Xeon vs verses I7 980x

blackhawk95

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Hello,

I dont post much here but do read quite a bit on here for all the great info.

Im in the process of putting together a list of components for workstation system for running Solidworks and mastercam. and was wanting to know what would be the performance differences between a Xeon based system over a a 980x system?

From what i gather the Asus p6t7 supercomputer mobo, it can run either cpu. I was looking to use a quadro 4000 vidoe card, but am not sure if i should go Xeon or 980x?

any suggestions would be great.

thanks,

Jerid
 

blackhawk95

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Thanks, pretty much what i thought. the 980x route would save money over the x5680.

would the W3680 xeon be right there with the x5680 in performance?
 

asusdude24

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The 980X, W3680, and X5680 should all perform similarly. One thing that would help the 980X and W3680 is having higher speed memory such as DDR3 1600 or higher. In the case of the X5680, simply having 2 processors and lots of ram will allow the x5680 to perform better in certain situations. I myself use an EVGA SR-2 with 2 X5680's and 48 GB of ram and when I run benchmarks using only one processor, they perform within 1% of the 980X and the W3680. For you, I suggest going the 980X, as you can easily overclock it if that is what you wish to do.
 

Psychoteddy

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You don't need anything fancy to run SolidWorks. I ran SolidWorks on a C2D 1.4 GHz mobile with an 8600M GT just fine. Renders can take some time on that kind of hardware but you definitely don't need a $5000 workstation to do it with.
 

blackhawk95

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Thanks alot for the imput. I dont want to spend 5k on a computer. Around $3500us would be ok.

I just want to make sure it would have engough speed to run the Solid works and MasterCam X4 as its takes some time to process toolpaths on even some simple parts.

The main componets I have my eye on are 980x cpu, 12gb ram, quadro 4000 video card an SSD for program files and a Velociraptor HDD for storage.

Im guessing any of the upper end gaming mother boards would be fine?

Thanks Again,

Jerid
 

MU_Engineer

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There are two Xeons that are similar to the i7 980X, the W3680 and the X5680. All are LGA1366 3.33 GHz CPUs with 6 cores, 12 threads, and 12 MB L3 cache. The difference is that the Xeons support error-correcting (ECC) memory, while the i7 line does not, according to Intel. ECC also requires motherboard support to function and from what I saw by flipping through the P6T7's manual, ECC is not supported. You can put ECC modules in the board and they will run, but ECC will be turned off. The Xeon X5680 is additionally able to work in a dual-processor setup and use registered memory as well, but again, both are moot points as the P6T7 is a single-socket board and will not work with registered memory. So in your case, get yourself the i7 980X or get a workstation board that supports the Xeons' additional features instead of the desktop P6T7.

http://www.overclock.net/general-processor-discussions/697081-980x-2-x-e5620-xeons.html
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/977129
http://superuser.com/questions/122914/intel-i7-vs-xeon-quad-core-processor
http://recomparison.com/comparisons/100492/comparison-of-xeon-vs-i7/

Only X series of XEON 5600 can compete with i7-980X. Also I have heard that both have same architecture, techincally both have 12M cache, 6.4 GT/s QPI & Clock Speed 3.33 GHz if you go with X5680. But being XEON, X5680 cost $700-800 more than i7. So i decide to go with SINGLE X5660 or X5650 as of now & upgrade later with another X5680 (if Compatible) when price come down.
The reason the X5680 costs more for basically being the same chip is that it is able to be run in dual-CPU setups, while the i7 980X and Xeon W3680 (which is not much more expensive than the i7 980X) cannot. You could decide to go with a dual-socket board and one 6-core Xeon and then upgrade later, but you're getting a slower system for the same money at the present. You just have to make the tradeoff between more speed now versus more speed later.

Xeon
* Descended from the Pentium II
* Mostly used for servers and workstations
* While the lower end versions are cheaper than the i7's low-end version, most models are quite a bit more expensive

i7

* Descended from the Core 2 line
* Intended mainly for desktop PCs
* Has a number of features that make it well suited to photo editing, video encoding and gaming
* Moderately priced compared to the Xeon
The current Xeons and the i7s are basically the same chips. They all trace their lineage back to 1995's P6-based Pentium Pro server chip, which was first brought to the consumer market as the Pentium II. The P6 microarchitecture used in the Pentium Pro and Pentium II was used in the Pentium III, Pentium M, the original Core laptop chips, and the Core 2 before being used in the Nehalem-based chips as well as Sandy Bridge. Nehalem and Sandy Bridge are a lot different from the original Pentium Pro, but that's where their lineage goes back to.

The reason the lowest-end Xeons are less expensive than the lowest-end Core i7 900 series is that the Core i7 900 series is intended to be a high-end enthusiast chip, so all of the models have to be at least decent. All are at least quad-core units with 8 MB of L3 cache, HyperThreading, and Turbo Boost. There are some very low-end Xeons that are very crippled to make certain price points, such as the $199 E5502. It's a dual-core unit with half of the L3 cache turned off, no Turbo Boost, no HyperThreading, and the memory controller is locked at DDR3-800 speeds. It may be less expensive than the i7s, but it's also a far inferior chip.

The single-socket Xeons (3400/3500/3600 series) don't cost that much more than their analogous i7 models. The only thing you're paying extra for is unbuffered ECC memory support. The high-dollar feature on Xeons is multiple processor support. The Xeon 3000 series can only be used in single-socket arrangements, so Intel doesn't charge a high premium for it over an i7 that can also only be used in single-socket arrangements. The 5000s can be used in dual-socket arrangements, so they're considerably more pricey. The Xeon 7000s can be used in 4+ socket arrangements so they are absolutely ridiculously priced as they start at over $1000 for a quad-core 2.0 GHz part.
 
G

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I would be very careful with those numbers. It seems desktop enthusiast would throw Xeons out the window any day, or night over beloved i7 series, but they forget about very important aspect. That is ECC. Those i7 chips don't support such memory, and if your pro app requires lots of memory (12GB+) then I would stay away from desktop chips to avoid frustration. I don't think those apps can support more than 2-4 threads, so probably your best bet would be Xeon W3680 with ECC(must) memory.
 

blackhawk95

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Woah, lots of info there.. I not going to go the dual cpu route. so, Im either looking at a 980x or w3680 cpu. From what i gather the P67T will work for either. the only thing i dont like about the board is not sata 6 and usb 3.

Ill be using this computer for both work and personal stuff.

Im really leaning toward the 908x. what board would you guys reccomend?
 

blackhawk95

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Were you running solid works 64 bit with FEA and CFD? Mastercam X4 on my laptop takes quite a while to process toolpaths and hours to verify even pretty simple multi-axis parts with only 4-6mb of tool path code.

Time is money in machining and the faster I can run these programs the better, and if im going to buy or build something new i want the best i can get for the amount of money i want to spend.

Where I work they just got new workstations from dell with 1 X5680 cpu 12gb ram Quadro FX3800 card and ssd drives. and there fast. And about $6000 ea
 

Psychoteddy

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No, I was not running them with FEA or CFD. So, I suppose that is the main difference. If it's taking hours to do these calcuulations, by all means go for the big guns. I didn't know that's what you were doing. :D
 

blackhawk95

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No problem, I just want to make sure i get what i need. I work for the USACE and obviously some of there projects are alot larger than Ill ill initially be doing.

on my laptop i use now a program with aroung 1000 entities take a bit of time to go from wireframe to solids.
 

blackhawk95

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would the MSI x58 big bang MB with a 980x, 12gb ram, Quadro 4000 video card, 128gb SSD for progam files and a WD 600gb hhd for storage. does this sound like a good setup? according to newegg i get prett much everything i need except monitor for around $3500.
 

MU_Engineer

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Yes, the W3680 can run without ECC memory. ECC is an optional feature and any CPU/motherboard that supports ECC memory can use non-ECC memory and vice-versa. Putting ECC memory in a system that does not support it just results in ECC being turned off. Using non-ECC memory in a system than can support ECC memory also results in no ECC.

The one thing you need to be careful about is registered vs. unbuffered memory. Registered memory is strictly server memory. Unbuffered (non-registered) memory is used in all desktops and some servers. Registered and unbuffered memory are not interchangeable and the only systems that can use either type of memory are some newer DDR3-using servers (Opteron 4100s and 6100s, Xeon 5500s and 5600s) but all of the memory in those systems must be one type or another. All registered memory currently sold is ECC, but not all ECC memory is registered. Core i7s and Xeon 3000 series will only work with the unbuffered type, and the P6T7 (and likely most other single LGA1366 desktop boards) won't work with registered memory even if you use a Xeon 5500/5600 that does support that kind of memory. You're not looking to get ECC memory, so you'll not accidentally buy registered memory, but if you were, it's VERY easy to accidentally get the wrong kind and you need to be aware of it.
 

Gina Blackhawk

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My total investment will be around 4k. I just found out that nVidia has specific participating partners it works with and will be allowing them to offer rebate coupons for the Cuadro 4000 early June 2011. Call them to find out who is participating and save some money. As for the 980x, I would check the benchmarks as it tests simliar to the i970, except it is slower with Adobe. Look here. http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2367526,00.asp

Definitely get the motherboard without graphics to minimize problems that even www.VideoGuys.com mentions clearly and advises against. Which is why you would avoid the 2600k i7 too because it's actually intended for consumer rather than pro use, like for laptops.

Videoguys also made me aware of the MAXTOR MINI-MAX which outputs H264 super fast. It has a color calibrator in the chip that allows your HD TV monitor to function as a broadcast monitor. But you have to use Maxtor's effects (plugins in order to see it) so I am just going to be using the Cuadro 4000 with a $7 adaptor that allows me to see real-time and only using MAxtor Mini-Max for input/output, especially accelerated H264.



 

Umbongo

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Intel only officially support unbuffered memory for Xeon 3500 and 3600 processors, but registered memory does work if you have a board that supports ECC memory. Apple are, to my knowledge, the only vendor who sell registered memory for an X58 chipset in the form of the their memory options that use 8GB DIMMs. Its such a niche and with no official support you barely see it talked about but people have shown 2GB, 4GB, 8GB and 16GB DIMMs working with Xeon 3500/3600s.
 

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