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Topic Title: Opteron 1xx or 2xx; Suggestions?
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Created On: 04/12/2006 01:09 AM
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 04/12/2006 01:09 AM
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_slowhand
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I want to build an Opteron-based workstation for non-linear video editing, mainly in After Effects, Premiere, and perhaps Avid Xpress later on. It should be capable of at least native HDV support and real time HD-SDI editing. I'm also planning on using it for recording with ProTools LE. I am not sure whether to invest in an Opteron 1xx (thinking of 165+ w/DFI NF4?) or spend (a lot) more on a dual Opteron 265+ configuration (Tyan Thunder K8WE S2895).

An Opteron 1xx would obviously be the cheapest and most cost-efficient solution, but if getting two Opteron 2xx's would make a huge difference, I would consider it. With the 2xx's I would obviously have to use an s940 board and ECC reg. ram. I've also heard that they are not as OC friendly as the 1xx series.

Are the disadvantages of going s940 worth the overall performance increase? Is it a wise decision to overclock a workstation that will be used in CPU-intensive applications and under heavy stress? Please give me some insight and recommendations, thanks!
 04/12/2006 02:12 AM
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Bitey
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Well the total address space and fact you get twice the memory bandwidth with a good 2xx setup is always a good bonus.

A nice alternative to going whole hog on a dual opteron system is that you could get 2 cheaper single core opterons's giving you similar cpu performance to a dual core opteron for about the same price as 2 single core cpu's (cpu's only) with the bonus of extra memory bandwidth and size and the extra IO and expandabilty that comes with most dual boards

Then at later stage you have great upgrade going to 2 dual cores when they are cheaper.
(thats what I have done, 2x 246's 2G mem on a h8dce)

You really should not Overclock a server or workstation, doubly so if youy rely on it for income, becasue you will be losing money/business while its down.

Having said that my 2(old) 246's overclock quite nicely to 2.4G(at standard voltage), but I don't rely on it for income.

And almost all dual opteron boards are made to be very stable which is a nice thing to have if you have precoesses that takes hours or days, plus you actually get OC'abilty becasue they are designed to be so stable , thats if you work around bios limitations stoping you fromOCing.

Of course if you do buy to cheaper single cores, you will have many months of dual core cpu's calling to you for an upgrade, even if you don't *need* them...argg the torture, they are calling again "buy me, buy me" /wacko.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":wacko:" border="0" alt="wacko.gif" />
 04/12/2006 02:18 AM
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voxel
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I use a dual 270 workstation. For 3D rendering it kicks butt (1 hour frame on a P4@3.4 takes 12 minutes). For interactive use, the benefits of 2 dual-cores aren't so apparent because most UIs aren't that highly mulithreaded. I'd recommend a single FAST dual-core CPU for video editing, 3d modeling/animating, etc. + a cheapo slower dual-core system for offline rendering (After Effects mulithreads its rendering right?)

Dual-proc setups make fast previews and are great for offline/server rendering. The only other benefit of a socket 940 system is that the motherboards have more bandwidth to handle video/streaming (especially with HD frames) and come with 8+ SATA ports.

I wouldn't overclock a workstation. They are meant for work...

P.S Make sure you get a fast RAID to be able to edit HD - then add a cheapo NAS

(http://www.buffalotech.com/pro...127&categoryid=27)

to near-line(aka backup) the data into something less expensive.
 04/13/2006 02:53 AM
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_slowhand
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Bitey:
What sort of applications do you run your machine under? That Supermicro board would be great, except no PCI-x and sata2/scsi, right? Regardless, it has practically two of everything that the Tyan S2895 has at about half the price (found it on Newegg), and I could always get a sata2/scsi controller.

Aside from Newegg, could you reccomend some places that sell the h8dce? I live in Vancouver BC, so a Canadian website/retailer would be preferred.

Voxel:
Would you mind sharing some more info about your current workstation? For HD/SD-SDI editing, which capture card would you reccomend?

Thanks for your input! Any other suggestions would also be greatly appreciated.
 04/13/2006 03:41 AM
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Bitey
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Well I am a software engineer and I do a lot fo multithreaded stuff. So I bough this so I could compile faster and have a proper multi cpu envirmonment for testing, having said that its not getting used for that much as I am using development machines at work, and their testbed computers.

So I only use it for games and video editing at the moment, but I am learning to use some cad software at home as well and should be working from (programming) home at some point in the future.

I have pretty much gone away from scsi complelty, its to expensive for my needs and the preformance is not that good.
With 8 sata channels I intend to setup up a nice fault tolerant raid 5 array for speed and reliabilty a lot cheaper than a similar scsi setup.

I am in Australia and I spent some time finding a distributer here, so any advice I have in that respect is not going to help you.

I am not to worried about the sata2 either, sata1 is going t be plenty for a long while.

If you go the supermicro A+ site you will see they have a huge range of boards with 2-4 cpu's with/without scsi, with/without PCI-X...just pick the one thatt suits your needs, since I don't have any PCI-X gear and don't need any the extra pc-express slots were a great option for future upgrades.
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