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AMD Opteron 1216 vs Intel Q6600 for 3D rendering?

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July 10, 2008 4:37:13 PM

Hello everyone...
We're building a renderfarm for our 3D animation studio, and were wondering what a good choice of hardware would be?
We use 3DS Max 9/2008 (Mental Ray/Vray) as well as Maya 8.5/2008 (Mental Ray/Vray) for our rendering. We only do 3D animation, and are not into architectural viz, if that helps.

We just received an great offer from Dell to buy their PowerEdge T105 Server with a Dual Core Opteron 1216 @ 2.4GHz.
Now the problem is that it's the same cost as getting an assembled (with quality branded components) Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 at 2.4GHz.

I've searched for reviews/comparisons for AMD 1216 vs Q6600 but havent found anything.

Both systems have 4GB of RAM, and are going to be running WinXP 64-bit along with 64-bit versions of their software.

If anyone well versed in 3D rendering can point us in the right direction, that would be great. Performance-wise, should we go for the 2.4GHz Dual Core Opteron 1216, or the quad core intel 2.4GHz Q6600?

Also, I'm not too familiar with Opterons - are they AMD's answer to the Xeon? ie, professional range of CPU's?

Thanks in advance
a b à CPUs
July 10, 2008 4:52:03 PM

Yes, they are the AMD version of the Xeon.

As for what you're doing, you want quad core, without a doubt. The rendering applications benefit immensely from the additional cores.
July 10, 2008 4:58:39 PM

thanks for the reply... We're a small studio, so we can't afford Xeon's, though is a Dual Xeon faster in rendering than a Core 2 Quad?
What if I got a Quad-Core Opteron, is that faster than a Core 2 Quad? Dell is trying to push their 1216's, though I'm a bit skeptical...
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July 10, 2008 5:28:54 PM

Im away from home so I cant give you any references, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Xeons and Opertons are overpriced versions of their consumer variants that have unlocked ability to work with more chips in same system. Ie you can build 2x 4cores and so on.

If you dont plan to run more than one CPU in your system, xeons/opertons are a waste of money.

AMD Phenom, while generally widely criticized is as good clock per clock as intel’s core 2 line.

Problem is that AMD top of the line phenom runs at 2.6ghz , while the slowest intel quad q6600 runs at 2.4ghz. AMD overclocks poorly, while intel overclocks like crazy.

That said, if you dont overclock (i dont recommend it since gains from overclocking are big and negative side effects are too minute to mention) you can pick either one. Be aware that 45nm intel is about 10% faster in everything clock per clock as their 55nm variants, so q6600 will be slightly slower than q9300.

AMD Phenom is really good with float point calculations, coming on top some rough 20% faster than c2q 6600 in mental ray rendering – clock per clock.

So, it stands to reason that Vray should benefit from this too. Out of the box Phenom seams to have more juice, but if you plan to OC (and i seriously recommend it) Intel wins by a lofty margin.

Also, forget quadro/fireGL cards as they suck. Get gaming card instead. Right now you cant get better card for ANY amount of money than HD 4870. Only thing to look into is amount of ram you normally need. So if vanilla version with 512mb of ram is not enough for you (300$), look for 1gb variant.

if you have more questions, feel free to pm me (as i probably wont find my way to this thread again)
July 10, 2008 5:41:39 PM

cheerfulskeptic said:
Hello everyone...
We're building a renderfarm for our 3D animation studio, and were wondering what a good choice of hardware would be?


The key word here is "renderfarm".
Dreamworks and working production companies all use AMD becuase they can dirrect connect as many as 8 pysical CPU's,and connect multi MB's via PCIe or 10/12GBe.
The more CPU's involved the faster it becomes vrs Intel.
Cray also uses AMD for it's HPC systems for the same reason.

If your building a true HPC (High Preformance Computter) for a "renderfarm" (many CPU's all working the same program/project @ the same time) then the question answeres it's self.
If you can't build the system yourself then I would buy from Cray rather than Dell.
http://www.cray.com/products/xt5/index.html


a c 96 à CPUs
July 10, 2008 5:49:57 PM

Xeons and Opertons are higher binned microprocessors meant to run 24/7 in server/workstation environments.
a b à CPUs
July 10, 2008 6:05:12 PM

ZOldDude said:
The key word here is "renderfarm".
Dreamworks and working production companies all use AMD becuase they can dirrect connect as many as 8 pysical CPU's,and connect multi MB's via PCIe or 10/12GBe.
The more CPU's involved the faster it becomes vrs Intel.
Cray also uses AMD for it's HPC systems for the same reason.

If your building a true HPC (High Preformance Computter) for a "renderfarm" (many CPU's all working the same program/project @ the same time) then the question answeres it's self.
If you can't build the system yourself then I would buy from Cray rather than Dell.
http://www.cray.com/products/xt5/index.html

I don't think the OP is going to be doing that much intense work.
a b à CPUs
July 10, 2008 6:07:03 PM

@OP: What 's your budget?

Either way, the Q6600 would be your best bet. Depending on budget you might even be able to go 2P.
July 10, 2008 6:11:00 PM

you're talking about distributed rendering, where all CPU's in the farm render a single frame, or each PC renders a single frame of the animation. We use this to render our backgrounds which are very heavy usually, and also the regular 1 frame per PC for animations. We currently have a farm using hardware from about a year ago, that consists of 7 Core 2 Duo's, but we want to expand... I'll see if a Quad Opteron vs C2Q is available somewhere. It's hard, I guess since there arent too many Pro vs Consumer level hardware comparison out there? If someone knows of any, please let me know.
a b à CPUs
July 10, 2008 6:16:32 PM

If you have a $5000 budget consider this set up:

Quote:

Tyan Tempest i5400PW Motherboard
2x Xeon X5472 (3.0Ghz, 1.6Ghz FSB Harpertown)
16x 1GB Kingston DDR2-800 FB-DIMM
2x 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 Hard Drives
Silverstone Tenjim 10 (TJ10, windowed version)
Enermax Galaxy 850W
7x Noctua NF-P12-1300 120mm 9-bladed fans
2x Thermalright HR-01-X Xeon Heatsinks
FB123 Zalman Fan with Retention Bracket

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...
Won't OC, but if this is a rendering build that is going to be doing mission critical work you shouldn't OC any way. Or if you must OC get the Skulltrail + correct CPU.
July 10, 2008 6:31:40 PM

cheerfulskeptic said:
you're talking about distributed rendering, where all CPU's in the farm render a single frame, or each PC renders a single frame of the animation.

Sounds like AMD then.
Cray will build the system to the size you need at this point and more MB's can be added later as your company/needs grow.

For most people who only use 1-2 CPU's (home/small office) then I would say Intel,but when you move up in size the best preformance and lower cost is going to be AMD and why large movie companies use them.
July 10, 2008 6:36:05 PM

You will be using backburner right?

Im into animation as well, and I would have liked to get my hands on a opty, but i couldn't. But yes, stick with the opty, since they are designed to run full load for very long periods of time, such as rendering. As for which opty, go for a higher clocked quad, as 3ds Max will like you alot.

Make sure that you also pair at least 4GB of ram with it, and also try to get a Nvidia Quadro, as those will really help what you are doing.
a b à CPUs
July 10, 2008 6:42:23 PM

ZOldDude said:
Sounds like AMD then.
Cray will build the system to the size you need at this point and more MB's can be added later as your company/needs grow.

For most people who only use 1-2 CPU's (home/small office) then I would say Intel,but when you move up in size the best preformance and lower cost is going to be AMD and why large movie companies use them.

Well, I was assuming a somewhat smaller system than that. If you are using more than 2 processors, AMD is definitely the way to go (go for a quad core opteron though, not the dual).
July 10, 2008 6:53:34 PM

Dell still offers $1200 off of $4000 on their severs.

You can easily get a good setup with 2x Quad Xeons @ 3.16ghz with 8gb of ram for a little under $3k.
It also works on their Quad-Core Opteron setups
July 10, 2008 6:56:34 PM

Well another -good- option if the MB's he is using support it would be to pull the 7 dual cores and swap them out with quads....about $1,400 for the job at todays retail prices.
March 3, 2009 5:20:17 AM

corei7 920 - core i7 965 or 2*xeon e5410 12meg (8core) which one is better and faster for 3dsmax using mentalray and vray?
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