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DaViper

Questions on PC CPUs/GPUs for number crunching i series? Xeon? AMD?

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I am going to have to build another computer and I realized with some basic tests that Chief taxes my current system even more than any of my other softwares do so I would like to find out if there are any benchmark tests or links available to determine the best bang for the buck in my new machine build?  I am still on the fence between the Intel i7 vs Xeon.  Seems about all you dig up online has to do with "gaming"....Something I could care less about. 

 

I know the Xeon class seem to be built for this type of work, and can have many more virtual cores, but when looking at certain tests and reports, some feel they are kind of a waste of cash vs the best i7.  I won't be taxing my system every day.  Many days are nothing more than emails and basic files.  I probably tax my system 3days/mo with some type of 3D work. 

 

Anyone here push their system with clocking and whatnot?  I typically run a little hotter settings but stable is most important.  I have an older Gigabyte MB with i7 950 and kinda need a little more from that one.  My newest build will have to be a ground up. 

 

 

I tried Ray Trace with my old machine and stopped the cycle after realizing it was going to take WAY too long. 

 

 

Also, from what I gather so far, it seems that typical renderings in 3D space are primarily just GPU heavy, correct? And Ray Trace is what pushes the CPU? 

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" it seems that typical renderings in 3D space are primarily just GPU heavy, correct? And Ray Trace is what pushes the CPU?"

 

Right. Chief's raytracer engine leans on the CPU. What you ask is a very tough question to answer, because at the end it's a personel choice. I can recommend you to check out the benchmark reports, it might be helpful to decide which processor is the most beneficial for your budget: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

Generally speaking, Xeon processors are for professional work and better than i3+i5 and i7 series. However, you will see that some of the i7 processors are performing better than a lot of Xeon processors.

 

 

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Yes, I could turn this whole convo into a comparison of the i7 and Xeon.  From what I recall, the Xeon is kind of designed to handle constant heavy crunching, while the i7 might be more like a lot of power for brief periods.  I was just reading that enabling all the virtual cores through hyperthreading may not really do much in terms of speed. 

 

I think what I will have to look at is if I need to back off of the absolute best CPU and focus more of the budget on the the GPU. 

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I think so. I'm using Xeon processors for years, and i'm extremely glad with them.

It's about the programs you use. If the only professional software that i use was Chief, then i would consider switching to i7 processors for my next system.

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You are correct concerning the intent of the Xeon class. They are designed for use in servers running flat out 24/7. You do want hyper threading, especially if you Raytrace. This effectively doubles the core count(physical vs logical) and it will be very impactful on speed. For your money, get as many cores (hyper threaded) as possible running at as high a frequency as possible. Intel's top I7's are the leaders, would only really consider a Xeon set-up if you want to run a dual processor set-up.

 

Graham

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Yeah, I am not 'that guy' that spends on the absolute latest and best since it will be outdated before it even arrives.  What had me interested in the Xeon is how many cores you can get with them.  up to 64 with hyperthreading IIRC.  However, I certainly won't write a check for $3K just for a processor, regardless.  Just have to find a spot where 'good enough' is OK for me. 

My machine only works demanding work so many hours/mo.  If I was running CA daily, I could see the investment, but it seems maybe the i7 is more for me.  how about AMD?  GPU or MB thoughts? 

 

What spawned all this fun was my theater build crashed after an overheat from dust.  Took months after the overheat to give problems but it was a MB failure and that one was the only ASRock MB we have used, and it failed.  Not sure if I can blame the MB or my error though.  Asus has always been solid for me.  We were going to rebuild that machine with another MB, only to realize the 775 socket and DDR3 was not common and had to rebuild it all. 

 

Somehow I have been limping along with my office machine with an OLD AMD Athalon 64 single core!  I multitask a lot I guess but it is time for an upgrade.  I could go to Walmart and grab the cheapest one I can find and still go faster than I have now.....But hey, this thing is solid as a ROCK!  Only one PSU, that is it. 

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I have been working with a couple of other users on this issue recently and preliminary testing with Chief Architect suggest that CPU clock speed is the most critical factor when working with large plan files in plan view and a good strong GPU will assist with this.  However there is no speed gain with multi core Xenon setups unless you are raytracing which they absolutely excel  at.

 

This question comes up quite a bit so if anyone would like to participate in a standardized test with X9 please let me know.

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1 hour ago, DaViper said:

I think what I will have to look at is if I need to back off of the absolute best CPU and focus more of the budget on the the GPU. 

I agree with Chop and would do just the opposite - focus as much budget as you can on the CPU.

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1 hour ago, portrait said:

It's about the programs you use...

This has ALWAYS been true and there's a lot of threads here concerning CPU GPU and Chief. It would worth it to do a search and see what you can learn.

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Agree with Larry on this. It's much easier to upgrade a graphics card than the CPU. Every program you use will always benefit from CPU performance, especially in a multi-tasking environment.

 

Graham

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I know with the machine we are building now, it is an htpc or home theater computer,it certainly has different requirements but it also needs enough beef that if the word ends, I can grab it and make do for a week in a pinch. 

 

I was all wound up about RAM only to realize the bottle neck was the HD.  It really needs an SSD, but we opted for slower/higher capacity drives because, well, that is what it is for.  Who cares that you can open a movie 5 seconds faster. 

 

 

One thing I have learned with PCs, its all relative.  Half of 5 seconds is 2.5 seconds.  Is that going to improve your bottom line?  Half of 30min?  Maybe.  Do you have something else to do in the mean time?  Well, for me, I would certainly say so!

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This is what Task manager looks like when Chief is in a maxed out situation and Not Responding before my only option is to do an "End Task" before it crashes my whole system.  I think I have a theory on what is happening and you only find out the truth when you push to the point of failure.  But if there is anyone out there that has and explanation an knows this stuff well please let us all know.  Oh and my GPU registers a 17 percent load at this point.

 

CA in Non responsive Mode.JPG

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1 hour ago, DaViper said:

One thing I have learned with PCs, its all relative.  Half of 5 seconds is 2.5 seconds.  Is that going to improve your bottom line?

The difference between 5 seconds and 2.5 seconds is HUGE when working on any project, at least in my world.

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17 minutes ago, HumbleChief said:

The difference between 5 seconds and 2.5 seconds is HUGE when working on any project, at least in my world.

 

Absolutely when you multiply that 2.5 by about 10,000 every day it is really huge.  And you also do not want to run into a situation where you can't finish a project like me.

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