Single or Dual CPU system?

Hey guys,

I'm a 3D animator/video compositor and I want to build a powerfull system that I could use for general work during the day and then heavy rendering over the night time.. Main software packages that I'm using are Maya, Nuke and After Effects.

So naturally I'm thinking about going for Dual Cpu system just so I have more threads (I'm aiming for 32) that could do all the test renders quicker.. I'm just looking for fastest option as the quicker I can get through the CG rendering the faster I can work. My current budget for this would be around £3500.

However this is where stuff gets bit complicated and the more I read the more I'm getting confused. From the research that I've done so far it looks like i7 processors are equal or even quicker then Xeons. However it seems that only xeons can be used to build a dual Cpu system..? Is AMD opterons anywhere close to intel's performance??

I'm just looking for thoughts or opinions on what would work best for me in my current situation? Is the dual cpu systems worth extra cash and will I notice a difference in speed compared to lets say i7 extreme system.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be highly appreciated.


3 answers Last reply
More about single dual system
  1. A dual CPU system will be a good lot faster but it will be MUCH more expensive. Also Opterons are good too if you wan't a higher core count. Also the dual socket mobos cost a fortune too so I would say stick to a single cpu system with maybe a 3930k or a single 12 core xeon.
  2. Yes the i7 extreme cpus are faster than some xeons, but 2 xeons together are more powerful than a singe i7. With dual xeons you get more threads and similar speeds to the i7, so you can do the math there. Xeons do not have to be dual cpu systems you will just need a higher end single xeon to compete with the i7 depending on which way you go of course. I do not know much about the opterons to answer that question they have alot of cores but most of todays systems you will see intel cpus not amd cpus so i could take a guess that intel is a bit better.

    Check this out:,3348-2.html that is a bit more info on the i7 vs xeon

    Personally i would go w/dual xeons, but other people would think differently i'll look into the dual cpu vs i7 some more if you would like.
  3. Check this out to:
    In most applications the dual xeons are faster than the single i7 extreme, i would again recommend 2 xeons they don't even have to be the best. But a couple notes on that it will be very expensive to go the dual xeon route and the i7 can hold its own pretty well for being 1k$. You will get rid of a lot of you budget w/2 xeons though at 3.5k go scratch what i said above go for at least the i7 3960k they are pretty good and can hold enough threads and try and get a decent gpu + 32gb ram and you will be fine.
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