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PC spec to rival Mac Pro 2x 6-Core Intel Xeon 2.66

Last response: in CPUs
July 17, 2012 3:26:59 PM

Hi All,

I'm new here - hello.

At work I have Mac Pro 2x 6-Core Intel Xeon 2.66.

Simple question...I want a PC for home with comparable speed to the mac pro for 3d package multi thread rendering. That's the major reason for the purchase.

8 gig of ram minimum.

Can anyone recommend a workstation? Should I be looking for more cores at lower clock speeds, or less cores at higher speeds.

Budget is £2-3k. Hopefully more around £2k.

Thanks in advance.
a b à CPUs
July 17, 2012 3:58:04 PM

Well for comparatively cheap, you could start off with an i7-3930K :) 
For more power, you too will have to buy dual xeon's, say like two Xeon E7-2803 , and then a dual socket mobo , not cheap :) 

Just check out BD based chips too....they really good for highly threaded apps :) 
July 17, 2012 4:21:19 PM

Thanks for the reply. What are BD based chips?
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a c 116 à CPUs
July 17, 2012 4:43:01 PM

wiffola said:
Thanks for the reply. What are BD based chips?

AMD Bulldozer like the FX8150 or its Opteron counterpart.
July 17, 2012 4:52:06 PM

Well, for your budget you won't be able to approach dual 6-core xeons. Bulldozer has 8 cores, 8 threads (4 modules), and a 3930k has 6 cores, 12 threads. If you look below I have a 3930k because I wanted to do a little something something with my adobe suite (master collection).

I can say pretty easily, this processor which is not overclocked at the moment, is amazing. Then again I went from a Core 2 Quad Q9450. I paid about $3,000 for this build, so it turned out the way I wanted for gaming and working. Sure there are some good deals on as well.
July 19, 2012 8:26:38 PM

OK thanks guys.

I have narrowed it down to 3 options - some advice would be amazing. Remeber I need to for 3d multi thread rendering as its main purpose.

1. "Ultima 9500i Monolith" Intel Core i7 3960X 3.30GHz @ 4.20GHz DDR3 Hex Core System

2. Mac Pro 2 x Intel Xeon 6 Core 2.4GHz

3. HP Z820 Six Core Xeon E5-2620 2.00GHz

This isnt a PC / MAC discussion - it doesnt bother me either way. It whats best for 3d rendering speed.

Thanks for your help.
July 19, 2012 9:28:35 PM

Can anyone advise....really need to make this purchase :) 
a b à CPUs
July 20, 2012 2:40:19 AM

2 x Intel Xeon 6 Core 2.4GHz :D  That's 2 Xeon chips for a total of 12C/24T :)  It's a monster :) 

The other 2 systems don't even come close :) 
a c 190 à CPUs
July 20, 2012 3:58:15 AM

To rival the mac pro you would need a dual processor system for starters, no single CPU is going to be able to keep up with 2 6 core Xeon's even if they are based on the first generation of the core architecture.

Start with a motherboard like this

Add two of the E5645's in the mac pro

Add large quantities of memory, for dual processor i would run 8GB per CPU to minimize the need for them to share so 4 sets of this

The rest is spent on SSD, case, cooling fans, and a video card so you can see what you are doing. It is possible to do it for less than the mac pro, but it is still very expensive, but a fair bit less than the mac if you want to do it yourself.

If it were up to me, i would probably just get the mac pro, they are beasts. One thing i would do though is get at least 16 or 32 GB in it, at least the 2008 era mac pros had very high power usage memory(ECC and whatnot) in a very cramped space so they had special massive heatsinks on them which makes a memory upgrade wayyyy more expensive than you expect so get it early so you don't have to drop a bunch extra on it later when it becomes a specialty part.
July 20, 2012 10:26:30 AM

contrary to popular belief, dual xeon macpro is one of the cheapest 12c/24t workstation out there. the only negative side from the mac pro is their consumer grade graphic card (which isn't designed for professional use). i have yet to find other 12 core xeon-based system that cost below $4k (maybe someone can point it out for me :)  )

however i wouldnt recommend a macpro for now as its current hardware are outdated, it is still using nehalem based xeon
July 20, 2012 3:29:43 PM

If I had to choose between the 3 choices it would be the Mac Pro.
July 20, 2012 3:37:39 PM

Went for the Mac Pro and upgraded ram to 20gb.

I know theres a new one coming out next year...but this is apple, there'll always be another one coming :) 

Cant wait - currenly have 4 cores...tomorrow will be 24!

Thanks for your help guys.
July 20, 2012 3:39:08 PM

threads i mean!
a c 116 à CPUs
July 20, 2012 5:35:20 PM

wiffola said:
I know theres a new one coming out next year...but this is apple, there'll always be another one coming :) 

There will always be "another one coming" regardless of vendor unless/until the vendor withdraws from the market since nearly every technology manufacturer has annual product refreshes or substitutions to adapt to the evolving technology ecosystem and consumer trends.