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Dual Xeon or P4 system?

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Anonymous
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January 29, 2001 4:00:43 AM

I am buying a new system for my architecture and graphic work. I do a lot of 3D modeling and rendering in architecture with AutoCAD, and 3D Max. I also do 2D graphic and web design in Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver.
I am not familiar with computer hardware. Very confused after doing my research as to which system to buy for my kind of work.
Is dual Xeon CPU better or should I go for Pentium 4?
Here is what I am getting. Could anybody help me out? Is it a good system?

Iwill Motherboard w/ Intel 840 Chipset
Dual Xeon 667 CPU
WTX enhanced case
256MB PC800 Rambus (2x128MB)
ELSA Synergy III/NviDia Quadro 2 MXR video card
1.44MB Floppy
20GB HDD 7200 IDE hard drive
16x Toshiba DVD
Teac 8832 IDE CDRW
Sound Blaster 16 PCI
10/100 NIC
120W Speakers
Keyboard
Mouse Microsoft PS/2
MS Window 2000 Pro

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Anonymous
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January 29, 2001 11:18:30 PM

Get a dual PIII 1000. (less than $300 per CPU now)

The 840 chipset is probably the best option for dual CPU's right now... there just isn't much to choose from. (Also consider either Supermicro or Tyan mother boards... others like Asus, but I would not go with a Via chipset)

I don't think that the Xeon will add that much performance in Autocad or 3DS Max, unless you have unlimited pockets, and you would certainly be MUCH better with dual higher MHZ PIII's than much lower MHZ Xeon's.

Also, you should get 512 megs of Ram before you even consider spending that money on Xeons. 512 will make a difference when rendering large scenes in Max.

A personal preference, but also consider a Plextor CDRW in place of the Teac - they are very good.
Anonymous
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January 29, 2001 11:26:59 PM

P.S. Here is my next system:

Case: Addtronics 7890A = $208
Powersupply: 451watt Enermax = $110
Motherboard: Tyan Thunder i840 = $750
CPU: Dual PIII 1000 Retail = 2 x $330
Video: 3D Labs VX1 (your choice is better, but I'm cutting corners since I'm doing more 2d than 3d for the next few months; then I will replace myu graphics card) = $150
Ram: 512 Megs PC800 RAMBUS 2 x $448 = $900 (this is the cheapest I can find... Samsung)
HDD = Quantum Atlas 10K II SCSI 160 = 2 x $225 = $500
I left out the little things which I already have. I chose two 9 gig hdds though this is a bizare choice... it might end up being one 9 and one 18 - I want one for my data and one for the OS/spool/programs to make the next upgrade cleaner.
Related resources
January 29, 2001 11:58:03 PM

Here's a nice system *i840 doesnt have the MTH problem

Dual p3 xeon 700mhz, L2 cache: 2mb
SUPER S2DM3 (i840) (has onboard ultra 160 + 2 64-bit pci)
Powersupply, 451watt Enermax
1gb Pc133 sdram
Quantum Atlas 10K II SCSI 160
Diamond FireGL 2(64mb) or Diamond FireGL 3(128mb)

there a very nice system the 700mhz 2mb cache Xeon should take the load + 1gb sdram.


First person to get a topic banned. ABIT BP6 Lives FOREVER!!!
a b à CPUs
January 30, 2001 1:56:06 AM

Both of these guys have good suggetions. The Xeons are definately more powerfull than the P4, even one Xeon would be in most apps.
BTW the 820 does not have the MTH issue either. That only occured in boards that were configured to use SDRAM. All of those have been recalled.

Suicide is painless...........
January 30, 2001 2:23:45 AM

I would have to recommend that you not buy the Xeons. Even if you get the larger 2Mb L2 cache Xeons, you won't notice a performance difference in 3D Max or most any of the other programs. The Xeons larger cache has a bigger impact in performance with databases and web hosting, in general, transaction oriented processing. If you look at benchmark results of say a Duron vs. Athlon in 3D Max, there isn't a difference, even though the L2 cache sizes differ by a large margin, 64Kb vs. 256Kb. Rendering is more dependent on FPU performance and pure Mhz. I would suggest you save that money and get some more RAM and 2 1Ghz PIII's, they'll give you far better performance with your apps than 2 667 Xeons anyday, and they are far less expensive. Basically the Xeons advantages over the PIII's is they can scale more, while the PIII can only be put into a dual processor system, the Xeon can go 8 way or even higher. The Xeons with larger L2 caches (1Mb or 2Mb) help a ton with databases and web hosting, but not much or at all with graphic oriented aplications(3D Max, Autocad, Photoshop...etc)
Anonymous
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January 30, 2001 5:58:12 AM

Forget the i840 boards and RDRAM. Not worth it. Go with a Supermicro 370DL3, a couple 1GHz PIII's, and a whole bunch of good, inexpensive PC133 SDRAM.
Anonymous
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January 30, 2001 7:32:55 AM

I was thinking about doing just that, but the Serverworks boards required Registered ECC modules and those are not that inexpensive (unless this has changed in the last few weeks)
Anonymous
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January 30, 2001 7:35:28 AM

Also, the Serverworks LE boards do not support AGP. The HE boards which do cost significantly more.
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