Threadripper Pro is really a beast

Finally, I have my new desktop machine up and running since May 8th. As I wanted a strong machine for Gentoo development again, I went with an AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3955WX which is a 16-core CPU with 32 threads running at 3.9GHz base frequency. That should be enough for the upcoming six to eight years. As I also have a couple of VMs in use on this machine, I doubled the amount of RAM compared to my old machine and now have not less than 256GB ECC-RAM to play with. That should be enough to compile Gentoo packages in a RAM-disk and run a couple of VMs at the same time.
Finding a suitable mainboard for this CPU was not hard, but obtaining the board was an adventure of its own. I opted for a Supermicro M12SWA-TF board which was announced in January 2021 with a release date of mid 2021. Unfortunately it took over a year until the board was easily available.
Having this machine now also means an end to my dual CPU-socket usage on desktop systems. I see this as an improvement because that way the mainboard has more space for other stuff and features I consider important for a modern motherboard.

I only had few annoyances while installing Gentoo on that machine. Unfortuantely I couldn't use a Gentoo-clone from my old desktop machine on the new machine because... well... -march=native on my old AMD Bulldozer CPUs produced binaries that don't run on a Threadripper CPU. That is the first time I found AMD-CPUs not being fully downward compatible.
So I went with a fully-blown stage1 installation (as I am used to do since 2003) and simply installed all packages that the world file from my old machine contained. Configuring the kernel and grub was another challenge. I somehow had trouble getting grub being recognized by UEFI and I had to take about half a dozen attempts to get a bootable kernel configured.

Speaking of this machine I should also mention Arsimael who donated an Asus Radeon RX 5700 XT GPU to this system which I would not have been able to afford otherwise.

This machine really is a beast compared to my old machine. Compiling gcc-11 went down from 1:49h to 29 minutes by less than half of the power consumption. That is simply... WOW! Now all I need to do is replacing all the loud chassis fans with Noctuas.


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