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dual athlon64?

Last response: in CPUs
December 13, 2003 9:27:36 PM

I got a friend who is getting a new system for our music recording system. We use sonar 3 producer for music software and (2) professional 8-channel m-audio delta 10-10 audio cards. The idea of the system is to record and playback as many tracks and plugins as possible. I was wondering if any mobo supports dual amd 64 bit processors. I would appreciate some recommendations as well for a system. I was also thinking about dual xeon. He possibly wants to wait for the new itanium when it becomes available.

Please share your suggestions on a system as he is going to buy within the next week.

Thank you very much, Sal


More about : dual athlon64

December 14, 2003 12:01:41 AM

My caveat... I've never worked with that software, I just checked the recommended system requirements(as opposed to the minimum) and based my advice off of that...

You can't do dual Athlon64, you have to go Opteron to go AMD. For your purposes, dual Opteron 244's would probably be a good choice as they are relatively reasonably priced, and provide good performance. I have the MSI Master2-FAR motherboard which has been great for me. You'll also need to get registered ECC DRAM if you go this route, which costs a bit more than non-registered. I'd get a gig if you can afford it, no less than 512 megs...

Dual Xeons would be a good choice too, but I'm not qualified to recommend which ones or which motherboard, I only know of their performance and they should be able to handle this no problem.

As for Itanium, don't bother waiting. I don't think there's a person on this forum who'd recommend that. Too many issues to go into here, just don't bother right now...

But a note, I don't see anywhere on their site that their software supports multi-processors. If it doesn't, you're not going to take full advantage of both. You will get some benefit though, as the second processor can handle the OS chores and other things in the background which just might help enough in this instance to justify the extra cost. But, I'm not sure how much of an advantage this will be. I'd recommend you email cakewalk and ask them about that.

That software has relatively high video demands as well, recommending 1280 x 960 with 24 bit color *or higher*. That means don't go bargain basement on the video card. I use an FX5900, it's a good card, but I'd recommend posting a request in the graphics card section asking for someone to recommend a card that has good performance in those higher resolution/color depths with minimal processor load, as I just don't know what the best performers in that regard are. Who knows, maybe there is a bargain basement card that can do a good job there...

Last bit of advice, order your stuff through Good prices. Double check their CPU prices against Monarch though, as in the past, monarch has had better proc prices when I checked. I had a good experience with Monarch myself, but I've had other people tell me not so good. I've never heard anyone complain about newegg.

Hope this helps, good luck!

<i>8088 4.77 mhz
640k RAM
CGA, 12" monitor
20mb mfm harddrive
PC Speaker, DOS 2.0</i><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by raretech on 12/13/03 09:17 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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December 14, 2003 1:11:46 AM

Thank you very much for your responses, they are highly appreciated.

December 14, 2003 1:56:47 AM

What's wrong with going with Xeons? The cpus perform well and all the boards out are stable, perform great and did I mention stable?

I run dual MP's and I will say that this is the last AMD box I ever own. For the past year I've been running the MSI K7D Master-L with mp1800s. A couple days ago I decided time to upgrade the cpus. I got a couple of mp2600s and popped them in. Guess what, the motherboard can't handle the current. This is yet another design flaw, way to go MSI/AMD! So I've heard Tyan did things right with their MPX board(s), I have to much into this machine to try and sell it and go Xeons, so I'm stuck until I upgrade again. Which will be Xeons and maybe even a Mac, no matter if AMD has a chip out that doubles the performance of current Intel chips. Never had to worry about an Intel board being able to accommodate newer cpus.

Not to mention the Xeon platform kills in content creation environment. You want good memory bandwidth, something the AMD platform even with Opterons is still behind the Xeons in.

Seriously, AMD couldn't get it right with their MP chipset. IMO failed again with the MPX chipset, do you honestly think the Opteron platform is going to be any different? For the amount of money boards and cpus are for the Opteron I would rather invest my money in something that's tried and true. Xeons. No this is not a troll post so don't even get started. I'm just really pissed that AMD can be releasing chipsets and manufacturers releasing boards that don't operate as specs say they should.
December 14, 2003 2:25:38 AM

"I'm just really pissed that AMD can be releasing chipsets and manufacturers releasing boards that don't operate as specs say they should."

Well, I've had no probs with my opterons or my MSI motherboard, save for 64bit drivers for the SATA controller under Linux, which simply don't exist right now...

*BUT*, I've had it about a month, so who knows what upgrade problems could wait down the line?

Seriously though, a Mac? If yer complaint with AMD is upgradeability, why on earth would you go Mac? Maybe they changed something of late, but last time I owned that platform(back in 97), upgrading them was not easy and very expensive, if there were even upgrades available at all for your model. Plus, the upgrades tended to suck bigtime in the price/performance department. One of the reasons I stopped giving a damn about that platform. Although, OSX is pretty nice...

Though I do agree, there is nothing wrong with Xeons if yer using windows. That being said, can you recommend a good Xeon motherboard for Sal?

<i>The wrath of penguins shall be felt. No windows shall be left unbroken.</i>
December 14, 2003 6:04:31 AM

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with MSI. Put the blame where it belongs though.
If you think that you can put the latest intel chip on a two year old board...
December 14, 2003 6:26:01 AM

You sure you need a fast 3d card to run a 2d visual sound program? A matrox card would to great here. The Parhelia is expensive but so nice.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
December 14, 2003 8:17:12 AM

And I am. I haven't heard of one problem with Tyan's MPX boards with the lastest MP chips, or Gigabyte's or Asus's. I blame AMD for doing a piss-poor job of designing the chip in the first place and not getting it out the door in time. And MSI for the implementation.

And why not? Take a look at i860 boards. Most will support the fastest 400fsb Xeon there is. And if the board can't AT LEAST THE MANUFACTURERS STATE THAT. Not say, "well with our latest bios everything will be fine." Then when the problem arises deny that it's their mistake like MSI is doing.

Even the TigerMP, Tyan had the decency to state that that board will only support upto mp1900 chips because of the current draw. Look at Supermicro, their boards they clearly state which cpus the board can handle upto. If you notice not all the i860 boards can handle the 3ghz chip. BUT THEY CLEARLY STATE THAT. So please spare me the "poor" MSI routine.

As far as Xeon boards go, depends what you need/want. Onboard SCSI? PCI-X? A few boards I would look at are the PC-DL, DPI533-SATA for "no frills" type boards. Excellent boards and either can be had for $300 or lower. You want to spend a bit more money need pci-x and/or onboard scsi and firewire, I would look at Tyan's Thunder i7505 or Iwill's DP533. For cpus, to me at least, the 2.66 look like the sweet spot between price and performance.
December 14, 2003 5:55:37 PM

Thanks again for everybodys help. Below is what I have configured so far for my friends new system. Our audio magazine suggests over and over that a second scsi drive be used for recording audio ONLY. Can someone please let me know if what I have below so far will work together and recommend a scsi card, 1 GIG of ram and fan(s). Thanks again, Sal

Asus 875P Server Motherboard for Intel Xeon Processors, Model "PC-DL Deluxe" RETAIL
Supported CPU: Dual Intel Xeon Processors
Chipset: Intel 875P MCH + ICH5R
FSB: 533MHz
RAM: 4x DIMM for Unbuffered DDR333 Max 4GB
IDE: 2x ATA100, 1x ATA133 up to 6 Devices
Slots: 1x AGP 4X/8X, 5x PCI
Ports: 2xPS2,2xCOM,1xLPT,1xLAN,8xUSB2.0(Rear 4),Audio Ports
Onboard Audio: AD1985 AC97 Codec
Onboard LAN: Intel 82547 Gigabit Ethernet
Onboard SATA/RAID: Promise® PDC20378, 2x Serial ATA;RAID 0,1,0+1(0+1 across SATA & 3rd IDE)
Onboard 1394: T.I. TSB43AB22A, Supports 2x IEEE1394 Ports
Form Factor: ATX more info-> N82E16813131055 $216.99 $216.99

Chipset/Core Speed: RADEON 9600PRO/400MHz
Memory/Effective Speed: 128MB DDR/650MHz
BUS: AGP 1X/2X/4X/8X
Ports: FM Radio+CATV In+A/V Out+A/V In
Support 3D API: DirectX®9, OpenGL®2.0
Cable/Accessories: 2 Adapters, 2 Cables, Remote Control, USB RF Receiver, 2 CD, Manual
Max Resolution@32bit Color: 2048X1536@85Hz
Retail Box (See pics for details) more info-> N82E16814102316 $219.00 $219.00

(2)> Intel Xeon DP 2.8 GHz 533MHz FSB, 512K Cache, Hyper Threading Technology - Retail
Model: Intel Xeon 2.8C w/ Hyper Threading
Core: Northwood
Operating Frequency: 2.8GHz
FSB: 533MHz
Cache: L1/12K+8K; L2/512K
Voltage: 1.525V
Process: 0.13Micron
Socket: Socket 604
Multimedia Instruction: MMX, SSE, SSE2
Warranty: 3-year MFG
Packaging: Retail box (with Heatsink and Fan) more info-> N82E16819117016 $339.00 $678.00

Capacity: 37GB
Average Seek Time: 3.6 ms
Buffer: 8 MB
Rotational Speed: 15000 RPM
Interface: SCSI 80 Pin Ultra320
Features: 3D Defense System
Manufacturer Warranty: 5 years
Remark: OEM DRIVE ONLY more info->

December 14, 2003 5:58:11 PM

oh and a recommendation for a case also, Thanks

December 14, 2003 7:55:32 PM

"You sure you need a fast 3d card to run a 2d visual sound program?"

Hell no. I wasn't trying to say that. I only brought up the card I had, as it seems to do well at those higher resolutions. I'm admittedly ignorant as to what card would perform best for his purposes at those higher resolutions. That's why I recommended he post a request in the video card section to ask about cards that have the lowest CPU load at those higher resolutions.

"A matrox card would to great here. The Parhelia is expensive but so nice."

I wasn't certain someone with clue would post a good recommendation here, that's why I recommended he post in the graphics area... :smile:

<i>The wrath of penguins shall be felt. No windows shall be left unbroken.</i>
December 14, 2003 8:32:37 PM


That's a sweet system. I'm not sure what to recommend for SCSI, RAM, or case. I'd be tempted to recommend a Lian Li case with sound insulation, especially if you'll be recording in the same room as the computer. They have them at newegg...

One thing you need to be aware of with a beast like this, you'll want to invest in a good power supply. I made the mistake with my dual opteron going with a cheap off brand 500 watt power supply initially, despite the good advice I was given, and I had to return it.

I replaced it with a 550 watt Enermax EG651P-VE(FMA) and have had no problems since. They're pricey, about 150 at newegg. The difference has been my system boots reliably every time and doesn't freeze up in the middle of things. The cheapo one was a nightmare in this regard, even when I trimmed the system down to just the mb/ram/proccessors, one harddrive, and 3 case fans. It sucked. I wish I had listened in the first place...

<i>The wrath of penguins shall be felt. No windows shall be left unbroken.</i>
December 15, 2003 5:59:33 AM

"Not to mention the Xeon platform kills in content creation environment. You want good memory bandwidth, something the AMD platform even with Opterons is still behind the Xeons in."

A quick note, when I read this about memory bandwidth at first, it sounded wrong when speaking about dual procs. I had read in many other places that dual Opterons had a memory bandwidth ADVANTAGE in a multi-processor setup, but I didn't want to comment as I couldn't remember where I had read it. I have the specs for opterons memorized, but not Xeons...

however, I came across this comparison at ExtremeTech:
<A HREF=",3973,1402849,00.a..." target="_new">,3973,1402849,00.a...;/A>

According to the article(and a few others I've dug up), in a dual setup, Opterons actually have a memory bandwidth ADVANTAGE. They performed the comparison with the dual Opteron motherboard I recommended and the Dual Xeon board that was recommended here. The opterons outperformed the Xeons in most tests.

This does not mean the Xeons aren't fast. They're plenty fast and would be a good choice for this purpose. In fact, they might be a better choice, as the article mentions having more stability problems with the MSI motherboard than the Asus, which seemed to occur in Autocad specifically, as it doesn't mention problems in the other apps(I haven't had stability issues myself). So just to be safe, it might be best going with the Xeons.

But I wanted to bring this up, as the Opterons beat the Xeon in every media encoding test save one(DivX 5.1 video encode). The one audio test they did:
"Steinberg Nuendo Music Authoring Test: This is based on a professional music authoring package. We mixed down a variety of MIDI and digital audio tracks to two stereo output tracks at 24-bit, 96Hz."

The Opteron was nearly twice as fast in that test. Xeon- 270 seconds to render, Opteron 137 seconds.

Anyways, it's worth noting.

<i>The wrath of penguins shall be felt. No windows shall be left unbroken.</i><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by raretech on 12/15/03 04:10 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
December 15, 2003 7:00:11 PM

It would appear this guy has no idea what he is talking about.
December 15, 2003 8:23:25 PM

I should take a multiple PCI bus E7501/7505 from Intel. That way you can put both your audio cards and your hard drive on seperate buses and you can get an onboard SCSI controller if you really feel the need although a WD740GD would be just as good for you and less pricy. Of course intel boards will provide best stability. You can better get integrated video and spend the video card $$ on a better motherboard.

<A HREF="" target="_new">My PCs</A> :cool:
December 15, 2003 8:27:52 PM

the motherboard can't handle the current

That's unfortunate, however many people run the K7D Master with overclocked 2600s, infact it's the favourite MPX board over at <A HREF="" target="_new"></A> so I don't think there is a problem with the board or chipset in general. The Tiger MPX is also not without it's problems and provides less aggressive overclocking.

<A HREF="" target="_new">My PCs</A> :cool: