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Xeon E5-1650 HP Workstation VS i7 3930K Custom PC

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January 13, 2013 6:56:34 PM

Hello,
I need your advice in finalizing the decision on the workstation that I will use to work a large-scale number crunching project. I need a computer to both finalize the analysis system framework and also for the production pc to later perform the daily analysis of the stock price data. My 2009 laptop is simply not coping any more….The number crunching project would involve recalculating five or seven 300-500 Mb Excel files in sequence each day and posting the results for my site visitors who pay for this service…..I need to make sure the pc I have will be able to handle such huge workload and will also stay stable – so that this can be done on a recurring basis…I would not be able to afford a single day off out of this project….

I am selecting between

Xeon E5-1650 HP Z 420 (1 x Xeon E5-1650 / 3.2 GHz - RAM 8 GB - HDD 1 x 500 GB - DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM - no graphics - Gigabit Ethernet - Windows 7 Professional 64-bit - Intel vPro Technology )

and a custom build PC that will feature i7 3930K processor, the 16 gb of ram (twice the 8 mb in the HP workstation) plus a SSD disk and a Philips display and a video card (all of these I would need to buy for the HP workstation)….

Custom build PC surely allows much more freedom of component selection but I am very worried that the components might not fully match….or they will fail to co-work properly altogether a little bit afterwards – in the midst of the important number crunching run made for the PAYIGN customers……

Xeon E5-1650 HP Z 420 in turn sounds great - Apart from the fact that I need to buy all those additional parts (like SSD and Display and a video card)….I wonder if the workstation based on the lower speed CPU like the E5-1620 can pull it off equally or similarly fast???

I really need extremely stable system for this project….

Another thought is just buying one lower end custom PC based on the i7 3730K CPU – finalizing the system on it and then to purchase a Xeon based workstation later on for the production…..and use the i7 3730K as a backup system….


I also had a question – do you think Xeon E5-1650 is much more stable than i7 3930K?

Thanks and please let me know what you think,

Dave

More about : xeon 1650 workstation 3930k custom

January 13, 2013 7:00:04 PM

personally, i would go with the xeon, purely because of the number of cores. The i7 will beat it at graphics, btu for general number crunching the xeon would perform better. I am by far not a professional, but this is just my idea.
January 13, 2013 7:10:52 PM

thank you for your reply....these two cpus both have the 6 cores...I am just concerned about how much reliable can i7 3930k be at thestock speeds - doing a 5 or 7 hour run at 100% loads?
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January 13, 2013 7:27:44 PM

you could run either cpu at stock settings for a decade with no problems. you will not have any problems at all on the hardware level if you install things correctly and give the hardware a reasonable environment.

i have a 2600k and i have ran it for over 3 months at 4.6 ghz and not one crash.

edit:
why is this going to take 5-7 hours to complete? how long did it take before. i assume it took less then 4 hours a simulation before and its going to be much faster now. if it took 4 hours before its going to be at least 2 hours now. also is your simulations able to use more then 1 thread at a time? just some curiosity right now.
January 13, 2013 8:06:11 PM

cbrunnem said:
you could run either cpu at stock settings for a decade with no problems. you will not have any problems at all on the hardware level if you install things correctly and give the hardware a reasonable environment.

i have a 2600k and i have ran it for over 3 months at 4.6 ghz and not one crash.

edit:
why is this going to take 5-7 hours to complete? how long did it take before. i assume it took less then 4 hours a simulation before and its going to be much faster now. if it took 4 hours before its going to be at least 2 hours now. also is your simulations able to use more then 1 thread at a time? just some curiosity right now.



thank you for your reply....well it should take like 15 hours to complete now so I am extrapolating it might take 5 hours later (currently no multi threading is used in Excel 2003)....interesting to see that you have ran an overclocked CPU for so long with no crash.....I wonder if you have experience working with the ECC memory....and also - what do you think of XEON e5-1620?
January 13, 2013 8:14:36 PM

I know this doesnt answer your question but it may help,
Is this purely for work?
And if so why do you need an ssd and a graphics card?
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January 13, 2013 8:38:39 PM

dave789 said:
thank you for your reply....well it should take like 15 hours to complete now so I am extrapolating it might take 5 hours later (currently no multi threading is used in Excel 2003)....interesting to see that you have ran an overclocked CPU for so long with no crash.....I wonder if you have experience working with the ECC memory....and also - what do you think of XEON e5-1620?


ok this changes some things... what is your current processor in your laptop? also why not upgrade to excel 2010. this is work, you are making money off of it and excel 2010 is multithreaded!!!
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/ff700514(v=office.14).aspx

also i would by the cheaper of the two cpus. i dont think you will find a difference between the two because the desktop model is designed to work with programs like excel.

i think first we need to decide if you will upgrade to excel to be able to use as many threads as possible. currently right now when you run this simulation what is the cpu usage that it is using and how many threads does your laptop have?? 2,4,8?

once we get the excel situation worked out we can better tackle your issue because if your current excel or the updated excel only uses 2 threads getting a 12 thread cpu is worthless.
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January 13, 2013 8:40:07 PM

Custom builds can be very stable, but it's all on you. That's why many people pick pre-builts for a business. Someone else guarantees the configuration and you have somewhere else to point the finger if it doesn't.

I build my own PC at home, but at work I wouldn't dream of it.

If you are going with an app that can't run 5+ simultaneous threads at 100% cpu, then you'd get equal or better performance from an e3-1200 V2 series or I7-3770 vs the e5-1650 or 3930K.

ALso, as someone who works in a large IT shop that also does not tolerate downtime, you are probably moving into server-class system territory. I'd strongly recommend redundant power supplies, redundant disk and a UPS system.

Perhaps a Tower-based server will be more appropriate than a workstation class system. If you like HP, that moves you into the ML300 series.

January 14, 2013 11:51:03 AM

twelve25 said:
Custom builds can be very stable, but it's all on you. That's why many people pick pre-builts for a business. Someone else guarantees the configuration and you have somewhere else to point the finger if it doesn't.

I build my own PC at home, but at work I wouldn't dream of it.

If you are going with an app that can't run 5+ simultaneous threads at 100% cpu, then you'd get equal or better performance from an e3-1200 V2 series or I7-3770 vs the e5-1650 or 3930K.

ALso, as someone who works in a large IT shop that also does not tolerate downtime, you are probably moving into server-class system territory. I'd strongly recommend redundant power supplies, redundant disk and a UPS system.

Perhaps a Tower-based server will be more appropriate than a workstation class system. If you like HP, that moves you into the ML300 series.



thank you for your reply....I wonder if a XEON E3-1230V2 based system can pull of recalculating 500 MB excel files thousands of times daily???? Please let me know what you think of the following server:

DELL PowerEdge T110 II TOWER Quad Core Xeon E3-1230v2 3.3GHz(8MB cache 69W Turbo), 4GB DDR3 1333MHz

do you think it can be used as a workstation instead of the HP z420?
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January 14, 2013 2:17:10 PM

The lower end "Servers" are really just desktop computers with higher end build quality. The 110 is lowest end and really doesn't offer any redundancy features. IN that regard, you'd be no better off than buying a workstation. I mentioned the ML300 series from HP because they offer redundant power supplies, which is the most common point of failure in servers next to hard drives. You can use a server as a workstation, but in my mind if you want rock solid uptime then you assign it the tasks it needs and you don't do anything else on it. So I wouldn't build a server that runs my critical business app and then also do email, web surfing and family photo editing on the same box.


1230 is a powerful processor, but I don't really know anything about your workload other than it is slow on a 4 year old laptop. What processor do you have now and how long does it take to complete and what does the CPU utilization look like across all your cores?

500MB Excel spreadsheets indicate you probably want to be using a database, though. Excel wasn't really designed for that much data and for daily batch operations and you aren't getting the kind of performance you could be out of a properly designed application with a DB back end.

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