Dual PIII SCSI vs. Athlon

I realize that people have brought this up before but I have some new issues I'd like to mention. (I'm buying a new graphics workstation and I'm looking for advice).

First of all, I've read numerous times that dual PIIIs are slower than a single Athlon. According to the Maya Renderspeed Survey this simply isn't true... not by a longshot.


In fact, dual 1000s (I would only be getting 800s, though) render the same scene 29% faster than a 1200 Athlon in Maya 3.0. I realize the Athlon is superior for this sort of operation, but not so superior that it can keep up with two PIIIs.

Second of all, one has to consider that with PIIIs you can get a SCSI system... further enhancing the dual PIII option.

One always want to look at the price/performance ratio. Price/performance is always a factor... But it's usually not the bottom line. The bottom line (in this particular case) is "What's the best system one can get for about $3,000-$4,000?" and ultimately I would conclude that it's a PIII system.

I already know my opinions, though. The reason I'm posting is to see if anybody else has a different opinion before I purchase.

If it has any bearing, the rest of the system is a Quadro2Pro chipset card, 512MB PC600 RDRAM, 18 GB SCSI 10,000 RPM. I don't think you could do better than that with AMD (Due to limited availability you can't get that card yet with an AMD system).

Any advice would help..


15 answers Last reply
More about dual piii scsi athlon
  1. Dual p3's are red hott fast. dumb rdram and get sdram
  2. idiot, if you have the money to burn, then go ahead do anything you like. it's like deciding to buy a porcshe 911 turbo or a Ferrari Modena. in every (Performance) aspect the 911 turbo will woop the Modena UP and DOwn. but THE Modena, you get a beautiful, sexy, elegent, yet mascular car. AND throw in ~prestige~. I would rather have a Modena than a Porsche.

    If you have the money to spend on a PIII or even dual PIII 1g, go for it. I personallly would have gone with an DUAL Athlon, I know there isn't any out there available, it's comming soon. of course DUal Processor is always better than one(IF you have the SOFTWARE optimize for MULTItreading). which some graphical software do. but for a graphic software that do not support Multitreading, it still only utilizes ONE CPU, ok faster, probably 1.2 of a CPU/ out of 2. (and how much did you spennd on the DUAL INTEL. and DON't Forget the RAMBUS. what is it, PC600 cost something like $150 for a single 128mb.)

    IF you say SCSI, what stoping on getting an ATHLON scsi system. why AMD doesn't support SCSI or something. LOL. even better yet. you get a DUAL TB 1.2g w/ DDR, and you can even throw in a SCSI RAID. for the Price of (funny) DUAL PIII 1g w/ single channel RAMBUS[that don't even work]hahahaha.

    but hey do what you like. if you think INTEL is ultimately better, that your choice. I personally would choose AMD over INTEL. WHY? you ask, Price/Performance. CHECK this out, this is the got to be the funniest thing.

    AN INTEL PIII 1ghz cost roughly- $450 on pricewatch
    Performance<- a PIII 1ghz

    Then you got AMD TB @1.2ghz, cost- $480 on pricewatch
    OR an AMD TB @1ghz, cost- $260 =) can you do the math?
    Performance? we not going to even talk about performance.

    that CPU alone, an INTEL base MOBO is reletively more expensive than an AMD MOBO. and RAMBUS! that even more riduculas.

    IF you as for a different opinion. Plain Graphic, go an APPLE DUAL G4 600Mhz, not only is system build for graphic, but it's also supports Multithreading, OS X. and I'm betting on 65% of all Mac software will support Multithreading. (most likely all professional GRAPHIC software will) and talk about a SLEEK and BEAUTIFUL, supercomputer on you desk. damn it's like Ferrari MODENA all over again.
  3. I agree get the dual G4 combo, that would kick arse over any p3 combo and probably over most dual athlon machines (when they come out). IF your going to be using it as a graphics workstation then that is the best option. Unless u intend to use the comop for other purposes. But in the end its your choice, so i hope u make the right one.
  4. Yeah I'd choose a Modena over 911 anytime just for the looks :P
    But I still like BMW 750iL the most....all luxurous, fully featured, roomy and still retain fair performance...

    You guys can fight it out between THE Modenna (1.2Ghz Athlon?) and porche 911 (dual PIII 1Ghz?)

    I'll stick with my 750iL (1Ghz Athlon with double the RAM and 15,000RPM hard disk for the same price?) :)

    just my opinion of course
  5. for the cost of the dual-P3 system you gonna buy, you can probably buy two 1.2GHz Athlon machines or more than two 1GHz Athlon machines to built a small render farm. the performance will be way higher than a PC600 RDRAM-based dual-P3 single system.

    Some are ignorantly happy,
    While some, happily ignorant.
  6. Nay. I should've been more specific. 3D graphics workstation. The software I use isn't available for Macs, nor are the professional 3D video cards.
  7. The price difference is pretty big if you're just looking at CPUs and RAM. However, once you add in a professional video card, a SCSI hard drive, CDRW, the price difference (percentage wise), isn't nearly so dramatic.

    I really just wanted to buy a system online. Micron's Athlon machines can only come configured with 256MB RAM so they're out. When I configure SYS.com's Athlons they're not much cheaper than a dual PIII because, as I mentioned, once you add all the other stuff the CPU price difference makes less and less of a difference... and as a smaller company they don't get huge discounts on video cards and such (and neither would I if I made my own machine). (Dell is selling a Quadro2Pro chipset for about $600. An Elsa GloriaIII will cost about $1200. That's a very strong case for going with Dell, for instance.)

    Dell's dual PIII performs incredibly well.

    The problem is that you can only get it with RDRAM, which apparently is the 8th deadly sin around here.

    So, basically... does anyone have any recommendations for a good place to buy online for this kind of machine? Maybe I'll end up putting my own machine together after all... but that means no Quadro2Pro, a lot more work, and not much warranty if I screw it up.
  8. Buddy, if you are going to get a high end INTEL base Computer, mostly likely it will be configure with RAMBUS.

    AND Dell, yess very nice computer and very cheap too, it's amazing how DELL could be compete in term of PRICE to the cheap generic brand. IF you are looking for a really fast INTEL base, and realible. DELL, look no further. Intel and Dell are very close, they work on their products together. I remebered, when i first got my P90mhz from dell<32mb Ram, that WAS huge> anyway, still running today.

    oh course i don't use it no more. I'm Happy to have an AMD TB750 clock at 950. that fine with me. so good luck on your DUAL PIII.
  9. Not to mention that when the duel Athlon Mobo's come out in the next 1 to 2 months. Athlon users will have the advantage because unlike the GTL bus on the duel Intel systems, each CPU on the Duel Athlon Motherboards has its own 266 Mhz Front Side Bus while the Intel system is a shared 100 Mhz Front side bus.

  10. If you do end up going with the P3 system, don't waste your time with PC600 memory. Spend the extra $ and get PC800 - the performance is worth it. You may note that ALL RDRAM based benchmarks on Tom's Hardware use PC800. The early tests included all 3 (PC600,700,800), but an Intel processor with PC600 was left so far behind -- now all you see is PC800.

    If you have the time to wait... I'd get a dual TB 1.2 system, with PC2100 DDR. I doubt major OEM's will suport a Dual DDR TB system for several months after their release -so you'd have to wait yet longer, or custom build (which I prefer).
    The advantages of the Athlon system:
    Each processor gets it's own 133mhz double-pumped bus.
    Intel processor's share a 100mhz or 133mhz bus.
    P3's will be stuck at 1Ghz, The TB's will run at 1.2Ghz.
    TB's have far superior FPU performance.
    If you factor in the added cost of switching to PC800 RDRAM, (About $400 more, which should ofset your video card costs)... The Athlon system will be much cheaper. Also, AMD should have a speed upgrade soon as well, meaning yet more performance, at still a lower price compared to Intel.
    Bottom line. If you need it now, the Intel system will cost you a bit more, it'll run slower -- but it'll be here now, and with a good warranty.
    If you can wait a little while, you'll get a cheaper system, with much better performance... But you'll have to wait a little while, and build it yourself.
    If you shop wisely online, you can find 1 or 3 Year Parts warranties included with most, if not all, products. Dell only gives you a 1yr warranty.
    Final note: You can use SCSI with an AMD system.
  11. May I remind everyone that P3's mobo's are configured mostly with SD-RAM in mind, NOT RDRAM. RDRAM IS A P4 ISSUE!!!

    Not that I'm pro-Intel, got a classic Athlon 700 sitting at home :)

    -Raising the awareness of dumbasses everywhere...
  12. Quote:

    Not to mention that when the duel Athlon Mobo's come out in the next 1 to 2 months.

    I've been waiting for 9 months for the Athlon dual boards... I really, really hope that they actually make Q1/Q2 ...

    Also, I usually don't like to be the first one to find glitches, so I wonder if the proven track record of Intel dual boards has some merit over the first run of Athlon boards?
  13. just my opinion and no real experience to back it up... but a bit of research. I personally would build my own pIII, but don't go with a rambus solution. ServerWorks makes a good chipset available by Supermicro and others (Tyan has or will soon have one) which come integrated with SCSI controllers built in. Pricey but worth it in my opinion. $600 dollars mobo (high end dual channel u160) $300 per processor (933), ~$800 graphics board (not sure if I would go with the quadro2 either it's got more features, but a much cheaper nvidia solution will outperform it on many things), $600 for 512mb memory, $550 36.7gb 10,000k cheetah.
  14. Quote:

    ServerWorks makes a good chipset available by Supermicro

    I've been looking at the Supermicro Serverworks board myself.

    The only problem is that it requires Registered ECC memory which is quite pricey itself: about $640 for 512 megs (of cas3; can't find cas2 on their approved list)

    I also am not sure what the difference between the Serverworks LE and HE chipsets are, but the LE board is only ~$400

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by bnn on 12/04/00 10:36 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  15. I wouldnt consider SCSI at all, unless I had the money to buy a system with 3 striped discs. SCSI isnt that much faster than IDE, but much more expensive.

    Buy an IDE RAID, and stripe 2 good IDE harddrives, this is faster than any SCSI drive. IDE has improved much more than SCSI recently.

    If you need SCSI for high end scanner or something like that, buy a cheap SCSI controller for that.

    The "test" you are reffering to looks more like a competition, it is obviuos that important information is missing to be able to make a sound decision.

    The 1.2 Mhz Athlon is currently the safest bet for a quick system. Make a render pool with 2 systems, the second system can be very basic, because you dont do any work on it, it just sits ready for render jobs. (I asume that the program supports render pools.) You dont even need a monitor for your second system, you can control it with PCanywhere from your workstation.

    Remember even if you buy a system at 5000$ it will seem slow in a few months. go with best performance for the money, then upgrade when needed.

    Also remeber that when you upgrade, you will be able to make a VERY cheap third nachine for your render Pool. The soundness of your current investment may determine your competitiveness in the future. Think ahead.

Ask a new question

Read More