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2 Quad core processors on 1 MD

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Last response: in CPUs
August 15, 2008 11:34:29 AM

First time poster, frustrated amature :fou:  !

OK, here goes, I've been trawling the net for ages trying to get some straight forward, to the point information but having failed miserably, I figured I'd ask some people that might actually know what there talking about.

Here's the situation. I run a very processer intensive program (3ds MAX) that not only supports, but thrives on multicore architecture. I'm currently running an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 and everything's great but I'm needing to increase my render speeds and the next step on the IT ladder is to up the number of processors.

What I want to build is a dual, quad core, machine which will obviously be running 8 cores. The company I used to work for was running dual Opterons a few years ago within a single machine, and I assume you can still go this route (ie. two processors on a single motherboard) but I can't find any information about building this type of machine with contemporary components.

Now, here's the questions:

1. What (if any) direction should I be taking?

2. Which companies are producing and supporting this direction? ie, AMD/Intel, MB manufacturers etc.

3. Is there a more cost effective way of getting a multicore system up and running?

Any help will be greatly appreciated. As you can see, it's a pretty specific problem so i'm guessing the answers are gonna be equally specific.

Thanks in advance,

Manu

More about : quad core processors

a c 206 à CPUs
August 15, 2008 12:05:49 PM

Both AMD and Intel offer '2P' workstations.

AMD additionally offers '4P' and '8P' confiqurations.

Tyan AMD SocketF motherboards
http://www.tyan.com/product_board_list.aspx?cpuid=4&soc...


An AMD/Intel 2P motherboard costs $400 and up.

An AMD 4P motherboard is around $800 and up. The HT expansion riser and motherboard addition to an 8P system is around $500-$600.
Related resources
August 15, 2008 12:12:56 PM

Now I'm not sure about this, but many similar products, CAD, Maya, Photoshop etc. greatly benefit from a workstation graphics card and I can only assume 3ds MAX would as well. Take a look into the Nvidia Quadro cards and do a little research to see if 3ds MAX really benfits from them....something tells me if you jsut drop one of these in your system it'll give you a great performance boost and will be cheaper and easier then the 2P system...though not as cool lol
August 15, 2008 12:14:38 PM

Yeah, i just did a quick look around...seems quadro cards really do help quite a bit with that program
August 15, 2008 12:15:37 PM

i afriad i disagree with kraynor, unless you also need a multiple graphic card solution do not waste money on skultrail, skulltrail is aimed at gamer wiht way to much money to spend, and yes it does deliver the result, but price performance for what you are looking at you are going down the wrong street.

skulltrail is essentailly server motherboard wiht SLi and crosfire enable.

what would suit you much better would be a server platform, design to be used in a workstation enviroment.
such as this offering from Asus
http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=812092
NB: Asus and gigabyte are not the top dog in the server/workstation motherboard as they are in the desktop. however they do make good products just there range is lacking. Intel brand mother baord and 'Super micro' are sound choices.

these boards do NOT run the LGA775 chips, but the XEON alternation; the 771, don't worry about that and apply the 'more you spend the better it is' approach, as long as you go quad core.

the CPU's you want to be after is the harpertown cored CPU as they are Quads; NB: woodcrest CPU's are dual core.

you will require 2 of these to fill a dual Proc motherboard. [ask the retailer for a multi buy discount ;) _]

as for graphic card go with ori series card, dont waste time wiht a main stream card, and dont waste money on multi card setups like Xfire or SLi you just wont see the benifit - if there is any. so thats Nvidia Quadro, or ATi firegl. Toms hardware has just viewed all these crds give it a read while it is relevent.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/FireGL-Quadro-Works...

these motherbaord support sick amount of ram but if you have 8 core you wil need it, at least 8Gb if not more. and yes that mean you need at x64 OS. also this ram must be FB (fully buffered) DDR2 to wqork in these boards, that error correction to you and me.

hope this helps.
a b à CPUs
August 15, 2008 12:26:36 PM

If you can hold off for a few more months, 8 core i7's will be here.

If you need an 8 core system now...
You will need a motherboard like This one, 2 CPU's at least as fast as These and a new power supply.
Just for the minimum required motherboard and CPU's you will need $835.
If you want your CPU's to run faster than 2.0Ghz, it will cost you even more.
Workstation grade parts are not cheap in the least!
a b à CPUs
August 15, 2008 12:29:03 PM

Skulltrail is an excellent platform and an amazing performer but is extremely cost prohibitive, the mobo alone costs just under $600.

For what you want, your best bet is to go with a 2P workstation class mobo.
Given the price, a 2P Skt 771 dual Xeon setup will the the most cost effective.

Check out this mobo, the Supermicro MDB-X7DAL-E+O matched up with these Xeons, the Xeon X3220.

Keep in mind that this setup uses FB-DIMMs and not regular DDR2. You'd want memory like this Crucial DDR2 667 FB-DIMMs.

I've used both Supermicro and Tyan workstation mobos and have developed a preference for Supermicro, but whether Tyan or Supermicro, either one will be rock solid and a good performer.
a b à CPUs
August 15, 2008 12:37:57 PM

Crap, forgot about the memory :( 

The above listed RAM would be good.
If you wanted to save some $, you could get This A-Data kit.

Sorry chunky but the X3220 is a S775 CPU.
The server motherboard he would need is S771.
August 15, 2008 12:42:49 PM

outlw6669 said:
Crap, forgot about the memory :( 

The above listed RAM would be good.
If you wanted to save some $, you could get This A-Data kit.

Sorry chunky but the X3220 is a S775 CPU.
The server motherboard he would need is S771.


Yea the first numeric in the model must me a 5
ie x5355
or L5420p
or E5410a
oh and dont confuse it with the C2D e5200 which is LGA775
ahhhhhhh, i love Xeons numbering systems.
August 15, 2008 12:46:04 PM

My recommendation would be to buy a dell precision T7400 workstation. http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.asp...

Add a Nvidia Quadro card. Don't mess around with those geforce cards if you're doing serious 3d animation. DOn't build your workstation if you're a serious about it either. Just buy it. Buy the support for it. If you need something this insane then you MUST be making pretty good money from it and there's no point in skimping.

Add all the xeons you want, the ram, etc and this workstation will do well for you as far as support and performance.
August 15, 2008 12:49:55 PM

Wow, this is great information!

Thanks guys, I knew I'd come to the right place:) 

Any more comments and advice would be fantastic
August 15, 2008 1:05:26 PM

well ill round it up for you:
assuming you want to go with intel
go for a Duel processor Motherboard sporting 2 intel 771 chips. seems as through supermicro is getting alot of priase whihc i think they deserve.
get 2 intel harpertown CPU's from the 5 series.
get least 8gb for fully buffered DDR2
get a pro GPU, ie FireGL or Quadro. not radeon or geforce.

it would be even eiser to point you i the rifht direction with a budget.

and ill add, for development and graphice work get multi moniters, as big as possible, i know that works for me.
August 15, 2008 1:18:49 PM

I've heard bad things from one person about supermicro. I don't have any experience personally.

Besides they usually do not have a 16x pci-express slot for video cards. They will not fit into an 8x slot so don't try. His best bet is to go to dell and order a precision workstation. Then he gets support, warranty, and a pretty nice system. I've worked with dell precision workstations and they are pretty nice system. Very big and very heavy! You'll love it.

Don't forget about the operating system and office if you need it! If you make money go buy it! Assuming you're building your system.

dobby said:
well ill round it up for you:
assuming you want to go with intel
go for a Duel processor Motherboard sporting 2 intel 771 chips. seems as through supermicro is getting alot of priase whihc i think they deserve.
get 2 intel harpertown CPU's from the 5 series.
get least 8gb for fully buffered DDR2
get a pro GPU, ie FireGL or Quadro. not radeon or geforce.

it would be even eiser to point you i the rifht direction with a budget.

and ill add, for development and graphice work get multi moniters, as big as possible, i know that works for me.

August 15, 2008 1:30:03 PM

xxsk8er101xx said:
I've heard bad things from one person about supermicro. I don't have any experience personally.

Besides they usually do not have a 16x pci-express slot for video cards. They will not fit into an 8x slot so don't try. His best bet is to go to dell and order a precision workstation. Then he gets support, warranty, and a pretty nice system. I've worked with dell precision workstations and they are pretty nice system. Very big and very heavy! You'll love it.

Don't forget about the operating system and office if you need it! If you make money go buy it! Assuming you're building your system.


all the SM board that i have used, dont have graphics cards as they are servers but i can confirm that they do in fact make x16 boards
see: http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=463712
and is not an isolated example, althoug they do make x8 boards to, just avoid these.

as for using Dells, it is true that dell and HP do make good Workstation i still much prefer to build my own, if you can build it you can fix it being my pefix. also i cant stand how dell use horrible PSU with hi end systems, often making upgrading a pain, but if you feel you are up to building it, then i would say go ahead, else dell wouldnt be a bad choice.

these are just my though, feel free to have your own.
August 15, 2008 1:30:14 PM

edit: deleted as double post
a b à CPUs
August 15, 2008 1:32:43 PM

wait for Nehalem and toss a Quadro in it?
August 15, 2008 1:54:37 PM

hmm, i tend not to do thet wait for the next thing, if you get the 'next thing' it will omce out and you will have to wait long for the prices to drop to a resonaly level. just buy now; at least thats what i would do. dont forget buy the time i7 come out there will be something else on the horizon.

and yes toss in a Workstation GPU,
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/FireGL-Quadro-Works...
that has the 3D max bench marks and it seem that the quadro is the best. it definatly orth getting.
August 15, 2008 1:54:41 PM

Jerry why don't you get into the right workflow with 3DS Max before you spend a significant amount on a new computer? Professional modelers and animators avoid rendering whenever possible and the 8 cores still won't give you instaneous renders 99% of the time on even a few raytraced frames. That's why they incorporated region rendering etc, so you can finalise material finishes and light fall without the full rendering overhead. Save the big budget machine for when you can actually use to software to it's potential.
August 15, 2008 2:16:10 PM

@Vertigon, wise words indeed. However, as a profesional artist I'm already pretty familiar with Max (10 years) and yes, region/crop/blowup renders are great but when using Vray and rendering out at 3000+ pixels, more grunt will certainly pay dividends. Couple that with my usual project time/deadlines (around 3 days or 40 hours) it really does come down to time. Therefore, the bigger the better!

After reading through the other posts I'm pleased to see that it is indeed possible. I'll be looking to spend around £750-£1000 at the end of the year so It's looking good!

Keep the advice and links coming. Its great to finally be getting somewhere with this.
August 15, 2008 2:56:05 PM

" However, as a profesional artist I'm already pretty familiar with Max (10 years)"

You've been using max for 10 years and your using a Q6600 with no quadro card???????
You've been using max for 10 years and your asking people in a forum fairly basic questions about workstations? You should be telling us what to buy.

Honestly even the gradutes we employ can roll out an OS, deal with problems and understand computer specs. People who have been drafting less than a year could specify a work station (they in fact often do because they know how to push the system) and you haven't even been able to find a dual socket mobo on your own, not even one???

Most people who've been sitting in front of a computer for 2+ years using intensive applications are pretty computer savvy, that's part of their professional attitude to work. You have been at it 10 years. Or have you?

Cmon man give it a break. Do you think the people that frequent these forums took up computing yesterday?

"I'll be looking to spend around £750-£1000 at the end of the year so It's looking good!"

So your going to do 5-6 months research to buy a pitifull computer for about $2000US. lol and you want a high end mobo plus two high end cpu's plus all the other bits for that?

God I've heard some dribble in my time but you take the cake.
August 15, 2008 3:27:12 PM

Vertigon said:
" However, as a profesional artist I'm already pretty familiar with Max (10 years)"

You've been using max for 10 years and your using a Q6600 with no quadro card???????
You've been using max for 10 years and your asking people in a forum fairly basic questions about workstations? You should be telling us what to buy.

Honestly even the gradutes we employ can roll out an OS, deal with problems and understand computer specs. People who have been drafting less than a year could specify a work station (they in fact often do because they know how to push the system) and you haven't even been able to find a dual socket mobo on your own, not even one???

Most people who've been sitting in front of a computer for 2+ years using intensive applications are pretty computer savvy, that's part of their professional attitude to work. You have been at it 10 years. Or have you?

Cmon man give it a break. Do you think the people that frequent these forums took up computing yesterday?

"I'll be looking to spend around £750-£1000 at the end of the year so It's looking good!"

So your going to do 5-6 months research to buy a pitifull computer for about $2000US. lol and you want a high end mobo plus two high end cpu's plus all the other bits for that?

God I've heard some dribble in my time but you take the cake.


shut up; give the guy a break. there's no need to be little him, be is clearly very tech savy (considering he intends to build this thing), just not imensly up to spec on what happening in every area of the computer market and he has come here to fnd out. it doesnt matter how long s9ome one been doing something, when it come to computer hardware only the last year count in term of what you know.
August 15, 2008 3:45:12 PM

@Vertigon, whhoooo there, sorry if I've touched a nerve, or something, but nothing I've posted was intended to antagonise. Far from it. Of course I don't think the posters here are noobs, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered in the first place.

As an experienced artist (yes, 10 years of experience) you may be mistaken in thinking that I am an animator. I'm not, I'm an illustrator working with Architects and interior designers to help them explain there designs. Therfore, within my field, what really counts is lighting and materials with less focus on modeling/poygons. Although a good model does help!. That being the case rendering still images at high resolutions is, for me and my clients, where it's at.

Now, as far as a profesional GC is concerned, the type of work I specialise in hasn't demanded it. Although I am keen to streamline my next machine so if a higher end GC offers me more of what I'm looking for then so be it.

Re: the cost issue you highlighted, as I've stated above high-end GC's etc. won't be necessary.

As mentioned elsewhere Vray is my prefered render engine and it uses the CPU as its primary source of power, so thats where I need the grunt. In previous generation of Max using the packaged "scanline" renderer RAM was the key to quick render times. But not so, with my particular software setup. As you said, "You've been using max for 10 years and your asking people in a forum fairly basic questions about workstations? You should be telling us what to buy. " well I could list every nuance of the four machines I built and use daily, to do my job but thats not really the point of this thread. The point of this thread is, as I stated, I want to build a new, dual quad core machine. But have had no luck finding out any information regarding contemporary components. The one thing I did find has been highlighted, http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/Skulltrail-QX9775-D5400XS..., earlier in the thread, but as dobby pointed out, it isn't ideally suited to my needs and the cost is a big issue for a self employed artist.

I didn't start this thread inorder to flame or be flamed but to ask for help regarding an IT question. Unfortunaley your posts havn't really given me any infromation regarding my query, so unless you can offer any specific information, relating to the thread, I ask that you leave your petty quips at the door.

Once again thanks for all the usefull links and info. guys. I'm only sorry that I seem to have touched a nerve along the way.

Manu

www.form-studio.net

August 15, 2008 4:33:22 PM

thanks for that post, it really cleared the air, is there any thing else that you would like to know while your here? im sorry that you get the sharp end of one of our posters.
August 15, 2008 5:05:19 PM

"I'm not, I'm an illustrator working with Architects and interior designers to help them explain there designs."

Dude I am an architect, there is no school I have ever heard of that doesn't teach CAD and visualisation to there students. We employ interior designers and even they have a good amount of visualisation experience before they even get to us. In fact some of the work is equal to and better than what's been posted at that site you have above, and that's from students wanting to get a job. In my country an architects education spans 6 years and an interior designers spans 3 years for a University qualification. The folios I am seeing these days are stunning and even though some architectural visualisation is outsourced, it is almost all very high end and ends up in the laps of guys who are VERY tech savvy and probably wouldn't need to ask any questions about buying a workstation.

" well I could list every nuance of the four machines I built and use daily, to do my job but thats not really the point of this thread."........

See this is what I mean, your suppose to be a 3D expert concerned about rendering power and the thought of an inexpensive render farm hasn't even occured to you? Even with four machines at your disposal that you use daily? lol oh man at least your funny.

Whats more you so amazing that you managed all this time without a quadro card, this is from nvidia's site:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/maxtreme_9.00.02.html

"MAXtreme 9 D3D is a new performance driver for Autodesk's 3ds Max 9software. Developed in close collaboration with Autodesk, MAXtreme is afree, downloadable software driver capable of delivering dramaticperformance improvements of up to 100%, on some tests, when coupledwith NVIDIA Quadro® FX professional graphics solutions. "

This is what I mean. 3DS max users are the biggest adopters of quadro units and you barely know they exist. lol At work our junior drafters actually try and tweak or optimise the 3dconfig files that pertain to maxtreme and powerdraft. Yes I said JUNIOR.

I had a look at that website you posted and most of those scenes would be a nightmare to navigate with a consumer card, especially with all that geometry and lighting even though I wouldn't call any of the scenes in the bar section "quality renders". lol if you actually have anything to do with that site why don't you put a little message up on it mentioning tom's hardware so those of us that are "suspicious" can become less so.

"Be real"
August 15, 2008 8:22:08 PM

@ dobby, thanks for all the info. This all gives me a great place to start narrowing down my needs.

@ Vertigon, thanks for the link. I'll definatly be looking into a high end GC for the next build, although I should probably point out that due to the nature of and the way I work, the new machine will essentially be a render engine/drive so the need for lots of additional hardware will be minimal. Having said that, now I know of the potential benefits of installing a more specialised GC I may look to install one in my other machines in order to help workflow.

Re: your request to add a little note to the website I linked to, I've come up with a better idea:



Thanks again for all the advice

Manu
August 15, 2008 9:07:49 PM

nice graphics :) 
August 16, 2008 1:53:56 AM

Jerry I couldn't find the image above with or without the "Vertigon Toms Hardware" text on your website, could you be kind enough to provide the link? Otherwise people might think you loaded up a .max file and dropped in some simple text, which is something anyone could do in less than 2 minutes.
Since were all pretending can I be spiderman? I've always wanted to be spiderman, mummy even got me a shiny new spandex outfit.

OK Jerry all giggles aside you don't actually need to spend any money on a new machine if you have 4 already. I don't know how many cores are in the other machines but including the Q6600 you should have at least 7 cores, probably more.

Because you seem like a nice guy Jerry (despite telling porkies) I will save you a good amount of money and tons of wasted time adopting the wrong solution.

People with REAL experience network a render farm or build a render box. What's a render box? Basically a box that can fit the required number of mainboards, cpu's and powersupplies etc. Something a bit like this:

http://www.dangerden.com/store/product.php?productid=25...

Even though this case needs some minor mods to house 2 mobo's, 2 cpu's and the required air cooling. Alot of people build there own by simply drawing up something in cad and cutting out the required piece of acrylic, this way they make a sort of "offset tower" type box, with identical mobo's there fastening points being exactly the same.

You can buy ready made render boxes from boxxtech and nvidia but the prices are exorbident. Good luck.
August 16, 2008 7:36:08 AM

@dobby, cheers, I like this one too. Its in Basingstoke of all places!

@Vertigon, thanks for the info/idea. That sounds like a good way to go although I'll need to weigh up all the options. You've certainly given me plenty to think about! Out of interest and additional headache potential, whats the process/technique for connecting two mobo's together along with all there associated gubbins?

Re: the attached images, this is getting rediculous! Ok so you think I'm fibbing about my abilities and my connection to the www.form-studio.net web site. Well, so I don't have to contact my web guys (I dont yet have all the skills needed to create, flash based, web sites) and get them to screw around with my site just to prove a point, why not fill out the contact page on the site, complete with your email address, and I'll make sure you get something conclusive.

PS. the reason the attached image isn't on the web site is that project's not fully in the public domain yet. Once it is, it'll be up there.

Manu

August 16, 2008 7:55:31 AM

"PS. the reason the attached image isn't on the web site is that project's not fully in the public domain yet. Once it is, it'll be up there."

Ok I think we've both had enough of that issue.

"Out of interest and additional headache potential, whats the process/technique for connecting two mobo's together along with all there associated gubbins?"

Well I've never personally built a render box so I can't iron the details out for you. I did do some research into building one a while ago and really it's really like connecting two computers together, the only difference being their in the same box, this render box is the way to go, it doesn't need graphics cards etc so will make a cost effective, grunty box. The cost of 2 Q6600's and 2 mainboards will still be cheaper than the cost of one socket 771 processor, not too mention the rest. Also the motherboards don't need a big feature set, the more I think about it the more I want to get myself some acrylic lol.

August 16, 2008 9:20:27 AM

@Vertigon, Yup lets put it to bed!

hmmmm render box................... I shall investigate further.