Dual-processor goodness, or no?

oron

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I want to build a high-processor-power 3d-rendering (for CAD) system but one which is within normal budget. I'm considering an Athlon64 3200+ but have recently come up with the idea of using an Opteron... possibly even a dual Opteron setup. Given some more research I've discovered that for the same price as a single 3200+, I can buy two Opteron 140's (1.4ghz). Which would be faster? What would be the pros/cons?

Thanks!
 

Mephistopheles

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Well, it all depends greatly on your needs.

Will you require a lot of memory? Will you make extensive use of software that is multithreaded? Which software is that?

I think you should also define a "normal budget" for us. If you considered a system build upon the Athlon 64 3200+, your budget is probably not much better than the average desktop enthusiast. Unfortunately, this is not truly enough to warrant going to dual CPU setups at all.

<i>Consider this: there's a problem with what you said: Two 140's cannot work in dual-processor configs, you'd need two 240's, which would cost US$382, which is more than even the A64 3500+, which is US$346. Add to that the cost of mobo, which should be more expensive than even the most deluxe mobos for A64, and the fact that you must use registered RAM with opterons, and <b>even the cheapest dual-processor opteron will actually fall in a different price league than an A64 system!</b></i>

How much are you prepared to spend on this system?
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Mephistopheles on 08/13/04 00:55 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
 

oron

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"Consider this: there's a problem with what you said: Two 140's cannot work in dual-processor configs, you'd need two 240's, which would cost US$382, which is more than even the A64 3500+, which is US$346. Add to that the cost of mobo, which should be more expensive than even the most deluxe mobos for A64, and the fact that you must use registered RAM with opterons, and even the cheapest dual-processor opteron will actually fall in a different price league than an A64 system!"

Good thoughts!

The dual opteron thing is something I only jus stumbled on and was wondering if anyone had thoughts.

Basically I want 3dsmax, Rhino3d/Flamingo, and possibly Alias studio to render as fast as possible. Games are fun, but not on the top of my list. Also Adobe software (acrobat, illustrator, photoshop, etc) will be used extensively on my machine, but are more limited by ram/hard drive speed.

I'm building a fast system with a small budget by only buying exactly what is necessary. I'm not going to spend $400 on a fancy-dancy video card to play Doom3. I also don't need a fancy sound card or anything like that. Just max RAM/proc power and I'll probably port over my old hard drives temporarily.

Thanks!

-Olen
 

P4Man

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Unfortunately, very few apps take good benefit from dual cpu's, if you look <A HREF="http://www.tecchannel.de/hardware/1441/15.html" target="_new">here</A>, much to my surprise, you will notice a single opteron outperforms even a (otherwise identical) dual opteron on 3DMAx. Photoshop should take better advantage of 2 CPU's, but the increase isn't likely to be more than ~20% on most tasks (some filters may be exceptions and scale 70% or so with the second cpu, but those are rare cases, unless you happen to run that particular filter all day long).

So.. you want the fastest cpu before anything else, and if you still have money left, you may want two of them, but you don't want two slower cpu's instead of one fast. A 3500+ should be considerably faster than two opteron 240's for pretty much any task you describe (although I admit never having head of "Rhino3d/Flamingo").

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =