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anxious for workstation guide update
12-07-2011, 04:31 PM,
#1
anxious for workstation guide update
Hello, I am new to the HR website but I am really glad I found it! I have been debating building a workstation class computer for a while and I now have the go ahead from the wife to do it. Anyway. I plan to spend some where around $2k. I am persuing a career in computer graphics and have been spending quite a bit of my time after classes messing around with dynamic simulations with Maya and Realflow, and I just started leaning Zbrush. My current PC is not equipped to handle these softwares. I will be sure to drop a donation for all the hardwork that goes into making these guides, this website has already proven to be of great value to me.

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12-07-2011, 06:20 PM,
#2
RE: anxious for workstation guide update
First off welcome to the forums!

Mathieu recently posted his planned schedule for articles this month and it looks like the high end workstations are slated for the 23rd. Until then I'd recommend reading over the current guide available that can be found below.

Schedule for Articles : http://forums.hardware-revolution.com/sh...9#pid10909

Current High End Workstations: http://www.hardware-revolution.com/2500-workstation/
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12-15-2011, 04:33 PM,
#3
RE: anxious for workstation guide update
Thanks for the heads up. I find myself revisiting HR daily now to see what is new. I have built a number of pc's and this time I am most excited.

When I was first able to see in person the difference between a gamer pc and workstation pc I was converted. I knew too, that if I wanted to work at home, then I would need a pc like that. I know that a lot of companies sell workstations, but I am the type of guy who likes to build my own.

I was having difficulty deciding on whether or not the xeon class chip was the way to go, and I definitely think it is. I would like to have enough power in the computer so that it can render at 100% through the day and then I still need to be able to use it while rendering when I am home. I spoke to a few individuals in town who do professional vehicle renders for tv and print, and they tell me that render times are usually 15-30min per frame. This compounds quickly so it's important for me to have stuff done within a few days.

It is very likely i will build something that is posted in HR's workstation guide, maybe I can post some benchmarks.

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12-15-2011, 11:15 PM,
#4
RE: anxious for workstation guide update
Have you subscribed to the email notifications and the rss feed? If not then that can save you some time since it will notify you of any updates on the main page Smile.
Here are some links you may find useful.
Forum Rules - Introduce Yourself - Things to know before asking a question
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12-16-2011, 10:50 AM,
#5
RE: anxious for workstation guide update
No point in going with Xeon processors unless you're going with a dual-CPU platform (aka high-end workstation) or want/need ECC RAM support. If you need neither of those, a LGA2011 Core i7-39xx offers more performance for a lot less money.
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
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12-17-2011, 09:39 AM,
#6
RE: anxious for workstation guide update
(12-16-2011, 10:50 AM)MathieuB Wrote: No point in going with Xeon processors unless you're going with a dual-CPU platform (aka high-end workstation) or want/need ECC RAM support. If you need neither of those, a LGA2011 Core i7-39xx offers more performance for a lot less money.

Honestly even with the dual CPU setups I question their regular worth. Unless you need just the height of reliability with 0 downtime, I just can't justify their costs. The i7 series often even outperforms the Xeons as the i7s are much easier to overclock and have much more raw power, including the unbuffered RAM. ECC RAM is more reliable, but it is slower. Unless you're running a server, even for high end I have a hard time recommending them.
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12-30-2011, 12:11 PM,
#7
RE: anxious for workstation guide update
Ok, thanks for your responses. I have been googling and reading all over the place and I am actually more confused now than previously. My understanding of the Xeon chips was that they have models that are specific to servers and/or workstations. The e3-1230 is a proc that I have been eyeballing, but it is for 1 cpu configurations, but you guys agree thata xeons are for dual setups? What is the purpose of this processor? I am still convinced in the performance of xeons because it is what other professionals I know in town have, although I saw a number of posts at cgtalk.com where systems are constantly being recommended without Xeons. I was considering building Mathieu's high end workstation with some modifications to cut the price. Is the Xeon E5620 still a good deal? I generally think I know what I want more or less in the computer, but I am having difficulty choosing the right processor setup.
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12-30-2011, 12:32 PM,
#8
RE: anxious for workstation guide update
(12-30-2011, 12:11 PM)muggsftw Wrote: Ok, thanks for your responses. I have been googling and reading all over the place and I am actually more confused now than previously. My understanding of the Xeon chips was that they have models that are specific to servers and/or workstations. The e3-1230 is a proc that I have been eyeballing, but it is for 1 cpu configurations, but you guys agree thata xeons are for dual setups? What is the purpose of this processor? I am still convinced in the performance of xeons because it is what other professionals I know in town have, although I saw a number of posts at cgtalk.com where systems are constantly being recommended without Xeons. I was considering building Mathieu's high end workstation with some modifications to cut the price. Is the Xeon E5620 still a good deal? I generally think I know what I want more or less in the computer, but I am having difficulty choosing the right processor setup.

What we meant by saying it's for dual CPUs is that that's the only real visible advantage over the i7s. Xeons are incredibly overpriced and perform slower than the higher end i7s, so unless the name to you justifies spending the extra cash, there's just no reason for it. Also reading back over this discussion I realize where your confusion lies. The rendering power you noted in fact had little to nothing to do with the Xeons in the computer you witnessed, it was actually in fact the workstation graphics card, probably one from the Nvidia Quadro line. If you want a lot of power I would invest in the i7-3960k and buy a really good Quadro card. Heck, I'd even be inclined to tell you to just go with an i7-2600(k) and dump extra money in the Quadro as that will be where you see those rendering times come down drastically. The term workstation is deceiving and you may have really missed what caused the performance boost by harping on one aspect over the others.
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12-31-2011, 09:40 AM,
#9
RE: anxious for workstation guide update
Xeons don't seem to be worth the price tag. I would expect they are big in apple computers just so they cost more. That is a guess and not apple bashing.
The i7-3960k with the extra cores over the 2600k should kill in computers that needs and uses the resources of a Quadro? guess it comes down to money though.
Checking out comparisons online how 3960s work compared to 2600s should be the first thing you study up on.

Why are Quadros not for gaming? Is it a memory thing or a price thing cause they have more cores etc? I have never seen why not on this site.

Is RAM so unstable that ECC ram is necessary that isn't for a server? I kind of think it is a bit of a throw back to 10 years ago, like what Brian was saying about capacitors in PSUs just the other day. good quality shouldn't have problems.
CPU: Intel i7 2600k OC 4.2ghz.Cooler: ASUS silent Warrior.Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3.Graphics Card: XiShi HIS 6970 IceQ.RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaw DDR3 1600 2x4Gb.SSD: OCZ Solid 3 120Gb.HDD: WD green disk 2TB.PSU: OCZ 850W 80PLUS Gold.Case: Something Chinese, still good.monitors:Samsung B2230H 21.5-inch. LG 42 inch HDTV. All very quiet.
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12-31-2011, 11:00 AM,
#10
RE: anxious for workstation guide update
(12-31-2011, 09:40 AM)carlstar Wrote: Xeons don't seem to be worth the price tag. I would expect they are big in apple computers just so they cost more. That is a guess and not apple bashing.
The i7-3960k with the extra cores over the 2600k should kill in computers that needs and uses the resources of a Quadro? guess it comes down to money though.
Checking out comparisons online how 3960s work compared to 2600s should be the first thing you study up on.

Why are Quadros not for gaming? Is it a memory thing or a price thing cause they have more cores etc? I have never seen why not on this site.

Is RAM so unstable that ECC ram is necessary that isn't for a server? I kind of think it is a bit of a throw back to 10 years ago, like what Brian was saying about capacitors in PSUs just the other day. good quality shouldn't have problems.

ECC RAM is really only necessary in a server as it has that extra bit of stability that a computer being relied on by many people. As for Quadros, they actually are nearly identical, if not identical, to the GeForce line, however they use different drivers. For gaming, the FPS is much more important than precision, whereas in rendering it is one of the most important things, so the GeForce line had drivers designed to get high FPS whereas the Quadro line was designed for precision in rendering which will slow the card down when gaming, although the heightened rendering algorithms help speed up professional applications enormously. I would agree that the 3960 would be a great improvement, however the better Quadro cards run well over $1000, so as he said he was looking for a workstation around $2000, he is left needing to substitute one component for the other, as the Quadro will have a much more drastic performance increase than the extra processing cores. If he would consider raising the cap on his budget, then he may be able to get a better workstation, as around $2000, realistically you're not getting a perfect workstation no matter what.
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