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Switching BACK To AMD Ryzen – A NEW Threadripper PC Build!

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I really want this next build to be epic, so this my friends is going to be the most powerful system I’ve ever built, and it’s all going to revolve around the ASUS ROG ecosystem. We have the motherboard, the power supply, the all-in-one cooler, the graphics card, the case, some LED accessories and peripherals, so full out ASUS ROG fanboying over here. At the core of the system we have the ThreadRipper 2950X, a 16-core / 32-thread processor that should offer monster performance.

Why the switch back?

Well well, look how the tables have turned. Not long ago I made a video about ditching Ryzen and going back to Intel solely because of Intel QuickSync support had been added into Adobe Premiere. You could now utilize the integrated GPU on the CPU to accelerate your render times, and it was like a 2X performance increase in Adobe Premiere, which made total sense for me. But this is my first ThreadRipper system, Eber has built a few and now I’m kind of happy to be back into the AMD world, especially because they are gaining so much hype and I’m excited for the Ryzen 3000 series. This new system will be a really good starting point to just see how the 3000 series performs in comparison to this a 2950X. It should be fun.

Now I want to be clear that while this system is insanely powerful, for Adobe Premiere it is not. My razor Blade 15 renders video faster than this beast and that just shows you that Intel CPUs is are still far ahead for Adobe applications, but Premiere has not been really friendly to us. Lots of crashes, all the updates break things, and we’re not getting the things that we want to get for an annual subscription fee or a monthly subscription fee. This is why I’m moving into Davinci Resolve 16 Studio, and that’s been just such a pleasure to use, such a refreshing program that actually utilizes the hardware and you’re not locked down to using Intel CPUs only. Now before we do the parts breakdown, let’s put this system together.

It cost all of the money

I’m not gonna lie to you guys, this is the most expensive build I’ve ever done. Just looking over the price list for each of the components is just so intimidating. Like the motherboard, the ASUS Zenith Extreme Alpha is over $600. It’s E-ATX, it is the heaviest motherboard I’ve ever held in my hands. It’s built super well, it’s
got all types of overclocking features, but I won’t be able to utilize all its capabilities because it was built to support the monster 32-core 2990WX. I have the 29 50 x in there, so I just enabled Precision Boost Overdrive, tweaked a few things here and there, and enabled my memory kit’s XMP profile, and that was it. Now for memory G.SKill hooked us up with a huge 128GB kit. This is my first 128GB kit, so thank you very much G.Skill. It has got beautiful RGB ambient illumination that I can sync up to the entire system.

Unfortunately, the ROG Ryujin 360mm all-in-one liquid cooler prevented us from populating all the DIMMs because the actual base plate and the little plastic cover that goes over top of the pump blocks the two closest slots, which means that I was only able to install 64GB of RAM for now. But once we swap out the cooler in the future I will definitely install all 128GB.

The graphics card we got is the ROG STRIX Gaming RTX 2080 Ti and that thing is absolutely insane. It comes factory overclocked, has triple fans, a massive heatsink and the RGB illumination. Everything is like a nice complete package. I can overclock it to 2.1Ghz easy, and at 2.1Ghz a RTX 2080 Ti absolutely flies through anything. Now I initially mounted the GPU in the vertical orientation using the included case bracket, but as I’m adding more GPUs down the line to help with the rendering performance, I did swap it out to have it in this default horizontal orientation.

As for powering this build, we the insane ROG Thor 1200W Platinum efficiency power supply. It’s got a power meter on the side that shows your real-time power consumption, and it has addressable RGB illumination that you can connect to the motherboard in order to have it all synced up.

The many unique aspects of this build

The power supply has also got braided cables and I found a really cool way to integrate them around my little ROG character, they basically wrap around him and into the graphics card. I found that to be a really clever way to not only populate that empty space in an otherwise really giant case, but also add a really cool aesthetic touch. Plus it just secures the character in the case too.

And since we went so overkill, the last piece of the puzzle was more lighting. I installed the ROG AURA Terminal beside the motherboard on that cable cover, routed an additional addressable RGB strip on top, to highlight the cooler and give the internal space a bit more ambient lighting.

Now one unique element about this build are the three screens that are inside the case. One on the AIO pump that you can customize to show your CPU voltage, your temperature, your fan speeds, or whatever you want. You can show different graphics as well. There’s the motherboard screen that shows you different codes, different temperatures, you can also customize that, and the power supply screen that shows you only the power draw. The issue however is the lack of cohesion between all three screens in terms of font size, in terms of animations, in terms of even refresh rate. So that kind of sucks, but that is a minor complaint in an otherwise beastly rig.

Performance Figures

Performance wise, I’m very happy with what I’m seeing in Davinci Resolve Studio 16 Public Beta. The numbers really do speak for themselves, this is the fastest machine I’ve ever built. While the ThreadRipper system is an absolute beast, I feel like it’s way too overkill for my needs, even in video production. Yet it is faster in Davinci Resolve than my 9900K machine, and I’m moving away from Adobe applications because I feel like they are just dragging their feet and not being innovative enough. Whereas Davinci Resolve feels fresh, it feels young, the optimization is there, and that is what I want to support.

So what is the future of the system you may ask? Well I want to downsize the ROG Strix Helios case, since for me this case is a little bit too large. I want to swap out with the cooler so that I can have space for 128GB of RAM, and I really want to explore overclocking to maybe 4.2Ghz, to maybe higher on eight cores and beyond. The motherboard definitely can handle it and the VRM cooling on it is fantastic. I also want to bring this into a research center and see what the ThreadRipper CPU you can do in terms of compute and applications outside of the traditional video production. I’m not going to be gaming on this thing, this is not a gaming machine despite the amazing overclocked RTX 2080 Ti.

So big thanks to ASUS for providing the parts, this was not a sponsored article, this was just us having fun and experimenting and me really wanting a ThreadRipper system so that I could explore other avenues in terms of hardware optimizations for particular applications and our video production. If you have any suggestions on how we can utilize the CPU properly for other interesting tasks, I would love to hear about it. Big thanks to Wendell from Level1Techs for optimization, troubleshooting talk, always appreciated.

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