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Discussion Starter #1
I am an Audio Engineer who is looking to get the maximum performance w/o overclocking

I do not run any Digidesign hardware or software. protools etc.
I have a Presonus Fires Studio 2626 Audio interface (would like to keep it but i guess i could switch)

From what i know i must run some version of windows

I run Ableton Live, and soon Cubase and Sonar, tons of software instruments and processors

Computer Idea #1:
Tyan Quad CPU MB
4x AMD Opteron 2376 2.3 GHz
16x 4GB chips totaling 32 GB ram (room for an extra 32 gb)

Computer Idea #2
Cluster with 2 or more Phenom II AMD computers
I have no experience with Clusters
 

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I'm pretty sure the cluster would work faster, but setting it up is more difficult. I tried to set up a cluster a few times and failed at both attempts.
 

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I'd just go for the first idea but, 32GB of DDR sounds expensive

Thinking around $900+ at first look o.o (8x4GB DDR 266Mhz Modules)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by Marma Duke View Post
I'd just go for the first idea but, 32GB of DDR sounds expensive

Thinking around $900+ at first look o.o (8x4GB DDR 266Mhz Modules)
Its DDR2 ram.... I could get 8gb kits (4x2gb) for $85 800mhz
 

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I would imagine that clusters would be a better choice, however they are much harder to set up, i haven't had much experience with them so i cant tell you what to do, but you im sure there is someone here or on the big web who could explain it, just wait and im sure people on this website will help you =)
 

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basing this entire post basically on assuming a "cluster" isn't much different than two systems, one being used as a "web server" the other as the "db server"

the main advantage of running two slower systems one doing web one doing db, is the fact you have more disk IO.. i have a friend whom used P4's with HT and raptors.. he previously used i think a X2 k8.. his words (that i trust) was something along the lines of "2 slower are better than one faster due to the disk I/O"

in theory, assuming (once again) a cluster works similar to a web/db setup. and assuming your tasks are bottlenecked in anyway by I/O, i would just do what i did but on a larger scale..

buy a perc and some raptors, or some SAS drives.. or even some nice 1TB.. raid 5 them or raid 50 them.. also fill the card (all 8 drives)

i would think, that actually "utilizing" 32GB of ram.. your main weakness is not your GPU, but "can the CPU handle 32GB of ram?" and "can the disk provide data to that ram adequately?"

in the end.. i would go with the first setup, one board, 4 sockets (make sure you can use the new phenom II server variants down the road in that board!) lots of I/O and eventually upgrade the CPU's...

on another note.. i am unaware if windows is capable of being the "foundation" operating system of a cluster??
 

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I've never built, or even attempted to build a cluster, but it seems fairly obvious to me that if you can fit everything in a single system, that would be the way to go. Cost and latency would be far higher in a cluster.

If your budget is high enough I'd go for a dual LGA-1366 setup, but the Xeons are really expensive.

Failing that, your first system looks pretty decent.

Quote:

Originally Posted by uberjon View Post
the main advantage of running two slower systems one doing web one doing db, is the fact you have more disk IO.. i have a friend whom used P4's with HT and raptors.. he previously used i think a X2 k8.. his words (that i trust) was something along the lines of "2 slower are better than one faster due to the disk I/O"
If you have separate disks, the disk IO in one system is not going to be worse than if it were split into two systems.

Quote:

Originally Posted by uberjon View Post
i would think, that actually "utilizing" 32GB of ram.. your main weakness is not your GPU, but "can the CPU handle 32GB of ram?" and "can the disk provide data to that ram adequately?"
More RAM means less of a reliance on disk performance, not more.

Also, none of the programs he intends to run seem to be GPU dependant at all. So, GPU is mostly irrelevant.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by deadagain6591 View Post
Its DDR2 ram.... I could get 8gb kits (4x2gb) for $85 800mhz

Its ECC DDR2 ram, much more expensive.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by iampoor View Post
Its ECC DDR2 ram, much more expensive.
yes. I think dual or quad 771 with fb-dimm is the way to go here or 1336 if you want to get the i7 variant of xeon. that can use ddr3.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by procpuarie
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yes. I think dual or quad 771 with fb-dimm is the way to go here or 1336 if you want to get the i7 variant of xeon. that can use ddr3.

interesting factor i didn't anticipate! isn't it like the end of this month that the xenon chips from intel are released? if price is not an issue.. i would think the intel would be better for max performance.. even a 2P vs an outdated 4P.. figure you get the faster quads.. and ddr3.. the new NB to pump up the ddr3..

sounds like a win-win if you got the cash to slap on the table!
 

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Wait for the next Intel Xenons, going cluster is just going to cause a lot of problems. But if you succeed with a cluster, supercomputer FTW.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
is ECC really important?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by deadagain6591 View Post
is ECC really important?
with that much ram.. i would say for two reasons "yes"

1: the platform that supports that many Dimms requires ecc and usually registered/buffered
2: with that much ram, errors are going to be more common, even if still rare.. if an error happens x times outa 1TB written to one 1GB stick.. odds are it happens alot more with 32GB of ram..
 

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Discussion Starter #16
what would happen if i get errors? would you really notice it
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by deadagain6591 View Post
what would happen if i get errors? would you really notice it
with ECC, hopefully nothing.. without ECC.. hard to tell.. depending on the exact bit of data that the error happens in..

installing a driver and the installer gets the error.. could be nasty.. bsod etc..
the OS itself's data.. same as above..
program your running, word/photoshop/etc.. application could freeze/crash with or without data loss.. (i.e. if you are recording audio data, and it gets an error with 32GB of ram all being used without ECC.. the entire 32GB could become currupted/lost)

then again, in theory (correct me if im wrong here guys/gals?) if the error is minor.. the operating system or program could compensate for it it possibly..
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by uberjon
View Post

with ECC, hopefully nothing.. without ECC.. hard to tell.. depending on the exact bit of data that the error happens in..

installing a driver and the installer gets the error.. could be nasty.. bsod etc..
the OS itself's data.. same as above..
program your running, word/photoshop/etc.. application could freeze/crash with or without data loss.. (i.e. if you are recording audio data, and it gets an error with 32GB of ram all being used without ECC.. the entire 32GB could become currupted/lost)

then again, in theory (correct me if im wrong here guys/gals?) if the error is minor.. the operating system or program could compensate for it it possibly..

I'm pretty sure all current gen OS's try to make up for RAM errors, but even then important servers run ECC (like banks) and I know that Purdue's recording studio's computers use ECC RAM. ECC RAM isn't that much more expensive then non-ECC RAM anyway.

Well, okay. 1 GB of Crucial DDR3 ECC RAM is $33 USD and 1GB of Crucial DDR3 non-ECC RAM is $13 USD

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820148147
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820148242
 
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