Quad CPU thoughts

Hey all,

First post on this forum. I'm speccing out a "super" workstation, maybe my needs are too specific for a hardware forum, but I'll give it a shot.

I'm a 3D VFX artist and I am looking to build a beast machine for rendering. Specifically using Maya and Vray. The way Vray typically renders is in "buckets" sending something like a 64x64 pixel segment of the image to be rendered by each core of the processor. So often, more slower cores deliver better performance and faster feedback than less but faster cores.

My thought was to build a dual or quad proc machine, either something like Xeon's for a dual or Opteron's for a Quad. Now I guess my question is, for the costs of building something "exotic" like a quad proc machine, am I just wasting money because all of the additional components are expensive? Vray can render via network with other machines, so maybe getting several i7 boxes and doing network rednering would be faster and more cost effective.

any thoughts or suggestions are really welcome. Thanks!

-Chris
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More about quad thoughts
  1. You could get a dual socket LGA2011 board for the 8 core sandy bridge e xeons. Is 16 cores enough for what you want?

    This is an example of such a board
    http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_2011/Z9PED8_WS/

    It supports 4 way SLI too.

    There are quad socket boards around, but I think they're for server use, i.e no PCI-E 16x slot. You would still need a decent graphics card right? Could you get the graphics cards to take the workload off the CPU or does Maya not work like that?
  2. Thanks very much, that is the exact kind of thing I didn't know, that a quad board doesn't have the PCI slots I might want.

    The graphics card is indeed important but does not help with some types of rendering. Mostly rendering is handled by the CPU. You can do GPU rendering but some of the features are missing.
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