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View Full Version : Thoughts on Phenom II Quad Core CPU's and MB?



wacom
05-28-2009, 06:58 PM
Well, I normally hold out as long as I can to upgrade my system...and things were going fine with my old first generation dual core system, but now that my clients are wanting A: More animation and B: in 1080 res (or higher) things are feeling a little too slow even for me...and esp. for them!

So would a new quad core really make a big difference? I'm guessing it would, since even my wife's macbook duo core is about as fast as my older (but faster clocked) P820!

I'm not running out of RAM during renders- and I'm doing REAL basic renders at times...but the clients, they want it NOW and don't get how I can show them an OpenGL preview in seconds...but that a render takes a bit longer...even with simple shaders and lighting...

I don't have all the money in the world, and I looked around and saw the Phenom II Quads on newegg were what looked to be a good deal. Any snags with them that would/should make me pay more for the intel flavor again?

Thanks!
Gideon

cresshead
05-28-2009, 07:06 PM
hi maybe not Phenom related but i've just completed over 4000 frames ntsc this week on various cpu's and noticed something interesting..

my acer dualcore intel 2ghz laptop was rendering similar fames at less than double the time that my quadcore intel 2.4ghz was doing...and note it's lacking 800mhz when you compare...

you know what...i'm just doing to run a test on a same frame to make sure but if this holds true for some reason a el cheapo latop was performing better than a quadcore core for core...

also was rendering to dualcore amd and an intel atom too!

i'll do a 1080 frame on each pc and report back their times!

wacom
05-28-2009, 07:14 PM
Thanks cress- I don't play games or anything...compatibility and stability are the most important, then 3D rendering performance with simple shaders but high resolution (though I use a fair amount of lights).


I guess I should look for benchmarks too...but most online are by gearhead dot coms that only run some frame in XYZ app and don't mention half the settings etc. so it's irrelevant to me...

cresshead
05-28-2009, 07:51 PM
just waiting for the intel atom netbook to finish it's renders...3 versions as i has powersave, normal and step[fast] to go thru...

will also post the HD render and scene stats

lightwave 9.6
scene poly count 250,000 polgons
11 objects
51 lights
render memory 96.6 mb
39 surfaces
6 images
[no radiosity]
perspective camera set to 1920x1080pixels antalising 5

----------------------------------

quadcore q6600 2.40ghz
8 gig ram
windows vista 64 ultimate
4 threads
render time 70.6 seconds

-----------------------------------

acer laptop intel core2 duo t7300 2ghz
2 gig ram
win vista home premium
2 threads
render time>123.4 seconds
[repeated 3 times and all were within a .2 of a second]

-----------------------------------

hp tablet pc amd turion 64x2 tl-60 2ghz
2 gig ram
windows vista home premium
2 threads
render time> 142 seconds

-----------------------------------

samsung netbook intel atom 1.6ghz
1 gig ram
windows xp
2 threads
rendertime silent mode> [no fan] > 1086 seconds
rendertime normal mode> 537 seconds
rendertime fast mode> 529 seconds


here's the weird bit....
if you set the quadcore to just 2 threads it renders out in 130.7 seconds...saving 10 seconds or so....
so my latest test is to launch lw twice and renderout with 2 duplicate scenes both set to 2 threads!

okay they both knock out frames at around 128 seconds now they're moving thru frames...so a bit quicker than 1 lightwave set to 4 threads...

AbnRanger
05-28-2009, 08:07 PM
Well, I normally hold out as long as I can to upgrade my system...and things were going fine with my old first generation dual core system, but now that my clients are wanting A: More animation and B: in 1080 res (or higher) things are feeling a little too slow even for me...and esp. for them!

So would a new quad core really make a big difference? I'm guessing it would, since even my wife's macbook duo core is about as fast as my older (but faster clocked) P820!

I'm not running out of RAM during renders- and I'm doing REAL basic renders at times...but the clients, they want it NOW and don't get how I can show them an OpenGL preview in seconds...but that a render takes a bit longer...even with simple shaders and lighting...

I don't have all the money in the world, and I looked around and saw the Phenom II Quads on newegg were what looked to be a good deal. Any snags with them that would/should make me pay more for the intel flavor again?

Thanks!
GideonYeah, the Phenom II's are a really good deal for the money and when you buy the black edition, you have a LOT more headroom for overclocking...which I would highly suggest. The performance level when you push a 2.8-3.0 GHZ to 3.4-3.6 is pretty significant. You just want to make sure that you have a really good CPU cooler and plenty of case ventilation, if you're going to do any overclocking. If you buy a pre-built system like a Dell, you will not be able to overclock at all. They have a special oem bios that doesn't allow it.
The Intel I7's are nice, but still quite pricey. The Phenom II's are the best route if you want the most bang for your buck. Getting pretty good reviews along those lines.

Tranimatronic
05-29-2009, 08:54 AM
this MAY turn out to be hype only, but the Intel I7 chip has a new kind of memory architecture. Triple channel memory, on paper at least, should help with render times. Dell has them for $1200 I beleive. For the price difference id go with that.

Im in the same boat - my computer is positively stone aged, but im waiting for a job that warrants me spend the cash - only problem is that I have another 20 uses for $1200 right now....

As for the anxious client - if they really need it fast, get a quote from a render farm & see if they are willing to pay the difference . Its alot less hassle and cheaper than you think (sometimes)

Lightwolf
05-29-2009, 09:20 AM
Triple channel memory, on paper at least, should help with render times.
It doesn't make a lot of difference even for memory intensive apps (and 3D rendering doesn't shuffle that much memory).
5% (10% max.) compared to a dual channel set-up.

Cheers,
Mike

Andyjaggy
05-29-2009, 09:44 AM
Well if I were you I would find a cheap I7 system. It's really the best bang for the buck at the moment and it will be future proof for some time. It might cost you a bit more but would pay for itself IMO.

geothefaust
05-29-2009, 01:50 PM
Hey, I've been looking at getting a Phenom II (since I was smart and chose a mobo that I could easily upgrade my CPU! Wew) and it looks like the Phenom II easily wins in the price versus performance area compared to many other CPUs. The i7 prices are still too high for my likeness.

wacom
05-29-2009, 02:55 PM
RAM speed is somewhat important AFAIK, but like Lightwolf said- it depends on how much you're moving through it really as if it's a bottle neck or not.

Maybe this would be a bigger deal for scenes with quite a bit of displacement or extra large meshes depending on how you have it setup...but in all honestly my paying work rarely goes into that territory if at all. Often my texture resolution and bit depth isn't even anything crazy by todays standards.

The amount of sampling with AA and render size seem to be the biggest things- and those cut across almost any type of scene...but don't seem so memory related/intensive...

Everyone seems to be talking OC the system in other forums too...but I don't think I'd do that much given that stability is my first priority. Like I said else where- if the render fails over night then the upgrade is pointless right?

What about Larabee (sp?) is that more of a games thing or will it improve standard 3D at all? My theory is not at first- since I doubt most software render engines are going to tailor to such an "exotic" new standard right away...

I'm glad to hear your system is upgradable Geothefaust- that seems to be a big attraction with the AMD chips and MB- you don't have to ditch everything to upgrade...

The i7 processors are not much more money- but as stated the MB selection seems limited...and pricey! I think more RAM and a better quality power supply might be money better spent?

calilifestyle
05-29-2009, 04:53 PM
not to jump OT, but how many of you are using Netbooks under 399 and using lLW3d or any other 3d app. Oh and which one.

cresshead
05-29-2009, 06:12 PM
not to jump OT, but how many of you are using Netbooks under 399 and using lLW3d or any other 3d app. Oh and which one.

i have a samsung netbook as you can see above in my render tests i have lightwave 9.6 installed on it just for helping out with rendering mainly, i'l also throw 3dsmax on it at some point [old version maybe max 9.0] just to help on renders and to also have a mobile 3d platform i can take anywhere.

my netbook was used for training videos whilst i was commuting to and from work last year, learning zbrush, maya and 3dsmax from digital tutors training videos.

i also take it round when visiting friends to have the net on hand next to my cuppa tea!

re using ligtwave on a netbook it's certainly doable though you need a mouse and not the trackpad as i've never been productive with a trackpad with apps..browsing the net is okay but creating needs a mouse or a wacom pen/tablet.

i used to have a msi wind but found it unreliable so took it back and upgraded to the samsung

AbnRanger
05-29-2009, 07:19 PM
RAM speed is somewhat important AFAIK, but like Lightwolf said- it depends on how much you're moving through it really as if it's a bottle neck or not.

Maybe this would be a bigger deal for scenes with quite a bit of displacement or extra large meshes depending on how you have it setup...but in all honestly my paying work rarely goes into that territory if at all. Often my texture resolution and bit depth isn't even anything crazy by todays standards.

The amount of sampling with AA and render size seem to be the biggest things- and those cut across almost any type of scene...but don't seem so memory related/intensive...

Everyone seems to be talking OC the system in other forums too...but I don't think I'd do that much given that stability is my first priority. Like I said else where- if the render fails over night then the upgrade is pointless right?

What about Larabee (sp?) is that more of a games thing or will it improve standard 3D at all? My theory is not at first- since I doubt most software render engines are going to tailor to such an "exotic" new standard right away...

I'm glad to hear your system is upgradable Geothefaust- that seems to be a big attraction with the AMD chips and MB- you don't have to ditch everything to upgrade...

The i7 processors are not much more money- but as stated the MB selection seems limited...and pricey! I think more RAM and a better quality power supply might be money better spent?These CPU's (Intel quadcores and AMD Phenom II's) have a LOT of headroom for overclocking, and there are no worries about system stability once you find a comfortable spot below the stability threshold, and once again, if you have a good CPU fan after market cooler (Zalman is always a good choice) and good airflow in your case (120mm fans are the best for low noise and high airflow)...fresh air in from the front and exhaust out the back.
You can google search for OC'ing the particular model of CPU you have and get plenty of articles showing good OC thresholds to stay under for stability reasons. An overclocked Phenom II will smoke a pre-built system with an I7. Why? Cause you generally cannot overclock a system off the shelf. Their bios' prevent you from tweaking the settings.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p7HB9OMJSs&feature=PlayList&p=122DF68B8A020174&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=14

JonW
05-31-2009, 10:00 PM
i7s are very quick. Radiosity on my 940 @ 3.5Ghz is about 30 to 50% quicker than my E5450 V8 for architectural renders. A 920 will give you a lot number crunching.

http://www.3dspeedmachine.com/?page=3&scene=39