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visualboo
03-11-2003, 11:55 PM
I'm planning on putting together a dual xeon box. Can anyone recommend a good motherboard.

I'm sick of this AMD POS

Tellerve
03-12-2003, 12:24 AM
I hear a lot of people like the IWILL DP533, you can overclock your Xeon's with it...and ya gotta love dual channel ram. Check out www.2cpu.com for a lot of info of people that have dual xeon boards and can help you out further. I would love to get one of these but the price tag of that plus 2 xeons is currently outta my budget.

Tellerve

GregHess
03-12-2003, 01:19 AM
Depends on budget and need.

There are some 350 USD E7505 boards, and some 600 USD E7505.

Ask yourself this...

1) Do you want ultimate stability? Even at the sacrifice of some performance?

2) Do you need scsi? Raid?

3) Gigabit ethernet? Serial ATA? Firewire?

4) PCI-X?

And whats wrong with the amd system :). All we run at work are amd systems 24/7, zippo crashes. And the dna analysis stuff makes rendering look like opening word.

visualboo
03-12-2003, 01:55 AM
Tellerve, Thanks man... I'll check into it.

Greg: I just built 3 AMD boxes and there all JUNK (all with different specs). Super flaky with installs and about as stable as a 15 year olds first job.

Stability always trumps performance as long as the difference between the two isn't too great.

2) Do you need scsi? Raid?
No. Would like it... but not nessesary. I've never set up a raid system but I've heard bad things about them and stability?

3) Gigabit ethernet? Serial ATA? Firewire?
Would be nice. Would be nice. Would be nice. ;)

4) PCI-X?
PCI whaa? sorry man, I haven't even heard of it.

Thanks a billion for the help btw.

GregHess
03-12-2003, 02:04 AM
1) Then you'll probably want to go with one of the boards which supports ECC DDR. There are some cheaper unbuffered boards available, but in this situation if you want maximum stability, you should go with one of the big players, like supermicro.

http://www.supermicro.com/Product_page/product-mW.htm

The top four are their main battery of E7505 workstation boards. I currently have experience with the X5DAE, which has been flawlessly stable, and unbelievably fast. Its got six dimms slots, which allows for a max of 12 GIGABYTES of ram :).

The models beneath it go into the more budget concious range, allowing for unbuffered ram, and less dimm/pci slots.

2) Sounds like its not a necessity then.

3) The one I mentioned has PCI-X (The next generation of pci slots, 133 Megahertz, will replace AGP in the next year or so), 6 dimms, gigabit ethernet, USB 2.0. If you want firewire or serial ata, you'll have to get an adapter card. (Which would probably be superior to an onboard solution anyway).

Note on dual xeon's. These boards require a MINIMUM of 400 watt PSU's. That means your looking at a 460+ as recommended range. If your thinking about putting a large array of drives in there, you'll probably need even more.

pomme
03-13-2003, 05:43 AM
What about ASUS? There usually stable from my experience.

GregHess
03-13-2003, 04:19 PM
Asus doesn't carry any E7505 boards. Thats the reason they weren't mentioned.

DaForce
03-13-2003, 09:32 PM
visualboo: you say you have built 3 AMD machines recently and they were all crap. Thats kinda strange, you must have either been using crap components, or the hardware build was not done so well. Because i just built a new AMD system, AMD 2700, ASUS A7N8X, 1gb corsair xms3200, radeon 9700pro, audigy2, WD 80gb w/ 8mb cache, SLK-800 , and the thing has not crashed yet, no lockups, BSOD's, or any instability what so ever.

Maybe you just had some really bad luck, i had lots of bad luck getting the parts for my comp.....put it this way, a trucks back tyre and an SLK800 and an enermax 550W PSU, do not mix...i repeat do not mix. :-)

Mistyk
03-13-2003, 10:02 PM
pomme,

Asus has a Placer board or will introduce one shortly, if I'm not mistaken.

elvis
03-13-2003, 10:18 PM
Originally posted by DaForce
visualboo: you say you have built 3 AMD machines recently and they were all crap. Thats kinda strange, you must have either been using crap components, or the hardware build was not done so well.

i couldn't agree more. haven't yet set up a dud dual AMD system. time to change either your components or your supplier.

GregHess
03-13-2003, 10:39 PM
Mistyk,

They have a E7205 board, which is a SINGLE P4. They have no E7505 board (Dual Xeon).

This of course was from the last time I checked their website, which was around 11am, EST.

visualboo
03-13-2003, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by DaForce
visualboo: you say you have built 3 AMD machines recently and they were all crap. Thats kinda strange, you must have either been using crap components, or the hardware build was not done so well. Because i just built a new AMD system, AMD 2700, ASUS A7N8X, 1gb corsair xms3200, radeon 9700pro, audigy2, WD 80gb w/ 8mb cache, SLK-800 , and the thing has not crashed yet, no lockups, BSOD's, or any instability what so ever.

Maybe you just had some really bad luck, i had lots of bad luck getting the parts for my comp.....put it this way, a trucks back tyre and an SLK800 and an enermax 550W PSU, do not mix...i repeat do not mix. :-)
hehe... everything I built was top quality. I'm not the type to skimp on parts to save money. If your curious I'll dig up the specs for each machine so you can check it out.

I've actually been wondering if it's been bad luck or if AMD really sucks. I still don't know but the ONE thing I do know is that I've had enough bad luck with AMD.

elvis: hmmm... those three machines were sinlge proc setups, but besides that I have no idea what the hell was going on.

Greg: Thanks a million man. You've been more than helpfull. I'm probably gonna go with a supermicro so I can hang with bentllama's system ;) Bring it Nate!!

DaForce
03-13-2003, 11:54 PM
visualboo: Yeah, if you could dig up the specs of each of the machines, just so that i can see if there is anything that stands out as a "trouble maker". I know quite a few people who have recent AMD machine 2200+ and above, and they have had no problems what so ever, i think you have just had some really bad luck...but hey, it happens to everyone at one time or another.

FreeQ
03-14-2003, 01:24 AM
I've setup more than 40 Athlon MP Servers and Workstations in past 1.5 years. I never get any serious problem!

BTW, there is many company and enduser use their AthlonMP's with succesfully!

What is your problem exactly?
MoBo model and version?
BIOS version?
DIMM? ECC?
Is the heatsinks really touch CPU? (even you're a O/C master)
What are the applications you run on the SMP's?


If you never heard even PCI-X how can blame any technology. Know-How is the key. System Integrator must have Key.


PS: I wonder if xeon's have any fault, what do you do?


ping-pong-ping-pong

:shame:

visualboo
03-14-2003, 04:21 AM
I never said that I'm some hardware master. All I said is that I know how to build a computer. That's all man.

I didn't know what pci-x was because I'm busy making things "pretty" at work, not keeping up on all the latest greatest hardware. First and foremost I'm an artist.

I'll get all the specs when I get back to work tomorrow.

BTW, there is many company and enduser use their AthlonMP's with succesfully!
I know man. Why are you sticking up for AMD? Can't I be pissed? Isn't that MY chioce? Bah!

PS: I wonder if xeon's have any fault, what do you do?
probably but "in my experience" there great..... oh and "stable"

DaForce: I'll get back to you tomorrow with the specs.

DaForce
03-14-2003, 04:23 AM
visualboo: great thanks man

GregHess
03-14-2003, 11:23 AM
Either system is just fine. AMD, Intel...the art's all that really matters. The hardware's just the tool that helps us share our imagination with the world.

And its also my bread maker, cause 5,000 USD tables don't sell en masse.

Mistyk
03-14-2003, 01:27 PM
Greg,

I believe there was some talk over at the 2cpu forums about an upcoming Placer (E7505) board from Asus. Someone said that the on-line info on the board was self-contradictory and I don't know which of Asus' worldwide offices that had published the info. Might have dreamt all this though, so don't take my word for it :)

GregHess
03-14-2003, 01:39 PM
Sweet mistyk,

I assumed they wouldn't, as Asus doesn't seem to have delved into the Xeon's much before. At least not on the same level as companies like supermicro, or tyan.

CgFX
03-14-2003, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by DaForce
visualboo: you say you have built 3 AMD machines recently and they were all crap. Thats kinda strange, you must have either been using crap components, or the hardware build was not done so well. Because i just built a new AMD system, AMD 2700, ASUS A7N8X, 1gb corsair xms3200, radeon 9700pro, audigy2, WD 80gb w/ 8mb cache, SLK-800 , and the thing has not crashed yet, no lockups, BSOD's, or any instability what so ever.


With an ATI 9700 in there I absolutely refuse to believe this.

I think ATI is trying to trademark the BSOD. :-)

visualboo
03-14-2003, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by GregHess
Either system is just fine. AMD, Intel...the art's all that really matters. The hardware's just the tool that helps us share our imagination with the world.

And its also my bread maker, cause 5,000 USD tables don't sell en masse.
Ah yes, but when the computer isn't running it's hard to make the things our imagination dreams up.

CgFX: agreed 100 times

Mistyk
03-14-2003, 04:16 PM
Greg,

True, Asus doesn't seem to be a big player in the dual Xeon market. Still I believe that they had both server and workstation (AGP) mobos based on the i860 chipset. They are not to be found on their US site and the international site is down, so I wonder where those boards went (If they existed. Not entirely certain).

DaForce
03-14-2003, 08:37 PM
CgFX: We i shopped around and bought a special Non-BSOD version of the 9700pro :thumbsup:

....seriously, i know that there has been lots of talk about 9700pro's and their instability and BSOD factor, but as long as you build a machine from Top Notch components and stay away from certain motherboards that the 9700pro is slightly incompatable with then all should be good....assuming you have the latest drivers. And since ive had my new machine i have had no problems what so ever......seriously no BSOD's lockups or anything.....im kinda wondering whats wrong :-) Maybe all the problems are whating for me to start working on something important and then they will strike :-)

stephen2002
03-16-2003, 02:05 AM
humm, last I checked the dual Xenon chips had a preformance edge over the dual AMD. Am I mistaken...does anybody have some benchmarks for this because I am also considering which brand to go with. Preformance is my primary consern...I'm sick of waiting for my computer to get on with it.

GregHess
03-16-2003, 03:09 AM
stephen,

What app, and What renderer? These two variables determine the performance winner.

Mistyk,

Well thanks for the info. It'll be great if they release an e7505 board...maybe they'll even through some extra features on, like firewire and SATA. :) If you see them come out with one, please do mention. Workstation/server boards usually don't recieve the same amount of press that the normal desktop/gamer ones do.

FreeQ
03-16-2003, 07:51 AM
Originally posted by stephen2002
humm, last I checked the dual Xenon chips had a preformance edge over the dual AMD. Am I mistaken...does anybody have some benchmarks for this because I am also considering which brand to go with. Preformance is my primary consern...I'm sick of waiting for my computer to get on with it.

Yes, You are right.

Not the latest but gives some ideas.
http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=x28amp24&page=1

But Price/performance is the KEY in my POV

XEON 2.8 533FSB $500
7505 Mobo's w/SCSI $625 [wo/SCSI $525 ]

Athlon 2600+ MP $275
760MPX Mobo's w/SCSI $450 [wo/SCSI $200]

Both system use same ECC DIMM and no cost difference here.

Case state is eventfully for both systems. (have no time)

BTW, 760MPX has poor features and some little bit PCI performance issues than 7505 [Except 760MP].
No big deal for my point of view, but 'some' NLE Video Capture devices.

Don't forget the 7501 chipset has no AGP 8X support
in the shopping. But 7505 comes with AGP8X ;)

I think Xeon worth for extra costs for only the LW owners. Xeons with 533 FSB are %40-50 faster than anything in LW rendering.

PS: I'm not sticking with anything.

stephen2002
03-16-2003, 12:18 PM
freeq: Thanks for the infos. 40-50% faster in LW, yikes, that's quite a boost. Where are those comparisons avalable?

Mistyk
03-16-2003, 05:18 PM
You're welcome Greg. Will notify you when/if Asus releases an E7505 board, but since you too visit the 2cpu forums you'll probably find out the same time as I do :)

emack
03-17-2003, 03:00 AM
I just assembled a system using the Supermicro X5DAL-G. So far it is working well, with CPU temps around 30-35 deg C with the stock retail Xeon coolers. A few notes:

-I found that the price difference between a similar speed (2.4 GHz vs. 2400 MP+) Athlon and Xeon system was pretty close. The Supermicro board can use unregistered RAM which halves the price of the RAM for the system. It also has USB 2.0, PCI-X, and Gigabit Ethernet for those fast render farm file transfers. A Xeon 2.4 533 FSB is $244 currently.

-The stock retail Xeon coolers work fine, but you need to drill out the mounting holes in the Intel plastic heatsink holder slightly to fit the Supermicro plastic heatsink 'mount plugs' if your chassis is not specifically built for the dual Xeon boards. I used an Antec 1080AMG which is a great case but does not have the mounting holes for the Xeon heatsinks.

-The motherboard requires a special kind of power supply -EPS12V, which added about $130 to the price of the system. Apparently you can adapt the existing Antec power supply to the motherboard, but I was playing it safe.

All in all, so far so good. The Supermicro is nicely made.

Eliot

wmendez
03-17-2003, 03:13 AM
I too have a supermicro board P4DC6+ and have no complaints what so ever. Good solid and stable, on board U160 SCSI and everyone on the Toaster List swears by it. The new e7505 are becoming a hot item as well.

http://www.supermicro.com/Product_page/product-mS.htm

FreeQ
03-17-2003, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by stephen2002
freeq: Thanks for the infos. 40-50% faster in LW, yikes, that's quite a boost. Where are those comparisons avalable?

I haven't do made myself any LW test. But my trusty friend of which LW user. LW is highly optimized for Intel SIMD2 architecture. [There is only few software have like that optimize quality level.] And Hyperthreading is an another story ;)

This is oldy but,
http://www.motherboards.org/articlesd/hardware-reviews/1221_4.html

GregHess
03-17-2003, 02:09 PM
Hyperthreading seems to give lw around a 10% or so boost. (Running the default benchmark scenes).

I haven't tested the 2600+ MP's in lightwave yet, but according to extrapolated data, a dual 2.8 Xeon would be faster...though not by an excessive amount.

wmendez
03-17-2003, 03:28 PM
Greg,

How is your benchmark coming along?

GregHess
03-17-2003, 03:31 PM
Finished all the max and lightwave tests. I'm writing up that now...then yelling at alias and avid again for taking so long.

If they don't get their acts together soon, I'll just have to jury rig something so I can run the renders on the personal editions at 2048x1536.

ToddD
03-18-2003, 03:38 AM
Hey Boo, I am THISCLOSE to buying the Supermicro X5DAE(and 2.8 xeons) as well. I'm hoping to have everything within the next month or so. For me this will be a major upgrade, I am currently running a P2 400 overclocked to a whopping 450. lol I have a question for all of the experts here, will W2K pro support the Hyperthreading capabilities? Someone had told me in another forum that I would need W2kServer. Anyway best of luck with the new system, and thanx for any info!!!!:thumbsup:

GregHess
03-18-2003, 03:41 AM
Tbonz,

You either need Win2k Server, or Windows XP Professional. Windows 2000 Professional doesn't support Hyperthreading in a Xeon configuration. (It sees both logical and physical processors as counting towards its license limitation. XP differentiates between the two)

ToddD
03-18-2003, 03:57 AM
Thanks for the quick response Greg, so which do you recommend/ use yourself?:thumbsup:

visualboo
03-18-2003, 01:46 PM
I recommend XP pro. I have it and love it. Just turn off that silly interface. I also have 2k server at home and believe me out of the two... I would go with XP.

my $.02

derelict
03-20-2003, 04:00 AM
xp is good if u have lots of resources and never ever let it run out. if u let it run out (usually disk space) once... THATS IT!

it will go on swapping even if u manage to erase those space on the hdd even if u have 2 gig ram. I did it twice on 2 diff comp and both did the same bloody thing.

So dont let it ever run out of space on the primary disk.... than again i may be looking at it wrong.

GregHess
03-20-2003, 04:15 AM
Tbonz,

I use XP SP1 with the Boxxtech xeon's. With some pretty massive tweaking I was able to get the ram usage to the same level as win2k's. I should be doing a blurb on cgarchitect.com soon on xp tweaking if your interested.

ToddD
03-20-2003, 05:51 PM
Thanks for the helpful info guys! Greg, let me know when you have that item up on cgarchitect :beer:

wmendez
03-23-2003, 04:12 PM
Same here Greg, Let me know when it's up. So far I have gotten XP to performe very good with the info I found on tweakXp.com and by not loading a huge desktop image, animated menu effects got rid of Norton system works which I was running on 2k and opted for a free virus scanner called AVG.

I do the same on Linux by not starting services that I don't really need and not loading a gradiant or desktop image at all. Some say to used Fluxbox or another windows manager but I have become accustom to KDE

GregHess
03-23-2003, 04:29 PM
I keep missing my deadlines. Hehe. Hard to do three jobs at once and still have enough energy to still write articles/reviews...not to mention forum posts.

Sigh.

bentllama
03-24-2003, 12:10 AM
Originally posted by visualboo
I'm probably gonna go with a supermicro so I can hang with bentllama's system ;) Bring it Nate!!

"renderpig" will eat your box like hogslop ;)

Anim8rJB
03-24-2003, 12:15 AM
I'm probably gonna go with a supermicro so I can hang with bentllama's system Bring it Nate!!


He has to buy it first.

*laughs like The Shadow and disappears*

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