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jedijrmax
11-23-2003, 03:59 PM
Hey Guys,

I've tried to look around here for an answer already posted, but can't seem to find much of anything.

I know you all have spoken about processors before in a specific sense like ___ vs ____ and what is faster, but I'm building a new computer and am unsure what type of processor would be best to have.

I have heard that Xeon processors are good for 3d animation and working in Maya.....but at the same time......what about the new athlon64.......those aren't made for workstation stuff, are they?

But then how would the type of those two compare to a HT high speed Pentium 4.......... I don't want to get an athlon64 for example, only to find out that a xeon running at the same speed is inherently better running what I run.....


Any experience? Any advice?

t-man152
11-23-2003, 04:14 PM
depends on your budget. the athlon 64 are for servers and workstation, the athlon 64 FX 51 is for gaming and regular computing. compared to the xeons there is no contest a dual athlon 64 next to a dual xeon system the athlon will get higher benchmarks. now of course it comes down to cost the athlon 64 series is extremely expensive. I think they start at around $600 but the good thing is they are both 32 and 64 bit chips so they are better than 32 bit cchips and when the programs you use come out for 64 bit youll be ready.

Novakog
11-23-2003, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by t-man152
a dual athlon 64 next to a dual xeon system the athlon will get higher benchmarks

You must mean dual Opteron, there's no such thing as a dual athlon 64...

onscreen
11-25-2003, 03:20 AM
Athlon 64 is uni processor...
Ok i would suggest you go for Pentium Xeon... I have seen such machine running as renderwall in my former college and it idditn not crash!! But there is 2 machine running Athlon XP, oh well bad luck for them, it got overheated after finishing the live shot rendering.. ouch./

rocarpen
11-25-2003, 08:52 AM
Grab a pair of Xeons (with the 533 FSB) and one of Asus' new PC-DL-DX motherboards, and you're laughing. Just make sure your power supply is EPS12V (the mobo requires it), and that your RAM isn't Registered (the Intel 875P based mobo won't allow it) and you're off! The PC-DL-DX is a phenomenal deal for the price, with the only limitations I know of being only two SATA ports, and a lack of PCI-X. There's also word that it's a tough board to overclock with. In every other sense though, it seems to kick ass!

For the rundown, check out this over 30 page thread dedicated to the mobo at 2cpu.com:

http://forums.2cpu.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=40755

Best of luck!

Thalaxis
11-25-2003, 04:36 PM
You might want to look for Mark Wilkin's threads on Maya
performance; it seems that Maya likes the Opteron (and Athlon,
for that matter) better than the Xeon.

jedijrmax
11-25-2003, 05:48 PM
Thank you all for you feedback and comments.



I still am a little confused with what to do, but everything has helped. I just wanted to fix up a few things and summarize the little research I've done and maybe take a new look at it.


I did mean the Opteron 64, not the athlon64.


It seems to be a question of running

A pair of 3.06g Xeons (with the 533FSB) with the Asus PC-DL-DX motherboard and having to use PC2700 memory.

VS

A single Athlon64 Processor with the Asus K8V Deluxe with support of PC3200 memory.


How would I know what runs better with Maya?

I have dual athlon 2100+ MP's right now and I'm really not too thrilled with them. They work well, but having the double really don't do much at all.....although it does slightly help out when rendering. However the difference is not too noticable and put of me thinks that I was just better off getting a single, Xeon 3.06 processor and have it do just as well..... I'm not sure.

But then at the same time.....Xeons come at faster speeds than the Opterons do......no?

Sigh...i'm still so confused.

Thalaxis
11-25-2003, 06:52 PM
Originally posted by jedijrmax

I did mean the Opteron 64, not the athlon64.


Well, if you're looking at a dual, you want an Opteron 24x (though
I imagine that they'll hit 250 before long :)).


A pair of 3.06g Xeons (with the 533FSB) with the Asus PC-DL-DX motherboard and having to use PC2700 memory.

VS

A single Athlon64 Processor with the Asus K8V Deluxe with support of PC3200 memory.


That's a tough choice... though the fact that you're comparing a
dual to single, I'd have to recommend the dual, either way.


How would I know what runs better with Maya?


There's no reason to expect any problems with either the Opteron
or the Xeon, so that's not the issue. It's just a matter of finding
the optimal bang/buck ratio, and in general Maya seems to be
faster on Opteron than on P4.

But that doesn't mean that the P4's are slow in running Maya, by
any means.


I have dual athlon 2100+ MP's right now and I'm really not too thrilled with them. They work well, but having the double really don't do much at all.....although it does slightly help out when rendering. However the difference is not too noticable and put of me thinks that I was just better off getting a single, Xeon 3.06 processor and have it do just as well..... I'm not sure.


Well, that is a fairly old processor, and other than rendering Maya
is largely single-threaded.

If cost were no object, I'd recommend a dual Opteron 248, or to
save a bit of cash 246. If you're on a budget, the Xeon is a good
option, 2nd only to a new AthlonMP.


But then at the same time.....Xeons come at faster speeds than the Opterons do......no?


In a manner of speaking, yes. The problem is that since the two
architectures are so different, any comparison is hard to make,
and between the two clock speed isn't particularly relevant. It's
only relevant between two different models of the same
processor, like a 3.06 vs 2.8 GHz Xeon.

The model number associated with the Athlon64 is a good point
for comparison (i.e. the Athlon64 3200 is comparable to a 3.2 GHz
P4), but there the comparison ends, since the AthlonFX and
Opteron don't use it. The AthlonFX 51 is comparable to the P4EE,
and the Opteron 248 is comparable to the P4 Xeon 3.2 GHz.

Note that I'm just indicating where they fall relative to each other
in the market here, not trying to say which is better at a given
price point.

If you want an oversimplification, then for rendering, the dual
Xeon option is the better option (because of the 2nd proc), but
for viewport performance, the AthlonFX is probably the better
option.

I hope it's a bit less confusing now. :/

MadMax
11-25-2003, 10:06 PM
Originally posted by jedijrmax

But then at the same time.....Xeons come at faster speeds than the Opterons do......no?

Sigh...i'm still so confused.


Xeons come at a higher clock rae, but they have a lower IPC than Opteron. (Instructions Per Cycle)

If you want a fast dual system, get Opteron. Maya performs much better on the AMD platform than it does on Intel.

If you want the top speed for a single sysem, the Athlon64 FX.

MimikOctopus
11-25-2003, 10:58 PM
I got a dual opteron system and can't say anything bad about it other than they are really hot processors. I have 7 cooling fans and thermal grease on the processors and HUGE heatsinks and they run @ 60.8c idle, but during long renders and heavy loads they seem to peak at 62 so I'm still safe. If you go Opteron make sure you get a good case with plenty of fans, I have a thermaltake xaser III (blue) and its the coolest case on the market IMO. the dayglo logo rules. get something aluminum too as the opterons take a monster board in dual configs (you can get opteron 1 series, 142,146,148 etc in single configs, the biggest difference between them and the fx51 is 3 hypertransports in the opteron to the 1 in the fx), and my computer is HEAVY as hell..... they good stuff and the stability I've experienced is 100% never crashed locked up or anything and it runs 24/7

MadMax
11-25-2003, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by MimikOctopus
I got a dual opteron system and can't say anything bad about it other than they are really hot processors. I have 7 cooling fans and thermal grease on the processors and HUGE heatsinks and they run @ 60.8c idle, but during long renders and heavy loads they seem to peak at 62 so I'm still safe.


If you are running that hot you have a problem. Opterons are not hot processors at all. In fact they run substantially cooler than the XP's do.

Emmortal1
11-25-2003, 11:09 PM
Ya, I'd definitely check the contact of the CPU to the heatsinks and make sure that thermal grease is doing it's job. Also check your CPU fans to make sure they are spining at the proper rate.

Emmortal

jedijrmax
11-26-2003, 02:54 AM
lol, ok. wow.. this keeps yielding so many replies.. really awesome.


Now.....In terms of the Athlon64FX vs the Opteron...... the Opteron is definitely more expensive..... but are you guys saying that if I get a single process that the 64fx is the way to go? and if I decide dual than I should opt for the opteron? And....why is that? do they not make dual athlon64fx's?

MadMax
11-26-2003, 04:40 AM
Originally posted by jedijrmax
Now.....In terms of the Athlon64FX vs the Opteron...... the Opteron is definitely more expensive..... but are you guys saying that if I get a single process that the 64fx is the way to go? and if I decide dual than I should opt for the opteron? And....why is that? do they not make dual athlon64fx's?

The Athlon64 FX is basically asn Opteron that is SMP disabled and has 1 HT link only.

Opteron has 3 HT links.

And yes, if you want a single, get FX, if you want a dual go Opteron.

For some reason Maya scores favor AMD. Not sure why, but rendertimes don't lie.

MimikOctopus
11-26-2003, 09:38 AM
You could also get a single processor Opteron. The Opteron 1 series is the same as the 2 and 8 series its just setup for single configurations.

elvis
11-26-2003, 11:38 AM
i'm not a maya user, so most of what i'm about to write is based on what i read around the web, reviews, and general feedback from other maya users. please don't take it as gospel:

maya seems to prefer a strong FPU over high clockspeeds and features liek SSE2. it's well known that lightwave and 3dsmax have SSE2 optimisations, which make them much speedier on intel P4 and Xeon hardware.

as such on equally priced AMD and intel systems, Maya will tend to pull ahead on the AMD hardware.

the posts above all seem to point to the same information.

as such, dual AMD is probably the best recommendation. as others have mentioned, Dual opteron is a good choice, but quite expensive. dual athlonMP systems can still be found about the place, but are probably getting toward the end of their product cycle based on the fact that they are still limited to 266MHz FSB (while the newest barton core AthlonXP chips have made it to 400MHz FSB). still, the price of a dual A-MP system is far more attractive than dual opteron, but as with everything prices will drop.

AMD are planning some new revisions of their chips february, and that is when i am planning my next major upgrade. pre-christmas is never a good time to buy as prices are typically held up for the christmas rush, and drop sharply soon after (moreso than any other time of year).

MadMax
11-26-2003, 05:09 PM
Originally posted by elvis
maya seems to prefer a strong FPU over high clockspeeds and features liek SSE2. it's well known that lightwave and 3dsmax have SSE2 optimisations, which make them much speedier on intel P4 and Xeon hardware.


That is past tense though as Opteron and FX have SSE2 so the P4's and Xeons no longer have the edge they did. I don't know about Max since I don't use it, but Lightwave scores have already shown that the FX and Opteorn chips are dead heat ties with Intel's best.

Thalaxis
11-26-2003, 05:38 PM
Originally posted by MadMax

For some reason Maya scores favor AMD. Not sure why, but rendertimes don't lie.


My guess on that is simply that Maya doesn't have P4-specific
optimizations. It hails from the MIPS platform, and the K7/K8 are
both more similar to the RISC platforms than the P4 is.

Not that it would change anything if that guess is wrong, though.

Now let's see what happens when the Pathworks and PGI and
MS AMD64 optimizing compilers start hitting the streets... that
ought to be good times for anyone with a K8 of any flavor.

jedijrmax:
Technically AMD DOES make a dual-capable AthlonFX... all of
the K8 processors use the same core, and have the 3 HT ports
needed to enable AMD's method of SMP. The reason that the
AthlonFX does not function in a dual configuration is purely
business related, as it allows them to charge a premium for that
capability, which translates to higher revenues for AMD.

ristopuukko
11-26-2003, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by elvis
...dual athlonMP systems can still be found about the place, but are probably getting toward the end of their product cycle based on the fact that they are still limited to 266MHz FSB (while the newest barton core AthlonXP chips have made it to 400MHz FSB). still, the price of a dual A-MP system is far more attractive than dual opteron, but as with everything prices will drop.


A bit of testimony here :

I've recently upgraded from Athlon XP 2600+ 333 fsb to
dual Athlon MP 2800+ 266 fsb and yes, the render times
are much better

still I'm a bit disappointed considering the overall performance
when using Maya, so if you can afford it,
go with 64 bit AMD

my two cents

/risto

elvis
11-27-2003, 01:44 AM
Originally posted by MadMax
That is past tense though as Opteron and FX have SSE2 so the P4's and Xeons no longer have the edge they did. I don't know about Max since I don't use it, but Lightwave scores have already shown that the FX and Opteorn chips are dead heat ties with Intel's best.

yes, that is true also. pre the opteron launch there was much online bickering about the opteron's SSE2 implementation, and how it was vastly inferior to intel's. since the opteron launch i've heard nothing of it, so I assume it was all BS, and opteron SSE2 works just dandy.

i have yet to get my hands on A64/opteron hardware and do some serious benchmarking in real-world applications. hopefully early next year we'll have a few in the office, although it's unlikely with this year's budget cuts.

Novakog
11-28-2003, 08:30 AM
Originally posted by Thalaxis

Technically AMD DOES make a dual-capable AthlonFX... all of
the K8 processors use the same core, and have the 3 HT ports
needed to enable AMD's method of SMP. The reason that the
AthlonFX does not function in a dual configuration is purely
business related, as it allows them to charge a premium for that
capability, which translates to higher revenues for AMD.

Wait, what? I was under the impression that AthlonFXs couldn't run in dual mode because they don't have enough HT ports. I recall reading that somewhere... could be wrong though.

Thalaxis
11-28-2003, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by elvis
yes, that is true also. pre the opteron launch there was much online bickering about the opteron's SSE2 implementation, and how it was vastly inferior to intel's. since the opteron launch i've heard nothing of it, so I assume it was all BS, and opteron SSE2 works just dandy.


When AMD launched the first iterations (1.4-1.8 GHz), there were
some SSE2 issues that adversely affected performance. Their
optimization guides explained some of the changes; by the time
they released the Athlon64 and AthlonFX and Opteron 246, they
were up to revision C, which addressed those issues, which were
apparently just instruction timing issues, since they worked, just
not as quickly as they should have.

Thalaxis
11-28-2003, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by Novakog
Wait, what? I was under the impression that AthlonFXs couldn't run in dual mode because they don't have enough HT ports. I recall reading that somewhere... could be wrong though.

That's partially true; the thing is that the core is the same, so the
necessary port is there, just not connected to the outside
world. The CPU will also not generate an ID that allows it to co-
exist with a 2nd CPU, which means that even if the 3rd port were
connected, it still wouldn't work.

Right now, AMD is using the same die for their entire line of 64-bit
processors. I don't think they plan to do that in the long term, but
for now it's all the same die. If they didn't ensure that the AFX
would not work in SMP configs, they'd lose a lot of revenue that
they are now generating via Operon 2xx sales.

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