Building a PC with Ryzen Threadripper 1950x for Scientific Computation

Share This:

We have bought AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 1950x, and built a PC. We are going to use this PC for Scientific Computation, especially for gaussian.

AMD’s Threadripper is know for its amazing cost performance! While Intel’s 10 cores cpu core i9-7900x costs $999, AMD’s 16 cores ryzen Threadripper 1950x also costs &999.

However, it has been said that ryzen is not good for scientific computation, and is not accelerate by AVX2. We will see if it’s true or not.

日本語版Threadripper 自作 PC 組み立て編【AMD】

Threadripper

The box is big but it’s not heavy.

AMD is including a bracket adapter in the box for the installation of liquid coolers, and a torque wrench to install the CPU.

As soon as Threadripper was released, its benchmark was posted on PassMark Software Benchmark website. Threadripper showed better performance than our expectation.

Even for the Single Thread benchmark, Threadripper is better than Intel Xeon E5-2667 v2 @3.3GHz (8CPU64core) that we have been using for gaussian.

Moreover, for the total score, AMD got the second place, which we haven’t seen since we started checking this website.

PC parts

We used the following parts.

CPU: AMD THreadripper 1950x 16C/32T 3.4 GHz
m/o: MSI Gaming AMD Ryzen ThreadRipper Extended-ATX Motherboard (X399)
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz (CMK16GX4M2B3200C16)
GPU: Radeon x550 2GB
cooler: ARCTIC Liquid Freezer 240
SSD: SanDisk SSD PLUS 240GB Solid State Drive (SDSSDA-240G-G26) [Newest Version]
power supply:  SMART 700W (とCorsair CX430M)

Memory is chosen from Ryzen compatible CPU List (pdf) so that compatibility problems do not occur. Since both Threadripper and X399 are ECC compliant, we think that it is better to consider changing to ECC compliance if running a long time calculation.

We installed the Radeon x550 for the first setting and for using Gauss View 6. Even the cheapest Radeon x550 2GB also seems to have performance about 3 times that of Iris built in Intel CPU. After taking a benchmark, we will reinstall OS to the minimum configuration and remove GPU.

Although SSD has a small capacity, it’s enough because we will install calculation software only. Once clustered, set up a shared drive with NFS, and save calculation result etc. there. Also we plan to add RAID 0 HDD for Gaussian scratch file.

Threadripper seems to have a great fever! So I choose ARCTIC Liquid Freezer 240 for CPU cooler. There are 4 fans on the 240 mm radiator! Probably enough if you cool this much.

We won’t buy a case. we’ll put it on a rack or something.

Installation

Unlike previous CPUs, Threadripper has its own unique installation method. So we watched the following video and prepared for the installation.

Pick the right power supply

We installed CPU, CPU cooler, memory and graphic card. When plugging in 18 pins, the LED on the motherboard power lights up.

Finally it will start! we thought. we pressed the power button……….

But it didn’t start…..

No way….. Could it be memory compatibility?

We also thought that, but the mother of MSI has an LED panel that shows two digit figures, it seems to be displayed when there is a problem in memory.

However, the numbers are not displayed even this time.

We thought that the installation of the CPU was bad, but though we fixed it several times, It didn’t star…..

We spent about $ 1500……

Since the motherboard LED was attached, I did not suspect the power supply, but when we used a different power supply for testing, the power supply fan came around for just a moment. . .

Electric power shortage? we thought.

We plugged in SMART 700W with 18 pins and CPU 1. We got the CPU 2 and PCI-E power on with Corsair 430… Then it started!

We did not check Threadripper’s electricity requirement. It seems to need 2 CPU power supply.

If you are planning to purchase Threadripper, you need to prepare a large capacity power supply (850 W or more?) With 2 8-pin CPU power supplies.

Here’s the Bios screen!

Further Work

In our next post, we’ll show you a gaussian16 benchmark on Threadripper. We plan to perform optimization and frequency calculation, and also test the parallel efficiancy.

Related Articles

  1. Ryzen Threadripper Gaussian16 Benchmark
  2. How many kcal/mol ?
  3. Why atomic units (a.u.) are used in QM calculation?

Leave a Reply