Ok Final CPU Decision help needed

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by john80, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. john80

    john80 The only constant is change

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    I posted few weeks back about my system setup and was leaning on an FX60...now I'm confused with all the talk I'm hearing. I need the skilled experts' opinions on what I should get rather than me spec'ing the wrong system over and over again. I'll tell you what I need it for...help me out if you can. :)

    • High-end system (AMD) mainly for CAD graphics work and gaming.
    • Budget is ~3500-4000
    • Not sure if I should get FX60? Opteron 280/285? Single-core x2 or Dualcore?
    • Video cards? (Want to get dual in SLI) but gaming cards and graphic design cards are completely different
    • Planning on 4gb memory...is it necessary?
    • Best/easiest to setup watercooling system
    The rest is minor, going to get 2x73gb Raptors 10k in Raid0, 800-ish Watt PSU, case, etc.

    Help me out with your recommendations on the CPU mainly, I've read so much on all of the high-end AMDs that I'm lost. I'm willing to work on OC'ing it, (not too skilled in it but can learn), but I don't want to extreme OC to get the best value, rather spend the extra dime. Thanks ahead of time, with help I can order this tomorrow! :bowdown: :wiggle:
     
  2. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    Do you need this asap? AOpen i975Xa-YDG Core Duo boards should be in North America with in the next couple of weeks. Pair one with an Intel T2500 or T2600 (which is like half the cost of a FX-60), overclock it a bit (should easily do 2.7GHz with the stock HSF) and it will easily be a quicker processor than an FX-60.

    Its not SLI, but it is a crossfire board.
     
  3. john80

    john80 The only constant is change

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    Isn't that a chip in the line to replace the Pentium M chips? I thought it was a mobile chip, but I may be wrong. Either way...I think I want to stick to AMD :cool:
     
  4. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    Yes its a mobile chip, however there are many motherboards that are being produced for it.
     
  5. nicklovgren

    nicklovgren The only thing that really worried me was the ethe

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    stick with the AMD
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    If you're building a workstation, try to get two single-core chips and a motherboard to match. The single-core multiple-cpu paradigm has a lot more development and refinement under its belt at this point than the dual-core single-cpu paradigm, and for a workstation you want the most reliable setup you can get. Two separate CPUs also means two heatsinks, which will dissipate heat better than a single heatsink.

    - - -

    You don't need dual SLI video cards for anything. Nobody does. It's just a way for the video card companies to sell twice as much product. Anybody can wait six months for the next video card to come out that's just as powerful as two of the previous model, though I will concede that buying one video card now and a second one later is probably a more economical upgrade path than completely replacing the first video card outright.

    CAD probably doesn't use the pre-packaged graphical effects built into most video cards, so it will have to use your CPU(s) to calculate all of its 3D renderings anyway. You really won't see any meaningful benefit from SLI for what you're doing.

    - - -

    DO NOT USE RAID ZERO. It is far too dangerous; if one drive fails, all the data on all the drives goes away. Buy three Raptors and build a RAID 5 instead, it will be much safer and just as fast.

    - - -

    There is no easy or simple watercooling setup; you have to protect the components against leakage and condensation, and you have to change the coolant every few months just like in a car -- except there's no Jiffy Lube that will service your computer for $20.

    Watercooling really accomplishes nothing in the big scheme of things, both in cars and in computers. The heat still has to radiate into the air eventually; the only difference for a car engine is that the water can absorb around 300x more energy before it boils over, so you can sit in traffic longer before your engine overheats. You still have to cool the radiator off by driving fast on the freeway once the traffic jam breaks. In a computer, which can be considered an idling engine stuck in traffic forever, the heat buildup has nowhere to go once the water gets hot.

    Watercooling looks like it's better because it keeps the CPU cooler, but the system as a whole actualy runs at a higher temperature than a system that just uses fans and heatsinks. Water can absorb a lot of energy before it gets hot, but it has to have enough time to dissipate all that energy as well. To do that you can either replace the entire top panel of your computer case with a custom-built radiator, or use the normal small radiators with wind-tunnel fans that will be just as loud -- or louder -- as the heatsink fans you would have used with a conventional air-cooled setup.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2006
  7. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    first off you don't need to protect against condensation unless you have your water lower than the ambient temperature, which is impossible unless you have form of phase change, or the radiator is help somewhere below 0°C.

    You have oviously never used watercooling from your statement. As long as you use decent equipment, you can clock higher, have lower temperatures and just as quite of a system. System temperatures won't be any higher as long as you aren't pulling the air through the radiator into the system, if the rad fans are exhausting air, all will be fine.
     
  8. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    You're right, condensation is only an issue if you're actively cooling the water below the ambient temperature. You still have to take some precautions against a hose leaking, though, however remote the possibility might be -- and the possibility gets less remote with each coolant change, or with any other modification to the system after its initial installation. With an air-cooled setup, that isn't an issue.

    You're also right that I have never personally used a watercooling system in any of my home computers. I never wanted one, for the reasons I stated previously. That is not to say that I've never used a watercooling system in a company-owned server, or a friend's PC. Likewise, I could accuse you of never having taken a physics class, and you might well respond that you have but you never paid any attention.

    All computers are air-cooled. Where do you think the heat from the radiators goes, hmm? The only thing that watercooling accomplishes is it can store more total energy in the water than it could in the air; if your radiator is less efficient at dissipating heat than the heatsink it replaces, the computer's idle temperature is going to be higher than with an air-cooled setup.

    You may not notice this if you only use your computer for a little while and then shut it off, because the water in the radiator will take a lot more energy to warm it up to a stable temperature. Granted, a server stays on basically forever, whereas a PC stays on for a few hours at a time. But if you DO leave your computer on for a long stretch, you WILL inevitably notice that it's not any cooler than it used to be, once the temperature levels off.

    To me, that reason combined with the added cost, effort, and fragility of a watercooled system is just not worth the bling factor.
     
  9. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    There was a fun debate about dual-core vs. dual processor in someone else's "Help me build a computer" thread. Basically it isn't going to make a hell of a lot of difference to the average user. The reasons I say to go with two single-core processors are:

    1. If one fries, you can replace it without replacing the other.
    2. They will be less likely to fry because they will have two heatsinks to radiate (roughly) the same amount of heat.
    3. The architecture has been around longer.
    4. The CPU companies don't charge as much of a premium on single-core CPUs.
    5. Dual-CPU motherboards are generally better-built, because most of the people who buy them are well-enough-informed that they don't fall for gimmicks.
     
  10. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Okay that made good sense. I take back what I said about you in the other thread. (besides, I thought I was talking to the other guy. sorry......):eek3:
     
  11. john80

    john80 The only constant is change

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    Thanks for the info. Right now I'm about to order this tonight. I'm spec'd for an FX 4800+. I figured I'd overclock that instead of spending $400 more on the FX 60.

    I'm still torn on the two single-core processors only because I don't know what the best chip to get is for single-core? Opterons?? If so, which are the best for this setup? Hundred series, two hundred series?

    And I'm going for SLI for now only because I can always upgrade one in the future rather than replace a single card completely.

    • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Toledo
    • 4x CORSAIR XMS 1GB SDRAM DDR 400
    • XP Professional X64
    • Titan VANESSA 120mm Cooling Fan w/Heatsink
    • PC Power & Cooling TURBO-COOL 850W
    • 2x XFX GeForce 7900 GTX (650MHz) 512MB
    • DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 SLI-DR 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI
    • 3x WD Raptor 74GB 10k RPM (RAID 5)
    • COOLER MASTER Stacker 830 RC-830-SSN1 Case
    • PLEXTOR 18X DVD±R DVD Burner
    • Buncha 120mm fans
    • No liquid cooling for now
    Only thing that would change from that list is the (2) 512mb cards. I'll probably go with (2) 256mb instead.

    What do I need to change if I go to a single-core dual chip setup? Not sure what the best mobo/chip I need in that case since it's unfamilar territory for me with the Opterons.

    Thanks for all the help guys :hsd:
     
  12. john80

    john80 The only constant is change

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    Oh, if you're curious I can post prices, no biggie.
     
  13. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    I garauntee that temperatures will be lower, a radiator is FAR more efficient at cooling than any heatsink on the market. I never shut my computer off, and temperatures were far lower than it could be when cooled with air. If has nothing to do with bling factor, it is far superior at cooling than air ever could be.
     
  14. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Sounds like a plan. If I understand SLI, you'll need to make sure you get two of the exact same video cards when you try to link them together, or else I don't think it will work right. I could be wrong, though.

    Whenever I hear AMD and dual-CPU mentioned in the same post, Opteron is usually what they're talking about. I'm not intimately familiar with them, so I can't speak as to what their specific benefits are over Athlon 64's except that they've been around longer. It might be that Athlon 64's aren't designed for dual-CPU setups, I don't know. You can always get a dual-CPU motherboard, though, and only put one CPU in it at first and upgrade it later by adding a second CPU.
     
  15. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    Opterons are optimized for SMP, but I think they are starting to use the same cores in both the FX and Opterons (note core != processor. There are differences in the hyperthreading setup as well).

    If he goes with opteron he will have to change the memory. Opterons require Registered/ECC RAM. Also, for opterons, pick a board that has separate memory banks for each processor over one with just one bank (usually only an issue in Mini ATX sized boards and smaller).
     
  16. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Surely you mean Hyper-Transport, sir?

    Do they make Micro-ATX boards that hold Opterons? Not that I'd complain, I love Micro-ATX, but it would seem odd to have a server chip on a micro-desktop board.
     
  17. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    Yes, I did. Fucking Hyperthreading should be removed from existence. We had to turn it off on 40 servers because it was reducing performance by about 15% on average!

    Anyway, yes, there are. iWill zmax series comes with them. They are Dual opteron barebones "toaster" boxed. I'm building one right now actually. Putting 2 dual cores in it!
     

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