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willi_jan9393

Recommended CPU and MB for my new build

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Hey guys,

 

i'm going to setup up a new unraid server in the next weeks. Currently i'm wondering what CPU and MB i should choose.

 

My favourite setup looks like

 

  • AMD Ryzen 5 2600
  • ASRock Rack X470D4U
  • 32 GB ECC-RAM Kingston

 

It's quite affordable und has enough cores/threads.

 

But I have read about several issues (e.g. the lack of official ECC support from AMD) with unraid and ryzen. Would you rather go for Intel or Ryzen in my use case?

 

The unraid box has to the handle the following tasks:

 

  • Media Server (40 TB) for 1-5 clients
  • Dockers (Emby/jellyfin, UniFi, nextcloud, Bitwarden, deluge-vpn, letsencrypt, duckdns, syncthing, and maybe some more)
  • VMs (up to two Win10 VMs at the same time) (no gaming)
  • DVR for 2 cams with shinobi

 

Would are your hardware recommendations for my needs?

 

Thank you very much for your support!

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After taking a look at your proposed setup and what you want to accomplish, you should be okay**. The only thing I would add would be a GPU to help with transcoding (assuming you plan to share your media library outside your home). A P400 would be a good ~$75 option that would only take up 1 PCIe slot, use very little power, and give your CPU more power to run your other VM's/Docker containers.

 

**Now, I have looked down this Ryzen/UnRAID/X470D4U path for quite a while (over the last or so since it was first announced). On paper, it should like a slam dunk for processing power, IPMI, and efficiency at a fantastic price. The more you dig deeper on this combination though, the more warts you're going to run into. Here's a list of things that have come up from my research that has me concerned:

  • This motherboard is essentially a first-of-its-kind type motherboard. With that, there have been a ton of bugs that have been found and not all of them have been worked out as of right now. Not to mention since this motherboard is a server motherboard, updates come out very slowly. Most consumer motherboards for Ryzen are on the latest AGESA but this one is at least one full one behind. That isn't likely to change. They are working on updates but you'll have to be very patient.
  • The ASRock Rack support for this motherboard isn't bad but it looks like the team working on it is rather small and limited. ASRock hasn't made this motherboard a priority and it shows in a lot of ways.
  • There are USB 2.0 ports and serious lack of USB 3.0 ports overall.
  • You'll probably need to make the changes below in your BIOS/BMC to get UnRAID working properly and stable. They might not all be needed but they seem to be more commonly used especially with Zen 2 processors and if you're using something in the PCIE x8 slot.RyzenCapture.JPG.27b7c52a4ffb38f91821c3943b02fee1.JPG 
  • Unless you're using the Wraith style cooler that comes with your processor (or any of the Wraith coolers), beware that you'll probably run into issues with clearance with the first ram slot. For some reason they put the mounting brackets perpendicular to how all other Ryzen motherboards are done. I'm not saying Noctua or other brands can't be used, but it's going to take some research and work on your part to see that it's going to fit properly and not hit your ram
  • Ryzen in general seems to have more issues that Intel when it comes to UnRAID. I know there are tons of people out there that don't run into issues but if you check out most of the UnRAID update announcements and bug threads, you'll see Ryzen listed a lot more than others having trouble.
  • Although ECC technically works with this motherboard and Ryzen, it's not known exactly what errors it can detect and where they're coming from. If you're looking for full ECC compatibility, this motherboard and CPU combination is not going to give that to you. This thread is a good read on the subject: https://www.ixsystems.com/community/threads/freenas-build-with-10gbe-and-ryzen.77752/
  • If you plan on upgrading to a Zen 2 processor, there is a whole host of things that you aren't going to be able to do properly yet due to the kernel UnRAID is currently on and the AGESA that the motherboard is using. Now, this will obviously change over time but for the time being, it's not fully operational in a feature sense.

 

Now, none of this is to scare you away from doing a build with this processor and motherboard. I simply wanted to inform you on some of things I have learned. At this moment unless you need IPMI, I would suggest using a ASRock X470 Taichi or ASUS X470-Pro instead. Both get updates faster and ECC ram is said to work on both of those motherboards.

 

If you want to learn the most there is know about the X470D4U, I highly suggest you read this thread in its entirety (I know it's crazy long):  https://forum.level1techs.com/t/asrock-rack-has-created-the-first-am4-socket-server-boards-x470d4u-x470d4u2-2t/139490

 

At the moment, I'm leaning toward a Intel Xeon E-2288G build. That would be way outside what you'd be paying for your Ryzen build, so I would suggest something cheaper like a E-2136 (or E-2146G if you want to use QuickSync) and a Supermicro X11SCA-F (preferably) or ASRock E3C246D4U. It would cost you a bit more, limit your upgrade path, and give you slightly less performance but you'd have a very solid and stable combination. I hate giving money to Intel but as of right now, AMD just isn't as plug and play as Intel for UnRAID. 

Edited by ramblinreck47

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Why do you think you need ECC?

You are not running FreeNAS (ZFS to be exact) nor an enterprise server. For home uses of Unraid, ECC is just a waste of money.

 

Are you looking to do PCIe pass through?

 

Are your clients 1080p? or 4k? or mix of both?

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Thanks for your replies. 
 

Transcoding is not needed, because all clients will use direct playback. I chose the ASRock rack Mainboard, because I don’t want to buy a dedicated GPU. This MB has an onboard GPU.

 

Do you think the noctua NH-D9A would fit while using all ram slots?

 

I would like to passthrough an Intel pcie nic to a Win10 VM.

 

I will now take a closer look to your suggestion with Intel Xeon.

 

What do think how many cores I need in general for my demand?

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16 minutes ago, willi_jan9393 said:

Thanks for your replies. 
 

Transcoding is not needed, because all clients will use direct playback. I chose the ASRock rack Mainboard, because I don’t want to buy a dedicated GPU. This MB has an onboard GPU.

 

Do you think the noctua NH-D9A would fit while using all ram slots?

 

I would like to passthrough an Intel pcie nic to a Win10 VM.

 

I will now take a closer look to your suggestion with Intel Xeon.

 

What do think how many cores I need in general for my demand?

I haven't heard of that Noctua heatsink before? Are you sure you didn't mean the NH-U9S or NH-D9L? With most Noctua heatsinks, it's hard to tell. You'd still probably need the AM4 conversion kit with it if you want the fan pointed out the back of your case. You can either buy it from Amazon for like $8 or get it for free from Noctua (have to provide a receipt for your heatsink and wait for probably several weeks). Or if I end up actually going with Intel here soon, I can just send you the one I bought for free.

 

I mean 6 cores and 12 threads should be fine if you're keeping your VM's simple and you're not planning on transcoding. Obviously, more cores and threads would give you more power and versatility. With a Ryzen 7 2700, you'd get a decent upgrade in that regard for only like $50. It would cost quite a bit more if you were going from a E-2136 to a E-2278G, which is the next step up in cores and threads for Intel.

 

I disagree with @testdasi on ECC and UnRAID. If you're doing a completely new build and are going with Ryzen, why not use ECC? Once UnRAID is booted, it runs on your ram. Wouldn't you like a little more dependability and transparency for just a few more dollars? Of course it's not really "needed" but I think for a few extra dollars it's a good buy and will hold its value longer than normal ram. Now, with Intel, yeah, it's quite a bigger step in price because the Xeon line costs more for equivalent performance but it also retains its value really well.

Edited by ramblinreck47

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ECC is useless until you have a RAM error. How often does that happen? Not too often. But when it happens, I'd rather the error either be corrected if it's possible, or if not at least detect the error and shut down instead of silently corrupting my data. A bad stick of RAM can cause all sorts of havoc if not caught quickly.

 

It all depends on your risk tolerance.

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I look at ECC as insurance, I won't need it, until I need it. Better to have it than spend hours trying to pin point an error in memory which isn't always easy to find.

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I built a server for someone with this board and a Ryzen 3600 w/32GB ECC.  Works great.  Best thing about this board, if you work with servers, is the BMC.  The AST2500 is much improved over the AST2300 in my current server.

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Thank you very much for help! I think I will go for a Ryzen build then.

It's quite a lot of money to save in comparison to a xeon build.

  • AMD Ryzen 7 2700

  • ASRock Rack X470D4U

  • 32 GB ECC Memory

  • 2 x Samsung SATA SSD for caching

  • WD Red 10TB data drives

Hopefully I won't have major problems with it and anything works fine...

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2 hours ago, witalit said:

What's the price of that build?

AMD Ryzen 7 2700 - 150 €

ASRock Rack X470D4U - 220 €

32 GB ECC Memory - 180 €

 

location: Germany

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