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l1tay2
12-01-2010, 07:42 AM
Guys,

Any advice you have feel free to chime in..I am about to purchase this system.

System Board: Intel X8 5520 SATA Workstation System Board (no SLI Support)
Processor: DUAL Intel Quad-Core Xeon E5620 2.4GHZ 1066 MHz L3 12MB 5.86 GT/s QPI w HT & TB
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit
Memory: 24GB DDR-3 PC3-10600 1333MHZ Registered ECC (6 x 4GB)
Primary Hard Drive: 1TB SATA II 7200RPM 32MB Cache
Graphics Card: Nvidia Quadro FX 1800 768 MB

Total cost: $4,000

3DGFXStudios
12-01-2010, 08:25 AM
I would add a SSD for your OS and change the Quadro into a Geforce because it's cheaper and your not buying a particular fast quadro. Or are you using the quadro for some other special software?

BigHache
12-01-2010, 09:24 AM
I just did a build with a Corsair Force series SSD with the Sandforce controller. My first, firsthand experience with SSD and it's NICE. Boot time is under 20s from hitting power to desktop.

Saves all sorts of time in installing software too. Definitely recommended.

l1tay2
12-01-2010, 12:58 PM
I would add a SSD for your OS and change the Quadro into a Geforce because it's cheaper and your not buying a particular fast quadro. Or are you using the quadro for some other special software?

I plan on running Maya AND 3ds Max on this machine as well.

3DGFXStudios
12-01-2010, 01:54 PM
then it might be useful to buy a quadro. But generally you get more speed per € with a geforce.

Fausto
12-02-2010, 12:31 PM
One of the things that most people don't know and hardware resellers don't openly tell you about SSD's is how frequently you'll be rebuilding your operating system. Most SSD based installs don't last more than a year, then you're doing a RE and RE of your operating system and software... They're fast, but they're not as stable long term as the platter based storage.. If you go that route, install your OS and software than create a disk image to a cheaper HDD. That way in a years time when you're rebuilding your operating system, you can just format the SSD and clone your image file over to it from the low cost HDD. That's what I'm doing, I learned this the hard way by the way.

I use Trueimage for cloning, it's cheap and works well.

cheers,

PS, why would you go with Xeon chips instead of i7's? Xeons are more expensive and don't give you the perfomance of the i7 980X or even the 970 for that matter.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

Rayek
12-02-2010, 10:02 PM
After running a GTX 480 for a week now, I can only say: STAY AWAY from the new Fermi cards. Their OpenGL has been crippled by Nvidia, either through drivers (most probably), or in the hardware. My 280 outperforms the 480 by far in the 3d viewports, and the Fermi cards seem to be almost useless for more complex 3d creation. It seems the last generation ate a large chunk out of the Quadra's profitable pie, so Nvidia must have decided to stop this. Either that, or there is a hardware problem. On both Nvidia remains silent, for months now.

I thought I would never say this, but here goes: either stay with your Quadra, or go with ATI (whose current drivers seem to be very good, running circles around the new Nvidia Fermi cards in OpenGL/3d apps).

A lot of Max people are complaining about bad 3d viewport performance, which is my experience as well with both Blender and C4d. Lightwave modeller seems slower as well.

I should have researched the 480 better before plunging in.

Ah well, reconnect the 280, and use the 480 as a cheap rendering engine for Octane (which works very fast, I might add).

Soth
12-02-2010, 10:20 PM
One of the things that most people don't know and hardware resellers don't openly tell you about SSD's is how frequently you'll be rebuilding your operating system. Most SSD based installs don't last more than a year, then you're doing a RE and RE of your operating system and software...
How type of the disc affects how long operating system will last?

Will that be true for MacOS too?

Soth
12-02-2010, 10:23 PM
Processor: DUAL Intel Quad-Core Xeon E5620 2.4GHZ 1066 MHz L3 12MB 5.86 GT/s QPI w HT & TB
You might consider buying motherboard that will allow over clocking.
http://www.evga.com/articles/00537/

JonW
12-02-2010, 10:29 PM
Just the right sort of computer you need with all that snow you are having!

Fausto
12-02-2010, 10:48 PM
How type of the disc affects how long operating system will last?

Will that be true for MacOS too?

SSD's are just more susceptible to file corruption than HDD's I'm not sure why. They have one thing going for them, aside from the speed of course, there's nothing mechanical that can really go wrong with them, so formating them and restoring from a clone can be done, theoretically anyway, hundreds of times. HDD generally are toast when they crap out... This issue will apply to any operating system including mac os.

Soth
12-02-2010, 11:10 PM
I think I know what you mean. When Windows will crash / freeze or you will suddenly loose power HDD should finish last writing operation anyway.

With SSD's it will only happen only with some (expansive) models or if the drive is connected to RAID controller with memory+battery combo.

JonW
12-02-2010, 11:32 PM
Get a UPS, if you are serious about your work, they are worth every cent.

The number of times I've been in front of the computer & havenít really realised that the power has gone out is far too often. Usually a Ringtail Possum electrocuting itself & taking out the suburb with it.

The fun bit is that I can light up the place & everyone else is in the dark! & with a 3.0 kVA box I can make a cup of coffee!

l1tay2
12-03-2010, 06:59 AM
One of the things that most people don't know and hardware resellers don't openly tell you about SSD's is how frequently you'll be rebuilding your operating system. Most SSD based installs don't last more than a year, then you're doing a RE and RE of your operating system and software... They're fast, but they're not as stable long term as the platter based storage.. If you go that route, install your OS and software than create a disk image to a cheaper HDD. That way in a years time when you're rebuilding your operating system, you can just format the SSD and clone your image file over to it from the low cost HDD. That's what I'm doing, I learned this the hard way by the way.

I use Trueimage for cloning, it's cheap and works well.

cheers,

PS, why would you go with Xeon chips instead of i7's? Xeons are more expensive and don't give you the perfomance of the i7 980X or even the 970 for that matter.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

The reason i am going with DUAL Xeons is for rendering. I want to stay away from having to purchase a render farm right now. Are you saying that the I7 980 Extreme would outrender the DUAL Xeons???

Soth
12-03-2010, 07:05 AM
The reason i am going with DUAL Xeons is for rendering. I want to stay away from having to purchase a render farm right now. Are you saying that the I7 980 Extreme would outrender the DUAL Xeons???
With i7 980X you will get better viewport performance. But two Xeons E5620 will 'outrender' i7 easly.

If you are buying one workstation only I would go for the motherboard that I have recommended before and overclock your Xeons.

BigHache
12-03-2010, 08:27 AM
Fausto, thanks for the heads up on rebuilding the OS on SSDs. That's not something I had come across or would even think to have asked.

Fausto
12-03-2010, 10:25 AM
The reason i am going with DUAL Xeons is for rendering. I want to stay away from having to purchase a render farm right now. Are you saying that the I7 980 Extreme would outrender the DUAL Xeons???

Sorry, I didn't see that you were specifying a dual CPU workstation. That said, the E5620's doubled give you 8 cores and 16 threads, the clock is still only 2.4 Ghz. Of course you can overclock them like anything else. just not as easily or as fast as the 980X. Most people expect dual CPU machines to double the performance of single CPU machines, real world experience however shows that's seldom the case. The i7 980X on a single CPU has 6 cores, 12 threads, and because of its unlocked clock speed multiplier it can easily be overclocked from the 3.33 Ghz to 4.0 Ghz and higher with a good thermal solution. That's not to say that the Xeons are lousy, to the contrary, they're great processors, but really they're more designed for servers then they are for workstations. I know apple like to use them on their pro workstations, but really, that's not where their strength lies. Besides, at roughly 600.00 bucks a pop for these, they cost more combined than a single i7 980X and with the overclocking capabilities of the 980, performance wise I don't think you'll see any significant drop. If I was making a change to your system specs it would be on the drives, SSD's are worth it, yes they require some maintenance and forethought with respect to OS corruption, but they're still worth it. At the very least look into some faster platter solutions, Western Digital's Velociraptors are fast, LOUD, but fast and give you good bang for your buck.

CPU Benchmark - Passmark ratings:

980X @ 3.33 Ghz - 10,399
E5620 @ 24 Ghz - 4,592

Cheers,

Fausto
12-03-2010, 10:35 AM
Fausto, thanks for the heads up on rebuilding the OS on SSDs. That's not something I had come across or would even think to have asked.


You're welcome. I wish that I had known before the first machine decided not to show up for work. I have two machines identical in every way to each other, within 2 weeks, they were both not booting. After the first one died is when I discovered the truth about SSD's so I made sure that I cloned an image of the computer that was still running, sure enough like clockwork, it too needed to be restored. With the clone it took about 15 minutes as opposed to hours manually installing everything.. Just Master Collection alone takes 3 hours to install, not to mention Visual Studio, Expression Studio, Office and the hundreds of fonts. Makes you wonder what Adobe are installing when it takes 12 times longer to install than Win7 itself. And that's on an SSD...

BigHache
12-03-2010, 12:26 PM
I may need to go ahead and invest into something like Trueimage then. The system I built with SSD is about to be shipped out so I won't see it again if this corruption happens like clockwork as you say.

I'm curious if this is specific at all to the SSD controller, or if this is a function of the media itself. Interesting either way.

Soth
12-04-2010, 01:42 AM
CPU Benchmark - Passmark ratings:

980X @ 3.33 Ghz - 10,399
E5620 @ 24 Ghz - 4,592

Cinebench 11.5
980X @ 3.33 Ghz 8.92
L5530 8.58

(E5620 will have same speed but will be more overclockable)

Fausto
12-04-2010, 08:50 AM
Cinebench 11.5
980X @ 3.33 Ghz 8.92
L5530 8.58

(E5620 will have same speed but will be more overclockable)

I think you may have this backwards... For overclocking you'll have a higher increase on the i7, not the Xeon.

I also doubt that the E5620 given its Passmark performance benchmarks will be able to have similar Cinebench results. We're talking 4 cores 8 threads compared to 6 and 12 and 2.4 Ghz to 3.33, I doubt very much they'd be comparable speed wise. Even my 860's have better numbers than the E5620

Soth
12-04-2010, 09:33 AM
I think you may have this backwards... For overclocking you'll have a higher increase on the i7, not the Xeon.

I also doubt that the E5620 given its Passmark performance benchmarks will be able to have similar Cinebench results. We're talking 4 cores 8 threads compared to 6 and 12 and 2.4 Ghz to 3.33, I doubt very much they'd be comparable speed wise. Even my 860's have better numbers than the E5620
But there are 2 of those, its 8 cores 16 threads. I am quite sure that it will have same score as L5530.

Regarding the increase we will not know for sure if i7 or Xeon will be able to run faster, but I would guess that Xeon might actually present better material for overclocking as its base speed is lower - those are both 32 nm processors.

i7 is no brainier if you are going for animation or modelling, but rendering, with this budget, I would go for overclocked Xeons.

EDIT: I would try to go for two X5650's and try to overclock them. But that might be above the budget. :)

geo_n
12-04-2010, 10:21 AM
That way in a years time when you're rebuilding your operating system, you can just format the SSD and clone your image file over to it from the low cost HDD. That's what I'm doing, I learned this the hard way by the way.

I use Trueimage for cloning, it's cheap and works well.


Speaking of rebuilding hdd workstation, I checked Trueimage and the ratings are so low. http://download.cnet.com/Acronis-True-Image-Home/3000-2242_4-10168093.html
Is this really reliable? Not like norton ghost.
Anyone tried paragon or other software
http://download.cnet.com/Paragon-Backup-amp-Recovery-Free-Advanced-Edition/3000-2242_4-10972187.html?tag=mncol

Fausto
12-04-2010, 01:07 PM
Speaking of rebuilding hdd workstation, I checked Trueimage and the ratings are so low. http://download.cnet.com/Acronis-True-Image-Home/3000-2242_4-10168093.html
Is this really reliable? Not like norton ghost.
Anyone tried paragon or other software
http://download.cnet.com/Paragon-Backup-amp-Recovery-Free-Advanced-Edition/3000-2242_4-10972187.html?tag=mncol


I only use it for cloning, I don't actually keep the software installed.