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mitoventure
03-21-2012, 08:08 PM
Hello All... I need some advice in purchasing a system. After reading many posts on this forum, I've designed the following setup. Most of my computing power will be used for LW and After Effects.

I'm really looking for fast previews for both pieces of software. Sure, I would like quick render times, but seeing previews as fast as possible is the most important. Since I'm posting this in the LW forum, my focus was on building a great LW system. My logic is... create a great LW system... have a great After Effects system.

At first a great graphic card was my focus. I figured I would get a Nvidia Quadro 5000/6000 and that would give me everything I needed. After reading many posts, it seemed that most people were saying: just go with the GeForce card - GPU and OpenGL aren't major factors. I was hearing that having more RAM and CPU power was better.

So, I ditched the Quadro and looked at a single GPU GeForce card: the 580 with 3GB (eVGA makes a 3GB version). What I read told me the having 2 GPUs wouldn't help... so I decided not to go with the 590 which has 2 GPUs and only 1.5GB per GPU. Am I correct in saying the aforementioned statement about multiple GPUs and Lightwave?

I was also having a hard time deciding what processor setup to go with. I have a nice size budget but it's not unlimited... i7, Xeon, Opteron... single or dual processors????

I first chose the newest E5 Xeon - single CPU setup. 8 Cores. Not as fast as the i7, but more cores. Tough... really expensive. The processor was about $1500 for the newest chip. Ouch!

i7 3960X seemed like the next choice. 6 Cores and fast. But I was only getting 6 cores for around $1000.

After reading how CPU power and RAM seem to be the most important factors, I most likely going to go with the system below:

1. 2x Operton 6238 12 core Processors - $1000
2. Ram 64GB ($90 per 16GB UDIMM x4) - $320
3. Corsair Force GT SSD 180GB - $260
4. eVGA GeForce GTX 580 - $500
5. ASUS DP Motherboard - $450

Hoping my logic is correct... I get 24 AMD cores for $1000.

Any feedback would be much appreciated! Thanks!

Andy Meyer
03-21-2012, 09:41 PM
opteron is good for database and other server stuff. the 3960x is about 50% faster than the 6276 (this is a 16core opteron). you can easily overclock the 3960x up to 4.5 on air or even higher. then you have about the same rendering speed as two 6238 or even more speed.
dont let you blend with synthetic performance test. just look at cinebench and other 3d rendering tests.

i would buy samsung ssd. they are very fast and they are much more reliable.

did you say $320 for 64gb of ram? this must be cheap crap :-)
after all, its a good idea to have lot of ram!

btw, after effects will thank you the 64gb of ram, but AE will not make much use of the 24 cores... i7 3960X is best for AE.

i'm not an intel fanboy and i dont sell intel cpus and i dont own intel shares :-)
i had AMD too while intel suffered the pentium4 disease. so i dont want you force to buy intel. just make your research and look at the right numbers!

mitoventure
03-22-2012, 05:34 AM
opteron is good for database and other server stuff. the 3960x is about 50% faster than the 6276 (this is a 16core opteron). you can easily overclock the 3960x up to 4.5 on air or even higher. then you have about the same rendering speed as two 6238 or even more speed.
dont let you blend with synthetic performance test. just look at cinebench and other 3d rendering tests.

i would buy samsung ssd. they are very fast and they are much more reliable.

did you say $320 for 64gb of ram? this must be cheap crap :-)
after all, its a good idea to have lot of ram!

btw, after effects will thank you the 64gb of ram, but AE will not make much use of the 24 cores... i7 3960X is best for AE.

i'm not an intel fanboy and i dont sell intel cpus and i dont own intel shares :-)
i had AMD too while intel suffered the pentium4 disease. so i dont want you force to buy intel. just make your research and look at the right numbers!

Thanks for the info! Yea, I can get non registered RAM for the system... this is why it's so cheap. The registered stuff is expensive.

Basically, what I'm hearing is that a single Xeon chip will beat the dual AMD setup. I'm not opposed to Intel. In fact, I would rather go with Intel. It just seems that I'm getting more bang for my buck with AMD.

I've looked at some benchmark tests... but there are so many to look at.

Would you say going with the single Xeon is better than the dual AMD. I will tell you, there sure are a lot more motherboards for Intel. Better choices and better features.

Thanks again!

Hieron
03-22-2012, 06:00 AM
1. 2x Operton 6238 12 core Processors - $1000
2. Ram 64GB ($90 per 16GB UDIMM x4) - $320
3. Corsair Force GT SSD – 180GB - $260
4. eVGA GeForce GTX 580 - $500
5. ASUS DP Motherboard - $450

Any feedback would be much appreciated! Thanks!

Now that's quite a system to build, if you got the cash why not. If you are starting out with LW and AE (no offense) then perhaps it's a tad on the OP side.

Personally I'd:
1. Intel 3930K. Meant to be overclocked, do that. About the price of 1 opteron and overclocked I assume 30-50% faster. Hard to come by benchmarks for that opteron. Mind you: quite some things are still single threaded. The 3930 will go at it with 4+ Ghz if you oc it. The opterons will spend 1 thread at 2.6 ghz.. Clock for clock slower too. So any singlethreaded operation will be outperformed by the intel factor 2 or so.

however: VPR apparantly makes great use of all your opteron cores. So there your DP opterons will outperform the single 3930. (at 2x the price)

2. 64 GB is insane for most, but it's cheap too so who cares :)

3. heard bad stories about the corsair. I wouldn't buy anything other than Intel.. (no not a fanboy... hmm am I? :))

4. Don't think this GPU will really do much better than a more normally priced one.. the 3GB memory will hardly be used..

5. Expensive since you need the DP.. I'd say go for a consumer grade really nice one to match the 3930...


If price is no worry whatsoever then I'd go for DP intels...
I'm sure Jon will have something to say about that :)

Andy Meyer
03-22-2012, 07:31 AM
hi mitoventure,
it's hard to give an advice. there is no best hardware, it depends on your needs.

in the past years i build a new system every 2-3 years, after 1-1.5 years i do a cpu upgrade (sometime gpu, ram, disks too). what is important is that you buy a mainboard/socket that will be compatible with the next cpu generation.

a dual cpu system is more expensive, more special hardware, less/not overclocking. but you get a kick a** system at the time you buy. coz of higher price you maybe not willing to spend more money for an upgrade after a year.

on the other hand a singe cpu system is less expensive, more available hardware, chance for good overclocking. the better price allows you to upgrade the system after a year or so.

it's a hard choice, i know :-)

if i find some lw/ae related performance test for the opterion/intel i will let you know.

mitoventure
03-22-2012, 05:02 PM
@Hieron - I hear what you are saying. I was thinking about going with the i7 for a long time. It's a really nice processor which I can overclock. Also, I can get a killer motherboard, etc. I loved the RAM comment... made me laugh... so true. I really can't afford the dual Intel's. Just not in my price range. I have about $1500 to $2000 to spend on a CPU(s) and motherboard. Two SB Xeons would be $3000 at least. I hear you about loss of power during the single threaded operations going with the lower clock speed AMD.

@Andy - Yes, this is a hard choice. I do wish this decision making process was easier!

I'm still looking over the options and if anyone else has any advice, please let me know.

Thanks again!

mitoventure
04-22-2012, 09:39 PM
Haven't got everything delivered, but this is what I ordered.

Intel i7 Extreme 3930K Processor $599.99
ASUS P9X79 WS LGA 2011 Intel X79 Motherboard $266.99
CORSAIR DOMINATOR 32GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1866 @ 2 $319.98
Corsair Hydro Series H80 Liquid Cooling $94.99
Rosewill HIVE Series HIVE-750 750W $89.99
Corsair Force GT SSD 120GB $93.86
ShiMian QH270-Lite 27" QHD 16:9 DVI-D Wide 2560x1440 Monitor $275.90
AMD FIREPRO FIRE PRO V5900 $329.00
Logitech K800 Black USB $52.95
APC Battery $87.43
Logitech M705 Laser Marathon Mouse $37.99
SNT SNT-125B Black 3.5" SATA Hard drive to 5.25" Bay SATA $11.99
StarTech SATSASBAY3BK 3 Drive 2.5"/3.5" $88.49
Vantec EZ Swap F4 MRK-425ST-BK 4 Bay 2.5" $36.99
Accell UltraAV B087B-005B DisplayPort to DVI-D Active 2 @ $28.66 $57.32
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD1 2.5" 128GB $149.99

Now I just have to get everything and put it all together.

Total cost: $2600

BeeVee
04-23-2012, 02:12 AM
CORSAIR DOMINATOR 32GB (4 x 4GB) is 16GB no?

B

mitoventure
04-23-2012, 02:59 PM
CORSAIR DOMINATOR 32GB (4 x 4GB) is 16GB no?

B

Typo... yup 32GB total (2 x 16). I was thinking about getting the 64GB, but I thought it was money better spent elsewhere.

Andy Meyer
04-23-2012, 03:22 PM
if you do lot of heavy comp, like many exr layers in AE, then 64gb ram is not insane :-)

mitoventure
04-23-2012, 03:25 PM
if you do lot of heavy comp, like many exr layers in AE, then 64gb ram is not insane :-)

True. But I was able to do everything with 8GB of DDR2 a month ago. I can always add more RAM later.

Yea, AE will take all the RAM you can give it.

Looking at Creative Cloud now. Can't wait for it to come out. Love the new pricing structure.