Need advice on hardware? Ask questions and share your opinions here.
#53352 by jimgoodman
Sat May 28, 2011 12:49 pm
I am looking into a new workstation. I will be running rendering programs on this computer.
I would appreciate input from Neil, Josh and the other hardware gurus on two processor choices I am considering:
1. Quad Core Intel Xeon W3565 3.20GHz, 8M L3,4.8GT/s, 12GB,1333MHz, DDR3 SDRAM, ECC (3DIMMS)
2. Intel®Core™ i7-2600 processor(8MB Cache,3.4GHz), 16GBDual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz -4DIMMs
#53353 by joshhuggins
Sat May 28, 2011 7:43 pm
I would definitely go with an i7 over a Xeon. Your gonna get much better desktop, multitasking and 3D response ie; performance from a i7 over a xeon workstation. If it was going to be only for rendering farm box then a Xeon might be faster if the specific software is designed to take advantage of the Xeon's instruction set, but if this is going to your desktop go i7 for sure. I went from 6 GB DDR2 1066 to 12 DDR3 1333 at home but noticed only a little difference other than in my gaming apps. I would get a good amount of ram since it's still pretty cheap now, but also look into shopping the price difference from the xeon to the i7 and maybe a little less ram an getting a Western Digital Raptor drive or a pair raided together. I haven't researched the newer Sata3 raptors but my pair of Sata2 150 raptors in raid 0 scream :twisted:
#53354 by Neil Blanchard
Sun May 29, 2011 6:19 am
The i7 for sure -- the onboard memory controller alone make it worthwhile. Things like SketchUp seem to be video card limited. And I'd get a small-ish SSD to boot from; but no RAID, as the controllers on motherboards are problematic, and the PCI card controllers are as much money as an SSD. The newest SSD are blazing and some have their own RAID-like function.

I thought that the top end CPU's had 3 channel memory?
#53356 by jimgoodman
Sun May 29, 2011 7:12 am
Thanks Josh and Neil. I had a box with a Xeon in it several years ago and it never seemed as snappy as the other machines that I had with conventional chips.

I have an SSD on one of my other machines and there is no turning back.

I will double check the memory spec as well.
#57553 by Roger D
Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:57 pm
My CPU was DOA today, so I need to order on Monday.
Pro's Con's?
Keyboard
64 bit
Window version?
Ram?
AMD vs Intel?
already using dual monitors
#58065 by fsoliver
Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:50 pm
Ditto that Roger. Mine did the same. Been looking at HPe with either AMD FX or Intel i7(3rd gen). Also looking at Dell XPS 8500 which has 1600 mhz ram. The HPE comes with 1333MHz ram. Then there is the graphics, amd vs nvidia. Would love to get some feedback from the forum on this. I run datacad and SketchUp.
#58066 by Neil Blanchard
Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:04 am
Unlike a few years ago, the Intel CPU's are by far the best today. I'd get a quad core i7 if I can afford it, and a quad core i5 if that is my budge level. 8GB of RAM is a minimum and 16GB (four sticks of 4GB) are pretty reasonable. All CPU's these days (AMD and Intel) have their memory controllers right on the CPU chip, so the overall performance tells the story -- whatever the number of the speed, the bandwidth is included.

Make sure your video card has two DVI outputs, so you can use two digital monitors. This will let you make a lot better use of your fast computer. 23" LED back-lit LCD monitors with 1080 or greater vertical resolution are about $150-175 these days so dual monitors are the best value I can think of for a new system.

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