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Rackmount servers: i7 970 vs i7 2600k

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi, I am planning on building a rackmount server, and I have these two platforms at the top of my list.

Purpose: 100% dedicated to 3D rendering. Apps: Maya 2011 and Vray. Will render animation. Gpu rendering is capped with the available gpu ram, and from what I have seen does not share the memory when multiple gpu's are used, so it is not an option.

i7 970 builds:

Cpu= 622 euro i7 970
Ram: 128 euro 12gb Kingstom HyperX 3x4gb 1600mhz cl9
HDD: 32 euro Western Digital Caviar Blue 500gb
Psu: 68 euro SuperFlower Golden Green Pro 550 watt 80 Plus Gold
Motherboard: 143 euro Asus P6X58D-E
4U Rackmount Chassis: 98 euro X-Case RM 400/10 V2, up to 3 front 120mm fans, and 2x 80mm exhaust fans.
Hot swap sata (single 3.5") : 13 euro
Cooler = 62 euro Noctua NH-D14 or Megahalems depending if the Noctua fits or not, height of case: 176mm.
gpu= 30

Total: 1196 euro
Cinebench @4ghz: 10.2
Power consumption: 290-320 watts @ full load
Cores: 48

i7 2600k builds

Cpu: 282 euro i7 2600k
Ram: 131 euro 12gb Mushkin Blackline 1600mhz 2x2gb + 2x4gb cl9
Hdd: 32 ^
Psu: 45 Cougar 450 watt, 86% Efficiency @ 50% max load.
Motherboard: 127 euro Gigabyte Ud3p/r or Asus P8P67
4U Rackmount Chassis: 98 Xcase^ includes rails.
Hotswap: 13 euro
Cooler = 55 euro Megahalems with 2 fans
Gpu: 30

Total: 813 euro

Planned OC: 4.2-4.5 Ghz, depending on Stability Testing results and Temps.
Cinebench: ~8.5 +- .5 points depending on oc...
Power consumption: 190-220 watts @ full load.
Cores: 44

To put things into perspective, my budget is ~9600 euro

8x 970 builds: 9568 euro
11x 2600k builds: 8943 euro
*Note, the 2600k option will take up more space, so a second server cabinet will be needed, so the 600 euro will compensate for opting with 2 smaller server cabinets apposed to one.

Server cabinets: Digitus, with 6x 120mm fans top exhaust, both front and rear doors are meshed for airflow.

I have been planning this for some time, and I will start ordering these parts within a 2-4 week timeframe. Also, I am sure many of you are screaming at me "*** wait for Bulldozer!!!" However, I have a deadline regarding my rendering, and I would not meet my deadline by the time bulldozer comes out.

Thank you for reading my post! Suggestions and opinions would be appreciated. smile.gif
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Gulftown Malta
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post #2 of 7
If you need the CPU performance and threads then the 970 will kick the crap out of sandybridge, assuming you can use all six cores. I would bet that 48 970 cores would out do 44 sandybridge cores, assuming similar clock speeds.
    
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klue22;12155625 
If you need the CPU performance and threads then the 970 will kick the crap out of sandybridge, assuming you can use all six cores. I would bet that 48 970 cores would out do 44 sandybridge cores, assuming similar clock speeds.

You could be right, but its hard to say. The i7 970 has triple channel memory but 3d rendering only shows a very marginal gain when comparing the two. However, the new sandy bridge architecture is supposed to be able to execute more instructions, and the memory controller is very efficient on the sandy bridge platform. In terms of core/thread usage, yes my application will use up all available threads.

Most likely I would stick with 4ghz on the i7 970 and go for a 4.2-4.4ghz oc on the 2600k. My 980x never reaches above 62c after 12+ hours of rendering, how a server cabinet will affect temps (with good cooling for a rackmount) remains to be seen. I don't think anyone has attempted anything like this, I have not seen any OC'd fully loaded rackmount cabinets.
Edited by Authie - 1/26/11 at 5:23pm
Gulftown Malta
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Gulftown Malta
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post #4 of 7
Hmmm, I would probably go with sandybridge then if you think you can OC it higher. 44 cores at 4.2 I think would beat 48 at 4.0.
    
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post #5 of 7
Xeon?
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klue22;12155931 
Hmmm, I would probably go with sandybridge then if you think you can OC it higher. 44 cores at 4.2 I think would beat 48 at 4.0.

Yeah, it could very well beat it, but it would be very close IMO. Also, there is the space usage;

4u(rackmount space) x8=32u (I could fit it in a premium quality server cabinet for ~800 euro)
4u x 11= 44u (Could fit it in 2x 26u medium quality cabinets, and it would take up twice the space)

Cinebench:
8x 10.2= 81.6
11x ~8.2= 90.2
*Note: I have done tests with multiple systems and a higher cinebench does not always mean faster rendering times as a whole, but the majority of the time it is accurate of calculating 3d rendering performace. Also, my 3d scenes are very large, we are talking about 10gb scenes, I am not sure how this will affect the performance between these two options.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eseb1;12155959 
Xeon?

Yeah, time and time again I researched the dual e5620 option on a supermicro board. It would be more expensive than a single i7 970 rackmount setup with worse performance. Stock dual e5620's achieve a score of ~9.2 in cinebench. Considering it is more expensive by about 220-300 euro I don't see it as a better option. Also, power consumption is around the same if not better on a single 970.

Also, Evga Sr2 rigs are out of the question if opting for rackmounts.

Update:

It seems as though I can no longer get the i7 970's at 622 euro retail, and prices will probably not drop to that amount in some time. So, I have decided to go with the sandy bridge platform.
Edited by Authie - 1/28/11 at 6:56pm
Gulftown Malta
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Gulftown Malta
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
double post
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Gulftown Malta
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