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Build

Threadripper 1950x Workstation <$2000

by 333me

41
27 Comments

Details

Date Published

Jan. 22, 2018

Date Built

Jan. 19, 2018

CPU Clock Rate

3.95GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

31.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

67.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

2.08GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

4.40GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

35.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

61.0° C

Description

I do 3D animation and built my first PC back in 2012 with an i7-3770, I figured it was about time for an upgrade so wanted to see if I could scratch together a Threadripper for ~$2000.

I started looking seriously in November 2017, but missed Black Friday sales. I was hoping to catch a break after Christmas, contrary prices skyrocketed.

After scouring the internet for a month I ended up snagging a deal in January on used RAM and a graphics card on Ebay. Luckily the vendors were legit and I got them in great condition. I got the RAM for $336 when prices were at +$400 if you could even find them in stock. Even now GPU's are selling out like crazy due to crypto mining, so I was lucky to get a GTX 1070 OC at $432 while I could easily have paid +$500. The best deal I got was for the CPU, there was a sale on the Threadripper 1950x at Microcenter for $700 ($1000 MSRP).

The case, SSD and HDD are from my old build, and I included the original prices in the list just to make it complete, but I factored them out for the net total.

I got some rebates and bought everything with a rewards card which will get me back an additional $285. If I subtract what I used from the old build ($270) along with all the rebates and cashback, my net total comes to $1935.

Originally I reused my old case to save money, I had to mod the case a little bit by removing the drive cage in order to make room for the AIO. In the end I'm glad I kept the case, I really like how it looks without panels, and it has good airflow. It also gave me a chance to clean everything up and take all the components from the old build and put it back together in a smaller case, so now I have 2 clean smooth running machines :)

I think I might write up another post for the re-build, so I'll spare the details.

I spent some time overclocking the CPU & GPU to get some more out of the system, it's a modest increase, I'd estimate a 10% gain in performance.

In the end I was able to score 3400cb on Cinebench compared to my old rig which got 635cb! A serious upgrade for a very reasonable budget. Out of curiosity I shopped around at a few custom PC sites and entered in my components, totals were coming out to +$3000, some even close to $4K.

I might have went overboard with the photos, but hope you guys enjoy the pics!

Part Reviews

CPU

Amazingly fast rendering, will make iterations a lot quicker when animating! I spent some time learning how to overclock. In the end I didn't shoot too high, I read max temp for Threadripper is 68C (Tdie), which seems kind of low, but figure I'll play safe.

I gave the Voltage a modest boost to 1.24V which allowed for a 3.950MHz clock speed. Set the SOC Voltage to 1.1V and set the LLC for both to level 2.

CPU Cooler

This is a really well made unit, very impressed by the build quality. The fans are insane, they ramp up to 2300rpm and give a lot of pressure. It can get really loud, but using a fan profile keeps it running almost silent when not stressed.

I wish I could get better thermal delta, I keep reading people being able to push their CPU's to 1.35V, but mine seems to get too hot. I might remove the block to double check the paste is applied okay.

There were a lot of bubble sounds initially that had me concerned, but they seem to have worked their way out. Otherwise no frills and very easy to work with.

Motherboard

Great board, it has a ton of features and I got to learn them a lot better this time around. Most importantly was the BIOS flash reset function, not to be confused with the standard CMOS reset button. At one point while trying to overclock my RAM the settings wouldn't even allow the board to post. Got a little sweaty, but the BIOS flashback worked out just fine.

The UEFI layout is pretty clear and offers a ton of option for overclocking, and even BIOS controlled fan profiles. You can take screenshots with a hotkey which is helpful for posting to forums, and flashing updates is a cinch.

I read a lot of people initially having RAM compatability issues, but I didn't have any trouble, just selected an XMP profile and was running at rated speeds even using older DDR4 3000 sticks.

Memory

Was able to get it to work at rated speeds with my Taichi x399 board no problem. Just enabled XMP and selected the profile and it was running fine.

Storage

I bought this 5 years ago and I've never had an issue with it :)

Storage

I really like this direction in storage, it's very convenient. At first I thought it would be excessive to get one, but this is pretty much the same price for a SATA SSD.

Not having to run a power and SATA cable is really refreshing and makes the whole building process that much more enjoyable. The transfer speeds are kind of incomprehensible, overkill for most needs so the speed almost becomes irrelevant. I guess an M.2 SATA would have done just as well for a little cheaper and probably wouldn't notice the difference.

Video Card

Really impressed with the boost speeds, I was getting 1987MHz out of the box, that's 7% more than advertised speeds of 1860MHz and 22% more than base clock speed of 1633MHz. I was able to overclock it to 2114MHz for a total increase of 29% from base clock. Temperatures don't really go above low 60C, most times the fans aren't even spinning. When temperatures do climb, the fans generally only have to spin at 60%, fairly quiet.

Case

Although I do like this case and have gotten a lot of good use out of it, I wouldn't recommend it at this point. It's a 6 year old design and it's still being sold at it's original price of $80. Although it's spacious, people generally don't need 5.25" bays anymore and the hard drive cage is in the way if you want to mount a radiator in the front so needs modification.

There's poor cabling options in the back, the whole back end of the rear panel doesn't offer a single loop for zip ties, and there's no channel so wires can start to bulge.

My main pet peeve are the side panels, they flex easily so makes it really hard to get all the edges to catch when sliding it closed. You really have to push it against something or lay on it's side in order to get even pressure with both your elbows and forearms to slide it closed.

Power Supply

I've never worked with a modular PSU so didn't know what I was missing, now I can definitely say modular PSU's are the way to go. Saves a lot of headache when cabling and leaves you with a much cleaner, easier to work with system.

They provided plenty of cable options, velcro ties, and a handy bag for the leftovers. Overall feels very well built.

There's a toggle switch for fan modes. Either constant on, or hybrid mode that mostly keeps the fan off and only spins the fan on when it gets warm. I have no idea how hot it needs to get to turn on because I've never witnessed the fan actually spin in hybrid mode.

I never thought I'd be impressed by a power unit!

Case Fan

These guys feel kind of weak.

When I was researching them online I was reading 74CFM on vendor sites, but when I actually received them the box listed them as 54CFM, so pretty disappointed, though I guess not the fan's fault.

Other

These were the cheapest alternative to mounting a 3.5" drive in a 5.25" bay, but I also just like the minimalism. Once you get them screwed on it's very solid.

Because it's so minimal there are no obstructions when attaching cables and better airflow.

Other

Good solution for mounting a 2.5" drive in a 5.25" bay, really like the minimalism. Once you get them screwed on it's very solid. Slots for up to 3 drives is a great value and gives you a little more flexibility when running power cables.

Minimal design means there are no obstructions when attaching cables and allows for good airflow.

Other

I wanted to like these but they ended up being horrible to work with. I liked the idea of having the flat nub on the outside of the case for a cleaner look, but having to pull the mount through the fan's screw hole while in the case was maddening. Ends up the fans I used had slightly smaller screw holes so it was almost impossible to pull through without tearing the pins, I ripped about half of them.

Once they are in, they seem to do their job, my case is very quiet now, but I definitely would not recommend these things.

Comments Sorted by:

supermattdab0ss 1 Build 6 points 8 months ago

"Budget Build"

Procedes to showcase Threadripper 1950x build...

"I might have went overboard with the photos"

You definitely didn't. I want more of the completed build, actually. +1, nice job!

333me submitter 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Sorry, I got started on the description before I finished the photos. I'm slowly uploading them now :)

[comment deleted]
333me submitter 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Changed the title too...

supermattdab0ss 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Ha! Workstation is slightly more appropriate. Thanks for the pics!

333me submitter 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Np, thanks for checking it out!

Alernius 1 point 1 month ago

Hi Mate, awesome info and nice build. I'm a former Mac user so am building a workstation now to handle any 3D applications so the AMD TR 1950x sounds good to me. Good scores on the Redshift benchmark too.

I will be wanting 2x 1080ti's I think.

Thanks

All the best.

rikku 2 Builds 5 points 8 months ago

That is indeed an interesting way of applying thermal paste. You get my +1.

LeMMingSlayeR 21 Builds 5 points 8 months ago

I believe the technical term for that application method is the "Oh damn this is a big IHS, plop plop plop" method.

rikku 2 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

This made me chuckle.

FurryJackman 2 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Gamers Nexus called it Pasteripper.

333me submitter 1 Build 2 points 8 months ago

Yea, I'm not sure if it was too much. Tempted to remove the block to see how it spread.

rikku 2 Builds 3 points 8 months ago

As long as it doesn't actually get inside the socket, you should be fine. But feel free to do it if you feel unsure about it.

FurryJackman 2 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

You are extremely lucky to get a STRIX 1070 for a decent price right now. A 980Ti on the used market is cheaper than a 1070 new right now.

333me submitter 1 Build 2 points 8 months ago

Tell me about it, I was checking all the vendor sites, signed up for all the notifications, setup ebay alerts, was even looking on reddit for a reasonable deal.

I would get alerts from Newegg and they were selling out by the time I added them to my shopping cart.

I lucked out when I jumped on a 'buy it now' listing on ebay. Amazingly it was just a guy dumping an extra card after upgrading and wasn't trying to be greedy, restored my faith in humanity.

FurryJackman 2 Builds 1 point 8 months ago

Double check your warranty in that case. If it was sealed, you're good. If it was opened, definitely double check your warranty.

Gooberdad 10 Builds 2 points 7 months ago

I missed this post. Great job. This looks fantastic.

Thumbs up.

333me submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Thanks!

Kurnoik 2 points 7 months ago

DDR4 3000 works well on this board? This builds helps a lot LOL!

333me submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Been a while since I checked in, but for reference, yea no problems with the DDR4 3000 sticks. Honestly once everything is up and running it's hard to notice a few percentage points here or there in performance. There are a lot of things to take into consideration, but ultimately I think it comes down to individual requirements for % price increase vs % performance increase.

cbalmaceda 2 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

This build is simply stunning.

I'm absolutely fascinated by the size and core count of that processor. This build may have inspired me to do some upgrading.... haha

nateo200 1 Build 2 points 2 months ago

As a photographer who loves sharp images, macro photography, and all things computer your images are straight tech ****. I have been drooling over a Seasonic PRIME 750watt Platinum 80+Platinum PSU to put in my system to replace my recently purchased Seasonic M12II 620watt 80+Bronze so that my little sisters PC can have a modular PSU instead of my cheap "I have every computer part except for a power supply and Amazon Prime is not fast enough I need to go to Best Buy and purchase a PSU as fast as possible" power suply. It is an EVGA 600watt 80+White. Ketchup and mustard and my sister is getting a case with a clear side panel. Plus I need an excuse to buy the sexy looking new Seasonic PSU's! "Dad it is 80+PLATINUM! It even says it in the name twice! It will pay for its self!!". Haha. Oh and those Arctic F12's are such a deal. I have two of them, I just hate that the wires are not black so I might put some sleeves on them idk.

333me submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Hey man, sorry I don't check on this account very often, but thanks for the kind words!

I guess it's been a little while from your message, hope you got a sweet build in the end.

You should post your build! If you do, be sure to send me a link :)

nateo200 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

My personal rig is posted but my sisters rig is still a W.I.P. I'll share it for sure, I tend to check my messages to follow up.

pegotico 2 Builds 1 point 8 months ago

Very clean build! Nice job with the cable management! +1

Originally I reused my old case to save money, I had to mod the case a little bit by removing the drive cage in order to make room for the AIO.

Looks great! :)

333me submitter 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Thanks!

musty_pc 1 point 8 months ago

bought everything with a rewards card which will get me back an additional $285

Which card is that?

333me submitter 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Wells Fargo, $200 back after spending $1000 in the first 3 months: https://www.wellsfargo.com/credit-cards/visa-wise/

Newegg had an American Express offer for $50 back that was advertised at checkout and I used that as well.