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Topic Title: How much power for opteron future proof
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Created On: 04/15/2005 12:31 PM
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 04/15/2005 12:31 PM
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3DMan
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Hi Im in need of a computer to render Softimage XSI animations on so theirs no such thing as too much power. i'v worked out the spec but havent built a dual comp before so I dont have a clue about the power supply. Budget is to be low as possible but alot will be spent on this comp in the future.

Could you guys give a sugestion for the PSU and I'll need one that can run future upgrades eg. bigger graphics cards and dual opterons.
Is their such thing as a quad motherboard if so a few pointers on those please.

Thermaltake case
Gigabyte 2x 940
2 x opteron 1-2 way 1.6 ghz
1Gb Dual DDR 400mhz EEC
nvidia 9700 128 mb
200 gb sata drive
floppy
dvd
 04/15/2005 01:51 PM
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redclawkefar
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well a quad board would be Tyan's s4882...

as for PSU's... i always say gpo with the recommended ones from the respective motherboard manufacturer.

edit:
Tyan's line-up on Otewron mobo's
http://www.tyan.com/products/html/opteron.html' ">http://www.tyan.com/products/html/opteron.html



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SYSTEM-1: 2x Viewsonic VX900-2 19"| Tyan S2885ANRF (Rev.A, bios v2.07) | 1x ATI Radeon X800 Pro 256MB | 2x AMD Opteron 248-HE Single-Core CPU | 8x 512mb PC3200 Corsair XMS Series ECC Reg. (CMX512RE-3200LL) | 2x Seagate LVD 36.7Gb U320 SCSI 10,000rpm RAID0 (ST336607LW) | 1x Seagate LVD 36.7Gb U320 SCSI 1
 04/15/2005 02:50 PM
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3DMan
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Gigabyte use 1 group of ram slots for both cpu's but Tyran use 1 ram group for each cpu why is this?

Will a Tyran motherboard last longer than the Gigabyte?

cheers for the help so far
 04/15/2005 03:02 PM
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redclawkefar
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having dedicated ram for each cpu clears any bottlenecks that may occur during cpu use

-------------------------
SYSTEM-1: 2x Viewsonic VX900-2 19"| Tyan S2885ANRF (Rev.A, bios v2.07) | 1x ATI Radeon X800 Pro 256MB | 2x AMD Opteron 248-HE Single-Core CPU | 8x 512mb PC3200 Corsair XMS Series ECC Reg. (CMX512RE-3200LL) | 2x Seagate LVD 36.7Gb U320 SCSI 10,000rpm RAID0 (ST336607LW) | 1x Seagate LVD 36.7Gb U320 SCSI 1
 04/15/2005 03:13 PM
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arcangel
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QUOTE (3DMan @ Apr 15 2005, 10:50 AM) Will a Tyran motherboard last longer than the Gigabyte?


no one knows but sure tyan is more stable.its not about how long it works its about how gud it works till it lasts. but if u want quad processor support tyan the only option.....

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Dual opteron 246
Tyan Thunder K8WE SCSI
Corsair, Seagate, Antec, Samsung, Sparkle.
 04/15/2005 05:30 PM
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Calvn_Swing
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Iwill makes some great boards too.

In general, go with Tyan or Iwill.

Having dedicated memory for each processor doubles your memory bandwidth in NUMA aware OS's. Windows 64bit, Windows XP SP2, and most Linux kernels are NUMA aware. As such, you'll get much better performance out of it, especially if you ever upgrade to Dual-Core.

Tyan has the best board on the market for dual socket workstations. K8WE.

It has two full width x16 PCI-e slots instead of the standard 8/8 or 16/4 solutions.

Assuming your motherboard is SLI capable and will support dual dual-core CPUs then get at least a 500W PSU. If you are going to be adding a bunch of other stuff like sound cards, lots of hard drives/optical drives, etc..., Then get a 660W PSU.

Also, keep in mind that some PSU makers list their specs at 20C which the PSU's don't actually operate at. At normal operating temperatures they will produce less. As such, check to see what Temp they are spec'd at. If you see some that are spec'ed at 35C or something and they are 500W you are good to go. If they are at 20C and 500W don't do it!

Adios!

-------------------------
Iwill Zmax DP SFF Barebones kit... (300W PSU, 8 USB, 1 FW, etc...)
Dual AMD Opteron 275's | 2 Gigs (2 Dimms 1024Mb) Patriot RAM 3-3-3-8
WD Caviar 80 Gig HDD - System
WD Raptor 74 Gig HDD
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256
NEC ND-3520A Dual Layer DVD±RW | Mitsumi Floppy/Card Reader combo
 04/15/2005 07:45 PM
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3DMan
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Will Win 64 support a quad cpu motherboard the idea is to spend least as possible on the CPU's so that this thing can be made into a supper fast rendering machine I need a rendering comp now but my funds are low but in a year or two Il be able to replace the opterons with something better right now i want the most sockets i can fit in one case.
 04/15/2005 08:10 PM
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Calvn_Swing
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I'm wondering what you'll replace the Opterons with that will be better? I mean, basically, if you buy a motherboard that is socket 940 Opterons are all you can get.

(Not to mention Opterons are the best thing out there right now and assuming Intel doesn't have something up their sleve, Opterons will still be the best in a year. Dual-core will use Socket 940.)

If this is a headless machine (i.e. no monitor or graphics card - a render node) then a 4 socket board is a possibility (though they cost around 1200 vs. 550 for the K8WE).

If you want the GPU's to help out here then go with the K8WE as it is the best board on the market by far in terms of upgradability for a workstation. If you do, then you can get 4 processors on it when AMD releases Dual-Core Opterons. (Honestly, it will be cheaper that way that getting the accessories for a Quad socket system and 4 AMD opteron 800 series. MUCH CHEAPER!!!

Point being, the choice with the lowest initial investment and the highest upgrade potential is as follows:

Tyan Thunder K8WE motherboard
2 AMD Opteron 200 processors (any speed you can afford)
2 Gigs of RAM (One gig on each processor - Preferably 2 512 sticks for each processor for dual channel performance)
EATX case and one of the reccomended PSU's on Tyan's sites (At least 500W!
Some hard drives, a floppy (for BIOS flashes and RAID drivers, etc..), and an Optical.

You should be able to get all of that with a pair of 246's for a little under 2500 -3000.

That is EXCELLENT for the performance you'll get out of it.

If you want to know more, give us a little more to work with. Right now we know you're running XSI and want Opterons. That's it. Not much for us to make suggestons off of.

Good luck!


-------------------------
Iwill Zmax DP SFF Barebones kit... (300W PSU, 8 USB, 1 FW, etc...)
Dual AMD Opteron 275's | 2 Gigs (2 Dimms 1024Mb) Patriot RAM 3-3-3-8
WD Caviar 80 Gig HDD - System
WD Raptor 74 Gig HDD
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256
NEC ND-3520A Dual Layer DVD±RW | Mitsumi Floppy/Card Reader combo
 04/15/2005 09:21 PM
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redclawkefar
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nice picks calvin... the only difference i would suggest is 2gigs per cpu ddr3200 ram... and any rev Ex stepping opteron.

-------------------------
SYSTEM-1: 2x Viewsonic VX900-2 19"| Tyan S2885ANRF (Rev.A, bios v2.07) | 1x ATI Radeon X800 Pro 256MB | 2x AMD Opteron 248-HE Single-Core CPU | 8x 512mb PC3200 Corsair XMS Series ECC Reg. (CMX512RE-3200LL) | 2x Seagate LVD 36.7Gb U320 SCSI 10,000rpm RAID0 (ST336607LW) | 1x Seagate LVD 36.7Gb U320 SCSI 1
 04/15/2005 09:32 PM
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3DMan
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I did work it out at £780 for a dual opteron 1.6 ghz setup already got a few bits and bobs I'll go for the tyan dual board and give each chip 512mb each thats plenty for rendering as for the future it will have dual opterons or i might just build another to make it into a 4 cpu render farm. graphics cards are usless in rendering my 6800 gt does'nt make a mesurable diference when its told to render shadows.

Cheers guys
 04/15/2005 09:34 PM
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3DMan
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Ps 2 gigs of ram wouldnt do a thing for a 3d scene only taking up 800mb.
 04/15/2005 09:37 PM
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Calvn_Swing
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Yeah, me too... I was trying to think what I'd do with that much/little money. (More than I have, but less than I'd like)

Anyway, depending on what he's rendering 1 Gig per CPU may be enough. If not, Ram is easy to upgrade and cheap. If he is finding it to be too little that would be a minimal investment to upgrade. That way, if he isn't using more than a Gig per processor he hasn't spent money he didn't need to. Then, he can up it when he buys dual-core or whatever in a year or so...

I did forget about the revision thing though, and good point!

Get an E revision if you can (though you might have trouble finding 242's in that flavor) , if not pick up a CG instead.

-------------------------
Iwill Zmax DP SFF Barebones kit... (300W PSU, 8 USB, 1 FW, etc...)
Dual AMD Opteron 275's | 2 Gigs (2 Dimms 1024Mb) Patriot RAM 3-3-3-8
WD Caviar 80 Gig HDD - System
WD Raptor 74 Gig HDD
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256
NEC ND-3520A Dual Layer DVD±RW | Mitsumi Floppy/Card Reader combo
 04/15/2005 10:04 PM
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Calvn_Swing
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LOL

yeah, I didn't know how big your scenes are. However, you'll want enough ram per CPU to hold the entire scene, so go with the Gig. There are some inexpensive 1 Gig kits out there of decent 3200 Ram for not much money! (also, a little extra room doesn't hurt as your scenes will grow over time.)

As for your graphics card not making a whit of difference, it is the graphics card you're using.

I upgraded from a nVidia Ti400 64Mb to a ATI Fire GL with 128 two years ago on my old Dual Athlon MP 1800 system and saw rendering times in FormZ and 3D Studio go up 30-40% In Maya they went up 25% on average. I'm not familiar with your program personally, but I know that on the XSI forums there are posts dedicated to Graphics Cards so I doubt they are as insignificant as you suggest for general rendering. Though I suppose you could do very specialized renderings that truly don't use things the GPU's are good at.

Anyway, if the GPU's are truly useless for you, don't get the K8WE, get the K8W. It has AGP graphics and an older chipset, but will still support dual-cores. (Unless of course you have another use for that second PCI-e slot on the K8WE in mind like a fibre card to connect your two render nodes at outrageous speeds. )

Or, get a decent workstation card as those will make a measurable difference. (ATI, Nvidia, and 3D labs are the workstation big boys.)

Best of luck, sounds like you'll have a fabulous system. Especailly since Softimage XSI has a working 64bit version of their software unlike any other 3D software out there. (You'll be able to get the speed out of the Opterons I'm still dreaming about. Sigh...)




-------------------------
Iwill Zmax DP SFF Barebones kit... (300W PSU, 8 USB, 1 FW, etc...)
Dual AMD Opteron 275's | 2 Gigs (2 Dimms 1024Mb) Patriot RAM 3-3-3-8
WD Caviar 80 Gig HDD - System
WD Raptor 74 Gig HDD
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256
NEC ND-3520A Dual Layer DVD±RW | Mitsumi Floppy/Card Reader combo
 04/16/2005 10:33 AM
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3DMan
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The Gpu does move around 3D while your working on 3D but for rendering the Gpu can only help with shadows. In XSI, rendering is done with mental ray which is software rendering so its CPU and Ram only. Only Mental ray will be installed on new computer 3D work is done on the one I have now which is a Fx-51with 2gb ram, rendering is abit too slow on this comp so I want the rendering comp to be at least as fast as this one.

I take it for an 800mb scene render 800mb of the scene will be sent to each cpu I was thinking that both cpu's would work on one lot of 800mb together if you know what i mean.
 04/16/2005 06:02 PM
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Calvn_Swing
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Well,

Since you're usin Mental Ray you're dead on about not even needing a graphics card really.

So, scratch that.

But, as for the RAM...

Each processor, when it has it's own banks of memory, wants the data as close as possible. If the data is in the other CPU's memory it has to go through the other CPU to access it. This is slower than it can access it's own memory. At least more than twice as slow if not more. Also, the other processor will use its memory bandwidth and some of its other resources accessing its memory and sending the data to the first processor. This will slow down it's own processes and memory access.

Currently, the Opteron HyperTransport bus has enough bandwidth to spare so this isn't such a problem beyond the slower memory response itself. However, as you impliement 64-bit software not to mention dual-core processors the bandwidth should begin to be saturated and you'll really notice the slow down.

The opterons will each fit whatever they can into their own memory, and anything else will sit on your hard drives. You might try rendering on your current systems and use some benchmarking proram to see how much of your RAM you are using. - if it is using more than 512Mb then you'll want to do more. Also, remember that what the processors are using to render isn't the only use of the RAM on the system. Your OS and the various processes - even Mental Ray's process - are also using RAM. So you won't even have the full 512Mb per processor. It may be that to Render it only needs 265Mbs or something and then you're set.

Anyway, it isn't like it won't work or anything, or like it won't run faster than what you have. It just won't run near as fast as it could. If it has to access information on your HDD it will be running a whole lot slower. That's all.



-------------------------
Iwill Zmax DP SFF Barebones kit... (300W PSU, 8 USB, 1 FW, etc...)
Dual AMD Opteron 275's | 2 Gigs (2 Dimms 1024Mb) Patriot RAM 3-3-3-8
WD Caviar 80 Gig HDD - System
WD Raptor 74 Gig HDD
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256
NEC ND-3520A Dual Layer DVD±RW | Mitsumi Floppy/Card Reader combo
 04/16/2005 11:15 PM
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3DMan
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Cheers again guys thats cleared things up I'll build the thing with two lots of ram for each CPU. Currently working on a huge scene so il see where the ram tops out when its ready for rendering then Il build the render comp. The dual cores might be £40 each when this project is ready.
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