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JMCarrigan
02-15-2009, 10:24 PM
I'm gearing up for a new system. On one hand, I wanna build but I'd havta know what mobo goes with what power supply, with what cooling, etc. Never built an i7 systrm. There doesn't appear to be the option of upgrading this XPS Gen 5 I currently have (just about decided to retire it to an entertainment center/dvr>)

I've about decided to go with Dell again but I keep vacillating between the 3 i7's available and the now inexpensive Quad Core machines with Vista 64 bit I will upgrade to Windows 7.

Any ideas? tia

ghaledev
02-15-2009, 10:45 PM
Build your own I7 system. Pick a processor to match your budget.

JMCarrigan
02-15-2009, 10:59 PM
Have you had any experience with i7's? What about the mobo, cooling, power, case etc? If I have the parts I can put it together. I gotta go get some shut eye.

hrgiger
02-15-2009, 11:52 PM
If money is at all an issue, go with the i7 920. It's the best value of the i7 processors and you can overclock it to perform almost like the higher range i7's.

ghaledev
02-15-2009, 11:58 PM
I have a system coming. Mostly you will save 1/2 your money if you build your own. I spent a few hours looking online and picked out parts that had high reviews. Most of the components are straightforward. There are many ways to go. Here is a list of the parts I selected that can trip people up:

A popular motherboard
EVGA 132-BL-E758-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

The processor I bought for $999, you can get a 920 for much less
Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition 965 Nehalem 3.2GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601965

A nice cooler for the i7
COOLER MASTER Hyper N 520 RR-920-N520-GP 92mm Sleeve CPU Cooler

Inexpensive 12GB of ram
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ

This case is big enough that everything will fit nicely
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

-Gary

gordonrobb
02-16-2009, 02:49 AM
I bought a Dell XPS 430 (I think). Anyway, its the i7 940, with 8gig. Sure I could get better configuration, but seriously, not for cheaper. It was just undre £1000, and it is awesome. On Zbrush for example, it wipes the floor with PCs much more expensive. Some people are anti Dell, but I have had no problems with any of the 8 we have had at work over the years. Awesome machine.

zapper1998
02-16-2009, 02:59 AM
how many cores is the I7 ???
can u do a dual I7 setup ???

gordonrobb
02-16-2009, 03:01 AM
i7 has 4 physical cores. It also uses hyperthreading to act like 8

zapper1998
02-16-2009, 03:08 AM
oh cool
2 - I7's = 16 cores [HT] how cool

biliousfrog
02-16-2009, 04:11 AM
The I7 based Xeon's are due for release in a few months and will allow multiple CPU's.

The current I7's are roughly equivilent to a dual-quad Xeon setup in a single chip but with much lower power consumption, faster FSB and much cheaper.

I'm still waiting for my I7 render nodes to be finished, there's a hold-up with some supermicro components...I want to be doing some tests!!!

hrgiger
02-16-2009, 05:40 AM
Yes, the i7 920 shows up as 8 cpus in the systems resource monitor. I've also done some tests, it doesn't seem to matter if you select 8 or 16 as the render threads, it performs about the same. But setting it for 4 threads slows it down considerably.

JMCarrigan
02-16-2009, 08:37 AM
Thanks, everyone. Oh, and the front side bus has gone bye bye on the i7. No mo' bottleneck there. I don't understand the Dell 8 meg ram build. I saw that but understood from some other research that the new architecture was best in 3's. Let me go check.

JMCarrigan
02-16-2009, 08:45 AM
Here it is: Because recent PCs utilize a dual-channel memory controller, common practice was to purchase either a 2GB or 4GB kit, as odd numbers aren't possible with an even number of sticks (at least if you are dealing with even densities and are not mixing and matching), but that changes with i7. Instead of 2GB, 4GB or even 8GB kits, we'll be dealing with 3GB, 6GB and 12GB.

The question comes down to "how much do I need?", and for the most part, this is actually quite easy to answer. The reason is because for most enthusiasts, the choice of 3GB is going to be eliminated right away. At this point in time, 3GB isn't a substantial amount of RAM, and most people have been using 4GB in their machines for the past year at least... so to actually downgrade would be an odd step to take. The major increase in bandwidth doesn't exactly counteract the lack of density, sadly.

With today's games and high-end machines, 3GB can become very limiting, especially if you want to run Windows Vista alongside games at a resolution of above 1680x1050. Today, 4GB is almost a minimum, and even 3GB isn't going to be good enough. On i7 though, it's either 3GB or 6GB if you want your memory to be optimized... there's no in-between.

The other option is to take the outrageous route and pick up 12GB, but that's going to be overkill for the vast majority of people. If you need that much RAM, then you'd likely know it without reading this article. Even intensive render jobs won't usually take advantage of more than 6GB, so I think that will be the most common configuration for most people

StereoMike
02-16-2009, 09:05 AM
Doesn't a q6600 show up as 8 threads as well? Can anybody shed some light on a performance comparison of a 920 and q6600? You can build a _silent_ q6600 rig @3gHz for around 400 Eur (assuming you take your old graphics board). I wonder how much better the performance of a 920 would be (and if it justifies the price).

mike

biliousfrog
02-16-2009, 09:25 AM
Doesn't a q6600 show up as 8 threads as well? Can anybody shed some light on a performance comparison of a 920 and q6600? You can build a _silent_ q6600 rig @3gHz for around 400 Eur (assuming you take your old graphics board). I wonder how much better the performance of a 920 would be (and if it justifies the price).

mike

No the Q6600 is not hyper threaded as far as I'm aware, it just shows 4 cores on mine.

Here's a BOXX comparison between their single CPU I7 workstation and a comparable 8 core XEON workstation. Compared to a stock Q6600 you'd be looking at almost 100% speed increase in some instances.


Thanks, everyone. Oh, and the front side bus has gone bye bye on the i7. No mo' bottleneck there. I don't understand the Dell 8 meg ram build. I saw that but understood from some other research that the new architecture was best in 3's. Let me go check.

There's actually very little to gain in using triple channel memory, even Adam Glick at BOXX recommends using the extra cost to buy 8gb rather than 6 in a triple channel configuration. I don't understand it all, I'm still playing catch-up, but there are still enough bottlenecks to make the difference negligable.

I'd recommend popping over to the hardware section at CGTalk and searching through the I7 threads, there's a wealth of information available.
http://forums.cgsociety.org/forumdisplay.php?f=23

hrgiger
02-16-2009, 09:49 AM
Doesn't a q6600 show up as 8 threads as well? Can anybody shed some light on a performance comparison of a 920 and q6600? You can build a _silent_ q6600 rig @3gHz for around 400 Eur (assuming you take your old graphics board). I wonder how much better the performance of a 920 would be (and if it justifies the price).

mike

No, the Q6600 only shows up as 4 cpus. I just did some benchmarks between my older Q6600 and my new i7 920. It's roughly 40% faster. Of course, that's before I overclock this guy.

Edit: And btw, I just saw 920 processors at Microcenter for $229 so they're pretty cheap. The 965 will run you a grand. So you're better off sticking with the 920 if bang for your buck is important.

Hopper
02-16-2009, 10:48 AM
I overclock the crap out of my q6600 and am quite pleased with the performance, but I'll bet the new i7's run much cooler. If it didn't require a total mobo replacement, I'd upgrade, but alas... my "new" system is less than a year old and I can't justify the cost.

And considering I went to the q6600 from a P4 1.9GHz single core, yeah .. it's blazingly fast.

If I was to build another one, I'd probably go for the 920 because of the price. The 960 will come down in price eventually and the mobo will handle it.

hrgiger
02-16-2009, 01:01 PM
If I was to build another one, I'd probably go for the 920 because of the price. The 960 will come down in price eventually and the mobo will handle it.

Better yet, the 8 core chips will be coming out from intel and they're going to be used on the same mobo as the i7.

JBT27
02-16-2009, 01:25 PM
I overclock the crap out of my q6600 and am quite pleased with the performance, but I'll bet the new i7's run much cooler. If it didn't require a total mobo replacement, I'd upgrade, but alas... my "new" system is less than a year old and I can't justify the cost.

And considering I went to the q6600 from a P4 1.9GHz single core, yeah .. it's blazingly fast.

If I was to build another one, I'd probably go for the 920 because of the price. The 960 will come down in price eventually and the mobo will handle it.

Well, that is highly relevant for us - I have the best system in this room and it's what you see below - anything else we have is between 2.4Ghz and 3.2Ghz P4 of several years vintage.

So far, I haven't used quad-core nor 64 bit, so in a way it's all relative. Hopefully, we'll be looking at new gear in the summer. Having costed quad-cores, now very cheap, versus i7, I'm coming down on the side of quad-core, because we can get two well-configured boxes for ourselves, and a small quad-core render farm, probably pretty much within a budget we can afford.

That said, we need as much speed as possible, like anyone. I'm just basing it on the fact that my dual-core, although frustrating sometimes, is mostly handling what we do, so with quad-core on 64 bit, I reckon to me the speed boost will be significantly high enough to keep me happy for awhile.

Though I just may be in denial and would be daft not to buy into i7.....but my gut feeling says buy more for less, as it were.....

Julian.

biliousfrog
02-16-2009, 02:17 PM
Though I just may be in denial and would be daft not to buy into i7.....but my gut feeling says buy more for less, as it were.....

Julian.

well the I7 offers much more for less, essentially an 8 core machine for the price of a mid-range quad core.

Until I get the render boxes delivered I don't have first hand experience to compare them but I built a Q6600 render box using an intel barebones with 4gb RAM, 80GB HD and XP64 for £700 6 months ago. The I7 boxes are being built by a professional server company using Supermicro cases and mobo's, a 920, 6GB RAM, 80GB HD and XP64 for £960...that's a lot more power for very little extra, especially as the new systems are being buit for me and come with warranty.

warrenwc
02-16-2009, 02:51 PM
My i7 box has been up for a couple of weeks & I LOVE it!
Upgraded from a P4 3.2 Ghz with 2Gb ram.
I can have LW 64 cranking all four cores at 100% & click the Photoshop Icon & it's just THERE.
I'm drunk with power.:D

JBT27
02-16-2009, 02:52 PM
well the I7 offers much more for less, essentially an 8 core machine for the price of a mid-range quad core.

Until I get the render boxes delivered I don't have first hand experience to compare them but I built a Q6600 render box using an intel barebones with 4gb RAM, 80GB HD and XP64 for £700 6 months ago. The I7 boxes are being built by a professional server company using Supermicro cases and mobo's, a 920, 6GB RAM, 80GB HD and XP64 for £960...that's a lot more power for very little extra, especially as the new systems are being buit for me and come with warranty.

That's interesting - thanks.....well, maybe I'd better rethink then. Luckily we're not wading in just yet, so I'll do some more thinking.

Who is your company that is building your new machine? We usually have ours built locally, but I asked him last week and he said he hadn't had pricing for the i7 cpus yet.

Julian.

biliousfrog
02-17-2009, 01:40 AM
That's interesting - thanks.....well, maybe I'd better rethink then. Luckily we're not wading in just yet, so I'll do some more thinking.

Who is your company that is building your new machine? We usually have ours built locally, but I asked him last week and he said he hadn't had pricing for the i7 cpus yet.

Julian.

http://www.sentralsystems.com/

Like I said, they're having issues getting a particular motherboard but they have managed to complete some other I7 systems for other clients.

If you ask to speak to Dave Mason, he's the guy I'm dealing with, he can give you a better idea of costs, timescales and specs. Just say that you've spoken with Steve Bjorck at Eggbox about the render servers and he'll know the kind of system you're thinking of, otherwise you'll probably get a quote for a storage server with hotswap drives and stuff you won't need.

JMCarrigan
02-17-2009, 08:50 AM
I've decided on the i7 940, 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4850 and Vista SP1 Ultimate 64-Bit Edition with 6 meg ram. I'll upgrade to Windows 7 when it's released. Cost: $1939

warrenwc
02-17-2009, 02:03 PM
I've decided on the i7 940, 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4850 and Vista SP1 Ultimate 64-Bit Edition with 6 meg ram. I'll upgrade to Windows 7 when it's released. Cost: $1939

Please say you meant 6 GIG of ram:)

mattclary
02-17-2009, 02:15 PM
Either of these power supplies should suffice for any mobo you buy. If not these particular ones, either of these companies make great PSUs.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151069

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703015

These are 500W PSUs, you really shouldn't need more than that (http://www.anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.aspx?i=3413).

sandman300
02-17-2009, 02:57 PM
Watch out what RAM you buy, some of the MBs are fussy. I work for a newtek dealer and we're starting to build VT5s with i7s. We've been working with some of the Supermicro boards, but the RAM has been giving us a pain in the ... anyway according to Kingston the ram was tested but Supermicro says its not.:stumped:. I so want one myself, but at least for now I'm sticking with my Core2 (at least for another month or two when I expect there to be a price drop on the quads). If things go well I should have a budget by Q4 that will let me buy a superbad system (insert evil laugh here).

JMCarrigan
02-17-2009, 03:18 PM
Please say you meant 6 GIG of ram:)

D'oh! Yep. Tha's what I meant! :)

warrenwc
02-17-2009, 03:21 PM
Watch out what RAM you buy, some of the MBs are fussy. I work for a newtek dealer and we're starting to build VT5s with i7s. We've been working with some of the Supermicro boards, but the RAM has been giving us a pain in the ... anyway according to Kingston the ram was tested but Supermicro says its not.:stumped:. I so want one myself, but at least for now I'm sticking with my Core2 (at least for another month or two when I expect there to be a price drop on the quads). If things go well I should have a budget by Q4 that will let me buy a superbad system (insert evil laugh here).

I had good luck with Patriot Viper:thumbsup:

Andyjaggy
02-17-2009, 04:26 PM
i7 all the way. In some situation I get roughly a 2X speed increase over the Q6600. Rendering generally performs about 50-60% faster.

hrgiger
02-17-2009, 06:00 PM
I wouldn't say that it's that high. In all my tests between my previous machine Q6600 and the i7 920 I have now, I found the i7 to be roughly 40% faster. If the Q6600 renders the scene in 100 seconds, the i7 is doing it in 60. That's stock straight out of the box for both of them without overclocking.

Hopper
02-17-2009, 06:59 PM
I wouldn't say that it's that high. In all my tests between my previous machine Q6600 and the i7 920 I have now, I found the i7 to be roughly 40% faster. If the Q6600 renders the scene in 100 seconds, the i7 is doing it in 60. That's stock straight out of the box for both of them without overclocking.
Good numbers. Thanks for that.

hrgiger
02-17-2009, 07:09 PM
Sure Hopper, and I don't know if you had seen my previous posts in a few other threads about this but I found to make sure to not set render threads below 8 in the render panel for the i7. You'll lose a little less then half of that 40% gain.

IgnusFast
02-18-2009, 12:01 AM
I built an i7 920 system, initially with 6GB of OCZ RAM. Memory has performed perfectly, though the dimms initially configured as 1066 instead of 1333.

Just tonight I removed the old HDs (left from previous build), installed 2 500GB WD Black drives, and another 6GB OCZ RAM.

SMOKING.

Still configuring the OS and moving the apps off the old drives (which I'll keep around for backup), but WOW it made a big difference in speed. The drives had more impact than the additional RAM for general system speed, but I was hitting the memory ceiling while rendering, so that will be good as well.

Andyjaggy
02-18-2009, 08:38 AM
Well the 2X speed increase in my case might be from other system components as well. Ram and harddrives and whatnot.

BarryZ
02-18-2009, 08:47 AM
We're combining the i7-920, the Gigabyte GA-EX58-DS4, and 4x2GB DDR3 memory with a bog-standard 80 gig HDD, 500W PSU and a 2u rackmount case to build our new render nodes.

Total cost per node is running at just over £600 (when purchasing in quantities of 60)

Performance is very very good on these processors. We're setting them up as Screamernet clients using Linux/Wine and BNR. We will be varying the workload, but in our tests they will typically handle 4 LWSN processes without blinking, with threads set to 8 per process.

Some of our scene files are tapping on the door of 3gig, so we will be running only 2/3 lwsn processes on some of the nodes, but I have to say, this farm is VERY quick now.

B.

IMI
02-18-2009, 09:09 AM
You need an LGA 1366 mobo for the i7, is this correct?
And then DDR3 RAM as well. Is that backwards compatible? Can DDR2 RAM be used in a DDR3 slot? They're both 240 pin. I mean, just as a temporary thing, although it's amazing how much DDR3 has come down in price.

Now, can someone explain to me how what is essentially a quad core becomes an octa-core which performs more like a 6 core?

I thought the i7 was going to be outrageous in price. At NewEgg, I could get a 2.93 ghz i7 for $559.00. Currently I have a Q9550, which is a quad core at 2.83. Even if the i7 offered only a 50% speed increase over that, it would be well worth it. Although I'm sure it can be tuned better to get better than 50%.

Andyjaggy
02-18-2009, 09:56 AM
The i7 chip is actually relatively cheap, and not much more then the Q6600. However the MB's you tend to have to get to run them tend to be more pricey so it ends up costing a fair amount more.

IgnusFast
02-18-2009, 09:59 AM
Yes, you do need an X58 motherboard to run an i7 chip. I love the EVGA board I used. It's unfortunate that they're rather expensive now we well.

No, DDR3 is not backward compatible with DDR2. It's more expensive, though as you note it has come down fairly rapidly. It's faster memory, though higher latency, as seems to happen with every generation of RAM.

I think the i7 920 I bought was $285, and that was right after release. Not sure what they're at now.

Granted, I'm a hobbiest and like sitting fairly close to the bleeding edge, but I've been REALLY happy with this build. I've never just thrown 12GB of RAM at a machine (6 DIMMS) and had it not even give me a hiccup. No voltage changes, nothing.

IMI
02-18-2009, 10:03 AM
Thanks for the replies. I'm gonna have to get up to speed on this new tech.
Seems every time I have it all figured out, they go and change all the rules on me. ;)

Hopper
02-18-2009, 08:41 PM
Sure Hopper, and I don't know if you had seen my previous posts in a few other threads about this but I found to make sure to not set render threads below 8 in the render panel for the i7. You'll lose a little less then half of that 40% gain.
Yeah, that's weird isn't it? I actually notice a difference on my q6600 between 8 and 16. There was a thread WAY back when where William had mentioned that he also noticed the difference, so I've set it to 16 ever since.

IMI
02-18-2009, 08:47 PM
Yeah, that's weird isn't it? I actually notice a difference on my q6600 between 8 and 16. There was a thread WAY back when where William had mentioned that he also noticed the difference, so I've set it to 16 ever since.

I never read anything about that, but I noticed it on my own, and I too do 16.
You're a technical guy - any idea why that happens?

Hopper
02-18-2009, 09:39 PM
I never read anything about that, but I noticed it on my own, and I too do 16.
You're a technical guy - any idea why that happens?
It usually depends on how and what is being seperated into threads as far as the code goes. There are a lot of complexities involved in multithreaded applications. Sometimes it depends on whether or not the results of those threads have to be assembled as a single result or treated seperately. For example; If I have two threads that perform a calculation and store them in seperate memory locations, they are basically independent of eachother and will release their threads as each one completes. However, if I have two threads, which need to be assembled as a single result and one of those threads takes longer to complete, the code which created the threads will usually close both threads only when both have completed as a whole. So while one is still completing, the other thread is still held "open", but may not be used because the parent process wasn't designed to be efficient and free up the thread.

This is a simple example of course, but you get the picture.

There are also mechanisms of serialization which tend to slow performance but are necessary for transactional integrity and/or even memory constraints.
Think of serialization as a queue. I have many threads, but some of those threads have to use a function that can only be called one at a time because the function itself is memory intensive, or possibly makes use of file access (i.e. can't have two processes trying to write to a file at once), etc...

The rendering code is far more complex than any code I have ever written I'm sure, and I'll tend to bet that the developers have written very efficient code to make use of as many threads as possible. If they have designed the code to make many small independent calculations, then the more threads you have, the faster it will be. But keep in mind that there is a point of diminishing returns because of CPU overhead, memory allocation (and deallocation), etc.. so maybe "16" was there magic number for maximum performance.

I'll bet LightWolf would have some very good insight to this also.

biliousfrog
02-19-2009, 02:46 AM
We're combining the i7-920, the Gigabyte GA-EX58-DS4, and 4x2GB DDR3 memory with a bog-standard 80 gig HDD, 500W PSU and a 2u rackmount case to build our new render nodes.

Total cost per node is running at just over £600 (when purchasing in quantities of 60)

Performance is very very good on these processors. We're setting them up as Screamernet clients using Linux/Wine and BNR. We will be varying the workload, but in our tests they will typically handle 4 LWSN processes without blinking, with threads set to 8 per process.

Some of our scene files are tapping on the door of 3gig, so we will be running only 2/3 lwsn processes on some of the nodes, but I have to say, this farm is VERY quick now.

B.

I'm intregued to hear about Linux/Wine and BNR as I was under the impression that Wine isn't 64bit yet your nodes have 8GB RAM?...it sounds like a great setup if it is 64bit though, I'll get some ordered straight away.

Lightwolf
02-19-2009, 03:25 AM
I'll bet LightWolf would have some very good insight to this also.
That's one bet you lost ;)
Seriously though, you covered all of it pretty well. As you said (to phrase it differently) the issue are common assets changed (-> written to in memory) by the threads. That require a mechanism where only one may change something at a time, and the others will be idle then.

Cheers,
Mike

Pavlov
02-19-2009, 03:27 AM
We haveve several Q6600 @ 3.0 GHZ, and some Dell duel Xeon quads @ 3ghz.
The xeons run twice as fast than quads, btw.
I just need to know which route to go to get nearly same performance of dual Xeons @ 3 ghz. By now i'm for getting I7 940 and overclock it "safely" (i.e. my Q660 are all @3.0 ghz, and they run 24/7 without any issue).
Any advice ? Reading here it's not so clear if oveclock is a viable and safe option.

thanks,
paolo

hrgiger
02-19-2009, 03:42 AM
As far as the threads go, I've noticed that there's almost no difference between rendering with 8 or 16 threads with the i7. Sometimes one's a second or two faster and sometimes it's the other way around so as long as it's set to at least 8, I think you're good.

JonW
02-19-2009, 03:47 AM
My architectural scene.

E5450 gi 26:19 et 2:24:25 @ 3.0 ghz
i7 940 gi 25:41 et 2:49:05 @ 3.68 ghz OC
i7 940 gi 31:42 et 3:27:20 @ 2.93 ghz
i7 920 gi 30:37 et 3:15:32 @ 3.15 ghz OC
E5335 gi 39:49 et 4:02:28 @ 2.0 ghz

3dspeedmachine

E5450 gi 34.3 et 2:09 @ 3.0 ghz
i7 940 gi 26.8 et 2:29 @ 3.68 ghz OC
i7 940 gi 33.3 et 3:05 @ 2.93 ghz
i7 920 gi 30.5 et 2:51 @ 3.15 ghz OC
E5335 gi 54.9 et 3:26 @ 2.0 ghz

There is more info on this page
http://newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=91223&page=4

I’m also getting some more 920s for render nodes.
For all computers I have found 8 threads a touch quicker.

Thomas M.
02-19-2009, 04:14 AM
We haveve several Q6600 @ 3.0 GHZ, and some Dell duel Xeon quads @ 3ghz.
The xeons run twice as fast than quads, btw.
I just need to know which route to go to get nearly same performance of dual Xeons @ 3 ghz. By now i'm for getting I7 940 and overclock it "safely" (i.e. my Q660 are all @3.0 ghz, and they run 24/7 without any issue).
Any advice ? Reading here it's not so clear if oveclock is a viable and safe option.

thanks,
paolocould you share some insight on how to do this, overclock the q6600? Did you buy any additional hardware?

Pavlov
02-19-2009, 05:22 AM
nope, it's enough to go into Bios and set manually FSB to 333 instead of 266, leaving multiplier at 11.
Your clock will be 11*FSB. Some MB can go higher than other, it depends on really many things, so you've to test and find the limit you can reach. After that, PC will start to reboot randomly, and this means you must stay lower than that. Usually bringing a Q660 @ 3ghz is not a problem, some people pump them up to 4 but you'll need special cooling methids then.

paolo

Pavlov
02-19-2009, 05:27 AM
JonW, from your tests it seems that you can reach same speed as a single Xeon E5450 @ 3ghz... i thought a lot more, maybe even twice.
If these I7 cannot come near a dual Quad Xeon system (which mean 2x faster than a single Q6600 @ 3ghz) , i will wait newer cpus.

Paolo

Lightwolf
02-19-2009, 05:55 AM
JonW, from your tests it seems that you can reach same speed as a single Xeon E5450 @ 3ghz... i thought a lot more, maybe even twice.
I think it's a dual Xeon from looking at the numbers...

(which would make sense as that model is for dual socket boards).

Cheers,
Mike

Pavlov
02-19-2009, 06:18 AM
Lightwolf, it would be freacking awesome, but where you get this info from ? I agree sockets are for two procs, but i.e. Dell sells also machines with only one Xeon, and if you want you can buy second one in the future.
I'd like to get a precise info about this because it can change my decision about system upgrades, we've to buy two new dual Xeons or... two I7, if what you say is confirmed.

paolo

biliousfrog
02-19-2009, 06:35 AM
have a look on the 3dspeedmachine site, all the benchmarks are there showing the processors used

Lightwolf
02-19-2009, 06:42 AM
Lightwolf, it would be freacking awesome, but where you get this info from ?
Extrapolating from benchmarks I've seen (Cinebench though). There's no way a single E5450 is faster than a single i7 920 when rendering using multiple threads.

Cheers,
Mike

Pavlov
02-19-2009, 06:44 AM
sure, it looks like we're talking about I7 matching a dual Xeon 5450... pretty amazing, since a medium dual E5450 rig is nearly 2500 €, while i can get this I7 thing at less than 1000...
Now i've to dig the thread to find the proper MB to work with OC and i'm done.

paolo

Pavlov
02-19-2009, 06:55 AM
I wouldn't say that it's that high. In all my tests between my previous machine Q6600 and the i7 920 I have now, I found the i7 to be roughly 40% faster. If the Q6600 renders the scene in 100 seconds, the i7 is doing it in 60. That's stock straight out of the box for both of them without overclocking.

well, if i'm reading correctly, and if we agree that "100% faster" means it takes half time, the numbers you report above mean I7 runs 80% faster than Q6600.

Paolo

IMI
02-19-2009, 06:57 AM
Thanks for the detailed 'splaination, Hopper. :thumbsup:

mattclary
02-19-2009, 08:39 AM
We haveve several Q6600 @ 3.0 GHZ, and some Dell duel Xeon quads @ 3ghz.
The xeons run twice as fast than quads, btw.


My guess is the Xeons have more cache.


Something to keep in mind: It may be more economical to buy two Core 2 quad machines than one i7 or Xeon machine, then use render nodes. Think outside the box(es). ;)

Andyjaggy
02-19-2009, 09:05 AM
Well it depends what your needs are. Don't forget that a lot of calculations only use one processor. So depending on what your doing get the cpu that is fastest with fewest amount of cores. In other words an i7 is going to be faster doing single core calculations then a typical 8 core system.

If you only need pure rendering power it probably would be cheaper to just build a bunch of cheap quad core boxes. For your work machine though I would recommend getting something faster.

Pavlov
02-19-2009, 09:33 AM
well, we need less nodes but more powerful... most times we really need FAST machines it's because we have a big still to do in 2 hours, and not a movie we planned long before. So one powerful machien is better than two half-fast ones. not to mention space and power, BTW.
Dual Xeons runs 2x a Q6600, but a Q6600 is 500 €, while a dual Xeon is still 2500... in this case, i could consider the splitting ;)
Since cost difference between 2 Q6600 and a I7 is pratically inexhistent, it's a no brainer for me.

Paolo

clagman
02-19-2009, 10:10 AM
I really wanted to wait for the new Xeon but the work load didn't permit so I ordered the 8 core 3.4Ghz machine. Probably still going to feel regret when the new ones hit the market in early April after seeing some of the i7 vs. dual Xeon benchmarks.

JonW
02-19-2009, 02:29 PM
Pavlov,

My E5450 & E5335 are V8s. If one is doing animations you are better off getting a few cheap i7 boxes. (& not from large supplier)

If you are waiting for an i7 V8. I thing most MBs won't be able to be over clocked, They are generally made for 24/7 stability for server environments.

They may make one MB, an expensive model like the Skulltrail, for over clocking & for the people with too much money.

I’m no expert here by any stretch of the imagination, but I guess having a second i7 on the MB, total processing power will drop by 10 to 20%, an i7 V8 will not be quite as efficient an two separate i7 boxes, & no over clocking either?

Also the V8 boxes are noisy due to the extra fans. The Chenbro boxes (for my E5450) is better than the Intel box (for my E5335), but still not as quite as a 4 banger box, I had to replace a 1.6amp 120mm fan in the Intel box with a few other fans, it doesn’t run as cool but at least I don’t have to ware ear plugs, it was bad!

For my stills, A3, 5000 x3500 pixels, is as far as I go (& if you need larger I let the printer do that), rendering times are now pretty good, with a stack of glass & reflections, if it takes a few hours, I not complaining. Animations are a different story & one V8 is not the way to go.

Lightwolf
02-19-2009, 03:38 PM
I’m no expert here by any stretch of the imagination, but I guess having a second i7 on the MB, total processing power will drop by 10 to 20%, an i7 V8 will not be quite as efficient an two separate i7 boxes, & no over clocking either?
Not likely. It will give you a second memory controller so I suspect the nehalem based Xeons will scale a lot better (just like the AMDs though).
After all the frontside bus was one of the biggest design issues.
I also suppose you'll still get the out of the box/automatic overclocking.

Cheers,
Mike

Hopper
02-19-2009, 07:09 PM
Usually bringing a Q660 @ 3ghz is not a problem, some people pump them up to 4 but you'll need special cooling methids then.

I have found that pushing the q6600 to 3.6GHz with the right board and RAM to be the most stable overclock so far (and without excessive heat issues). After getting into the weeds and tweaking lane voltages I have pushed mine to 4.2GHz and everything seemed to work fine with the exception of LW rendering and CoD4. And just as mentioned before, when it's not stable - things just stop without warning or pattern. At that speed I could also watch my core temps go from around 35c to 85c in a matter of seconds, even with liquid cooling. I have read in several forums that such heat increases over short periods of time will definately ruin your chip. I don't know if it's true (which I suspect it is out of common sense), but even liquid cooling isn't going to save it at those temps.

We don't have any i7's in the lab yet, but I can't wait to see what they can overclock to. If anyone plans on playing with this, I'd love to see some numbers eventually (as far as stability for LW rendering).

-Cheers

zapper1998
02-19-2009, 10:21 PM
This case is big enough that everything will fit nicely COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
-Gary

can you load up a picture of the setup please

I am going to build an i7 machine, soon

-Michael

ghaledev
02-23-2009, 05:31 PM
Been using this system for a week now and it is wonderful. The total cost with top range components was $2,350 (almost half of that was the i7 965). 12GB ram, two 750GB hard drives. No assembly or startup problems, just be sure to update the bios first thing and set LOW MEM GAP to 1.5GB or Vista WILL NOT INSTALL OR BOOT. Register the motherboard to get the lifetime warranty. This system is more than twice as fast as my previous AMD 9850 system.

Here is a list of all of the parts I used. Warning, these are not cheap parts!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188039
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703005
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231225
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136283
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823224001
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151171
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116493
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103057
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826249020

ghaledev
02-23-2009, 06:22 PM
Here are a couple pictures of my new i7 machine.

IgnusFast
02-24-2009, 06:44 PM
Wow, man - GORGEOUS wiring job. Nice!

hrgiger
02-24-2009, 07:38 PM
Here are a couple pictures of my new i7 machine.

That's the same case I have.

ghaledev
02-25-2009, 02:10 AM
The wiring is very easy in this case. There are lots of openings all around the motherboard so the wires can come out right where they are needed.

d1wojo
02-25-2009, 06:12 AM
I just bought this case. I am building a new I7 power house.
Motherboard Evga x58 3x sli
6 gigs ram 1600
1.5 TB harddrive
Blueray player
1000 watt power supply
ATi 4670 1 gig of ram, wanted a better card but will do for now

What I like about the case is the number of fans that are in it and the space in side.

biliousfrog
02-25-2009, 01:52 PM
After a huge delay on Supermicro's part I finally got my 1st I7 render node today. Initial tests show an almost 100% speed increase over the current Q6600 computers when running the 9.6, 64bit benchmark from the speedmachine site. I'll get the official figures uploaded tomorrow but the approximate times were:

BOXX 2 x 1.86ghz Xeon quad-core (8 cores), 8gb RAM, XP64 - 2min 45sec
Intel 1u chassis, Q6600, 4gb RAM, XP64 - 4min
Supermicro superserver, I7 920, 6gb RAM, XP64 - 2min 20sec

To test the scene I rendered 3 identical frames through BNR with the BOXX acting as the controller. The other two computers are accessed through CAT6 cable on a private network via a gigabit switch. The BOXX is currently my main workstation with all my apps installed whereas the render nodes are empty apart from BNR and VNC.

I'll certainly be getting some more of these in the near future.

Andyjaggy
02-25-2009, 03:08 PM
Yeah I have seen an almost 2X speed increase with mine. But most other people say it is only around 1.4X. Either way it is substantial.

JMCarrigan
02-26-2009, 08:02 PM
Here's something tp pick apart. I cancelled my Dell system because I had too much time to think about it and just ordered these items to assemble myself: (I probably forgot something like cables - and I need a card reader maybe.)

CoolerMaster Cosmos 1000 RC case
CoolerMaster UCP RS700 Power Supply for a total of 334.97
plus:
1 x (10008486) MICROSOFT Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit English 1pk DVD Software OEM @ $169.99

1 x (10009188) PATRIOT PE128GS25SSDR Extreme Flash 128GB Warp SSD MLC SATA II Solid State Drive Retail @ $258.99

1 x (10009615) EVGA 132-BL-E758-A1 Intel X58 Core i7 Socket 1366 PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333) ATX Motherboard Retail @ $299.99

1 x (10009642) INTEL BX80601920 Core i7-920 2.66GHz Intel QPI 4.80 GT/s Socket 1366 Desktop Processor Retail *** Free Shipping*** @ $287.90

1 x (10009731) CORSAIR TR3X6G1600C8D 6GB PC3-12800+ (DDR3-1600+) CL8 Triple Channel Memory Retail ***Free Shipping*** @ $185.50

1 x (10010016) EVGA 896-P3-1255-A1 Geforce GTX 260 896MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 (2.0v) Video Card Retail @ $209.99

1 x (10009334) OCZ OALKBELX2US Elixir II Wired Slim Keyboard Black Retail @ $14.99

1 x (10006487) MICROSOFT Basic Optical Mouse Q66-00029 Mouse Black @ $9.99

1 x (10008691) LITEON iHAS120-04 20X SATA DVD Burner Black Drive Bulk @ $22.99

(removed stuff not ordered - free)

------------------------------
SUBTOTAL : $1,450.33
SALESTAX : $.00
SHIPPING : $32.15
TOTAL : $1,482.48 + 334.97

ghaledev
02-26-2009, 11:51 PM
Looks good Michael, but why a $10 mouse?

gordonrobb
02-27-2009, 01:19 AM
Please say you meant 6 GIG of ram:)

I'm interested in why you ask (I guess he edited his post from whatever he had said). I don't have 6 gig, with my i7 940. Is this an issue.

biliousfrog
02-27-2009, 02:39 AM
1 x (10009188) PATRIOT PE128GS25SSDR Extreme Flash 128GB Warp SSD MLC SATA II Solid State Drive Retail @ $258.99

Ouch!...that's a lot of money for a small drive with no noticable speed gain over a HD drive.

hrgiger
02-27-2009, 03:44 AM
I'm interested in why you ask (I guess he edited his post from whatever he had said). I don't have 6 gig, with my i7 940. Is this an issue.

Because he mistyped and said he had 6 megs of RAM.

zapper1998
02-27-2009, 04:37 AM
wow some dude actually got the i7 965 to clock at 5+ Ghz...stable to...holy **** wow

Thanks for the Info on the Machine setup....

warrenwc
02-27-2009, 05:04 PM
I really don't see the need to overclock a Core i7, but boys WILL be boys:)
Seriously though, I don't think I'd notice the difference(Well SURE at 5Ghz, but I don't have any liquid nitrogen around).

JMCarrigan
02-27-2009, 05:27 PM
Looks good Michael, but why a $10 mouse?

I already have a mouse I like and a Cintiq 21UX. I got the cheap mouse to have available for the system (Dell XPS Gen5) that is being shunted to the side in some fashion.

My information on the solid state drive is that it will last a hundred years and is screaming fast in loading programs. The size is sufficient for my programs and a little virtual ram if needed. I do not store anything on my system drive. I also image/clone it immediately upon install.

I cancelled the Dell order in which the accidental 6 meg of ram was mentioned.

6 gig of ram because my research indicated that the i7's work better in 3's to badly paraphrase.

Lightwolf
02-27-2009, 05:35 PM
My information on the solid state drive is that it will last a hundred years and is screaming fast in loading programs.
You better double check that. So far all SSDs I've read reviews on, except for the Intel ones, have problems with the OS on them.
Yes, they can be fast and they can have very good access times - however, they can also have massive i/o hickups that cause the OS to timeout.

Cheers,
Mike

JMCarrigan
02-27-2009, 05:57 PM
Thanks Lightwolf. I'll have to deal with it and report. So far I'm seeing that I might have to get another and Raid 0 them.

About RAM amounts: this quote is from TECHGAGE. "On i7 though, it's either 3GB or 6GB if you want your memory to be optimized... there's no in-between.

The other option is to take the outrageous route and pick up 12GB, but that's going to be overkill for the vast majority of people. If you need that much RAM, then you'd likely know it without reading this article. Even intensive render jobs won't usually take advantage of more than 6GB, so I think that will be the most common configuration for most people."

Lightwolf
02-27-2009, 06:04 PM
About RAM amounts: this quote is from TECHGAGE. "On i7 though, it's either 3GB or 6GB if you want your memory to be optimized... there's no in-between.
Yup, you'd want three slots populated as the i7 uses a triple channel memory bus.
You can currently get 1GB and 2GB DDR3 RAM modules, 4GB ones are available, though _very_ expensive and rare at the moment. So it seems 12GB is tops at the moment (which is what I have on my Q6600 based P35 board, 4+8), 24GB in the near future when it gets affordable.

Cheers
Mike

JMCarrigan
02-27-2009, 07:11 PM
I'm interested in why you ask (I guess he edited his post from whatever he had said). I don't have 6 gig, with my i7 940. Is this an issue.

Do you have 8? I understand It is better to be in threes.

JMCarrigan
02-27-2009, 07:16 PM
Because he mistyped and said he had 6 megs of RAM.

That was post 24 " I've decided on the i7 940, 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4850 and Vista SP1 Ultimate 64-Bit Edition with 6 meg ram. I'll upgrade to Windows 7 when it's released. Cost: $1939
__________________"

Before I decided to cancel Dell and Build My Own. I wonder if I should get another SSD disk and Raid 0 the two? Somebody scared me above - billiousfrog I think. [edit] Lightwolf I mean.

JonW
02-28-2009, 01:34 AM
As Lightwolf said there are some issues with SSDs.

I am very happy with my WD Velociraptor 300gb, its a 10,000 rpm 2.5” drive in 3.5” chassis, low power.

biliousfrog
02-28-2009, 03:33 AM
I haven't heard of the issues with SSD's but I've read a lot about the seek times being unnoticable against a 7200 HD...I bet a RAID 0 setup would fly though.

BTW, don't get a RAID for the system drive if you use ZBrush as it won't work 50% of the time.

I've also heard from several people that triple channel memory doesn't offer much of a performance gain over dual channel currently. Adam Glick at BOXX noted that 8GB of dual channel memory offered better performance than 6GB of triple channel memory...I don't actually know whether their I7 systems use triple channel kits.

warrenwc
02-28-2009, 08:58 AM
I'm having some driver issues with Windows7 (Fatality X-fi is just strange & my Epson Perfection 1670 scanner, which works FINE in Vista64 is declared "Incompatible" in 7).
Vista64 is running like a champ on mine & I'm staying with it for a while.

JMCarrigan
02-28-2009, 10:28 AM
I'm having some driver issues with Windows7 (Fatality X-fi is just strange & my Epson Perfection 1670 scanner, which works FINE in Vista64 is declared "Incompatible" in 7).
Vista64 is running like a champ on mine & I'm staying with it for a while.

Dad burn it. Well, I'm starting with Vista 64bit Ultimate AND Windows7 is still beta - so hopefully...

JMCarrigan
02-28-2009, 12:35 PM
You better double check that. So far all SSDs I've read reviews on, except for the Intel ones, have problems with the OS on them.
Yes, they can be fast and they can have very good access times - however, they can also have massive i/o hickups that cause the OS to timeout.

Cheers,
Mike

I've ordered a Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS 300GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive. I hope to return the SSD without a great loss.

COBRASoft
02-28-2009, 06:02 PM
Those WD Raptors are so expensive :(

On the other hand, I would like to go for SAS (I have SCSI in 64 bit now), even more expensive, but 15K speed drives.. Jammie :)

I'm still doubting to go for a 920 overclocked to 3.6 GHz or 940 overclocked... Serious price difference between these 2 CPU's, but probably worth it?

Lightwolf
02-28-2009, 07:18 PM
I'm still doubting to go for a 920 overclocked to 3.6 GHz or 940 overclocked... Serious price difference between these 2 CPU's, but probably worth it?
Is the performance increase more or less than the increase in price for the whole system?

Cheers,
Mike

JMCarrigan
02-28-2009, 08:46 PM
Those WD Raptors are so expensive :(

On the other hand, I would like to go for SAS (I have SCSI in 64 bit now), even more expensive, but 15K speed drives.. Jammie :)

I'm still doubting to go for a 920 overclocked to 3.6 GHz or 940 overclocked... Serious price difference between these 2 CPU's, but probably worth it?

I ordered the 940 with the Dell but then changed my mind and decided to build. I have the 920 coming because my research tells me it will blow the doors off anything I've been using AND I will be able to upgrade the system in the future when the prices drop further. That allows a more expensive mobo, drive etc.

COBRASoft
03-01-2009, 10:13 AM
I have no idea how the 920 compares in speed with the 940. I know both have a max multiplier of 20. The 965 hasn't, but is way too expensive for the moment. I will order a 920 probably. Perhaps later this year, I'll replace it with a 965. All the rest of my computer will be ready to deal with it (PSU, RAM, Cooler, Mobo).

JMCarrigan
03-01-2009, 01:06 PM
A L L L L L L RIGHTY THEN. I've already downloaded Cooler Master Manuals, mobo manuals etc.

Pavlov
03-01-2009, 02:01 PM
be careful with Dell... they have a freezed BIOS, so you cant change ANYTHING... forget overclocking then.
Dell machines are reliable, but not using overclock capabilities of these CPUs is madness, imho.

Paolo

JonW
03-01-2009, 02:10 PM
The 920 is a little slower than the 940, but its half the price. When one buys a new computer you need to look at the price of the whole system not just the CPU.

When I bought my E5450 V8 using 2x 3 GHz I got the highest number of Ghz per dollar per whole system. Lower Ghz E54xx & the 3.16 Ghz I got less Ghz per dollar for the whole set up.

Using a 920 is the most economical, its only about 9% slower than a 940. In other words If your render takes 60 minutes with a 920, it will take about 54 minutes using a 940. How I see it, not worth the extra money for a saving of about 5 minutes.

You are better off putting this extra money towards a bare bones second computer, if one is doing animations.

biliousfrog
03-02-2009, 07:16 AM
That's a sweeping generalization if I ever saw one :)

Do you mean it won't load 50% of the time or that it won't work on 50% of all RAID systems.

If it is the first case, I can say that I've never had that issue with Zbrush and RAID 0 on a couple of different systems.

If it is the second case, where did you get that number from?

From the ZBrush info page:


RAID Drives

The use of RAID drives (in any configuration) is not recommended at this time due to incompatibilities with the ZBrush 3 licensing system. RAID drives can cause your computer to identify itself differently to ZBrush after every system restart. This holds true even if ZBrush is not actually installed on the drives in question. If you wish to install ZBrush on a system with RAID drives despite this warning, be aware that if you restart your computer you may discover that ZBrush is no longer activated. In this situation, exit ZBrush and restart your computer again. It may take several tries before the RAID drives identify themselves as being in the original configuration again, allowing ZBrush to see itself as being activated.

Pixologic is currently working with the developer of our licensing system to find a solution for this issue, but there is no ETA at this time.

http://www.zbrush.info/docs/index.php/Licensing#RAID_Drives

The figure of '50%' means that it either will work or it won't....I'd say that you're extremely lucky...or, more likely, you're using an older version.

biliousfrog
03-02-2009, 07:31 AM
be careful with Dell... they have a freezed BIOS, so you cant change ANYTHING... forget overclocking then.
Dell machines are reliable, but not using overclock capabilities of these CPUs is madness, imho.

Paolo

They always used to use the bare minimum PSU for the system too so upgrading was almost impossible without swapping the PSU...which was smaller than a standard one.

My old boss tried buying some cheap Dell desktop's and upgrading the graphics cards but they'd constantly freeze and crash on the simplest tasks, I think that the PSU was a 250w and the cards needed about 80w.

They might have changed since, it was a couple of years ago.

Lightwolf
03-02-2009, 07:37 AM
They always used to use the bare minimum PSU for the system too so upgrading was almost impossible without swapping the PSU...which was smaller than a standard one.

Which makes sense. They're designed for maximum efficiency... and you don't get that by plunking a 500W PSU into a machine that only draws a max of 200W.

Cheers,
Mike

Pavlov
03-02-2009, 08:19 AM
consider dell as freezed. Dont even think to touch them... if it's ok go for them, they.'re ok. Otherwise just assemble one yourself.

Paolo

mathos
03-05-2009, 10:21 AM
hi guys, a question here - if you were to decide whether go for 2x quad core cpu's and DDR2 memory or a single quad core with DDR3, what would you do?,)

Lightwolf
03-05-2009, 10:38 AM
hi guys, a question here - if you were to decide whether go for 2x quad core cpu's and DDR2 memory or a single quad core with DDR3, what would you do?,)
The depends solely on the funds I have, and how much the machine costs.

However, if it is the same CPU (or the same generation) an RAM is the only difference, then DDR2. DDR3 really isn't worth it and makes little performance difference except for some _very_ specific benchmarks (and rendering isn't one of them).

Cheers
Mike

mathos
03-05-2009, 11:00 AM
The depends solely on the funds I have, and how much the machine costs.

However, if it is the same CPU (or the same generation) an RAM is the only difference, then DDR2. DDR3 really isn't worth it and makes little performance difference except for some _very_ specific benchmarks (and rendering isn't one of them).

Cheers
Mike
oh, in this case it's better to go for 2x 920's eventhough not on socket 1366, but on socket 771 instead? So I miss nothing with not having benefits of i7 and DDR3? The money in this case (and range) is not an issue - let's say 3k euros for the box. CPU is on the first place, then memmory (16gigs 800mhz), then graphic card (will go for high-end gamming like gtx 295 at this point) and then 2x SSD drives. Or I don't know, getting really confused as usuall and there are only 2 choices...

cheers, Matej

Lightwolf
03-05-2009, 11:04 AM
oh, in this case it's better to go for 2x 920's eventhough not on socket 1366, but on socket 771 instead?
No, because:

a) the i7 is socket 1366 only, it won't fit nor work in a 771
b) socket 1366 is single socket only, do duals.
c) For the i7 you have no choice anyhow, the memory controller is a part of the CPU and only supports DDR3

Cheers,
Mike

clagman
03-05-2009, 12:28 PM
hi guys, a question here - if you were to decide whether go for 2x quad core cpu's and DDR2 memory or a single quad core with DDR3, what would you do?,)

A highly overclocked i7 based system is cheaper and cooler and just as fast as all but the highest end dual 5400 system. Memory type makes little difference in this case. So either go for the 3.4Ghz or get the i7. If you wait you'll be able to get into the Nehahem EP.

mathos
03-05-2009, 12:48 PM
No, because:

a) the i7 is socket 1366 only, it won't fit nor work in a 771
b) socket 1366 is single socket only, do duals.
c) For the i7 you have no choice anyhow, the memory controller is a part of the CPU and only supports DDR3

Cheers,
Mike
oh now I see I'm a lame sorry-didn't realize that there are actually two types of quad core... In this case I'm stuck again and don't know what to do lol,))) if I'm gonna wait I can see clearly that by the time when there are dual i7 boards available there will be another dillema whether not to wait for 8 cores,)

to clagman: are you saying that single (OC) 920 cpu is comparable to 2x Q9550s? I don't get that - it's 4 cores versus 8...

Lightwolf
03-05-2009, 02:24 PM
to clagman: are you saying that single (OC) 920 cpu is comparable to 2x Q9550s? I don't get that - it's 4 cores versus 8...
Pretty much, yes. It's a different generation CPU (the i7), more efficient, newer, faster. Even at a lower clock speed.

As for the dual socket i7, those will be Nehalem Xeons with a different socket. Apple is shipping them now, you can expect them available in general (for other vendors) by the end of the month. And I assume they'll cost you and arm and a leg - at least.

I think the best bang for the buck atm is the i7 920 - hands down.

Cheers,
Mike

JMCarrigan
03-05-2009, 08:43 PM
I'm up and running. This i7 920 system is smoking and I haven't even gotten evrything locked down yet. When I launch Lightwave it just there. Now I need to continue installing stuff and configing. One chip, eght procs. Whoa.

JonW
03-05-2009, 10:47 PM
JMCarrigan: Very nice system you have put together. The WD Velociraptor is also an “enterprise” HD !

The i7 CPUs are very fast at pre processing. The 920 is pretty close to an E5450 V8. My 940 over clocked is faster that my E5450 V8. So if a high percentage of the render is done in pre processing you will be blown away by the speed.

An i7 920 “price /performance /box” set-up is a killer combination. One now only really needs a V8 if you are doing extremely large single images. Much better to put together a handful of bare bones 920s for animations, basically almost only CPU & RAM & network connection.

Anandtech have got info on over clocking.

zapper1998
03-06-2009, 03:33 AM
be careful with Dell... they have a freezed BIOS, so you cant change ANYTHING... forget overclocking then.
Dell machines are reliable, but not using overclock capabilities of these CPUs is madness, imho.

Paolo

Plus they use motherboards that are made for Dell and thay are maybe 50 bucks if that..
better off building a machine...

imho


I'm up and running. This i7 920 system is smoking and I haven't even gotten evrything locked down yet. When I launch Lightwave it just there. Now I need to continue installing stuff and configing. One chip, eght procs. Whoa

wooooo cool

-Michael

COBRASoft
03-06-2009, 05:01 AM
Hey all,

I have a problem. I can't get a good cooler for my I7 920. Here in Belgium everything is easy to find, except a good cooler.

Does anybody has an idea what Antec cooler is good for the I7. I'm inteding to overclock to 3.5GHz. All the rest of my system is ready for it: memory, PSU, motherboard, case (Antec 900-II)...

Greetings,
Sigurd

Lightwolf
03-06-2009, 05:13 AM
Hey all,

I have a problem. I can't get a good cooler for my I7 920. Here in Belgium everything is easy to find, except a good cooler.

Have a look at http://www.alternate.be

There generally isn't much of a choice of third party i7 coolers at the moment though.

Cheers,
Mike

JonW
03-06-2009, 06:22 AM
I have about 20 Noctua fans in my various cases & swapped the fans in my UPS, very quiet. I have not tried their CPU coolers, they have one for the i7.

JMCarrigan
03-06-2009, 02:03 PM
If anyone who knows is still poking around here, I have the system up and running, I've backed up using acronis before I continue. BUT, I've noticed some things that I consider weird. The drives are labeled ide except the system drive which, at one point caqme up as scsi. One of the four caviars is labeled secondary, the other three are slaves. Every drive is hooked up to the mobo's sata headers.

And lastley, vista 64 keeps telling me my user control account is disabled. I know that. Anyone know how to make the message go away...oh! what about putting windows 7 rightover the top of this now so I can get used to that y the time it's released. I hear there's a relese cndidate out which I assume will upgrade the beta I have. No?

IMI
03-06-2009, 04:56 PM
BUT, I've noticed some things that I consider weird. The drives are labeled ide except the system drive which, at one point caqme up as scsi. One of the four caviars is labeled secondary, the other three are slaves. Every drive is hooked up to the mobo's sata headers.

And lastley, vista 64 keeps telling me my user control account is disabled. I know that. Anyone know how to make the message go away...oh! what about putting windows 7 rightover the top of this now so I can get used to that y the time it's released. I hear there's a relese cndidate out which I assume will upgrade the beta I have. No?

Not sure about the drive weirdness. I have a few Caviars which don't show that in Vista. You don't have a slave jumper in them, do you? SATA drives don't need any jumpers, but I don't think WD even ships jumpers with them anymore anyway. Did you get OEM or retail Caviars? But then again, if Vista thinks they're IDE, it almost makes sense. Then again, I suppose it could be the mobo itself. The i7-compatible mobos are fairly new and might not have the best BIOS yet. Update the BIOS if possible?

As for the UAC error message, I don't know what to suggest, as I don't get that problem and I do have UAC turned off. Although honestly I can't remember now if I had to do any extra steps or not. The Windows Help though says this about it:


Change the behavior of the User Account Control message for administrators in Admin Approval Mode
Use the following procedure to change the User Account Control message behavior for administrators.

To perform the following procedure, you must be using Windows Vista Enterprise or Windows Vista Ultimate, and you must be able to log on with or provide the credentials of a member of the local Administrators group.

To change the behavior of the User Account Control message for administrators in Admin Approval Mode
Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click Run, type secpol.msc in the Open box, and then click OK.

If UAC is currently configured in Admin Approval Mode, the User Account Control message will appear. Click Continue.

From the Local Security Policy tree, click Local Policies, and then double-click Security Options.

Scroll down to and double-click User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode.

From the drop-down menu, select one of the following settings:

Elevate without prompting

In this case, applications that have been marked as administrator applications, as well as applications detected as setup applications, will automatically run with the full administrator access token. All other applications will automatically run with the standard user token.

Prompt for credentials

In this case, in order to give consent for an application to run with the full administrator access token, the user must enter administrator credentials. This setting supports compliance with Common Criteria or corporate policies.

Prompt for consent

This is the default setting.

Click Apply.

Change the behavior of the User Account Control message for standard users
Use the following procedure to change the User Account Control message behavior for standard users.

To perform the following procedure, you must be using Windows Vista Enterprise or Windows Vista Ultimate, and you must be able to log on with or provide the credentials of a member of the local Administrators group.

To change the behavior of the User Account Control message for standard users
Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click Run, type secpol.msc in the Open text box, and then click OK.

If UAC is currently configured to prompt for administrator credentials, the User Account Control message will appear. Click Continue.

From the Local Security Policy tree, click Local Policies, and then double-click Security Options.

Scroll down and double-click User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for standard users.

From the drop-down menu, select one of the following settings:

Automatically deny elevation requests

In this case, administrator applications will not be able to run. The user should see an error message from the application that indicates a policy has prevented the application from running.

Prompt for credentials

This is the default setting. In this case, for an application to run with the full administrator access token, the user must enter administrator credentials.

Click Apply.




You can get at all that by opening windows help and typing "user account control" in the search field and then clicking on "How do I change the behavior of the User Account Control message?"

As for Windows 7, personally I wouldn't have that as a primary OS right now. Might have driver issues and all. Although I might set up a dual boot with it and use that until I see problems.
It figures now, though, now that I'm getting a bit interested in it, the beta is no longer available. I knew I should have downloaded it when I still had a chance. ;)

EDIT:

Which Intel 920 i7 did you get, the 2.66 ghz or the 2.93 ghz?
I have the quad core 9550 which is 2.83 ghz and I'd be interested in trying a little benchmark render test in LW if you're up to it after you get all sorted out with your new setup.

Lightwolf
03-06-2009, 05:07 PM
BUT, I've noticed some things that I consider weird. The drives are labeled ide except the system drive which, at one point caqme up as scsi.
Hm, check your SATA settings in the BIOS. It should be either set to RAID or AHCI (and make sure the drives are hooked up to the intel SATA ports).
However, if you installed in "legacy IDE" mode and then switch to AHCI or RAID in the BIOS, you might need to re-install.
It does provide better performance though.

Cheers,
Mike

JMCarrigan
03-06-2009, 05:54 PM
Thanks - and are you saying there was two 920's. Hmmm. I'll find out. I already had the 4 caviars in a seperate network case as a raid - so therer may be something there. I'm going to check now. Back later.

JMCarrigan
03-06-2009, 07:14 PM
All I can say is I'm glad I remembered some stuff from way back or I'd be scratching my head forever as I am now reinstalling the system.

Every drive is plugged into a sata header but with different ?areas? controlling them (north or south bridge and various J??2 or 3 something) Heh!

Yet the VelociRaptor is called a scsi when I pick boot devices the reast are sata. There were no jumpers. They ARE all still on the end of the drive? Or do I have to pull them to see?

Lightwolf
03-06-2009, 07:23 PM
Every drive is plugged into a sata header but with different ?areas? controlling them (north or south bridge and various J??2 or 3 something) Heh!
That's why you should read the motherboard docs ;)
Which board did you get in the end?


Yet the VelociRaptor is called a scsi when I pick boot devices the reast are sata. There were no jumpers. They ARE all still on the end of the drive? Or do I have to pull them to see?
Don't worry about jumpers on the drives for now.
The SCSI thing is kind of strange, I kind only see that happen on a board that has SAS connectors.

Cheers,
Mike

IMI
03-06-2009, 07:27 PM
Thanks - and are you saying there was two 920's...

Nope, sorry, my bad. I was looking at the wrong thing in a search, but it looks like the Intel 920 i7's are 2.66 ghz.

Not a bad price, either - Newegg has them for only $289.00 right now.

JMCarrigan
03-06-2009, 07:46 PM
That's why you should read the motherboard docs ;)
Which board did you get in the end?
Cheers,
Mike

The EVGA X58 3X SLI (and I did read the docs, I swear :D no really)

JMCarrigan
03-06-2009, 07:47 PM
Nope, sorry, my bad. I was looking at the wrong thing in a search, but it looks like the Intel 920 i7's are 2.66 ghz.

Not a bad price, either - Newegg has them for only $289.00 right now.

Oh! And you want to try some benchmarks. Send the scene and objs and I'll do that as soon as I have finished tweaking.

IMI
03-06-2009, 09:27 PM
Oh! And you want to try some benchmarks. Send the scene and objs and I'll do that as soon as I have finished tweaking.

Well I have to come up with something first. ;)
Most of the stuff I've been doing lately isn't too terribly demanding, really..... Hmmm, maybe something with HV's and/or some shiny and reflective and scattery material nodes.
I've been sorta trying to work out this scene with some HV particle smoke coming out of a pot. I'll see if I can finish that up and upload it, sometime over the weekend.
No rush though, and I'm sure you have alot more pressing concerns right now having just finished your system. Last time it took me a good 3 days or so before I had everything as I wanted it and all my programs and drivers and hardware installed. I don't think I even got around to actually doing anything creative until about the 4th day. Unless you call beating Vista into submission creative. ;)

JMCarrigan
03-06-2009, 11:21 PM
Cool IMI - I AM dancing as fast as I can....

IMI
03-07-2009, 04:20 AM
Cool IMI - I AM dancing as fast as I can....

Take your time, I'm not going anywhere. ;)
Thinking back, after I built my current best PC, I spent at least one full day, and probably more than that, running tests, hardware monitor, SiSoft Sandra, memtest, and other stuff, doing some game benchmarks and all that. Also, Luxology has a benchmark page to use with the content that comes with modo, so I spent some time going through those scenes as well.
(shhh... don't tell anyone here I installed and used modo a full day or two before LW. ;) )
Speaking of benchmarks, it would be cool if NT had something like that, like what Lux has, to use with the content that comes with LW. Or even if there were a benchmark forum thread here or something. Maybe there is a thread somewhere here, but I never have much luck with the search.

Hmmm... I seem to be rambling now. Too much coffee I think. ;)

You probably mentioned this somewhere but I can't remember... what version LW are you running?

Lightwolf
03-07-2009, 05:42 AM
The EVGA X58 3X SLI (and I did read the docs, I swear :D no really)
I had a peek, SATA ports 0-5 is what you'd hook up your internal drives to.

Cheers,
Mike

JMCarrigan
03-07-2009, 08:26 PM
Take your time.. what version LW are you running?

9.6 waiting for CORE I just finished (having had to break for a wedding) getting the majority of my software installed after having spent some time going over everything. All my drives appear to be SATA now. Vista categorizes the system as 5.9 across the board.

JMCarrigan
03-07-2009, 08:27 PM
I had a peek, SATA ports 0-5 is what you'd hook up your internal drives to.

Cheers,
Mike

Thanky man.

inquisitive
03-07-2009, 11:01 PM
No, the Q6600 only shows up as 4 cpus. I just did some benchmarks between my older Q6600 and my new i7 920. It's roughly 40% faster. Of course, that's before I overclock this guy.

Edit: And btw, I just saw 920 processors at Microcenter for $229 so they're pretty cheap. The 965 will run you a grand. So you're better off sticking with the 920 if bang for your buck is important.

hrgiger
What mobo are you using with your i7 920?

IMI
03-08-2009, 04:28 AM
9.6 waiting for CORE I just finished (having had to break for a wedding) getting the majority of my software installed after having spent some time going over everything. All my drives appear to be SATA now. Vista categorizes the system as 5.9 across the board.

I'm Glad to hear it all worked out. :thumbsup:
I get that 5.9 too. At least that's what it still says since the last time I had Vista test it several months back. I like it there, so I don't want to run the test again. ;)

I was setting up a benchmark test scene, and having allot of trouble trying to decide what makes a good test scene, (throw allot of calculations at it, a whole lot of RAM requirements?), and then it occurred to me to just Google it and I found This Site. (http://www.3dspeedmachine.com/?page=3) I never heard of it before, but it looks possibly useful.
So I went ahead and downloaded This Scene (http://www.3dspeedmachine.com/?page=3&scene=39) (LW 9.6) and rendered it in LW 9.6, 64 bit.
You don't have to sign up to download it, and it's pretty quick to render, if you want to check it out.
I'm attaching a screenie of the render results I got from it. 3 min., 5 sec. Not bad, but someone there with an i7 920 did it about 35 seconds faster @ 2.66 ghz with Vista 64 bit. Interestingly enough there's another one there right near the top claiming a 23 second improvement over that, with XP 64 bit, with the same proc, an i7 920 2.66.
I don't know what to think about that because in the past it seemed Vista always rendered at least a couple seconds faster than XP, never anything like 20-some seconds slower...
Of course, there are other machine variables that could make a difference, which are not mentioned there in the results.

Anyhow, if you could check it out I'd appreciate it. Money's kinda tight right now and I'm trying to determine if upgrading my mobo, memory and proc would be worth it yet or not. By "worth it" I mean something really substantial... or if I should wait until maybe the end of the year and see where all the hardware is at, at that point.

The pertinent specs of the machine I rendered it with:
Asus Rampage mobo
Intel Quad Core Q9550 @ 2.83 ghz
8 GB OCZ DDR2 @ 1066 mhz

JonW
03-08-2009, 06:11 AM
Those fast times are mine, if you click on the CPU description for my CPUs the actual Ghz appears in my case. eg 940 running at 3.83 Ghz. & by the way this is with the standard heat sink & only a few extra fans in the boxes.

As I have said before they are cheap boxes from a small supplier & they are running XP64.

IMI
03-08-2009, 06:19 AM
Cool Jon, thanks for the info. :)

JMCarrigan
03-08-2009, 09:24 AM
IMI, 2 min 32 sec. Later! And thanks again for alla info. (EDIT-Just noticed the screen grab was purdy crummy - gotta get my regular screen grabber loaded.)

IMI
03-08-2009, 12:29 PM
IMI, 2 min 32 sec. Later! And thanks again for alla info. (EDIT-Just noticed the screen grab was purdy crummy - gotta get my regular screen grabber loaded.)

Well, no problem, and have fun with your new system!
Thanks for the results. Looks like you're about in line with the other results from that site.

JonW
03-08-2009, 05:33 PM
IMI - Unless you have a stack of work, 3:05 is nothing to complain about, Iíd wait until the 32nm CPUs next year.

If you are doing animations & need the horse power now, you could put together a bare bones 920 with 6 or 12 gb ram, small HD, you may even have an old Graphics card lying around to set up the computer.

Once its set up as a render node with Mattís excellent ScreamerNet PDF tutorial, you can use Remote Desktop to connect & shutdown the computer (node/s). You donít even need the graphics card.

IMI
03-09-2009, 05:35 AM
System looks cool. :thumbsup:

I have two other fairly capable comps on my little home network and have messed around with screamernet a little. Most of what I've been doing though is nothing my fastest machine can't handle in a few hours at most. Well, I'm still pretty new to animation, so I'm not really turning out anything complex or long yet. I did a 600 frame HV fire animation recently, rendered to an image sequence which took about 6 hours between two machines, but that's as complicated as it gets for me so far.

I don't think I've ever seen Matt's screamernet tutorial. Where's it at, if you don't mind? I learned it from Dan Ablan's "Inside LightWave v9" book and from "Essential LightWave v9".

No, I'm not real concerned yet about upping my system after all. Probably won't do that until the end of the year... assuming the economy picks up some.

JonW
03-09-2009, 03:10 PM
If you have SN up & running you donít need Mattís tutorial, but its probably worth reading anyway, its just a lot easier that LWís pretty ordinary manuals.


http://newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26572

Matt Gorner's world-renowned PDF tutorial:
Matt's video tutorial:

Use the PDF first then the Video.
Also one really needs to take time, read it to the LETTER, have a clear mind & also no gaps in any of the Image & Object file names, SN doesnít like gaps in names. Once one has set up the master computer as a node & also one extra node adding any more nodes is a piece on cake. Also each computer can run as 1 node regardless of the number of cores.

Then with Remote desktop, each computer will need a password & name, use the same single Letter on each computer, & then its quick to fire up each remote desktop. When finished on each RDT right click the date to open WTM then shut down each computer.

IMI
03-09-2009, 03:20 PM
Thanks again Jon, I'll check all that out. :thumbsup:

zapper1998
03-25-2009, 03:26 AM
You better double check that. So far all SSDs I've read reviews on, except for the Intel ones, have problems with the OS on them.
Yes, they can be fast and they can have very good access times - however, they can also have massive i/o hickups that cause the OS to timeout.

Cheers,
Mike

At TomsHardware I think I read that the SSD's are just to fast for the OS's
Fast CPU and a fast SSD The OS aint fast enough I guess..


Michael

Lightwolf
03-25-2009, 03:28 AM
At TomsHardware I think I read that the SSD's are just to fast for the OS's
Fast CPU and a fast SSD The OS aint fast enough I guess..

That doesn't really make sense as you can easily put the OS on a very fast RAID.
Problems arise if the SSD fails to deliver data for a fairly high amount of time (as in hundreds of ms), which is the problem that cheaper ones have. Fairly fast for bursts of data... and then suddenly a delay that causes the OS to assume that the i/o timed out.

Cheers,
Mike

COBRASoft
03-25-2009, 10:18 AM
Hey guys, I have my I7 920 working!!! Still on the standard CPU cooler, but in 2 weeks I'll make a trip to England to buy my CPU cooler there (will be a lot cheaper). For the moment it's running @ 2.8GHz, but in 2 weeks I'll probably go to 3.2GHz or even 3.4GHz. My Kingston ram can go to 1625MHz without a problem normally :)

Andyjaggy
03-25-2009, 11:21 AM
Enjoy it, I love mine. After doing lots of tests and rendering on my very small farm, my i7 920 is over 2X faster then my Q6600.

Wickster
03-25-2009, 11:58 AM
Ok, on a related note...i7 or Xeon Quad? Is Xeon processors even worth it anymore?

Lightwolf
03-25-2009, 12:02 PM
Ok, on a related note...i7 or Xeon Quad? Is Xeon processors even worth it anymore?
Single socket? i7
Dual socket... wait a few weeks longer, the Nehalem based Xeons are hitting the shelves right now (which also means that you might be able to get some older dual socket Xeon based systems at a discount).

Cheers,
Mike

JonW
03-25-2009, 07:37 PM
Found these prices in Australia.

E5502, 1.86GHz, 4MB, au$365
E5504, 2.00GHz, 4MB, au$438
E5506, 2.13GHz, 4MB, au$516
E5520, 2.26GHz, 8MB, au$700
E5530, 2.40GHz, 8MB, au$1009
E5540, 2.53GHz, 8MB, au$1403
X5550, 3.20GHz, 8MB, au$1793
X5560, 2.80GHz, 8MB, au$1915
X5570, 2.93GHz, 8MB, au$2569

JonW
03-25-2009, 07:46 PM
X5550 should be 2.66GHz, not 3.20GHz