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View Full Version : DUAL XEON 2.8 SPECS - opinions ???


bentllama
02-26-2003, 09:53 AM
I am putting together a list of parts for a new workstation to replace my meager little p3 800|geForce3|3x 256 pc133 Reg ECC DIMMs|ugly beige case

I am calling on my peers to lend an opinion on my parts selection. Could some of you offer opinions on parts???

I have been researching dual rigs for awhile now and here is what I came up with...

** indicates an item I already own, so any opinions on parts MUST work with these items

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Chieftec Dragon DA-01BD full-tower ATX case, BLACK
[I will most likely carve space for some 120mm fans in the side and top]

SUPERMICRO X5DAE mobo (IDE) (533 FSB) [http://www.supermicro.com/PRODUCT/MotherBoards/E7505/X5DAE.htm]
[I am really liking the specs on the i7505 chipset]
[any comments on this board compared to the iWill and Tyan's?]

2x 2.8 Ghz INTEL Xeon procs [533 FSB]
[insert evil "render pig" comment here]
[I will name this box "render pig":)]
[I will need dremel a snount in the side panel:)]

POWER SUPPLY ???
[at least a 500w methinks]
[what do you guys recommend???]
[check the mobo info link for compatible PSU's]
[12v most likely]

HEATSINKS and FANS ???
[what do you guys recommend???]
[the case will be one giant wind tunnel with the amount of fans in it as well as a couple extra 120's thrown in]
[noise is not really an issue since I listen to loud music all the time]

** NVIDIA Quadro4 750 XGL vid card
[won this card at Siggraph 2002 - wheee! - hopefully I can repeat that at Siggraph 2003]

2x 512 DIMM DDR PC2100 Registered ECC 64Meg x 72
[might go with 2x 1GB if I can find a cheap enough price for Reg ECC (looking for around 500 bucks for 2x 1GB DIMMs)]
[maybe PC2700 depending on mobo]
[of course I will drop more RAM in as cash becomes available]

** Maxtor 120 GB 7200 RPM drive
[will get more drives later and possibly RAID]

** Pioneer DVR-104 DVD-R/RW
** I/O Magic CD-RW 48x16x48

SOUNDCARD
[I will purchase this later]
[most likely an Audigy]

** Optiquest Q115 21" CRT monitor
[I have been contemplating replacing this for dual 18" LCDs - but I will most likely get another used 21" CRT for now - the wife loathes the space the CRT takes up so I am "authorized" to get Flat Panel(s)]

** WACOM INTUOS 6x8
[want to upgrade to at least an Intuos 2 9x12]

** WinXP Pro

-------------------------------------------------------------------

thanks in advance for your help guys...
:beer:

Equinoxx
02-26-2003, 10:53 AM
looking like a powerfull machine there Nathan.

The Chieftec Dragon sounds like an excellent choise. gonna get that one too next month when i'm gonna get a new system.

I got no experience with the supermicro mobo, but the specs look good.

for monitor, if CRT i'd opt for an Iiyama, they've got excellent refreshrates http://www.iiyama.com/web2002/product/01v_512.htm

The intuos 2 9x6 is a great improvement over the intuos 1 btw, the pen is SO much better.

as for the rest, ah well, i'll let people who actually know about that shit answer that.

cheers and good luck with the system.

GregHess
02-26-2003, 12:32 PM
Everything looks good, here's a few notes...

Power
Most of the Xeon power supplies are 460 watts. That should be sufficent unless your going to be using a whole hella of a lot of drives.

Mboard
I'm using that supermicro board in the boxxtech system, its running just fantastic. Difference between it and the iwill is tweakability. You won't be oc'in a supermicro board, it just doesn't have the settings for it.

Heatsinks
The 2.8B's I'm running are pretty cool. Total system noise level is around 20db I'd gander (you can't hear it unless everything else is completely silent). There is no reason the Xeon has to be a loud system, as my cpu's are actually in the upper 30 C's at idle.

I don't know exactly what heatsink their using, but here's a pic if you want to try and figure it out.

http://www.3dluvr.com/crossbow/incoming/Photos/Boxx/system2.jpg

Ram

Try to get brandname if possible. Mushkin, Corsair, Crucial/Micron.

Soundcard

Its got embedded sound. You want want to see if thats sufficent before purchasing another card.

Harddrive

I'm not a maxtor fan. I am however a fan of the Special Edition series of drives by Western Digital. The 8 meg cache seems to make a noticable difference in loading/booting. Makes the system feel much snappier then the older BB series.

Wacom

Make sure to try the new tablet size before buying. Some people buy a new tablet, only to find out they hate the size. The 6x8 fits perfectly on many peoples laps and allows for easy sketching. The larger models are sometimes too bulky and unwieldy for certain individuals (I've seen people trade in 12x12's for 6x8's). Its all a matter of personal preference, so be sure to try it first so you don't waste money that could be spent upgrading to 19 inch lcd's :).

DVD-R

You might want to look into the Sony DRU500A as it has the ability to burn both DVD+RW/DVD-RW unlike the pioneer's limitation of DVD-RW. With microsoft recently joining the DVD+RW alliance, it would probably be in your best interest to have support for both standards.

dmeyer
02-26-2003, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by GregHess

Wacom

Make sure to try the new tablet size before buying. Some people buy a new tablet, only to find out they hate the size. The 6x8 fits perfectly on many peoples laps and allows for easy sketching. The larger models are sometimes too bulky and unwieldy for certain individuals (I've seen people trade in 12x12's for 6x8's). Its all a matter of personal preference, so be sure to try it first so you don't waste money that could be spent upgrading to 19 inch lcd's :).



Good point on this one, i went from a 9x12 to a 6x8 and I'm glad i did. I have desk space again!

Equinoxx
02-26-2003, 01:36 PM
ah yes, my bad, I have an 6x8 as well. Excellent size, not to big, not to small. . . called A5 if that means anything to you guys [it's a papersize]

btw, gregg, your cooler is probably a JMC phoenix

http://www.jmcproducts.com/products/cpu_coolers/phoenix.shtml

GregHess
02-26-2003, 01:46 PM
Eq,

The heatsinks on the Boxx system are rectangular, not round. =/

Here are some other angles, as its hard to tell in the original photo.

http://www.3dluvr.com/crossbow/incoming/Photos/Boxx/system4.jpg

http://www.3dluvr.com/crossbow/incoming/Photos/Boxx/system1.jpg

Equinoxx
02-26-2003, 01:56 PM
only JMC coolers i could find that are square is the Arctic

http://www.jmcproducts.com/products/cpu_coolers/arctic.shtml

but it doesn't look like yours either. perhaps your's is [no offence] outdated ? depends on how old your boxx is. or perhaps boxxsystems have JMC built custom coolers not for sale to the general public ?? :shrug:

why i didn't notice yours was square and the phoenix round is beyond me btw, gota pay more attention to stuff :blush:

GregHess
02-26-2003, 02:38 PM
Interesting...

The system is a Dual 2.8B Xeon, on the E7505 chipset...its about er..a few weeks old.

The heatsinks appear skived...or however your spell that. (Means their fins are rough and slightly tilted). This is a realitively new processor, so it would indicate a much newer heatsink. Maybe its just not listen on their page? I'll go dig around some review sites to see if I can find it...

Wait. I just realized its the FANS with the JMC designation. Doesn't indicate that the JMC is the actual heatsink. =/

bentllama
02-26-2003, 08:35 PM
thanks for the help guys. to recap and explain why some parts are in there:

Maxtor HD: not my fav, but I had it kicking around and I would rather spend cash on a RAID at a later date

Wacom Intuos: i have used a 12x12 in the past and really liked it...the 6x8 is fine...mostly I am gonna upgrade to an intuaos 2 cause i use one at work and the pen is sweet

DVD-R/RW: i got this drive slightly used off a freind for 50 bucks. for that price i really dont care if it is only -R. kI will upgrade later as prices come down.

SOUNDCARD: i have now heard that audigy can be tempermental with smp - I will give the onboard sound a shot since i already have a sound guy i use

RAM: brandname is a given :)

HEATSINKS/FANS: ????????? I am still torn whether or not to use the boxed ones or get a better solution ??? what do I do?

again, thanks for your input guys


:beer:

Schwinnz
02-26-2003, 09:32 PM
I wish I had a job to buy something like that !!! (even if I had it would be too long lol ! ) :annoyed:

Have fun !!! :thumbsup:

bentllama
02-27-2003, 03:57 PM
How long does one think a sys like this will last me before I really need to upgrade procs,mobo and RAM speed???

[edit: given that I drop more RAM in and RAID later on as well as an updated vid card next year]

if the mobo is good for up to 3.0 now, what do you think that proc cap will be later given that the new chip architecture is seemingly around the corner?


Please say at least a couple years :)

:shrug:

GregHess
02-27-2003, 06:04 PM
Probably 600-800 megahertz.

New chipsets/architectures usually arrive every 6-12 months. It sucks, but thats how it is.

bentllama
02-28-2003, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by GregHess
Probably 600-800 megahertz.

New chipsets/architectures usually arrive every 6-12 months. It sucks, but thats how it is.

so you think a 3.6 or a 3.8 might be the most I can plug into this board?

GregHess
02-28-2003, 12:42 AM
Since intel just announced their new cpu's will be using the "T" socket (775 I think), then yes, I think 3.6-3.8 will probably be the max speed.

bentllama
02-28-2003, 06:23 AM
thanks for the help Greg...


one more question...

what are your opinions on the X5DAL-G compared to the X5DAE ???

or what about the iWILL DPL533 ???

I am starting to look at ATX boards too...instead of limiting myself to the Extended ATX...

GregHess
02-28-2003, 02:16 PM
The X5DAL-G is cheaper and has less features. Depending on your needs it might be better to go for one over the other.

The X5DAE is whats in the boxxtech system, and its purrin like a kitten.

If you want to know more about e7505 boards check out...

the www.2cpu.com forums.

There are a bunch of guys there whose sole purpose in life is to find the greatest dual motherboard ever created.

LeeTN
02-28-2003, 03:14 PM
As you can tell from my sig, I have the Tyan 7505 MB. It is rock solid stable and crazy fast. The only thing you lose with the Supermicro boards is on-board firewire. Most of the others have it, Supermicro doesn't.

Some issues to be aware of:

MSI's 7505 boards are not doing too well. All the users over at 2cpu.com are complaining about poor implementation and in some cases dead boards.

The IWill DPL533 seems to do OK, but almost everyone who has bought it wishes they had gotten the full fledged DP boards.

Sound cards and SMP are problematic. Creative products suck on SMP...don't go there. Terratec is good if you want a pro-sumer level board, otherwise Turtle Beach-Santa Cruz is a SMP firendly card that won't break the bank.

I am using the on-board sound capabilities on my board and it's OK. But then again, I put this thing together as a graphics workstation, not a gaming rig, so average sound is fine for me right now.

As for future processors, there have been a few papers floating around the web that hint that the 604-pin xeons may have a future into the 5 GHz range, but there are no definite statements in either direction. One thing that is certain (at least as certain as marchitechure can be), the 7505 platform will be the flagship until early next year.

That said, I build systems based on what is available, stable and has a reasonable upgrade path. That's why I chose the 7505 platform for my new rig.

If you can wait, you might want to see what (if anything) is going to happen with AMD's Hammer chips. I needed a new box this year, so I opted for the xeon solution.:rolleyes:

Good luck and definitely check out 2cpu.com...like Greg says, a lot of us hang out there comparing specs and boards and swapping advice.

bentllama
02-28-2003, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by GregHess
The X5DAL-G is cheaper and has less features. Depending on your needs it might be better to go for one over the other.

The X5DAE is whats in the boxxtech system, and its purrin like a kitten.

If you want to know more about e7505 boards check out...

the www.2cpu.com forums.

There are a bunch of guys there whose sole purpose in life is to find the greatest dual motherboard ever created.

i visit those forums frequently and have ascertained that for the most part, the guys there are not into dualies for graphics...so it is thin when you get limited opinions on boards from a graphics standpoint...

thanks for your help Greg.

Lee TN: thanks alot for your advice

cheers guys...I am almost ready to make a purchase... :)
:beer:

bentllama
03-01-2003, 09:31 PM
I am stuck on deciding which case to go with...

here are my thoughts...I am trying to keep the case cost to below 200 bones...

and I need EATX so...

CHIEFTEC DA01WD [black]
http://www.chieftec.com/products/dragon/da01wd.htm

Yeong Yang Cube Server Case - YY-0221 [black]
http://www.yeongyang.com/products/yy0221.htm

**NOTE: I know the X5DAE mobo will produce a tight fit in the Chieftec and possibly render my 6th and 6th RAM slot unusable due to HD proximity...hopefully I could find a workaround...


OPINIONS ON THESE ANYONE ???

:beer:

Ckerr812
03-01-2003, 09:46 PM
hey there,

My opinion would go with the chieftec, I have three of these cases (one is sitting empty) the other two I use with a dual xeon 1.7 and a amd 2700.

Great cases, never had a problem with them yet, and lots of room for fans and such.

dmeyer
03-01-2003, 09:55 PM
Have you looked at Thermaltake? I've got a dual xeon in a Xaser II and no proximity issues.

bentllama
03-01-2003, 09:59 PM
Ckerr812 and dmeyer

do you have extended atx mobos?

dmeyer
03-01-2003, 10:01 PM
I've got the older SuperMicro P4E6+ or something like that. The one that the new chipsets replaced, with 400mhz bus and scsi.

bentllama
03-01-2003, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by dmeyer
I've got the older SuperMicro P4E6+ or something like that. The one that the new chipsets replaced, with 400mhz bus and scsi.

12" x 13" ???

take a look at where the RAM slots lie on the board I want. http://www.supermicro.com/PRODUCT/MotherBoards/E7505/X5DAE.htm - damn near the area where the HD's are in a thermaltake and a chieftec

EDIT : with that board supporting only registered ECC, it means more clearnce for the RAM will be needed...

arrrgghh.. i am going crazy right now...the only thing really holding me up is deciding on a case... :surprised

Chewey
03-01-2003, 11:05 PM
That dual mobo looks sweet!
So does this one if you haven't seen it yet.

http://www.tyan.com/products/html/tigeri7505.html

I've been going through a similar brain freeze recently mulling over whether I really needed a dual xeon home brew to replace my aging Intergraph 400mhz Pll.

I've decided to purchase a couple of these smaller form units with each one configured for a specific task. One maxed out for 3D with a 4600 card and another for gaming and operating as a multi media PVR Tivo unit.

Here's a sample of a econo equipped unit

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3403396701&category=31508

Mistyk
03-02-2003, 09:05 AM
bentllama,

Have you considered the Thermaltake Xaser III? I't not a Chenming-variant like the Xaser II. The III has the 3.5" bays turned 90 degrees to provide more space for EATX mobos. A guy at 2CPU was going to put his Placer board into this case and did some rigorous research on the matter. Don't now if he has done so yet though.

bentllama
03-02-2003, 09:32 AM
i looked at that... ugly case...i hate the front panel... I am gonna stop by a store tomorrow ans lookinside the cheiftec to see if I can turn the drives in there somehow...

mods r fun anyway :)

thanks for posting Mistyk! :beer:

LeeTN
03-02-2003, 01:57 PM
You can always try a Lian-Li case. I have my EATX 7505 board in a PC-62, or you can go bigger. Lot's of room and a very sweet case.

Ckerr812
03-02-2003, 10:56 PM
Originally posted by bentllama
Ckerr812 and dmeyer

do you have extended atx mobos?

Hey man, I am not to sure if I have an extended atx motherboard, but what I do know is that in the Cheiftec case, the little brackets for the hardrives are totally removable, there is a little switch on the side that you can take them out and put them back in again easily.

I think with the dual xeon my hard drives are up were the floppy drives are if I can remember right. Anyways, I remember putting it together, and it wasn't a big problem or else I would remember it :)

bentllama
03-02-2003, 11:06 PM
Originally posted by Ckerr812
Hey man, I am not to sure if I have an extended atx motherboard, but what I do know is that in the Cheiftec case, the little brackets for the hardrives are totally removable, there is a little switch on the side that you can take take them out an put them back in again easily.

I think witht he dual xeon my hard drives are up were the floppy drives are if I can remember right. Anyways, I remember putting it together, and it wasn't a big problem or else I would remember it :)

if your board is 12"x13" it is EATX as opposed to a 12"x9" ATX

I may go for the YY cube anyway since I just got a good deal on some 80 GB 7200RPM 8MB drives...

her comes tha RAID !!! :) lol

thanks again for your input :)

:beer:

dmeyer
03-02-2003, 11:51 PM
Originally posted by bentllama

her comes tha RAID !!! :) lol


:buttrock:

bentllama
03-03-2003, 12:10 AM
of course i know hardly anything about RAIDS so i am gonna have to do some reading...anyone know any good articles and tutorials about RAID online?

LeeTN
03-03-2003, 04:44 PM
Go to Storagereview.com they have a mega-page write-up on RAID and all it's variants. Best read on the subject that I've found anywhere.

dmeyer
03-04-2003, 07:37 PM
bentllama, what were the final specs you went with and system total cost? I'm thinking about a new workstation of this flava'

Valkyrien
03-04-2003, 08:55 PM
*dies*

:eek::eek:

Chewey
03-05-2003, 12:15 AM
What's wrong with a quad Xeon? I hear an AGP slot equipped mobo is coming out soon.

GregHess
03-05-2003, 02:37 AM
What's wrong with a quad Xeon? I hear an AGP slot equipped mobo is coming out soon.

Price.
Speed. (Speed in a Workstation Sense)
Lack of workstation features.

1) A Quad Xeon system will equal the cost of a small render farm. If you were building your render farm with budget AMD boxes, you could fill full rack units for the same price.

a) How much you ask? Try 3,278.44 USD shipped for a 2.0 Xeon-MP 2 Meg cache CPU. JUST FOR ONE. Remember you'd have to buy four for a quad. Thats over 12,000 USD JUST for the processors.

2) A Quad Xeon does NOT USE standard Xeon processors.

a) They use Xeon-MP class processers which follow a slightly different architecture, and are currently running at a SIGNIFICANTLY slower clock speed.

http://www.intel.com/products/server/processors/server/xeon_mp/index.htm?iid=ipp_srvr+proc_xeonmp&

The Fastest Xeon-MP is rated at 2.0 Gigahertz, at a 400 FSB.

The Fastest Xeon is rated at 3.06 Gigahertz at a 533 FSB.

Xeon-MP's are specifically designed for the applications that would best utilize them...server operations.

b) Some 3d apps (3dsmax) scale VERY POORLY with four processors (using their default render). These apps (3dsmax) show very little performance improvement over a dual processor system, and because of the clock speed limitation, can actually result in a slower overall system. Some Cg apps (3dsmax by discreet) solve this problem not by fixing it, but by encouraging 3rd party retailers (vray, brazil, fr) to produce their own renderers.

If for some reason your a rich bastard who wants a quad for a workstation, and you happen to be using max, make sure your also using a 3rd party renderer.

3) Xeon-MP boards feature stability as their primary concern. Because of this you won't find integrated USB 2.0, AGP 8x, IDE Raid's, or firewire. Such things as Serial-ATA are years away from being integrated into machines of such a specific niche.

Remember that for most cases (almost all), OpenGL and Direct3d are SINGLETHREADED. Out of the four processors the Xeon-MP would give you, only one of them would be working in the viewport.

bentllama
03-05-2003, 05:19 AM
Originally posted by dmeyer
bentllama, what were the final specs you went with and system total cost? I'm thinking about a new workstation of this flava'

have not ponied the dough for it yet...but have been buying things here and there [HD's etc]

when I finally drop the cash I will post when, what and where...

now its back to convincing the wife the money is going to be well spent... :)

*gulp*:surprised

elvis
03-05-2003, 05:25 AM
Originally posted by bentllama
of course i know hardly anything about RAIDS so i am gonna have to do some reading...anyone know any good articles and tutorials about RAID online?

if you searched the forums for the word "RAID", you might have found this link:

http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=44610

search is your friend.

bentllama
03-05-2003, 05:29 AM
Intel E7505 Chipset - Motherboard Round-Up

http://www.2cpu.com/hardware/motherboards/e7505/

bentllama
03-05-2003, 05:36 AM
Originally posted by elvis
if you searched the forums for the word "RAID", you might have found this link:

http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=44610

search is your friend.

thanks.

been using this as well : http://forums.2cpu.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=11363

amygdalae
03-05-2003, 05:38 AM
Originally posted by bentllama
Intel E7505 Chipset - Motherboard Round-Up

http://www.2cpu.com/hardware/motherboards/e7505/

Hey Bent,

check out the Antec line.

I have used a couple of the 1040 series cases from them for a couple of dually boxes I built for render boxes at home. They are pretty spacious, quiet, not ugly like the Xaser, and only about 100-130 bucks.

I'm really happy with mine.

I have to admit I dont see the draw to Xaser or Lian Li. Those are some ugly-ass cases. I used to like coolermaster sometimes, but they are too loud for me to stand now. I like the Antecs - I use a bit of dynamat to quiet things down as well.

bentllama
03-05-2003, 05:51 AM
Originally posted by amygdalae
Hey Bent,

check out the Antec line.

danke.

GregHess
03-05-2003, 11:56 AM
I used to like coolermaster sometimes, but they are too loud for me to stand now. I like the Antecs - I use a bit of dynamat to quiet things down as well.

Case's aren't loud. Its the fans inside them. If the system's too noisy, replace the fans with quieter models...its pretty easy to do


:D


I second the Antec/Chieftech line. Best cases on the market. The towers are a bit on the large size, but antec/chieftech do make mini-towers which are still pretty roomy (psu is still in a seperate area then the motherboard) but significantly lighter/smaller in size.

Sgt_Bukkake_Man
03-05-2003, 01:36 PM
In my experience most of the noise production has been a result of the scsi drives I use (less so lately with the 15k.3 i just got and the 10k.6 i ordered hopefully) - the biggest amplifier of that noise/vibration is a solid metal case. At least with the antecs there isnt a direct and solid connection between the drives and the case. It just seems to resonate more coming out of my coolermaster...

GregHess
03-05-2003, 01:58 PM
If your getting drive resonation, you can add some rubber washers inbetween the drive and bay.

There are also a variety of 3rd party mounting devices using rubber sleeves to isolate the drive from the case wall.

Of course one could argue that this traps the vibration within the drive...so its unknown whether this reduces reliability or not.

I usually just use the rubber washer system. They cost pennies, and they work very well in alumnium cases.

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