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  • Writer's pictureFred

AMD Ryzen 7950X Water Games

Updated: May 11

Almost the very same day that AMD unleashed the new Ryzen 5nm Zen 4 chips, my usual network of geeks started poking me for feedback on this new chip back in 2022.

I did the whole upgrade rain dance of my two 3995WX Threadripper rigs to Threadripper Pro 5995WX chips and I standardized all my other five rigs on the Ryzen 9 5900X chip, all fitted with Dark Pro 4 air coolers.

I am about to upgrade the Threadripper rigs again to Ryzen 7960X 24 core with 512GB RAM per workstation (as of May 2024).

The change to 5900X fare from 5800X and 5950X systems was due to the noise levels that water cooling a CPU brings to the table, it was literally driving me nutz.

The Ryzen 5800 was a very hot chip that required AIO cooling and the 5950X was stupid hot.

I sold all my 5950X Water Cooled rigs I had built and silence and sanity abounded in the home office in a serious way - you cannot hear anything in my two offices anymore apart from the many chirps of the birdies when the windows are open in the AM!

When I informed all and sundry I had no intention of going to the Ryzen 79xx myself but would take part in the video evaluations in the lab, my fellow geeks were not much impressed with my attitude.

One of the guys just sent me a motherboard and a chip with some DDR5 RAM as a gift so I built me a rig as I had the basics.

This brought some noise is back to my ears but I was not intending to actually use it until the IHS thang was sorted out.....

My German pals went through two 5950X chips before getting it right on the third one.

The X670E and X670 chipsets support up to 12 superspeed (10Gbps) USB ports and 2 superspeed (20Gbps) USB ports.

The B650E and B650 chipsets, in comparison, only support up to 6 superspeed (10Gbps) USB ports and 1 superspeed (20Gbps) USB port.

Each motherboard is different by the way, so the amount and speed of USB ports may vary.

After looking at the usual Motherboard suspects I noticed most were not doing the hardware TPM module but the stupid stuttering BIOS workaround.

As alluded to in prior blogs this is a really, really shit idea.

AMD also sneakily released the then new Ryzen Master 2.10.x.x.x version mostly for these Ryzen 7xxx series cooling purposes et al.

My 2.9.x.x.x Ryzen Master versions suddenly would not load after the week prior BIOS update...

Due to the BIOS only fTPM issue, the Motherboard I was sent was swapped for the Aorus X670 Elite AX but I was to find horrific thermals with this 7950X chip (again) but this time I suspected I knew exactly why and I was proven right by my German pals in Stuttgart who dabble with this sorta thang.

This was because the actual thermals were 20 degrees C higher than what I predicted on my chart based on the electrical specs AMD had shared with me.

The Germans called me and we went over the math and decided this was application not chip design at fault here.

My German pals got the IHS case off one 7950X chip and built a custom water cooling block for it to prove out the theory and the basterd thing runs at 63 degrees C at 5.4 GHz after that radical mod.

AMD have done a terrifically shite job of the IHS block on all of these new 7xxx Ryzen 5,7 & 9 chips.

I am not willing to sacrifice my chip to damage by removing the IHS myself but Klaus came to visit me and she who must be obeyed over Christmas that year and he did the deed with his IHS removal kit then and I enjoyed the silence until he got the job done (it was switched off in other words).

My goal was to use the Dark Pro 4 to cool it sans IHS somehow but we just cooled it with a custom water cooled block the EK folk fabricated.

In the meantime I had been helping three or four folks who bought the ASUS ROG Elite MOBO for over $1000 and they have almost all bought the same Aorus X670 MOBO that I have after also having stuttering issues with fTPM based BIOS bullshit or weird RAM clocking issues.

My Aorus X670 Elite AX with a hardware 2.0 TPM does not stutter one bit.

One of my pals had ordered the Godlike X670E but it was on back-order for $1299!

It also had no hardware TPM when it arrived!

Actually they sent him a replacement on 11/14/22 with the TPM header in it and this has made a massive difference as we loaded Windows 11 immediately in a new install and ran all the tests again which it flew through.

If you look at most of these new X670e motherboards they have a TPM 2.0 header, just like on the X570 and I seriously advise you buy the $42 TPM 2.0 device on Amazon and do not use the fTPM bollocks because it definitely causes stuttering does this fTPM BIOS based bollocks.

Buy the TPM for your specific motherboard as they are not generic - they come in different pin formats, though Amazon does have generics that I am using with no problems with the right pin layout per my various motherboards requirements.

There seems to be a fair amount of prototype X670e motherboards sans this TPM header. Send it right back if you get one of these prototype MOBOs.

Also pay attention to if the board supports PCIe 5 as I have seen some X670e boards with just PCIe 4.0 capability and an asterisk for PCIe 5.

Dive into this aspect a bit, it will save you time and money down the road.

Of course this was a moot point back in 2022 as PCIe 5 SSD was only beginning to appear when I wrote this blog entry back then and they are still the only PCIe 5 devices I can find on the Amazons in 2024.

Even when PCIe 5 GPU does become available I would look hard at performance differences as there were such negligible differences between PCIe 3 and PCIe 4 GPU that I myself once ran care of a couple of 1080Ti Founders edition GPU on most of my 5 5900X rigs in 2022 and they were just fine.

I swapped them all out for the XFX 6700XT based GPU in 2023 by the way so it is all native PCIe fare for me now.

Of course, if you want USB-C GPU connectors you will need a newer AMD or nVidia GPU that is at least PCIe 4.0 based with a suitable monitor that can accommodate USB-C Video connections.

Apacer, Corsair and Aorus were prepping PCIe 5 SSD for pre-Christmas 2022 and they are all rather expensive, even today in 2024.

My Two 5995WX Threadripper rigs now run Radeon XFX 7900 24GB GPU Cards with Dual 8K monitors but they are P-CAD workstations and serve a specialty purpose. These are not general purpose compute systems.

I went back to LG 2K curved screens on all my other rigs and got rid of the multi-monitor setups I had going on those as it was frankly a total waste of money.

4K vs 2K is a moot point on the average computer system in my considered opinion.

So back on 11/12/22, my pal Sven called me to tell me his Godlike X670e Motherboard had arrived and I rushed over to install it in his new Lian Li rig.

We ran Windows 10 on it after some big TPM SW issues with the testing ran awry on Windows 11 and I built a Windows 11 image sans TPM pieces to mitigate as a test.

Microsoft have abandoned the TPM requirement thang in Windows 11 by the way (as of March 2024).

On 11/13/22 we used used my Windows 11 image sans TPM requirements to upgrade the Godlike from Windows 10 to 11 and run all the performance tests again.

It ran the modified Windows 11 image for a few hours but we swapped back to Windows 10 on his other boot disk pair.

So the HW TPM solved all the stuttering issues we saw on Call of Duty ...they put one on the RMA'd motherboard for us free of charge (they read this blog) for $1299 it should come with one IMHO...

So what do you get for your $1287.01 with a MSI MEG Godlike X670e exactly?

  • M-Vision Dashboard: The Touchable 4.5-inch full-color IPS LCD not only indicates the status of your gaming rig which combines hardware monitor and debug function, but also allows system operation and customization with touch control - This is in fact a rather nice touch this one!

  • Extreme Power Design: 24+2+1 phases power design with 105A Smart Power Stage and dual CPU power connectors are ready to unleash the maximum performance - probably the killer reason for going with this MOBO in my opinion..

  • Premium Thermal Module: Wavy fin design, Direct Touch Cross Heat-pipe, MOSFET Baseplate, 7W/mK thermal pads, Double-Sided M.2 Shield Frozr and Frozr AI software ensure the utmost performance with low temperature - Meh...

  • Maximum 6 x M.2 Connectors: Onboard and exclusive M.2 XPANDER-Z GEN5 DUAL PCI-Express card offer sextuple M.2 connectors for the maximum storage performance. The double-sided Shield Frozr design keeps M.2 SSDs safe while preventing throttling, making them run faster - This is very nice!

  • Latest Network Solution: Onboard 10G Super LAN, Intel 2.5G LAN and the latest Wi-Fi 6E solution deliver the best online experience without lag - without question the 10 GbE and the 2.5 GbE with the WiFi 6E is kickass on the networking side - but I would have chosen better stand alone components myself, really just needed the 2.5 GbE MLAG port here - I got that in my $329 Aorus X670E Elite AX MOBO....

  • Lightning Fast Game experience: PCIe 5.0 slots, Lightning Gen 5 x4 M.2, Front USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 20G with 60W USB Power Delivery - Meh.....

  • DIY Friendly Design: Patented Magnetic M.2 Shield Frozr, Screwless M.2 Shield Frozr, EZ M.2 Clips, Smart Button, Pre-installed I/O Shield, Steel Armor - Meh..

  • 10 Layer PCB with 2oz Thickened Copper: Provides higher performance and long-lasting system stability without any compromise - this is a solid MOBO...

  • Audio Boost 5 HD: Ultimate audio solution with latest premium ALC4082 audio processor combining ESS audio DAC and amplifier deliver the breathtaking experience - Meh.....

  • Supports BT 5.2 - Nice to have that one! (my Aorus Elite AX supports 5.3!)

  • Supports 192GB DDR5 RAM Max - Note big RAM size max speed is 3600 Mhz

I do not see the value of the Godlike here myself, maybe when we do detailed performance testing I will see some glimmer of point to it all?

It is worth noting however that the other X670 MOBOs from MSI did NOT seem to have PCIe 5.0 support, just the Godlike board which is tres bizarre!

You will want one with the e at the end of the X670, its stands for extreme.

I was not aware then that the early X670 stuff was PCIe 4 with some PCIe 5 capability (in other words not extreme capable).

Also, if you think this AM5 board is expensive, they have a Z690 Godlike for Alderlake CPU that was actually listed at $2099 back in 2022!!

The overclocking capability of both AMD and Intel based Godlikes is impressive but you can in fact damage CPU and RAM modules with these Godlike things.

I myself have concluded that Ryzen Master does a much better job in Auto OC and you need a chip sans the IHS jacket to make this even worth the effort on a 7950X IMHO.

The gains on manual OC alone just are not worth the effort...

The ASRock X670e PG Lightning MOBO for a mere $259.99 does in fact also have one PCIe 5 Port for a whole lot less than the MSI Godlike by the way...just a 14+2+2 Power arrangement which I do not much like myself...

I got a few different X670 boards to test back in 2022 and they were all are pretty easy to get running these things...

I myself will stay on my 5900X Dark Pro rig setups, it is worth the sound of silence!

Stay tuned for more hilarious updates on this facet!

Back in January of 2023 my German Wunderkind pal arrived and wrecked two 7950X chips with his IHS removal tool so he has taken the whole shebang back to Deutschland aus and I ended up buying three 7950X chips, it was a third time lucky situation there....

His colleague did the third next one as he has much more experience with that and we had imbibed way too much schnapps when we tried this IHS removal in my electronics room lab.

I picked it up when I went to Germany in May of 23 to pick up our new electric Motorglider in the C5 transport I had a slot on for transport to Ramstein Airbase in May.

I actually did a study for DERA and the Defense energy agency of electrical power cells in aviation and this experimental aircraft was and still is a part of that study.

The sensors also upload WX data to SpaceX and NASA boffins weekly via telemetry.

Anyhew, I am not missing the 7950X AIO cooler pump and fan noise much.

The German crew built me a water loop system with pumps and fancy coolants and I had asked for silence as a hallmark, so I was fascinated to see what they came up with.

I had some failures with Kingston NVMe SSD which melted in some of my 5900X rigs that were using them and I switched back to the WD Black 850X 1 TB NVMe SSD and did a slow RMA process for all those KC3000 thangs.

I also acquired some very serious M2 Heatsinks for all of my M2 SSD as a result of this saga.

I also found that the memory chips Kingston were using in these M2 NVMe SSD KC series are sub standard in terms of quality.

I dunno what I will do with the replacement RMA units but they ain't going in any of my rigs!

Since I wrote this blog back in 2022 several chipsets have come to the fore to cater to full PCIe 5 lane issues that were being experienced.

When you buy X670 these days pay attention to this by consulting the table below.

If you are building something like a Nutanix home lab single node or three node cluster using the X670 Extreme or X670e as some are listing it as then this offers better PCIe 5 and DDR5 memory capabilities.

Most I suspect will build a Nutanix Po Boy with the B650 Extreme chipset but beware this reduces the PCIe 4 lane bandwidth for USB and SATA ports and as usual the GPU for that. Use a 1080Ti for the Nutanix CE 2.0 build.

I seriously suggest you use the X670e for a Po Boy Nutanix CE 2.0 build if you can stand the noise the AIO cooling will bring with it to the table.

The 7900X is also my suggestion for CPU for Nutanix CE 2.0 purposes.

My opinion on X570 vs X670? AM5 is a total failure - stick with X570, AMD half-assed the whole AM5 thing.

Threadripper non-pro steps HEDT up to prosumer 48 PCIe 5 lanes and 32 PCIe 4 lanes direct to the CPU with RDIMM support and a massive IO capability in the CPU.

If you want to build a serious Nutanix CE 2.0 platform, Threadripper is the only way to do it starting with 192GB RAM.

Also note that the better X670e motherboards have 4 x M2 slots so you can have an entire M2 based Nutanix CE 2.0 cluster using just M2 storage, though Hypervisor boot from a 256GB SATA 3 SSD may be the way to go here.

Just a parting shot for those considering a Godlike X670e motherboard here, if you go with a Threadripper 7960X and a suitable motherboard for around the same price as a GodLike and ARM it with 256GB DDR5 RAM you will have a far better platform for Nutanix CE 2.0 or even a super exotic CAD Workstation armed with an AMD XFX 7900 24GB series DDR6 VRAM GPU!?

It seems to me that such a Threadripper based rig is pretty much ideal for a small business that wants to get into the super reliable affordable cost stakes startup platform for IT at a reasonable cost outlay.

Single node Clusti or 3 node Clusters running CE 2.0 with Threadripper 24 Core 7960X and 256GB RAM apiece may be the answer for a sliver of the market but it is not going to be cheaper than a Nutanix NX-1175S-G9 rig and these run the brain dead Xeon CPU offerings.

I guarantee you that my three node Ryzen Threadripper 7965X CE setup will blow away an NX-1175S-G9 Xeon based setup by at least 67%.

Threadripped CE 2.0 rigs are a great way to blood yourself for a fully supported NX series solution when the good times roll financially.

You could even do this on 5000 series Threadripper rigs at a much lower cost but then you need to be very careful with CPU pins and use Noctua Air coolers on their silicone ass.


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