Intel E5-2670 x2 not doing it for us!


We are running a simulation program that we have created that simulates various events. The application has some graphics, and consumes about 500,000 K - 600,000 K per instance of being loaded. On this type of set-up:

2x Intel E5-2670 on a Intel MB, 70GB+ ram, (dont have video card/graphics card off-hand) we are getting about 90% usage with about 20 of our simulation applications open.

Other minor things we have open: Microsoft Word (consuming about 120,000 K)... and thats about it!

We are interested in hearing what is the best CPU-usage driven CPU processor out there. What factors into CPU usage? We want to have a system that can power 40 of these on 2 processors at around 75%-90% vs the current 20 applications@90%.

We are not overclocking or anything, using everything stock and normal. Give me your set-up to get around 40 of our app open on 2 single processors, does not matter the CPU, and if anyone can give me a definitive answer as to how CPU Usage is measured (hovering aroun 90% as we speak) in Ctrl+Alt+Del.

Tell us what parts or which parts we would need or which CPU to make this typ of machine!

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  1. Also, this may sound horrible question but it has a 2.6Ghz and then a Turbo boost - whats a turbo boost, hows it used? Is it like overclocking? How to use it? Any questions on this is appreciated. We are trying to get the best bang for our buck here on a server station.
  2. If you are maxing out two 3.3Ghz Eight Core processors, it is time to scale out, not up. I would write logic into the application to spread the load across several lower cost servers. You want to run 40 jobs on 1 server, but sometimes running 5 jobs on 8 servers concurrently is more efficient.

    In answer to your question, there aren't much faster processors than what you have. Intel does make some 10 core chips, but they are only going to be maybe 25% faster at best. You'd probably end up with something like a Quad Xeon E7-4000 box and a pricetag exceeding $20,000 to get that running on a single box. With parallel computing, you could use 10x $1200 1 CPU servers running E3 processors and get more computing power for half the cost.
  3. Twelve25, Thanks!

    Assuming we're doing to use a lot of CPUs to get the job done, should we scale down to the E5-2650 (which is $1099 vs the E5-2670 that is $1500). This is a savings of about $400 per CPU.

    So for about the price of 2x E5-2670 we can buy 3x E5-2650. Or do you know of any Intel 8-core that can get this job done?

  4. Since you will be running so many threads at once that will just do raw number crunching, the equation is pretty simple, threads x core speed. So if you were running 16 threads at 2.6Ghz on the 2670s, you'd have 41.6ghz of processing throughput. 24x2.0Ghz is 48Ghz of processing. So your runs would finish in 75% of the time, but you'd have 2/3 the concurrent load. Triple and Quad capable motherboards and processors are a lot more expensive, though, so it's not always an easy choice. Going above 2 processors in a system needs a E5 or E7 4000 series.

    I'd scale even smaller if you can. Most giant compute clusters are made of pretty low power computers strung together. Single CPU capable processors usually come in faster speeds for low price (e3-1270 V2 is 4 core 3.5Ghz for $350)

    So for example, 9 servers running single $350 processors would have 32x3.5Ghz cores giving 115Ghz of total throughput for that same cost as two e5-2650s.

    That's almost 3x the processing power you have now for the same processor cost, but you'd be buying 4-8x the motherboards, etc.. There's probably a happy medium there, but a lot of people build pretty big compute clusters out of 1U servers like this:

    Ideally you would aim for one core of the fastest speed you can find per thread (sim app) being run. There are countless combination anywhere from 10 quad core machines up to 1 quad 10 core server.
  5. What servers could we buy that are @ $350? And what are the specs on them? Can you tell me that and also the 1U servers, how could we use the entire set-up you mentioned, can you give me an exact set up from motherboards, to CPUs, to anything else needed to create this cluster of smaller processors as you are stating here.

    We are interested in it, but we want to do this generally off 1 Monitor - as the application we are running we run about 20 hours/daily and we check on it and allow the server to function like a desktop (using Windows incase I didn't mention).
  6. The processors are $350, to compare with the $1500 processors you mentioned above. You'd spend about $1200-2000 for basic rackmount servers built around them. If you have a lab more suited to tower systems, then you can probably go closer to $800-1200. More if you need redundant power and fast storage.

    But a Quad processor box is going to run at least $20,000, so building a handful of $2000 servers is cheaper and more flexible. That was the point I was trying to get to.

    Are you thinking these would be mounted in a rack in a server room, or would you have them on a table in a lab? The latter would lend itself to cheaper desktop style builds, and the former to prebuilt rackmount servers with better options for redundancy.

    Viewing them on one monitor would probably just involve using a KVM to switch between computers unless you can write a central management peice that can monitor and launch jobs on several computers and then centralize the results.
  7. Twelve,

    I completely understand! Now with that said, what $350 processor would you recommend to begin this process?

    Perfect on the KVM switch, makes sense.
  8. I mentioned earlier, the e3-1270, 1245 or 1275 (V2 if you can get it) 1280 and 1290 are just a hair faster, but WAY too expensive for the minor performance gain. Those are actually the same as the i7-3770, so it wouldn't make a lot of difference which you got.

    You may also consider the i7-3930K (or e5-1650), which is a 6 core processor. It's over $500, but then you'd only need 2 servers for every 3 of the quad core. It may come out ahead vs buying more motherboards, cases, etc. Then the problem is that 8-10 Cores get really expensive and slower clock speed, so I'd probably keep it at 4 or 6 core.

    You mentioned some graphics in the OP, is that like 3D graphics or just little graphs and charts? You better find out what video card because if it's a big $3000 QUadro card, that changes the equation regarding lots of small servers because you'd have to buy more expensive video cards.
  9. Budget???

    2x Intel E5-2670 is a powerful baseline. Running 40 simultaneous high CPU usage threads at the same time is a lot no matter how you slice it. If you're not at 100% usage your program is probably I/O bound. Look into storing the data on a PCIe SSD or other high bandwidth storage option.

    Looks likes you need 2x of what you currently have with some tweaks to get the systems more optimal.

    If you really want a single server solution Dell has some good deals on the 4 socket Opterons. They're giving 2 processors free. They're not as fast as Intel CPUs but your sims would have dedicated cores with 8 spare for the OS/misc.

    PowerEdge R815 - 64GB Ram, 48 cores @2.4Ghz, $8,400.

    Either way it's a significant purchase. You should do some benchmarking to see how the application runs on different platforms.
  10. minor graphs / lines. nothing major on the graphics side. we are going to look into the intel E series that you have recommended to us as well as the Opteron. Does anyone have any experience with Opteron? We were going to go with the Opteron 6272 x4? What you think twelve25?
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