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Choosing stable motherboard and other components for Core i7 2600k

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April 10, 2011 6:12:07 AM

Hi , I am planing to purchase some workstation for our team of animators, doing a lot of 3d character animation with heavy rig and geometry and doing heavy rendering overnights:

Here is the configuration:

cpu: corei7 2600k
motherboard: ?
ram:4 gig
vga: gtx 260/ gtx480/ quadro 4000

-these machines are supposed to do rendering the animated scenes on overnight , so they will do a very heavy job.

the questions are:
1-are these systems with above configuration capable and stable enough to manage these job?
2-which model of stable motherboard should I consider to?
3-what other configuration you suggest?
4-any major difference between 2600 and 2600 K in stability and performance for doing 3d animation?
you imagine if we get trouble in middle of the job, what a frustrating time we would have! so please give me a professional advice.

thanks

a b à CPUs
April 10, 2011 1:56:09 PM

Go for any p67 motherboard. I would stick to Asus or Gigabyte.
It would be nice if you tell us what ram sticks [brand] you have/are going to buy. You might need a little more ram, but you can always buy more sticks.
The difference between the 2600 and 2600k is that the 2600k has an unlocked multiplier - you can overclock the cpu and get better performance. There isnt any other difference, you will get the same results at stock speed.
If you plan to overclock your cpu you should get a cooler - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... .
Also another thing you havent mentioned - what psu will you use ? The gtx 480 consumes alot of power and PC stability also depends on the psu.
April 10, 2011 2:47:19 PM

Most people will tell you to go with Asus or Gigabyte which is fine.

If you choose one I'd choose gigabyte but I have a personal bias because of some horrible experiences I had with ASUS.

For my 2600K I went with an Asrock motherboard, I had good experiences with them in the past and so far I have no complaints at all after 1 month of ownership.
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April 10, 2011 2:50:11 PM

What case are you intending to use? Stability in part depends on temperature, which means air flow.
Sandy Bridge are efficient and relatively low heat out put but you will be running at or near 100% overnight, and the Video cards will be contributing to case temperature.
The more efficient the psu the less case cooling it does.
Plan on an after market cooler, Hyper 212 plus at a minimum.
Getting the P67 motherboard and the 2600k would allow you to overclock, which raises performance to $1000 chip standards or more.
Research the issue, 4.2-4.5 MHz occ have proved stable.
You do not have to but would make "future" sense.
You are likely to bottle neck with 4 GB ram, at least 8 required. (tradionally)
I would choose a board that has heat sinks over the mosfets (motherboard power supply) as well.
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a c 107 V Motherboard
April 10, 2011 4:54:36 PM

1. I would go with 8GB (2x4GB) for RAM. Otherwise, the configs look good.
2. ASRock P67 Pro3, ASUS P8P67 (regular version, not LE/Pro/Evo/Deluxe), Gigabyte P67A-UD3P, MSI P67A-GD53.
3a. Reliable power supply. SeaSonic, Corsair, XFX, Antec. 600W is a good starting point.
3b. Big, fast hard drives. Western Digital Caviar Black, Samsung Spinpoint F3, Seagate 7200.12, and similar models. You probably want 1-2TB capacity.
4. As long as you are using a discrete graphics card, there aren't any differences for business/professional users. For overclockers like a lot of people on these forums, the 2600K is better.
April 12, 2011 4:08:32 PM

Hi again thanks for all your advises,
I just was reading an article about 2600k mentioning it's recent issues and bugs, and at the same time some seller are telling that the new generation of corei7 is the best solution for speed and budget, and some are pushing me to choose much more expensive core i7 950 - 980x and even phenom2 6c and or magny-course 8c(?) , really confusing , any of you guys who have experience in both 3d animation and hardware please give me a solid solution, many thanks in advance

I hope in this forum we had a specified thread which there artists and technical people discussing about best solution for specified applications such as maya , max , PS, ..etc.
about which system configuration has the minimum bug and maximum stability/speed,.etc .I think that would help a lot answering many questions and confusion.

many thanks in advance
April 12, 2011 10:48:31 PM

Intel suffered a bug in their 67 series motherboard chipset, this has been resolved by the recall and B3 Series chipset. Focusing on this at this date is silly.
You originally mentioned the 2600K CPU and implied some urgency.
In performance per $ the 2600K offeres top scale performance at about $330.
I7 950-980X matches give or take a little the performance of an overclocked 2600K.
The cost is $1000 per CPU on a socket offering Intel little reason for upgrades.
It IS "mature" in that there should be no unexpected difficulties. Your money your choice.
At present AMD offers "mature" motherboard/cpu chipsets available at or just below the Sandy Bridge 2600K price wise. The more core intensive your programs the more desireable the TOP AMD CPUs look, for the money.
Amd is probably releasing Bulldozer CPUs in June so buying AMD 3+ Motherboards (available and supporting AMD 3 CPUs) would provide an upgrade path.
Problem is no one knows how good this will be.
Intel will be releasing Socket 2011 and Ivy Bridge motherboard/cpu chipset, supposed a 20% performance boost on Sandy Bridge.
Just for fun the Z68 Intel Motherboard Chipset is due to release in May. It MAY have feature desireable for you.
Yes these are confusing times.

This is an enthusiat forum, in some ways it is better than stricklyprofessionals because these people are jumping in and using the technology and obsessive about it.

People in the same profession, or people who answer these questions professionally expect to be paid for it. This is news? OR you would be knocking on doors, yes???
What do you pay for information?

Anyway, there are Benchmarks for Rendering and Cinamatic programing. The gamers here are familar with them giving legitamacy to their views.

Sandy Bridge is here now and even a major recall has NOT eroded faith in its performance.

I7 980X is much more expensive but "proven" technologically.
AMD 1090 OR 1100 offer more cores at slightly lower speed at near or below Sandy Bridge prices.

Man there is no magic and tanstaafl rules. A professional will tell you the same, charge you for it, and make the choice HE is most comfortable with. All yours boyo..
a b à CPUs
April 13, 2011 12:40:50 PM

Avak, the ONLY problem about 2600k WASNT about the cpu : it was about the motherboard`s 3Gb/s SATA (hard disk) ports, but that is fixed now.
The 2600k is better than any AMD cpu : here is a benchmark vs the 6 core 1100t.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=203
Here is a benchmark vs the 1000$ i7 980x :
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=142
Im not saying that the 2600k is better than the i7 980x, but for an ALOT lower price you are getting almost the same performance.

And have in mind that those sellers are making profit from what you buy so dont think that they will build you the best rig ;) 
April 13, 2011 2:31:23 PM

Looking at the Benchmarks I think most apply the I7 990x is the "best" for your use.
Whether it is worth the price difference to you I do not know.
The AMD appears outclassed in the benchmarks. No longer a reasonable choice.
a b à CPUs
April 13, 2011 2:38:10 PM

Well yeah, if he doesnt mind spending 1k $ for the 990x he should go for it. He will have the fastest cpu right now.
Lets ignore how he will feel when he sees the performance and price of the 8 core Sandy Bridge cpus that Intel will release at Q4 this year...
April 14, 2011 12:53:15 AM

There is very little information given. The devil in the details.
Performance per dollar Sandy Bridge NOW.
Performance that appears applicable to circumstance, NOW, I7 990X.
It is even possible the new server releases should be considered.
For reliable workstations, given the original question..
April 14, 2011 2:41:21 AM

avak said:
Hi , I am planing to purchase some workstation for our team of animators, doing a lot of 3d character animation with heavy rig and geometry and doing heavy rendering overnights:

Here is the configuration:

cpu: corei7 2600k
motherboard: ?
ram:4 gig
vga: gtx 260/ gtx480/ quadro 4000

-these machines are supposed to do rendering the animated scenes on overnight , so they will do a very heavy job.

the questions are:
1-are these systems with above configuration capable and stable enough to manage these job?
2-which model of stable motherboard should I consider to?
3-what other configuration you suggest?
4-any major difference between 2600 and 2600 K in stability and performance for doing 3d animation?
you imagine if we get trouble in middle of the job, what a frustrating time we would have! so please give me a professional advice.

thanks




Asus & Intel Mother boards are pretty stable. I do design simulation on my PC it runs for days.

My personal choice is ASUS and Intel mb for this type usage. Here are some of available Asus MB

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you are to use CUDA w/ nvidia and SLI nvidia cards
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Deluxe model
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The cost effective way to is to OC your CPU.... 2600K fit the bill. Don't go for expensive CPU's its not worth it.

Port your task to CUDA... Use the GPU to process your task. It's much more efficient and a lot faster. Its a more cost effective solution than putting money on CPU.

I run design simulation(electonics desing) on my PCs. I use Math Lab for Math Intensive calculation. These are calc heavy task. They run much faster when usign CUDA/ and NVIDIA GPU. My GTX 280 is like a KICK ASS machine compare to the same QUAD CORE PCs with CF 4890. My tasks runs from 4 hrs to 4 days or more... :) 

NVIDIA is very strong on this. Much better than using the CPUs.( > 50% faster).

Big Memory is a big advantage. Configure your board with 2x 8GB. That will give you an option to upgrade to 32 Gbyte( if you need it in the future). I'm not sure how much memory do you need.

My current application use the 8 Gbytes that is on board my PCS. It could run faster but my PCs max out at 8 Gbyte. The servers that i use have more 65 TByte of memory and it runs a lot faster.

I'm confugiring a 2600K worksation for myself. I'm putting in GTX 580 and 32Gbyte of memory.... But again i don't know much about your application. You have to decide on it.

Quadro boards are ideal but very expensive. I'm going for 580 and just use CUDA... It may not be as fast but 1/4 of the price of quadro card.

Its your choice.... Put the money on CUDA cards that can process task faster than Intel CPUs/AMD CPUS....But make sure that your application has libraries that use CUDA from nvidia.



July 15, 2011 11:15:03 PM

Hi guys,

I also run a variety of CPU's in a heavy 24x7 application. I am running in Linux using Java app, in this case inverting seismc data. The software is multithreaded, and I run one thread per hyperthread i.e. 8 threads on 2600k.

I have a water cooled (Corsair H60 cooler) as the machine was reporting throttling down with standard fan when not even overclocked - ambient air temp is 18-19 deg C, plenty of air flow.

My attempts to overclock this particular MB (ASUS P8Z68-V PRO with Hynix 4 x 4Gb 1600Mhz RAM) have been pretty unsuccessful.

I have had a couple of unreported derelictions of duty, when the system hangs without any logs, firstly after 10 mins at 4300Ghz :fou:  , then after 32 hours at 3900Ghz (with RAM at 1600Mhz and small voltage boost). :fou:  :fou:  :fou: 

Overall this CPU's ouput (measured in Bytes output per minute) compares well with other CPU's, but still trails the i7 960 in my application.

2600K 8 threads at stock speed (3.4 Ghz) 142k/min
2 x Xeon 5680's i.e. 22 threads at 3.4Ghz 210k/min
i7 960 8 threads at 3.2 Ghz 154k/min
2 x Xeon 5560 16 threads at 2.8Ghz 137k/min


Other older (non-hyperthreaded) dual Xeons get 87-106k/min under 8 threads.

So the i7 970 should perform well.


!