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low budget opteron vs. xeon vs. i7 for rendering/simulation

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  • Intel i7
  • RAM
  • CPUs
  • Opteron
  • Rendering
  • Xeon
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July 25, 2013 4:38:07 PM

I currently have an i5 3570k cpu with 16gb ram, but I'm looking for a little more juice.

I have been looking into the xeon e5 2620 and the opteron 6274 ...
I'm also open to other options, like the i7 4770k.

I mainly work with 3D programs like 3ds max, so I do a ton of rendering, and also fluid simulations like fire/smoke which uses a ton of ram (would like to get atleast 32gb of ram) so the cpu would have to be efficient with ram also.

So I don't really care about single threaded apps or games here, my software will use all the threads I can get. And yeah, my budget is pretty low (under 300$ for cpu). I have contacts that can get me the 2620 or 6274 for under 300 btw... Thanks in advance.

More about : low budget opteron xeon rendering simulation

July 25, 2013 4:43:58 PM

If you can afford it the x79 based i3930 is the best bang per buck rendering cpu. A 4770k would still be a big jump from the cpu you have now though.
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July 25, 2013 6:00:12 PM

devinkoz said:
I currently have an i5 3570k cpu with 16gb ram, but I'm looking for a little more juice.

I have been looking into the xeon e5 2620 and the opteron 6274 ...
I'm also open to other options, like the i7 4770k.

I mainly work with 3D programs like 3ds max, so I do a ton of rendering, and also fluid simulations like fire/smoke which uses a ton of ram (would like to get atleast 32gb of ram) so the cpu would have to be efficient with ram also.

So I don't really care about single threaded apps or games here, my software will use all the threads I can get. And yeah, my budget is pretty low (under 300$ for cpu). I have contacts that can get me the 2620 or 6274 for under 300 btw... Thanks in advance.


Neither would really work for you on that budget.

Xenon is LGA 2011 which means you need a new motherboard as well (And LGA 2011 mobos tend to be expensive). Also the E5 2620 is a hex core with 15 MB cache (2.5x the cache) but with a clockspeed of only 2.0 ghz (2.5 ghz turbo). That and the fact that its an older CPU (Sandy) means its probably going to be slower or a similar speed to your i5 (as long as the cache isn't having a huge effect which for 3d programing isn't that large as compared to mathematical calculations where if the data set fits in cache alone there is a huge performance gain; obviously if you are using 16 GB RAM you are not in cache as much).

Opteron 6274 is 16 cores at 2.2 ghz, 3.1 boost. You will again need a new mobo. I'm not sure about how fast this will be but it looks powerful with 16 cores



Quote:
Even with the advanced iray renderer, 3DS Max rendering reaches our scaling limits. The 32-thread Xeons do not come close to 100% CPU load (more like 90%) and in between the frames there are small periods of single threaded processing. Amdahl's law is most likely reason here. We suspect that highly clocked lower core count models can pass the 53 fps barrier we're seeing here.


Best I could find really. Note that one of the e5 CPUs has two cores disabled to simulate hexa core performance (2660) and the opteron's are 16 core. (X5650 is 6 core based on an older architecture). This is a dual CPU system so scaling problems should be reduced for a one processor system.

The xeon has better IPC for singlethread workloads, uses less power (If you run this thing constantly it will add up) and will scale better on low thread workloads.

Other options are a 3770k (Which will cost ~$300, less if you sell your CPU) which will probably improve rendering by ~ 20% or a 4770k which will improve rendering by ~ 30-40%.

Some benchmarks I found (hard to find benchmarks with workstation and consumer CPUs). Looks like 3ds max likes low core count high IPC and clockspeed chips. You can also see that a 4770k almost beats a 3930K while costing a lot less and that a 4770k would wipe the floor with a 2620 at 2.5 ghz turbo (reduce the 3930k to 2.5/3.8 ~ 66% of the performance shown there).









If you sold your mobo and 3570k you may be able to get a 4770k + mobo for ~ $300. Unless you want to move to a 3930k platform (which will definitely cost quite a bit more and be slightly faster)
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July 25, 2013 6:20:54 PM

Thanks Whyso for such a helpful answer. These are helpful benchmarks. Yeah, the mobos for the opteron and the xeon are definitely more expensive. I have a Microcenter near my house, and right now they are have a package deal for intel & amd cpu/mobos.

For 340$ I could get an i7 4770k and a motherboard, I think that's a good option. As for multicore, I render in mainly Vray and work in a plugin called Fumefx (simulates fire/smoke/etc.) witch most definitely uses all threads (used in production, people use 32 cores+ for this). I'm honestly thinking about selling my whole computer to just build a new one (my specs: i5 3570k, corsair h80i, 64gb vertex 3 ssd, 2x1tb hdd, radeon 5770, corsair 600w, corsair carbide 300r).
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July 25, 2013 8:01:57 PM

devinkoz said:
Thanks Whyso for such a helpful answer. These are helpful benchmarks. Yeah, the mobos for the opteron and the xeon are definitely more expensive. I have a Microcenter near my house, and right now they are have a package deal for intel & amd cpu/mobos.

For 340$ I could get an i7 4770k and a motherboard, I think that's a good option. As for multicore, I render in mainly Vray and work in a plugin called Fumefx (simulates fire/smoke/etc.) witch most definitely uses all threads (used in production, people use 32 cores+ for this). I'm honestly thinking about selling my whole computer to just build a new one (my specs: i5 3570k, corsair h80i, 64gb vertex 3 ssd, 2x1tb hdd, radeon 5770, corsair 600w, corsair carbide 300r).


Your PC looks pretty good except with such a powerful CPU you might run into situations where the 5770 is limiting performance. Do you have GPU acceleration in your software? SSD is also quite small.

Unless you are willing to pay more for a small gain on the 3930k the 4770k looks to be a good bet. Looking around the web it appears that Fume FX likes HT (between 25-35% increase).

Suggestion, unless you are overclocking your CPU the 4770 non K may be better, supports vt-d and TSX.
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July 25, 2013 8:34:40 PM

whyso said:

Your PC looks pretty good except with such a powerful CPU you might run into situations where the 5770 is limiting performance. Do you have GPU acceleration in your software? SSD is also quite small.

Unless you are willing to pay more for a small gain on the 3930k the 4770k looks to be a good bet. Looking around the web it appears that Fume FX likes HT (between 25-35% increase).

Suggestion, unless you are overclocking your CPU the 4770 non K may be better, supports vt-d and TSX.


Honestly I don't care about my GPU performance, my software is mostly cpu intensive (although a better GPU could help with certain things, they aren't necessary). I just have the 5770 to let me keep my dual monitors.
And yeah my ssd is quite small indeed, just use it for my OS. I'd like to have a bigger one, but it isn't a necessity.

I don't think the 3930k is in my budget, but yeah the 4770k looks like a very viable option and I think I'll go with that.
Thanks for the info on fumefx and HT, didn't know about that :)  I also do overclock, not a ton, but right now I have my i5 at 4.5ghz and in the winter i put it at 4.7ghz) so i'll just get he K version. Thanks again.
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