Cassiopeia is the system I use as my file/media server and I decided to stick with Fractal again for the case and went with the Meshify 2, for the same reason I used the Define R6 in the previous build... a crap ton of 3.5" drive bays. I only switched to the Meshy because I wanted some better airflow too. My one complaint about this case is that I wish they had stuck with the same mounting for the drive trays. Seems they cut costs and it just doesn't work as well. Plus I can't use the extra trays I had bought for the R6. A grommeted cutout below the GPU would have also been nice. However, being able to remove the entire top of the case is a real bonus over the R6 and the original Meshy. Anyhow, just like the last build, this lives in my mechanical room, which is kinda' a shame considering how nice it looks.
For the CPU I opted for the Ryzen 9 3900X since I use my server for transcoding and encoding, and the R5 3600 in the previous build could handle all that, but the extra headroom is nice, and it's a lot faster when encoding. I decided to put the 3900X in the Asus Strix B550-E Gaming. It might be a bit much for this use case, but the Gen4 m.2 slot might come in handy down the road when I put in a 10Gb switch to possibly do my editing from the server over the network, with an upgrade to a Zen 3 CPU of course. Considering the cost of this board, I am a bit miffed that it only has two USB3 ports on the rear and four USB2 ports. I knew this going in, but it seems like an odd choice. For memory, I just carried over the 16GB of G.Skill Trident Z, non-RGB from the last build, but since it was starting to go over half of it's memory capacity I decided to upgrade it to 32GB with an identical 16GB kit. Since I upgraded after taking the pics, they only show two DIMM's, but there are four installed. Speed and latency are set manually and running fine.
Since there are no integrated graphics on the 3900X, and I'd likely disable it if there were since I wouldn't want it using system memory, I carried the EVGA GTX 760 SC over from the last build... again. I originally went with the 760 because I bought it for $40, it looks nice with the cables, and it's UEFI compatible. With Nvidia dropping support for the 7xx series, I might consider replacing it with a 9xx series though.
The CPU cooler is a Noctua U12A and I didn't feel like the Cryorig H7 from the previous build was going to do too well with a 3900X at full tilt. Seems it was a good decision since it was hitting close to 80° C while encoding. I wasn't too happy with this and I'll go over why it was running so hot and what I did to fix it at the end, but I went with air because I certainly wasn't going to put an AIO or an open loop on a server that I rarely look at that's running 24x7.
I carried the power supply over from the last build, which is a Corsair HX750i. It certainly doesn't need this much power, but it's a top quality PSU and it's quite efficient, and that was more important to me. Plus, I had these custom sleeved cables left over from one of my previous main rigs that works with the HXi series. No... I hardly ever go in and see it... but what else was I going to do with them? In case you're wondering, custom cables just don't sell well second hand, and I'd rather just use them here. I also have the system connected to a CyberPower CP1000PFCLCD 1000VA UPS. We rarely have power outages, but sometimes we get voltage dips and rolling momentary outages. The voltage dips are VERY concerning to me, and it keeps the system powered on even for the momentary outages as well. I also have a small 750VA APC unit on the networking equipment which has kept the internet running for over eight hours in an outage.
The main boot drive is a 500GB Samsung 980 m.2 NVMe SSD for the O/S. For data there's several hard drives for files and media. And there are external backup drives to cover the ones in the system. If you're looking for a free backup solution, I highly recommend SyncBack Free. Eventually I might install a 1TB or 2TB Gen4 drive to use as a scratch drive for editing over the network rather than transferring files back and forth between my editing rig and the server.
I also carried the ThermalTake Riing 14 140mm RGB fans over from the last build... because, why not. They're set to a static blue. Not like they're ARGB or anything. They're controlled via a hardware controller that gets PWM signal from the board, which is nice.
So, lets talk about the CPU temps... 80° C just wasn't acceptable with the fans running very loud, and there's no reason a Noctua U12S shouldn't be able to keep a stock 3900X at a more reasonable temp in an all core workload. The cause... none of the basics that we typically tell people to try. After doing some testing I noticed a measurement in HWiNFO64 under the CPU telemetry called, Power Reporting Deviation. This was highlighted in red, which indicated something out of the norm. What I found out was that it means the motherboard is mis-reporting current to the CPU. If that number is below 100% in an all-core workload, like Cinebench, the motherboard is telling the CPU it's pulling less power than it actually is. If it's higher than 100%, it's telling it that it's pulling more power than it is. Basically, it's best to have it at 100% in a consistent workload, like Cinebench, +/- 5%. I was sure this was the problem, and now it came down to how to fix it. If you look online, there are a lot of different solutions. One person I saw was suggesting lowering the CPU core voltage. Which would lower temps, but you'd have to lower the voltage so much that it would have a big impact on performance. While a 1-3% undervolt on these CPU's isn't a bad idea, it's not the proper way to fix this issue. Another person suggested changing the PPT to offset this, which should work as long as your board allows you to adjust PPT. Ideally, you would want a board that allows you to adjust the telemetry directly. That setting will be labeled differently from board to board. In the case of the Asus Strix B550-E Gaming (UEFI v2423), it was titled CPU Core Current Telemetry. After setting that to manual, and playing with offsets, I settled on a +7000 offset which got me to about 97% and brought the temps down about 8° C to almost 72° C, and at much lower fan speeds. I could have pushed a little further, but that was acceptable to me. Bonus was that my R20 score went from 7,088 to 7,169... nice. For reference, that was with all my server applications running in the BG, so it could have gone a little higher.
Hopefully if someone is having a similar issue, this will help them get it fixed, but now that the temps are sorted I'm much happier with this build than the previous iteration. It looks better, it cools better and it performs a lot better.
Color(s): Black Blue White
RGB Lighting? Yes
Cooling: Air Cooling
Type: General Build
A few upgrades; more RAM, faster storage and the Noctua offset bracket.
- 870 QVO
Form Factor: 2.5 Inch
Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
Capacity: 8 TB
Form Factor: M.2
Interface: M.2 (M)
Capacity: 500 GB
Form Factor: ATX
Efficiency: 80+ Platinum
Size: 21.5 Inch
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
Estimated total value of this build: