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Aelius
03-18-2003, 01:55 PM
Okay, I'm not sure which is most important for speed and stability in Maya for character animation.

I could go for a fast single processor, a Quadro4 980XGL card, and tons of RAM on an AGPx8 motherboard, or I could go for dual processors on an AGPx4 motherboard with less RAM.

I guess what it comes down to is, where is my precious cash best invested? RAM, AGP spec, Graphics Card or single/dual processors?

I'm building my first workstation soon, and am finding it difficult to decide what I should spend my money on. I like the idea of dual processors, but am I better off using that money to get a cheaper single processor machine and get more RAM or a better Graphics Card?

Sorry if you've had this question a thousand times from non-techies like me. Anyone know of a good FAQ, please let me know!

Thanks.

GregHess
03-18-2003, 04:57 PM
Are you only animating? Doing viewport manipulation?

A single system with a faster processor will always outperform a slower dual system...in the viewports. You'll also need significantly less ram if your not doing alot of rendering...512-1024 on an nforce2 board. Might even be able to get away with 2x256 dimms.

But if your doing alot of rendering, the Dual processor system will utterly annilate the single processor one.

As for AGP 8x vs 4x, there is little if no difference between the two in the viewports. In most viewport tests it comes down to less then 1% difference. (If you use discreet's benchmarks and NOT the specviewperf ones). In fact, the 8x cards are actually a tiny bit slower in a few instances.

Aelius
03-18-2003, 05:17 PM
Thanks Greg, that's a lot of help.

I work in graphics freelance and on contract work, but I'm a one man band, so it would be modelling, animation and rendering all on the same machine.

With only one machine, trimming rendering time down to a minimum is very important.

GregHess
03-18-2003, 06:43 PM
If your only dealing with a single machine AND you need quick render times...then definitely look into a dual.

Whats your budget?

What are the primary apps your using?

Aelius
03-18-2003, 07:02 PM
Budget around 2200 give or take 200.
Main apps I use now are Photoshop, Flash, Freehand, After Effects, Premier etc
Apps I will be using on the new machine in addition to these are Maya, and possibly 3D Studio Max.

So far, shopping around, 2300-2400 will get me a dual Athlon MP2400 on a Gigabyte motherboard (AGPx4), 2GB unregistered RAM, Quadro4 980XGL, 160GB hard disk space, DVD-r drive and two 19" Monitors.

GregHess
03-18-2003, 07:06 PM
If you get two gigs of unregistered ram, you won't be able to upgrade your ram any further.

The AMD boards (760MPX chipset) require registered dimms to be used in configurations of more then 2 dimms.

So you can either use...

2 unbuffered dimms.

3 registered dimms

or

4 registered dimms.

You can't mix registered and unbuffered, has to be one or the other. So if you do go with two 1 gigabyte PC2100 unbuffered dimms, you will be unable to upgrade to 3 gigs of ram, without replacing both the unbuffered dimms.

Of course you could never need to upgrade past 2 gigs of ram. Just letting you know.

Aelius
03-18-2003, 07:17 PM
Thanks for that. I didn't know that. I'll have a ponder over that one and check out the prices of the registered RAM. It may be that at the cheap price of unregistered RAM, 2Gigs might keep me going long enough. Depends on the price really.

But other than that, the rest of the setup sounds okay?

Thanks for the help Greg.

Aelius
03-18-2003, 07:25 PM
Okay, is registered RAM ECC?
The Ones I'm looking at are unbuffered. Is this the type you mentioned?

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X3NwZWNpZmljYXRpb25z&product_uid=42146

Sorry to be a pain in the backside!!!:shrug:

PlanetMongo
03-18-2003, 07:57 PM
Just to throw another bone on the pile, supposedly nVidia has an nForce2 mobo with dual athlon support in the pipes. I hate unsubstantiated rumors, but... Damn.. that'd be nice.

GregHess
03-19-2003, 12:20 AM
Planet,

That was a rumor...unfortuantly :(.

Aelius,

Ya rest of the setup sounds great!

FreeQ
03-19-2003, 12:33 AM
Maya test scene taken from Highend3D.com

Maya 4.5 Windows 2000 SP3
Here are my results;

Epox 8RDA+
1700+ [@2000MHz (160x12.5)]
2x512 MB PC2700 160MHz 7-3-3-2-1
Render Time: 1:24

Epox 8RDA+
1700+ [@1900MHz (152x12.5)]
2x512 MB PC2700 152MHz 6-2-2-2-1
Render Time: 1.21

Tyan TigerMPX
2x2000+ AthlonMP
2x1024MB PC2100 ECC

Render Time: 1.09


PS: There is no mistypeing!
nForce2 CAS latency rullaz ;)

GregHess
03-19-2003, 12:51 AM
freeq:

The highend3d tests don't stress the system enough to provide comparitive basis for single vs dual systems.

On average a dual system will render about 80-90% faster then a single processor system.

Because of the lack of resolution required for the highend3d test, it doesn't provide for an adequate stress for the system, and can be considered almost useless for comparative means.

For example, a render difference of 3 seconds can be attributed to forgetting, or remembering to close the cgtalk window, and mirc. :)

siftingsand
03-19-2003, 01:11 AM
GregHess, I've read many posts you have wrote and was wondering what your views are on the softquadro4 patch?

GregHess
03-19-2003, 01:23 AM
If it works, it works. I find it mostly works....but doesn't in some situations. If you've already got a card, then by all means give it a try.

I wouldn't buy a card expecting to be able to "hack" or "modify" it however. Thats just bad business sense. And if your in the cg industry as your main source of bread and butter, the last thing you want is a "hack" holding you up on your paycheck.

FreeQ
03-19-2003, 11:07 AM
GregHess:

Could you give me a stress test scene for maya 4.5. I always get same result when I testing it.

There is no chat or opened web browser on the nforce2 systems. It has just W2K SP3 with Total Commander ;)

I'm going to buy new HDD to setup RH8. We will see what is diffrerence. Can't Dual boot at this time.
I cannot find Nforce2 kernel src.rpm yet. Anyone has idea?

Thanks :]

GregHess
03-19-2003, 12:36 PM
freeq,

Increase the resolution of Highend3d's test to 2048x1536. That should do the trick.

Aelius
03-19-2003, 12:42 PM
Which do you think is the better dual motherboard manufacturer, Gigabyte or Asus?

GregHess
03-19-2003, 12:44 PM
I like the Asus board, but it doesn't support 2600+ MP's.

Amd 2600+ MP Motherboards (http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/TechnicalResources/0,,30_182_869_965^7928|66379_2_0_7927_us-en,00.html)

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