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View Full Version : Major tech newb - Looking to speed up render times by upgrading processor


Peacer
08-10-2012, 05:19 PM
Hey everyone,

I've been in the industry professionally since 2008, and have worked on some cool stuff (couple films, some broadcast motion graphics, etc). Recently, I've decided to take on freelancing full time. While I currently have a pretty decent machine, I'm looking to speed up my renders as I do a lot of heavy 3D animation, primarily in Cinema 4D. Problem is, I really don't know much about upgrading PCs. I can install a graphics card or more RAM if I want, but I've never dealt with processors or anything like that. I'm not sure what to buy that's compatible with my current machine, and also what to buy in general (that's worth the money and will subtract significant time from my renders).

Here are my current specs (gathered from PC Wizard 2012):

Mainboard: Asus P6T
Chipset: Intel X58
Processor: Intel Core i7 940 @ 2.93 MHz
Physical Memory: 12288 KB (6 x 2048 DDR3-SDRAM)
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 285
OS: Windows Vista (64-bit)

I had it built through ibuypower.com about three years ago, and it's been left untouched ever since (it has, in fact, served me quite well over the years).

If more specs are needed, I'll definitely get on that. I appreciate any help or pointers, thanks everyone!

brianod
08-16-2012, 05:29 AM
That's a nice cpu. 4 processors, 8 threads, almost 3.0 ghz.

I don't see that changing the processor is going to give you a major speed boost.

Your socket seems to be a Type B Socket with 1366 land grid contacts. This socket has the fragile pins already on the motherboard cpu socket and the processor has flat contacts. This makes it relatively easy to pull it out without damaging it.

But the taking off of the cpu cooler can be tricky and the Socket B is pretty sensitive to pressure when putting a cooler back on. You will also have to clean off the dried up thermal paste and put some good stuff back on.

If I were you I might change the motherboard to AMD and put a 6 or 8 core processor in it. You would be able to save your ram (probably) and all your other components are pretty good.

I'm not anti-Intel but you can't get an 8 core processor from them for under $200. With AMD you can.

One down side is you will probably have to get a new Windows because your Vista is locked to your motherboard. But you should go to Windows 7 64 because it's basically Vista that works.

I'm assuming that your computer is basically a clone with a standard ATX mb.

sentry66
08-16-2012, 06:33 AM
The only thing you can buy that would be an upgrade would be one of the 6 core socket 1366 chips like the 970, 980, or 990

You could try overclocking - that's free
There's no reason you couldn't get the 940 up to at least 3.6ghz even with the stock intel cooler

imashination
08-16-2012, 08:02 AM
The first thing I would do is pump that up from 2.9GHz to about 3.8GHz. You can do this for free, it takes about 2-3 minutes to do and then maybe 30 minutes to check its stable.

Irakli
08-16-2012, 12:54 PM
I'd be careful with overclocking, because the rendering process requires precise calculations and overclocked CPU you might cause problems.

olson
08-16-2012, 02:37 PM
Mainboard: Asus P6T
Chipset: Intel X58
Processor: Intel Core i7 940 @ 2.93 MHz


Intel doesn't use the same platform for long. They no longer make processors for that socket. Faster processors are available but in my opinion you'd be better off to replace the motherboard and processor with modern components instead throwing money at old hardware as a stopgap.

Depending on the software being used and the type of projects maybe setting up a render node could be a way to improve rendering performance.

sentry66
08-16-2012, 02:40 PM
I'd be careful with overclocking, because the rendering process requires precise calculations and overclocked CPU you might cause problems.

what problems?

In 14 years of overclocking almost every system I use, what are these problems?

Irakli
08-16-2012, 02:43 PM
Intel doesn't use the same platform for long. They no longer make processors for that socket. Faster processors are available but in my opinion you'd be better off to replace the motherboard and processor with modern components instead throwing money at old hardware as a stopgap.

Depending on the software being used and the type of projects maybe setting up a render node could be a way to improve rendering performance.

Hi Luke,
I've seen that you have a lot of work with real flow. How do you think, will 3770 beat 3830 in dynamic calculations? For example in RealFlow or Maya fluids/nPartilces.

olson
08-16-2012, 02:50 PM
Hi Luke,
I've seen that you have a lot of work with real flow. How do you think, will 3770 beat 3830 in dynamic calculations? For example in RealFlow or Maya fluids/nPartilces.

Hijacking threads dilutes the discussion so please start a new thread for a different topic. Nothing personal, just common netiquette. :thumbsup:

Irakli
08-16-2012, 02:52 PM
what problems?

In 14 years of overclocking almost every system I use, what are these problems?

Well, there is a possibility of throttling when CPU is over clocked. If it occurs during render it might cause unexpected results. It's good If you did not have that kind of problems. But the possibility exists.

olson
08-16-2012, 02:57 PM
what problems?

In 14 years of overclocking almost every system I use, what are these problems?

Overheating if the cooling is insufficient, instability from incorrect voltage setting (high or low), complications with other components like memory and chipset from higher bus speed if the multiplier is not unlocked, the list goes on. None of those are problems if configured properly but not every user wants to tinker with that.

Irakli
08-16-2012, 02:59 PM
Hijacking threads dilutes the discussion so please start a new thread for a different topic. Nothing personal, just common netiquette. :thumbsup:

Done! :) http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=23&t=1065686

sentry66
08-16-2012, 03:03 PM
Overheating if the cooling is insufficient, instability from incorrect voltage setting (high or low), complications with other components like memory and chipset from higher bus speed if the multiplier is not unlocked, the list goes on. None of those are problems if configured properly but not every user wants to tinker with that.


sure, people need to do a little research before they start tinkering. IMO doing all that stuff properly is a given if you're going to overclock.

Most CPU's let you bump up the speed at least 10% with minimum tweaking without even upping the vcore

vlad
08-16-2012, 03:25 PM
1 - Get rid of Vista and put Win7 in there.
2 - Overclock to 3.8ghz
3 - Set aside and use as renderslave.
4 - Build a new workstation with current components.
;)

Peacer
08-16-2012, 05:44 PM
Hey guys, thanks for all your advice and input, it helps a lot! As far as overclocking, this is something I'll have to do research on. Like someone above stated, from what I know, if you don't know precisely what you're doing, it could actually cause problems. But I think with a little research, I might look into it. Also, I'm thinking about just setting up a whole new work station and using it to aid in rendering.

"So, wife, lets talk about that new computer you've been wanting..."

I've been looking into the 980 processor for a while as well. It has about 2 or 3 years on my 940, and with two extra cores, is it worth the $500-$600 price tag (the $1200 980x is out of the question)?

EDIT: Oh yes, I need Win7!!! God I don't know why I haven't upgraded. I think since I hadn't used my PC as much when I was working out of the home, I just didn't feel the need to upgrade. But now seems like the time to do it.

olson
08-16-2012, 07:22 PM
I've been looking into the 980 processor for a while as well. It has about 2 or 3 years on my 940, and with two extra cores, is it worth the $500-$600 price tag (the $1200 980x is out of the question)?

The processor you have now scores around 5.3 on Cinebench 11.5 (using Cinebench since there are a lot of results available for it). The Core i7-980 scores around 8.5 which is decent. A Core i7-3930K scores around 10.2 for $100 less than the i7 980 from the prices I've found (though it would take a new motherboard, about $200).

I would be reluctant to upgrade to a Core i7 980, it doesn't make sense to me to invest in the older hardware like that. If the machine were mine I'd either use it as a render node and build a new machine or replace the motherboard and processor using current components.

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