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"Strange Brew"...Asus X79 E-WS, ES CPU, mix-and-match RAM File and Dev Server


J7SC_Orion
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Last year, I posted on taking a never-used (!) CM Stryker case and assembled a 'retro-gamer' for 1080p with custom-bios dual EVGA 980 Classified GPUs. The motherboard is one of my all-time favourites - the Asus X79 E-WS workstation board -  which has been running in 'oc' mode for over 8 years now; it is a rock-solid foundation with 7 PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, PEX chips, and what is more, there are custom bios available for this board which allow for NVME support in addition to bifurcation...

 

 4960xAsusX79E-WS.thumb.jpg.8abb37a700cd7c2d2559501a3098cbf8.jpg

 

...the CPU is a 'strange' 4960X ES engineering sample...strange because it displays some highly unusual behaviour re. strap preference and extremely low power consumption at default. That in turn has allowed it to hit ~ 4.9 GHz at less than 130W / 100% load. Typically, it is set to ~ 4.7 GHz for daily operations.

  

4960XStryker1.thumb.jpg.78807e41af2863168e26d1e717eabc25.jpg4960xStryker2.thumb.jpg.b01d92f34823dfe5c26597c4501cb898.jpg

 

I recently decided to convert this old but trusted soldier into more of a file storage and development server for database staging for certain commercial apps. There are three more modern systems here with 2080 Tis, 6900XT and RTX 3090, so I don't really need a 'retro-gamer' anymore. 

 

As an HEDT-equipped chip, the 6c/12t 4960X has 4 channel RAM, and per earlier update-build, it was running a very solid kit of 4x8 GSkill TridentZ DDR3 2400 (the top of the line B-die of its day). Now, I added what I thought was 4x8 GSkill TridentZ DDR 2666 - alas, it would only show 48 GB ?!? 😡 ...it turned out that the 2666 kit is actually 4x4 (total of 16 GB); I confused it with another 4x8 kit which is already in use in another back-up machine.

 

Mixing and matching RAM of different speeds and with different JEDEC is already frowned on somewhat, though I have tuned RAM 'combos' for more than a decade without too many issues...but I never tried to have an arrangement with a all-slot / 8 sticks of different rating and different capacity.

 

Yet by locking in the timings of the 2400 / 4x8 32GB kit and then adding the additional 2666 / 4x4 16 GB, the only thing I had to change was the command rate from 1 to 2, but that is normal for 8 sticks / all-slot occupancy. I found this kind of painless install and easy compatibility a bit strange, so I ran various and extensive RAM stress tests, and not a single error (ditto for WHEA). For now, I leave it at 2400 but might try 2666 since I had that nominal-2400 kit run as high as 2800 before. Alternatively, it did great in past HWBot subs with CL9 at stock voltage. As a file and development server, it probably won't make much of a difference anyhow...

 

4960x48GB1pic1600u.thumb.jpg.bfc6e1f8abd23c3d19e54dc4c61457aa.jpg

 

4960x48GB_RAM.thumb.jpg.c84b46058e6e209476150b04a423a962.jpg

 

Currently, this system has 3x 1TB WD Blue SSDs and 3x 1TB WD Black HDDs...next step is to add in this 4x PCIe 3.0 NVME card that came in the mobo box for another system. The plan is to add 4x 2 TB NVMEs (probably PCIe 4.0 drives for future reference;  those will default to PCIe 3.0) and take out the old WD Black HDDs. Even an older system with 'just' SSDs (no mechanical drives anymore) already feels much more enjoyable to use, and the NVME additions should really make it rock.

 

4960xMSI_AERO.jpg.017cb099af03f14d459b77c645b6b943.jpg

 

After the Quad-NVME card, the next step is to find some decent though not overpriced high-speed multi-port add-in network cards (s.th. like the Intel Ethernet Network Adapter X710-T2L 2x RJ45). Still plenty of those 7x PCIe slots on the mobo left to fill 😁

 

 

 

Edited by J7SC_Orion
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CPU: 5950X, Asus Dark Hero, 32 GB CL14 3800, Asus 3090 Strix OC on LG C1 48 OLED, WD Black SN850 2TB NVME, 3x WD Sata 1 TB SSDs --- 3950X, Asus CH8 Hero Wifi, 32 GB CL14 3800, Gigabyte 6900 XT OC on Philips VA 40, 2x Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVME, 3x WD Sata 1TB SSDs
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Ah, mustard and ketchup, I recall thee from my youth.  😎

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CPU: 5950x
MOTHERBOARD: Dark Hero
GPU: Aorus 6900XT Extreme WF
RAM: G. Skill Ripjaws V 64GB 3600 14-14-14-34
WC CPU BLOCK: Watercool Heatkiller IV
WC PUMP: XTOP Revo / FLT 120 + 3 D5's
SSD/NVME: Samsung 980 Pro
CASE: Gutted Enthoo Pro 2
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3 hours ago, ArchStanton said:

Ah, mustard and ketchup, I recall thee from my youth.  😎

 

...but if 2014 was your period of youth, how come you're already at 'midlife-crisis' ? 😎 

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CPU: 5950X, Asus Dark Hero, 32 GB CL14 3800, Asus 3090 Strix OC on LG C1 48 OLED, WD Black SN850 2TB NVME, 3x WD Sata 1 TB SSDs --- 3950X, Asus CH8 Hero Wifi, 32 GB CL14 3800, Gigabyte 6900 XT OC on Philips VA 40, 2x Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVME, 3x WD Sata 1TB SSDs
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2 hours ago, mouacyk said:

Look at dem fins

 

I love dem fins 😃, not to mention the VRM caps and the football-field sized chipset cooler that runs all the way to the PCIe slots. BTW, this thing was as fast if not faster with mulit-GPUs as the equivalent-gen Rampage Extreme I also had (have). 

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CPU: 5950X, Asus Dark Hero, 32 GB CL14 3800, Asus 3090 Strix OC on LG C1 48 OLED, WD Black SN850 2TB NVME, 3x WD Sata 1 TB SSDs --- 3950X, Asus CH8 Hero Wifi, 32 GB CL14 3800, Gigabyte 6900 XT OC on Philips VA 40, 2x Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVME, 3x WD Sata 1TB SSDs
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