Ar­mari Mag­ne­tar S16-TRT1000G2

A bril­liant show­case for AMD’s Threadripper and Vega, pro­vid­ing a huge amount of power

PC Pro - - November 2017 Issue 277 - JAMES MOR­RIS

SCORE ✪✪✪✪✪ PRICE £3,795 (£4,554 inc VAT) from ar­mari.com

Our first taste of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper comes in the form of Ar­mari’s Mag­ne­tar S16-TRT1000G2. This uses one of Ar­mari’s cus­tom chas­sis de­signs, but it’s far from the small form fac­tor of the V25 ( see is­sue 270, p82). In­stead, this is the kind of sys­tem that may house mul­ti­ple graph­ics cards and stor­age de­vices dur­ing its life.

The sys­tem in­cludes the top Ryzen Threadripper 1950X in­stalled in an ASRock X399 Taichi moth­er­board. Ar­mari part­ners AMD’s 16-core processor with 64GB of PC3200 Cor­sair Vengeance LPX DDR4 mem­ory in four DIMMs. This takes ad­van­tage of the quad-chan­nel mem­ory ar­chi­tec­ture pro­vided by Threadripper, while four ad­di­tional empty slots al­low room for a fu­ture up­grade to the 128GB max­i­mum of the moth­er­board. The CPU is kept cool by Ar­mari’s cus­tom SPX-A57LX wa­ter-cool­ing sys­tem.

The sec­ond piece of cut­ting-edge AMD hard­ware in the Mag­ne­tar is its Radeon Vega Fron­tier Edi­tion graph­ics ( see p55). This mem­ber of AMD’s pro­fes­sional Radeon Pro range sports 4,096 stream pro­ces­sors and 16GB of HBM2 mem­ory, promis­ing high-grade per­for­mance and sup­port for large 3D tex­ture sets.

Ar­mari’s stor­age choice fol­lows the norm: solid state disk for OS and apps, reg­u­lar hard disk for gen­eral stor­age. How­ever, the choices in both cases couldn’t be much bet­ter. The SSD is a 480GB Kingston KC1000 M.2 NVMe unit. This pushes the bound­aries of NVMe with sus­tained read­ing rates of over 2.9GB/sec, and writ­ing over 2.2GB/sec. The 4TB Western Dig­i­tal Gold Dat­a­cen­ter hard disk is a 7,200rpm SATA unit of­fer­ing com­mend­able read­ing and writ­ing speeds above 200MB/sec.

There’s plenty of room for up­grades, too. The moth­er­board has an­other two NVMe-ca­pa­ble M.2 head­ers, and six fur­ther SATA con­nec­tions. The chas­sis has three hot-swap bays free sup­port­ing 3.5in or 2.5in drives, and two 2.5in bays free for SATA SSDs. The chas­sis, de­spite its size, only has room for a slim­line op­ti­cal drive – Ar­mari in­cludes a LiteOn 8x DVD writer – but there’s no space for a multi-for­mat mem­ory card reader.

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X pow­ered the Mag­ne­tar to a phe­nom­e­nal Maxon Cinebench R15 ren­der­ing score of 3,346, and an over­all PC Pro bench­mark score of 414 – one of the high­est we’ve ever seen. Its SPECview­perf 12.1 scores show that its 3D mod­el­ling abil­i­ties are top-notch too, with 151.6 in the 3ds­max-05 test and 116.5 in maya-04, al­though only 118.1 in sw-03. The Mag­ne­tar is also a whizz for OpenCL, man­ag­ing 5,556 in LuxMark 3.1, so GPGPU ren­der­ing soft­ware us­ing AMD’s ProRen­der plugin will fly on this sys­tem.

Al­though the Ar­mari Mag­ne­tar S16-TRT1000G2 is hardly a bud­get sys­tem at £4,554 inc VAT, you get a huge amount of work­sta­tion for your money. Its ren­der­ing and en­cod­ing abil­ity is close to sys­tems cost­ing twice as much, and it’s very ca­pa­ble for mod­el­ling too. Ar­mari shows, be­yond doubt, that AMD now has a vi­able con­tender in the work­sta­tion mar­ket.

SPEC­I­FI­CA­TIONS 3.4GHz AMD Ryzen 7 Threadripper clocked to 4GHz 64GB 3,200MHz DDR4 SDRAM AMD Radeon Vega Fron­tier Edi­tion graph­ics with 16GB HBM2 mem­ory 480GB Kingston KC1000 M.2 NVMe SSD 4TB Western Dig­i­tal Gold Dat­a­cen­ter 7,200rpm SATA hard disk LiteOn 8x DVD writer 1,000W PSU Win­dows 10 Pro­fes­sional 64-bit 3yr war­ranty (1yr on-site plus 2yr RTB)

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