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Comments

Comment reply on Forum Topic "AMD vs. Intel CPU for scientific computing"

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

AMD's consumer CPUs support ECC memory, whereas Intel's don't, which you might want for scientific computing, especially if you're doing something mission-critical. Apart from that, AMD and Intel consumer CPUs support the same RAM (DDR4 unbuffered), so it should be equally easy to find RAM for them.

"Scientific computing" is a vague term but most likely it means you're doing a lot of parallel processing. Currently AMD still has better general multithreaded performance at a given price; for example, the 2700 is cheaper than the 9600k but has 8 cores/16 threads vs. 6 cores/threads (Intel removed hyperthreading from the 9-series). It does depend on what exactly you're running, though; a software package that's been specifically optimized for Intel-specific instructions might still perform better on the Intel.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Workstation for scientific programming & CFD modelling"

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point
  • I'm not clear on your workflow with the multiple servers. If visualizations are done by SSHing into the storage server, why does it use memory on your laptop? Why is there a storage server that isn't backed up? Maybe the setup could be modified to make your workflow easier without needing a new workstation; for example, enterprises sometimes use high-bandwidth interconnects like FC, Infiniband, >10Gbit Ethernet between servers to allow compute nodes to access storage physically residing on the storage nodes.
  • Why the oddly sized mix of SSDs—is there some specific workload that led you to select it? Assuming you're buying new (as opposed to reusing parts you have), I would get either 1 large SSD, or multiple same-sized drives if you're doing RAID.
  • I second kschendel's point about a TR4-specific cooler. Reviewers have found that these offer significantly better cooling.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "AMD Threadripper 2990wx vs 2950x for scientific work"

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

2990wx and 2950x are both NUMA. The difference in per-thread speed is to a significant degree due to the clock speed difference (for thermal reasons, presumably); the funky memory topology of the 2990WX is only part of it.

Depending on your workload you might consider Epyc, which is more expensive than Threadripper but has larger cache and fully-enabled dies. That might be good if your performance is constrained by memory connectivity.

Comment reply on chvvkumar's Completed Build: Node 202 Ryzen 5 2600X build

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Why is a MicroSD plugged into your graphics card though?

Comment reply on Forum Topic "WHEA-LOGGER 19 when idling . 8700K. Error Type: Cache Hierarchy Error"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

If you aren't overclocking, it sounds like you have a bad CPU. It's hard to find information about this exact message, but it sounds like one of the CPU caches' ECC detected and corrected an error.

More info on the fields: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/office/ff559554(v=vs.90)

If you get the machine check exception error code, you can try decoding it to see exactly what component is giving it: http://www.mcelog.org/

Comment reply on wbrat's Completed Build: First Liquid Cooled System

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

More expandability. 64 PCIe lanes, 4-channel RAM and greater RAM support (most boards have 8 slots).

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Kingston A400 SSD - performance issues"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Random chance? 25% of copies will be at the 25th percentile or worse, by definition.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "What's the most useless thing you still have memorized?"

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986

Then I got bored and started memorizing something else.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "What's the most useless thing you still have memorized?"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Some of these are kind of useful, especially if you're a programmer.

  • 2145483648 - 1: largest possible 32-bit signed integer.
  • 4290967296 - 1: largest possible 32-bit unsigned integer.
  • 1099511627776: Number of bytes in a terabyte.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "SATA SSD vs. NVME SSD"

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

Not true anymore. The Intel Optane 900P/905P is significantly faster for everything except sequential writes (where it roughly matches the best Samsungs). Of course, it's much more expensive, and is generally overkill, so it makes sense to get only if you specifically need its performance or have cash to burn.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Ryzen CPUs BIOS update?"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

AMD has information on BIOS updates for previous-generation chipsets: https://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-articles/Pages/2Gen-Ryzen-AM4-System-Bootup.aspx

  • If the board is recently manufactured, it may have a sufficiently recent BIOS from the factory, even if is uses the previous-gen chipset.
  • If you buy the board from a physical retailer, they may be able to do the update for you at the time of purchase, if necessary.
  • AMD offers loaner previous-gen CPUs by mail, at no charge, that will let you boot and do the BIOS update.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Fastest RAID controller"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

That sounds reasonable. A related option to consider is ZFS with parity, which provides several other benefits like end-to-end checksums, ZFS send for backups or migrations. Debian doesn't have ZFS by default but it's probably not hard to set up. It's supposed to have a reasonably user-friendly command-line UI, and if you use some of the additional features (e.g. snapshots) regularly you probably won't forget how to use it.

Double parity (RAID-6 or RAID-Z2) is recommended nowadays due to the higher chance of a second drive failure while rebuilding the array when you have large drives.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "ASRock - X399 Taichi ATX Motherboard USB 3.1 Type-C header recommendation"

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

I have this board. The X399 Taichi has two USB 3.0 headers. See page 5 in the user manual.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "PC things that have more or less died."

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

Optical discs.

They used to be the future of storage. They offered excellent long-term data retention for backups and archival storage. The next-generation holographic discs under development promised a then-enormous capacity of 1 TB.

Then everyone seemingly stopped developing new optical disc technology. The largest-capacity commercial optical technology (Blu-Ray) is now too small for backups now that hard drives and even SSDs come in multi-terabyte capacities. They're still used for read-only distribution of mastered media, but are otherwise pretty much obsolete.


Also, tape drives were once a common backup medium, but for consumer use they are dead. They are still used in large enterprise installations, but otherwise the fixed cost of a tape drive is prohibitive. (Tapes are only somewhat cheaper than hard drives per byte, and drives cost thousands of USD, so hard disks are much cheaper unless you're storing an enormous amount of data.)

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Any more bad advice?"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

You can actually do this.

https://www.amazon.com/Intel-Xeon-Phi-7120P-Coprocessor/dp/B00FKG9R2Q

x86 processor that goes into a PCIe slot.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Favourite Route for a drive"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

At first I thought this would be a question about SATA cable routing.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "The first thing you buy when you instantly win 1 million?"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Vanguard Total World Stock Market Index.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Psu electric current status viewer."

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

One other option if you happen to own an enterprise server: these may (usually?) include this feature as part of their remote management system. I know Dell supports this as part of their iDRAC.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Recommend me the best SSD Drive on the market"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

The best >=1TB SSD on the market?

Intel Optane DC P4800X 1.5 TB

https://ark.intel.com/products/97159/Intel-Optane-SSD-DC-P4800X-Series-1-5TB-1-2-Height-PCIe-x4-3D-XPoint-

The drive is available in 2 form factors, as either a PCIe card or a 2.5" U.2 drive. Presumably you would want the PCIe card if you have a free slot (most motherboards don't have a U.2 mini-SAS connector).

These drives have vastly better read latency and write endurance than any flash SSD, and roughly match the throughput of the best flash SSDs. They are rated for an uncorrectable error rate two orders of magnitude lower than a typical consumer drive, and include some enterprise reliability features like power-loss protection.

On one site offering it for sale, it costs $6,848.99.

If you didn't actually want the best SSD on the market, you could take a look at the consumer Optane drives (900P or 905P), which sell for less-absurd but still very high prices. Even those drives are probably overkill for almost all users. Evaluate how much performance you really need.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Recommend me the best SSD Drive on the market"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Maybe not, but boot times hardly matter. The benefit of faster storage is system responsiveness once the system is booted, especially if you have little RAM (for read cache) or a write-heavy workload.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Mid ATX towers in late 2018?"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

A small case doesn't necessarily preclude it. There should be small cases with a single 5.25" bay. If you buy thin 2.5" drives, you could get a 6x2.5" or 8x2.5" adapter in the bay.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "AMD FX PC in 2018?"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Windows XP can't even use more than 4 GB of RAM. Unless you're talking about the "x64 Edition", which is a rebranded Server 2003 rather than real XP.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Recommendations on making this a cheaper build?"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Also consider 2x4GB RAM to get dual-channel.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Why are cpus shipped with coolers that nobody will use?"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Interestingly, Intel does the same thing with including "workable, if mediocre," integrated graphics in most (all?) of their consumer CPUs. AMD instead includes better (decently good) stock coolers and integrated graphics with some of their CPUs.

Comment reply on dhnanjay's Completed Build: My Machine Learning RIG

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't get it. While your computer is shut down for hardware-cloning a disk, its performance goes to zero. Why is the tiny amount of CPU usage from/while cloning a disk a concern?

Comment reply on dhnanjay's Completed Build: My Machine Learning RIG

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

You're probably right; my concern was more that it's not the typical use case for enterprise hot-swap (replacing failed drives) so I wasn't sure whether the drive-side connector is robust enough.

Online software cloning is obviously going to be slightly slower, but the performance doesn't matter as much since you can keep working while it happens.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Which SSDs have DRAM in them?"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm not sure if it actually gains you any real-world speed, unless you have a high-end drive with a lot of DRAM and capacitors, because the OS will cache in main memory. Specifically, assuming you have more free main memory than the drive's cache:

  • For reads, any data that hasn't been evicted from the drive's cache is very likely still cached in main memory, so the drive never gets hit and its speed doesn't matter.
  • For synchronous writes, consumer drives don't have capacitors for power-loss protection, and therefore DRAM caching cannot safely accelerate this use case.
  • For asynchronous writes, performance doesn't matter because they're asynchronous.

Basically I suspect the cache is mainly to make the drive look better in benchmarks.

This may not be true if you're running out of main memory. But in that case, it would be more effective to upgrade the memory rather than the drive.

Comment reply on dhnanjay's Completed Build: My Machine Learning RIG

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

That might not be a good idea. Internal connectors are not designed for frequent insertion and removal and may wear out. From what I've read, SATA connectors are only required to be rated for 50 mating cycles. The connector in a good-quality hot-swap bay should be more robust, but you may still wear out the connector on the drive.

I'd recommend looking into backing up using online snapshots. It's much more convenient; you won't even have to reboot. On Linux you can do this using LVM, Btrfs, or ZFS; I imagine recent Windows versions something similar.

Comment reply on Xsi's Completed Build: Frag machine

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

With the computer opened up, we get to see the plumbing. If it crashes, make sure to flush the caches and take a core dump.

Since all other components depend on it, a power supply is the number two most important part to get for your computer. That power supply looks kind of crappy. Since it is located above the cooler, when it craps out, the **** will really hit the fan.

(to be clear, I don't actually see anything wrong with the PSU. Last paragraph is just for pun.)

Comment reply on youngchul's Completed Build: Comp.Sci. Master Thesis Budget Workstation

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

I have the same issue with the ridiculously bright case LEDs. I was thinking of wiring a resistor into the circuit to reduce the brightness.

Comment reply on sgeos's Completed Build: Headless Machine Learning Server "Charon"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Are you using Numpy on Windows? Apparently Windows's scheduler sucks for NUMA systems like Threadripper. Since Numpy is memory-bandwidth-intensive, it would perform poorly on Windows, but on Linux it should be fine.

Comment reply on sgeos's Completed Build: Headless Machine Learning Server "Charon"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Here's mine (semi-WIP): https://pcpartpicker.com/b/LW6scf

Currently it only has a wimpy GPU I got for free, but I'm planning on upgrading it later. The ASRock Taichi can support 4 graphics cards in x16/x8/x16/x8, or in principle even more with adapter cables since it supports PCIe bifurcation.

Comment reply on Audionics's Completed Build: Audionics 2.0

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Did all the cable ties and stuff come with the case?

Comment reply on Phildilf's Completed Build: Frankenbuild - Ugly, Free Streaming Rig

  • 17 months ago
  • 6 points

I can confirm. Adding unicorn barf makes fans spin faster as they try to flee, screaming in terror.

Comment reply on lextaliones_'s Completed Build: Workstation Desktop

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

To elaborate, Ryzen supports ECC RAM and has more cores.

Comment reply on dhnanjay's Completed Build: My Machine Learning RIG

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

If you get a case with 5.25" external bays, you can buy hot-swap adapters for multiple 3.5" or 2.5" drives. They'll be accessible from the front, without having to open the chassis. I see you have one inside the case somehow; how did you mount it?

That said, what are you using hot-swap for if you have only 1 drive?

Comment reply on Forum Topic "$100 More For 14CL"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Almost certainly not. Unless you're already maxed out, or have very specific computational requirements, spending the money on more RAM capacity will improve performance more.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Will "Compatible with Ryzen" RAM work on Intel?"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

True, the average gamer won't get tripped up. In my case, I was looking for ECC RAM for a Ryzen workstation build, and it was the opposite.

ECC UDIMMs are somewhat hard to find. Presumably due to the limited selection at retail, RDIMMs are cheaper than UDIMMs and are available in higher speeds (I see 2933 RDIMMs available, whereas nobody sells UDIMMs faster than 2666).

I would have been tripped up myself if I hadn't read about the differences.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Thoughts on $3k gaming/ML build"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

OP plans to get 2080 Ti in a month or two.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "8th gen prices? What the???"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Threadripper is quad-channel; you should get 4 RAM sticks (unless planning on upgrading later).

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Will "Compatible with Ryzen" RAM work on Intel?"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

I get your point, and you're right about this kit, but DDR4 is not all the same. Stick a DDR4 RDIMM or LRDIMM on a Z370 motherboard and it won't work.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Psu electric current status viewer."

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Unfortunately there's no standard interface to communicate this information to the computer. Some of Corsair's higher-end units include a proprietary "Corsair Link" interface.

To get this information otherwise (or if you don't trust the Corsair PSU's self-reported values), you need expensive equipment. The PSU review site JonnyGuru has details: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=Testing_Methodology

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Cable management for SATA power cables, multiple 3.5" drives"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Specific example products to illustrate what I mean:

Comment reply on SpiderhandsPlays's Completed Build: SP-Build ("Flamingo") 2.0

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

I plugged it in and it worked?

More info: https://pcpartpicker.com/forums/topic/294234-optane-acceleration#cx2981462

If you want to set up caching, you have to use your own software. Options include lvmcache and bcache (for Linux), and AMD's StoreMI (for Windows).

Comment reply on SpiderhandsPlays's Completed Build: SP-Build ("Flamingo") 2.0

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

FYI, Optane drives are standard SSDs and they work fine with AMD processors. I'm using two of them on my Threadripper build. The compatibility limitations are restrictions of Intel's caching software, and not a hardware incompatibility.

Comment reply on chillyice9's Completed Build: Deep Learning and Gaming Machine. Overclocked to 4 GHz.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

PCIe passthrough reportedly had problems on Threadripper in the recent past. I'm not sure whether they're fully resolved; you may have to upgrade to a newer kernel.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "hypothetical build: $20000 CAD build (20 grand)"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Just a measly $20,000?

  • 8x Xeon Platinum 8180M (13000 USD each) on an octa-socket motherboard
  • Max out RAM with 12 TB of DDR4 (1.5 TB per socket)
  • 17,197.35 CAD for each Samsung PM1643 30.72 TB SAS SSD, from some UK website. The processor has 48 PCIe 3.0 lanes available, and you can get PCIe 3.0 x8 SAS controller cards with 8 ports each, so you should be able to fit 48 of these in.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "Quick question about laptop ram"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Even if you use less than 8 GB, the remaining RAM will speed up your computer by being used as a read cache for your disks.

Comment reply on Forum Topic "High end PC for 3d animation and 3d gaming"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Some good suggestions. I'd add more RAM though. 3D animation should be able to gobble up RAM, so you could go whole hog and get 128 GB.

Why 2 SSDs? At this price point, just get the Optane 905p.

I'd also consider adding storage redundancy (e.g. 6x HDDs in a double-parity array). Or go all-SSD if you want to blow through the budget.

Be aware that unless your workload has specific requirements and can make use of large amounts of expensive hardware, you're hitting diminishing returns with a $9000 computer. For example, machine learning or crypto mining can use 10x high-end GPUs, but if you're only gaming the extra 9 GPUs will do little more than increase your computer's effectiveness as a space heater. I guess you can spend practically unlimited amounts of money on switching all the storage to Optanes.

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