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MacGregg
04-04-2006, 05:54 PM
I am in the market for a new computer and am leaning towards an AMD Opteron multicore/cpu based system. I am presuming that the floating point performance of the Opteron will benefit LW rendering. Does anyone have LW performance numbers on Opteron vs. Athlon, is it worth the added cost or is a render farm a better way to spend $5000?

I primarily render single hires frames. I recently heard that multicore/cpu only advantage rendering animations, is this true? Or is this just a Screamernet issue?

Are there any complications using an Opteron system as a general purpose computer too. Can you run 64 bit or is this still an issue with most general applications.

Thanks All,
Gregg

DrTWT
04-04-2006, 06:44 PM
I can't answer to all of your questions, but I can say I run a dual Opteron 244 system and have no problems in LW, or in general use. I've been quite happy with it, have had it for a year or so.

I looked into going 64bit, but it seems there is a concern that many plugins won't work with 64 quite yet. Also, there has been a lot of debate on the forums about how much more performance 64 bit actually gets you. You may want to search the boards for more on this topic, I don't want to steer you in the wrong direction.

good luck, there's nothing like getting a new computer!

mattclary
04-04-2006, 08:12 PM
I recently heard that multicore/cpu only advantage rendering animations, is this true?

That's crap. More cores equal less render time, period. For $5k you could build a really sweet dual core, dual Opteron system.

MacGregg
04-05-2006, 12:37 AM
What I heard was that Multicore/cpu benefits animations because it applies 1 frame to a single CPU/core and not all CPU/cores to a single frame.

Anyone know how much faster an Opteron would be than an Athlon 64 at the same clock rate? Is twice as fast, three times faster more?

It is a lot more expensive so I would like to know what I'm getting for my money?

Is there any structural difference as you go up the scale of Opterons ie. 2XX to a 285 other than clock rate and multicores.

If I must choose is multicore or multicpu better?

Thanks,
Gregg

stone
04-05-2006, 01:57 AM
basicly opterons are the server version of the desktop athlons, and the athlon fx's are the highend desktop versions with more cache like intels extreme editions.

this means opterons are great when building multicore servers and when you need support for larger amounts of memory. so it boils down to whether you really need that support for multi cpu's or more ram sockets and are willing to pay for it.

as for clock to clock comparison its really not that simple, and the amounts of cache especially blurs the picture. as a rule of thumb i would expect 10 percent better performance from an opteron system, but in some cases it will be slower than a comparable athlon desktop system.

heres a test that includes a bunch of cpu's.
http://techreport.com/reviews/2005q2/athlon64-x2/index.x?pg=8

for you there practically wont be much difference in choosing a multicore or a multiprocessor system. it comes down to data tranfer between the cores or cpu's and the advanteges and disadvanteges of sharing cache and registers.

im sure others can better tell you how well lightwave uses more cores than i can. i do belive its able to do better than assigning one core to one frame though, and i do seem to having read that multicore support will be improved in v9 and beyond.

/stone

DiscreetFX
04-05-2006, 02:20 AM
Thanx for the great link stone

MacGregg
04-05-2006, 03:21 AM
Well, thats very disapointing! Is this measured? 10% is hardly worth the cost difference!!! And when you consider that Athlons run at higher clock rates than Opterons by this measurement why would I buy an Opteron!!!

There must be more benefit then this!!

Thanks,
Gregg

TheDude
04-05-2006, 07:11 AM
One benefit of Opterons is that you can usually overclock them to a higher degree than a standard Athlon (or at least they stand up to overclocking better).
If you're not into overclocking, I personally doubt it's worth getting an Opteron system.

nemac4
04-05-2006, 08:26 AM
I went with an Athlon 64x2 4200+ and am thrilled that it easily keeps up with a Dual Opteron 248 and Dual Core 175:dance:

mattclary
04-05-2006, 08:27 AM
One benefit of Opterons is that you can usually overclock them to a higher degree than a standard Athlon (or at least they stand up to overclocking better).
If you're not into overclocking, I personally doubt it's worth getting an Opteron system.

That should read THE one benefit. All the dual core AMD chips pretty much use the same core, the only difference is clock speed and cache. If you do a little research, you will find that the CPUs are made from the same die, then tested for defects to determine their speed. The ones with less defects are rated for higher speeds. What this means is you can usually eek out more speed than an item is rated for.

Opterons are subjected to more rigorous testing as they are targeted for server applications. So an Opteron rated at 2ghz would probably equate to an Athlon of 2.2 (or higher)GHz. It won't INHERENTLY be that fast, that means you could CLOCK it that fast (probably).

Personally, I don't favor overclocking, the gain does not outweigh the risk, IMO, especially in a production environment. There are plenty of people who do it successfully, I'm just more conservative than that.


What I heard was that Multicore/CPU benefits animations because it applies 1 frame to a single CPU/core and not all CPU/cores to a single frame.

You CAN do it this way if you want, using two instances of screamernet running each on a separate core. Each core would render a different frame, but LW's renderer is multithreaded, so it would also see a gain from 2 cores rendering one frame. Either way, when it comes to rendering, dual cores is the cat's meow, it would be ridiculous NOT to get dual cores (or dual, dual cores). It makes more sense (cheaper and faster) than simple dual CPUs.

TheDude
04-05-2006, 08:29 AM
I went with an Athlon 64x2 4200+ and am thrilled that it easily keeps up with a Dual Opteron 248 and Dual Core 175:dance:

Glad to hear that coz I've just ordered my 4200 chip also (or should that be chips? :D )

badllarma
04-05-2006, 09:11 AM
Guys you won't be dissappointed I went for a Athlon 64 x2 4400 and it just kick arse :D

mattclary
04-05-2006, 09:17 AM
Mine will be here Friday. Well, technically, Thursday, but the rest of the parts will be here Friday. :thumbsup:

TheDude
04-05-2006, 09:29 AM
That should read THE one benefit.

The other benefit is to brag about owning an Opteron at bars and so score loads of chicks.... :hey:

iconoclasty
04-05-2006, 10:01 AM
The other benefit is to brag about owning an Opteron at bars and so score loads of chicks.... :hey:

That's true, I only have an Athlon64 and when I tell chicks about it they hardly ever sleep with me. I obviously need an Opteron.

AbnRanger
04-05-2006, 01:12 PM
That's true, I only have an Athlon64 and when I tell chicks about it they hardly ever sleep with me. I obviously need an Opteron.
Try brushing your teeth and try it again :D
But this time tell her it's an AMD 64....X2, Baby...Yeah! (Michael Meyers in Austin Powers)!:boogiedow

MacGregg
04-05-2006, 08:36 PM
So, the only advantage to an Opteron is that you can go dual cpu with the 200 series and 8 cpu with the 800 series and dual core, since you CAN'T go dual cpu with Athlon 64 X2 (its only a 939 socket).

I thought that the architecture for the Opteron was better. I believe it supports SSE3 and faster floating point and integer math units and more units each. HyperTansport also faster and there are 3 links instead of 1 for Athlon 64 X2.

Gregg

AbnRanger
04-05-2006, 10:07 PM
So, the only advantage to an Opteron is that you can go dual cpu with the 200 series and 8 cpu with the 800 series and dual core, since you CAN'T go dual cpu with Athlon 64 X2 (its only a 939 socket).

I thought that the architecture for the Opteron was better. I believe it supports SSE3 and faster floating point and integer math units and more units each. HyperTansport also faster and there are 3 links instead of 1 for Athlon 64 X2.

GreggI would build a system yourself, consisting of an X2 4800 (or FX60 if you insist on paying top $ for marginally better performance) an Nvidia 7900GTX, 4GB RAM, and you won't be sorry. With the chunk you save...hold on to it til MULTI-cores hit the market, and til more plugins become 64bit capable. Then if you want to drop that kind of change, knock yourself out.

Bigboy
04-06-2006, 11:48 AM
Friend of mine just built a dual opteron machine, each CPU has dual core as well... and 4 gig of RAM... for around 1k. for $5k you could almost build 3 :)

(or sell the house and get an 8-way opteron :D)

I hear next year, they'll be releasing 4 cores per CPU.... expect these to ramp up quickly.

:dance:

mattclary
04-06-2006, 12:14 PM
I thought that the architecture for the Opteron was better. I believe it supports SSE3 and faster floating point and integer math units and more units each. HyperTansport also faster and there are 3 links instead of 1 for Athlon 64 X2.


You can use them in multi-cpu configuration, but that is about it. And that's the 2xx and 8xx ones. The 1xx Optys can not. The math units are not any better.


Also, look here:

http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118_4699_7980%5E7986,00.html#62673

Q: What are the differences between the AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Opteron processors?

A: The upcoming AMD Opteron and AMD Athlon 64 processors are designed for different markets. For the server/workstation market, the AMD Opteron processor will undergo more stringent validation and reliability testing. Another difference will be in the number of HyperTransport links embedded on the chip. The AMD Athlon 64 processor will contain one HyperTransport link offering 6.4 GB/s data transfer while the AMD Opteron processor will offer three links. The processors will also contain different amounts of cache.

Ztreem
04-06-2006, 01:20 PM
I'll just say dual core and 64bit ,I just wait for more plugins to support 64 bit then I will never look back. I gained 6 miniutes on the radiosity box compared to the 32 bit version on the same computer with only 1 Gb of RAM, I've seen examples of when people have gained 200% in rendering time with 64 bit instead of 32 bit. I've have a Athlon64x2 3800+ and I'm really pleased with it and I will soon try to overclock it so I get a 4200+ type of performance for lesser money.

lots
04-06-2006, 02:45 PM
This thread hurts my head :P

1) Opterons and Athlon64s of identical clock speed and cache size are basically the same CPU. They will perform almost identically. The opteron will be silghtly slower honestly, due to the use of ECC Registered Memory (ONLY if you've got a 2xx or 8xx Opteron, 1xx Opterons are identical to thier Athlon64 counterparts [read: the same exact chip]) The use of ECC Registered memory makes the Opteron a more stable machine though, so its a give or take kinda deal. The Opterons are designed for server work, and they provide the stability needed for this market where Athlons do not.

2) The main benifit to the Opteron is the ability to use 2 or more of them in a single system. This means that you could buy two Opteron 270s and have 4 CPUs in your system (the 270 is a dual core part). This will make rendering a breeze in comparison to a single Athlon64 X2 or a dual core Opteron 1xx.

2xx and 8xx Opterons support operation in systems with up to 1 or 7 other Opterons (wihtout additional control logic on the motherboard). This is the strength of the Opteron. On top of that you get the advantages (and disadvantages) of NUMA on NUMA aware motherboards. In addition, each Opteron has a dedicated HT connection between the rest of the CPUs in the system, much like the connection found internally on AMD's dual core chips (though with more latency...).

3) 64bit. For me, 64bit Windows has been great. LW 32 and 64bit both work perfectly. Granted only LW32bit can use all the plugins out there for LW, while in 64bit LW, plugins will have to be recompiled for 64bit use. This just means you need two versions of LW installed, if you plan to use 64bit LW. Since part of the fun is always plugins, right? ;)

4) The underlying architecture for the Athlon64 and Opteron is exactly the same, called K8. It is the next evolution of AMD's product line from the K7, which in turn was an evolution from the K6, and so on. The K8 is the family in which the Opteron, Athlon, Turion, and Sempron belong to. The Turion and Sempron are specilized parts when compared to the Opteron and Athlon, but do share most of thier design in common.

In terms of the Opteron vs Athlon, the biggest difference is the type of Hyper Transport connections you can have, and how many. In short, both the Opteron and Athlon support 3 Hyper Transport links. In an Athlon64/X2 and Opteron 1xx, there only 1 type of HT link, called non-coherent links. These are used to allow the CPU to talk to I/O devices (like the motherboard chipset, etc). 2xx Opterons have 2 non-coherent HT links and 1 coherent HT link. The coherent HT links allow a CPU to either talk to another CPU or the I/O stuff. Since 2xx Opterons only have 1 coherent link, they can only connect to one other CPU. 8xx Opterons have 3 coherent links, allowing connections to obviously more CPUs.

If you're aiming for dual, get an X2. If your goal is for as many CPUs/Cores you can buy, then a dual Opteron is probably your best bet, cost wise. A dual dual core Opteron (that's 4 cores) will obviously render faster than an X2 or a dual single core Opteron system (thats 2 cores). This is of course assuming you've got the resources to feed all these different cores :) (lots of RAM, etc etc..)

Anything above the 2 socket setup (Opteron 2xx) is just not as cost efficient for a home user. An 8-way Opteron board full of dual core CPUs (thats 16 cores...) will easily bring you to $50k and probably some modifications to your home's power structure (you can only pull so many amps out of the wall sockets... :))

RedBull
04-06-2006, 03:10 PM
I am in the market for a new computer and am leaning towards an AMD Opteron multicore/cpu based system. I am presuming that the floating point performance of the Opteron will benefit LW rendering. Does anyone have LW performance numbers on Opteron vs. Athlon, is it worth the added cost or is a render farm a better way to spend $5000?

I would only go Opterons if i were going QuadProcesser.....
Otherwise AMD X2's are likely better value...
A fast workstation is paramount, a renderfarm is desirable after that....
AMD are due to launch their new 940pin M2's in a month or two..


I primarily render single hires frames. I recently heard that multicore/cpu only advantage rendering animations, is this true? Or is this just a Screamernet issue?

No it's not an issue... Frames or Animations 2 is better.... 4 even more fun!


Are there any complications using an Opteron system as a general purpose computer too. Can you run 64 bit or is this still an issue with most general applications.
Gregg


I'm getting quite pissed with Windows Pro X64.....
I will reload it with Win32 Pro, next time....
Win64 is the most half-assed useless interim operating system ever released by Microsoft......
Vista will need to be much better or i'm using MacOSX on my Dual X2s...

For example i loaded the XVID codec to render some webbased animations,
and XVID just won't work on XP64...... Works fine on my XP32....

So many other applications and utils are causing large headaches....

lots
04-07-2006, 06:52 AM
I've had 0 problems with XP X64. Its the best version of Windows to date IMO :P

I've had no problems with codecs, or the random utilities I use. Then again, I keep my system free of crap, only a few things are installed.

LW works wonderfully.

MacGregg
04-08-2006, 05:47 AM
Lot says Opteron is no better that AMD 64 X2 but you have your system structure at the bottom of ur email that says: "Dual Opteron 246 | 2GB OCZ Memory | Geforce 7800GT (82.12) | Tyan Thunder K8WE | Windows XP X64"

RedBull says "Win64 is the most half-assed useless interim operating system ever released by Microsoft...... " Lot says "Its [X64] the best version of Windows to date IMO :P"

(&^*&^(*___++_+!!!!?????

Most everone here says the Athlon 64 X2 just as good as the Opteron and the Opteron is just for servers...

Why then do most high end WORKSTATIONS use Opeterons... HP, Sun or Xeons Hp, Dell or Pendium 4 EE but no Athlon 64 x2's!!

Gregg

AbnRanger
04-08-2006, 01:49 PM
Lot says Opteron is no better that AMD 64 X2 but you have your system structure at the bottom of ur email that says: "Dual Opteron 246 | 2GB OCZ Memory | Geforce 7800GT (82.12) | Tyan Thunder K8WE | Windows XP X64"

RedBull says "Win64 is the most half-assed useless interim operating system ever released by Microsoft...... " Lot says "Its [X64] the best version of Windows to date IMO :P"

(&^*&^(*___++_+!!!!?????

Most everone here says the Athlon 64 X2 just as good as the Opteron and the Opteron is just for servers...

Why then do most high end WORKSTATIONS use Opeterons... HP, Sun or Xeons Hp, Dell or Pendium 4 EE but no Athlon 64 x2's!!

GreggBecause X2's are specifically targeted for the Desktop market (and therefore you CANNOT find a motherboard that supports 2 X2's)...which is perfectly fine for most artists because it gives you better performance than the best Dual Processor Workstations from just 9 months ago. When Dual-Core Processors were released it gave the Workstation-class a bump by having four cores instead of 2. It then becomes a cost/need issue. Spending double or triple for a quad-core system may not be justified to you if it only delivers 20-50% better render times. That's a decision that people/studios with deep pockets have to make.
When you consider that PC upgrades (for those in the
3D industry) are usually done with better Render times as the primary reason, note that you have twice the Desktop performance (with X2's) AND LW 9's newly overhauled renderer cranking out on average 2.5 (their numbers not mine) times faster. That's enough extra performance to make many a LW user happy...without spending a huge sum of cash or quid.
I use Win XP 64, and other than the fact that it was initially a chore to locate the right drivers for a few things (like a scanner), it's been great. Hope this helps.

MacGregg
04-08-2006, 09:08 PM
Athlon 64 any type cannot be used in a dual cpu motherboard under any circumstances it is equivalent to the 100 Opteron series. [****Edit [ these statements are wrong [Any Motherboard that uses a 940 socket can use either a Athlon 64 or Athlon 64 X2 or Opteron 100, 200 or 800 series cpu. So, you can put an Athlon 64 X2 on a motherboard for dual cpu's you just can't add another one. Max memory for any Athlon 64 is 4GB and max memory for an Opteron I believe is 32 GB]]**** see lots statement below] , (motherboard may add its own limits) and uses different type memory.

According to www.pricewatch.com cpu prices today are:

Athlon 64:
$284 - athlon 64 3800 512k 90nm rev e
$282 - athlon 64 3800
$337 - athlon 64 4000 90nm rev
$301 - athlon 64 4000
$805 - athlon 64 fx 55
$805 - athlon 64 fx 57
$1005 - athlon 64 fx 60
Athlon 64 X2's:
$295 - athlon 64 x2 2.0ghz (2x512kb) 3800 dual core
$355 - athlon 64 x2 2.2ghz (2x512kb) 4200 dual core
$458 - athlon 64 x2 2.2ghz (2x1024kb) 4400 dual core
$544 - athlon 64 x2 2.4ghz (2x512kb) 4600 dual core
$627 - athlon 64 x2 2.4ghz (2x1024kb) 4800 dual core

Opteron 100's (all 1Mb):
$325 - opteron 165 1.8ghz dual core
$397 - opteron 170 2.0ghz dual core
$501 - opteron 175 2.2ghz dual core
$710 - opteron 180 2.4ghz dual core
$1138 - opteron 185 2.6ghz dual core (would be like an athlon 64 x2 5200)
Opteron 200's (all 1Mb per core):
$156 - opteron 246 2.0ghz
$206 - opteron 248 2.2ghz
$310 - opteron 250 2.4ghz
$325 - opteron 252 2.6ghz
$629 - opteron 254 2.8ghz
$445 - opteron 260HE 1.6ghz dual core
$310 - opteron 265 1.8ghz dual core
$444 - opteron 270 2.0ghz dual core
$629 - opteron 275 2.2ghz dual core
$789 - opteron 280 2.4ghz dual core
$969 - opteron 285 2.6ghz dual core (would be like an athlon 64 x2 5200)

So, and Athlon 64 X2 4800 is equivalent to an Opteron 175/275 performance. The price for Opteron is not SO much greater than Athlon 64 X2 i.e. $627 vs $710. I think Workstation system mfg's are taking advantage of the hype and charge a lot more than necessary for these systems. If you build it yourself you can get an dual cpu motherboard for $200-$600 then you can pick the price/performance you want, you can have a minimum 4 core system for <$1500+(memory & graphics card), and you don't have to do it all at once. Or you could build a dual Opteron 285 (equivalent to an imaginary dual Athlon 64 x2 5200) for around $2300+(memory & graphics card), and again you don't have to do it all at once.

I guess my drive on this (and why I keep pushing) is that my renders with Lw 8.5 are taking 10 to 40 hours for a single frame. I am only using an Athlon XP 2700 with 2.5 Gb ram. So, an Athlon 64 X2 4800 is less than double the performance of my 2700, based on AMD's rating 4800 is equivalent to a Pentium 4 at 4.8 Ghz and 2700 is equivalent to a Pentium 4 at 2.7 Ghz. And I believe this number already includes the multicore benefit and probably is including the 64 bit/cache/hyperthreading benefit.

So, even with LW 9 being 2.5x faster I would be still looking at 10 hour render times with an Athlon 64 X2 4800. That's 10 hours that I can't do anything on my computer.

Anyone used a home grown render farm?

Gregg

lots
04-08-2006, 10:58 PM
You cannot put a s939 CPU into a s940 board. They're not compatable. You can, however, put a socket 940 based 1xx Opteron into a 2 or more socket motherboard (s940).

I did say that the Opteron and Athlon are practically the same chip performance wise, and I stand by my statement. You have to keep in mind that not all of us bought systems when dual core was available. In fact, I bought my system with the intention of swapping out my two single core Opterons for a pair of dual core Opterons some months from now. Thus, the reason for my choice in a dual socket system.

All Athlon64s and Opterons support 2^40 bits (128GB) of physical memory. Pretty much due to the fact that thier address bus is 40bits wide. The limiter here is the motherboard. Unbuffered memory can only be so dense, hence why you dont see motherboards that have more than 4 memory slots and only support 1GB per slot. Any denser and you will need some form of error checking, or some other way to deal with signal noise. ECC Registered memory can be much denser (4GB a stick) and this is why you see more memory on Opteron motherboards. This is also another reason that Athlons and Opterons are not compatable. They use a different memory controller (built into the CPU).

As for the Opteron's higher price.. Opterons are generally higher quality CPUs than the Athlon64. Thier primary market is the workstation and server market where stability is key. To do this, AMD (to my best guess) runs a more thorough QA cycle on these chips. So they're justified in thier higher price, its really not that much anyway. Anyway, it is easy to see that Opterons are of higher quality, by seeing just how easily they over clock when compared to an Athlon64. Opteron 1xx's sell like mad for thier OC potential.

As for your current CPU, an X2 will be quite an upgrade. Going from my old system (an Athlon XP 2100) to my current one, I saw plenty of performance difference. In fact I cant even use my old machine for daily tasks anymore. It just doesnt seem as responcive.

An X2 4800 will be at least double the performance. When the numbers for the Athlon XP 2700 were generated, they were dealing with a slower Pentium4 as thier comparison. Also additional components like SSE2 and 3 have been added to the X2, along with the fact that its dual core, it should at least half the times.

If you're looking to lower your render times, perhaps you should try and optimize your scenes just a bit. Render in passes, etc...

Also, if you're only working on single frames, a render farm may not be for you. At least not screamer net. Its designed more so with animations in mind, and distributes whole frames to be rendered on each node rather than all nodes rendering one frame. I'm not saying its not possible, but you'll probably have to fork over some cash for that kind of functionality..

If you really want to knock out those render times though, a 4 core system would be the best solution ;) Two Opteron 285s will be nice...

MacGregg
04-09-2006, 03:52 AM
Sorry for my miss-information on the Athlon 64 and Opteron. I did just finally find what you said that both Athlon 64 and Opteron have a 40bit address and that the 939 socket is different and incompatible with the 940 socket. I've been all over the place trying to gather information on these cpu's and somewhere I had seen that Athlon 64 was limited to 4GB. I have tried to verify this from the AMD web site which has been a mess lately, almost none of the tech spec pdf's will display at all. There doesn't seem to be the same kind of specs I am used to seeing anymore. The AMD site now just has these very stylized block diagrams not really telling you much about what's there. I thought there might be other differences such as more fp, int or sse units in the Opteron. Just getting a 2x performance gain over my current system just is not very satisfying. I probably will build a 4 core system, though I don't know that I can afford 2 285's.

Do you have any thoughts on AMD going to 4 core chips. I just wonder how they will price them. Will they work in the same motherboard as a 100/200 series cpu? If so, it seems like this is going to compete with their 800 series.

One last question, do the cpu's in a dual setup have to be the same? Could one be a single core and the other be a dual core? How about different clock speeds.

Gregg

MacGregg
04-09-2006, 04:11 AM
On Win64 will 32-bit applications run without being re-compiled to 64 bit. Must all 32-bit drivers be replaced with 64-bit versions?

Gregg

MacGregg
04-09-2006, 04:46 AM
I have read statements like this lately:


"...quad-core support isn't an inherent guarantee of scalability. Several of the applications we'll examine today are capable of using all four cores in a quad-core system, but don't demonstrate anything close to linear scaling when compared to a dual-core system. In such scenarios, the Opteron 254's 27% clock advantage over the Opteron 275 may prove to be more beneficial than the Opteron 275's additional cores."

How well does LW use the extra cores/cpus? Are 2/4 cores/cpus anywhere near 2X/4X in rendering time improvement?

Would 2 254's (2 cores) at 2.8 Ghz be better than 2 285's (4 cores) at 2.6 Ghz? There is nearly a $700 difference for the pair.

Gregg

lots
04-09-2006, 11:46 AM
In XP64bit, 32bit programs work just fine, so long as they dont have 16bit code. WoW64 (the 32bit emulator for Windows 64) is actually fairly nice.

As for AMD's 4 core CPUs, AM2 is supposidly supposed to support them, however AM2 (which is 940 pins) is not compatable with the Opteron's 940 pin socket. So you will not be able to put AM2 Athlon64s into an Opteron 940 socket. They're electrically different (and require different types of memory.. Thus incompatable). To help prevent this the pin layouts of both s940 and AM2 are different, so they wont even fit in the same socket. If you're looking to quad core Opterons, then you should be looking at socket F.

There will always be a place for 8xx Opterons. Even when quad core comes out, there will most definately be quad core 8xx Opterons, meaning you could have 32 CPUs in one system quite easily. It doesnt cut into thier high end at all by having consumer end quad core CPUs.

As for getting two dual core Opterons, you dont really have to get the absolute highest, you could get a pair of 270s (which are fairly well priced right now) and get alot of performance. Buying the absolute best is usually only for people with big budgets, or those that absolutely need the cutting edge. Even one speed grade down from a 285 is a fair amount of cost reduction, without sacrificing too much performance.

Your last post asks about the 285 vs 254. While the 254 will be faster at single threaded tasks (games for example) The two are so close in speed, that in apps that take advantage of more than 2 threads, will see the 285 pull ahead. Sure, it may not be a linear increase (nothing in computers ever is.. exactly..) it is an increase none the less. Take a look at benchmarks of the Athlon64 FX-57 vs the FX-60. The 57 is a single core, while the 60 is a dual core. The 57 is 2.8 GHz while the 60 is 2.6. In most of the testing, the two come out roughly the same (on single threaded tests) while in multitasking tests and apps that can use more than 1 CPU the 60 will pull ahead.

RedBull
04-09-2006, 03:09 PM
Yes all drivers need to be updated, Wacom, to soundcard, mouse+kb, videocard all need 64bit compatible

I have a growing number of incompatible 32bit programs on XP64.....

Windows64 uses emulation to run many programs, i've found bigger applications work fine, but codecs, utils and smaller programs have been troublesome to say the least....

There are no 4 core chips, and there won't be anytime soon....
And anything more than 4CPU's (dual, dual cores) is wasted on Lightwave
as it only has 8 possible threads...

Dual cores will not be exactly 2x speed or 4x speed,
they can almost double performance sometimes, but not all....

The dual cores need to be indenticle, to work..... So you need a pair if your using Opterons..

If you worried about rendertimes, buy a small farm.....
If you do a lot of animation, a farm is just a necessary evil....

MacGregg
04-09-2006, 05:18 PM
I really appreciate the considerable education you all have given me here over the last several days. This has been a great crash course on AMD chips and LW needs.

You never know how much you don't know until you finally know it. Or as my Grandfather/Dad always said "You never know before till after." I aways liked this phrase.

Not trying to stop the information flow here, just wanted to pass on some accolades!

So, Thank you all very much.
Gregg

mattclary
04-09-2006, 09:03 PM
Windows NT thru Windows Xp are all 32bit operating systems. 16bit code runs under the process called NTVDM (NT virtual DOS machine). This is the same thing that is happening with the move from 32bit to 64bit today, it's old hat, nothing new.

lots
04-09-2006, 09:42 PM
Of course the whole 16/32bit hybrid OS is what made Windows ME (and probably the rest of the 9x series) so unbearably horrible :) In fact, lets just forget that it was ever an OS, much like star trek V was never a movie... *twitch*

NT took care of this more gracefully.. And obviously there were very few problems with 2K and XP (hey XP worked fine for me for years :P)

Proxyl
04-22-2006, 01:52 PM
Hi all,
Not a new LW user but not a frequent forum visitor as you noticed.
Happy LW-ing