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Old 03-01-2014, 07:50 PM   #1
chasecanade
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Question Are the older Xeons 3500s and 5500's over the hill or still worth looking at?

There is a ton of old Single and Duel Processor workstations and servers being dumped in lew of upgrading systems of late. I know the guys that bought these once powerhouse systems usually don't get rid of them or update them with out reason or till it's really time. And with as many as I see - they feel it's definitely time.

I used to drool over this stuff years ago. And they are tempting since they are going so cheap. Dirt cheap.

Question is - Are these older Xeons too far over the hill? Or do you think they still might have a couple years of use in them? Comparative to the new I7s I mean. Can they still hang speed wise.

And I'm referring to the Intel Xeon 5500 series or the Xeon 3500 Duel and Quad Core series.

For me - using an old duel core 2.6ghz machine - they are very temping. And definitely better than what I have for a price I can afford.

But I also think - gosh a new i7 with less - might cost a little more but would be new and with up to date gear. Quad hyper threading etc etc.

What is you guys opinion?
Would you Pass or Play on these old Xeon machines?

- chase -

Last edited by chasecanade : 03-01-2014 at 08:02 PM.
 
Old 03-02-2014, 12:59 AM   #2
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Are you looking at them for rendering power, or as workstations?

If for rendering power, I would look at them on an overall performance vs price. If a workstation, look at the per thread performance.

Things really haven't gotten much faster at certain price points over the past 5 years. I paid around $220 for my Intel 860 in 2009, and its still about the same speed as the modern $190 quad cores.
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Last edited by AJ1 : 03-02-2014 at 01:25 AM.
 
Old 03-02-2014, 01:08 AM   #3
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Depends on the price. If you could get a top of the line dual xeon workstation from the last generation (E5-2687v1) for say $2500, I would consider it a steal. Some studios prefer to stay 1 or 2 generations behind in hardware lately because xeon prices have gone through the roof.
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Last edited by mustique : 03-02-2014 at 01:13 AM.
 
Old 03-02-2014, 04:25 PM   #4
chasecanade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ1
Are you looking at them for rendering power, or as workstations?

If for rendering power, I would look at them on an overall performance vs price. If a workstation, look at the per thread performance.

Things really haven't gotten much faster at certain price points over the past 5 years. I paid around $220 for my Intel 860 in 2009, and its still about the same speed as the modern $190 quad cores.


For a Visual Arts Workstation actually - 3D Video Audio Creation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mustique
Depends on the price. If you could get a top of the line dual xeon workstation from the last generation (E5-2687v1) for say $2500, I would consider it a steal. Some studios prefer to stay 1 or 2 generations behind in hardware lately because xeon prices have gone through the roof.


Well - I'm looking at a Z800 head only for $250. There are a bunch of the Z800's and Z400's for sale.

The Z400's 3.2ghz machines from a "dealer" are around $400 and some what loaded as well - not bare bones. includes all. A Quadro mid-range GC, 32gigs of 1333 DDR3 ram,
- but that is dealer price. Price is much less from private sellers.

$3,k for a Z800 - I'd never pay that for a Z800 today. But agreed - Last gen will still pull a price tag. And yeah if I could find last gen duel Xeons [E5-2687v1] for $2,500 that wouldn't be too bad a deal. Haven't seen one yet of last gen at all. Only 2 generations ago.

But those are just the HP's and given my comp took a dive last night. [It's done.] I've got to make a move asap

I checked and they do have drivers for Win7 - for these machines but I really don't trust HP's for writing drivers. Bad experience on every HP I've owned.

But the Z800 is still better than what I have. And as stated they are up to date with drivers for Win7x64

If nothing else - I was thinking I could get it - and switch out the MB.

I going to be taking a look at some other new options as well. I want to make this "build" along the lines of a server - creation workstation.

Duel Quad... Or maybe go with the newer 6 core and 8 core systems and the like

the thing that I'm thinking on too is at the moment - the newer MB's and Procs have 4 channel Hyper threading capability. A nice plus when it comes to render power I'd think.

still weighting the choices.

- chase -

Last edited by chasecanade : 03-03-2014 at 12:07 AM.
 
Old 03-02-2014, 11:24 PM   #5
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If your using an old core 2 duo, you've probably got DDR2 ram. If you want to get a new MB, you'll need to get a DDR3 ram set.

Also check to see if your case will hold a regular ATX board. I know some old cases have the graphics card slots on the other side.

You may also be able to recycle your PSU, optical drive, and HDD.

If your looking to upgrade on the cheap, just swapping out the CPU/MB/RAM isn't a bad idea.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:49 AM   #6
chasecanade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ1
If your using an old core 2 duo, you've probably got DDR2 ram. If you want to get a new MB, you'll need to get a DDR3 ram set.

Also check to see if your case will hold a regular ATX board. I know some old cases have the graphics card slots on the other side.

You may also be able to recycle your PSU, optical drive, and HDD.

If your looking to upgrade on the cheap, just swapping out the CPU/MB/RAM isn't a bad idea.


Hey AJ1 - yup - DDR2 in it. Matched set - I'll sell those off.

New 2 terabyte drive installed... two days ago. Couple single terabyte drives. Those I'll swap over to the new. The main drive I'll set aside and go for something faster. I like 300g and under for the main.

The guy that has the Z800 for $250 dropped price to $200 last night. I'm going to grab it if it works. I sent him an email this yesterday and again today - so just waiting to hear back from him.

Even if I get that one, I'm still weighing newer options. The 1100 watt power consumption of the HP Z800 is a little much imo for what it is. I'll have to put the thing in a freezer to keep it cool and not cook me out of the room. Which btw I did find a Z800 stock water cooler for it just in case it doesn't have one.

One of the 3D rags has an article on a new 3d creation build using the i7 6 core [I think - just glanced at it off the rack] Febuary issue of 3D Artist or 3D World - not sure.

But from what they were stating the one they chose was half the price of the upper one - around $500 for the processor - $3k for the system total invest buying every thing from scratch fully loaded with raid.

I'm also going to look for a older NIB MB for my Duo-Core processor - it's a good processor still. Don't know what I'll do with it if I do get one. Word processor? Light 2D stuff maybe?
I have a couple spare GC with DDR2 memory on them that will work fine in it.

But - question stil remains if these old Xeons are worth it. Or are they just a waste of money. I mean - Ram cost is the same to load both up. Looking at 16g 1333 DDR3 ECC sticks. Which I don't think I'd do right off.

As stated - I'm still weighing options from the old to the new. I'll figure something out - if nothing else - if that HP Z800 is working fine that I inquired about, then I'll be at least up and running till I can look at further options without the rush.

- chase -

PS I am sold on 6+ core no matter what, and this video comparison of a single Duo Xeon vs 2x Quad Xeons vs 2x 6core Xeons by GreyScale Gorrilla just sold the heck out of me.



He states he gets a new comp every two - three years. (I forgot which) So I sent Nick an email letting him know it was time to upgrade and sell me his 8 core... lol - He never responded but - I was totally sold on the multi core systems.

Considering many many 24-36hr renderings for 10 to 12 seconds of animation on my Duo Core - if it made it all the way through it without blue screening or the power glitching. Or the things it just couldn't handle. I'm so ready for a newer comp it isn't funny.

Last edited by chasecanade : 03-06-2014 at 04:52 PM.
 
Old 03-03-2014, 09:05 PM   #7
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Update - didn't get the Z800 - no word back yet.

The Z400's mentioned above all sold out... All bought up buy a company for data entry.
but he may have some other comps to suite.

I'm finding a bunch of 2x 6 core Xeon 2.8ghz X5660 with Quadro's [FX 4800] and 24 gigs of ECC 1333 RAM. Price point has been on a steady decline for these machines since January - by the end of the month [March] the price point for these older Xeons will probably zero out. Figure 3-500 bucks at the time of this writing. By months end - maybe $250 a machine. Fully loaded.

I just looked at one that included warrented 1 TB HD - Blue Ray writer - Win7 w/COA - PERC 6I SAS RAID KIT - and the afore mentioned CPU - RAM for under $500. By months end as stated, they'll sink to the bottom.

I may go that route but there is a draw back, and something one should check before going this route; is driver support for current OS's. Most don't have the supported drivers.
And they are power hogs. Every one of them.

That said it might tie me over for a bit till DDR4 takes over. Once that happens - all DDR3 gear will be dumped. They won't be able to get rid of it fast enough between that move and Microsoft's move off Legacy. And the new GC technology from what I'm reading.

Also since the price point drop - perhaps looking at the generation after these Xeons is the ticket for a good tie over machine for the next 18 months till all this newer technology takes hold.

I'm pretty excited about the new tech they plan on implementing. The machines will be so much faster - use way less power and can handle so much more all the way around. And we are just around the corner from it. I may not be able to afford 'em but damn - so seriously good improvements coming from what I've read heading our way.

Anyhow - I realize I got off the main topic - sorry about that. My comp going down has me looking at all options and somewhat going in circles at the moment for a solution.
It being down has tossed me for a loop. lol

but thanx to all that chimed in. You gave some good advice and things to check.

I'll just research the components - processors, GC's, MB's, etc etc and combos there of before making a decision.

again thanx

~ chase ~

Last edited by chasecanade : 03-07-2014 at 03:35 PM.
 
Old 03-09-2014, 04:44 PM   #8
chasecanade
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Apparently in my area S. Florida the companies selling gear like this are blood suckers just like the Used Car sales people and Devleopers and they are really ticking me off trying to charge 3 times the price on a used comp with out even a HD in it.

So I decided to just go new. I can go to what's called Computer Row in Miami and get new for whole sale pricing from what the guys at Tiger Direct keep telling me.

I've done a lot of research on a lot of Xeons and they are not bad in many respects. And I even made an offer at double the going rate before I knew what it was for a Dual CPU machine - but the blood suckers are so damn greedy down here at some of these supposed "Whole sale" computer companies it isn't funny any more.

Definitely do your research before you buy one of these older Xeon comps.
And though they may still hold value as far as what we can use them for - they aren't worth the case they are in dollar value wise as you can see cleary in this price history for the Dual CPU Intel Xeon X5660 2.8 machines.



It's not like I'm making this stuff up on price point or have my finger constantly on the pulse of gear pricing, but the guys selling them dang well should.

Frack 'em - if they want too much like they did me, let them get stuck with their overpriced used comps.

As every one in the industry knows especially if you're in computer sales
- He who gets stuck holding the proverbial computer bag - looses.

Which gives me a little bit of satisfaction regarding the guys that tried selling me way over priced gear.

- chase -

Edit: Sorry about the rant guys - I'm just ticked off, it's not just used comps they are bleeding us on down here. Anyway...

I'm sure you'll have better luck in your area if looking into these comps as a temp replacement - from what I can see on the web, you will.

Last edited by chasecanade : 03-10-2014 at 05:20 PM.
 
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