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Dual CPU - Rendering Workstation (seeks advice)

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September 21, 2011 3:14:20 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: within one month

Budget Range: $1500(start)-2000(total)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Architectural, 3d Rendering still frame and animations (programs include Autodesk suite, Rhino, vray, mental ray, Adobe PS AI Premiere), Least important – MS office, internet. This system will never run a game.

Parts Not Required: Case: Cooler Master Cosmos ATX Full tower
PSU: corsair CMPSU-tx850w (not sure if this will be enough)
GPU: I have two available. GeForce GTX 260 – 896 MB GDDR3 or Radeon 5770 -1GB DDR5
HHD: I have 2 WD 1TB 7,200RPM drives
OS: Windows 7 Pro 64 bit OEM
Optical: Samsung DVD-RW

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg tiger or instore (micro center)

Country of Origin: USA – San Diego

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, all else I am open to suggestion

Overclocking: Yes / Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No – unless you can make a case for its necessity

Monitor Resolution: Dual 1680x1050

Additional Comments: Can be built in stages/upgraded over 3 month period
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I am not married to any parts at this stage of the design/build.

ASUS Z8NA-D6C Dual LGA 1366 Intel 5500 ATX Dual Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 Series Server/Workstation Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Xeon E5620 Westmere 2.4GHz 12MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 80W Quad-Core Server Processor BX80614E5620
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Patriot Viper II Sector 7 Edition 24GB (6 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model PV7324G1333ELHK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That makes for a 1250$ build so far, given I can reuse most of the parts listed above. I wanted to ask the forums opinions/advice about the system. The main focus of the build will be to update my current workstation. I am looking for better rendering times, but also a stronger daily use in the 3D design software. My hope by changing into a dual cpu system is to increase the number of cores and dramatically decrease rendering times, and improve the computation of scripts and visualization during the design phase.

I am open to all forms of suggestion given the hardware. Thanks for your time and opinions,
Kevin
September 21, 2011 3:22:36 AM

I think you would get more milage, at THIS stage, in the platform cycle, from an X58 i7 8-core rig, with 24GB DRAM and two 560 Ti GPUs (and a couple of SSDs.)

Seasonic X-Series ~850Watt range
September 21, 2011 3:31:48 AM

There's also a dual-G34 AMD server board that could potentially hold two of the Bulldozer 16 cores :) 

For rendering, would you get better performance from a Quado/FirePro Card?
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September 21, 2011 4:59:49 AM

Alvin & Boiler, Thanks for the responses.

I think the SSD’s are required, I should have had them added to the original post. I was thinking at least one, if not 2 for the OS and main apps. Then just using the 1tb’s for storage.

As for the GPU, I have read that the Quadro cards are highly recommended by AutoDesk, and I have some friends running them with high success. The only reason I say Quadro is from what I have read about their higher accuracy. (I may be failing for some hype, but it sounds good)

On the CPU, I’m still at a bit of a loss. The more I try and drive into the discussions of Cores v Clock speed, for rendering, I’m finding some differences. I still feel like the dual chipset would allow for the higher core/thread count. If not the quad xeon’s maybe a 6-core set, for the 24 total. I’m just not sure yet, more research is needed.

The Bulldozers sound very interesting, if I could get backburner or something to work, 32 cores would rock.
September 21, 2011 10:45:11 AM

Strangely, AutoCAD benefits most from a higher clock.
That is why I would go with an i7 8-core, and clock it at ~3.8 with HT "on" and Turbo "off".

Or even an i7 SIX core ... you will be surprised.

Go with the 560 Ti. Again, ACAD really does not care and, once/when it does ? ... You will have a NCE CUDA side-card, to complement your Quadro. ... I know I said TWO 560's but you can run both monitors (identical rez) of of ONE 560 and, as far as just running ACAD ... a Six-core HT clocked at 3.8GHz, with one 560Ti and a ~90GB boot SSD and a 256GB SSD for apps and render-writes ... ? ... I strongly recommend you start THERE, and make any adjustments after you run some benches.

"EVOLVE" the build, ONLY as NEEDED (with clear technical justification).

If you really want to waste WADS of money, on a space-ship, I won't waste either of our clock cycles trying to convince you otherwise.

Just know that AutoCAD code and requirements have not caught up to the 64Bit/Multi-core environment, as yet ... And *I* (personally) would not waste ANY monies anticipating changes which may be slow to come.

Even an AMD "screaming 3x core" with max RAM would do really well (with max OC).

You could even run ACAD, with a fast gaming 3-core and an updated 249 GPU (with BOTH your display monitors 1) ... Or, with just a plain-old 560 (not even a Ti). ... ACAD just does not care, thaqt much ...
... The ONLY reason I initially recommended the somewhat more robust i7 build was because most pros are multi-taskers and (as we all know), nobody runs AutoCAD in a complete vacuum. ... so ...

=Al=



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