Thunder K8QW


Hey everyone. I am in the process of planning out my new PC that I will be taking with me to college. And like any good person, I have to show off…

Right now, I am planning on buying this motherboard (as I have not yet found any that are better), but I cant seem to find it for sell anywhere…


thats cause its not for sale.
its still in development. many people are anxiously awaiting this board to see if it will be any good. i dont expect it will be out for a good few months at least. it will probably be over $2000us for the base board, and likely another grand or more for the secondary board if desired. and dont forget them cpu’s… $2700usd each for the dual core 880, in sets of 4 or 8. oh, and 2 registered ecc ram sticks per cpu. and the 1350w power supply…
machines with this board are probably starting at $15000us and going up to $50000us+

if you manage to get hold of one, do indeed show it off a bit :slight_smile:


Ya, I will…

Thanks for the information.
I look forward to seeing how far one of these new AMD Dual-Core Opteron processors can be pushed


um, there will be no oveclocking functions of any kind on that board you know. not to mention trying to get 4 or 8 processors to overclock at the same time is just silly.


The K8WE doesnt even have OC options in bios. These are server boards, and are meant for stability, not OC. Plus, OC usually kills your stability.

Also, ihavenofish forgot to mention that the OS for this system is also fairly expencive, regular Windows XP will not work, you will need some version of Windows Server, or linux. On top of that, your software of choice needs to support said hardware. If you dont have the right license roughly 14 of your CPUs would be utterly useless (assuming max config, of 8 880 Opterons.)

Personally I think getting a board like this for personal use is a bit ridiculous, and the money can be better spent on, i dont know, finding a nice place to live, food, tuition… You’re looking at at least $15,000, $20,000 if you want anything good. You can buy a new car for that.


As a workstation… Imagine the noise of that computer. Not something I’d be willing to have next to me. In a render rack far away, perhaps. Having said that, if you get one of those beasts, do post experiences and pictures. :thumbsup:


Hey. Thanks for all the info people. It helps a lot.
As far as the fans being loud
The system would be either phase-changed or water-cooled. Currently, I was planning on phase-changing the processors, and water-cool the video cards, ram, hard drives, ect

Currently on having zero fans, through an custom built cooling method…


You’re going to use that in a dorm room? :surprised

I still think that a K8WE with a pair of 280s would be far more practical. If you need render slaves buy 4 dual core X2s. You can do that for about $600 a pop. Heck buy 8 (sounds like you’ve got the cash). Then you’d have 4 more cores at your disposal, and probably 1/3rd the price.

Granted it all takes up more space :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, if you go the K8QW, all the power to you.

I wouldnt.


i think the stock coolers, in the required custom tyan 5u housing, with the required tyan psu should suffice, given that you wont be able to overclock. if youre going for silent, i think you have another thing coming. the power supply has like 8 fans. the daughter board also sits over top of the main cpu’s, meaning there will be no room to stuff silly things under there.

of course, based on what youve mentioned so far, i know you are joking, and really have no idea what you are asking about.


well, what’ya know…

motherboard, chassis, power supply, $5000cdn. thats for the 4 way base board. a bit more pricey than i was expecting.

with 4 875 cpu’s, 8gb ram, windows server 64 bit, say, 2 raptors for system drive… and 2 geforce 7800 gtx’s, you got about $22000 cdn. and thats rather bare bones for this machine.

add $2200cdn more for 880 cpu’s. $3000 more for dual quadro 4000’s. $1500 for four 500gb drives. and about $20,000 more to got for the full on 8 way. i havent even added in any high performance storage either.

actually, ill be happier if you arent joking… cause then i can make fun of you for wasting rediculous amounts of money for less power than four $1200 machines. assuming the thing doesnt short out the power in your dorm room, as it needs a dedicated 15 amp circuit.

virtually nothing is going to even make use of all 8/16 cores. most rendering apps are limited to just 2 or 4. other can use more, but charge larges sums of money per core. a few others just arent very efficient, and likely wont run more than 20-30% faster going from 4 to 8 cores… and maybe even slow down over 16 (too much traffic since they have to hop from cpu to cpu to access ram)



Well if all 8 sockets had populated ram, then in a NUMA aware OS they shouldn’t have to go across CPUs to access ram too often.

I priced a system like this a while ago, just for kicks. I got to an easily $40,000 machine, and still wasn’t “top end” for what the machine could do :stuck_out_tongue: If you populate each CPU with two 1GB dimms, that is 16 dimms weighing in at a price of $135 or so for each, that’s 2150 in RAM alone. Not to mention 880 Opterons cost about that much for each :wink:

If you need a system like this, it would be worth it to go through a vendor like Boxx. Especially since they use this exact board in thier 4 way machine. Ed told me once that the daughter board add on they were thinking about, but I dont know about the status of that system…

Like I said, a K8WE + render farm is really the way to go if you want rendering power… Plus the K8WE ports dual full speed X16 PCIe slots, rather than a 16 and a 4 (with a 16 slot).


i have been wondering wht computer do the blur studio’s staff use. for the rendring, it must be some sort of monster, but wht is it for the modelling and texturing?

the k8qw seems to be…, i dont know wht to say.


Most big companies in the industry will use a large render farm full of single or dual socket machines. And now probably populated with dual core CPUs thus doubling thier output without doubling the space. I dont know of any companies that would rely on ONE monster machine. That is not wise. If your one big machine crashes, there goes ALOT of time and money into fixing it. A collection of simple machines is more flexible, and cheaper to maintain.

When it comes to workstations, I would doubt that most companies in the industry use machines that are very different from my own, or MadMax’s. Most are probably dual processor workstations (AMD or Intel) with a Quadro of some sort in them, and a bunch of RAM.


We just delivered Blur a bunch of dual core dual processor AMD Opteron 280 based workstation.

Little secret, we’ll be officially launching what we’re calling Apexx4, the four socket dual core AMD based workstation very (and I do mean very) soon. We’re already testing with 8 dual core processors (Apexx8) but, won’t release that for several months.

I can’t say a whole lot but, I will tell you that we put Apexx4 systems into the hands of some “industry software experts” and the feedback has been stellar!

Apexx4 isn’t going to be a machine for everyone. It’s not intended to be. Simply put, if you run an application that currently needs an SGI machine to function, Apexx4 will do even better. If you’re trying to process 4K material, Apexx4 is the way to go. And so on and so on…

Watch for ads to hit print and the web.



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