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View Full Version : Need Help With My Workstation Build (cad, 3d Modeling/cpu-gpu Rendering)


oncecno
07-12-2012, 09:22 AM
Hello everyone.
I need urgent help with the new workstation I'm building (will be buying everything in the next 2 days). I've posted similar threads about it in other forums but I'd like to hear different opinions. I already have 2 prospects. I'll leave both build specs at the end. My budget can't go over $4,000 dlls.
I'll be using it mainly for 3D modeling and rendering, CAD/BIM software, image and video editing and audio recording (in order of importance). I will be working with 3ds max 2012 (maybe 2013, don't know when I'll upgrade), AutoCAD Architecture 2012, Revit, Adobe Creative Suite CS5 and several audio recording softwares.
The main difference between both builds is the CPU (and with it, the motherboard as well), one being intel core i7 3930k (Asus Rampage IV Extreme) and the other one dual Xeon E5-2630 (EVGA Classified SR-X 270). Now, as I said, my budget can't exceed $4,000 dlls so I had to make some sacrifices in order to be able to buy the dual Xeon build. This sacrifices consist of one ASUS IPS 23" 3D LED monitor, 3D connexion Space Navigator mouse, Lite-ON blu-ray burner, 128 GB SSD instead of 256GB, Firewire 400/800 Combo PCIe card, Bronze certified PSU instead of Gold, and some other insignificant extras. I hope to see some pros and cons between each build taking in consideration every aspect of them, and if there is any suggested change, anything not yet listed or an entirely different build suggestion I'm more than happy to read about it.
Anyways, thanks in advanced to everyone. Hope this thread is interesting enough...

I leave you with the specs now:

BUILD A

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73930K

CPU Cooler: CORSAIR H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler / Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM / Arctic Silver ACN-60ML (2-PC-SET) Thermal material Remover & Surface Purifier - OEM

MoBo: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (8 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9Q2-32GBZL

Graphic Card: PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Workstation Video Card

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

SSD: Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Optical Drive: LITE-ON Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback SATA iHBS212-08 LightScribe Support

PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX1200 (CMPSU-1200AX) 1200W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Certified 80 PLUS GOLD Certified

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Monitor: ASUS VG Series VG23AH Black 23" 5ms HDMI Widescreen 3D LED Monitor 250 cd/m2 ASCR 80,000,000:1, IPS Panel, Height & Swivel ...
Monitor2: Dell UltraSharp U2412M Black 24" 8ms LED Backlight Widescreen LCD IPS Panel Monitor

Input: 3Dconnexion 3DX-700028 Silver/Black 2 Buttons USB Optical SpaceNavigator SE

Firewire: VANTEC 2+1 FireWire 800/400 PCIe Combo Host Card Model UGT-FW210

extras:
- Startech M3013 24x26in Beige Desktop Anti-Static Mat
- Rosewill RTK-045 45 Piece Premium Computer Tool Kit
- 2x EVERCOOL SB-F1 PCI Slot Case Cooler


BUILD B

CPU: 2x Intel Xeon E5-2630 Sandy Bridge-EP 2.3GHz (2.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 2011 95W Six-Core Server Processor BX80621E52630

CPU 2xZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-B 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler Blue LED / Arctic Silver ACN-60ML (2-PC-SET) Thermal material Remover & Surface Purifier - OEM

MoBo: EVGA Classified SR-X 270-SE-W888-KR LGA 2011 Intel C606 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HPTX Intel Motherboard

RAM: G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-1333C9Q-32GAO

Graphic Card: PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Workstation Video Card

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

SSD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

PSU: KINGWIN Lazer LZ-1000 1000W Modular 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC W/ 3-Way LED Switch and Universal Modular Connector

Case: Rosewill BLACKHAWK-ULTRA Gaming Super Tower Computer Case, support up to HPTX, come with Eight Fans,Top HDD docking

Monitor: ASUS VG Series VG23AH Black 23" 5ms HDMI Widescreen 3D LED Monitor 250 cd/m2 ASCR 80,000,000:1, IPS Panel, Height & Swivel ...
Monitor2: Dell UltraSharp U2412M Black 24" 8ms LED Backlight Widescreen LCD IPS Panel Monitor


Firewire: VANTEC 2+1 FireWire 800/400 PCIe Combo Host Card Model UGT-FW210

extras:
-Rosewill RTK-045 45 Piece Premium Computer Tool Kit



Again, thanks to everyone :)

sentry66
07-12-2012, 03:26 PM
I'd get the dual xeon

However if you were to overclock the 3930k system to 4.5-4.6ghz, then I'd lean towards that

oncecno
07-12-2012, 03:52 PM
@sentry66
I am indeed leaning towards the same build. And yes, I'm going to o.c. it as far as I can without making it too risky. ;)

vlad
07-12-2012, 08:26 PM
About the Corsair liquid cooler, have a look at Noctua's NH D14. Offers about the same performance as the H100 for around the same price, but is much quieter and you dont have to stress over pump failures or leaks. It's huge though, so it doesnt fit all cases.

cgbeige
07-13-2012, 04:21 AM
ya my new build has that Noctua cooler and it's definitely huge. Lucky I bought low profile Vengeance RAM or else it would have hit the heatsink.

Incidentally, I'm reviewing some hardware and I can give you some results to inform your purchase:

Maya V-Ray sand scene - lower is better
Linux HP (2.4GHz E5): 42.6s
Win7 HP (2.4GHz E5): 35.s
Dell (2.4GHz E5): 36.9s
6-core 3930k over clocked to 4.2GHz: 54s

Cinebench R11.5 Render score - higher is better
HP win7 (2.4GHz E5): 19.42
Dell (2.4GHz E5): 20.67
6-core 3930k over clocked to 4.2GHz: 12 (ish) I'm recalling this from memory

realmISR
07-13-2012, 05:12 AM
^

Is it possible to add 2 noctuas on a mb (like the sr-x) ? Or would it not have enough space / bend the mb?

cgbeige
07-13-2012, 05:14 AM
do you mean for a Xeon dual socket? I doubt it. Maybe if you left off one of the fans but it's like 8" x 5" x 5" with the two fans and heatsink. Xeons are locked to their clock speed though so I don't think you need to worry about cooling as much as with an OC'ed gaming machine.

sentry66
07-13-2012, 05:17 AM
ya my new build has that Noctua cooler and it's definitely huge. Lucky I bought low profile Vengeance RAM or else it would have hit the heatsink.

Incidentally, I'm reviewing some hardware and I can give you some results to inform your purchase:

Maya V-Ray sand scene - lower is better
Linux HP (2.4GHz E5): 42.6s
Win7 HP (2.4GHz E5): 35.s
Dell (2.4GHz E5): 36.9s
6-core 3930k over clocked to 4.2GHz: 54s

Cinebench R11.5 Render score - higher is better
HP win7 (2.4GHz E5): 19.42
Dell (2.4GHz E5): 20.67
6-core 3930k over clocked to 4.2GHz: 12 (ish) I'm recalling this from memory

Those V-ray times on the 6-core 3930k are pretty decent considering the machine probably costs less than half as much as the 2.4ghz 16-core xeon.

4.2ghz IMO is even a little on the conservative side. With the noctua cooler and some decent fans, you can easily run it at 4.5-4.7ghz - especially for a strictly CPU rendering system where the video card isn't working hard as well.

I'm assuming it's running linux? If so, it'd probably be even faster with win7 then which is kinda odd, considering our other discussion about linux being faster. So if it was running win7 and clocked to 4.6ghz, it'd probably render the vray scene around 41-42 sec?

vlad
07-13-2012, 03:39 PM
ya my new build has that Noctua cooler and it's definitely huge. Lucky I bought low profile Vengeance RAM or else it would have hit the heatsink...

Actually, I have about 1mm clearance between the Noctua and the top of the Vengeance ram high profile heatsink (on a Asus P9X79 WS mobo). I have to admit though that I stupidly omitted to verify clearance issues with that monster heatsink before ordering all my parts. Should have gone for low profile ram, as those ram heatsinks are arguably pretty much useless anyway.

sentry66
07-13-2012, 05:01 PM
you can always remove the vengeance heatsinks with a hairdryer and a few minutes rubbing off the glue. You only need to do it to the ones closest to the CPU.

The Dominator ram heatfins screw off and still leave the majority of the heatsink on, but is short enough to clear the CPU heatsink, or just go with low profile ram to begin with

dmeyer
07-14-2012, 03:50 PM
^

Is it possible to add 2 noctuas on a mb (like the sr-x) ? Or would it not have enough space / bend the mb?

I fit 2 Megahalems on an SR-2 with tall Dominator RAM, in a Lian-Li PC90 case. Tight but workable. I already had the RAM, otherwise I would have gotten something shorter. Instead of removing the RAM heatsink I snipped off about a 1 cm wide strip of the bottom 2 fins of the Megahalem. Gave it just enough clearance to not touch. It looks ridiculous and heavy when mounting in the case. No problems though it's been rendering on the farm 24/7 for a year.

realmISR
07-14-2012, 05:19 PM
Would the best solution for the e5s be to cool it with h80s?

I'm not much of a handy man, so I definitely don't want to be worrying about snipping anything off anything.

I tried looking for nice lga2011 heatsinks but they all had mediocre reviews. I dont know which would work with dual xeons on a srx neither.

dmeyer
07-14-2012, 05:39 PM
Would the best solution for the e5s be to cool it with h80s?

I'm not much of a handy man, so I definitely don't want to be worrying about snipping anything off anything.

I tried looking for nice lga2011 heatsinks but they all had mediocre reviews. I dont know which would work with dual xeons on a srx neither.

Many of the popular LGA1366 heatsinks will fit with some additional mounting hardware. Both megahalem and noctua do. The heatsink market doesn't change that rapidly so often the reviews you read were done when the model came out. Then they just release some mounting hardware for the new socket but the reviews are never redone to mention LGA 2011 compatibility.

cgbeige
07-14-2012, 07:41 PM
I'm assuming it's running linux? If so, it'd probably be even faster with win7 then which is kinda odd, considering our other discussion about linux being faster. So if it was running win7 and clocked to 4.6ghz, it'd probably render the vray scene around 41-42 sec?

I didn't say Linux was faster - just most compiles of stuff are faster for Linux and OS X than they are for Windows. V-Ray is the exception but I'm not running Windows on my home-build. Without starting a flame-war, my reasons are mostly related to UNIX. I do a lot of shell scripting and can share my stuff between OS X and Linux with no added work or a minimum of tweaking. Windows doesn't integrate into my workflow well, mostly because of drive letters and different paths (\ vs /) with OS X and Linux, I can just make a symlink to a copy of my stock folder on the Linux machine and it will think it's on the Mac. Ditto for network shares they are transparent to Maya, which just sees the same absolute paths. I also just don't like Windows much and it's worse at multitasking than Linux/OS X, even with many-core machines. And ironically, stuff works better in Linux. I have an external eSATA enclosure that refuses to mount in Windows but it's fine in Linux and the V-Ray dongle crashes Windows 7 when on USB 3 ports but not in Linux. I have Win7 on a partition for occasional gaming but that's it. There are some things I've given up on in Linux - the official Radeon driver is crashy so I'm back to the Quadro 4000, which is fine. I mostly wanted the Radeon 7950 for games anyway since I don't use V-Ray RT's GPU mode (unstable and limited).

Anyway, I still use the Macs for my texturing and work modelling work. The Linux box is just for added rendering help. I'm way too efficient on OS X to just scrap all the huge benefits to my work: Spotlight metadata searching to find texture assets, Automator, etc. I'm sure most people would say the same thing about switching to OS X: whatever speed benefit a better graphics card driver would offer, I'd lose ten-fold in workflow efficiency. OS X is a dream for digital asset management and image workflows this kind of thing is easy to do: https://vimeo.com/44981878 . I like OS X a lot, but obviously it's not a winner when bang-for-buck render nodes come in. That's where the Linux slaves come in.

I might try increasing the clock speed of the 3930k but it's already hot as hell in here and I'm not pushing any crazy deadlines. I built the machine to gear up for some added work that's coming soonish. Liking the machine though the EFI config tool of the ASRock motherboards is pretty sweet compared to the BIOS utils of my old gaming rigs.

sentry66
07-14-2012, 09:53 PM
cgbeige, Mainly I was just cheering on the 3930k for decently holding it's own against the big expensive HP and Dell 16-core machine with only 6 cores at less than half the price.

I was commenting that if the machine was running windows, we could probably assume it would run Vray faster and even the times out more. IMO it's kinda funny how ironic that is given all the other scenarios that its the other way around. I didn't intend it as an attack on your professional knowledge and apologize if it came off that way.

I was just assuming your new machine was running linux since I've read many places that you were intending on running linux on it. I wasn't looking for a personal justification of why you run linux or OSX nor was I attempting to start a flame war.

cgbeige
07-14-2012, 10:14 PM
ah - ok. No worries. ya, it is kind of crazy how fast a 6-core machine can be. Overclocked to ~4.7GHz, it would match the 12-core Mac Pro 2.66GHz Westmere for Cinebench/V-Ray.

sentry66
07-14-2012, 10:56 PM
I agree about cinebench being roughly equal. My 4.7ghz 3930k scores 13.68 in CB, while I know you posted before your 12-core 2.66ghz mac scores 13.94.

I'm not sure the Vray times would be equal though.
How fast does your 12-core 2.66ghz mac render that same Vray scene?

I'm just asking because the Vray times clearly don't scale as perfectly well as cinebench scores do according to the numbers you posted earlier in this thread.

In Vray with linux the xeons are 26.7% faster than the 3930k at 4.2ghz
In cinebench with windows, the xeons have a 61.8% better score than the 3930k at 4.2ghz

This leads me to think a 4.7ghz 3930k would render Vray scenes faster than a 12-core 2.66ghz machine, while having roughly the same cinebench scores

cgbeige
07-15-2012, 05:38 PM
the Mac Pro does it in 59.9s so it's just a bit faster than the 3930k at 4.6GHz now, which gets 61.2s (in Linux)

sentry66
07-15-2012, 08:55 PM
why does it do it in 61.2 sec now at 4.6ghz when earlier in this thread you said it took 54sec at 4.2ghz?

What changed?

cgbeige
07-16-2012, 03:00 AM
ah - that must have been done in Windows, where V-Ray's a bit faster.

So I'm just checking my temps and things seem to be good from what I can tell. What's a good GPU/CPU temp safe/max temps under load?

sentry66
07-16-2012, 03:19 AM
ah, ok. So Vray looks like it is 24% faster in windows then when you factor in the ghz difference and render times. That's quite a huge speed gain over linux.


I like to stay around 73-75C on average for a normal 3D render. The occasional blip to 76-77C is ok.

cgbeige
07-16-2012, 03:31 AM
I might have had another process running an index or something to throw that off. I would trust this score more:

Linux HP (2.4GHz E5): 42.6s
Win7 HP (2.4GHz E5): 35.s

since it's the same hardware and I know there weren't any additional services running on either OS.

man, the dongle software/driver for V-Ray is crap in Windows. It loads no problem on the fly in Linux and OS X but it's like pulling teeth to get it to show up if it's not there on boot.

sentry66
07-16-2012, 03:40 AM
which time is bad?

54 sec @ 4.2ghz
or
61.2 sec @ 4.6ghz?

cgbeige
07-16-2012, 05:12 AM
here - I reran the V-Ray benchmark at 4.6GHz in Linux:

57.8s

So I'm guessing the shorter one is Windows at 4.2GHz, which gives it an advantage but not 25%. Maybe ~12%

sentry66
07-16-2012, 05:27 AM
ok, thanks

that's a nice comparison :)

cgbeige
07-16-2012, 09:28 PM
oops - it's 21%. That might be this scene though - it's a very complex procedural shader so maybe a more straightforward texture based workflow would be more on par.

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