Date Joined: 09/16/04
Pros: Legit data center grade hardware.
Cons: It's always out of stock everywhere.
Overall Review: I have a small "home lab" with a few always-on devices and I am using this motherboard for a Debian Linux server which runs a handful KVM VMs. Prior to getting this, I had a generic, consumer grade MSI AM4 motherboard with a passively cooled video card and a Lantronix KVM-over-IP for remote management.
Using a proper IPMI motherboard like this is so much nicer! First of all, the power draw and the heat is lower, it's only 25W on idle and the CPU is 4C cooler. THe IPMI interface is also much more powerful than Lantronix, i.e. you can turn the server on/off, flash BIOS, read hardware sensor readings, etc. The web interface is much nicer looking than Supermicro's too.
The only minor complaint is that on the first boot, the board spent about a minute initializing the BMC and then the screen went dark. After cycling the power, it turned on but couldn't boot from the NVMe drive. After resetting the BIOS to the factory-default mode, it finally booted. Maybe I've gotten a used board? Not sure... Now it works great.
Cons: Not the fastest.
Overall Review: I usually go with Samsung Pro, but they're insanely expensive for 2TB. These are slightly slower but more reasonably priced. Have two of them in striped RAID configuration. No regrets.
Pros: Nicely made. Sturdy.
Cons: Do not fit standard round hole racks. Covered in grease.
Overall Review: Not sure why nobody mentions this in their reviews, but the L-brackets that come with these rails are not compatible with round-hole racks. The holes on the L-brakets are too close to each other, so I couldn't fit two screws per bracket, i.e. my 4U server is mounted using only four screws. It's OK I guess for a single outlier, but do your research carefully if you're ordering a bunch of these.
This is in contrast to Supermicro chassis+rails that I had zero problems with.
Pros: Native Linux support. Lowest idle power consumption of any GPU currently (Feb 2019) on the market, about 4-5 watts. That's why it does not have a fan, it really doesn't need it if your case is well-ventilated.
Cons: I wish it had a display port.
Overall Review: If you don't game and don't need 4K this thing is ideal. Also, Linux supports it out of the box with all features you'd care about: desktop acceleration and power management. I am using two of these in headless (i.e. no monitor) home servers.
Pros: Does exactly what I expected it to do. No reduction of performance vs native M.2 socket. Works in RAID0 configuration with a M.2 peer mounted on the motherboard. Includes a low-profile bracket.
Overall Review: I have installed this card into a 2U server chassis. The fact that it includes low-profile bracket is awesome.
Pros: Easy to work with, nice build quality, decent IPMI interface, good quality rails (they are included, by the way). Default settings in the BIOS are perfect, I don't think I had to tweak anything.
Cons: I wish the disk trays were compatible with SSDs out of the box, instead of being useless dummies. It's annoying having to figure out which adapter to buy.
Overall Review: I have installed the 16-core EPYC into this system with 128GB of 2666Mhz ECC RAM. I used 8 sticks of Samsung M393A2K40BB2-CTD. Debian with 4.17 kernel runs without any issues.
Pros: Zero problems. Works perfectly out of the box with Linux. Price/performance ratio is impossible to beat.
Cons: I wish it had a higher boost frequency. There is a higher clocked version of this CPU (EPYC 7371) but I wasn't able to find it anywhere.
Overall Review: Perfect Linux support. 'sensors' reports an idle temperature of 34C and I have never seen it above 60C even under load. What's nice about this model is its simple and predictable turbo behavior, i.e. all cores run at 1.2Ghz when idle and at 2.9Ghz when under load (all of them) regardless of what instructions are being executed. This is in contrast to some Xeons that have tricks like "4 core boost" which is higher than "all core boost" and then they slow down even more when executing AVX instructions.
Linux sees it as a 4-node NUMA system. Make sure to install and run 'numad' and that NUMA balancing is turned on for your kernel, i.e.
$ cat /proc/sys/kernel/numa_balancing
I was a bit worried about NUMA getting in a way, but this thing is running several KVM VMs at 97% of bare metal performance and without any side effects.
I built this EPYC server around Supermicro AS-2013S-C0R barebone system, which I also recommend.
Pros: Easy to work with, decent quality.
Cons: The disk trays aren't as nicely done as some competitors.
Overall Review: I bought this case to convert an older ATX workstation to rack mount form factor and move it to the data center. This case is super easy to work with, much easier than most desktop/tower cases. The fans are not quiet, but who cares if this thing is supposed to live in a rack. The disk trays are not the easiest (and far from hot-swappable) but hey, look at the price.
Pros: Does exactly what it promises, adds remote management via network to headless PCs that don't have server-grade features like IPMI. No need for external power supply. No need to install any software (see below)
Cons: Default configuration is meh. HTTPS/TSL configuration sucks. Also, $400 is a bit too high. Perfect for adding remote management to existing systems but I would rather purchase a server motherboard with IPMI/DRAC for new equipment.
Overall Review: Initially I was turned off by the need to run a Java client. However, once I upgraded the firmware to 4.x version I saw the option of using HTML5 client which is perfect, i.e. a computer's mouse&keyboard can be remotely controlled via a network using nothing but a browser. You can even mount ISO images of operating system installers. Perfect.
Pros: Best power delivery for mATX form factor on AM4 socket, four memory slots, plenty of fan connectors. Boots quickly.
Cons: Does not boot without a videocard. BIOS/UEFI interface is limiting, not as comprehensive as competitors.
Overall Review: Got this board for a headless home server which is only used via a network connection. The board refused to boot until I plugged a video card into it. Another consumer grade boards I have boot just fine without a video card. This is extremely annoying...
But even with this bug, which probably isn't something most people care about, this is the best MSI board I have ever used. The boot speed is great and my RAM latency dropped as well, compared to the budget ASRock AM4 board I'm replacing.
If you're running Linux, it will work fine but don't expect lm-sensors to provide visibility into voltages/temps. The IO chip on this board (Nuvoton NCT6797D) isn't supported by the current kernels yet (but the support has been added upstream in October/18).
Pros: Quiet as promised, less power draw when PC is idle or asleep, high quality cables and packaging.
Overall Review: I had a fairly high quality Seasonic PSU rated at 650W for a few years and was generally happy with it. When I upgraded to X299 platform with i8-7900X I also installed 1080Ti GPU as well. This pushed my total peak power consumption to 480-500W, still below the limit of the Seasonic, but it started to struggle: the fan would go nuts, pushing a lot of hot air out and making a lot of noise.
So I upgraded to this 750W unit from be quiet. The silence is back! I also turns on the fan when it gets to around 500W, I can hear it kick off but it instantly lowers its RPM to something inaudible, so there's no acoustical difference between stressed vs idle PC. This PSU is noticeably larger (longer) though, so make sure it will fit into your case.
Pros: Easy to grip when installing. Its XMP profile got recognized by my motherboard without issues. It's well made, even the packaging was high quality.
Cons: This RAM is taller than most. This may be a problem if you're using a challenging/wide CPU cooler like Noctua D15.
Overall Review: I used this 2800Mhz RAM on my i9-7900x machine, where I tested it against 3200Hz CL14 kit of similar capacity from G-Skill. I did not observe any performance difference when compiling or running unit tests.
Pros: Dead silent. I can't hear it even from 2 inches away. Also, I love how Noctua continues to use this funky color.
Cons: You will want to replace all of your fans with Noctua. :)
Pros: Typical Noctua quality. Quiet for its size, good enough even for x299 platform.
Overall Review: I am using it to cool 7820X running at 4.5Ghz on all cores, while keeping the case fans on modest speeds (cannot stand fan noise). Even in this acoustically optimized setup the temps never exceed 90C under stress, but typically stay between 30C-70C.
So it's excellent for stock X299 CPUs but I would advise against overclocking Skylake-X CPUs with it. Go with Noctua D15 if you want to hit 4.7Ghz on 8+ cores.
Pros: Lightweight and quiet
Overall Review: This is my 3rd fractal design case. I should have discovered this one sooner: my other cases were more expensive and much heavier because they had HDD/SSD enclosures. This one doesn't, which makes it much more lightweight and roomy inside, but only works for M.2-based builds.
Pros: This board offers careful handling of the power delivery for the challenging X299 platform: you can trust its "auto" logic for many UEFI settings without having to worry about pushing to much voltage to your CPU. I had no problems running 3200Mhz memory at CL14 simply by selecting the XMP profile. Also, unlike so many boards these days, the Taichi boots fairly quickly.
Running Linux on it, having tried kernels 4.10 and 4.13 without any issues. Everything works, except the built-in Wifi which I simply have not bothered to try since I have no use for it (it shows up in the output of ifconfig though).
Cons: Again, because of the somewhat conservative power tuning, the Taichi may appear to be slower than other X299 boards. This is manifested by slightly slower rate of frequency/power boosting (the CPU goes through its P-states slower) For example another X299 board I have access to (MSI X299 SLI Plus) would reach the maximum turbo boost faster. The difference is noticeable if you're running spikey "jobs" like gzip or short compile jobs on Linux. You can mitigate this by tuning the frequency governor.
Also this board does not offer something other manufacturers call "enhanced boost". This feature is basically a factory overclock and it boosts several cores to the Turbo Max 3.0 speed (4.5Ghz). The X299 SLI Plus does this. In this "overclocked by default" state it makes the i9-7900X CPU run way over its rated TDP of 140W. The Taichi doesn't do this and there is no option for it in UEFI either, i.e. it conforms to the Intel's spec.
Overall Review: Basically, when compared to MSI X299 SLI Plus, the Taichi X299 uses more conservative defaults: it offers a slightly tamed performance but exchange it gives you cooler temperatures and confidence running it 24/7.
Linux users: to achieve the optimal power/frequency management, make sure to enable both "Speed Step" and "Speed Shift" and select "Native Mode" for "Speed Step". This will enable `intel_pstate` frequency governor in Linux, which you can tune via sysfs on /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policyXX/energy_performance_preference
There's also the option of setting "Speed Step" to be "out-of-band", which I have never seen before. In this mode the CPU becomes completely self-regulating and won't take any inputs from the OS (with pretty decent results, I may add).
Pros: Worked well, while worked. Decent POST times, intuitive BIOS, convenient layout and feature set. RAM LEDs are great for making sure the sticks sit properly.
Cons: Early BIOS versions were rough, it would take a long time to POST. They ironed these out.
Overall Review: A couple of hours after installing the latest BIOS update the computer simply turned off. No signs of life even after trying to cold-boot. Trying a different power supply did not help, will try to return it.
Pros: - Fast
- All-core turbo makes it more like a 4.16Ghz CPU
- Not as hot as reviewers make it look
- Fairly efficient
Cons: - Expensive
- The performance can't be felt on everyday tasks
Overall Review: Well... it was an expensive toy for me. I write code, compile code, run tests, have a couple of browsers with tons of tabs open, run a couple of VMs... All of this under Linux. I upgraded from a i7-4770 which would normally run on its boost clock around 3.7-3.9Ghz on all four cores. The i9-7900x boosts to about 4.16Ghz on all 10 cores and generally single-threaded tasks complete 20% faster. But that's only when I measure them. Otherwise the extra speed is not felt.
Temperatures haven't been a problem for me. I run it air-cooled with Noctua NH-D15S (which itself is quite ridiculous). During the heaviest builds when all 10 cores are maxed out at 100% I observe temperatures of 78-85C.
Well... it feels nice to own such a beast. But frankly for my workloads a Ryzen 1800x would have been a much more sensible purchase.
[EDIT] Actually after doing some heavy compiling on it, I take it back: the performance is pretty insane. Let 3.3Ghz base clock not fool you, because it's only applicable to AVX512 workloads, which isn't something most people do every day. For all intents and purposes it's a 4.16Ghz 10-core Skylake which boosts to 4.5Ghz on two cores when needed. It is more or less twice as fast as my Ryzen 1700 compiling the same projects (and the Ryzen itself was quite an upgrade for me).
What a beast... the performance is simply obscene.
Pros: Does not require additional power
Works out of the box with Linux
Cons: Cheap Loud fan
Does not turn the fan off when it's not needed. Fan is on 100% of the time
Overall Review: I regret buying this. This little thing constantly produces the most annoying buzz/hum in the world, which cannot be silenced even by a high quality case. Also the fan rattles at some speeds.
[EDIT] Actually, if you unplug the fan, it makes a great fanless card! In fact, I removed the fan and the plastic housing completely and the temps for normal desktop use hover around 40C and go up to 60C if I play a YouTube video. And this is probably the worst case scenario, I only have one case fan and it's too far from the GPU, if you have both intake+exhaust case fans I'd expect the temps to be 3-5C cooler. Bottom line: buy the card, rip the stupid noisy fan off.
Pros: - Nearly 100% silent, even with the open case.
- Cools well.
- Super well made.
Cons: - Huge
Overall Review: Holding it for the first time in your hand is quite an experience. It's bigger than you think. You will want to take a selfie with it.
It can be installed in two different orientations, so plan this carefully. In my case the fan is blowing the cold air up, this gives more room for PCIe cards but blocks some memory DIMMs, which fortunately wasn't a problem for me. I highly recommend dry-installing it (without a paste) on a board when it's on a flat surface, before doing it inside the case.
It is silent because it uses a great quality fan which also rotates around 800rpm in my case, keeping the i9-7900x at 32C on idle and I haven't seen the temps above 45C even when I'm compiling.
Pros: - Best combination of frequency & latency
- Amazing speed
- Excellent compatibility with all platforms: AM4/Ryzen, x299, etc
Cons: - A bit pricey
Overall Review: This is not my first kit. As always, getting it to work is trivial with plug & play simplicity: just load the XMP profile and you're done.
Pros: 8 cores are surprisingly noticeable in day-to-day usage
Comes with a high quality cooler
The complete system runs on just 22 Watts!
Cons: Linux support is incomplete. Cannot see CPU temperature while in Linux.
LGA-style package could be better. Careful with the pins!
Overall Review: Running Linux on it, with kernels 4.9 and 4.11 (both are Debian). Everything works as expected, I have not experienced any crashes like some Gentoo users. Compiles my Golang projects at about the same speed as my i7-4770 and i7-5820k machines.
The cpufreq utility never shows me the turbo speeds, the maximum I saw in `/sys/devices/system/cpu/...` was 3Ghz but it does, in fact, boost. I easily overclocked it to 3.7Ghz running with 3200Mhz RAM. In overclocked mode it still uses 3 P-states: 1.55Gz, 2.7Ghz and 3.7Ghz.
On overclocking: it generally makes sense for multi-threaded applications, like compiling. In my case the build times have improved by about 20% going from stock CPU @2,133Mhz RAM to 3.7Ghz CPU @3200Mhz RAM. But it does run quite hot at 3.7Ghz, I could see the temps climb close to 80C running Prime95. So... unless you need more than 2 cores continuously run at full speed, I would recommend keeping it stock: it will "overclock" one or two threads on-demand by boosting to 3.7Ghz without any drama.
Astonishingly power efficient. The entire box sits at just 22 watts on idle. This is just 4 watts more than my single-core low-power Synology NAS. Fantastic machine for running a small cloud of Linux VMs. I also determined that cpufreq ondemand governor does not save you any power, it only chokes performance. Seems like modern CPUs are completely self-regulating and userland CPU frequency tools degrade performance without any power savings. I measured the off-the-wall power draw with both "ondemand" and "performance" governors and the idle draw was pretty much the same, but "performance" governor made my make jobs run 10% faster.
It was surprising to me to actually feel the presence of the extra cores. You can launch heavy make jobs in the background and continue doing whatever else you're doing without a drop in responsiveness.
Pros: - Compact
- Appears to be well made
- Does not require additional power source
Cons: - Linux compatibility is not perfect
- Power consumption at idle is high
Overall Review: I tried using this card in a text-only mode on a Linux server (without even starting X). This means I did not care for performance, I just wanted it to work with the open source APDGPU driver, be cool and silent and consume as little power as possible. The card appears to drink about 20 watts on idle which, as I now understand, is common for video cards in this class. But the fans never stop, even on idle. I am 100% sure this is a driver issue on Linux although I don't understand why I even need a driver for this, why can't it be self-regulating in hardware?
Modular: made my build look tidy
Gorgeously made and packaged
Overall Review: Never expected to find myself writing a review for a power supply! Folks at Seasonic delivered the full "Apple experience" to a power supply user, the unboxing was quite a treat :)
Anyway, works as advertised: it is quiet and very efficient. My Ryzen 1700 build consumes only 22 watts on idle. Also, it only consumes 0.2 watts when the PC is turned off. My other box which uses less fancy PSU consumes almost 2 watts when it's turned off.
Overall Review: Well... it's a very fast SSD. My Linux box boots a bit faster now. I upgraded from Samsung 950 SATA SSD and honestly I do not see any difference in day to day work, but that's because Linux caches everything I use in RAM anyway. Love how tiny it is, this makes Micro-ATX builds much easier.