Originally posted by: alllfractup
Is there an Opteron system with multiple CPU sockets supporting a base speed of 4 GHz or faster (as a whole or per core)? I'm trying to get the best render station for my 20K (20,480 x 20,480 pixels) fractal movie. What I want is to be able to render each of these mammoth frames in seconds if possible. I'd rather not spend decades to complete this task
So any pointers you can provide is appreciated.
Fractal Artist & Animator
Creator of nearly 100,000 fractal images
16,800 HD VJ Loops
300,000 Fractal Sounds
What system is best largely depends on how multithreaded your workload is. If your fractal rendering program is highly threaded, you just want as many threads as possible. You would want at least a dual-processor system with two 16-core Opterons, such as Opteron 6272s or whatever your budget allows. Ideally you would have a four-socket system with four of those chips, but the only way to do that relatively inexpensively is to build your own as off-the-shelf four-socket servers carry a huge markup. The 16-core Opterons are not all that highly clocked (2.1-2.6 GHz) but the large number of cores more than makes up for it.
If your program is not all that highly threaded, still consider going the lots-of-cores route, since you can run multiple fractal renders at the same time. You might want to consider using a pair of slightly higher-clocked 12-core or 8-core Opterons in place of the 16-core units depending on just how many tasks you plan to run in parallel and just how threaded your program is.
If your program is fairly poorly threaded and you only do one render at a time, then I would suggest going with a desktop chip such as an FX-8150, Phenom II X4 980, or Phenom II X6 1100T. Server CPUs are actually clocked a little lower than desktop CPUs for the most case. However, realize that a standard desktop can only handle 32 GB of RAM, whereas a dual-socket Opteron 6200 system can handle 256-384 GB of RAM. 20K x 20K pixel images sound like something that use a ton of RAM, so you may very well need to go the server route just to get the memory capacity you need. In that case, go with the 3.3 GHz quad-core Opteron 6204s or the faster 8-core Opteron 6200s.