Shut up! MEG is the best of the X399s?!

Subject: Motherboards | September 25, 2018 - 02:35 PM |
Tagged: X399, Threadripper, msi, MEG X399 Creation, amd

The joke might be getting old but Threadripper motherboard reviews certainly are not.  MSI's MEG Creation has been the base of [H]ard|OCP's Threadripper testing from the start and they have gotten to know the board completely.  It is expensive, with a price around $500, however if you can afford it there are an immense amount of features on this board and the performance is top notch.  Drop by for a closer look at one of the most impressive consumer motherboards currently on the market.

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"MSI’s MEG X399 CREATION motherboard gets put to the test like no motherboard we’ve ever reviewed to date. We beat the hell out of this motherboard on all of our test benches over the last month. We used the MEG for most all our Threadripper 2990WX and 2950X testing so we have a good handle on just how good it is."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

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September 25, 2018 | 04:24 PM - Posted by GigaRaysDividedBy1000ThenMultipliedByTheFrameTime (not verified)

Buildzoid and MEG sitting in a tree K I S S I N G!

September 26, 2018 | 03:43 AM - Posted by ColossalCollapse (not verified)

...but the amount money you spent taking her out before she allowed you to kiss her. She makes you broke...

September 26, 2018 | 12:27 PM - Posted by LustingForMemoryChannelsMoreThanVRMs (not verified)

For Not much more one can get the single socket Gigabyte Epyc/SP3 motherboard that comes with 128 PCIe lanes and 8 memory channels across 16 DIMM slots, and MB integrated dual 10GB NIC/other extras. That GB server MB also supports P2P protocol between 2 GPU acceleators, GMI/xGMI maybe(?), for Radeon Instinct SKUs.

There are even some cheepo Supermicro Epyc/SP3 dual scoket MB's with only one DIMM slot pre memory channel that still provide 16 DIMM slots across 2 sockets(8 memory channels/socket) for 16 memory channels of bandwidth and that same 128 PCIe lanes for less cost than the MEG creation.

So the MEG may be great for overclocking but if total memory channels/memory bandwidth are what you need then you can not beat Epyc/SP3 for that. I'd rather go with 2, 16 core Epyc CPU SKUs across 16 memory channels(8 per socket) and populate that with low cost low capacity DIMMs and get the memory bandwidth advantage.

Gaming can be done better on any 16 core TR but you know the overclockers love them some MEG and VRMs, so let them pay for their OC habit.
[off on some tagent begins here]

GlobalFoundries will still be cranking out 14nm Zen first generation Epyc/Naples SKUs as AMD has only first generation Zen/Epyc certified by its server clients currently for usage. Zen 2 will only go into volume production in 2019(On TMSC's 7nm) and the customers will take their time certifying Epyc/Rome also as server SKUs take time to be fully certified. So GF will still be hard pressed to keep up at 14nm what with the shortage of Intel parts making many look towards Epyc/Naples server SKUs.

GF is doing Zen Epyc/Naples and Zen+/Ryzen and Raven Ridge desktop and mobile also. So GF will be still be fabbing Zen/Epyc's Zeppelin 14nm Dies for some many more years. Consumer variants are quickly obsolete but server chip SKUs have to come with guaranteed extended availablity as a pre-condition for server market usage. So GF will be doing some 14nm Zen Epyc/Naples production longer as well as any 12nm Raven Ridge/Ryzen and maybe even Polaris refresh refresh at 12nm in the rumors prove true.

Polaris at 12nm(Rumored) and GF's Fab Capaciry still needing more if Epyc/Naples sales volumes start to rise quciker than anticipated thaks to Intel's poor planning is good news for GF. And AMD will sure be thanking Intel for that little bit of extra server revenue potential even though Intel will be very unhappy about that.

What some folks do not realise is that GF Licensed that 14nm process from Samsung and if there is any production Constraints for TSMCs' or Samsung's 7nm well then GF still has those EUV machines and could rent Fab Capacity out if needed for any other's needs. GF's spun off ASIC business will be doing just that if any of its clients need such foundry process nodes below 14 or 12nm.

[off on some tagent ends here]

Anyone that claims that TR/X399 is best for workststion usage does not really know about Epyc/SP3 and 2 to 4 times the Memory Channels and twice the PCIe lanes as TR/X399.

16 core non "P" Epyc SKUs are relatively affordable even compared to 16 core TR costs if your are doing a dual socket Epyc/SP3 build to get those 16 memory channels of bandwidth.

September 26, 2018 | 03:20 PM - Posted by ColossalCollapse (not verified)

You seemed to have missed that little eight-letter word in "consumer motherboard". The one that starts with "c" and ends with "onsumer". Nothing you would buy if you are serious about computing in whatever form.

Your comparision, while not pointless, provides little for the target audience of this board. However it compares in price or in features to professional products, the target audience for this board here would shun professional products simply because they are missing a gaudy appearance and lack blinkenlights. The end.

September 26, 2018 | 05:24 PM - Posted by PoorBubbaCsMoneyDoneGoneByBy (not verified)

Yes MEG is a Bubba's motherboard but with only 64 PCIe lanes and 4 memory channels and all the enthusiasts screaming Threadripper and Workstation in the same sentence.

And I usually read that as: let's get plenty of affiliate link hits and that cut of the action! So that "C" is well known but some Folks really need to not be fooled by any affiliate marketing speak and Really Look at more Price/Feature and Price/Total Memory Bandwidth Performance.

That MEG is still overpriced compared to even some server MB's if one looks at some MB's-Total-Price/Number of PCIe lanes and MB's-Total-Price/Number of Memory Channels.

So Bubba the "C" is a fool getting ready to be displaced from his money and all that! But there are folks that are not necessarily looking to game on TR/TR2 and they can also be fooled into thinking that CPU clock speed is everything and are not really looking at total memory bandwidth available over 8 or 16 memory channels and also what 128 PCIe lanes can mean for whatever NON gaming Workstation workloads than can be done better by Epyc/SP3 and not by TR2/X399.

So that's just out there so some other Non Bubba type "C" folks can really think about things more clearly and look more towards their Non Gaming needs that will be better served by having 8 or 16 memory channels and 128 PCIe 3.0 lanes that the Epyc/SP3 single and dual socket systems can offer. There are some very low cost 16 core Epyc variants out there that can be doubled up and not cost much more than a TR2/32 core. So that's for the non Bubba C folks so they can step back and think about doing a proper cost/benefit analysis for systems to meet their non gameing Many CPU core workstation needs.(Moar Cores with Moar Memory Channels and Moar PCIe 3.0 lanes)

So MBs with plenty of DIMM slots that can be populated with more affordable smaller capacity DIMMs and still see the total system memory be 64GB or 128GB/larger in size. That sort of memory populating latitude does not come with having only 4 memory channels and 8 DIMM slots. There are dual socket Epyc/SP3 MBs costing less than MEG and those trashy LEDs!

MEG has a Bubba Memory Bandwidth disease that SP3 can sure cure that for any folks wanting loads memory bandwidth rather than loads of useless Flashing lights and funky metal shiny doodads.

With 2 Epyc 7301 16 core SKUs at around $825 each for a total of $1650 +-$75(pricing fluctuations over MSRP) and a lower cost dual socket MB for less than $500 with only 8 DIMMs per socket is still 16 total memory channels of bandwidth topping goodness. And that low MB cost comes at only one DIMM per channel on the below $500 2P Epyc/SP3 cheapo MBs offered, but still that 16 memory channels across 2 sockets all Infinity Fabric linked up. That 2/16 core SKUs that each get their 8 memory channels at 16 total across 2 cores that can be NUMA(localized/2 channels per 8 core Zeppelin die) or UMA(shared across the dual sockets and all Zepellin dies/cores). That's some total effective memory bandwidth and plenty of PCIe connectivity over 128 PCIe lanes.

Looks like TR 2 2900WX is running in the $1750-$1850 range and only 4 memory channels! It's got the clockspeed for sure but not the memory bandwidth of 1 7301 and 2 of the 7301 SKUs on a sub $500 MB is not a bad deal for any bandwidth loving workloads. I think that Linus Torvalds could do plenty of Linux Kernel compiling rather nicely with that much bandwidth available across 32 cores(for 2, 7301 SKUs) and the 7301 SKU still gets 64MB of L3 for its 16 cores with 128MB total L3 across 2 of the 7301 SKUs.

It's not like Epyc costs like Intel's Xeon Really Costs so SKY High compared to consumer Intel offerings! For AMD Epyc/SP3 SKUs the server options can look counterintuitive price wise even when compared to the C for consumer Threadripper 2, 32 core SKUs. But Epyc's Price/PCIe lane and Price/Memory channel is actually lower than consumer TR/TR2 becasue there are 8 memory channels per socket and 128 PCIe 3.0 lanes on the Epyc/SP3 offerings. So even if the Epyc/SP3 motherbaord cost more the Price/Feature metric will be much lower.

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