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View Full Version : To dual or not to dual, that is the question!



Matt
02-11-2003, 05:18 PM
Hi Gang! (Sorry about the length of this) :)

I'm looking to buy a PC for home, it needs to be pretty powerful as I'll be nicking the dongle from work to do LW stuff at home!

I'm thinking of going with Dell at the moment because I'm using one of their machines (now in fact, and LW is rendering in the background!) at work and it's pretty good (Precision 530 Dual Xeon 2Ghz, 1Gb RAM, nVidia Quadro4 900XGL 128Mb)

My questions are:

1)Which would roughly be more powerful/useful, 1 x Pentium 3.06Ghz or 2 x Xeon 2Ghz in a real world software test?

2)I prefer nVidia cards, they seem to work better for me, but the problem with Dell is that for the systems I'm looking at (around 3,000 GBP) they only offer the one high spec' card mentioned above, great card but is it worth going for the lowest spec' one in the list and wait for the new nVidia FX range of cards which should be out this year?

Any help would be very much appreciated! :D

Cheers
Matt

ted
02-11-2003, 06:22 PM
That's a no brainer. A DUAL 3.06Ghz! ;)
Remember, what you buy today will be outdated tomorrow.
I know that sucks doesn't it.

Not claiming to be an expert, I'd go with a single 3.06, which leaves the option to add the other processor later.

Matt
02-12-2003, 01:59 PM
Cheers Ted, anyone else have any thoughts?

UnCommonGrafx
02-12-2003, 06:39 PM
Dual. Period.

Recently I built a dual 2.6 and my goodness: it rocks!
(Understatement of the day!)

Amazing what all one can do in the time had with one of these new speed boxes.

Dual whatever. That's what you ought to get.

Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

Paul Lara
02-12-2003, 09:17 PM
Dual.

The top-speed you can purchase for a single CPU config is currently 3.0 Gig (maybe they're out now). Heck, they don't even make 1.5Gig CPU's anymore, so a dual 2.0 would probably be at the best price per cycle.

Definately. Dual.

ted
02-12-2003, 09:28 PM
Paul, can you elaborate a little on what applications will benefit from Dual Processors and how. I've heard conflicting opinions.

I've always believed Duals are better, but how much better then a 1/3 faster single, and where would that line be a trade off, i.e. 50% faster?

Thanks for any info. I'd tend to believe your expertise.

Paul Lara
02-12-2003, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by ted
I'd tend to believe your expertise.

Bwahahaaa!

Not only does Ted believe me, he thinks I'm an Expert!

:cool:

Well, Video Toaster [2] in particular runs so many threads that you see a definate performance benefit from dual processors (though I can't quantify that with a number). The other advantage of dual is that you can gracefully dedicate one Processor to LightWave renders, while you still have a very responsive machine to run other apps on the other proc.

Lightwolf
02-13-2003, 07:06 AM
Originally posted by ted
Not claiming to be an expert, I'd go with a single 3.06, which leaves the option to add the other processor later.

Hi Ted: For a Dual P4 System you would need

a) A dual board and
b) dual Processors (Xeon's)

Both of which aren't compatible with the current 3 GHz P4, so the only option you'd have would be to throw out your motherboard and your CPU.

Price / Performance wise a dual Athlon might be pretty good.

Cheers,

Mike

Lightwolf
02-13-2003, 07:09 AM
On a side note:

It depends on what you want to do. If you mainly model and animate, go for the fastest single machine you can get.

If you need to render plenty, like to work with digital fusion or VTNT, go for a dual machine.

On the other hand, a very fast single CPU machine for modelling / animating, and a dual render companion might be another neat choice...

Cheers,

Mike

Global Hawk
02-13-2003, 07:14 AM
Hands down, go with the Dual.
That's what I'm running, (dual AMD Athlon) Talk about your Nitro boost!

This thing flys! I would deffinatly go with the dual.

That's just my $.02;)

Lynx3d
02-13-2003, 12:00 PM
I'm running a dual Athlon and it's pretty nice...

but i totally agree with Lightwolf.

In my opinion for a machine that is not only dedicated to rendering taking two weaker CPUs instead of one fast doesn't really pay off, either two fast ones, or a single fast one.

But besides that the 2.4GHz Xeon is just a few bucks more than the 2.0, and two of em is still cheaper than one P4 3.06 over here in Germany...(however the Xeon board will still make it more expensive)
So i'd definitely go Dual Xeon 2,4GHz instead of a single 3.06 P4.

Lightwolf
02-13-2003, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by Lynx3d
but i totally agree with Lightwolf.

Thanx ;)



But besides that the 2.4GHz Xeon is just a few bucks more than the 2.0, and two of em is still cheaper than one P4 3.06 over here in Germany...(however the Xeon board will still make it more expensive)
So i'd definitely go Dual Xeon 2,4GHz instead of a single 3.06 P4.

Especially when you start to add memory, I'd say 512 MB minimum nowadays, I wouldn't go below 1Gig on a new system...

Once you add all the bells and whistles, the difference between going dual and single isn't that big anymore...

Alec Trevelyan
02-13-2003, 03:04 PM
go dual! the more the merrier!:D:D

Matt
02-13-2003, 03:29 PM
Gonna go for minimum 1GB RAM! Looks like I'm leaning toward Dual 2.4Ghz Xeon then!

Have to say I'm impressed with the Dual 2Ghz Xeon I'm using at work now, but haven't got a 3.06Ghz single machine to compare it with! Hence the thread.

Cheers guys!

:)

Lynx3d
02-14-2003, 08:29 AM
Does anyone know when those nice i7505 boards will be available?
Already see one of them listed for ~500 (the ->Tyan Thunder -7507<- (http://www.tyan.com/products/html/thunderi7505.html) ), that's cheaper than i860 boards and takes normal unbuffered DDR! :cool:

ldituri
02-16-2003, 10:27 PM
Dual is cool....
Newtek knows how to help you get the best from two!
Paul spelled it out best a post or two ago.....