Question Got a 3950x. First time build. Making an After Effects workstation. Help me choose a good Mobo for my utility/PCI-E Lane Requirements.

beyondabraxas

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Nov 29, 2012
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I got lucky and landed a Ryzen 3950x . So outside the CPU, I need to figure out the rest. An appropriate Mother Board that meets my PCI-E needs being the first priority.
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About my Utility
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I work as an After Effects artist on 2D Animation (and sometimes Premiere). Premiere is its own beast, but After Effects can be a lot more demanding of RAM and disk cache depending on your projects, I work on several Pro Res 4444 Alpha video layers simultaneously stacked to composite scenes and heavy PSD backgrounds as I layer in effects via plug-ins or other video assets, so peak I/O for all footage is important.

I've done a fair amount of research into what is the best Drive configuration for my particular needs. I'm referencing pugetsystem's drive config tests from 2016 in premiere as reference, as well as my own experience at work)*


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Potential Drive Configuration
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- 🔴 DRIVE 1 [OS / APPS] 1TB SATAIII 860Pro maybe (Anything more would be overkill I think)

Partitioned into 2 parts - One Smaller partition that I will make a backup image used for OS and Apps, The other bigger one for Steam Games that I won't be imaging.


- 🔴 DRIVE 2 [PROJECTS FILES, FOOTAGE AND VIDEO ASSETS] 1TB 970 Pro M.2 (3500mb/s)

4K Footage, 4K Alpha ProRes4444 Animation Layers & Numerous 4K Effects Videos, lots of videos that are going to be stacked and read at the same time in after effects.

- 🔴 DRIVE 3 [SCRATCH/CACHE] 500GB or 1TB 970 Pro M.2 (3500mb/s)

After Effects gobbles up Cache and Scratch, so will premiere. More space and speed the better.

- 🔴 DRIVE 4 & 5 [SATA3 3.5" & 2.5 inch DUAL DRIVE HOT SWAP BAY FOR ARCHIVAL]
Basically goes into your CD Drive Slot, can accept one 3.5" and one 2.5" drive simultaneously, has 2 Sata3 connections for each of the 2 Drive slots. Plan to use one SSD and 10TB WD Whites.


Those are my essential drive requirements at present, so it looks like 3x SataIII, 2x NVME M.2

Which Boards are best suited for me? I'm concerned about PCI-E saturation with my present day requirements

(IF POSSIBLE) In the future, I'd like to be able to add more M.2s if I need, possibly via Expander Card, which would use a PCI slot, or swap out the OS SataIII SSD for an M.2.

(IF POSSIBLE) I'd like to toss in my BR Burner, which is only a Sata II connection, but its not necessary as I can keep it installed in my old rig or get an external one.

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OTHER MISC SYSTEM INFO
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[CPU]
: No overclock. As I want to keep After Effects and its Renders stable. Eyeing the NZXT X62 AIO cooler.

[RAM] Speaking of stability in apps and renders, I am debating between 64GBs of Crucial 2600 ECC memory or going with the standard Gaming class 3600mhz DDR4 memory like Corsair Vengeance. Thoughts? I've read Ryzen isnt that efficient at memory and that ECC might bottleneck. Something about how memory bandwith is halved, that 3600mhz would actually be 1800mhz or something crazy like that. I hear elsewhere I asked that ECC isn't all that necessary for After Effects. But I always seem to experience more crashes on my Windows gaming parted PC at home vs the provided Mac Pro configured at work.

[VIDEO CARD] I'll be re-using my MSI GAMING-X 1070 GTX 8GB for now. As I'd rather spend my resources on everything else in the system. I'll get a single 2080Ti sometime next year. Never doing dual cards, only single. I understand future video cards 'COULD' use 16x PCI-E better so It would be cool to keep room for utilizing that if and when the time comes.
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MISC MOBO FEATURE INQUIRIES
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- Thunderbolt 3 would be cool, but I don't presently need it or have the peripherals for it. Its possible a client might ask me to use TB drives in the future. If that happens, I'm curious, could Thunderbolt 3 be added on later via PCI-Card or does it have to be a part of the Mobo itself? Is it even reliably functional like on Apple? I mean, I'd like to have it, but if only 2 boards provide it and I don't actively need it, I'd rather focus on my Drive I/O needs listed previously.


- 10Gbe - Whats even the normal utility of this? Unless I'm in a production environment with a massive rack server delivering 40TBs of data to multiple editors on a shared project. As an individual, I'm not sure how I'd ever use it. I have a 1 Gigabit NAS, and my Wifi router is an Asus AC66U which maxes at 1 Gigabit LAN. Shouldn't 2.5 Gigabit be enough? As that is practically (almost) the max speed of the highest end SSDs?

-POWER - How much power am I looking at here? whats a good size power supply and rating for me right now?


I may have sidetracked a bit in this post, again, my main concern is being able to use my listed Drive Configuration without saturating my PCI bandwidth. So lets start there. Thanks for reading!
 

beyondabraxas

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Nov 29, 2012
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So thats where that sheet came from! I saw a link to it on someone's post on reddit and have been using it quite a lot lately. Thanks for the link, cause the main page outside of the Google Sheet seems to go in depth about explaining all the features (i'm a novice with this stuff).
 

jon96789

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Just make sure your board has a beefy VRM. A lot of x570 boards have crappy VRM design which will run really hot and the 3950x does require a lot of power. I have a $360 ASUS X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero and I cannot be happier, especially since i had the crappy MSI MPG motherboard.

The ASUS has one of the best VRM designs running ~50-60 degrees, all the boards that performed better were double the price or more.
 

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