Intel Xeon 5600-Series: Can Your PC Use 24 Processors?

Benchmark Results: LightWave 3D 9.6

One thing you’ll notice when you use applications with multiple components is a tendency for some functionality to include optimizations for threading and other pieces do not. 

Our custom LightWave 3D Modeler test, which renders a 1+ million polygon version of the Tom’s Hardware logo, gains nothing from the additional compute muscle afforded by 24 threads available concurrently. The same holds true for the OpenGL-based fly-through of the logo in LightWave Layout. In fact, in both cases (as we've seen previously), the more complex architectures sacrifice performance compared to simpler and less-expensive setups.


2 x Xeon X5680
2 x Xeon W5580
1 x Core i7-980X Extreme
Render, Frame 8
6 min., 7 sec.
7 min., 30 sec.
9 min., 35 sec
Render, Frame 41
6 min., 29 sec.
7 min., 49 sec.
10 min., 6 sec.
Render, Frame 500
7 min., 8 sec.
8 min., 35 sec.
11 min., 12 sec.
Render, Frame 600
5 min., 20 sec.
6 min., 12 sec.
8 min.


Start rendering individual frames from the Layout-based logo file, however, and those CPU cores suddenly kick into gear. While two Xeon X5680s can’t quite halve the rendering time of a single Core i7-980X, they come close enough to make the addition of a second processor worthwhile for professionals who do a lot of rendering in LightWave.

Just remember—not every component of NewTek’s software benefits equally from a multi-socket configuration.  

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    Top Comments
  • one-shot
    Or 24 Logical cores, not really Processors.
    17
  • Tamz_msc
    I was expecting an even better performance from these CPUs.The performance is still limited by the software you use.
    13
  • wh3resmycar
    Quote:
    So many cpu's in task manager...do all but 1 go unused running a single threaded app? shame intel had to go this route with more cores instead of making single core with hyper-threading work faster. you should really only need 2 logical cpu's and hyper threading accomplishes it with 1.


    i have a feeling you dont understand what the word "workstation" means.
    13
  • Other Comments
  • one-shot
    Or 24 Logical cores, not really Processors.
    17
  • Zerk
    24 threads, 12 cores.

    A+ Excellent Review.
    12
  • enzo matrix
    one-shotOr 24 Logical CPUs, not really Processors.

    Misleading title. I was excited because I assumed intel had finally come out with 12-core server CPUs.
    11
  • Tamz_msc
    I was expecting an even better performance from these CPUs.The performance is still limited by the software you use.
    13
  • shin0bi272
    Enzo MatrixMisleading title. I was excited because I assumed intel had finally come out with 12-core server CPUs.

    they could have gone 4x 6 core cpus without HT too.
    0
  • cangelini
    Enzo MatrixMisleading title. I was excited because I assumed intel had finally come out with 12-core server CPUs.


    The Xeon 5600-series tops out with 6 cores and 12 threads, yielding 24 logical processors between two sockets. =)
    -3
  • wh3resmycar
    Quote:
    So many cpu's in task manager...do all but 1 go unused running a single threaded app? shame intel had to go this route with more cores instead of making single core with hyper-threading work faster. you should really only need 2 logical cpu's and hyper threading accomplishes it with 1.


    i have a feeling you dont understand what the word "workstation" means.
    13
  • Anonymous
    Hyper threading was kind of cool back in the P4 days, but now I don't see the point. Virtually nothing that >people actually use< has any benefit to see from it.. It just makes for cool screenshots imo..

    I guess what this review says is that, if you want performance for stuff you do at home you should pretty much just get a Nehalem i7 6c with some fast ram. The xeons seems to be behind on everything multimedia, much as expected.
    -4
  • Otus
    cangeliniThe Xeon 5600-series tops out with 6 cores and 12 threads, yielding 24 logical processors between two sockets. =)

    You should have written "logical processors" or "logical cores" and no one would have argued.
    mheagerNot true. Hyper threading makes it so if one app gets stuck in an endless loop it doesn't suck up all the cpu and freeze the computer.

    The OS can do that even on a single core with no HT. Not to mention the case with many physical cores which non-HT CPUs have nowadays.
    7
  • kokin
    mheagerNot true. Hyper threading makes it so if one app gets stuck in an endless loop it doesn't suck up all the cpu and freeze the computer.

    But why should it get stuck in an endless loop with all that computing power?
    -2
  • mindbreaker
    Since when do the chip makers get to choose not to have their chips tested? Is this a news magazine or isn't it? Test those G34 socket AMD Opterons!

    And guys; chess is still one of the best applications to see the potential of a chip with all threads pegged. Crafty has a benchmark if the Fritz one is not using all the threads. Or you can do things more hands on; just see how much time it requires to get StockFish 1.8 to reach depth 30 in the start position. It is free and the #2 engine in the world.
    3
  • jeffunit
    Nice picture of a memory module. Unfortunately, it isn't a picture of the kingston KVR1333D3E9SK3/3G which has ECC, and hence 9 memory chips per side.
    3
  • cangelini
    jeffunitNice picture of a memory module. Unfortunately, it isn't a picture of the kingston KVR1333D3E9SK3/3G which has ECC, and hence 9 memory chips per side.


    Blargh. That's what I get for relying on Kingston's stock photography. Photo of one of my actual modules is in there now.
    4
  • cangelini
    mindbreakerSince when do the chip makers get to choose not to have their chips tested? Is this a news magazine or isn't it? Test those G34 socket AMD Opterons! And guys; chess is still one of the best applications to see the potential of a chip with all threads pegged. Crafty has a benchmark if the Fritz one is not using all the threads. Or you can do things more hands on; just see how much time it requires to get StockFish 1.8 to reach depth 30 in the start position. It is free and the #2 engine in the world.


    Hoping to get AMD in on the next round, for sure!
    2
  • Reynod
    Enjoyed reading this ... thanks Chris.
    0
  • amdfangirl
    It's interesting to see it unable to beat the i7-980X at times.

    Just shows not everything is ready for operation more cores.
    0
  • Marco925
    Quote:
    Can Your PC Use 24 Processors?


    I'm still on dual core... :( so no.
    0
  • wotan31
    I'll bet Windows won't work with this many processors. The crap OS will probably BSOD. Even it boots, Windows is a virtual retard when it comes to thread management - it scales VERY poorly once you go above 4 cpu's. Linux or OSX on the other hand, would definitely benefit from such technology, since both of those have advanced thread management.
    -6
  • wotan31
    Tamz_mscI was expecting an even better performance from these CPUs.The performance is still limited by the software you use.

    Correct... if the software you use is Windows. Use a real OS that's based on UNIX and can actually scale properly when you give it serious hardware. Windows is a tinker toy in comparison.
    -5
  • scook9
    Pretty epic review :)
    1