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Critique Zdnet's $2K MacPro QuadCore Killer

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January 3, 2008 10:25:42 PM

George Ou at zdnet configured these MacPro killers. And note its a Dual Quad Core! Comments or critiques? Is there an even beter way of doing this?

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?m=200801

High-end 8-core 2P Workstation (5400 series “Seaburg” version):

Part Price
Tyan TEMPEST I5400XL (S5392ANR) Intel 5400 series “Seaburg” 408
8 GB fully buffered DDR2-667 ECC memory (2GB x 4) 340
Two Intel E5410 quad-core “Harpertown” 45nm 2.33 GHz CPUs 616
Seasonic 650W 88% efficiency “80 Plus” power supply 160
Cooler Master Stacker ATX chassis (additional $60 rebate) 170
NVIDIA Quadro NVS290 PCI-Express 256MB 120
Sound Blaster Audigy 7.1 36
AMS 5-drive SATA hot-swap backplane (model DS-3151SSBK) 102
Two 500GB 7200RPM SATA hard drives 200
18x DVD burner with SATA interface 36
Logitech EX110 wireless optical mouse and keyboard 35
Vista Business x64 edition OEM (dual-processor support) 145

Total (including shipping but not tax) $2368

High-end 8-core 2P workstation (5100 series “San Clemente” version):

Part Price
5100 series “San Clemente” dual-processor motherboard 381
8 GB Registered DDR2-667 ECC memory (4 x 2GB) (4 slots open) 310
Two Intel E5410 quad-core “Harpertown” 45nm 2.33 GHz CPUs 616
Seasonic 650W 88% efficiency “80 Plus” power supply 160
Cooler Master Stacker ATX chassis (additional $60 rebate) 170
NVIDIA Quadro NVS290 PCI-Express 256MB 120
Sound Blaster Audigy 7.1 36
AMS 5-drive SATA hot-swap backplane (model DS-3151SSBK) 102
Two 500GB 7200RPM SATA hard drives 200
18x DVD burner with SATA interface 36
Logitech EX110 wireless optical mouse and keyboard 35
Vista Business x64 edition OEM (dual-processor support) ??? 145

Total (including shipping but not tax) $2311

a b à CPUs
January 3, 2008 11:01:58 PM

How many FPS do they get in Crysis?? ;) 
January 3, 2008 11:05:45 PM

This isn't for games. In fact my 8800GTS and Q6600 can beat this in any game I think.
January 4, 2008 3:46:10 PM

You don't have to use that crapy NVS290, right? You could plug a 8800GT into it, or am I mising something... like my brain? :) 
January 4, 2008 4:48:30 PM

I wish my company would get workstation like that, instead I got this POS from grandma's down the street with a P4 - 1GB DDR Ram - FX5200, i'd be so more productive! (maybe).
January 4, 2008 4:52:28 PM

That's awesome! I bet it runs... I bet it runs...

Wait, what the hell can you do on a mac other than photoshop?

Well, I'm sure someday someone might make software for a mac, and on that day, this machine will do really good!


(just kidding, sorry, I hate macs)


So what do they call this new product?

The I-Quad
January 4, 2008 5:26:24 PM

I was talking about the pc as a whole ;) 

It's gfx isn't suitable for games, and I don't think any games support 8-cores. That's why this system is too expensive for just games. Well, unless you're gonna run multiple games at once.
January 4, 2008 5:28:56 PM

I'm pretty sure Photoshop will use 8 cores or more, am i rite?
January 4, 2008 5:38:17 PM

That amount of power is not really intended for the average home user.
January 4, 2008 5:53:01 PM

look at me! my car can go 600mph!

oh wait..the speed limit is 60.


cool?
maybe.
useful?
for most of us, no.
for some of us, a downgrade. (games)
January 4, 2008 6:07:49 PM

I just pooped my pants ! :( 
January 4, 2008 6:09:01 PM

Dang thing posted twice. I only poo'ed once ! :) 
January 4, 2008 6:10:29 PM

Here, cah027, here's some spare Depends.

OK, the question is:

Is this build a legitimite basis to consider for a poweruser system? I need FerrariFast Fotoshop and 3D rendering to design bikes for my cleints.
January 4, 2008 6:12:55 PM

I would say Yes, but just check the software you are using to make sure it supports of 8 cores. Then do some benchie on Premier Pro and the like and post em fo us !
January 4, 2008 6:20:37 PM

Evilonigiri said:
I was talking about the pc as a whole ;) 

It's gfx isn't suitable for games, and I don't think any games support 8-cores. That's why this system is too expensive for just games. Well, unless you're gonna run multiple games at once.

I once tried to install oblivion and play splinter cell double agent at the same time.... (splinter cell didn't want to load...... :( )
January 4, 2008 6:39:34 PM

Ugh... I wouldn't have a problem with Apple if they didn't have those commercials with the hefty PC guy failing at life. It's just not true. I don't have virus problems or get BSODs... only sometimes when I'm playing with my OC :) . The truth is that if you know how to use a computer, a PC will give you no problems, that's not to say it doesn't help to build your own and and use quality parts! Apple is the new dell (is any of their hardware proprietary anymore?). Let the iTards spend tons of money on mac pros that perform like crap (as far as performance per dollar). Oh yeah, except in video editing... because I know every mac user does hardcore video editing (ha).

EDIT:

sorry got into mac bashing and forgot what i was doing! I love the article and it's really not surprising. If you look at the specs of macs they really aren't that impressive but they sure do cost a lot! Hopefully the article saves some people some money.
a b à CPUs
January 4, 2008 6:41:43 PM

OlSkoolChopper said:



High-end 8-core 2P Workstation (5400 series “Seaburg” version):

Part Price
Tyan TEMPEST I5400XL (S5392ANR) Intel 5400 series “Seaburg” 408
8 GB fully buffered DDR2-667 ECC memory (2GB x 4) 340
Two Intel E5410 quad-core “Harpertown” 45nm 2.33 GHz CPUs 616
Seasonic 650W 88% efficiency “80 Plus” power supply 160
Cooler Master Stacker ATX chassis (additional $60 rebate) 170
NVIDIA Quadro NVS290 PCI-Express 256MB 120
Sound Blaster Audigy 7.1 36
AMS 5-drive SATA hot-swap backplane (model DS-3151SSBK) 102
Two 500GB 7200RPM SATA hard drives 200
18x DVD burner with SATA interface 36
Logitech EX110 wireless optical mouse and keyboard 35
Vista Business x64 edition OEM (dual-processor support) 145

Total (including shipping but not tax) $2368

High-end 8-core 2P workstation (5100 series “San Clemente” version):

Part Price
5100 series “San Clemente” dual-processor motherboard 381
8 GB Registered DDR2-667 ECC memory (4 x 2GB) (4 slots open) 310
Two Intel E5410 quad-core “Harpertown” 45nm 2.33 GHz CPUs 616
Seasonic 650W 88% efficiency “80 Plus” power supply 160
Cooler Master Stacker ATX chassis (additional $60 rebate) 170
NVIDIA Quadro NVS290 PCI-Express 256MB 120
Sound Blaster Audigy 7.1 36
AMS 5-drive SATA hot-swap backplane (model DS-3151SSBK) 102
Two 500GB 7200RPM SATA hard drives 200
18x DVD burner with SATA interface 36
Logitech EX110 wireless optical mouse and keyboard 35
Vista Business x64 edition OEM (dual-processor support) ??? 145

Total (including shipping but not tax) $2311



WTF???? Why the hell would you put a cr@ppy PSU with a build this great??? I will never understand ppl. who get really high end parts and then just get a cheap PSU. :pfff:  . The graphics card will not run most new games at high res. Its intended as a workstation card. Imo, these workstation cards are just useless, most CAD software benefit from a good CPU not a GPU.
January 5, 2008 12:19:32 AM

OK, let's say for a minute that I'm can get a big advance on bulding a ride from a client and I dont mind that there is a fair amount of white dust on the $100 bills he hands me. Dont ask dont tell dont get shot. So...

Tyan TEMPEST I5400XL (S5392ANR) Intel 5400 series “Seaburg” 408 - I've seen other dual socket mobos cheaper like $300. Won't they accept the 45nms?
8 GB fully buffered DDR2-667 ECC memory (2GB x 4) 340 - I've seen FB DIMMs cheaper too at around $140/2x2GB. As long as they're DDR2-667s any probs? Wouldn't DDR2-800 be better?
Two Intel E5410 quad-core “Harpertown” 45nm 2.33 GHz CPUs 616 - Any reason why not use a faster Harpy other than just more cash outlay? I wouldn't mind taking the cash saved on RAM and mobo and go up a notch on CPU.
Seasonic 650W 88% efficiency “80 Plus” power supply 160 - Screw this. PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad for the same price.
Cooler Master Stacker ATX chassis (additional $60 rebate) 170 - Got my own chassis.
NVIDIA Quadro NVS290 PCI-Express 256MB 120 - 8800GT. Any probs with it in this setup?
Sound Blaster Audigy 7.1 36 - Oh well you gotta have tunes.
AMS 5-drive SATA hot-swap backplane (model DS-3151SSBK) 102 - No chance.
Two 500GB 7200RPM SATA hard drives 200 - Ya, but Im seting up two 7200.11s in no RAID at all. Just have one for ol' fashiond backup
18x DVD burner with SATA interface 36 - Got one
Logitech EX110 wireless optical mouse and keyboard 35 - got key and moose.
Vista Business x64 edition OEM (dual-processor support) 145 - Definitely, but I can get it for $115.

So:

Mobo $300
RAM $280
Harpys $616 (or more)
PSU $160
8800GT $229
Soundcard $36
2x7200.11 $260
Vista 64 $115

I'm under $2K. Upgrade the Harpys and go just a touch over that. Not an outragous price for a system that would be this sizling hot. Am I nuts, or is this makin sense?

Edit: 2.5 Harpy E5420s are $360 each. What is the OC potential with a dual sockt mobo? Could a 2.5 hit 3.2 on Tuniq Towers or simliar air?

January 5, 2008 1:07:44 AM

I don't know about that specific model of Seasonic's...but I'm almost certain they're the supplier for PCP&C's 750 Silencer.

Seasonic also makes Antec PSU's too. They're actually not bad. But I can't say how well they would perform considering your setup.
January 5, 2008 1:09:22 AM

Also...call me a jackass...

But I thought those workstation cards had a few benefits when it came to rendering scenes properly and accurately...they don't cut corners with their drivers like they do the mainstream cards.

I'll see if I can dig up some info for you.
January 5, 2008 1:39:53 AM

Yeah, I'm sure that Seasonic makes the PCP&C but I figure that the 750 Quad has such great revus that it would be a good idea to go for the full 3/4 kilowatts given the dual CPUs. I'd feel more comfrtable having a 8800 GT since I know that it will do everything I want it to in DX10 rather than going witha Quadro but I apreciate your offer. The GIGABYTE GA-7VCSV Dual 771 Intel 5000V CEB 1.01 Server Motherboard is only $179. Any reason why it can't host the Harpys? Also 7200.11 500GBs are $230 a pair and the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE PCI 7.1 Surround Sound Card is $29 so:

Mobo $179
RAM $280
2xE5420 $720
PSU $160
8800GT $229
Soundcard $29
2x7200.11 $230
Vista 64 $115

$1942. This is geting better and beter! Yum! Slurp! :) 
January 5, 2008 1:45:06 AM

I'm actually having an extremely hard time finding any relevant information between consumer market cards vs. workstation.

However that NVS is a piece. I'm not quite sure how much it costs as I don't really care but the 8800GTS just might be a decent alternative.

Otherwise...all I can find is this...

http://www.cooltechzone.com/Reviews/Video_Reviews/NVIDI...

January 5, 2008 1:49:32 AM

Here's a forum member I found who tested vs. an 8800GTX.

You said earlier that you were into 3DS Max...correct?

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=84175

Well as it stands, it seems that the caveat of consumer market cards is their inability to produce large amounts of polygons and their lack of hardware AA...not to be confused with FSAA.
a b à CPUs
January 5, 2008 1:59:38 AM

First, the reason for the Seasonic is as follows:

The normal price is $90 cheaper than the PCP&C' 750
It's 88% efficient versus only 83%
It's a Tier 2 PSU. I didn't know Tier 2 PSU's are now considered crappy.

Also, you don't build a dual Xeon system for gaming. You build a machine like this to create games, not run them. Plus, the workstation cards are way more flexible software wise than the GeForce cards:

http://www.nvidia.com/page/pg_20020215232762.html

Third, yes, Photoshop CS 2 and 3 take advantage of multi-core CPU's

Also, for $2,500, it's comes with 8 times more RAM, comes with a way better GPU (The MacPro comes with a 7300GT!), and you can always upgrade it later on. A Mac with the same performance costs three times as much!

Overall, great article.

January 5, 2008 2:12:59 AM

Quote:
Any reason why it can't host the Harpys?



Yup. That board came out last year before specification came out for the Penryn. Also, you should know that Intel doesn't like to support newer architectures that utilize the same socket :) 

Otherwise, I can't find any direct answer for you...sorry bud. Call Gigabyte?
January 5, 2008 2:14:17 AM

Btw. I have to agree with 'runswindows'...that's a hell of a Power Supply.

If you're penny pinching, skip the middle man...go to the source; Seasonic.
a c 127 à CPUs
January 5, 2008 2:24:10 AM

I could have told anyone that the "new" Mac Pro was crap. For $2500 you get a GPU that is old, not DX10 capable and the only "new" thing in it was the CPU(a Q6700 I believe).

Appls products are not that great just over hyped, the iPod for example. Sure Creative Labs has MP#players that have better sound quality and are more reliable. But Apple knows how to market to the mass majority of idiots(no offense but most people see a good commercial and believe its good).

I don't hate Macs, just don't believe in their superiority complex. The problem is that Mac is not big enough and it makes it to where their flaws are not that bad. Plus I really hate it when companies advertisements bash the competition. Shows they are insecure.

Maybe we can replace the mobo with one with a dual PCIe setup that way you can run CF3850/3870s and make it a game station that will be able to run Crysis at a reasonable resoultion. I imagine that Vista should be able to throw other programs on the extra CPUs as mine usually will show activity on all 4 cores when a program is running.
January 5, 2008 2:28:51 AM

You may be able to get a board with on SAS hardware raid and go for xfi card but not the low end one that is the same thing as the Sound Blaster Audigy SE.

Also the new mac pros are due soon
January 5, 2008 2:52:29 AM


Shadow703793 said:
Imo, these workstation cards are just useless, most CAD software benefit from a good CPU not a GPU.


You've obviously never used Solidworks!

January 5, 2008 3:24:35 AM

My requirements are for 3d rendering and Photoshop primaraly so something like this is gonna haul some serious a$$. I stand corected on the PSU. Ok, in consumer mobos you know that the P35 and X38s are generaly going to be ok for running 45nms, but how do you tell in a dual socket server board which does which? Any particular chipset, etc? As for new MacPros coming out, the point of the orignal article is corect. Why pay 2x or 3x the price when you can duplicete it for less. So you cant run Loepard. No big loss for me. I'm looking at droping $2K on a Q9550 system and if I can get an octopussycore for the same bucks then thats much sexier! :) 
January 5, 2008 4:14:07 AM

I've heard that Photoshop itself is not multi-threaded, ie: multiple core. But the filters, effects and what not use all available processing power. SO in part it depends on what you do with photoshop.

Don't bash, this is a great computer for what it is intended for. Not Games. Why not throw a great card in though?
January 5, 2008 1:03:41 PM

Most of what I do in Photoshop is make chick's boobies bigger from pr0n sites. No, I'm JK. I mostly come up with diferent paint designs for tanks, fenders, etc. I'll also do quicky mockups to show a client what a certain engine would look like in a partecular frame, etc. I do no gaming whatsoevr so all the things that are importnt to gamers mean squat to me. I think a 8800GT is more than enough card to keep me hapy for a long time!
January 10, 2008 2:04:50 PM

I've been considering a Mac Pro for several months, and the announcement yesterday of the 3.2GHz 45nm CPUs is certainly tempting although Apple's pricing is nothing short of rapacious. The top Mac Pro retails for $13,000! This Zdnet article has me thinking about the feasibility of assembling my own twin socket and saving thousands. I am concerned, however, about ensuring that the motherboard would definitely accommodate the Penryns. Are there any models readily available that are certified for 45nm?
January 10, 2008 2:30:59 PM

our firm considering to buy one of those workstation. (not a mac tho). it is dual quad cores from intel. anywho. if they get it. ill go put some games. n report back. :) 
January 10, 2008 2:40:44 PM

Dude, Ive stil got it in the back of my alky sodded brain that I wanna do that too. If I can come up with a plan that makes it afordable and makes sure that I don't have any probs with it, AND I can get all that by Jan. 21 I'll go dual Harpys instead of single Wolfy.

What was the Wolfy plaiyng on his Harpy at Yorkie? The AMD swan song. :) 
January 10, 2008 8:07:21 PM

I've read through this thread, and it seems that you may be on the right track to build a very inexpensive but quite powerful octocore system. I don't know if it is wise to scrimp on the motherboard, however, and I would profoundly appreciate learning of any models which are already certified for Harpertowns. Can anyone assist? NightWolfin, are you aware of what motherboard your company was considering, given that they likely have the benefit of the knowledge of an IT consultant or manager?
January 10, 2008 8:35:53 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
That's awesome! I bet it runs... I bet it runs...

Wait, what the hell can you do on a mac other than photoshop?

Well, I'm sure someday someone might make software for a mac, and on that day, this machine will do really good!


(just kidding, sorry, I hate macs)


So what do they call this new product?

The I-Quad


No no... The ZD-Net article built PC workstations with Mac Pro Equivalent parts. It's not a Mac. The point of the article is that he built a ~Mac Pro for about $4500 less than what a Apple is selling a Mac Pro for. Just looking at the hardware, Apple is ripping people off! Dell too! But we knew that.

My question is how fast can you DVD Shrink an 8.5GB movie with 8 cores!
January 10, 2008 9:30:21 PM

Well yah... that’s how business make money, buy low sell high.

When I built my machine it was 3500 in parts, at Dell it cost 6000 and mine had/has better components.

Even the corner 7/11 make there money by over pricing...they buy for 50cents, sell for 80...
January 10, 2008 10:37:29 PM

The prospects of being able to enjoy the benefits of an octocore system are certainly tempting. May I reiterate my call for assistance on the selection of a proper dual socket 771 board that is Harpertown-friendly?
January 10, 2008 11:41:11 PM

Wish I could help ya. Ive looked at so many mobos that my head is spining. Its realy hard to find info as to which ones of the twin socket mobos that are sure to work with the Penryns.
!