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sonofmickel
09-17-2005, 04:55 PM
Anyone have ANY idea how all the new processors are playing out for us digital content creators? I do not have a clue! It seems that all the new procs are "SCREAMING" or "ROCK" or "BLOW THE DOORS OF ANYTHING I HAVE EVER HAD BEFORE"! Give me a break. If you check Chris Blanos benchmark page, my lowly 2 year old Dual Xeon 2.66 with 2 GB of cheap ram and all IDE drives, with only a 533 FSB kicks some serious butt. My comp is in the top 5%(maybe top 10%). You can buy a computer like mine used on Ebay for around $500-$600. Why not buy two or three of these instead of the new breed of marketed BS. I was, and am, in the market for a new computer, but all the benchmarkers are comparing the new procs to new procs. In particular the AMD 64 X2 vs. Pentium 840 D etc... No-one is comparing the new chips to dual Xeons or Opterons. Why? I would like to see the AMD 64 X2 against a middle of the road, older Dual Xeon. Why can we not see how much improvement we are supposedly buying? I really do not care if new proc "x" is how many frames faster than new proc "b". I want to know the benchmarks compared to the equipment that I and others own now. If anyone has any of this information please post it.

Captain Obvious
09-17-2005, 05:24 PM
Sure, older machines are great for render farms, but if you need to push more polygons on your main workstation, a new and expensive machine might be a better option. "Bang for the buck" is not always a linear scale.

As for the dual-core processors, they have all sorts of advantages, disregarding their performance. Since they're on a single die, you can fit more of them into a certain amount of physical space. We'll probably be seeing dual-core laptops next year. Was there ever a dual-processor laptop? The Pentium D isn't really targeted at the high-end. The Xeons are still king of Intel's workstation land. The Ds are for computers that wouldn't otherwise be dual-anything. Same thing with AMD's.

You won't run off to buy a dual Opteron setup complete with thousands of dollars worth of ECC memory to play Half-Life 3 when you can buy an Athlon64 X-whatever with normal memory and cheaper logic board for half of what just the memory costs for an Opteron workstation. Even moreso, you won't run off to buy an old Opteron workstation for as much as the Athlon64 X-whatever setup, since it's a heck of a lot slower at quite a few things (like Half-Life 2, which isn't multi-threaded very well from what I've heard).

mattclary
09-18-2005, 11:54 AM
Chris still hasn't updated his site to include Athlon64 x2s. :( Once he does, we should be able to get some benchmarks that are meaningful to us LWers. I know there are a few people on this board who have them, you should get them to benchmark them for you.

sonofmickel
09-18-2005, 12:52 PM
There is a user with the name of Kevin who has posted under the Athlon 64 heading. Just do a search at Blanos with "any" in all fields and then choose the scene you would like to review. Look down the line of processors until you see the number 1 in amount of processors, this could be Kevins results. Kevin has one of the new 64 X2 chips and his results are impressive, but lack the oomph one would expect from the marketing we have all been hearing. My cheap(now) Dual Xeon 2.66 scores pretty darn high compared to well, everything. With Lightwaves new Open GL I may just buy another video card and pick up another $600-$1000 dual Xeon machine. The Compaq xeons on ebay can be had for a song and they are workstation class. Then again, a person can get a Dell P4 3Ghz for around $300 barebones, use it as a render node.... see what I mean? What makes me wonder is, if you look at Blanos sites results, the only machine with a high speed margine is the dual Opteron(EXPENSIVE!).Apple=not-a-player

Gui Lo
09-18-2005, 10:21 PM
Like Captain Obvious said "'bang for buck' is not always a linear scale."

The difference of fastest and second fastest may be slight and cost a lot more but the fact is that some have to have the fastest and newest.

Pragmatic people such as me and you benefit from these buyers as we wait while others buy and allow Intel/AMD to lower the price. :)

AbnRanger
09-19-2005, 12:38 AM
It's funny you mention the "affordability" of dual processor systems, when the main rational behind desktop Dual-Core systems is to bring the performance of Dual Processor workstations closer to the prosumer who can't afford a $4000 setup.
They aren't intended to be a replacement for Dual CPU's in a studio environment (since you have 4 threads on a Dual-Core Opteron/Xeon) of course. The Athlon 64x2 and Pentium D simply gives the prosumer multi-threading performance that was previously only available in much more expensive workstations....all for about the same price as they were paying for a single CPU.
If you price what it took me to put together my current kit - Athlon 64x2 4400 ,4GB, ATI X800XT PE, 2 SATA 200GBx2/RAID 0.... about $1600...and match that against what your system cost NEW (not on E-bay 1-2yrs later)you would have a different outlook.
I'm quite confident it can outpace a MAC G5....which has been all the rage the past year or so...costing $3000 and up. So when you stack them up against previous Dual processor systems, they hold up pretty well. So, there IS alot of value there.
I hear what you are saying regarding bargain hunting on E-bay. Certainly, there are some deals to be found in that venue, but E-bay is a drop in the bucket compared to the massive desktop PC market. Only a small percentage of consumers are savvy enough to spot a good deal in the first place.
Nevertheless, when we are talking about NEW systems...Dual-Cores rock :rock: for the money.

This link will shed a little light in the situation:
http://techreport.com/reviews/2005q2/athlon64-x2/index.x?pg=8

sonofmickel
09-19-2005, 01:09 AM
I just priced a kit for the AMD 64 X2 4400 and came up with something quite different than your $1600 option- tell us where you can get this GREAT DEAL!
CPU $550, Graphics card $300, $200 for the drives, $150 Motherboard, $100 case, $80 powersupply, $130 Win Xp Pro, $30 Keyboard and mouse, at least $45 for fans for the case, $120 DVD+-DVD/RW Dual layer, $300 2GB ram= $2005 plus shipping etc... Maybe Newegg.com is overpriced?
My point is that for around $600-$1000 anyone can get a machine that beats this new breed of marketing mumbo jumbo.
I am going to get one of the Dell Precision 670 with dual Xeons for around $1800-$2000 used. These machines are not even a year old yet and "Rock" properly till the breaking of Dawn(whoever she is). Dual-Dual Xeons (copying Opteron) are supposed to be coming out by winter so maybe I'll keep my ear to the wall until then. I would really like to see what effect Open GL 2 has on LW 8.5. I am sleepless til then :D

AbnRanger
09-19-2005, 01:58 AM
Let's see...You can get a dual layer DVD/CDRW burner for about $80 (TigerDirect has one on sale for $39), and I'm using XP pro x64 trial version for a few months (enough time to see if it's worth moving to permanently...driver issues and all). Otherwise, regular XP is $89 (don't need Pro unless you have 5 or more render nodes)...you can get a decent 939 series MB for about $100....kept my mouse and keyboard from previous system...I still counted it around $1600-$1800, depending on your taste/requirements.

Without counting beans, my point is...that's a STEAL compared to what you would've paid for a Dual CPU workstation (of comparable performance) just a few months ago.

Check the link on my previous post for some benchmarks which support my case.

If you can score used stuff for less, and still get roughly the same performance...more power to you. It takes a relatively savvy consumer and PC user to find deals like that. Many users aren't like you, and instead, just compare price and features of NEW items...as you stated earlier...which is what one generally finds at a computer/electronics retailer.
Plus, alot of folks are wary about buying high dollar electronic items from strangers on E-bay (warranted or not), since you don't know what's missing, what the REAL condition is, and very few if any stand behind their goods for any period at all.

mattclary
09-19-2005, 06:04 AM
I just priced a kit for the AMD 64 X2 4400 and came up with something quite different than your $1600 option- tell us where you can get this GREAT DEAL!


http://www.newegg.com

ABIT KN8 Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4-4X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Model #: KN8
$83.00

Update PNY VCG6600GXPB Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
Model #: VCG6600GXPB
$182.00


Update AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Manchester 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model ADA4200BVBOX - Retail
Model #: ADA4200BVBOX
$473.00

I won't bore you with the rest. Don't pick THE top of the line items. This rig will be much cheaper than any new dual cpu system, and will perform quite well.

Bigboy
09-19-2005, 09:18 AM
There are a couple of AGP motherboards that can do dualcore now. This saves you buying yet another gfx card... NForce3 I think it is. MSI have one (K8N Neo2-F).

After spending 300 on a NVidia 6800 card a few months back, I dont want to have to do it again. And Lightwave wont really get anybetter with PC-E over AGP...

sonofmickel
09-19-2005, 09:56 AM
Right, but there are only going to be a few AGP cards with Open GL 2 to choose from. Has AGP 8x even been used to its fullest? I don't think so. There is an Apollo AGP card on Newegg that supposedly supports Open GL 2 and DirectX 9 for around $200. People are overclocking it and it gets generally good reviews. I do not overclock though.

mattclary
09-19-2005, 12:25 PM
Right, but there are only going to be a few AGP cards with Open GL 2 to choose from.

Any 5xxx or higher nVidia card will use OpenGL2.

sonofmickel
09-19-2005, 12:46 PM
Yes, this is true, but how does the card actuallly utilse Open GL 2? Some cards only emulate it. Like my boat anchor Quadro FX 500. It will use Open GL 2 but most of the new technology will be only in emulation mode- NVidia say it will my be very slow in most respects. I was not very smart for purchasing this card, I don't want to make the same mistake twice. I believe that many of the cards will be very slow unless they have the DDR3 ram spec, this is what NVidia are pushing this week. Check it out and, hopefully Lightwave can enlighten us on this before we throw down cash for a card.

sculptactive
09-19-2005, 01:15 PM
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious
We'll probably be seeing dual-core laptops next year.


http://www.rockdirect.com/notebooks/xtreme64_cons.htm

Been around for a while and by all accounts really does rock

Captain Obvious
09-20-2005, 02:23 AM
http://www.rockdirect.com/notebooks/xtreme64_cons.htm

Been around for a while and by all accounts really does rock
Nice computer, but it's not a portable. It's a luggable. ;) The darned thing weighs 5.5 kilograms, for crying out loud!

Qexit
09-20-2005, 06:14 AM
Yes, this is true, but how does the card actuallly utilse Open GL 2? Some cards only emulate it. Like my boat anchor Quadro FX 500. It will use Open GL 2 but most of the new technology will be only in emulation mode- NVidia say it will my be very slow in most respects. I was not very smart for purchasing this card, I don't want to make the same mistake twice. I believe that many of the cards will be very slow unless they have the DDR3 ram spec, this is what NVidia are pushing this week. Check it out and, hopefully Lightwave can enlighten us on this before we throw down cash for a card.I have a Quadro4 980XGL and a QuadroFX 500, the former in my LW PC the latter in my VT PC. So that I can at least see some of the new OpenGL 2.0 features, I'll be swapping them over as the 980XGL only has OpenGL 1.53 according to the About OpenGL panel in Layout. As I expect the FX500 will struggle in terms of speed compared with the 980XGL, I'll look into buying a new graphics card to replace the FX500 AFTER LW 8.5 appears or maybe even till after LW9.0 is released. No point in buying one before then...and the cards will have dropped in price too :thumbsup: Trying to decide or find out the best card to move to before the new releases are available is rather a waste of time.

mattclary
09-20-2005, 06:30 AM
Yes, this is true, but how does the card actuallly utilse Open GL 2? Some cards only emulate it. Like my boat anchor Quadro FX 500. It will use Open GL 2 but most of the new technology will be only in emulation mode- NVidia say it will my be very slow in most respects. I was not very smart for purchasing this card, I don't want to make the same mistake twice. I believe that many of the cards will be very slow unless they have the DDR3 ram spec, this is what NVidia are pushing this week. Check it out and, hopefully Lightwave can enlighten us on this before we throw down cash for a card.

There are a couple of threads that deal with this. 5xxx cards won't "emulate" OpenGL 2.0, they will implement it in drivers. 6xxx cards and above (6xxx cards are available in AGP) support OpenGL 2.0 via hardware and thus will have better performance. This may be a fine point, but I think it is valid. Emulation is a case of running one piece of software within another to emulate an environment.

If you had done a little research here at these forums I and many others could have told you that overpriced Quadro FX 500 would give you no benefit in LightWave. Once 9 comes out, it will be faster, but a comparably priced gaming card I suspect will be faster.

I have a Pentium IV 3.0, 1gb ram, and a Geforce 5900SE. Eventually I will want to upgrade them, but the money just isn't present in the near future. You seem all bitter that new hardware is available. You come across like "they" are trying to force you to upgrade your hardware. You don't have to. The longer you wait, the bigger performance gain you will see for less money. Be patient, Grasshopper.