What's new

Threadripper 3970x build notes and Cubase benchmarks

Hendrixon

Senior New
Nope, as you see no one responded.

I decided on building a strong machine that will last me years, so the expense will be high.
Considering that, and that my post above was in July, I decided I'm NOT going to invest in AMD Gen 2 because of the latency issue in the architecture (or current Threadripper, cause it seems the software side is not yet optimized for over 32 threads).
I was ready to give Intel my money again (as the 10980XE performance seems to be a sure bet, cost not considered), but with AMD Gen 3 being said to NOT be delayed to 2021, this could (in my July thoughts) might bring an Intel expected counter move (be it out of the blue 10nm cpus or a radical price slash of the 10980XE)...

So biting my tongue for up to 6 month was the best logical move, as Gen 3 seeing the light of day and Intel's counter move should be reviled up to the end of 2020.

So, how things look now, what do we know 3 months till the end of 2020?:speechless:
On Intel's side 7nm is not even on the horizon and 10nm desktops is pushed to second half 2021!!!
I won't be shocked if Intel will drop the desktop 10nm stage and just invest everything in making 7nm a viable option... and till then just suck it up.
If they won't do that? they will get 7nm out the door after 3 years of 7nm Gen 3 and see first steps of 5nm Gen 4.

For us mosquitoes it means we can only expect a war price from Intel, and that will (maybe) happen after Gen 3 will hit the stores, hopefully in the next 2-3 months. by then the choice will be a lower latency AMD (compared to current Gen 2), or a price slashed 10 gen 14nm Intel.

And we wait.....................................:sleep::unsure::blush::notworthy::ninja::scout:
 
Nope, as you see no one responded.

I decided on building a strong machine that will last me years, so the expense will be high.
Considering that, and that my post above was in July, I decided I'm NOT going to invest in AMD Gen 2 because of the latency issue in the architecture (or current Threadripper, cause it seems the software side is not yet optimized for over 32 threads).
I was ready to give Intel my money again (as the 10980XE performance seems to be a sure bet, cost not considered), but with AMD Gen 3 being said to NOT be delayed to 2021, this could (in my July thoughts) might bring an Intel expected counter move (be it out of the blue 10nm cpus or a radical price slash of the 10980XE)...

So biting my tongue for up to 6 month was the best logical move, as Gen 3 seeing the light of day and Intel's counter move should be reviled up to the end of 2020.

So, how things look now, what do we know 3 months till the end of 2020?:speechless:
On Intel's side 7nm is not even on the horizon and 10nm desktops is pushed to second half 2021!!!
I won't be shocked if Intel will drop the desktop 10nm stage and just invest everything in making 7nm a viable option... and till then just suck it up.
If they won't do that? they will get 7nm out the door after 3 years of 7nm Gen 3 and see first steps of 5nm Gen 4.

For us mosquitoes it means we can only expect a war price from Intel, and that will (maybe) happen after Gen 3 will hit the stores, hopefully in the next 2-3 months. by then the choice will be a lower latency AMD (compared to current Gen 2), or a price slashed 10 gen 14nm Intel.

And we wait.....................................:sleep::unsure::blush::notworthy::ninja::scout:

I'm hopeful that the latency issues will be corrected with Gen 3 Threadripper using a unified cache. Either way, we'll have to wait and see.
 

Anthony

Member
@Hendrixon, Everything you just wrote underscores your previous post's sentiment that this is the worst time to upgrade a PC.

We're in an unfortunate era where AMD is showing signs of potential greatness but still has some issues to address (given their hitherto 'bridesmaid' status) whereas Intel is driving customers away given their monopoly-induced lethargy that has resulted in high prices, mediocre performance improvements over the last few CPU generations, lackluster support for the latest hardware specifications, an inability to carry out the next die shrink, as well as their failure to prevent (and later report!) major, performance-reducing hardware vulnerabilities (Meltdown).

Like you I want to switch to AMD but am afraid that doing so will involve "Threadripper Woes" discussed in: Core Wars! AMD & Intel CPUs Tested .
 
@Hendrixon, Everything you just wrote underscores your previous post's sentiment that this is the worst time to upgrade a PC.

We're in an unfortunate era where AMD is showing signs of potential greatness but still has some issues to address (given their hitherto 'bridesmaid' status) whereas Intel is driving customers away given their monopoly-induced lethargy that has resulted in high prices, mediocre performance improvements over the last few CPU generations, lackluster support for the latest hardware specifications, an inability to carry out the next die shrink, as well as their failure to prevent (and later report!) major, performance-reducing hardware vulnerabilities (Meltdown).

Like you I want to switch to AMD but am afraid that doing so will involve "Threadripper Woes" discussed in: Core Wars! AMD & Intel CPUs Tested .

In all fairness though, we're one of the only use cases left that hasn't been addressed yet by AMD--People who want more than 16 cores and 128GB RAM and good latency. I wouldn't say it's the worst time to upgrade period, but this specific niche product that ticks most of the boxes doesn't tick the most important one for what we do--latency. That box is ticked on the X570 platform-type stuff (after the platform had some time to mature and it was figured out that AMD for our use case needs faster RAM), it's really just Threadripper, in my experience.
 

Anthony

Member
In all fairness though, we're one of the only use cases left that hasn't been addressed yet by AMD--People who want more than 16 cores and 128GB RAM and good latency.
Yes, I agree (it's an insightful comment).

I wouldn't say it's the worst time to upgrade period, but this specific niche product that ticks most of the boxes doesn't tick the most important one for what we do--latency. That box is ticked on the X570 platform-type stuff (after the platform had some time to mature and it was figured out that AMD for our use case needs faster RAM), it's really just Threadripper, in my experience.

To what extent has X570 eliminated low-latency issues? For example, will a 3950X + X570 combo still produce the constant crackling sound observed in some previous tests?

Lastly, the following potential problems are keeping me from switching to AMD:
- X570 PCIe 4.0 compatability with some older cards
- compatability between non-Intel controllers and older USB hardware
- VRM stability (given Threadripper's high core count)
- X570 chipset cooling fan noise

Have these issues been fully addressed by updates to the X570 platform (or is AMD still working on them)?
 
Last edited:
OP
funnybear

funnybear

Active Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #46
As I wrote in my post detailing my 3970x build details at the beginning of this thread, for me the platform has been rock solid with zero issues running Cubase with Hyper-threading off (I since tested with Reaper and Reaper seems to run fine with Hyper-threading on).

I did very carefully plan the build in terms of chosen components, BIOS config, drivers etc. though.

I do believe that Intel is a much safer bet in terms of getting system stability for DAW use right out of the door. But it certainly can be done with AMD but you need to be much more careful on how you put your system together.

If I would build a system purely for DAW use (I use my system for other things as well) I would go with Intel as of now. But that might change with the new AMD Zen generation coming next month.
 

Hendrixon

Senior New
@Hendrixon, Everything you just wrote underscores your previous post's sentiment that this is the worst time to upgrade a PC.

Sadly it IS the worst time if you have to upgrade **now** (like me).
Intel has to offer only 2014 era 14nm process, a dead end process that reached its limit regarding thermal and power dissipation. that will be the case at least till late 2021.
But 2021 means nothing for you if you will buy today's platform, as any faster cpu in the future will be a new process and thus a new platform.
So... Intel is dead end investment.

AMD brings out now the "hot and new" Gen/Zen 3, right?
Well Gen 3 is still the 7nm process, its the last core build to populate the AM4 platform.
Here we might see a bit faster cpus in the next couple of years if TSMC will be able to tweak the process a bit more.
Real next level architecture for desktop from AMD will be Gen/Zen 4, new socket, on 5mn process, supporting DDR5 and pcie 5 <<<< now that's the platform to get if you want future investment.
So... AMD even with Gen 3, not the best time to invest in a monster pc.


Well, I can't wait for that, so I'll have to invest in a monster pc now, without real upgrade future.
 

Hendrixon

Senior New
If I would build a system purely for DAW use (I use my system for other things as well) I would go with Intel as of now. But that might change with the new AMD Zen generation coming next month.

Exactly my thoughts.

Btw, I'm SURE your 3970x is a behemoth of a machine, and probably handle any work load, DAW or other, you throw at it :2thumbs:
But at least from the info I managed to find and digest, it does seem that cycle for cycle (not $ for $), at least for VI use, Intel is the way to go over Ryzen 3k and current Threadripper.

I wonder if/when AMD will ship the next TR based on Gen 3.
 
Exactly my thoughts.

Btw, I'm SURE your 3970x is a behemoth of a machine, and probably handle any work load, DAW or other, you throw at it :2thumbs:
But at least from the info I managed to find and digest, it does seem that cycle for cycle (not $ for $), at least for VI use, Intel is the way to go over Ryzen 3k and current Threadripper.

I wonder if/when AMD will ship the next TR based on Gen 3.

They will, probably next year, a few months after the main release. They said there's no delays as far as getting stuff out, but it remains to be seen how strained their supply chains will end up once stuff is released.
 

tebling

Active Member
Build and config notes:
  • Switch off hyperthreading: Out of the box, with hyperthreading on, Cubase's ASIO-guard does not function properly. Turning off ASIO-guard improves performance. However, once hyperthreading is disabled in the BIOS, ASIO-guard can be turned back on and performance increases to a totally different ballgame allowing to reach CPU saturation of almost 100% without drop-outs (all 32 cores are fully loaded). The only downside is that when hyperthreading is disabled, AMD Zen chips no longer support S3 sleep state which means you cannot put your PC to sleep any more.
OMG, I can't thank you enough for this.

I've been pulling my hair out trying to figure out why my 3970x based DAW couldn't handle a Cubase project with a mere 63 instruments, even with ASIO buffer maxed out at 4096 samples.

I saw this note and became worried that I'd have to ditch the machine:


This was further backed up by seeing that all the DAW CPU load was on a single core ("cpu 64" in resource monitor).

Then I found your note, disabled SMT in the BIOS, rebooted, loaded up my project, and it was NIGHT AND DAY. Suddenly I can hit play with a 256 sample ASIO buffer and the ASIO meter is comfortably low, with no dropouts.

Beers are on me good sir!
 
OP
funnybear

funnybear

Active Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #51
OMG, I can't thank you enough for this.

Glad it helped you.

The jury is still out if this Cubase problem is due to the specific CPU core topology Threadripper Zen 2 chips use (4 CCDs and one IOD) or due to the max threads issue that still seems to be rearing its head in Cubase (so turning of Hyperthreading reduces the available number of threads to the number that Cubase is able to deal with).

At least Steinberg have acknowledged the issue and have said they are working on it.

But for now, even using only 32 cores / threads, I have so much headroom available in terms of resources that it does not matter to me.
 
Top Bottom