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Tech Junky

Part of the Furniture
So, I started on this little adventure ~2 months ago now to convert from a spinning Raid 10 setup to something a bit better. Trials and tribulations of rebuilding to 4xM2 raid to switching gears to a U.3 drive.



Things I've learned through this process is don't assume things will work and be stable because the path / parts chain mesh up on a technical level. I've tested / swapped / rebuilt this system a few times now in the past 2 months and putting the final nail in the coffin hopefully with this AMD conversion.

Having had the 2 Micron failures I switched to Kioxia to see if it was just a brand issue. Well, so far the KX drive is working great other than some IO errors being reported which was a symptom the Micron's were exhibiting as well and potential cause of the failures. I switched from PCB adapter / mounted option to a PCIE / cable setup. Well, initially when doing the cable option I found 100CM cable was too long for the signal to pass back to the MOBO which meant switching to a 50CM cable which prompted the necessary changes be made due to the PCIE change registering in the OS. However I was still seeing an issue with the drive and moved the card to a different slot (which I didn't do w/ the 2nd Micron) but, moved my NIC to the slot the drive was in and it's not having issues there. Well, the drive is still stable for the most part other than the occasional reboot needed to bring it online again after it switches to R/O for some reason. I dug into the logs and found it might be due to it thinking it's dirty and needs a fsck. Well, I caught it the other day and dismounted the drive and ran the check and remounted it and it's been fine. So, mystery solved? Well, not really because why are the IO errors coming up to begin with? I didn't have the issue with the spinners but, they were direct wired to the MOBO SATA ports..... Others have posted setting up these U NVME drives and no mention of issues with a variety of adapters / cables / etc.

Anyway... I've been thinking about switching to AMD again for a few years for some niche features but, the price / performance vs Intel has been out of whack for quite awhile. Now, that things have come to parity though AMD has a bit of an edge at the same price point.

1. bifurcation - AMD does it / Intel doesn't unless you go X299 / Xeon
2. it's not Intel / plays into my first build back in the 90's and rooting for the underdog

While Intel has had a bit of an edge until AM5 they're on equal footings now and AMD offers more threads / higher clocks for the same price for when you want / need them. At least when comparing 1x700K vs 7900X.

With AMD forcing the DDR 5 for AM5 it brought the prices back down to reality unlike the initial launch of ADL back in '21 where 16GB was listed for $150 if you could even get your hands on it where now it's 32GB for $75 in ample stock.

I think doing a rebuild now makes more sense than dropping ~$200 on yet another Intel board. Might as well just make the move while the market is right in terms of price / tech. Things you need anyway when it comes to gremlins like this drive issue due to what I think is the MOBO being the root cause for the issues. If I have to spend the $ on a new board anyway why not make it worthwhile? What's the point of spending for the same performance?

There are some issues though between the two...

Chipset bandwidth gets chopped from x8 on Intel to x4 on AMD which makes things interesting if you plan on using all of the slots / storage options. Putting a Gen4 drive on the AMD chipset kneecaps the performance if anything else is talking at the same time.

Slot allocation of lanes gets funky as well more so on the AMD side as well. I noticed MSI was the worst offender for allocating lanes and doing so in an odd way. Asus / ASR / GB weren't too bad. I debated over all 3 and trying to roll features into the baked in board vs adding cards. The Proart board met some of those but, the slot allocations if you used more than a single card would throw off things in the future if I wanted to add more dives w/ a particular card / adapter that needs all x16 to split them into x4's for use. Some boards went to the extreme of doing a x8/x4 split or the bottom slot dropping as low as Gen3 x2. Try finding something that operates at x2 and it's hard to do. The only thig I could find feasible was a CF/SD reader that hit really high speeds. I did manage to find a niche 10GE NIC that slots into a G4 x1 as a potential item to play with before considering using TB instead to link two systems for cheaper and faster.

Considering the shift in how OEMs allocate things on their designs and a looser playing field on the AMD side it makes thing interesting to say the least when you look beyond a typical user setup. In general though the market is shifting to less slots more sockets and weird allocations. I suppose the generational leaps in the past few years moved the needle on some of this though as higher bandwidth means less need for quantity. Though the need to runu 3 x GPUs has diminished with G4/G5 slots being available it would still be nice to find an option that's not 3-slot GPU oriented to allow for more cards to be used. Keep the density of the slots and disable them if you sense a GPU in the slot above. Makes more sense to me especially at these price levels.

Not really related to design but, there seems to be an issue with using more than 2 RAM slots with quite a few of these boards and UEFI updates to remediate them over the past 6 months. I think most people anticipated this with the new platform and all being released. Seems though in 6 months there's the new platform / refresh coming with the 8 series CPUs and potential chipset upgrade. Not sure how the AMD cycle compares to Intel yet as it wasn't much of a focus in the past for me. Sounds like there's going to be some trade offs with the next gen though in terms of performance.

I guess I'll give you what you want in terms of config / build....

1695742122760.png


A lot of this is a port over from the current build or spare parts since some things won't work with current Intel but might/do with AMD. Which just sparked an idea to check something that became an issue with ADL and beyond... I'm also switching the networking from my 5GE quad port card to the 2.5 dual port to save space and if the TB networking works properly there's no need for 5GE when I can get 40GE from the cable. If my idea that just came to me to check something for compatibility could eliminate one of the ETH port needs which changes things a bit and might sway me to just putting a couple of 10GE ports inside for the network side. There's so many options though to find the balance between performance / needs / cost. If the option works swapping that 2.5 card for a 10GE will make some sense in terms of raising the baseline network speed when needed as ISPs keep bumping the speed limit upwards as time goes by.

Now to just wait for sellers on the Intel BE200 cards. Mouser.com has them list at $20/ea but not for sale yet. If Intel does what they normally do there's a waiting period from announce to sale like with their CPU / MOBO embargo. Would make more sense than using the old AX210 since AMD doesn't support / do CNVIO allowing me to reuse the AX411 in there right now that does 1.7gbps vs AX210 that tops out at 1.2gbps. Waiting a couple of weeks for the BE200 isn't a huge deal to swap out later though. Looks like they're projecting for week of black friday but, that is just a place holder I'm guessing at this point. It's a backup option anyway for attaching to the ISP device.
 
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