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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)


Its about time for this board to get its own discussion thread.

Personally, I've been using this board daily basis for little over two weeks now.
So far everything has been pretty much perfect, which was rather surprising to see since it is a new platform afterall.
Despite the 3rd gen. Ryzen AM4 CPUs and 3rd gen. Ryzen Threadrippers are based on a different product (Matisse vs. Starship), the software stacks (AGESA) of the two
platforms are extremely similar in terms of functions and features. Because of that, the Threadripper software stack available at launch was more or less at a par with the most recent 1.0.0.4B AM4 AGESA.
This allowed the platform to have the previous improvements and bug fixes in-place by the time of the launch, and hence a similar circus as seen with the AM4 platform never took place.

Despite the TRX4 infra is significantly heavier compared to AM4 infra, from operating point of view there are basically no differences between the two.
Memory clock, FCLK and UCLK tuning wise, Z2E can do anything its AM4 counterparts Crosshair VIII series boards can do. In some cases even more, apparently.
In my case, the board does 3600MHz easily on dual rank B-die configuration (1 DPC), with FCLK and UCLK running in sync (1800MHz). 3733MHz (still with FCLK/UCLK 1:1) is easily benchable
but at this point the memory controller clock (UCLK) is becoming slightly unstable. Naturally the final results always depend on the memory controllers of your CPU and the DIMMs themselves however, there is no question
if the board itself has some serious capabilities also in this regard.

There has been a lot of discussion about the VRMs on different TRX40 motherboards. From my experience the VRMs on this board are sufficient, without a need to elaborate whenever that applies to air, water, LN2 or LHe cooling :D
For the main CPU VRM (VDDCR_CPU), Zenith 2 Extreme uses 16-phase teamed configuration, consisting of sixteen Infineon TDA21472 OptiMOS powerstages, driven by ASUS DigiVRM+ ASP1405I controller configured in 8-phase mode. Each of the TDA21472
powerstages are rated to handle 70A at 25°C, hence resulting 1120A theoretical maximum capability at 25°C. The de-rated total current capability at 100°C is roughly 560A.



The secondary VRM for the SoC (VDDCR_SOC) uses 4-phase native configuration, consisting of Infineon TDA21462 OptiMOS powerstages. The SoC VRM is driven by a separate ASUS DigiVRM+ ASP1405I controller, which in this case is configured in 4-phase mode. The SoC VRM has theoretical capacity of 240A at 25°C and the de-rated current capability is roughly 120A at 100°C.

I've been using this board with a 3970X ES CPU.
The CPU practically is constantly pegged against its rated 280W power limit in most properly multithreaded workloads.

Despite running the system at these power levels for 3-4 hours straight, I've yet to see higher than 67°C CPU VRM temperatures.
Granted, the system was running in a open air test bench however, the CPU was cooled with Coolermaster's Wraith Ripper heatsink, which basically provides no pass-by airflow to the VRM heatsinks.
After swapping the heatsink to DeepCool's Assassin II, which thanks to its low hanging 140mm center fan allows some pass-by air to the VRM heatsink's IO-section, the CPU VRM temperatures stabilised to 62°C.
I can definitely see further improvement in the temperatures, if direct airflow can be provided (e.g. from case roof installed fan) to the main part of the VRM heatsink, under which the actual VRM is located.

The SoC VRM is located between the first two PCIe x16 slots and the chipset. Due to the location and the relatively small heatsink (dictated by the location), the SoC VRM typically runs warmer than the CPU VRM.
The SoC power consumption on third gen. Threadripper greatly depends on the memory configuration and the clocks. Typically, the worst-case (Ram Test, Prime Blend, Linpack) power consumption is less than 45W when running 1 DPC DR memory configuration
at 3600MHz with FCLK and UCLK in sync. 45W at the typical ~ 1.05V operating voltage is just < 43A, which is peanuts for the SoC VRM, considering its true capabilities. The SoC VRM temperature stabilises rather quickly and I've yet to see it exceeding 69°C at any point.

The vast main VRM heatsink on this board is equipped with two fans.
These are high quality fans made by Delta (KUB0312-HP) and their fan curve is adjustable in the bios.
At default settings, the fan curve is following: 0% PWM until 60°C, 40% PWM at 75°C and 100% PWM at 93°C.
So far I have only managed to make them barely spin, but based on the manual testing they are practically inaudible until the very top part of the PWM curve.

The board is currently fully supported in the newest HWInfo, so monitoring wise everything is available there.
The voltages, fan speeds are reported fine and things like the power reporting has been calibrated. At first you might think that the VRM fan speeds aren't supported, but
HWInfo doesn't report their fan speeds unless they're actually spinning. Because of that and the quality of the VRM solution on this board, the VRM fan speeds should be visible rarely given that you have even a half decent case ventilation.

Z2E compatible ASUS OC Tools (TurboV Core 1.05.03 Beta and MemTweakIt 2.2.0.1) can be downloaded here (haven't tried personally): https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ag6oE4SOsCmDhjQyvHnqcZXY49VU

Bios flashing can be done using Flashback or EzFlash as usual, but I've verified Flashrom to work perfectly as well. So in case you need to flash modified bioses, or wish to update the bios a bit faster, you can use the instructions and the binary from the OP of this thread: https://www.overclock.net/forum/11-...04-agesa-fw-stack-patched-bioses-3rd-gen.html Just remember to strip away the capsule header (800h in the beginning of the file, since this is a 128Mb NOR board) :D

Known quirks of 3rd gen. TR CPUs: It might be tempting to undervolt the SoC, since it is drawing quite a lot power on this platform, compared to AM4. I personally advice against it, despite there seems to be quite a large undervolting margin available. Thats because despite the SoC is able to run stable at as low as 0.9375V (at 3600MHz MEMCLK, FCLK/UCLK 1:1) some domain fed by the SoC plane is unable to work properly at voltages lower than ~1.05V. Lowering the SoC voltage excessively will cause issues in posting, despite the system is otherwise fully stable when you get it fired up.
 

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Here here! I have been loving this board on my big bench loop and on LN2. The platform has a few quirks under LN2 conditions, but the board has behaved flawlessly.



Mine has been run on a 3970X ES as well. Waiting for a Retail 3960X to become available and then I'll test that chip
 

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wish i could afford this platform, but my 3950x is keeping me happy just fine. sorry for having nothing to contribute to this thread
 

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Excellent write-up.

Now if only I could actually find a 3970X for sale anywhere on the planet...
 

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Excellent write-up.

Now if only I could actually find a 3970X for sale anywhere on the planet...
Overclockers UK, among many others that sell Worldwide have stock.. Once VAT is removed(it is done automatically if shipping outside EU) , it's about 2070 USD + Shipping by today's conversion rate.
 

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Overclockers UK, among many others that sell Worldwide have stock.. Once VAT is removed(it is done automatically if shipping outside EU) , it's about 2070 USD + Shipping by today's conversion rate.
Have only found one for like $2800 on ebay so far
 

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Overclockers UK, among many others that sell Worldwide have stock.. Once VAT is removed(it is done automatically if shipping outside EU) , it's about 2070 USD + Shipping by today's conversion rate.
Have only found one for like $2800 on ebay so far
UK
https://www.overclockers.co.uk/amd-...z-socket-trx4-processor-retail-cp-3bm-am.html

Once you register, and add your shipping address (outside EU since you are from the USA) the VAT will be removed and the price is as I said!

It's in GBP, just convert it to USD.

Germany (also ship Worldwide):

https://m.computeruniverse.net/de/amd-ryzen-threadripper-3970x

Same process, but in EUR.

Prices in Europe always include VAT, and that is removed since it's a local tax the item is beeing shipped to yoy, by country. UK has 20% VAT, Germany its 19% etc..

What you have to know is your local tax, customs procedures etc.

Some stores take care of everything including customs procedures and local tax, like Amazon:
https://www.amazon.de/dp/B0815JJQQ8 (2 units in stock atm)

Like I said before, plenty of stock in Europe and we ship them abroad 🙂
 

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Ryzen Threadrippers are based on a different product (Matisse vs. Starship)
Are you sure about the Starship codename? As far that I know, latest ThreadRippers are Castle Peak: https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/amd/cores/castle_peak
Starship is supposed to be an EPYC Embedded line product, successor to the current 3000 series (Which I'm very interesed in, by the way. That is why I'm used to that codename).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Are you sure about the Starship codename? As far that I know, latest ThreadRippers are Castle Peak: https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/amd/cores/castle_peak
Starship is supposed to be an EPYC Embedded line product, successor to the current 3000 series (Which I'm very interesed in, by the way. That is why I'm used to that codename).
Starship and Matisse are code names of the dies, as referred by AMD docs.

Rome = SSP, Castle Peak = SSP, Matisse = MTS.

Different families, different docs, different AGESA, different fuses, etc.
 

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Starship and Matisse are code names of the dies, as referred by AMD docs.

Rome = SSP, Castle Peak = SSP, Matisse = MTS.

Different families, different docs, different AGESA, different fuses, etc.
At least according to this guy: https://twitter.com/KOMACHI_ENSAKA/status/1195030019069792257
...which got that data from the Master Product List: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/threadripper-3000-cpu-listed-with-32-cores-possible-new-socket
Castle Peak is known as CPK, not SSP. The curious thing is that Rome acronym is SPP simply because it used to be... Starship.

There is something ugly regarding the Starship codename itself, since it seems to have at least two meanings. Starship was originally mentioned in some leaked Roadmaps dated Feb 2016 (A whole year before Ryzen launch) as a Snowy Owl (EPYC Embedded) and Naples (EPYC) 7 nm successor with 48 Cores that was to be released around early 2018: https://www.techpowerup.com/241128/hwinfo-adds-support-for-upcoming-amd-cpus-gpus-others
However, instead of Starship, we got Rome with 64C a year later than Starship planned released, around half of 2019. Yet the SPP acronym sticked to Rome.

Some other recent sources mention Starship as a direct EPYC Embedded successor to Snowy Owl, which is why I'm used to call next generation EPYC Embedded Starship: https://www.planet3dnow.de/cms/47272-amd-roadmaps-mobile-apu-renoir-bereits-zum-jahreswechsel/
https://digiworthy.com/2017/11/05/amd-epyc-3000-snowy-owl-soc/
I failed to find info coming from AMD itself (Leaked Roadmaps or whatever) about whenever the official codename for next generation EPYC Embedded is actually Starship, as if it had reused the previous second generation EPYC codename, or if everyone else just reinterpreted the 2016 Roadmap that if the new Rome succeeded Naples, then Starship should succeed Snowy Owl. Now I'm unsure whenever Starship is actually a real, current codename for that product or is an ancient remant from a canceled product.


Regardless, everything about that is completely irrelevant to this Thread. I don't want to derail it too much :p
 

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Bought one just 10 mins ago!

[BTW thank you very much! You remebered me i'm able to buy from other EU countries'a amazon withouth any fee... i was going crazy seraching one for a reasonable price and being able to recive it in normal time in Italy.. and anyhow "Sold and Shipped by amazon" is a guarantee itself.. rather than have to deal with,scary, 3dy part sellers..]


Now, considering this is my first time ever with amd, i'd love if somene could fill in the blanks:

1) At the moment i have 3000Mhz memories: 4x 16gb Corsair Dominator platinum.
Should i change them? I mean, i keep reading Ryzens work better with high frequency memories.. obviously i can overclock theam a littel more but i honestly don't like to push memories to
the max .. i doubt i'd ever be confortable with 3000 named rams pushed to 4000 for a dailly,,,just saying..


2) Could you kindly suggest me a coule of M.2 to mount on this build [M.2 is another thing i'm noob with.. never had one. I'm getting old boyz, this one colud be my last hi end pc ever, so please... suggest me sothing stunning].
 

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Bought one just 10 mins ago!

[BTW thank you very much! You remebered me i'm able to buy from other EU countries'a amazon withouth any fee... i was going crazy seraching one for a reasonable price and being able to recive it in normal time in Italy.. and anyhow "Sold and Shipped by amazon" is a guarantee itself.. rather than have to deal with,scary, 3dy part sellers..]


Now, considering this is my first time ever with amd, i'd love if somene could fill in the blanks:

1) At the moment i have 3000Mhz memories: 4x 16gb Corsair Dominator platinum.
Should i change them? I mean, i keep reading Ryzens work better with high frequency memories.. obviously i can overclock theam a littel more but i honestly don't like to push memories to
the max .. i doubt i'd ever be confortable with 3000 named rams pushed to 4000 for a dailly,,,just saying..


2) Could you kindly suggest me a coule of M.2 to mount on this build [M.2 is another thing i'm noob with.. never had one. I'm getting old boyz, this one colud be my last hi end pc ever, so please... suggest me sothing stunning].

The ideal speed for ryzen 3rd Gen seems to be 3600, and, if achievable.. Cl14. For this you need either Samsung b-dies or Micron-E chips.

Corsair sells memory with Samsung b-dies (as do Gskill and many others) , but it's a guessing game on the lower speed kits. For guaranteed bdie you need something like 3200 cl14 kit, or 3600 c16. But do pay attention to sub timings, b-die kits usually have sub timings in par with the first one, like.. CL14-14-14-34... Or buy something 3800 and above, that is guaranteed bdie. You can also use this website for some help:
https://benzhaomin.github.io/bdiefinder/

The alternative would be Crucial Ballistix Elite, 3600 or 4000. Those are guaranteed Micron-E and have great compatibility with Ryzen.

You don't need to change your kit, but you can get a decent boost in performance with a better one with the improvements in timings mostly, some applications are very sensitive to lower timings.

M.2 SSDs.. Samsung 970 EVO Plus is the most universal agreed suggestion. Sabrent is the cheaper alternative.

If you want to try something pci-e gen4.. You can try:
Corsair MP600 Gen4
Gigabyte Aorus Gen4
Sabrent Rocket Gen4
 

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M.2 SSDs.. Samsung 970 EVO Plus is the most universal agreed suggestion. Sabrent is the cheaper alternative.

If you want to try something pci-e gen4.. You can try:
Corsair MP600 Gen4
Gigabyte Aorus Gen4
Sabrent Rocket Gen4
Am i free to mount a gen 4 and a gen 3 right?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
3rd gen. Threadripper CPUs have a power management related quirk, which we should discuss about.

Unlike the 3rd gen. Ryzen AM4 CPUs, 3rd gen. TR CPUs do not use telemetry for their power management related decisions.
AM4 CPUs base their decisions (i.e. know their current power consumption) on the current & voltage telemetry (SVI2 TFN), sourced from the motherboard VRM controller.

Meanwhile on the 3rd gen. Threadripper CPUs, this is not the case.
Instead of relying on external telemetry, the power management decisions are based solely on internal calculations (voltage, frequency, utilisation, etc).
I'm not sure what are the reasons behind this configuration, but I'd expect it to have something to do with TRs close relation to Rome EPYC (which uses cLDOs for the main planes) or possibly to
the limitations of the AMD SVI2 standard itself.

In practice, this can affect the users in couple different ways. In my case, even at stock, the power consumption seen by the CPUs power management is slightly inflated, roughly by 6-11% (depending on the workload).
Because the CPU is pegged against the default 280W power limit in most properly multithreaded workloads, this means that some performance is lost.

Granted, the CPU I'm using is an engineering sample so the inflated power reporting at stock can be an ES related anomaly which sometimes do exist.

However, the next issue will affect anyone how has plans to undervolt the CPU. While undervolting 3rd gen. Ryzens generally isn't recommended, at least in my case there is a ~ -50mV undervolting margin to be had, without any performance penalty in any workload.
The issue with this internal power management mode with undervolting is, that unlike with telemetry the CPU cannot "see" it. Despite the undervolting the CPU still calculates the voltage based on its internal targets / models and doesn't acknowledge that the voltage has reduced.
Because of that, the power consumption seen by the CPU doesn't change either. There will usually be a small performance boost from undervolting, but thats due to the lowered temperature and nothing else.

Here is an example:

This is at stock, with the default 280W PPT, 215A TDC and 300A EDC limits. PPT and EDC are constantly pegged to their limits.
Despite the PPT is reading ~ 280W constantly during the workload, the actual measured power consumption for the whole package is 263.178W on average.
The average CPU voltage is 1.15516V.




Now, everything else remains identical, but a negative offset of 50mV has been applied for the CPU.
The average, actual power consumption has reduced to 243.809W, yet the CPUs power management still sees the same power draw as before.
You can also see that the CPU voltage has also reduced to 1.11357V and that the CPU temperature has reduced by 3.25°C.



Reducing the CPU voltage by -50mV improved CB20 NT performance by ~ 40, which is far less than expected improvement. In this case the improvement is solely
caused by the lowered temperature (which the CPU acknowledges).

So how to get the full advantage of undervolting then?
As I've said before, the most recent version of HWInfo has complete support for Zenith II Extreme.
Since it is able to report the output currents and powers for both of the domains accurately, you can make adjustments based on the observed delta.
Prior undervolting, write up the averages of "CPU Core Power (SVI2 TFN)" and "CPU Core Current (SVI2 TFN)" during a sustained and stable workload (e.g. 5 minutes of Blender).
Apply the undervolt and repeat the same procedure for these two values.

When you have both sets of these values, go to the "Precision Boost Override" menu in the bios and select "Manual".
The new PPT limit will be 280W + the difference between the stock and undervolted "CPU Core Power (SVI2 TFN)" power. TDC will be 215A + the difference between the stock and the undervolted "CPU Core Current (SVI2 TFN)".
EDC can be set to reflect the same percentual difference as TDC was increased by, added to the default 300A value. PBO Scalar should be manually set to 1x to avoid it changing from the stock, when manual PBO mode is used.

So in my case, the power consumption of the CPU cores themselves (CR Pout) reduced 197.329W to 178.302W (19.027W) and the current for the CPU cores (CR Iout) reduced from 170.813A to 160.329A (10.484A).
Hence, my new PPT limit became 299W (instead of 280W), TDC limit became 226A (instead of 215A) and EDC limit became 315A (300 * (226/215)).

Doing the whisky-tango calibration described above, Cinebench R20 NT score improved by ~300pts with the -50mV undervolt, while maintaining pretty much the same power consumption as stock.
 

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What do u guys think Zenith IIvs the Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme ?

I'm leaning towards the Gigabyte because it has an overall better feature set.

Intel dual 10g lan (not aquantia + 1gig)
True 16 phase controller
Better pcie slot layout I'll be using all slots.

For the Zenith
Dimm.2
Better nvme drive pcie layout ( I'll be using min 4 m.2 )

Better looks wise.
Asus bios vs giga.
 

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What do u guys think Zenith IIvs the Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme ?

I'm leaning towards the Gigabyte because it has an overall better feature set.

Intel dual 10g lan (not aquantia + 1gig)
True 16 phase controller
Better pcie slot layout I'll be using all slots.

For the Zenith
Dimm.2
Better nvme drive pcie layout ( I'll be using min 4 m.2 )

Better looks wise.
Asus bios vs giga.
Asus bios is 10x better than..well anything else..
Now, it could be just me, so let say IMHO.. still..it's better. Period :p

That being said, those cards are both beasts,you can't go wrong.
My suggestion is to consider which hw feature is more usefull for you now and in teh next future.

Persanoally i have gone for asus because the bios.It's good,it's intuitive, it makes me feel at home ,i'm using it from 10 years on my own main pc now... but that's me.
 

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Asus bios is 10x better than..well anything else..
Now, it could be just me, so let say IMHO.. still..it's better. Period :p

That being said, those cards are both beasts,you can't go wrong.
My suggestion is to consider which hw feature is more usefull for you now and in teh next future.

Persanoally i have gone for asus because the bios.It's good,it's intuitive, it makes me feel at home ,i'm using it from 10 years on my own main pc now... but that's me.
I've been using Asus boards for along time as well but I don't know I really dislike the aquantia 10g on the multiple rampage boards the original extreme and Omega they tend to cause random issues like upload speeds going to nothing and forcing me to disable and reenable the nic in Windows to fix it. I've got both boards but I guess I'll find out once I can actually get a cpu!!
 

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This board has a total of 5 M.2 slots. That's 2 or 3 more than other boards. How are the M.2 PCIE lanes fed?

From the Manual I can see:

Dimm.2 1: No Impact
Dimm.2 2: No Impact
M.2_1 (PCIE Slot Area Upper): No Impact
M.2_2 (PCIE Slot Area Lower): PCIE X16_4 will run at 4X mode
M.2_3 (Behind Motherboard): SATA6G_E1-E4 will be disabled

From the AMD block diagram, I can see we have provisions for two M.2 from the CPU, and potentially two feeding from the TRX40 Chipset. The M.2_3 is clearly fed from the TRX40 Chipset but it's not clear where the other M.2 slots are being fed from.
 

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This board has a total of 5 M.2 slots. That's 2 or 3 more than other boards. How are the M.2 PCIE lanes fed?

From the Manual I can see:

Dimm.2 1: No Impact
Dimm.2 2: No Impact
M.2_1 (PCIE Slot Area Upper): No Impact
M.2_2 (PCIE Slot Area Lower): PCIE X16_4 will run at 4X mode
M.2_3 (Behind Motherboard): SATA6G_E1-E4 will be disabled

From the AMD block diagram, I can see we have provisions for two M.2 from the CPU, and potentially two feeding from the TRX40 Chipset. The M.2_3 is clearly fed from the TRX40 Chipset but it's not clear where the other M.2 slots are being fed from.
The two Dimm.2 slots are connected to the CPU, the rest are to the chipset. The M.2_3 is getting the 4 PCIe lanes that are powering 4 of the SATA ports.
The chipset itself supports up to 12 SATA ports but the Zenith II only has 8xSATA. This makes me think that the last 4 PCIe lanes that can be done to SATA ports have been re-purposed for one of the M.2 slots. Then you have another m.2 sharing 4 lanes with the PCIe slot that goes from 8x to 4x.
Having in mind the placement of the M.2 slots on the board and how hard it is to place PCIe4 devices far from the controller, it is fairly certain that only the Dimm.2 slot is connected to the CPU and the other three m.2 slots to the chipset. That should not present any issues unless you want to put 5x PCIe4 nvme SSDs and run all of them in some extreme RAID configuration.
....
Actually... after looking at the TRX40 diagram again, I'm beginning to suspect that M.2_1 might also be connected to the CPU...
 

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