Description

We were commissioned to build this machine for customer running Cinema 4D and Redshift. The machine sits in a server room 200 feet away from the editor.

We and our customer are primarily Apple/macOS based, this was our first custom Windows machine build since 2002. Our customer is a post production house that has begun taking on 3D work. This machine performed flawlessly for its first project. On to more...

The build went well overall but was not without a few snags.

We received the motherboard damaged. Looked like it had fallen off the conveyer belt and was scraped up off the floor and flopped back into the box, upside down and with the plastic shield missing. The Asus packaging has no anti-tamper seals so we didn't know the contents were tampered with because we didn't know what to expect. The box was a bit damaged, which is what led us to further inspect. B&H was great about the return and refunded some extra money for our trouble but we are still left a bit concerned. How a motherboard could be tampered with and the end user may not know. What software could be installed before the end user gets ahold of it?

Watch out! The metal shield on the bottom of the motherboard made it so that the rubber grommets in the BeQuiet case had to first be removed so the motherboard sat flush with the mounting board. Then the grommets could be put back in. A concern is that if an end user does not notice this and tries to tighten the mobo down onto the grommets and damages the mobo.

The Asus software for controlling RGB is unreliable. Fortunately we did not sell this option to the customer.

Non native Asus software makes setting up shortcuts and the like more difficult. Harder to deliver an easy to use product to the end user.

Not a big deal, but making the mobo serial number sticker bright pink was surprising. Nothing a little black electrical tape couldn't hide. This wasn't meant to be a pretty machine, but come on! ;)

The GPUs wouldn't throttle fans on their own, stayed at POST speeds (LOW!). Had to use MSI Afterburner (set fans to auto), Asus GPU software wasn't as good in our opinion. Glad we figured all that out before the GPUs burned up. Created a fans-on-high setting for long renders.

RDP ended up taking us 99% of the way and then dumping us on our face. The workstation is placed in a server room and the end user uses from an edit suite 200 feet away. Remote Desktop worked for everything except using camera controls in Cinema 4D. We ended up using a 4K KVM over IP (even works through network switches) and that did the trick just fine.

Still working on getting the Asus 5G networking to work. We have a 10G network and everything else is connecting at 10G just fine.

The Seasonic PSU came with a great assortment of cables. The odd thing is that it suggests that you use a dedicated power cable for each power connector on a GPU like the 2080. Yet, all they supply are GPU cables with dual connectors, which makes for install that's messier than necessary and adds extra airflow obstruction ahead of the GPU.

The BeQuiet case is great. A bit surprising that the PSU cover, while a nice touch, was so thin. When tightened down, it bends over the foam gasket. The large bend is the only blemish and a bit obvious. So close! BE-CAREFUL!!! The font cover on the case has an indentation on the bottom that looks like a place to hold the case to carry from underneath. It's not! You can get the case about an inch off the surface before it drops back down, because this is only a fan cover. Risky design, especially given there's no other good way to pick the case up.

Thanks for all the help from pcpartpicker.com!

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Comments

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build. Like the KVM-over-IP solution, although this would have been an ideal application of Corning optical Thunderbolt 3 cable... if they would ever release it.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

The $300-ish KVM solution was favored over the $6k used for day traders and the like. Or, for broadcast quality. Downside was that the receiver generated an error and wasn't recognized so Windows disabled it. Once we plugged the receiver into a USB hub and the hub into the tower it worked just fine. Unless the machine sleeps and the hub goes to sleep. Always something, LOL.

We have an armored 24 strand optical whip that connects the two suites. Between two brick buildings thatare connected together, that was some work. So we wanted to use the existing network. Having 6 strands left and set aside for future projects, we opted to go through the 10G copper network. It's linked at each end via dual 10G optical. The KVM gear is DIP switch controllable for addresses making it easy to setup and distribute on an IP network, even through switches. No point-to-point needed. This was a huge advantage.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Very clean build. Yeah, Seasonic cables can sometimes take some work to tame. It personally drove me down the path of custom sleeving. Great to see a build of the Silent Base 801 in silver. I was caught up in a confusion over the last available silver in stock and eventually settled for the orange.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. We got lots of oohs and ahhhs from the customer and staff. An award winning post house with new, loaded, Mac Pros. So that was cool being able to hang with all of that. Of course they have a half height Storm Trooper at the door as you walk into the suite with the server room. Felt like we were delivering a component to an Imperial Cruiser or something. 😆

It would be nice if BQ made a custom front plate for the existing case that was closer to an open face. So the filter wasn't all exposed like underwear when the cover's taken off. Would use different power cables for the GPUs, if not housed in a server room.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build, write-up and pictures. Thanks and congratulations!

A feature build perhaps?

Enjoy!

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Very happy overall.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Two RTX 2080 Ti but only a 3900x. You should have gotten a 3rd Gen Threadripper instead and only 1 2080 Ti. Also, nice build!

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

perhaps his work is more gpu intensive. 3rd gen threadripper is also incredibly expensive

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thanks.

We didn't want to make a machine that was upgradable in the future by hindering what it could do in the present. We did keep everything PCI 4.0 compliant, but C4D and Redshift do not support this yet. Wanted as many PCI lanes as we could get, with as many cores, with as fast a CPU boost speed possible that could support the fastest Nivida GPU combo possible with as much VRAM as possible. Then a solid mobo with stable temps that would accept the 3900x with no mucking about. Time is money.

Then all of it needed to be stable and easy enough to use it could be delivered to a customer and immediately be used to generate revenue on a deadline. 😳

The BIOS flash port is awesome!

We wanted 5G or better network connectivity without adding a card because most motherboards don't easily support more than 2 GPUs while allowing for other cards. At least not without a crammed case. And we wanted to stay air cooled.

C4D and Redshift benefit from the additional GPU, especially when it comes to the shared memory. As it was our customer's first 3d machine we decided to stay on the mid-ground and just only at the edge of the curve. Wanted to stay with tested gear but as new as possible. It blew the iMac Pro they were using out of the water. This machine was faster than what they needed, so far.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

I do see. If your customer wanted to get 5G or better network connectivity. You should have got the MSI Prestige X570 Creation becasue of it being on of the only motherboards on the X570 Chipset with 10G built in networking card. If your customer did want fast render speeds you mention keeping the build PCIE4.0 compliant but you linked two 512 970 Evo NVME SSDS. You should have gotten Cosair, Sabrent Rocket, or Gigabyte's PCIE 4.0 Drives. I do see why your customer got 2 GPUS to narrow down the rendering speeds and maximise their workflow. I do VMware Workstation and it requires most of the computer from CPU, RAM, to a little bit of GPU. I guess everyones need for work is different. Thank You.