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Render Beast Needed for 3D work - $6000 budget

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I need to build a render beast for Cinema 4D, After Effects and Premiere projects. Budget is $6000. Less is better, of course.

We are looking at overclocking two Intel Xeon X5690s (4.1Ghz-ish) on a SR-2 board with 64GB ram, Nvidia GTX 580 card.

Can we do better than this? Do any of the Sandy Bridge chips do better (are cheaper?)?

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 12
Is this going to be a dedicated render server or a workstation which doubles as a render station?

If it's the latter, then xeons are not a bad idea. But if it's just going to be used for rendering then Xeons are going to be an overkill purchase.
The motherboard is great despite the socket 1366 kind of getting left behind with newer tech.

And the video card is a great choice. I'd pick up a second one though. I've been animating 3D for years and I always prefer gaming cards over workstation cards for real time rendering through Direct3D. If you were using some CAD based, solids modelling software which often utilize OpenGL I'd say get a Quadro or FireGL Pro

If it were my money, and I were building a workstation which would often double as a render server/manager, I would probably skip dual processors and go socket 2011 and x79 chipset. Pick up a solid board, drop in a 3960x, 32GB of some fast DDR3, 2 AMD 7970s (more vRAM the better), and RAID together 3 Vertex 3 120GB or 250GB drives.
There isn't a doubt in my mind that such a machine would blow you away with its performance. You will be able to continually upgrade it within the foreseeable future, and I believe is still under $6K.

Just my 2 cents.
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks. And yes, it will DOUBLE as a workstation.

I have another system I'm building as a dedicated render machine. It's a dual AMD Opteron 6272 with 64GB Ram. First time using AMD, so we'll see how this one goes.

But I do need one that's able to be worked on as well as serve as a render machine.

So you're saying a 3960x is better than two Xeons? Just want to be clear. Or are you saying FOR THE PRICE it's a better idea?
post #4 of 12
I think it is, my current wip rig is more overkill than that (just 3930K instead and only 1 7970) with a 30 inch and a fast Vertex 3 MAX IOPS 240gb. However, one thng I would never do until RST 11.5 launches is RAID SSDs, as TRIM has to be off. Not good.
post #5 of 12
i just put together a render workstation for a friend based on the SR-2 and SLI 560's. He's now looking at replacing the 560's with 580's and getting some software to use CPU's and GPU's for rendering even faster. dual xeons, 24gb of ram dual ssd's (1 os 1 scratch disk) and he couldn't be happier. all total it was a little over $5k.
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post #6 of 12
since the 7970 are so new you might wanna look into this.

http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/tech-specs.html

Supported NVIDIA graphics cards for GPU acceleration
GeForce GTX 285 (Windows and Mac OS)
GeForce GTX 470 (Windows)
GeForce GTX 570 (Windows)
GeForce GTX 580 (Windows)
NVIDIA Tesla C2075 card (Windows)/Maximus configuration
Quadro FX 3700M (Windows)
Quadro FX 3800 (Windows)
Quadro FX 3800M (Windows)
Quadro FX 4800 (Windows and Mac OS)
Quadro FX 5800 (Windows)
Quadro 2000 (Windows)
Quadro 2000D (Windows)
Quadro 2000M (Windows)
Quadro 3000M (Windows)
Quadro 4000 (Windows and Mac OS)
Quadro 4000M (Windows)
Quadro 5000 (Windows)
Quadro 5000M (Windows)
Quadro 5010M (Windows)
Quadro 6000 (Windows)
Quadro CX (Windows)
 
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post #7 of 12
Honestly, it probably won't be "faster" per se to run the 3960x over two x5690 cpus. Those xeons are the cream of the crop. But I think that you will see comprable speed and performance out of a single 3960x or OC'd 3930k.
The machine you've spec'd with the SR-2 and xeons would be a fantastic build and right now is still all very new and relevant hardware. With your budget the possibilities and combinations are nearly endless. So I'd go with the latest tech but that's a personal preference.
I've drooled many times over the SR-2 and twin xeons though.
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post #8 of 12
This is a little tough because having something serve as a render node and a workstation at the same time is a little tricky because usually when you have a dedicated render node it is either Tesla based or CPU based. I'd go dual Xeon and don't even waster your time with 580s go Quadro. Yes they are more expensive but in the long run they have better cuda processing support as they tend to be an industry standard and don't get upgraded all that often. I'd take a look at Maximus. It combines a fermi based Quadro (2000,4000,6000) and a Tesla C2075 supercomputer GPU. It uses the Quadro to view everything in real time and the Tesla to do the heavy computational lifting. The drawback is you wouldn't be building this thing, you'd have to buy from HP or Dell or Lenovo. If you work with AVID at all it is REALLY picky about the workstations they certify, also take a look at what CINEMA 4D and Adobe list as certified workstations.

When it comes to workstations, the Xeon is a GREAT choice, I'd stay away from i7s and i5s nothing against them it's just that you seem to need some proper hardware and unless it is a Xeon it won't have the dual QPI that it needs to be happy in a dual socket environment. What is your time frame? I ask because later this year Intel will have the new Sandy Bridge-E Xeons coming out and they all have Turbo-Boost from what I saw. When it comes down to stability, it is Xeon or nothing...**beats opteron back into the basement with a stick** ahem...Have you talked to Nvidia or any of the software communities? Nvidia has great support especially if you tell them what you need to accomplish such as rendering, HD encode/decode, fluid simulation etc.
Edited by cdawwgg - 1/30/12 at 12:42pm
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys. Really appreciate the feedback.

I haven't got my AMD Opteron 32-core fully running yet (waiting on a part). Not sure, really, how it will perform. I'm planning on making that my primary render farm unit.

The Dual Xeon machine I hope to use for daily work and then send out a render queue to it overnight and during lunch. Essentially it's either creating stuff, or rendering stuff 24/7.

I really don't want to buy something from HP or Dell. I want to build it myself, so hopefully there's a way to do it.

Adobe really likes the Dual Xeon machines (at least that's what a lot of their training videos say).

My timeframe is yesterday. I'm actually hoping to place an order tonight or tomorrow at the latest so I can get it built this week. I've come to the conclusion that our firm wastes more time on rendering than anything else, and if i would have had this system months ago, we'd be much farther ahead--both timewise and money-wise. Employees cost money too, so if i cut down their time, we are saving money.... at least that's the way I sold this idea to the board of directors! smile.gif
post #10 of 12
Definately go with Maximus. I saw a few benchmarks on the new opterons as well as the magny-cours system and it got BLOWN AWAY by the XEONs every time except for multi threaded but just barely. Talk to the higher ups about implementing tesla based farms down the road as they will save you more time and money than you can Imagine. In fact PIXAR and Lucasarts/Lucasfilms use Tesla farms.

EDIT: Found this

http://www.nvidia.com/object/tesla_build_your_own.html
Edited by cdawwgg - 1/30/12 at 6:17pm
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AMD Phenom II X4 965 NF980-G65 (MS-7612) NVIDIA nForce 980a/780a SLI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 
GraphicsGraphicsRAMRAM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Patriot Memory  Patriot Memory  
RAMRAMHard DriveHard Drive
Patriot Memory  Patriot Memory  Seagate Barracuda Seagate Barracuda 
Optical DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Plextor PX-B320SA Plextor PX-B320SA XSPC Raystorm DDGTX470 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
XSPC RX 360 Phobya Xtreme 200MM Radiator Swiftech MCP655 Windows 7 Ultimate 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 8 Dev 2x 28" Asus  Logitech G15 OCZ 1250w 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
Coolermaster HAF 932 Razer Death Adder Razer 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Core i7 980X Asus Rampage III Gene EVGA GTX 780 SC EVGA GTX 780 SC 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Crucial Ballistix  Seagate Barracuda Samsung 850 EVO  Plextor BD Drive 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
EK-Supremacy EVO  EK-CoolStream XE 360  Windows 10 Professional Ezio 28" IPS 
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