Ryzen 5950x workstation update

As my previously post indicated I have created a new workstation, Components for New workstation, based on the Ryzen 5950x. This post is a follow-up, where I will present a minor change to the build, the build itself, results from a benchmark with Yocto and lastly my general view on the workstation and what I would change if I had the change.


In my previous post I stated that I went for the Seasonic Focus PX 850. Unfortunately availability of seasonic PSUs was very limited and everything above 650 watt completely out of stock. So based on availability I ended up with Seasonic Prime TX 650 – 80 Plus Titanium. This is a very nice PSU – including hybrid fan control making it a very silent PSU. Also this build uses well below 650 watt, but I prefer the PSU to be oversized, as the fan speed, and by this the noise increase with load percent. Though the difference in load percent is more than compensated by being the Titanium model with 135mm fan and better fan control compared to the 120mm of the PX model I originally intended to use.

The build

The build was pretty straight forward, though with a very tight fit, mostly caused by the size of the CPU cooler. I took some quick shots of the process, you can see below.

Components arrived for the workstation
The CPU in the motherboard
Assembled the hardware in the case. Still missing power. Notice the CPU fan touching the memory, and the tight fit for the graphic card.
Final result, while running memory test

If you look at the last photo, you can see the tight fit around the graphic card and the CPU cooler. The fan of the cooler is also touching the memory, so no room to spare. The M.2. sits under the fan also. So be aware that all the space around the CPU cooler is used. A minor annoyance is how the Corsair MP600 with its own cooler attached, collides with the M.2. cooler plate for the motherboard. I needed to remote the chipset fan grill to remove the plate for using the MP600, and as I could not use the motherboard plate, the chipset fan grill could not be mounted again. Later i was informed how to remove the heatsink on the MP600, so the heatsink from the motherboard could be used, so would change this in a rebuild.

Yocto benchmark

Martin ‘JaMa’ Jansa who is a WebOS developer at LG and core developer of OpenEmbedded, provide a benchmark over different CPUs with the test-oe-build-time.

If you look at the time.build tab of html result, the build time for this system is around 2:37:29 for zeus branch and 3:41:26 for hardknott branch. In comparison building the zeus branch on Threadripper 3970x takes 1:36:18, a dual socket Xeon E5 2699 v3 takes 2:40:26 and a dual socket Xeon E5 2698 v4 takes 2:18:41.

I don’t have the price of the reference systems, but looking into the CPUs, a single Xeon E5 2699 v3 is $4115.00, a single Xeon E5-2698 v4 is $3226.00, a Threadripper 3970x reference price is $1999.. and my chosen Ryzen 5950x is $799.00. So if you compare the results according to price, you get the most bang for the buck with the chosen workstation.


In general I am very happy with the workstation. Running with the quiet profile in the BIOS and setting the RPM down, means the workstation is for all practical purpose silent when idling and only a woosh sound when under heavy load.

The only thing I properly would change is the Corsair MP600. I ended up patching the kernel because of a firmware bug with the SUBNQN. I documented it in their forum. This combined with a number of people report slowdown, and the small issue with not having the fan grill on the chipset because of the attached cooler, means that I would properly go with a Samsung 980 Pro if I needed to do the build again.

Hope you can use the comments and please comment if you have any questions.

Components for New workstation

I have been thinking on upgrading my old Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770S based workstation for some time, and with the launch of Ryzen 5000, the time was right.

This time around I also choose to created a clean build, compared to previously upgrades. My current workstation still uses a Chieftec Dragon big tower I bought when I was in high-school 17 years ago, so it includes some very old components.

Before designing this build, I did some reflection about what I need from my workstation. It ended up as the following list.

  • Quietness – I detest noise, so target is a machine where it is basically silence when idle, and with a soothing “whoosh” sound compared to a whining when under heavy load. This also means that the motherboard needs to have decent fan control.
  • Stability – The most basic part of a stable build is power delivery. So I choose component used for overclocking and then _not_ overclock.
  • Performance – Here the focus is CPU / memory as I don’t game. This workstation is first and foremost for developing where part of this is compilation and doing yocto builds. For building / compilation, this means as many cores as possible. As I have a wish for using ramfs for all build outputs, I end up needing above 50G for the yocto build folder, combined with the memory needed for actually running the build processes.

So let me present the chosen components, which ended up being a maxed out AM4 platform.


The chosen CPU is the new Ryzen 5000 based 5950x with 16 cores / 32 threads and 64 MB of L3 cache.

I was looking at the Threadripper parts like the 3970x, but when taking the price of this CPU (around 15.000 DKK) into account, it was just to expensive for my personal rig, compared to the newer Ryzen 5000 series, where the 5950x as I have ordered goes for 6400 DKK.

If I would design the workstation for my workplace, it would without a doubt be based on the Threadripper platform, because of the increased memory bandwidth (4 channels versus 2 channels) and 88 PCIe lanes compared to the 20 lanes on my 5950x.

A good thing of the 5950x compared to a part like the 3970x is a higher single-thread performance, as it boost to 4.9 GHz, and the Zen3 in general has higher performance than Zen2. This is important when linking binaries among others, as it happens as a single threaded workload. I often end up with changing only a few files before compilation – so linking end up being a significant part of the development cycle.


My starting point was 2G of memory per thread, e.g. 64G to fit the CPU. But as previously stated I want to use memory also as part of the filesystem so all the object files / temp files from compilation is written to a ramdisk instead of physical writing them to a disk. To support the type of Yocto builds I do, I choose 128G as my needed memory.

First I looked on ECC memory, but the significant increased price, and appertaining slowdown because of the ECC check compared to cheaper and faster normal DDR4 made me choose the normal DDR4. Needing 128G of memory reduced the number of good kits, as I want a max of CL16 and minimum able to run 3600 MHz. The speed of the memory significantly influence the CPU, as it is only dual channel for 32 threads.

I ended up choosing Crucial – model BL2K32G36C16U4B.

They give me a timing of 16-18-18-38 for PC-28800 at 1.35 volt, with a price of 5200 DKK.


I ended up with the Asus ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO. It is used in a number of review / overclocking projects using the AM4 platform. For this build, I don’t intend to use the overclocking features, but rely on that the enhanced power capability (16 power stages) compared to other boards also provide enhanced stability.

For connectivity it has 8 x *USB 3.2 Gen 2 and 4 x USB 3.2 Gen1, 2.5 G Ethernet, A number of PCIe 4.0 slots (including either x16 from CPU or dual x8 from CPU.

I also have very good experience with Asus boards previously, and it has one of the best sound options (SupremeFX S1220 codec, ESS ES9023P) for the AM4 platform.


Here I choose the be quiet! Dark Base 700. Mostly because of its space and low noise. If needed it can contain an E-ATX board (Threadripper) and have the option for seven 3.5″ hard drives and fourteen 2.5″ drivers. (Only ships with option for three 3.5″ drives and nine 2.5 drives). I only expect to use four 2.5 drives as a start.

CPU cooler

Noctua NH-U14S is the choice here, in combination with an extra NF-A15 fan for a push-pull config. Again quietness is the reason for this. It is used in many Threadripper builds, making i able to handle much more heat than the chosen CPU delivers, and with fan control it gives a very quite system.


Having only 4 lanes of PCIe 4.0 for storage I ended up with a combination of a single M.2 drive and 2 SSD. To help with the quiteness I also opted for no mechanical drives, as the vibration and noise from a spinning disk can be significant. Specifically when the disks starting to be worn.

For the main drive I selected the the Corsair SSD MP600 1TB. It is a PCIe 4.0 drive giving me up to 4250 MB/s for writes and 4950 MB/s for reads. I might have been able to mange with the 500G version, but again as I only have 4 lanes for fast storage, and as the 1TB is faster than the 500G version I choose the 1TB version.

For general storage I opted for the cheaper SSD in the form of 2 times 2TB of Crucial SSD MX500. The main reason for this disk compared to many others is DRAM cache and 3D TLC NAND. Many disks, including disks in the same price range does not have any cache and is using the QLC flash technology, resulting in slower performance, and often bad TBW. The TBW for the 2TB disk I have selected is 700TB or 383 GB per day for 5 years.

With this I end up having 1 TB of extremely fast storage, and 4 TB of reasonable fast storage (above 500 MB/s). The 4 TB I can either use in a 2 disk config, or configure as RAID 1 for added data protection against disk failure.


Here I went for the Seasonic Focus PX 850. It is a modular PSU having among others a very silent mode up to around 50% load, and is able to run in fanless mode when the load goes below 30%.

Seasonic is also known for their stability and gives 10 years of waranty.


Here I choose to keep my old Nitro+ RX 570. Being a GCN4 based card, means it have superb Linux support, and as I don’t game I only need the card for driving a solid dual monitor setup.


To sum up my selection it ends with the following.

  • Ryzen 9 – 5950x with 16 cores / 32 threads
  • 128 DDR4 memory with timing 16-18-18-38
  • PCIe gen 4 for all peripherals
  • 1 TB M.2. drive with above 4 GB/s for main storage
  • 2 x 2TB SSD for general storage

Currently I am waiting on parts, where I expect the CPU to be the last part I receive. Expect it to be early December. I will follow up with a post when build it and run some tests.

Lego Apollo Lunar Module

The people around me knows how fascinated I am about the Space Race. From the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1955, over project Mercury and Gemini culminating with the Apollo program. So when the Lego Ideas set for the Saturn V arrived last year, it made it to the top of my wish-list. Luckily I got it and had a great time building it together with Marie.

As my son is 4 years old now, I have also been at my parents and pickup all my old Lego. A fun element was getting my old Lego Apollo Lunar Module set. I inherited it from our neighbors when I was a young kid. This old set was properly part of what got me fascinated by the space race from a young age.

So I decided to share the below image, showing the new Apollo Lunar Module as part of the Lego Ideas set 21309 from 2017, and the old Apollo Lunar Module in the background part of my Lego set 367, released in 1975.  So two official Lego versions of the Apollo Lunar Module, with an age difference of 42 years.

Legos Apollo Lunar Module (The old model 367 and from the new Saturn V set – 21309)

Tools for budget help

Part of a normal household is to have a budget for your economy. And as we are thinking on the possibilities for buying a house we need to have a clear view of our economy.

For many is the standard just to use a spreadsheet. Though it is easy to get started with using the spreadsheet, it does not provide a way for syncing between computers and to make more complicated setups with different  accounts and test for different financing possibilities.


So my wishlist is a personal financial application / budget software which we can use on my Linux workstation, Macbook laptop and Maries Windows laptop. As we both have iPhone and iPad a tool for viewing the reports on those devices must also be supported. A possibility is a web application running on a local web-server, as I don’t want to use a cloud service and hand over our financial information to third party.

It need to be able to import data from our bank and create grouping and reports based on this data.


Tools I have seen on


  • moneyspire
    • Advertises itself to be an easy personal finance software, running on Linux, Mac, Windows and have an app for iPhone and iPad.
    • Regarding sync. In there support section they indicate that a cloud drive is needed and recommend Dropbox.
    • You manually need to save it to the cloud drive and load it from the cloud drive.
    • It cost $34.99 for the basic version and $69.99 for the plus version
  • GnuCash
    • Is a personal and small-business financial-accounting software under GNU GPL license. It seems to have existed for many years.
    • It works under Linux, Windows and Mac.
    • There exist a DB backend for SQL, but not very used.
      • http://money.stackexchange.com/questions/27210/gnucash-and-version-control
      • http://wiki.gnucash.org/wiki/FAQ#SQL_Database
  • MoneyDance
    • Personal Finance software with Linux, Windows and Mac versions. It does also have iPhone, iPad apps.
    • It cost $49.99
    • It seems to also use DropBox for syncing
  • MoneyWiz
    • Another tool have options for Mac, Windows, iPhone/iPad.
    • Cost $24.99 for Windows and Mac versions. Have a number of subscriptions. Sync over its own servers.
  • Mint
    •  Is a pure only service, so not for us. It does not seem to be able to run on a locale server.
  • YNAB
    • You need a budget is pure only service. So not for us


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