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Building a boss workstation/gaming rig. twin xeons or i7?

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October 3, 2012 4:44:00 PM

I am looking to build a multipurpose machine for work/play.

for work I will be doing a lot of number crunching, mostly manipulating radar and geological data using Geographic information system (GIS) and Unidata | IDV. I will also be running pretty intensive JAVA programs and a linux VM. from what i understand, CPU, memory, and disk I/O are all pretty critical for what i am doing.

The box i am using for this now is a i5 with 8 or 16Mb ram (i forget, not in front of the machine right now) and some pretty standard 750gb SATA drives. some of the data rendering takes up to 10 minutes on this machine, and i need something faster.


For gaming, it won't be very intensive, juist want to run current games on at least reasonable settings, but i will be getting a top-shelf GeForce card.

budget is flexible, but i am not going to get twin $4,000 Xeons :/ 

So my question is: all things being equal, at, say an $1000 price point, would twin X5??? xeons be faster for this kind of work than a single i7? Could i still play games with the xeons (understanding that most games dont multithread/multicore well) ofc, i would be upgrading memory and HDD as well, just asking what CPU to base this off of.

Thanks!

More about : building boss workstation gaming rig twin xeons

a b à CPUs
October 3, 2012 4:55:47 PM

Get an SSD that is big enough to hold your OS stuff, your programs, and whatever data you are using on it. You probably want 256 GBs or 512 GBs.

Also, look into whether or not the programs you will be using are capable of using GPGPU capabilities (might also say CUDA somewhere). If so the ATI video cards will help your programs to run faster more than Nvidia cards will most likely. If it says CUDA on there then it only works with Nvidia, though.

This is important to you, because video cards are worth about a dozen processors at least. If you can use your video card to do some of the number crunching it will be like buying 10 computers instead of 1. you want to make use of that if at all possible and radar/geological stuff would seem like the sort of thing where the makers would want to implement this.

I think I would take the dual Xeons for 1000 per over a single 3770k if it were me. The number crunching stuff probably is well threaded (verify this, though) and the video cards do most of the work for gaming anyway. Since this is primarily a work PC with some gaming I would definitely take the option that orients more towards the work aspect, in this case the Xeons.
a b à CPUs
October 3, 2012 6:09:17 PM

Sure the XEONs for number crunching, cause only those support ECC RAM. Every thing else already stated by Raiddinn.
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October 3, 2012 11:54:35 PM

>I think I would take the dual Xeons for 1000 per over a single 3770k if it were me.

i was asking one $1000 i7 or two $500 xeons. it's kind of hard to compare what i would be getting from an i7 vs two x5000 series xeons. i am prepared to spend around $1500 on cpu's but i cant tell what would be the best value. I have been checking the sites for the programs i will be using. no mention of multi/hyperthreading. nor CUDA or gpgpu

thanks for the replies.


edit: i can't spell...
a b à CPUs
October 4, 2012 12:04:55 AM

Assuming your number crunching is multithreaded, I'd go with the dual socket system. You'll get quite a bit more raw computational power that way, as well as more RAM capability as well.
a b à CPUs
October 4, 2012 12:47:04 AM

I don't know any sites where I can directly compare the power of the two setups.

Also, try asking on the forums of the makers of those programs what they would suggest out of the two options.
October 4, 2012 12:21:55 PM

I would probably take 2 $500 priced Xeons if they are 6-core procs. for the other than gaming tasks.
!