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Low-end E5 Xeon or high-end Core i7?

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October 29, 2012 10:12:45 PM

Hey,

I'm building a budget rendering/workstation PC (specifically for 3Ds Max renders) and was curious what people use more often, high-end Core i7s or low end Xeon E5s?

At the moment I'm looking at the E5 2620 which is Intel's cheapest six-core Xeon E5 processor at $415.
I feel like the higher end i7's are better value, but are more ideal for gaming rather than rendering. Am I wrong?

I'd appreciate any feedback/help.

My build so far consists of:

1 256GB Samsung 830 SSD
1 TB Storage HD
NVIDIA Quadro 4000
Supermicro X9SRA Worstation Motherboard (if I choose to go with a E5)
24GB Crucial DDR3 1333 ECC Server Memory
Corsair 650W PSU
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October 29, 2012 10:40:36 PM

given that you're going for workstation setup to be used exclusively for rendering i'd choose the xeon with eec for stability. the k/x i7's can give good overclocking ability, but that seems alot more relevant to games & programs that use only a few threads at most. hopefully the software you will be using will be optimized for multi-core cpu's and will make full use of the hex architecture. also note that 3ds max can make use of cuda (in what capacity i don't know) i would research this cuda aspect more & if most/all the workload an be moved to the gpu instead of the cpu, i would consider scaling down the cpu budget to quad core & increasing the gpu budget for more cuda cores.
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October 30, 2012 5:07:59 AM

I think i'm going to stick with the xeon, mainly for stability, it also seems to be the norm for workstations.
Despite it being a slower clock speed, 3DS Max will be able to utilize all 6 cores when rendering, so it should provide faster output.

I found a pretty good quote from another forum, that helped me out a little.

GPU

- Keep Quadro with Quadro and Geforce with Geforce. So, if you're set for Quadro, use only Quadro for best compatibility and results.

- Tesla is great for GPGPU rendering purposes whether through CUDA or OpenCL but isn't a replacement for a Quadro for main workstation use.

- Multiple GPUs won't help anything as of yet, GPGPU is still being worked on and the main issue isn't the number of processing cores, it's the limited amounts of RAM. Dream solution is to tie GPU cores with main system RAM or add-in card (think Fusion-io) rather than rely on GPU RAM.


CPU

- Faster is always better and more cores for rendering.

- If Intel, stay Intel and, like GPUs, try to keep everything all Xeon. If AMD, stick with AMD.

- Multiple AMD cores versus Intel virtual cores is apples and oranges in the grand scheme of things. A lot of software still isn't ideally optimized for multiple cores let alone trying to match different CPU techniques.

- For rendering, CPU speed vs. core count is your main budgetary battle.
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October 30, 2012 5:14:24 AM

more cores, so probably, me, the xeon is the budget solution
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October 30, 2012 6:46:28 AM

You should not ask this things ! Of course XEON !!!
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