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Seeking advice on a Workstation/Gaming rig combo

Last response: in Systems
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September 12, 2012 5:12:24 PM

I'm thinking about putting together a smaller workstation that I also would want to use for occasional gaming experiences.

What I'm very unsure about is how to find a good trade-off between running (multi-threaded) applications that benefit from multi-core systems and applications that benefit from a high per-core performance.

So let's begin this by addressing the following questions:

* How well does modern games benefit from multi-core (4+) systems as of today? I know that e.g. Skyrim supports 4 cores since a recent patch but how well optimized is it really?

* I read that some Core i7's can go into some kind of a turbo mode by shutting down a few of the cores while running the remaining cores at a higher than nominal clock speed. Is this feature supported on Xeons? How high per-thread performance gains can one achieve with this turbo mode in per cents? How well does this work on Xeons? On a dual CPU system can or will the turbo boost even shut down one entire CPU?

a b 4 Gaming
September 12, 2012 5:29:26 PM

as of today, 4+ cores are not really useful other than in heavy rendering or very intense multi-tasking

i7s and xeons are the same thing. just that some i7s can overclock and xeons cant. xeons sometimes have a few more pci-e lanes avaliable and some of them support ecc memory.
a c 279 4 Gaming
September 12, 2012 5:45:42 PM

By smaller workstation do you mean a system that uses a small form factor (mATX / Mini-ITX)? If so I can base a system around that.
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September 12, 2012 5:48:13 PM

TheBigTroll said:
as of today, 4+ cores are not really useful other than in heavy rendering or very intense multi-tasking

i7s and xeons are the same thing. just that some i7s can overclock and xeons cant. xeons sometimes have a few more pci-e lanes avaliable and some of them support ecc memory.


That's what I will want to use the workstation for; computational tasks and the ability to run several programs at once. I sometimes have 50+ windows open and it really taxes on my old system.

Moreover I will be experimenting a lot with virtual machines and VT-d.

But what you are saying is that some (modern LGA2011) Xeons and i7's don't support ECC?!? I thought support for this feature was a standard these days!!!

Edit:
By small I mean a standard Mid/Fulltower system. Otherwise it would be interesting to see a dual CPU system on a uATX/miniITX board ;D
a c 279 4 Gaming
September 12, 2012 6:12:33 PM

Quote:
But what you are saying is that some (modern LGA2011) Xeons and i7's don't support ECC?!? I thought support for this feature was a standard these days!!!


It's a standard but it's not a requirement, most systems don't really need it apart from servers with high work loads.

Quote:
By small I mean a standard Mid/Fulltower system. Otherwise it would be interesting to see a dual CPU system on a uATX/miniITX board ;D


That would be but there's no way you could do dual CPUs on a $1500 budget. :lol: 
!