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Dual Socket AMD or Quad core Xeon for fluid dynamics?

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April 22, 2009 10:20:21 AM

Hello, I am looking at building a new dual socket workstation for fluid dynamics simulation and 3d rendering.

My question is simple, what CPU\Socket type is best for performance in this environment?

I know that i7 is a good platform for this but is far too expensive, I need a good value solution (£600-800 for the core components, memory\board\cpu's)

For the rendering I am thinking of using intel render nodes to help speed things up further, however I read that due to the way that floating point ops are done on AMD, the rendered results can be slightly different to an intel system... is this true? Another area I need to look out for is bottle necks, what FSB and Memory should I be looking for?

I really want the most 'pow to my pound'!

Cheers
bitseq
April 22, 2009 10:42:45 AM

bitseq said:
Hello, I am looking at building a new dual socket workstation for fluid dynamics simulation and 3d rendering.

My question is simple, what CPU\Socket type is best for performance in this environment?

I know that i7 is a good platform for this but is far too expensive, I need a good value solution (£600-800 for the core components, memory\board\cpu's)

For the rendering I am thinking of using intel render nodes to help speed things up further, however I read that due to the way that floating point ops are done on AMD, the rendered results can be slightly different to an intel system... is this true? Another area I need to look out for is bottle necks, what FSB and Memory should I be looking for?

I really want the most 'pow to my pound'!

Cheers
bitseq


I think you need to scale back your expectations somewhat! Single socket will be all you can do within your budget, the cheapest dual socket boards for Intel or AMD start at around £250, by the time you've added two cheap processors into that mix (Xeon or Opeteron) you're up to £750 without any RAM!

An i7 actually looks like a very good option for example, Scan have the current system on their today only offers page:

1TB Samsung HD103UI, EcoGreen F1 DT, SATA 3Gb/s HDD, 32MB Cache, 8.9 ms, NCQ
6GB (3x2GB) Corsair Dominator DDR3, PC3-12800 (1600), 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 8, DHX, EPP
850W NorthQ Black Magic Flex Modular Green PSU 80%+ Eff' 135mm Silent Fan Crossfire X/Quad SLi
Asus P6T SE, Intel X58, Sok 1366, PCI-E 2.0 (x16), DDR3 2000/1866/1800, SATA 3Gb/s, SATA RAID, ATX
Intel i7 920, Socket 1366 (B), Nehalem, 2.66GHz, Cache 8MB, Retail
LiteOn DH-4O1S-06C Black 4x Internal BD-ROM Blu-Ray SATA OEM
Samsung SH-S223Q/BEBN 22x DVD±R, 8x DVD±DL, DVD+RW x8/-RW x6, x12 RAM SATA L/scribe Black OEM +Nero
Scan Black Floppy Disk +Int Combo All in 1 Card Reader Fits 3.5" Bay USB2
Xclio Windtunnel Extreme V2 Cooling Black Tower case with 2 x 25cm VR Side Fans - w/o PSU

For £747 inc VAT, you would need to add an OS to that and a Quadro or Radeon Firexxx Graphics card depending on the applications you're likely to run. You don't really need the BD ROM drive either so could probably shave £40 off that price if you buy the components seperately.
April 22, 2009 11:07:30 AM

Hey thanks Ixion, Will one i7 out perform 2 Intel Xeon E5410 Quad Core's? ... I already run a q9550 in 64 bit and expect 8 cores to be much more efficient with my multi threaded software.

Using an Asus DSBV-DX motherboard for £180 and 2 of these processors the final price comes to £630. I already have the other components, Dual DVI, SSD, DVD. I can add say £120 for 8Gb DDR2 6400.

I know this MB is very cheap and I am a little dubious as to weather this will perform well, but I don't know much about FSB's and stuff. Will this do and do I need to go for faster Ram?

Thats a good machine though, and a good price.
!