Description

I design skateparks for a living. It's basically landscape architecture. I use my equipment to 3d model for construction and render photorealistic-ish images for sales (sometimes fly-throughs). I use a variety of programs including 3ds Max, V-Ray, AutoCAD, Photoshop etc.

My work can take advantage of the most powerful CPUs and GPUs available and the more, the better.

I bought my first two computers from a small custom builder. They were both almost identical Xeon E5 2699 v4's (22core) with 64Gb Dominator Platinum RAM and Titan Maxwells (3 per computer). As newer Graphics cards and m.2 nvme's came out I started selling older parts and upgrading/ tinkering with computers and thus began my foray into getting hands on with my equipment. I found this really enjoyable and I got bitten by the bug.

When the I9-7980 was released I decided to build my own computer based around this powerful 18 core processor and some Titan Xp's. I seized it as an opportunity to go pretty deep into custom PC building by doing it from the ground up with a custom water loop with rigid acrylic tubing. I've posted this computer on PC PartPicker. While challenging, it was pretty gratifying to end with up a computer that not only fired up but is a real beast. I had a huge learning curve to contend with from figuring out what parts worked best with each other to bending acrylic and overclocking. I was too nervous at that point to delid a $2000 cpu so I sent it to Silicon Lottery but I would definitely do that now if I had the need.

So all of this brings me to this latest build. Along came the Threadripper 2990WX with 32 cores and the 2080 Ti and I knew what I had to do. In my line of work time is most definitely money and the 2990 is basically built almost specifically for my type of work.

So now I have 4 computers with 94 cores or 188 threads of CPU rendering power plus 3 1080 Ti's, 2 Titan Xp's, and 2080 Ti for GPU rendering. I'm pretty pleased.

A few build notes:

The Evolve X is mid tower and, while a pretty well thought out case, the MSI MEG Creation is a big E-ATX mother board and the EVGA Ultra Gaming 2080 Ti is a pretty big card so I had to be conservative with the water cooling stuff - specifically the reservoir and radiators. Because I really wanted to use the fill and drain ports that are engineered into the case I found it best to go with 2 thin 360 radiators.

The Phanteks Evolve X was really, really hyped and it seems a lot of people now bag on it a bit but I think it lived up to my expectations. I have another one sitting on a shelf for another build or a Xeon system transplant. Two of my other computers are in Entoo Luxe TG's and I have to say I'm a fan of Phanteks.

The In Win fans are most certainly not the best performing fans, particularly for static pressure scenarios, but I just dug the look of the aluminum and styling. They're also too expensive.

I wanted to use the Heatkiller Threadripper CPU block and actually ordered it but it just wouldn't come. I had to finally cancel the order after months of waiting and get the next best thing.

I love all of Singularity Computers' stuff and always use it. I also really like to support someone like Daniel who is truly passionate and gives some much back to the custom PC world.

I did not watercool my 2080 Ti because I may swap it out just as soon as the next gen comes out. Then again I may add a waterblock because it's hot and so is everything else in this tempered glass case. I am not using the dust screens to help keep things cooler but I clean my computers frequently. I have a very clean work environment and a computer vaccuum :)

Bitspower fittings scream quality and they have so many different part options.

I'm not going to lie.., I bought the T-Force Deltas because of the rgb.

I was going to use 2 Samsung 970 Pro 512Gb's in RAID 0 for the boot drive but did some research and found that for my usage this may actually be slower and it is certainly less reliable. My understanding is that a 1Tb is actually a little faster than a 512Gb so I used that for boot instead. Truth be told I probably wouldn't have noticed the difference but, short of messing with Optane or RAM drive, I decided to go all out. I'm not educated about those things at this point.

Thus far, with all of the Dimm slots full with 128Gb of RAM, I can only run the G. Skill B die 3200 at 2933. If someone has gotten 3200 I'd like to hear how to do it.

The build is brand spanking new so I have not tinkered much with BIOS or any overclocking. I don't have bench marks to post at this point but maybe I'll come back and add them. It's hard to do a build like this while meeting my heavy workload and fulfilling my familiar duties. Between those things and waiting for parts this has taken months and has happened in fits and spurts.

I couldn't find the Phanteks riser cable for the Evolve X for sale anywhere. It's always out of stock. I was able to mount the EDZIY riser cable to the case using the existing screw holes but the card did not line up with vertical expansion slot correctly so I bailed. I like the way standard card mounting looks anyway and the card is probably cooler in this position anyway. Who knows if can ever find one I might try it.

I'm one of those people who've stayed away from Windows 10 as best as I could. All of my other computers are currently running Windows 7 Pro. For this configuration though I decided to make the jump to Windows 10 Pro for it's optimization for high core CPU's and RTX. I've disabled all of the telemetrics and MS b.s. though.

Sorry about the crappy photos. My 3 year old broke the glass over the lens on my phone.

Update I overclocked the CPU to 4.1GHz on all cores today. It was the easiest overclock I've ever done. After the holidays I'll try for 4.2 and work on the RAM. It might be impossible to 3200MHz with 128Gb. Maybe a BIOS will come out to help that situation.

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Comments

  • 14 months ago
  • 2 points

Fantastic workstation.

Any reason why you decided not to liquid cool the GPU? Next gen? We are only 3 months into the new Gen. It would be one heck of a slap in the face for their customers if Nvidia decided to dump Turing within the next year. True there might be a new Volta card but it will not be targetting consumers nor will it come with an appealing price tag. Titan V is 3grand, next Volta card to top it will not be cheaper. I do not think AMD have anything in their upcoming Navi cards that will outperform the 2080Ti it seems they are targeting the 2070 and 2080 for the showdown. Only other upcoming card that beats the 2080Ti is the new Titan RTX, which is $2500.

Also, this big power supply wants to see you SLI the 2080Ti. For workstation purposes it would make complete sense.

  • 14 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you for the kind comment.

AMD cards aren't an option for me as the rendering software I use is optimized for CUDA cores so I don't even consider them.

I think I did mention that I may water watercool the card I'm not sure. I may add another card and then watercool or I might wait for the next release where there will likely be more RT and Tensor cores and more optimization for programs and then move this card to another machine (maybe sell some of my 1080 Ti's). I think this latest series was sort of rushed to market and the next round will be more refined.

I have 2 Titan Xp's that are watercooled and I had 4 Titan Maxwells at one point. I think I'm going to stay out of the Titan realm for the time being. It's easier to sell the more consumer oriented cards and I'm always moving parts to stay current.

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah you can hang ten and see how the next gen lines up. It is a commitment - it is not like the waterblocks and backplate are standard across all generations. If you commit to a backplate and block for the 2080Ti there is a high chance you will not be able to transfer onto another more desirable card. But in the words of Newman "Nothing would be done at all if a man waited until he could do it so well nobody could find fault with it". Tech is going to change, a friend of mine was going to build a PC during Maxwell Gen, it is now Turing and his reasoning is "But next year my computer won't be up to date". Get the extra 2080Ti, watercool, dump your Titan XP's when the next gen comes out next year, every 2/3 years you switch out cards one machine to the next :D

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, it's endless. I dumped my 4 Titan Maxwells pretty late into Pascal and did ok. Since my Titan Xp's are both on water I'll probably start selling 1080 Ti's next. Thanks for the advice/ encouragement.

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

I was waiting for your 2990wx build, Very nice build OP and great explanation

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for reading it.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

damnn, nice. 4 computers wow. I am a python (and other languages) developer and was thinking of getting 2 titan RTX for machine learning and some gaming here and there aswell. thought this may be the right person to ask because you have and still have titans. you think that 2 titans would be a perfect mix between gaming and professional deep/machine learning?

  • 13 months ago
  • 2 points

The Titan Xp's crush games and are more than enough for most any professional application you can throw at them. That being said, I know nothing about deep learning, machine learning, AI, etc. However, if you don't need more than 12 Gb of VRAM or 24 in SLI then save yourself a TON of money and don't buy RTX Titans. Real time raytracing in games is so subtle and limited right now I recommend not bothering with it until the next gen of RTX. I have one RTX 2080Ti but I'm not replacing any of my other Pascal cards until the next release.

Hope that helps.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

thx boss. haha i get my parts for 90% off so might as well get titans ahhahhaha

  • 13 months ago
  • 2 points

Can you get me some too please?

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

yes, please contact me on discord @ heated#0001 and we for sure can get you UNREAL discounts.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Can I have one of your pcs?

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry, I use 'em all e'ry day.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

How do you have so much to just spend on parts and a set up like that? I guess I’m asking what’s your job?

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

I am a partner/ co-owner and head of design of a specialty design and construction firm. I use all four of these computers all day every day.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow inspirations

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Hats off to you. Spectacular build!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build Mr Demon-Spawn I am a also a Max user and have so many questions about this build but the most pressing one is about RTX and Max and Vray. Are you seeing any advantages in the Max view port as far as ray-tracing? Is it helping with production renders? I am on the run today so I do not have time to expand on my question. I will revisit you later and pick your brain if I may.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

from what i read if you fill up all 8 slots at 128gb it caps it at 2933mhz. Otherwise 1 stick per channel will do 3200mhz

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the info. 2933 is the best it'll do.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Did the 128gb of ram and the beastial cpu take your work to a different place?in comparison to the other pcs that you mentioned. Do you ever see it use more than 50% of the ram?

BTW, I may be wrong, but isn't VRAM the most important part of the gpu, when building a workstation? Wouldn't that mean that the 16gb amd Radeon vii would be more useful to your work?

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

I only go over 64Gb from time to time but I have heavy scenes and brute force everything so it happens. Despite that, my render farm is really powerful and fast and time is money. With VRay, which is what I use, you can limit the RAM usage if you want and it might not be quite as fast as if you have no limits but it's really a question of how much money you want to through at things.

You're right about VRAM but my rendering engine is optimized for CUDA so AMD is not an option. I have 7 really powerful video cards so my GPU farm is also ridiculously fast.

I really prefer rendering on the CPU's at this point but I like having options. There are still some limits to production rendering on the GPU's with VRay. I haven't done a speed comparison but with 188 threads of CPU render power things get done really fast.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks a lot for the precious self - experimented info!

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Just curious.. Why did you choose the MSI meg over the asus zenith or asus rog x399-E mobo? im trying to find out which board is better and why. im looking at buying the 2990wx and not sure which one i wanna do. I have always done asus but i see alot of people with either the msi meg or asus zenith but more with the msi meg.

Currently i have an c99 asus mobo with intel i7 6900 and 64gb ram and two 1080s. i may end up having to get new ram as i dont think my ram on my x99 board will work even though its ddr4. Do you ever use the full 128gb or no? im trying to get back into 3d modeling/animation so thats what this build will be for. just wandering what board i should go with and if 64gb would be better or 128gb. I do custom watercooling with ekwb components so cooling is no problem for me all i have to do is get the cpu monoblock for the correct board.

Anyone with input is welcome. Thanks in advanced for the help.

https://pcpartpicker.com/user/mjohnson24/builds/

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

The MEG has better power delivery. The VRM on the MEG is second to none and overclocking with it is really easy. I have Asus boards in my other computers and aside from Asus' terrible customer service I'm very happy with them. Needless to say I considered the ROG and it will work but if you're overclocking you'll be pushing the ROG to the edge. One advantage to the ROG for me is that EK has a full cover monoblock for water cooling it but the MSI is so badass that you don't need to cool the VRM. I have 128Gb of RAM and it is working fine but you probably don't need it. I only occasionally go over 64Gb of RAM usage but that is because I don't do that much optimization and consequently have pretty heavy scenes. All of my other computers in my render farm have 128Gb so I wanted to keep everything balanced. The 2990wx benefits from faster RAM and I used 3200 but if you fill the RAM to full capacity as I did you will only be able to run the RAM at 2933. So get 64Gb of 3200 RAM and you'll be good. I watercooled the CPU. The power stages don't need it so you just have to decide if you want the aesthetic of a monoblock (Asus) or the best quality mobo for the 2990wx (MSI).

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow... just wow.