LintonBuilders

Processor recommendations: i5 or i7?

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Hi all,

 

I'm building a new work PC for my boss. He's currently using CA x4 on an AMD Phenom II X4 945 processor with an ATI Radeon HD 5450 graphics card - it's quite dated. He wants to finally upgrade to x8, and upgrade his PC as well.

 

So far I've decided on an nVidia GTX 950 for him (though I might wait to see what nVidia's 1000 series will bring here in the coming weeks). But I'm torn with processors. I've picked an i5 4460 so far, but I would like some information about this program first before I decide.

 

So here's my question for you folks: Does Chief Architect take advantage of hyperthreading? Because that's the only reason to upgrade to an i7. If it will provide a significant boost in performance, I will recommend the i7 to him. If not, I'll just stick with this i5. I know CA recommends more cores but I would like some personal anecdotes from the community.

 

Thanks.

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Yes hyperthreading is supported. You will get 2 threads per core so if you have a 4 physical core chip you will get 8 logical cores. Will make a big difference when muli-tasking and Raytracing.

 

Graham

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I would go with the i7 for running Chief

 

also CA says the more cores the better

 

Lew

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The general rule for buying computer hardware remains the same. Buy as much hardware as you can afford. The fastest processor, the fastest Graphics card will without a doubt pay dividends in speed with Chief Architect. With that said what do you hope accomplish with Chief? Occasional small models? Small business? Large models? Large business?

 

No matter what your business model the processor is generally not something that is easy to swap out (not hard, but not ideal) but the graphics card and memory can be changed out a bit easier so if you have definite budget concerns buy the fastest i7 you can afford as they generally have more cores than an i5 and maybe a lesser Graphics card and memory that you can upgrade later.

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i7 for me too

Hey Perry, Maybe hold off on your new computer as NVidia just announced some new Graphics cards.

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I have a quite old GTX285 (the only update available for my Mac Pro) and it is just fine.  I would only go with the latest and greatest graphics card if I was into gaming as it is needed to maintain high frame rates which Chief doesn't need.

Alan

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CA has stated many times that getting a "gaming" video card is best for Chief

 

study the specs for gaming rigs and go with something similar

 

Lew

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I have a quite old GTX285 (the only update available for my Mac Pro) and it is just fine.  I would only go with the latest and greatest graphics card if I was into gaming as it is needed to maintain high frame rates which Chief doesn't need.

Alan

Only partly true Alan. Chief certainly doesn't need a fast graphics card as you can attest, but a Chief user might, as a very fast graphics card pays off huge benefits in speed when the models get very large/complex. My 780 performs great until the model gets really large and complex then it sweats a bit with shadows etc. I want a very fast gaming card even though I don't play games.

 

You're free to choose the video card that works for you but it may not be the best advice for others who may need more power from their graphics card as Chief models get larger in size.

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Hey Perry, Maybe hold off on your new computer as NVidia just announced some new Graphics cards.

Too late, already bought it. Yes the new GTX 1080 looks very nice, and not to expensive. It out performs the titan by far.  Maybe a future upgrade. I'm getting the GTX 980ti, i7 5960x, 8 cores 32gb ddr4. Alienware need to build it, I'll get it by the end of the month, then 3 days of transfer and re-install everything.

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  • Are there any gains to a dual-Xenon CPU setup vs. say a single 8 core i7 for ray tracing performance?  Or is it all about the total core count?

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In my personal opinion without a test done with 2 different processor setups on a single model with all materials, resolutions etc. exactly the same it's impossible to guess where the RayTrace advantage line gets drawn.

 

Will a super fast overclocked 8 core i7, beat 2 fairly slow 6 core (24 effective core) Xeons in a RayTrace test? So hard to know.

 

I have 2 Xeons, only because the builder had 2 used, low power and inexpensive Xeon chips laying around and I told him what I wanted (which was RayTrace speed) when he ran tests they moved more gig-flops (or some other mysterious computer measure) than the fastest i7 available at the time. They're still pretty darn fast and hard to match with an i7 unless you buy the most expensive one out there and overclock it, but it's doable today.

 

For me if I could exceed the dual Xeon's performance with a single i7 by enough to justify a new rig, I'd do it (and will when the performance numbers work) because the dual CPU system is a bit of a pain. HUGE case, very complex boot process that doesn't always complete, dual coolers, dual everything and when I bought my system there was only one mother board that would overclock the Xeons which made these slower Xeons come alive.

 

Not really answering your question but I don't think there's a simple yes or no answer to which set up is faster for RT's.

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