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Which System for 3dsMax 2010

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Last response: in CPUs
June 11, 2010 8:17:59 PM

Hi All,

Hope this is the right area to post in, apologies if not.

I’m about to purchase a new system for 3dmax 2010 design and rendering, and was wondering which system people though would be quicker (mainly for rendering). It’s mainly the processor that i’m worried about – is the i7 any better than then dual xeons for 3dsMax?

System 1

Dell T5500
2 x Xeon E5503 2.0GHx
12GB Ram
1GB Nvidia FX3800
500GB ATAii (7200rpm)


I7 930 2.8Ghz
6gb Ram
1GB PNY Quadro fx3800
640gb WD Caviar (7200rpm)

Any pointer would be appreciated

More about : system 3dsmax 2010

a c 83 à CPUs
June 11, 2010 10:01:52 PM

I might be wrong, but I think the I7 will be faster for rendering. I know 3ds max is very well threaded. Those Xeons, unless I'm mistaken, are only dual core processors. Both systems will give you 4 cores, but the I7 is clocked higher.

I'm not sure what kind of work you plan to do, but depending on file/scene sizes, you may need more than 6Gb of ram. However 6 would be enough for most people using max.
a b à CPUs
June 12, 2010 5:25:14 PM

The single 930 would be better. If you can manage to get a stable overclock, that would be even more better.
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June 13, 2010 4:30:07 PM

Hi, Many thanks for the replay,

Is the I7 that much more improved that it can be quicker at rendering that two quad core Xeons.

Both would give 8 processors in windows to use (i believe the i7 uses hyperthreding)
June 13, 2010 4:32:42 PM

Sorry the Xeon would only be 4 threds as its only dual core

many thanks for the reply i think the i7 has it
June 13, 2010 4:39:12 PM

The i7 rig for sure!

The Xeons are dualcores without HT. No hyperthreading = 4 total cores for workstaion/Expensive Rig. They support ECC memory for server applications and the i7 does not. While the ECC memory would give you some extra snap, I dont believe it is justified here . The total cores via HT for the i7 rig are 8 logical cores meaning 8 seperate threads/things can be processed at once. Now lets talk about that Quadro video card. Its a little underpowered in my PROFESSIONAL opinion. I use a quadro FX 5600 or FX 4600. When performing Heavy rendering you will find that a single FX 3800 just doesnt suffice. That leaves the option to replace or my favorite.......... SLI! Just get another FX 3800 SLI those BAD boys.

Overall it would be an excellent build either way Xeon or i7 --------- the i7 would eat the xeon up though!

June 14, 2010 8:16:24 AM


I have been able to get the dell upgraded to
Two Intel Xeon E5620(2.4GHz,5.86GT/s,12MB,4C)-Memory runs at1066MHz

Which is quad core and hyperthreding giveing 8 threds per CPU so 16 threads

Is This the way to go? or does the i7 still pip it at the post.


a b à CPUs
June 14, 2010 9:52:36 AM

Well in that case, the Xeon config would be certainly stronger than i7.
I would also suggest that you consider a single i7 980X. 6 cores @ 3.33 GHz w/ 12 threads
I don't know how the performance of 2 xeons would scale up. A single 980X might come close to their performance, at a lesser price.
June 14, 2010 1:47:09 PM

OK THE Dual Xeon E5620 is better than one i7. They scale perfectly and the performance is astronomical compared to a single i7 930. Now I think ILL suggest to try to get the E5620 replaced with a Xeon X5650 or X5660. The X 5650 is 6 core and performance is beastly. The 5600 series Xeons all have HT (hyper-threading) so total (virtual) cores of dual E5620 config would be 16. Total (virtual) cores of E5650 and above would be 24. The drawback to using the 6 core models is PRICE as they cost into the $1000 to $1800 dollar mark.

Lets get back to rendering here. The rendering is not really processed by the CPUs, but by the Graphix cards. You could save yourself some cash here by buying the rig with the i7 930 and adding another Video card in sli, that is if the motherboard in the dell is capable of such a configuration. The performance increase you will see will be much more than going to two XEONs and leaving only one FX3800. The only thing that the two Xeons would help with would be helping get the instructions to the Grafix cards faster. Now with that said you could have the best of both worlds and get the dual E5620's and dual FX3800's. This configuration is sure to not let you down on performance or time for rendering.
a b à CPUs
July 1, 2010 7:00:54 AM

i'm not sure about that.... the 'rendering' as in software calculating lighting and shadows and such is NOT done by the graphics card. the graphics card DOES however render the viewport image or a video game or the transparency in windows 7. in other words: if your model is choppy when you rotate or pan in a viewport you need more video card, if it take 3 hours to render a still image you need more processor. and more complicated yet ... the amount of processor [ie, all 24 cores] used by the software varies. so there is the basic scanline renderer built into max, and mental ray which is stand-alone but included with max. or maybe you use another rendering engine like v-ray or maxwell. it all depends on how well the software engineers wrote the program. this seems to be a re-occurring issue now that we're getting on up there in the core count. i am continuing to do research on this subject with little avail.

btw> the research i have done on video cards has shown that the GeForce GTX480 is outperforming the overpriced quadro line. remember it's not always the number 'they' tell you thats important. in the case of graphics cards the clock speed and # of cores are more important than the amount of ram.
July 1, 2010 8:16:25 PM

Whooops! I forgot to mention using cuda as being the rendering source here.

You are right about the rendering being done on the CPU!!
I am SOOOO used to cuda rendering, I forgot all about the normal way.

The Video card I would have suggested is th GTX480.