Question 5950X build -- questions around form factor and RAM choice

balamindin

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Sep 23, 2015
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Hello,

Hope everybody is keeping well.

I've managed to get my hands on Ryzen 9 5950X and will be building a PC in the coming weeks. I've been reading a lot about it (and watching YouTube videos) but it's like the more I learn, the more confused I get...
The two areas that I'm struggling with are form-factor and RAM.

Form-factor
I really like the idea of a small unassuming looking PC that is packing a punch. And I've never done a micro ATX or an ITX build..so it would be fun.
However, right of the bat, I don't think ITX is a viable option as it's too small (and I have big hands) and the cases don't don't seem to have good airflow. CPU this good, we wanna keep it cool, right?

So, I'm thinking mATX but again, looking through the cases, I'm not so sure anymore.
For instance, not having USB 3.2 Gen-1 (or Gen-2) Type-C ports or the cabling not looking tidy enough on the completed builds or that some GPUs might not fix in.
Also, the motherboard options seem limited comparing with ATX. Some mATX boards don't have USB 3.2 headers, some not having Wifi-6 and so on.

I don't update my PC very often. My last build was 5 years ago so I like to think ahead for the foreseeable future.

My questions here are...
  • Is it viable to have a great build with mATX?
  • Or is ATX the ideal form-factor for a high performance PC? I can always chuck it under the desk and out of the way lol...
RAM
Where do I even begin..

So, originally I was thinking DDR4 3600MHz 128GB but then I read that the majority of the B550 and X570 motherboards employ daisy chain topology, which is great for memory overclocking but not so much at handling 4 sticks of RAM because high capacity RAM modules are usually dual-rank.
And so with 4 of them, it would be more than quad-rank ..and that's not good for the memory controller (or so I'm told).

Some say this is where memory interleaving comes in and it won't make a difference with the performance but at this point, my brain is fried.

Then, there's a matter with RAM speed, FCLK and 1:1 performance, etc.

I'm not too fussed about the memory overclocking. I do want to have the best possible performance but stability is also a factor here.
So with that in mind, I'm thinking of doing just 64GB (2 x 32GB) but..
  • What speed should I look for, 3600MHz or 4000MHz? Can 5950X benefit from the latter?
  • What about the timing? Most of these 32GB sticks are usually CAS 18 or 19.
I'm sorry for a long post, just going a bit nuts with the planning of it all. Your thoughts and suggestions are much appreciated.

Thank you.
 
more than 32 GB of RAM is a waste of money, and, two sticks run better speeds/tighter timings than 4 sticks..

Find a 2 stick set (32 GB kit, two sticks of 16 GB each, 3200-3600 MHz) tested as compatible with your intended mainboard...

I'd avoid tiny cases with tiny mainboards and too-tiny cases unless you have researched one as having been tested with decent VRM temps for the 5950X...

Is this a gaming system? (More cores than 8 is currently a few wasted hundred of dollars; if you are a video editor and can use the cores, by all means, it should be a nice system, but, a mid-tower ATX case at least as big as a Corsair 100R will allow a decent cooling solution)
 

balamindin

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Sep 23, 2015
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more than 32 GB of RAM is a waste of money, and, two sticks run better speeds/tighter timings than 4 sticks..

Find a 2 stick set (32 GB kit, two sticks of 16 GB each, 3200-3600 MHz) tested as compatible with your intended mainboard...

I'd avoid tiny cases with tiny mainboards and too-tiny cases unless you have researched one as having been tested with decent VRM temps for the 5950X...

Is this a gaming system? (More cores than 8 is currently a few wasted hundred of dollars; if you are a video editor and can use the cores, by all means, it should be a nice system, but, a mid-tower ATX case at least as big as a Corsair 100R will allow a decent cooling solution)
I already have a 5950X.

As for the RAM, I need more than 32GB because I'll be running a lot of VMs -- virtualising my homelab and they'll be running in the background at all times. Already doing this with my current rig which has 32GB RAM but my I'm running out of memory especially when I'm gaming at the same time.

3600MHz 64GB (2 x 32GB) kit sure is cheaper than the 4000MHz one...I'm just wondering if the latter is Zen 3's memory 'sweetspot'.

Noted about the case. Perhaps I should look into compact ATX mid-tower cases...
 

balamindin

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Sep 23, 2015
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I agree and would use a bigger case. Airflow is going to kill you with small ones. What cooler do you use for cpu aio or air ?
For RAM I would pick something like this
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/tcVG3C/gskill-trident-z-neo-64-gb-2-x-32-gb-ddr4-3600-memory-f4-3600c18d-64gtzn
I'm thinking of going with the NH-D15 chromax.black.
I am curious about the AIO, having never used it before but if the aircooler does the job well (which I'm told it would...from the reviews I've read about NH-D15), I don't see the point of an AIO.

About the RAM, what about Corsair Vegeance LPX? It's got the 64 GB kit (also CAS 18) and the price is not too different from Triden Z.
The only reason I ask is because I detest the RGB lol.

As for cases, I'm considering the following.
  • Corsair 4000D Airflow
  • Corsair 500D Premium
  • Corsair Crystal 680x
  • Phanteks Evolv X
I still think Corsair 280X is a cool looking case despite its size haha.
 

madchemist83

Distinguished
Trident Z is better optimized for Ryzen cpus.
4000D is good but had some limitations. I just ordered new system and was with the same debate and ended up picking Lian Li 215 as the best case with thermals and features in mind. There are some decent Phanteks cases as well. I guess you will have to take the rest of the components into account as well. What does the rest of your system looks like ?
 

balamindin

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Sep 23, 2015
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Ah okay, I'll bear that in mind.
Also found Crucial Ballistix RGB 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16 for about £20 more. Would that be good, too?

What sort of limitations?
There's always the 500D or 680X, I suppose. The latter looks like a cube...which could be nice.

EDIT: On one of the websites I've been looking at, the price between 64GB DDR4 3600MHz CL18 Trident Z and 64GB DDR4 4000MHz CL18 Trident Z is only around £25.

However, the cheapest one is 64GB KIT DDR4 4000MHz CL18 RipjawsV. What d'you reckon?
 
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balamindin

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Sep 23, 2015
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Just a quick update to conclude this post..
I ended up going with the Vengeance LPX 3600MHz. It was 60 quid cheaper at the time but more so, I just love how it looks as my build overall is dark without the RGB (except that from the GPU...which is quite subtle).
I updated the BIOS and loaded the XMP, now it's running at 3600MHz ( and 1:1 with FCLK at 1800MHz).

As for the case, I decided to go with be quiet! Silent Base 802..which is a bit bigger than I had originally planned but great airflow (with mesh option). The moment I saw it, I just knew it was the case for me.
 
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