Quandary... Alder Lake build

Discussion in 'Desktop Hardware' started by Tech Junky, Nov 3, 2021.

  1. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    So, with all the hype around AL and comparing my existing setup leads me to a debacle of sorts.

    I have the following setup in a mATX Node 804:

    ==================================================================================
    Machine: Type: Desktop Mobo: ASRock model: Z390M Pro4

    CPU: Info: 6-Core model: Intel Core i7-8700K

    Graphics: Device-1: Intel CometLake-S GT2 [UHD Graphics 630] driver: i915 v: kernel
    Device-2: Conexant Systems CX23887/8 PCIe Broadcast Audio and Video Decoder with 3D Comb driver: cx23885 v: 0.0.4
    Device-3: Conexant Systems CX23887/8 PCIe Broadcast Audio and Video Decoder with 3D Comb driver: cx23885 v: 0.0.4
    Display: server: X.org 1.20.13 driver: loaded: mode setting tty: 202x50
    Message: Advanced graphics data unavailable in console for root.

    Network: Device-1: Intel Ethernet I219-V driver: e1000e
    IF: eno1 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: a2:9d:8a:e8:39:2a
    Device-2: Aquantia AQC111 NBase-T/IEEE 802.3bz Ethernet [AQtion] driver: atlantic
    IF: enp5s0 state: up speed: 2500 Mbps duplex: full mac: 24:5e:be:4d:c4:53
    Device-3: Aquantia AQC111 NBase-T/IEEE 802.3bz Ethernet [AQtion] driver: atlantic
    IF: enp6s0 state: down mac: 24:5e:be:4d:c4:54
    Device-4: Aquantia AQC111 NBase-T/IEEE 802.3bz Ethernet [AQtion] driver: atlantic
    IF: enp8s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: a2:9d:8a:e8:39:2a
    Device-5: Aquantia AQC111 NBase-T/IEEE 802.3bz Ethernet [AQtion] driver: atlantic
    IF: enp9s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: a2:9d:8a:e8:39:2a

    Drives: Local Storage: total: raw: 36.62 TiB usable: 18.43 TiB used: 7.36 TiB (40.0%)
    ID-1: /dev/nvme0n1 vendor: Samsung model: MZVPW256HEGL-000H1 size: 238.47 GiB

    ID-2: /dev/sda vendor: Western Digital model: WD80EZAZ-11TDBA0 size: 7.28 TiB
    ID-3: /dev/sdb vendor: Western Digital model: WD80EZAZ-11TDBA0 size: 7.28 TiB
    ID-4: /dev/sdc vendor: Western Digital model: WD80EZAZ-11TDBA0 size: 7.28 TiB
    ID-5: /dev/sdd vendor: Western Digital model: WD80EZAZ-11TDBA0 size: 7.28 TiB
    ID-6: /dev/sde vendor: Western Digital model: WD80EZAZ-11TDBA0 size: 7.28 TiB

    Memory: 15.29 GiB used: 3.03 GiB (19.8%)
    ==================================================================================

    I like my 804 as it's sleek and compact(ish) compared to the ATX case builds I've done with the 8700K since inception. I've been through 3 cases / MOBO since starting this journey and finally have a setup I like for:

    Router / WIFI / FW
    HTPC / DVR / OTA
    NAS

    So, looking through the mATX MOBO offerings they're almost nill at this point for AL CPU's. There's 4 that I've been able to pin down and they all have trade offs between SATA ports to PCI slots and only 1 supports DDR5. Of course for every 1 there's 2 options w/ or w/o WIFI built in.

    ROG STRIX Z690-G GAMING WIFI $350

    If I open things up to the ATX mid tower sizing the options go to 5

    MSI PRO Z690-A A $220
    MAG Z690 TORPEDO $0.00
    ASUS Z690-F ROG $399
    MSI Z690 MPG Carbon $399
    ASRock Z690 PG Velocita LGA $469

    Then there's some cheaper options $239-$325 but they only have 4 SATA ports which would leave 1 drive out of service in my Raid setup. https://pcpartpicker.com/products/compare/VzWzK8,dQBG3C,xwjBD3/

    I could pick up a M.2 SATA 5 port adapter for $50 which on these mATX boards makes more sense to leave a PCI slot open if you can since you only have a max of 3 available in the format.

    So, New CPU = new cooler and from what I've been seeing it sounds best to make the leap from Air to LC based on the increased power demands to 125W for the 12700K from the 8700K.

    That's another ~$95
    ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240
    be quiet! BW006 Pure Loop 240mm

    Then switching out the case leads to another ~$150
    Fractal Design Meshify 2 / FD-C-MES2A-01
    Fractal Design Define 7 / FD-C-DEF7A-07

    If we're doing this right then a new set of DDR5 / NVME
    Crucial 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR5-4800 $125
    PNY CS3140 1 TB $173

    ==================================================================================

    The whole ports / performance thing got me thinking about converting from the 5xHDD's to 2 8TB N?VME drives or some sort of AIC with multiple drives being placed onto the card. Prices / reliability over 2TB are either high cost and quick death (within a year) or running into needing a system with bifurcation on he PCI slots being configurable from the BIOS //OR// there's a HighPoint card that can bypass the need but, it's $1000 which doesn't make sense fiscally.

    I'm thinking there's a way around the bifurcation need though with the changes beyond PCI 3. I just haven't found a good example to confirm my suspicions as there are other 4 drives AIC's for ~$100. I mean the math is easy 4x4 = x16.

    The performance boost we're talking about here is:
    50% on the CPU
    4 x >> PCI 5
    1.5X >> DDR5
    NVME 4-5X the boost or in real world probably 2-3X

    I looked into Rocket Lake just for comparison purposes and it's significantly cheaper but leaves 25% of the gains on the table in terms of speed boosts noted above.

    Time to see how thigs play out with the release 11/4 0600PT. These are all preliminary pricing that's currently posted and surely will swing like a pendulum as the frenzy begins like chum in the water // holiday deals coming out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2021
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  2. Tech Junky

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  3. Tech Junky

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    So, I've been playing with the configurations and have things narrowed down to the following. Porting the Raid from one case to the next along with other items.

    CS3140 1TB x 2 (Raid1)
    FD-C-MES2A-01
    12700k
    Z690 Steel Legend (PCI4 & 5 slots)
    CORELIQUID P240 AIO
    TLZGD416G3600HC18JDC01 DDR4
    ‎FD-P-IA2G-850 (850w)

    upload_2021-11-8_11-12-52.png

    Black prices are due to PCP not picking up out of stock items or from vendors they don't poll for pricing.

    $0.00 items are already in use / being ported from one case to the other.

    $1,504.70 - shipped w/ tax

    Not bad for going from an 8700K. I would like to flip the switch on DDR5 to see the difference but, it's IMO not worth the expense of the MOBO / RAM at this moment. It's next to impossible to find the RAM for 16GB instead of 32GB kits since there's only a handful of OEM's producing it ATM. (Crucial / Kingston/ Oloy) ($150-$180) The DRR5 board I would pick as well is $350. The cost difference of the MOBO / RAM makes up for switching cases / PSU over to newer items for the fresh build outside of the Raid being moved over.
     
  4. hfm

    hfm Notebook Prophet

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    Are you going to put a GPU in there? Assuming you are getting that elsewhere..
     
  5. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    No, it's not something needed since it's a server and not being used as a workstation. iGPU works just fine when a GUI is need for a few minutes to run some commands or diagnosing an issue.
     
  6. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    Well, I pulled the trigger with a clearer picture of the build and went to pick up the CPU locally for $20 less than any online source or scalper.

    $432.99 w/ tax

    BestBuy is showing shipping available for $419.99 w/o tax though vs the local pickup option they had been showing.

    [​IMG]

    Now onto buying all the other stuff.....
    MOBO / RAM / CASE / COOLER / PSU / NVMEs / FANS

    When it all arrives move over the 5 x 8TB drives for the Raid / NAS / HTPC and seal it up.
     
    Mexic00ls and dmanti like this.
  7. electrosoft

    electrosoft Perpetualist Matrixist

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    I picked mine up from best buy since i'm an elite plus member and get 6% back in rewards and free shipping.

    With a case of that size, why not go with a 360mm vs 240mm? Or are you putting the 240mm up top to optimize fresh airflow intake to keep all the drives nice and cool?
     
  8. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    I decided against the whole LC option and going to stuff it full of fans instead. Same price for the most part w/o the thought of a leak down the road. If I don't like what I see with the AIR option since it's Amazon they can go back and get replaced with the 240. The 240 is a bit of a fiscal point since it's staying under $100 and it has the required mounting bracket w/o having to jump through hoops to get one sent after purchase from other OEM's.

    I've been using Arctic P12 PWM PST fans on the 870K build and they've been great at keeping temps under control and quiet. I have 10 of them mounted in the Node 804 case / 4 front / 4 top / 2 rear + 2 on the CPU tower. I did this because at one point I was playing around with mining and loaded a different case with2 GPU/s and needed a boost in airflow to keep it under control and had to swap the BIOS on the cards and make some tweaks to keep them running w/o crashing all the time.

    So, the beast is getting the P14 PWM PST version of the fans to crank it up a notch when needed. Might delete the rear and use it on the cooler as a backup to the one it ships with. I tend to play with airflow a bit before settling down to the best option. The nice thing about the case is I can keep 3.5" between the drives free for better airflow across the Raid and then still push a decent amount of air across the NVME heat sinks on the board level. With this particular case I have tons of options but primarily 3 front/top / 1 rear / option of 2 more on the bottom (9 total) and might get creative if needed.

    When I was running the GPUs I ended up putting a couple of 120s sandwiched between the glass and the cards to make sure they kept their temps down.
     
  9. Tech Junky

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    Just skimming the manual for the MOBO and got to the M2 section and only saw PCIE 3 drives listed and sort of freaked a bit since the Spec page has Gen 4 listed

    2 Hyper M.2 (PCIe Gen4 x4)

    https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z690 Steel Legend/#Storage

    Shows a couple of Gen4 tested / approved which really is more of a POC rather than a strict guidance. It would be nice if they updated manual instead of pushing it only to the same site where you download the manual from.
     
  10. Tech Junky

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    Well, everything has been ordered and should come in by the end of next week. I was able to narrow down my orders to Newegg / Amazon for the best pricing / availability. Down from ~5 different vendors. The biggest surprise was the Case jumping from a shipped price of ~$160 to about $200 form the same vendor. Switched that up to NE as previously they had it in stock but wanted a shipping charge.

    Picked up a coupe of extra things to make things flow better, Picked up graphite pads for the CPU as I've been using them on the 8700K build for awhile now w/o problem. Also grabbed a SATA power cable with 5 ports on it to streamline the storage connections down from 2 from the PSU to a single SATA 15 pin to the cable to the HDD's. $8 isn't going to kill the expenses on this build. Should provide less bends / twists in the case compared to 2 leads coming from the PSU.

    Grabbed some ideas on moving from the 256GB Samsung drive in the 8700K to the dual 1TB PNY drives and converting to a Raid 1 on those for redundancy. Pondered the HBA idea to potentially make them run faster off a PCI slot but, the cards aren't quite up to snuff for going full speed yet. They're still running PCI 3 and the NVME slots on board are PCI 4. Looked at the SATA side as well but, it just still doesn't make sense to add $50 to the build for no real gain in throughput on spinners as the DMI is now gen4 x8 there shouldn't be any bottlenecks from competing data flows.

    Taking a chance on ID-COOLING SE-226-XT as it's a 6 pipe like the FUMA on the 8700K side but has the hardware for LGA1700 in the box. Comes with 120mm fan but, I'll likely pull that off and put on 2 120's from the existing build to get more airflow across the fins. Similar coolers from other companies are 2X the price for some reason which lead to the initial thought of going liquid since there wasn't a price difference.

    The 140's around the case should be sufficient to keep this monster running in peak performance considering there's no GPU heat to contend with. The TDP though is double that of the 8700k @ 190W under turbo conditions.

    All totaled up @ $1,598.27 w/ tax / shipping. This isn't bad for a NEW build considering my initial build cost about the same minus the storage drives.

    A little higher with the new fans needed + the $20 for the sata cable / graphite pads. I'm going to use the 2nd pad for my laptop and see how it performs against traditional paste. The reviews sound promising to bring them down 10-20 degrees on the CPU/GPU.
     
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