences with linux, then dont go for it, if you feel Asus or AsRock do a better job, chose according on which you think would end up better overall linux experience.

As a final suggestion, reserach on your linux ambients (forums/redit/etc), how does ASRock X370 Taichi behave on linux, its one of the few mobos that have gotten very good reviews, and specially the following TechPowerUp ASRock X370 Taichi (AMD AM4) Review, gave it a perfect 10, might be worth checking, specially also comes with WIFI =)

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Last edited by Abula on Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:19 pm 
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visper wrote:
Is my understanding correct? At <55C (or <66C) the CPU fan would receive 20% PWM (or 40%) from the motherboard. At the threshold, the fan would start at 800 rpm, slow to a lower rpm and ramp up from there until 100% PWM? In other words, it would be silent, then max on, then a gradual ramp? That seems ... not ideal.
The only data I have been able to find says that after starting at around 800 rpm at 40% duty cycle the fan speed then continues to increase until maximum speed is reached. Specifically to 1200 rpm at 50% duty cycle, 1320 rpm at 75% duty cycle and 1358 rpm at 100% duty cycle. Bear in mind that PWM fan control attempts to reach a balancing point. Where this balancing point would be would depend on ambient temperature, whether the CPU was overclocked and by how much. At stock clocks for example I would be surprised if fan speeds were more than 1000 rpm under load.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:40 am 
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Abula, it's not that you haven't been clear enough... I think that's more AMD's issue! haha

So perhaps we have to go about it in another way: what is the highest frequency achieved by 4 X 16GB modules on the Asus Prime X370 Pro or Asrock X370 Taichi? And just as importantly, which models were they? If anyone knows of such user reports, it would be quite useful.

For the motherboard, I've been reading a lot of mentions of the Asus Prime X370 Pro and the Asrock X370 Taichi. Both seem to work well for linux and virtualization, so I think I'll just go with one of them. Thanks for sharing your experiences; hopefully Asus has addressed their problems.. or I could just go with the Taichi.

lodestar wrote:
visper wrote:
Is my understanding correct? At <55C (or <66C) the CPU fan would receive 20% PWM (or 40%) from the motherboard. At the threshold, the fan would start at 800 rpm, slow to a lower rpm and ramp up from there until 100% PWM? In other words, it would be silent, then max on, then a gradual ramp? That seems ... not ideal.
The only data I have been able to find says that after starting at around 800 rpm at 40% duty cycle the fan speed then continues to increase until maximum speed is reached. Specifically to 1200 rpm at 50% duty cycle, 1320 rpm at 75% duty cycle and 1358 rpm at 100% duty cycle. Bear in mind that PWM fan control attempts to reach a balancing point. Where this balancing point would be would depend on ambient temperature, whether the CPU was overclocked and by how much. At stock clocks for example I would be surprised if fan speeds were more than 1000 rpm under load.


So does that mean Arctic's fans operate from 800 to 1320 rpm? The jump from 0 to 800 might be jarring, but at least that should only happen under load.... right? Are there any other semi-passive fans that could be combined with this or other heatsinks? Or other semi-passive cooling solutions?

===

And on a different note, in considering the passive 30W GT 1030 video card, I wanted to compare AMD alternatives too, which seems to be the RX 550. Any comments on it? There seem to be no passive ones, so are there user reports on how quiet they are in fan noise and potential coil whine? At least some models mention semi-passive fans.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:20 am 
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visper wrote:
And on a different note, in considering the passive 30W GT 1030 video card, I wanted to compare AMD alternatives too, which seems to be the RX 550. Any comments on it? There seem to be no passive ones, so are there user reports on how quiet they are in fan noise and potential coil whine? At least some models mention semi-passive fans.
Atm im using MSI GeForce GT 1030 DirectX 12 GT 1030 2GH LP OC 2GB 64-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 (uses x4) HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card, as a filler on my threadripper build, but it will be ugpraded once Nvidia release the 2070/2080. But i can confirm no whine that i can hear on the MSI GT1030, i chose that one specifically because its one of the few that comes with HDMI and DP. Now on AMD RX550 i have no experience at all, so idk, but if you want to go this route, i would probably consider the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 550 DirectX 12 GV-RX550D5-2GD 2GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 ATX Video Card, has the best user reviews and has a big fan, lots of others are low profile that i would avoid with small fans.

visper wrote:
So perhaps we have to go about it in another way: what is the highest frequency achieved by 4 X 16GB modules on the Asus Prime X370 Pro or Asrock X370 Taichi? And just as importantly, which models were they? If anyone knows of such user reports, it would be quite useful.
While its a good approach, its not guaranteed, as it depends on the chip itself, you might get a great overclocker chip and be fine, or vice versa, you get a bad overclocker and you are not able to reach what others say they could. I think Ryzen, specially memory controllers have to mature, to get close to how we think with intel, given that you still have the luck of the silicone, its not as variable as with AMD.

A video worth checking, Level1Tech ASRock X370 TaiChi Motherboard Review- Ryzen, I like a lot Wendel reviews, he is a big linux supporter, even says his testing were done only on linux, no windows. The only bad thing about the review, is he went with ECC memory and thus lower speed, Kingston Technology ValueRAM 16GB 2400MHz DDR4 ECC CL17 DIMM 2Rx8 Desktop Memory (KVR24E17D8/16). He also talks about memory around 15:30.

Now lets go with site reviews to see if can find what you looking for (damn im sounding like BONO),

From TechPowerUp ASRock X370 Taichi (AMD AM4) Review, The test setup was with 2x 8 GB DDR4 3200 MHz G.Skill FlareX F4-3200C14D-16GFX, according to CPUz screenshot, seems they reached 3200mhz on the memory.
Quote:
Intel XMP profiling is supported as well, although not all memory will work without some tweaking. The entire platform is subject to this right now, so that is no issue particular to the X370 Taichi, but should you want to tweak memory timings, you will be able to do so just as easily, although you will have to dig through a few layers of menu options in order to find what you need.

From HardwareCanucks ASRock X370 Taichi AM4 Motherboard Review test setup was with G.Skill Trident Z F4-3200014D-16GTZSW - 2 x 8GB.
Quote:
Since it is a big question at the moment, the memory kit that we used was half of a 4x8GB G.Skill Trident Z F4-3200C14Q-32GTZSW kit. It features a DDR4-3200 XMP profile with 14-14-14-34 timings. The Taichi actually has an option to enable XMP profiles, and we used it to automatically set the timings, but we did have to manually set the aforementioned SOC voltage, and also give a slight bump in the RAM voltage from 1.35V to 1.40V.

From KitGuru ASRock X370 Taichi Motherboard Review,they used 16GB (2x8GB) G.Skill TridentZ 3200MHz 14-14-14-34 DDR4 @ 1.35V, according to the CPUz they did reach 3200mhz.
Quote:
We maintained the DRAM frequency at 3200MHz to take its stability out of the overclocking equation

From OC3D.net ASRock X370 Taichi AM4 Motherboard Review, they used Corsair LPX 2666MHz / Corsair LPX 3000MHz,
Quote:
our final clock with 3360Mhz memory, this could be finicky and took some tweaking between benches to keep it all singing the same tune

What can we conclude form the reviews, well sadly none tested 16gb modules, but seems a lot of the reviewers favor G.Skill Trident memory as it suppose to have the Samsung B-Die that its suppose to be the most compatible memory for ryzen.

Now checking user reviews from Newegg ASRock X370 Taichi AM4 AMD Promontory X370 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX AMD Motherboard
Quote:
-Did not have RAM issues others have had. 16GB Black Ripjaws V 3200MHz set to 3200MHz via XMP Profile with ease.

Quote:
G.SKILL TridentZ Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Intel Z170 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-16GTZKW

Quote:
32GB (2x16GB) of Kingston HyperX Fury DDR 2666MHz RAM, HX426C16FBK2/32

There are a lot reaching 3200, saldy only one with 16gb modules.

Now from QVL List of AsRock X370 Taichi, on 16gb modueles with Gskill Trident that can reach high, you will find the following, all seems to have been able to reach 2993, but again you might be able to reach this or higher or lower, its going to depend on your luck with the chip.

F4-3200C15D-32GTZR (cheapest sort of speak)
F4-3200C14D-32GTZR
F4-3866C18D-32GTZR

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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:59 am 
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Posts: 45
Abula wrote:
Atm im using MSI GeForce GT 1030 DirectX 12 GT 1030 2GH LP OC 2GB 64-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 (uses x4) HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card, as a filler on my threadripper build, but it will be ugpraded once Nvidia release the 2070/2080. But i can confirm no whine that i can hear on the MSI GT1030, i chose that one specifically because its one of the few that comes with HDMI and DP.


I see I'm not the only one who took this approach. That passive MSI with the HDMI + DP is exactly what I had in mind. Great to hear you don't have coil whine.

Thanks for your incredible amount of research. I noticed too that there's very little mention of 16G modules. The Taichi QVL shows 2933 max for 16GB modules... and 2666 max for 16GB modules with 4 DIMM support.

And yes those 2 X 16 GB kits are absurdly expensive. I was also considering temporarily getting 1 X 16GB of decently good RAM. RAM + Ryzen + crazy prices... what a hassle.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:31 am 
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Location: Guatemala
visper wrote:
I see I'm not the only one who took this approach. That passive MSI with the HDMI + DP is exactly what I had in mind. Great to hear you don't have coil whine.
Remeber that coil/whine is not always a sure thing, in my experience its not only one component but combination of parts that create it. In a lot of scenarios happens in certain load or at a certain consumption, while i havent experience any with it, my testing has not been that much, i do check for it but i havent loaded the gpu a lot or even the kind of workflow the WS will be at, so take it as one user comments, but not as a law that you will will be coil free.

visper wrote:
Thanks for your incredible amount of research. I noticed too that there's very little mention of 16G modules. The Taichi QVL shows 2933 max for 16GB modules... and 2666 max for 16GB modules with 4 DIMM support.

And yes those 2 X 16 GB kits are absurdly expensive. I was also considering temporarily getting 1 X 16GB of decently good RAM. RAM + Ryzen + crazy prices... what a hassle.
with 8gb modules you can see in most reviews they are reaching above 3000mhz, specially with Gskill Trident. If your budget is tight, go with two 8gb modules and decide on the future if 32 would be enough then grab another pair, or if you do need 64gb then sell the one you own and go for full set of 16gb modules. Personally i suggest 32GB if you can, but for me was easier since threadripper allows 8 modules, so i can still go for 64 in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:29 pm
Posts: 45
Abula wrote:
Remeber that coil/whine is not always a sure thing, in my experience its not only one component but combination of parts that create it. In a lot of scenarios happens in certain load or at a certain consumption, while i havent experience any with it, my testing has not been that much, i do check for it but i havent loaded the gpu a lot or even the kind of workflow the WS will be at, so take it as one user comments, but not as a law that you will will be coil free.

This site has taught me this detail, which is why I'm "glad *you* don't have coil whine" and not "*it* doesn't..." ;)

Abula wrote:
Personally i suggest 32GB if you can, but for me was easier since threadripper allows 8 modules, so i can still go for 64 in the future.


Threadripper's higher RAM limit was appealing, but that platform costs a lot more too. I keep my computers for a long time so I'm sure I'll be maxing out the RAM at some point. That's why my plan takes this into account from the beginning. If I can eliminate frequencies that don't work with 4 X 16 GB, it makes the selection easier.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible? Powerful workstation + silent idle
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:29 pm
Posts: 45
Here's something odd.

Output: HDMI 2.0b / DisplayPort (Version 1.4)
https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/GeForce-GT-1030-2GH-LP-OC/Specification

Display Output (Max Resolution): 2560x1600 !!!???!
https://ca.msi.com/Graphics-card/GeForce-GT-1030-2GH-LP-OC/Specification

Are they insane or just incompetent? Or am I missing something?


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