Question about Xeons.......


#1

After much deliberation, i’ve decided to go ahead with purchasing dual xeons (if my christmas bonus permits me to do so) and i just have a few questions to the people who use them…

How is the temperature on those babies? do i need an abundance of cooling equipment?

As 3d animators, how well would you rate the performance of the Xeons for your daily animating needs?

Since 64bit technology will be creeping up on us soon (possibly in the next two years) i’ll be thinking of upgrading by then, but do you think the Xeons will do for now? I’m just worried about it’s longevity…dont want the Xeons to be obsolete within a matter of days which i’m sure a lot of us have worried about when buying new hardware.

At the most basic though, my big question really would be, if my christmas bonus kicks in and i can afford the dual Xeons, should i get them, or should i just stick to a single P4 3.06Ghz /w HT technology at 800 FSB and wait until the technology gets better (dual xeons running at higher FSB, single and dual 64bit processing)?

I’m thinking of getting two Xeons at 2.8Ghz /w HT enabled…once again, money is an issue (as always)… Just wanted a few peoples opinions on the Xeon…and keep in mind i wanna do some very crazy animations (very detailed shorts)…will the single P4 do?


#2

Hi,
in a well build Xeon system heat isn’t an issue. I strongly recommend not to build one yourself since dual Xeons differ in many points from the common single processor systems that will cost you time and money if you don’t know exactly what you are doing.
At this time i wouldn’t take 64 Bit systems into account. Even though they might be available in numbers by mid next year they don’t have a real speed advantage and the 64 Bit advantage will only show with 64 Bit OS and applications which won’t be here to soon and who knows in what state.
As for animation i think the single P4 3 Ghz might proof a bit faster since only a few animation tasks are usualy multithreaded so they can take advantage of the second processor, Rendering on the other hand is a completely different animal the dual Xeon will scream here :slight_smile:
Maybe you should think about getting two boxes. A fast single P4 for animation and a second (cheaper) single P4 for additonal rendering (provided you are using Net rendering or similar).

Hope this helps
Srek


#3

Thanks for the reply Srek,

Your answer actually brought up more questions for me to ask…

I’m not going to build the system myself, i have someone who does that for me and i’m sure he can figure it out if i anything. and i wasnt totally concerned with 64bit technology since it’s still in it’s early stages.

one of my main concerns is being able to create complex scenes involving a lot of things on screen at once. I currently have a P3 733 computer that cannot handle certain scenes like that and therefore, whenever i rotate the scene in the viewport for example, the damn thing would slow down to the point where i’d have to wait every 5 seconds before the screen refreshes itself, which as you probably have experienced, gets very very annoying.

I was hoping the dual Xeon setup would help me out in that department, as well as also have rendering power to back it up…but from what i got with your answer, your saying that the Xeons main deal is rendering, and in terms of animation, it wouldnt help me?

Anyone else who have Xeon setups have experienced this?

Cuz i really wouldnt want to sink all that money in just a rendering machine and nothing else.


#4

hi erazal,

" one of my main concerns is being able to create complex scenes involving a lot of things on screen at once. I currently have a P3 733 computer that cannot handle certain scenes like that and therefore, whenever i rotate the scene in the viewport for example, the damn thing would slow down to the point where i’d have to wait every 5 seconds before the screen refreshes itself, which as you probably have experienced, gets very very annoying."

—> this sounds to me more like a graphic card issue. since you dont really need the processor to visualize your scene in the viewports.
the processor starts doing its job while rendering not by displaying the scene.

from my point of view a p4 2.8 ghz and a nice graphic card (PNY, 3Dlabs…@ about 400-500$) would be more suitable than a dual xenon pc.

especially if you mention the heavy scenes… there a pro graphic card is the best buy.

hope i could help you…

polz


#5

Polz: this sounds to me more like a graphic card issue. since you dont really need the processor to visualize your scene in the viewports.

Know what Polz, your right, it crossed my mind as well but i thought that the second CPU would help boost the speed of the viewport activity a little more.

Thanks for your help, at least now i have very good reasons to get either one. I might just opt for spending the money on an amazing video card…but i do feel rendering power is also important.

What i’ll do i guess, if i can afford it is get the dual xeons with an amazing video card. Any suggestions on a videocard for running Max 6? something with my specifications (lots of complex, detailed scenes with multiple characters that wont slow down the viewport).


#6

Get a Quadro FX 3000 now and save your money for buying a 64 bit system next year. It will be worth it for the needs you described.

Emmortal


#7

without trying to pick a fight, there are always bigger and better things coming around the corner. next year when 64bit systems come into abundance, people will be recommending everyone wait until the next year to get faster versions. eventually you have to bite the bullet and purchase something to do work on NOW.

prices will always go down. don’t be pissed off when your $3000 machine bought yesterday is worth $1000 in 6 months. that’s how it works with compuuters.

on topic, a dual Xeon 2.6 or 2.8 system with a QuadroFX 1000 is a nice setup, and not priced too far in the high end for the average user. dual processing won’t help your viewport much, but is nice for rendering as well as if you have a few apps open at once. the dual xeon users here happily test render away in the background while photoshopping in the foreground on dual 2.8’s with 2GB of RAM each.

make sure you run WindowsXP (if you are going the windows road) on the machine to get full HT support on the dual CPUs.


#8

Thanks Elvis!

I appreciate the reply. That’s just the thing ay? Technology keeps going forward and you cant really sit there and keep holding off for faster things cuz you’ll end up not getting anywhere.

I wasnt really going to wait another year just to get the 64bit processors. I feel it’s way too early anyways. I’m hoping to upgrade to 64bit in the next two years or so. Elvis is right, i do need something RIGHT NOW in order to do some serious 3D.

My confidence on the Xeons are a bit better now. I figure it’ll be way better than my current PC now anyway, and on top of that, i do a lot of multi Tasking, and one of my major problems was having to leave the PC on and wait till the render would finish before working on anything else, or even chatting on MSN or surfing the net. The Xeons will be helping me out a lot with multi-tasking so it’s definately worth my $$$. I’m just hoping that my Christmas Bonus lets me do it. If not, i’ll wait a few months until i get the money, and maybe i’ll even be able to get the 800 FSB one.

i’m sure the Xeons will last me a few years until i decide to go the 64bit route. Oh yeah, and i wouldnt think of using anything else but the Windows XP Pro OS.

I’m also looking into the Quadro as well. How is it for games though? i’m not really looking into playing games so much but in the odd time i actually want to play, i’m hoping it performs better than my current setup (which i’m definately sure it will…has to right? i currently have a 64bit radeon system)


#9

Hi

The next comming Xeons “Jayhawk” are at FSB800, and there is some behind scence talking that they will have 64bit extension (just like opterons), I’m not sure about the 64bit, but I’m sure they are at higher FSB which mean better mem. speed and hight responce and performance.

Anyway, no one know when they will be out, some say second half of 2004, some say second quarter of 2004, this is anoying me cause since 2 months ago I need a dual Xeon system, and I don’t want to waist money with upgrades.

The new Xeon Chipset should come with good stuff too, support for DDRII, PCI-Express for the comming Very Fast Vcards, and more, for me it worth the wait, yes I’m welling to pay more for that, but I need it now :cry:

Although, you can still get Xeons with DDR333 with ASUS PC DL Deluxe Mobo., but still why waist money now if you going to upgrade to the new Xeons.

As for Vcards, they speed up the vport, not sure how much, make sure not to make my same mistake and by ATI, they are not good for 3D application, even a G4 ti4x00 worth the money more than them in that field, Quadro is super, but still cost allot, be very carful with Vcards, and you still can wait for PCI-Express version of these that is comming next year.

My advice is to Hibernate till then :slight_smile:


#10

erazal,

What are you using now?

Is it possible to upgrade your current system to its max potential and save the rest of your money for a future system?

A dual 2.8B Xeon is a screaming fast system…but its now approaching a chipset change.

As allawy mentioned newer Xeon boards/chips are coming out this coming year (Last I heard was Q1 2004, but I’ve been known to be wrong), as well as future advances in the Athlon FX and Opteron lines.

Not to mention an entirely new motherboard standard (BTX) which will require new power supply’s, case designs, and heck even some heatsink redesigns.

Prescott is also on the horizon.

Not to mention all those super tasty high res, sub 16ms 20 inch LCD’s.

Oh and btw, any quadro card will function equivilantly to its Geforce FX brethern in games. (Give or take a % or two)


#11

thanks again guys

My current system right now is p3 733 and it’s pretty much maxed out already. I’ve waited about a year already to get a PC and i can pretty much wait a few more months. In any case, i’ve heard about the new Xeons with 800FSB but the problem is we dont know exactly when they’ll be out, not to mention how much that’s gonna cost. As i’ve said before, money is definately an issue. I can probably afford the Xeons now, but the newer ones will be way too expensive for me to get.

I was thinking of just getting the 2.8 Xeons right now and upgrade to 64bit technology when it’s already accepted as mainstream, so basically in about 2 years or so. In the meantime, i feel that the Xeons i get now will pretty much take me through till then.

Believe me though, if my bonus doesnt come through as planned, i’m going to have to hold off and wait for the new Xeons. we’ll see in about 2 months because that’s when i’m planning on getting my system.

any idea when the new ones will be out?


#12

The latest on Nocona (Prescott-based Xeon) is that they are now
expected toward the end of Q1/04.

The next chipsets are due late in Q2, I think.

If you’re planning to buy 2 months from now, then you’re in a
good position, I think, as the competition between AMD and Intel
in that space is just starting to heat up, and I think there is one
more Northwood-based Xeon processor due to launch in the
interim.


#13

Thalaxis

Is this like sure news? I mean about new Xeons will be released at Q1/04, that means about 4 months from now, right?

I would love to pay for thouse, even if they cost allot, I will live on bread :slight_smile:

I’ve been always satisfied by intel, although I admit that AMD had several good advatages during these years (like now they have the opterons), but in my country we have this say “The Bad you know is better than the good you don’t”, and Intel is not that bad, is it? :slight_smile:

The reason I want to wait is that once you use P4 HT FSB800, and you see the wonderful responce/performance that HT and FSB800 give you, you just can use less, I mean even with my 2.4GH which is not much I’m happy.

My question is should I get me a 3GH till then? would the 0.6GH make any difference?


#14

Originally posted by allawy
Thalaxis
Is this like sure news? I mean about new Xeons will be released at Q1/04, that means about 4 months from now, right?

Somewhat… but it also looks like I was off by a month or two:
Xeon pricing article at XBit Labs


I would love to pay for thouse, even if they cost allot, I will live on bread.

They aren’t as expensive as one might expect… unless you are
looking for 4-processor versions, which are not what one might
call “cost effective” if you know what I mean. :wink:


I’ve been always satisfied by intel, although I admit that AMD had several good advatages during these years (like now they have the opterons), but in my country we have this say “The Bad you know is better than the good you don’t”, and Intel is not that bad, is it? :slight_smile:

The statement “no one ever got fired for buying Intel” came from
somewhere… and the fact that Intel owns around 80% of the
server market is probably a good sign.

Personally, while I like Intel’s products quite a bit (my fave being
the Pentium-M, and my newest machine is a P4), I prefer the K8
family. I’m hoping to be able to get a dual Opteron rig next year, if
budget allows… we’ll see :slight_smile:


The reason I want to wait is that once you use P4 HT FSB800, and you see the wonderful responce/performance that HT and FSB800 give you, you just can use less, I mean even with my 2.4GH which is not much I’m happy.

HT is great technology. Hardly revolutionary, but it’s a very cheap
way for a processor maker to extract a little extra from their
processor… but it isn’t a universal benefit, and it requires some
extra effort from the software developers to fully exploit it.

But it’s a nearly free performance boost, so it’s hard to complain
about that. :slight_smile:

I was hoping that AMD would do it, but according to their Fred
Weber (IIRC), they have a somewhat more ambitious plan.


My question is should I get me a 3GH till then? would the 0.6GH make any difference?

Tough call… the 3.0 GHz models aren’t particularly expensive any
longer, now that there are 3.2 GHz 1M (1MB L3) models available.
But on the other hand, if you don’t need it now, you could save up
a bit of moolah for 2-3 months and get a dual LGA770 machine
fairly soon.

These decisions are never easy. :confused:


#15

Awesome Replies!!

Well in light of this info, i’m not thinking of just waiting till April when AMD and Intel release they’re newer chips. Just seems more of an intelligent decision since it’s not too far off, just 3 months.

What i’m going to do now is just upgrade my video card with the money i have, probably go with the QuadroFX or the Quadro 4 (i feel a question coming on…but i’ll research the site first if it’s already been answered) and put that puppy into my computer and it should tide me over until i purchase the powerhouse Processors that are out there.

Besides, the way i look at it, the extra time can help me do a little more research on the whole thing:applause:

And hey, once i get the new Xeon or whatever i think is best at the time, that should TOTALLY hold me off for 2-3 years for sure, until i decide to upgrade to 64bit technology. It all works out!!

Thanks again guys, this forum rocks me socks!!


#16

Thalaxis

I O U MAN! :bounce: You just saved my budged, Thanks allot, know it or not, this is the second time you post something and it come to save my day, I’m really thankful to you!

These things are wonderful, the Xeons with FSB800 will stay in the market for longer time than other versions, I heard about some other FSB that exceed 1000, I don’t recall how much, but I think it’s now clear for all who own a P4 with FSB800 that these are the best Personal Computer proccessors they bought (at least Intel clients).

Although I’m not sure about the prices, but I’m welling to pay, as I said bread will become my best friend :), it seems Intel has droped the idea of 64bit Extension, I don’t know what SSE3 will be, but instead of jumping into 64bit make 32bit more effecient, which is fine for me, after all we all seeking stability and performance.

I really can’t wait! :drool:


#17

No problem!

Computer shopping is never easy… there are so many choices :slight_smile:

I think Nocona will be the first Xeon with an 800 MHz FSB, and
the next iteration (Tejas core?) will have a 1066 MHz FSB.

After that, there might be a dual-core Xeon to counter AMD’s dual-
core Opteron. (Competition rocks :)).

SSE3 has some instructions for SIMD (Array of Structures), int-float
conversions, and multithreading. Nothing spectacular.

How Intel plans to go about bringing 64-bit to the desktop is far
too unclear to make and decisions based on it. Right now, if you
want 64-bit support, get a dual Opteron, and if you can’t afford
that just get a dual Xeon. :slight_smile:


#18

Damn Spiffy!!

Quick question though…can someone explain to me how the newer 2.8GHz Xeons with 800FSB is cheaper than the 2.8GHz Xeons before it?

I mean check it out, it says the newer ones will come out at $209 whereas the older versions will be coming out at $234 or so in the same quarter…

i’m happy if it’s true but i’m a little skeptical about it.


#19

i’m guessing the new core is a smaller fabrication process, and therefor will yeild a higher percentage of good parts per slab of silicon.

if that’s the case, it means it will be cheaper for intel to make them on bulk, and that will be refelected in their sale price.

not only that, but intel are getting some good pressure from AMD with the Athlon64/Opteron family for server and high-end workstation gear. competition means lower prices, and happy elvis. :smiley:


#20

Originally posted by elvis
[B]i’m guessing the new core is a smaller fabrication process, and therefor will yeild a higher percentage of good parts per slab of silicon.

if that’s the case, it means it will be cheaper for intel to make them on bulk, and that will be refelected in their sale price.
[/B]

LOL… prizes are set by what people would pay for it at maximum (and how big the market is)… and never what the product or the materials are worth it. It’s called capitalism. (There are exceptions anyway)…

That being said… i don’t know the reason :slight_smile: