IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Armari Magnetar X64T-G3 FWL review: Huge in every way

An absolutely monster workstation, with 3D rendering and video encoding both best in class

IT Pro Recommended
Price
£5,597 exc VAT
  • Spectacular rendering speeds
  • Speedy storage
  • Reasonable all-round performance
  • No top-mounted USB-C

Armari is one of few manufacturers to supply a chassis that it designed itself, rather than taking something high quality off the shelf. This enclosure is intended specifically to get the most out of the 64-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X and comes with a 420mm radiator, plus a trio of 140mm Corsair fans. However, Armari has chosen to supply our sample with the 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X, rather than the 64-core monster.

This is most likely because the 3970X has a base clock of 3.7GHz, whereas the 3990X starts at 2.9GHz. Although the 3990X’s top Turbo mode is still an impressive 4.3GHz, the chip is more skewed towards dominance with multithreaded tasks than the all-round brilliance of the 3970X, so the latter makes more sense for a general-purpose workstation. 

To accompany this CPU, Armari has only included 64GB of 3,600MHz DDR4 SDRAM, supplied as a quartet of 16GB DIMMs. We say “only”, but this should still be enough for virtually any current task, and there are four more slots free if you feel the need to upgrade.

Unlike Scan, Armari hasn’t opted for the all-conquering Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000 for graphics acceleration. Instead, it supplies the less powerful RTX 5000, but this is still a potent card. It sports 3,072 CUDA cores and 16GB of GDDR6 frame buffer, offering 448GB/sec of bandwidth, so it should make light work of every real-time 3D task, from modelling to CAD to scientific visualisation.

Armari supplies two identical 1TB Corsair PM600 M.2 NVMe SSDs. These are PCI Express 4 drives, and Armari has striped them together as RAID0 to further increase performance. You get the full 2TB in this configuration, and sustained throughput is virtually doubled to 8,944MB/sec when reading and 8,407MB/sec when writing. 

You don’t get a hard disk for storing larger files, but Armari’s custom design pays dividends for expanding storage. There are four bays that can accommodate 3.5in or 2.5in drives, and you can optionally add four more for 2.5in drives only. The downside is this chassis’ sheer size, measuring more than 500mm deep and high. It’s also extremely heavy. Still, Armari installs helpful carry handles on the top to help move it.

One criticism is the lack of USB-C amongst the ports on the top of the chassis, although this is a removable module so we urge Armari to offer this (note the Type-C header on the ASRock TRX40 Creator motherboard). The board also sports not just 10Gbit Ethernet but 2.5Gbit, too, so you can have two fast LAN connections. 

In our own benchmarks, this system was only slightly quicker than Armari’s cheaper 24-core offering, and notably behind Scan’s high-end system and Workstation Specialists’ submission. The overall result of 655 is still phenomenal, though, with excellent scores in every area, and the Magnetar sat top of the pile for purely processor-intensive tasks. The score of 18,388 in Maxon Cinebench R20 is the fastest by some margin, and the Blender Gooseberry CPU render completed in a table-topping 352 seconds. Its IndigoBench CPU scores were the highest, too. This is also the speediest system for Adobe Media Encoder CC 2020 video encoding.

The use of the RTX 5000 instead of the 6000 means that this system isn’t as fast in the SPECviewperf 13 viewsets as Scan’s high-end system. But it is the second fastest in most of them, with the notable exception of snx-03, where the Chillblast and Workstation Specialists high-end systems soared ahead. Still, a result of 452 is highly impressive.

Overall, this system epitomises what the third-generation AMD Ryzen Threadripper has to offer. It’s perfectly at home with modelling but when it comes to rendering out the results it absolutely flies. The custom chassis with its beefy cooling gets the best out of multithreaded tasks, making this a Recommended system for content creators who don’t want to trouble the machine room when it comes to rendering out their work.

Armari Magnetar X64T-G3 FWL specifications

Processor

3.7GHz AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X

Motherboard

ASRock TRX40 Creator

Expansion slots

8 x RAM slots (4 free), 4 x PCIe x16 (3 free), 3 x M.2 (1 free), 8 x SATA 600 (8 free)

RAM

64GB DDR4, 3,600MHz

GPU

PNY Quadro RTX 5000, 16GB GDDR6

Outputs

4 x DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C VirtualLink

SSD

Corsair MP600 1TB NVMe M.2 PCI Express 4.0

Secondary drives

Corsair MP600 1TB NVMe M.2 PCI Express 4.0, N/A N/A

Optical drives

N/A

Dimensions (WDH)

Armari Magnetar X100G3 P01 Pro (220 x 560 x 518mm)

PSU make and model (power output)

EVGA SuperNova G3 Gold Modular (1,300W)

CPU cooler

Armari AWXG3TF 420mm watercooler

Rear ports

10 Gigabit Ethernet, 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet, 5 x 3.5mm audio jack, optical S/PDIF, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-A), USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C), Wi-Fi, PS/2 mouse/keyboard combo

Front/top ports

3.5mm audio jack, 3.5mm microphone jack, 3 x USB 3

Operating system

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Warranty (parts & labour unless stated)

3yr (1yr on-site, 2yr RTB)

Featured Resources

Four strategies for building a hybrid workplace that works

All indications are that the future of work is hybrid, if it's not here already

Free webinar

The digital marketer’s guide to contextual insights and trends

How to use contextual intelligence to uncover new insights and inform strategies

Free Download

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Free Download

Building a modern strategy for analytics and machine learning success

Turning into business value

Free Download

Recommended

Best laptops for programming and coding in 2022
Laptops

Best laptops for programming and coding in 2022

5 May 2022
MSI Pro DP21 11M review: A capable PC that’s easily beaten
Hardware

MSI Pro DP21 11M review: A capable PC that’s easily beaten

6 Apr 2022
MSI Pro DP20Z 5M review: Small, fast and affordable
Hardware

MSI Pro DP20Z 5M review: Small, fast and affordable

23 Mar 2022
De-cluttering the hybrid workspace
Whitepaper

De-cluttering the hybrid workspace

1 Mar 2022

Most Popular

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack
hacking

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack

16 May 2022
Researchers demonstrate how to install malware on iPhone after it's switched off
Security

Researchers demonstrate how to install malware on iPhone after it's switched off

18 May 2022
Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies
Server & storage

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies

12 May 2022