Upgrading X58 i7 930 best bang-for-buck workstation
My current rig:
i7 930 stock
Asus P6TD Deluxe
12 GB RAM
So, long-story-short, I've been looking at getting a new system together that enables me to do GPU rendering with Redshift and Octane in Cinema 4D. I was originally going to get a Threadripper 1950X build but am now waiting until Computex to see what's coming, prices may decrease etc...
I've been looking at my current rig and am wanting to do as best as I can bang for buck for a worthwhile upgrade that can serve as a second system (once I get my new system) to aid in rendering.
Right now, with my GPU... I can't utilise 3D rendering at all.
Please note these systems aren't for gaming.
I found the Xeon X5675 here at such a good price.
My plan is to also go water only for CPU (I want to water cool my new build so this is nice practice for me) and overclock to 4.5 - 5Ghz.
My current card is the ATI 5870 which needs to go as I can't even utilise GPU rendering with it.
I've been looking a lot into what GPU to get and I narrowed it down to the following:
GTX 1070 TI
Those cards at those specific links are all within the same price range and I'm finding it hard to decide on things for a few reasons:
1 - They are PCI 3.0 and my board is only 2.0 - I know that a 16x 2.0 is essentially an 8x 3.0? How much performance loss will there be?
2 - Are they even going to be compatible with my Asus P6TD Deluxe? I've looked around... lots of users having issues and lots of users having success on their X58 boards so I'm sceptical.
3 - The RTX 2060 looks great for a one GPU setup and utilises new tech, has faster memory and actually performs well in Redshift benchmarks as seen here ... I guess the 1070 TI would be my ideal choice performance wise but the second-hand thing bothers me. That eBay listing says it's only 6 months old and there's a 6 month seller warranty (not sure what that actually means). It is also cheaper than both the new 2060 and 1070.
4 - In GPU rendering, it's recommended that you have double the amount of RAM to VRAM. I have 12GB and have looked into getting more RAM but I don't think the price warrants it for this rig.
5 - Is it even worth considering a modern card like one of these with the Xeon X5675 and my mobo?
I want to make sure I get the best bang for buck performance upgrade with this rig as I will be getting a brand new latest spec system later also.
I've considered going with a newer mobo with PCI 3.0 etc... but I just don't see it being worth it at the price it would cost compared to what I'm considering with the Xeon.
Any help/advise would be great right now - I've done so much reading and looking around trying to decide and it's time to make a decision. I can't currently utilise my machine for what I want to do so it's holding me back purely because of the GPU ... so the GPU is my main blocker.
If your willing to spend the time overclocking, you can push your 930 up to 4 ghz. I'd recommend a beefy air cooler if you go that route, water cooling only has advantages if your case doesn't have good airflow, or you want to water cool your graphics card(s). Most 3rd party air coolers are good enough for graphics cards, so water cooling only benefits if you overclock and push the limits. My buddy lost his graphics card because the water block on his graphics card eventually leaked. There are risks, you need to make sure the rewards out way the risks. If you are not taking the time to overclock I would not water cool.
The Xeon would be a good upgrade. It's often a recommended upgrade from the 930 because the sockets are the same and the processors are cheap. It's not an advantage if you end up buying a new motherboard.
I have a hard time recommending a new motherboard because I haven't done the research. How much would a board cost for that chip? How much of an advantage are you getting? Realistically, if the computer can do the work, the only thing different would be the speed it's done in, and the amount of electricity used to do it. If the electricity used is less to do the same job, it's saving money. The question is, would it be used enough for the savings to outweigh the cost of a new board? Note, your cost per KW of electricity plays a huge role in this calculation. Cryptocurrency mining calculators might be worth using, they often consider cost of electricity with work output.
The 2060 doesn't benchmark well. It's selling point is AI assisted upscaling. If you aren't using that, I wouldn't get it.
No, a new motherboard isn't worth it from what I've seen. If I get a new mobo it'll be a new system. I see no point in spending money on a new X58 board.
The 2060 does actually perform well for what I'm planning on using it for.
See here for example.
Were you talking about gaming benchmarks? I won't be gaming with this.
Water cooling is more of an enthusiast thing than something 'I need'. I just want to do it xD
I would not bother, you might not even be able to load a 1070 in that system due to no uefi support. New tech is making these old machines irrelevant. I bought a Ryzen 5 2600 for $149 last week. Running a single tower air cooler with 1 140mm fan I can run 4.1+GHz easy...even with 4 sticks RAM. ;)
@OP, 2060 references were based on passmark scores, https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/directCompute.html
Passmark doesn't accomplish things, it's just a benchmark. If you have more accurate benchmarks from the workload you are using, refer to them. They will be more reliable for what you are doing.
OP seems the 2070 8GB is the preferred card over 2060...or maybe 1080. Really need as much VRAM as you can afford. The limiting factor in your daily work will be cpu clock speed and core count. Higher IPC greatly improves user experience( less lag).
These cheap older xeon chips are interesting but the trick is really to find a cheap motherboard that can support one. The reason they are so cheap is because its hard to find a decent motherboard to use one with. That said there are a few 6 core xeons that can overclock and those are the ones you want to look at. I think the one you mentioned is probably one of them, but I'm not sure.
That said, you would be a lot better off to just overclock your current CPU to 4ghz and get a better GPU. Unless your going 120hz+ 1080p gaming, your CPU would hold up just fine with a decent overclock.
Edit: I see you say this is not for gaming. What is it for?
I'm running a X5660 @4.2GHz daily can easily do 4.6Ghz but I do not need to run that speed daily so do not bother.
Regarding GPU's I am running a Rx Vega 56 with no issues and before that a R9 Fury X no issues either.
Got the Gygabyte rtx 2060 pro OC in white finish. Installed it and to my surprise, up and running straight away - benchmarked Redshift and performed better than a 1080 (crazy considering I have a slight bottleneck on the GPU and it's on PCI 2.0). The 2060 was definitely the best bang for buck purchase. 2070 is £150 more - not worth it right now. The 2060 will be moving into my next machine too until I upgrade again.
I've seen that the Zen 2 Threadrippers are being delayed which sucks - my plan is to still upgrade properly to a Threadripper system when prices drop a bit.
New monitor being looked into - LG 34GK950F - this will be my current and next rig monitor. My current monitor is a bottleneck.
The Xeon is the next step - eager to see what Computex has to offer in a couple of weeks.
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