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starbase1
05-21-2011, 04:02 AM
Hi All,
It's nearly time to upgrade my older computer, and I'm not sure about getting something serious, or going way over the top and splashing out on something utterly turbo nutter.

And right now the main thing against the turbo nutter option is that I'm not sure how much benefit I'd get from it for LW.

For example, the serious option is looking like a 4core 8 thread i7, with 12 or 16 Gb of memory.

I like the idea of a lot more memory, but that seems to mean a shift to Xeon, and I got very confused when looking for benchmarks on that - not many around and they seemed to show wildly different results. If the best results I see are true its tempting, others show almost no improvement.

I'm currently on 9.6, and I'd also be very interested to hear if LW has got any better at using memory to support larger poly counts. I'd say I'm seing slowdown at (very roughly) 2 million polys, way before memory gets used up on my current hardware.

Kind of similar with large texture images too, (I'm aware of infini map, but would much prefer a native improvement)

Cheers,
Nick

sammael
05-21-2011, 06:51 AM
I think the option with as many cores and as much memory as is affordable would be best, LW seems to gobble up both of those.
Value for money at the moment seems to be the i7 option with 12-16gb as you suggest, I have been contemplating the same thing lately since the trusty old core 2 duo doesnt seem to cut the mustard any more.
I think the benifit of xeon if anything is mainly multiple xeons enabling more cores and more memory but it quickly becomes expensive. I may be wrong but as far as I can tell switching from a single xeon from i7 is not much of an upgrade and possible a downgrade.

toddd240
05-21-2011, 07:12 AM
I am currently running a i7 quad 2.6 which I o'clocked to 3.4

I also have 12 GB of Ram

It has done very well for me with regards to Lightwave.

I, however, am also a user of VUE 9.5 Infinite which is a son of a gun when it comes to renders. So shortly I will be upgrading to a 6 core i7.

But to your post, the quad or 6 core i7 is great for lightwave. I would suggest 12GB of ram though.

OnlineRender
05-21-2011, 07:16 AM
I am currently running a i7 quad 2.6 which I o'clocked to 3.4

I also have 12 GB of Ram

It has done very well for me with regards to Lightwave.

I, however, am also a user of VUE 9.5 Infinite which is a son of a gun when it comes to renders. So shortly I will be upgrading to a 6 core i7.


My mates has I7 @ 16 GB Ram , and Vue kills it for renders , to the point I imported his objects into LW and halfed his render time .his work bought it from here .

http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/

starbase1
05-21-2011, 07:48 AM
Thanks for the comments so far...

Multiple xeons are definitely an option if they deliver. Thats the bit I'm not sure about.

Aparrently I'm going to need to go xeon to get above 16 Gb, but will LW use it?

i7 with 12 GB is about the minimum I would take seriously these days.

The last obiggie I bought was from Aramari:
http://www.armari.com/

Very impressed with teh service and build quality, I was planning on using them again.

Nick

cresshead
05-21-2011, 08:02 AM
price vs power go get a 6 core i7 intel cpu computer.

...until june when amd start shipping bulldozer based cpu's...

:cry:

sammael
05-21-2011, 08:35 AM
Multiple xeons are definitely an option if they deliver. Thats the bit I'm not sure about.

Aparrently I'm going to need to go xeon to get above 16 Gb, but will LW use it?


The assumption and expectation is yes, but im not positive about this either. Perhaps someone with a dual/quad xeon box could chime in. I do remember a thread a while back to do with opterons which were working in VPR but not so well for standard renders. As for the ram... dunno.

ianr
05-21-2011, 08:38 AM
Yep, Creeshead said it nice,
VPR sports car garage scene at Mr.Powells Newtek show,
I think it was a Boxx two xenon HEx(6) core giving 24 threads.

There is a 48 thread Opteron Thread on this site somewwhere testing VPR!

But all new Intels ( i core) don't do dual cpu Mobo's, and are not equipped to do so, the reasons are that Intel don't need to!

They will re-evalulate when bulldozer samples can be tested.

I have the same problem, that Xeons are behind the curve,long in the tooth for re- toooling with, and the Bulldozers are as yet unknowns in spec tests with LW10.

For right now cress has hit it on the head!
But how long, maddening isn't it, but you gotta jump sometime,
(Do post speeds when you jump)

starbase1
05-22-2011, 03:51 AM
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I took a look at pcspecialist, but they don't seem as configurable as Armari. (Looking at what you can get these days, I';m figuring on 4 x 2Tb drives)

starbase1
05-22-2011, 04:01 AM
For right now cress has hit it on the head!
But how long, maddening isn't it, but you gotta jump sometime,
(Do post speeds when you jump)

The last jump was to an fast overclocked 4 core 8 thread i7 with 12 Gb memory, and that was just jaw dropping. I promptly switched to used decent qualility final gather on pretty much everything.

So the prospect of a similar jump upward is incredibly tempting.

starbase1
05-23-2011, 06:47 AM
Hmmm... The nice man at Armari pointed out something I had not considered - GPU acceleration.

I was aware that modern graphics cards are massively parallel, but have no idea if this is being put to effective use anywhere. (Photoshop and Premniere was mentioned - I only use the elements versions of these, so not sure if that applies...

Any other progs get good benefit from this stuff, now or in the near future?

Nick

BigHache
05-23-2011, 09:38 AM
Any other progs get good benefit from this stuff, now or in the near future?

At the current moment the new Z68 chipset on Intel based motherboards are supposed to benefit from GPU acceleration in the encoding of videos. But I think this feature is very consumer-driven, not necessarily pro intended.

It just seems that GPU acceleration is slow to be integrated.

starbase1
05-31-2011, 04:06 AM
What about graphics cards in general?

I must admit, I've tended to put that to the back of the priorities in the past, apart from enough memory to hold lots of textures. But I've noticed recently that even on my best PC modeller often gets unresponsive - particularly at startup when it's trying to show every layer in a large model.

As the textured preview window comes to life after a pasue, I was wondering if this might be due to my graphics card struggling with a million polys.

I don't play games at all on the PC.
Nick

papou
05-31-2011, 04:52 AM
i'm actually running a 24 threads workstation.
It's fast. ...but it's expensive too.
Depend of your needs.
It's great for fast previewing.
But if you want a fastest final render for the same price, you can farm several I7 station.

Elmar Moelzer
05-31-2011, 10:53 AM
I would go for a 6Core 12 Thread Core i7 with as much RAM as the mainboard can pack and a decent graphics card from Nvidia. Consumer card is enough, IMHO, no need to shell out money for the expensive Quadros.
My choice would be a GTX 580 with 3GB RAM, I would take the 3GB because VoluMedic loves graphics cards (my bias here) with lots of RAM and so do all sorts of GPU- rendering solutuions.
Use an SSD for booting and pagefile and a fast harddrive, maybe two or three in a software raid for bulk data storage.
Those are my suggestions.
We are working with notoriously huge amounts of data here. We have datasets that are a single block of data with multiple gigabytes in size. But our largest system here has 12GB and that has been doing just fine so far.
We have yet to get some of the monster datasets from one of the microCT- manufacturers that we have been talking to.
But any others have easily been fitting into 12GB (with lots of headroom). So I am not 100% sure, where or why you would need more than 16 for a while to come, unless you are planning on doing non destructive testing on hig resolution micro- CT- data ;)

antsj
05-31-2011, 03:19 PM
Just had a computer Disaster and had to rebuild a computer. I went with the X 58 ASUS Sabertooth and went with the I 7 960 4 Core. Added 24 GB DDR3 Memory and PNY Quadro 4000 (Fhermi) video card with 2 GB of memory.

It seems to be quit a bit upgrade over the previous I 7 920 w 12 GB on ASUS P6 Deluxe.

If I had the money I would like a Xeon Dual 5600 (I think the I 7 comparable) Dual Processor with 12 Cores/ 6 per processor and as much memory I could afford. Probably would go with a Super Micro Board. Really stable platform in my experience on the server boards as opposed to consumer boards.

Anyhow, maybe I can jump up to the I 7 6 core processor when price drops a bit. Not much into OC chips at the moment. Someday.

Best of success on your build.

aj

Elmar Moelzer
05-31-2011, 03:45 PM
I think that the Core i7 970 is a pretty good value for the money right now. You can get it for 485 Euro here. Considering that the Core i7 980 costs 835 Euro, this is rather cheap. Oddly enough it is much cheaper than the 965, which costs over 800 Euro here...

starbase1
06-01-2011, 05:03 AM
Thnks for the sugestions - interesting, I had already marked the geforce GTX 570 as a possibility, so maybe I am thinking along the right lines!

As for data sets, my main interest is realistic space stuff - that sometimes involves huge texures, and I'd also like to be able to handle the very large polygon counts that come with terrains - more and more high res planet data sets are coming out. Though unless LW gets a lot better at the big poly counts soon, I'll be pretty much forced into moving to new software...

Nick

AmigaNewTek
06-01-2011, 05:26 AM
@starbase1

Slow @ 2 million poly? Even less. See my thread "Lightwave too slow?". To talk about number of cores, situation doesn't change much with 2 or 4 cores. Maybe in rendering you can have higher speed. Calculations and Geometry (with many poly) are slow. The other core of the system are not used. In some situation i see one core only used @ 25-28%. If you can wait, i want to suggest you to buy AMD Buldozer 8 core, expected to have great permormance with lower price than other chip. On the software side, LW Core yould have great improvement in any side, although i haven't tested any version yet (sigh).

What about a public demo?

Lightwolf
06-01-2011, 05:37 AM
My current "If I had the cash and needed it" rig is:
- i7-2600K - the highest single core performance, fastest quad rendering performance and very low power use
- 2GB nVidia GTX 560Ti - 2GB is nice to have and it's fairly low power as well
-Any decent P67 based motherboard - unfortunately only 16GB max. using current DIMMs, imho the only reason to consider a 1366 based board nowadays
I'd also look into a SDD for the OS and main applications (120GB or so).

The current set-up I have in mind is around 1350€ (incl. 19% VAT)

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
06-01-2011, 05:41 AM
If you can wait, i want to suggest you to buy AMD Buldozer 8 core, expected to have great permormance with lower price than other chip.
My expectations are quite low in that regard (and AMDs seem to be as well). The FPU is weaker than Sandy Bridge (AMD are betting on the GPU, imho way too early) and single core performance isn't likely to be at the level of Sandy Bridge either. Which may basically give it the edge in tasks that multi-thread well and don't tax the FPU much.
It's also just been delayed until September or so (Apparently they need another stepping to get it up to speed) - which is close to when Intel will released the Sandy-Bridge E (which is the proper socket 1366 successor).

Fun times ... And it's not like the Sandy-Bridge successor has been announced for early next year either... ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Sekhar
06-01-2011, 12:46 PM
My current "If I had the cash and needed it" rig is:
- i7-2600K - the highest single core performance, fastest quad rendering performance and very low power use
- 2GB nVidia GTX 560Ti - 2GB is nice to have and it's fairly low power as well
-Any decent P67 based motherboard - unfortunately only 16GB max. using current DIMMs, imho the only reason to consider a 1366 based board nowadays
I'd also look into a SDD for the OS and main applications (120GB or so).

The current set-up I have in mind is around 1350€ (incl. 19% VAT)

Cheers,
Mike
I got an i7-2600 too recently (Dell XPS 8300) and added an SSD, and the thing absolutely flies now. Cold startup for Modeler = 3s, Layout or Modeler after that = 1s.

I cannot recommend an SSD enough, Windows boots up in like 8s for me and programs install/run so fast you got to see it to believe it. Make sure the SSD is fast enough though like 200+ MB/s, and you have several with 400+ MB/s these days. Larger drivers tend to be faster within the same series.

starbase1
06-02-2011, 06:42 AM
I solve the start time issues by never rebooting and never leaving LW!