(another) dual xeon vs single i7 vs quad amd

Gang,

I'm a huge multitasker, my present machine is run 24/7 and I reboot about three times a year. I don't close programs, I usually move stuff around between three monitors and tend to have 60-80 tasks running at once when displayed in Windows Task Manager. When I load the system particularly heavy, the interactiveness of the GUI really starts to be affected.

I'm building a new system. I'm running Windows 7 on a VM, and I hate the interface (I use XP and have stayed away from Vista because I hate its interface). I'm hoping Win7 either has a throwback interface to the Win2k/XP days, or, with some work, is fully customizable to achieve the same effect.

Having said that, after reading the benefits of Win7 on 64-bit hardware, I'm giving it a serious look.

Which brings me to architecture. I don't do a lot of gaming. Mostly I use a ton of desktop apps, mapping software, satellite imagery, and of course a million browser windows, Outlook managing several 2+GB PST files, etc.

Core i7 times one or Xeon 5500 times two? Or quad board with four AMD CPUS? Eight or more physical/sixteen or more virtual cores really has appeal. I understand that for software that is specifically written to take advantage of massively multi-cored systems will no doubt perform better, but what I am looking for is overall system speed when under heavy load. Most importantly, I want my GUI to remain interactively-instantaneous even when I've got a million things open and active. Perhaps trivial to most, the ability to have windows not "skip" when I scroll, fast window paints, instantaneous reaction to icons being clicked, etc., is worth a few extra dollars on system harware considering I want to future-proof this system and will be using it for the next 5 years.

Having said all that, will Win7 perform better with dual Xeons for "regular" user-level apps, vs a single i7 overclocked? Again, I know its trivial, but when I have 3GB RAM in use and 90% CPU load across most cores, I still want Word to open in the blink of an eye :)

What's my best option?

Thanks.
7 answers Last reply
More about another dual xeon single quad
  1. First, you definitely want Windows 7 - it will stay responsive with a million windows better than Vista does, and far better than XP. A single i7 or AMD quad should be more than enough, though you'll want a TON of RAM and a dedicated video card (though you won't need a top end one).
  2. well if you want dual LGA1366 and tons of ram

    SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DAH+-O, 18 DDR3 slots
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182176

    though you don't need it, an i7 + 12GB of memory should do you fine
    or an AMD quad with 8GB
  3. Oh, and if you want apps to open in the blink of an eye, you'll want an SSD.
  4. Hi,

    Did you get any solution for your question, I am also looking for the same kind of "super Power" machine,
    Please let us know what Recommended configuration you got for such high level multitasking heavy projects..
  5. I decided on a single Core i7.

    I want, above all, a super-quiet system, and the case I selected (CM Centurion 590) would be a tight fit for a dual CPU board, if it fit at all. A second CPU would be nice, but right now I figure the overall cost-to-performance ratio, plus my need for a quiet system, better lends itself to a single CPU.

    I plan to overclock the i7 to maximize performance, something I'm not sure I could do with a Xeon (haven't researched it much). I don't have tasks working in the background (ie a rendering underway while I'm multitasking) so interactive performance of the in-focus app should be sufficient with a single CPU, given enough RAM to manage apps that are open but idle.

    I may look into a more robust system down the road, but for now I'll see how a single i7 performs for my needs.
  6. tucansam said:
    I decided on a single Core i7.

    I want, above all, a super-quiet system, and the case I selected (CM Centurion 590) would be a tight fit for a dual CPU board, if it fit at all. A second CPU would be nice, but right now I figure the overall cost-to-performance ratio, plus my need for a quiet system, better lends itself to a single CPU.

    I plan to overclock the i7 to maximize performance, something I'm not sure I could do with a Xeon (haven't researched it much). I don't have tasks working in the background (ie a rendering underway while I'm multitasking) so interactive performance of the in-focus app should be sufficient with a single CPU, given enough RAM to manage apps that are open but idle.

    I may look into a more robust system down the road, but for now I'll see how a single i7 performs for my needs.


    So... Progress report? How goes the i7 so far?
  7. It ain't the cores ---- it's the RAMs (and as noted) the disk I/O.

    And If you want 'super quiet' you do not want to OC ---- you want to underclock and undervolt to keep temps down ....
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