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View Full Version : 8-core 2.26 or 4-core 2.66 Nehelem MP?



Johnny
06-19-2009, 06:47 PM
Sorry if this subject is getting tiresome..inching my way toward a purchase here, and wanted to get opinions on More Cores vs Higher Ghz and fewer cores...

I've read in a couple of spots that fewer cores at higher clock speeds perform better "on most routing apps" in the 2009 MP models. Specifically, they're saying a quad 2.66 spanks an8 8-core 2.26 Nehelem MP.

I wouldn't consider Lightwave or any 3D/video app to be "routine."

Are more cores better as they can be brought to bear down on a render job, or are fewer, faster cores better for 3D and video?

I don't know if it's just me, but I've never had this much trouble deciding *which* mac workstation is the best for me.

thank you!

J

Scazzino
06-19-2009, 07:20 PM
More cores are better for software that is multithreaded so that it can make use of all the cores. "Routine" software (word processing, email, etc.) that's not heavily multithreaded won't use the extra cores so fewer cores that are faster work best for such software.

3D and video apps are usually heavily multithreaded and typically will perform better for heavy number crunching with more cores, such as when rendering or compressing. More interactive areas, such as modeling, or editing may not benefit as much from the extra cores.

Basically if you spend a lot of time waiting for the computer to do heavy number crunching, like rendering or compressing, more cores that may be slower per core will be better. If you don't, then fewer cores that are faster are better since each app will probably only use one.

JonW
06-19-2009, 10:38 PM
Most software only uses 1 or 2 cores, even Modeler effectively uses 1 core. Photoshop is still in the dark ages & doesn’t use all cores.

Lightwave render engine uses up to 16 cores or 1000 via LWSN. On one computer on the whole it appears to use them efficiently. These new x55xx & i7 CPUs are very quick, due to new chip architecture. (with radiosity in particular my 940 @ 3.5Ghz (14 Ghz) is about 50% quicker than my E5450 V8 3.0 Ghz (24 Ghz), a x54xx is about 6% quicker than x55xx).

Since you are doing 3d you want to but as many Ghz per dollar & the Dual 2.26 is a lot cheaper the the 2.66 single CPU per Ghz.

Since you are doing video I would replace the hard drive with a Western Digital Velociraptor 300 gb or two, plus cheap HDs for storage.

Video is all about HDs so less cores at a higher speed is the go. So if you are only doing a small amount of 3d, probably 4 cores it the way to go, but get some more ram 3gb is crippling the computer.

http://macperformanceguide.com/Mac-HowToConfigureAMacPro.html

JonW
06-19-2009, 10:42 PM
Typo! a x54xx is about 6% quicker than x53xx (not x55xx)

toby
06-19-2009, 11:12 PM
Hey JonW, what do you think about an 8core 2.26 vs. the older 2.8, for rendering 3d? Price is similar if you factor in the extras you get with a newer system, so I can't decide -

JonW
06-20-2009, 01:03 AM
Firstly I am thinking of getting a new Mac, or adding a couple more 920s to the farm, but my old Mac is getting very very long in the tooth.

Secondly it would be very handy if a few people could post their Mac’s performance at http://3dspeedmachine.com/ , maybe everyone's at bit embarrass with their performance??? To put all your minds at ease my old Dual 533 1.5gb ram does the scene in 1:00:10 or in other word 37 x slower than my E5450 ! I tried to post it but Macs this old have more value as scrap metal!

Speed, I have just been doing some tests with AC & moving objects & like Scazzino said elsewhere, Spinning lights are the way to go. Any way back on topic, on plain renders of a recent architectural scene.
940 @ 3.54 Ghz 1042 sec
920 @ 3.11 Ghz 1176 sec
5450 3.0 Ghz 1011 sec
5335 2.0 Ghz 1603 sec

In theory a 2.26 Ghz V8 should render a scene in about 80% of the time of a E5450 V8 unless the Mac is nobbled & running on three legs!

All things been equal so to speak the 2.26 will be faster still. Radiosity on my 940 is a lot faster than the E5450, so if I need to bake the radiosity I do it on the 940.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2009/03/30/intel-xeon-w5580-nehalem-ep-review/9

Bit-Tech ran 3Dspeed on a W5580 V8. 66 seconds! so on a 2.26 it should render around 94 seconds. So a bit faster than E5450.

Some Mac tests please!




Spinning lights,
http://www.hesido.com/base.php?page=tutorials&sub=fakegi

toby
06-21-2009, 03:44 AM
Firstly I am thinking of getting a new Mac, or adding a couple more 920s to the farm, but my old Mac is getting very very long in the tooth.

Secondly it would be very handy if a few people could post their Macís performance at http://3dspeedmachine.com/ , maybe everyone's at bit embarrass with their performance??? To put all your minds at ease my old Dual 533 1.5gb ram does the scene in 1:00:10 or in other word 37 x slower than my E5450 ! I tried to post it but Macs this old have more value as scrap metal!

Speed, I have just been doing some tests with AC & moving objects & like Scazzino said elsewhere, Spinning lights are the way to go.
Oh me and spinning lights are very well aquainted. I think I did one lightwave commercial that didn't use them. I'm just a little frustrated that in 2009 the answer to "how do I use radiosity with characters" is still... "use something else".


Any way back on topic, on plain renders of a recent architectural scene.
940 @ 3.54 Ghz 1042 sec
920 @ 3.11 Ghz 1176 sec
5450 3.0 Ghz 1011 sec
5335 2.0 Ghz 1603 sec

In theory a 2.26 Ghz V8 should render a scene in about 80% of the time of a E5450 V8 unless the Mac is nobbled & running on three legs!
By E5450 I guess you mean the 2.8?


All things been equal so to speak the 2.26 will be faster still. Radiosity on my 940 is a lot faster than the E5450, so if I need to bake the radiosity I do it on the 940.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2009/03/30/intel-xeon-w5580-nehalem-ep-review/9

Bit-Tech ran 3Dspeed on a W5580 V8. 66 seconds! so on a 2.26 it should render around 94 seconds. So a bit faster than E5450.

Some Mac tests please!




Spinning lights,
http://www.hesido.com/base.php?page=tutorials&sub=fakegi
Blochi's plugin takes it to the next level:
http://www.hdrlabs.com/light*****/index.html
(replace **** with b,i,t,c,h)

JonW
06-21-2009, 07:33 PM
E5450 is the 3.0 Ghz CPU (80 watts) & the X5450 (120 watts)

I bought this box last year when the AU$ was on par with the US$, & bought it from a small computer shop. Heat is an issue for me, I also work in a small space so I’d rather have as many CPUs in one box at the lowest wattage possible. But like like everyone else, one needs to find a balance which also includes a budget, unfortunately! Over clocked i7s are the opposite of E5xxx V8 boxes, more space & more heat, but they are fast!

I don’t see Apple bringing out an i7 920, they would kill their very profitable X35xx & X55xx models. There is unfortunately a few too many trade offs here & there when one already has an x54xx (2.8 or 3.0 or so model). The 2.26 Ghz model is an improvement but underwhelming & for a worthwhile improvement one would need to look at the X5570 2.93 Ghz model (or W5580 3.2 Ghz, $$$ Aaaahhh!!! which Apple doesn’t use), but the price is a bit on the overwhelming side.

If one has work coming out of their ears then its worth getting a new box. If it is not so critical its possibly better to wait for the 6 core CPUs. But this may take a little longer until AMD pushes Intel a bit more. Intel would rather everyone buy a 4 core & then a six 6 core CPU. Intel is to some degree its own competition at the moment. They have had 6 cores for a year in the X7xxx series.

Hopefully with LW10 one will be able to do AC & or Baking across as many cores as one has. It can be done on 8 cores so I am sure it can be done on 1000 cores once the code has been written, Newtek will need to make us want to upgrade & part with our hard earned cash. Other than that I am reasonably happy with the speed for a single A3 300 dpi render on the boxes I have.

Anyway an E5520 2.26 Ghz V8 is Mac’s cheapest box of CPUs per GHz per $, & LW uses 8 cores (16 threads for x55xx V8s), this is probably the best compromise ($, GHz, space, upgrading) But! it will need more ram for when LW 64 bit Mac version is available, having 12 to 16 gb of ram in is becoming rather jaded these days.

OneShot
06-22-2009, 12:12 AM
I'll be able to post results shortly after the 4th of July. I, like you I'm upgrading to a new Mac. I'm still using a Dual 2.5 single core liquid cool PPC G5. W/2.5Gb of RAM. I've been saving for several years, for the right CPU's (Nehalem) and speed bumps (I hoping for faster then 3.2) I settle for the 8-core 2.93 unit.

3dworks
06-22-2009, 03:27 AM
i've posted my results on the site http://3dspeedmachine.com/ right now. tested with latest nehalem 8 core @ 2.66 with win xp x64 (lw 9.6 64 bit) and with mac OSX 10.5.7 leopard (lw 9.6 32 bit).

results: 1 min 14 sec on windows, 1 min 17 sec on osx.

later i will post benchmarks from my older intel 8 core machine - will be interesting to see how they compare. would be very interesting to see some G5 benchmarks as well, here! unfortunately, i sold my G5 last year...

btw. while the bench scenes are well done, the site is quite quirky to work with...

cheers

markus

JonW
06-22-2009, 04:43 AM
I want one!

W5580 3.2 Ghz 66 sec
X5550 2.66 Ghz 74 sec
So the,
X5520 2.26 Ghz should be somewhere between 79 & 87 sec


3dworks,
Good to see some Macs at last.

Would you know if you run your Mac with XP can you add these as extra ScreamerNet Nodes & without to many issues. If I can get a few extra nodes via a Mac without too many problems my decision on a new Mac or some 920s will be considerably easier to make.

OneShot
06-24-2009, 09:57 PM
The new Beast is here, the new beast is here..... I'll have the RAM and HD's by the 1st right now I'm doing or rather being done by D/L updating :D

Scazzino
06-24-2009, 10:38 PM
Would you know if you run your Mac with XP can you add these as extra ScreamerNet Nodes & without to many issues. If I can get a few extra nodes via a Mac without too many problems my decision on a new Mac or some 920s will be considerably easier to make.

If the Mac's booted into XP via bootcamp then it's just like any other PC as far as ScreamerNet is concerned.

JonW
06-24-2009, 11:04 PM
Thank you,
Scazzino
If it’s as simple as that, it will then be one of life’s smaller problems!



OneShot,
Checkout http://macperformanceguide.com/Mac-HowToConfigureAMacPro.html there seems to be a difference in ram size/location in relation to speed for Photoshop. It may just help with LW as well.

You will be blown away by the speed of these things (i7 & x55xx) especially with Radiosity.

Johnny
06-25-2009, 06:25 AM
my new beast is on its way as well...

I'm gonna see what life is like with the stock 6GB of RAM and think about bumping that in a few paydays..

as for internal hard drives, is some seagate 7200RPM model ppls' preferred choice?

and...is anyone here considering one of those intel solid-state drives I've been reading about? the reviews make it sound extremely fast and responsive...

J

Scazzino
06-25-2009, 10:07 AM
my new beast is on its way as well...

I'm gonna see what life is like with the stock 6GB of RAM and think about bumping that in a few paydays..

as for internal hard drives, is some seagate 7200RPM model ppls' preferred choice?

and...is anyone here considering one of those intel solid-state drives I've been reading about? the reviews make it sound extremely fast and responsive...

J

I get all my RAM (and sometimes hard drives as well) at OWC (MacSales.com (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Mac-Pro-Memory)). I just popped 8 more GB (2x4GB) in my 8-core (1st gen) for under $200. They have great prices and a lifetime warranty. I've returned sticks that went bad a few years after they were bought, and they were replaced with no questions asked!

BigHache
06-30-2009, 01:44 AM
The SSDs seem to still be in their infancy, so I can't say I'd recommend them for production just yet. Plus for their size to price ratio you'll spend a hunch of change to get a 30GB drive, which should allow you to nicely edit 2.5 hours of NTSC DV video and have render space.

For video production, yeah your world is hard drives, except for rendering. For speed the raptors would be great, getting a striped RAID setup would be great, and getting a raptor RAID setup would be awesome, but not really "necessary" for editing SD unless you were in an uncompressed environment.

toby
06-30-2009, 01:57 AM
If one has work coming out of their ears then its worth getting a new box. If it is not so critical its possibly better to wait for the 6 core CPUs. But this may take a little longer until AMD pushes Intel a bit more. Intel would rather everyone buy a 4 core & then a six 6 core CPU. Intel is to some degree its own competition at the moment. They have had 6 cores for a year in the X7xxx series.
Damn! That means I either plod along with this arse-dragging boat anchor for - an unknown amount of time, a year? Or I get an 8core only to have it marginalized a year later. grrrr!

OneShot
07-12-2009, 01:29 AM
i've posted my results on the site http://3dspeedmachine.com/ right now. tested with latest nehalem 8 core @ 2.66 with win xp x64 (lw 9.6 64 bit) and with mac OSX 10.5.7 leopard (lw 9.6 32 bit).

results: 1 min 14 sec on windows, 1 min 17 sec on osx.

later i will post benchmarks from my older intel 8 core machine - will be interesting to see how they compare. would be very interesting to see some G5 benchmarks as well, here! unfortunately, i sold my G5 last year...

btw. while the bench scenes are well done, the site is quite quirky to work with...

cheers

markus

Can't figure out how to post as of yet might be my firewall

My time in 3D SpeedMachine was 1m 13s :thumbsup:

So it took so long to post. I was trying to install Win XP. Now I see why brought a Mac

JonW
07-12-2009, 04:53 AM
I assume that you are using a pair of 2.66 Ghz for 1:13.


I was going to buy a new Mac V8. In the end to make a worthwhile speed bump on my E5450 V8, I would have had to buy the top of the range Mac.
In the end I bought a Mac Mini. Iíve put a new Seagate 320gb 7200.3 HD (AU$274 for HD & ram) in it & for Photoshop, small file at the moment, waiting for 4 gb of ram to turn up. its a great little computer.

I opened it with 4 butter knives, two on each side, You need to let it know who is the boss, & you will leave a few small marks in the join, but when its back together you will never see.

With the spare change not buying a Mac 2.93 V8, I have bought a PC W5580 V8 & it works out at AU$342 per Ghz per box. Super Micro X8DAL-3, 12G DDR 3 ECC Reg Ram, WD 300G Raptor & Seagate 1TB, 896mb Geforce GTX 260 oc version, Server Tower Case with Super Micro 865W, & a few other bit & pieces. It should be ready in a week from my supplier & I will post the timings.

OneShot
07-12-2009, 07:40 PM
Model Name: Mac Pro
Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Processor Speed: 2.93 GHz
Number Of Processors: 2
Total Number Of Cores: 8
Memory: 24GB
******************************************
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285:
VRAM (Total): 1024 MB
:ohmy:

JonW
07-12-2009, 10:01 PM
You could run a small country with that thing!


I went with a miserable 12gb ram with the new box as I found that I was only using up to about 8 to 10 gb on a scene with Layout running. So in other words a bit of a down grade from the E5450.

Via screamernet I can easily run two instances of Lightwave & still have enough ram.