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2 x xeon or i7

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March 12, 2013 7:59:45 AM

I am in the process of creating a workstation for 3d modeling, animation, and rendering. I use programs such as 3ds max, maya, zbrush, after affects, and photoshop and I am looking at spending about $3,000 on this build.

Would it be better two purchase 2 Intel Xeon E5620 with EVGA Classified SR-2 motherboard or an Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge with a x79 motherboard?
or do you have any other suggestions?

I have already decided that I will be purchasing AMD firepro v7900 as my gpu for this build.

Thanks

More about : xeon

a c 188 à CPUs
March 12, 2013 8:45:40 AM

The Intel® Xeon® E5620s are very nice processors but they are based on older technology;p so unless you know that applications you are running will take advantage of all the cores of both processors than you are likely going to be better off with the Intel Core™ i7-3930K. It will give you the speed and the ability to overclock that should put the Intel Xeon E5620 in the dust.
a c 96 à CPUs
March 12, 2013 8:56:36 AM

grecaale said:
I am in the process of creating a workstation for 3d modeling, animation, and rendering. I use programs such as 3ds max, maya, zbrush, after affects, and photoshop and I am looking at spending about $3,000 on this build.

Would it be better two purchase 2 Intel Xeon E5620 with EVGA Classified SR-2 motherboard or an Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge with a x79 motherboard?
or do you have any other suggestions?

I have already decided that I will be purchasing AMD firepro v7900 as my gpu for this build.

Thanks


I would recommend a dual socket setup but with newer CPUs. The Xeon 5600s are a few generations old and give up more than a bit in performance to newer CPUs. You have a few options:

1. Two Xeon E5s, either E5-24xx or E5-26xx. The difference between the two is that the 24xx units have three memory channels like LGA1366 does and the 26xx units have four memory channels. Core count, TDP, etc. is otherwise identical between the two lines as they use the same silicon dies. I would go with the 26xx units if you need huge amounts of RAM otherwise I would go with the E5-24xx units. Sandy Bridge-E units don't really benefit much from more than two channels of memory so the added memory channel with the 26xx units is really only useful for increasing memory capacity rather than performance. I'd go with a Supermicro board instead of the EVGA board as Supermicro has a history of making very excellent, stable boards. Oh, also avoid any Xeon with a 0 as the third number (e.g. Xeon E5504) as it is a heavily crippled chip really not worth buying. You want units with higher clock speeds in a workstation to give you a balance between poorly-threaded performance and highly-threaded performance. Unfortunately the faster E5 Xeons will likely put you over your $3k budget so get as much as you can afford.

2. Dual G34 Opteron 63xx series. The Opteron 63xx CPUs have four memory channels like the E5-26xx units, but their motherboards are somewhat less expensive and the CPUs are a *lot* less expensive than comparable Xeons. You might give up a little bit of single-threaded performance especially in the heavily Intel-optimized Adobe CS applications but multi-threaded performance is far better for the dollar. I would lean towards the higher-clocked less than 16 core units like the 6328 or 6348 as these have a reasonable balance between clock speed and core count while still being very affordable (about $1100-1200 per *pair.*)

3. Dual C32 Opteron 43xx series. Think of these as two FX-83xx units put together on one board and you get about the correct performance and price range of dual Opteron 43xx units. This is a very affordable way to get considerably "more than desktop" multithreaded performance without paying much more money.

If it were my money, I would go get a Supermicro H8DGi, plop in two Opteron 6238s or 6348s, and eight sticks of whatever kind of DDR3-1600 you want and call it a day. Should cost less than two grand for MB + CPUs + RAM and give plenty of performance. You will need a big full ATX case which can take extended ATX boards and a pair of decent heatsinks specifically for Socket G34 (I recommend Supermicro's 4U LGA2011 heatsink with the G34 adapter plate) but it should be an easy build. Second choice would be a Supermicro H8DCL-i with two Opteron 4340s or 4386s. That will fit in a regular ATX case and use regular AMD desktop heatsinks, plus won't even cost $1500 for MB + CPUs + RAM if you go with the Opteron 4340s.
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a b à CPUs
March 12, 2013 8:59:19 AM

I absolutely agree with the above poster.

The newer architecture of the SB-E will do more for you with the applications you are using than the sheer core count of the dual Xeon's. (although you are still getting 12 threads with the i7 vs the 16 of the xeon)

Save money and get the 3930k with a solid x79 board, and get to Firepro's ;)  Most of the apps you are using can actually use the GPU's to render, and that will help more than anything.
March 12, 2013 12:19:54 PM

if you want to spend money on xeon dont buy one or two 4core cpus!go get one 12 or 16 core xeon otherwise its a bit waster of money!in your case i would recommend you to go for the 3930k which you can oc but i dont think it would be really needed!

of course you have the option of the opteron 6272 with 8cores!but as i was seeing the benchmarks the 3930k would produce a bit more power than the 6272 so again i would go for the 3930k!
a c 96 à CPUs
March 12, 2013 1:59:20 PM

Gennaios said:
if you want to spend money on xeon dont buy one or two 4core cpus!go get one 12 or 16 core xeon otherwise its a bit waster of money!in your case i would recommend you to go for the 3930k which you can oc but i dont think it would be really needed!


I agree, don't waste your money on 4 core Xeons. They are all crippled units with most of the go-fast bits like Turbo Core and HyperThreading disabled. One fast single-socket chip like the i7 3930K would be faster and somewhat less expensive once you consider total cost of CPU + MB + RAM. I'd go for the E5-2430 or E5-2630 as a minimum if you were to go the Xeon route, and avoid the low-power SKUs.

Quote:
of course you have the option of the opteron 6272 with 8cores!but as i was seeing the benchmarks the 3930k would produce a bit more power than the 6272 so again i would go for the 3930k!


The Opteron 6272 has 8 modules which is 16 integer cores. An i7-3930K would be decently faster in single-threaded code and maybe a smidge faster in heavily threaded stuff, mainly because of the large clock speed differential at full load (3.5 GHz vs. 2.5 GHz) making up for the i7-3930K's fewer cores. However two 6272s would be significantly faster than an i7-3930K in well multithreaded tasks. I wouldn't think of doing a single G34 Opteron build but a dual G34 build, absolutely, it makes a lot of sense.
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